It was patently clear that the most common theme at last year's London Toy Fair, held in January 2014, was apps. You couldn't move for toys that in some way interacted with an app on a smartphone or tablet. Strangely though, the same wasn't true about this year's event.
Toy Fair 2015 was mainly app-free, with many manufacturers clearly finding out that toys are better when they are platform agnostic. Many familiar, traditional toys took centre stage therefore and parents can rest safe in the knowledge that they won't have to hand over their iPhones every time their kids want to play with their Christmas presents in future.
Instead, the main tech story around the event was drones, or quadcopters as toy manufacturers would rather you called them. There were plenty of options both inside the London Olympia venue and out - with one US firm opting for a massive suite at the Hilton hotel next door to show its wares - and while similar in theme, there really was something for everyone.
That's why we visited all the major manufacturers and some of the smaller ones to check out their drones. Here are some of our favourites.
Flying Gadgets X-Voice
The X-Voice is rather unique as it's the only toy quadcopter that you can control with your voice as well as a standard controller. Once you set it into voice mode, you can bark certain commands, such as "take off", "land" and "dance" to have it perform actions automatically. It also has a flexible cage around it to prevent the copter from scrapes and bumps. Price: £50.
Revell Wi-Fi Quadcopter X-Spy
This fairly small quadcopter features a built-in camera that can live stream video footage via Wi-Fi back to your iPhone or Android smartphone letting you peer over your neighbours fence or through their bedroom window. Er. Ahem. And if you don't want to use the included 2.4GHz controller you can opt to control it completely via your smartphone instead. Price: £99.
US company Propel has a staggering range of remote control helicopters and quadcopters at all manner of price points. In terms of the top end of its toy range (there are also bigger, adult drones) is the Neutron, which has a three or four channel 2.4GHz remote, meaning you can start in three-channel mode to get the hang of things without crashing often, then switch to four when you're more proficient. It has a HD video camera that records footage onto a microSD card through a slot in the back. Price: TBC.
Micro Drone 3.0
This tiny self-stabilising drone is due to go on sale later this year if its Kickstarter campaign is a success. The quadcopter comes with a built-in HD camera so you stream footage back to your phone. Taking things a step further the drone will also come with an app that will work with a Google Cardboard VR Headset, so you can go first person as if you were a bird or Superman. Probably. On the drone itself there will be a gimble option to make filming even smoother. Control is either via a dedicated controller or your iPhone. Price: £99.
This is at the high end of the drones available (certainly at the Toy Fair) and really more aligned with the DJI drones of this world. This Ghost Drone features retractable legs when flying and a follow me mode. This means you can have it fly at a set attitude and to stay within 10 metres of your phone. Yes, while you are cycling, surfing or boarding, the drone can be hovering over your shoulder, recording the action. Just make sure you don't go under any low bridges. Price: £600.
Smaller than its Neutron quadcopter the Quark comes without a camera but still has a three or four-channel remote for beginner to intermediate users. And it's quick. Boy is it quick. The small drone is also incredibly stable when you want it to be, but can be controlled to perform stunts at the push of a button. Flipping is a doddle for the Quark and it comes with multiple LED headlights for low light flying. Price: TBC.
Crash it into walls, trees or even jump on it and it will live to fly again. That's the message here for this drone from model maker Revell. The Rayvore quadcopter is due out in the shops at the end of the month, and comes with a flip function for stunts. There are also LED lights to make night flying a little more fun. Price: £60.
The world's smallest drone will go on sale in June and is so tiny you can hide it in a clenched fist. The as yet unnamed "Pico" quadcopter is the follow on to the company's hugely successful Nano quadcopter launched last year and reduces the size of the flying gadget even further. No word on a price yet.
Finally, from the tinniest of drones to a monster. The Propel Predator is currently just a prototype of a quadcopter planned for later this year and it looks as mean as it moves. The remote control beast is designed specifically for fun and is even able to bank almost vertically. We couldn't see it at its best in a hotel suite, no matter how large it was, but even just the noise was intense enough. This is one seriously crazy drone that we can;t wait to take for a real test in the great outdoors. Price: TBC.
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