It might be a while before Christmas is upon us again but the toy industry has revealed its plans already.
A series of Toy Fairs around the world have showed off the best gadgets and gizmos for kids that your young ones will be begging Santa Claus for come the end of the year, and we've attended the New York and London events.
There's even a few we've got eyes on ourselves. So here are the best upcoming tech toys for Christmas 2017.
Best tech toys for 2017: Battlebots
Hex-Bugs are a line of tiny mechanical robots that mimic real world insects. The Battlebots (The US version of Robot Wars) took this in a new direction last year with toys that replicated large robot battles. At New York Toy Fair it was evident that this had been a success - the line was greatly expanded.
In addition to new robots in the infra-red controlled series there was a new buildable version of the large Tombstone robot from the series. This combination of Lego-style build with robotic electronics is what made the VEX line popular. Combining this with licensed robot characters should make it even more popular.
Best tech toys for 2017: BeatMoovz
BeatMoovz was one of the few toys we saw that could be just as fun to use for adults as kids. It comprises two wearable wristbands with motion trackers inside that, when linked by Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet app, plays a sound depending on your movements.
The app has a soundboard with thousands of audio clips available. You can use the wristbands, therefore, to either play music using your body, or add silly effects to your motions - such as 1970s kung fu movie noises.
It'll be available in the summer for £50 a pair.
Best tech toys for 2017: Laser X
Remember the laser quest style toys from the 80s? Character Options does as it's bringing Laser X to the UK.
It works in a similar way to the old Lazer Tag retro gear, with two blasters and two vests coming in one package. However, the Laser X system works up to 200 metres, so you can expand your range of play.
Release date and price is TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Minions MiP
WowWee's MiP robot was a huge success a couple of years ago and now, as a tie-in with the forthcoming Despicable Me 3 movie, you can get a version shaped like your own Minion.
It does many of the same things as the original, including app-controlled movement and coding tasks, but Turbo Dave can also laugh, cry and even make noisy bottom burps. Hilarious fun for all.
It'll be available in the summer for £100.
Best tech toys for 2017: Mecca-Spider
Buildable robots were common at New York Toy Fair so it was hard to stand out in this category. A couple of products rose above the crowd. The Mecca-Spider and Mecanno Max (as featured below) both offered nice customisations without the builds getting too complex.
Mecca-Spider is particularly interesting with a novel water-squirting feature that integrates into a Russian Roulette style game. Better still, the toy comes with its own screen so you don’t have to factor in the use of a smartphone to interact with it.
Best tech toys for 2017: RazorX Cruiser electric skateboard
Razor has turned to lithium batteries for its latest electric skateboard, meaning it can get up to 40 minutes of use from rechargeable battery packs.
The RazorX Cruiser has geared rear wheel drive, which is controlled by a separate remote control with a go and stop slider. You can change the speed using the controls, even getting up to a maximum top speed of 10mph.
The deck is made from quality bamboo, and everything else about the board is authentic.
It'll be available from the summer for £230.
Best tech toys for 2017: Dance Code Belle
It’s easy to be sniffy about a tech dancing princess doll but Belle has a proper coding payload that will introduce a different demographic of children to the simple joys of programming. By dragging and dropping code elements, youngsters can complete tasks to specify different dance routines.
Because the code is then executed in the real world there’s an instant visual reward for children who have completed blocks correctly. It reminds us of how Big Trak triggered many programming careers in the 90’s. Also with Beauty and the Beast in cinemas it’s bang on trend.
Best tech toys for 2017: Hatchimals
After last year’s unbridled success of the Hatchimals toys, Spin Master returns with an update and extended line. While we wait for a likely new iteration nearer Christmas, there is a Hatchimals Glitter version. Here the egg and the mechanical creature inside both inherit a sparkly new sheen. They also have new game modes and interactions.
Also on show were related pocket money sets of Hatchimals blind bags. These collectable minis come sealed in their own tiny eggs which must be rubbed to change colour before they hatch. While this is something the child rather than the toy does, it has that same reveal excitement and has a related app in which to unlock and explore related content.
Best tech toys for 2017: The Rocket Singing Machine
The Rocket Singing Machine is more than a karaoke microphone, it links to a tablet or smartphone via Bluetooth and can be used with any music stored on the mobile device or streamed via media services, such as Spotify. You can even find karaoke versions of your favourite tracks, without vocals, to sing over.
It has a built in speaker to play the music and an amplifier for your voice. There's an echo effect you can add too.
Price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Five Nights at Freddy's Game
To be honest, we don't know much about the Five Nights at Freddy's game apart from the fact that it's licensed from the clever and scary console and mobile title. The one at Toy Fair was an early prototype and didn't actually do anything, but from the packaging we could see that it's a bit like Buckaroo.
You have to steal pizza pieces from Freddy Fazbear and we suspect that should you steal the wrong piece, he wakes up with a start, scaring the willies out of you.
Again, price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Sky Viper Drone
Vivid is bringing a successful range of US drones over to the UK, all under the Sky Viper banner. There are models from £60, such as the Stunt Drone pictured, all the way up to a first-person view Sky Viper Streaming Drone, which comes with a VR style headset that houses your mobile phone and gives you a drone's eye view. That'll be more in the £140 price range.
All the Sky Viper drones are planned for a July launch.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Star Wars Camera Watch
VTech has made smartwatches for kids in the past but none have drawn our eye quite as much as the Star Wars camera watches we saw at the show.
Not only do they have the ability to take snaps and video using a top-mounted lens, with 256MB of storage on board, they also feature mini-games, voice recording with Star Wars effects, a motion sensor, step counter, and all the time-telling features a kid needs.
There are two models in the range, one for BB-8, the other for the First Order. We're still awaiting pricing and release date.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Star Wars Stormtrooper Digital Camera
Another Star Wars licensed device from VTech, the Stormtrooper digital camera is similar to the company's previous Kidizoom range. However, it is all themed around the movie franchise and has several additional games and features.
For example, you can add Star Wars characters to pictures taken to make it look like you (or your child) is stood next to a Stormtrooper or the like. You can also play games using the rear screen, including an augmented reality shoot-em-up with Tie-Fighters swarming around your location.
We're also waiting for price and release date details for this.
Best tech toys for 2017: Razor Power A electric scooter
Like its new electric skateboard above, Razor's 2017 portable electric scooter is for kids and adults and is rear wheel driven by a lithium battery powered motor. It can also achieve speeds up to 10mph and is capable of lasting 45 minutes between charges.
Unlike many other electric scooters, the Razor Power A is very lightweight - 4kg - and can be folded so can be taken on a commute and the like.
It'll be out in the summer for £230.
Best tech toys for 2017: VRSE
We got to try one of the VRSE virtual reality headsets on Vivid's stand at Toy Fair but because the design was not finalised, couldn't bring you our own pictures. However, we still thought it worth of inclusion as the headsets and, specifically, the licensed games are good quality.
There will be two in the initial range, based on Jurassic World and Batman. Each will cost £70, which gets you the headset, a themed Bluetooth controller and an app download. You use either and Android or iOS smartphone in the visor to provide the screen.
Where we think VRSE differs from most other "toy" VR devices we've seen in the past is in the content. We had a brief go at an early build of the Jurassic World app and there are several mini-games and experiences included - with actual gameplay and thought gone into them. It'll be available in July so we'll take a more in-depth look closer to the time.
Best tech toys for 2017: Zoomer Zupps Tiny Pups
The Zoomer Zupps Tiny Pups are the only toy here you can buy now. They are the latest entry into the Zoomer series, which has already produced a robot dog and a chimp, and are inexpensive mini robotic creatures that can play some games and interact with their owners.
Leave them alone too long and they'll start to whimper, and you can press the tops of their heads or noses to have them make other sounds. Each Zupp also has a special trick to discover.
Each of them costs £14.99 and they are all available now.
Best tech toys for 2017: Zoomer Show Pony
As well as the Tiny Pups, the Zoomer range has been expanded to the equestrian field.
Following up on the robotic charms of Zoomer Chimp and Zoomer Dino comes an interactive pony. She not only extends the level of sensors, voice and interactions but also comes with NFC style food items. Children need to keep her watered and fed to develop a relationship that unlocks more and more tricks and phrases.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech Kidizoom Flix
Last year, VTech released a selfie stick camera for kids and this year introduces one with a tripod that can stand just about anywhere, even wrap around a child's arm.
The Kidizoom Flix not only takes photos, it can guard a child's bedroom in keeper mode, taking snaps when it detects motion. It also detects faces, so can interact with its owner, even repeating phrases it hears in silly voices. The alien inside can play games with a child too.
Price and release date are yet to be revealed.
Best tech toys for 2017: VTech DigiGo Max
This year's kid-friendly tablet from VTech comes with Android for the first time. It has a 5-inch 800 x 480 screen and 8GB of on-board storage (expandable through microSD card).
There's a rotatable camera at the top, for front and rear photos, and a "child-safe" web browser is built in, although we're not sure quite how that works yet.
You can download extra games and apps from VTech's own service.
Price and release date are TBC.
Best tech toys for 2017: Nerf Nitro
Each year sees an almost endless influx of Nerf guns and this year we have some notable additions. There is the Star Wars Nerf gun with lights, sounds and glow in the dark projectiles. There is also a working Night-Scope for the Modulus line.
Biggest headline is the Nerf Nitro line that combines foam Hotwheels style cars and the projectile shooter. It’s a nice move and potentially makes Nerf guns more interesting to a wider audience of children.
Best tech toys for 2017: Rocket League Hotwheels Toys
Ahead of Toy Fair, Rocket League announced new Hot Wheels cars and DLC content for the game. Each of these are modelled on the classic toy die-cast cars. At the New York Toy Fair we had a good look at the update and were impressed.
In addition, there are new Pull-Back Minis cars from Zag Toys that take the game into the real world. A nice touch here is that buying the toy cars also unlocks content in the game via a DLC code.
Best tech toys for 2017: Justice League R/C Batmobile
Best big boy tech toy at Toy Fair was won by a country mile by Mattel’s Justice League Batmobile. Not only does it look the part but this big R/C car also includes realistic engine sound and gunfire.
It has real smoke exhaust and a cockpit camera that promises to give a Batman-eye’s view of the driving action.
Best tech toys for 2017: Roaring Tyler and Proto Max
Hasbro had a lot of tech-toy goodness on its New York Toy Fair stand but two characters stole the show. Roarin’ Tyler is an animatronic update of Star Lilly and Torch. These characters offer impressive life-like movement and interactions. It’s the level of detail here that make them so appealing to children along with their ability to combine different features to create emergent game-play.
Proto Max takes the FurReal line in a new direction with a programmable and buildable doggy friend. Once built, you can connect Max to an app and create different interactions via a simple Scratch-like programming language.
Best tech toys for 2017: Hanazuki
Hanazuki is a new cartoon series from Hasbro. Driven by the central idea of the power of emotions and how the main character deals with this it inevitably leads to a related toy line. Seeing it at the New York Toy Fair was impressive on a number of levels.
The toy-tech itself worked well with a wearable light-up watch. This interacts with collectable characters that change colour and unlock content in a related app when plugged in.
Best tech toys for 2017: Lego Boost
Lego has long been offering robot making kits with its Mindstorm line. At Toy Fair it unveiled a new (more affordable and less complex) option for aspiring robot-makers. The Lego Boost system offers a range of interactive bricks, motors and sensors that connect to a central app. This enables youngsters to create a range of different robots that interact intelligently.
The app extends this considerably with interactive behaviour possible. As an entry to the world of either programming or engineering, Lego Boost is pitched perfectly.
Best tech toys for 2017: WowWee Chippies
WowWee continues its robotics range with Chippies - three lovable puppies that has many features of the larger, more expensive CHiP released at the tail-end of last year. There is Chipper, Chippette and Chippo.
Each Chippie has a unique personality and will respond to their owners. They are also remote controlled through the included bone controller. More features will become apparent closer to release.
They'll be available from Q4 at £50 each.
Best tech toys for 2017: Meccano M.A.X.
Described as a social robot, M.A.X from Meccano will learn from answers you give to its many questions. That way it can become a better friend, thanks to combining artificial intelligence (AI) and customisable programming.
Infrared (IR) navigation and different apps bring M.A.X. to life, a bit like a more-advanced, modern day Big Trak. The little robot will be out in the Autumn for around £150.
Best tech toys for 2017: Geckobot
This robotic gecko might look more like a chameleon, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that once you’ve made it from the parts supplied it will happily climb up vertical surfaces.
This is thanks to an on-board air pump that helps it stick to walls.
It'll cost £45 when it comes out later this year.
Best tech toys for 2017: Aura Drone
In an effort to stand out in the ever-crowded drone space, Gesturebotics has added a cunning way to help you control its latest quadcopter.
Rather than wield a clunky remote control, you wear a special glove and move your hand to control the hovering drone in front of you.
It feels a bit like using "the Force" as a Jedi. Where it differs from some gesture controlled toys, such as BB-8 from Sphero, is in the use of accelerometers to work out what you are doing with your hand.
Due out later in the year, it will cost £150.
Best tech toys for 2017: Kurio Tab 2
Designed specifically for children, this 7-inch Android 6.0-powered, updated tablet comes with a host of dedicated kid-friendly features.
These include the company's parent-focused Kurio Genius interface that allows you to specifically block apps, control the amount of time your children are allowed to use the tablet for and which websites they can go on. Better still, once the kids have gone to bed you can access all the grown up features of Android to enjoy in the evening.
It costs £100.
At internetmatters.org parents can find all the advice they will need to keep their children safe online. Designed specifically for parents, the site offers a wealth of up-to-date, unbiased information and advice about how to deal with online safety. Parents can learn about the latest issues and technologies, get great tips on how to talk about online safety with their children and get the best advice on dealing with issues and taking action. Created with experts, Internet Matters provides detailed information, but also signposts to best-in-class resources from individual expert organisations. Our goal is to ensure parents can always access the information that they need, in a format that is clear and concise.