Andy Robertson

How to help your child watch YouTube Kids shows and videos safely

How to help your child watch YouTube Kids shows and videos safely

By Andy Robertson

When children ask to go on the internet they usually mean "watch YouTube videos" and since YouTube Kids app launched a couple of years ago, there has been a dedicated online destination for them to visit.But while it opens an Aladdin's cave of characters,... Read more

What is Circle with Disney, how can it moderate kids' internet usage and how do you set it up?

What is Circle with Disney, how can it moderate kids' internet usage and how do you set it up?

By Andy Robertson

No matter how responsible or communicative your children are, ensuring their online activity is safe and healthy is no easy matter. For parents this is a challenge on many levels. What content is children accessing? Which devices are they using to go... Read more

Cozmo preview: The Anki robot friend comes to the UK at last

Cozmo preview: The Anki robot friend comes to the UK at last

By Andy Robertson

Anki’s Cozmo robot has been a double-edged sword for UK families. It offers some exciting features, has huge buzz online and is peerless in terms of its interactions. However, its availability has been limited to the US.Until today, that is. Anki just... Read more

Is the Nintendo Switch good for all the family? Parental controls, motion gaming and more explored

Is the Nintendo Switch good for all the family? Parental controls, motion gaming and more explored

By Andy Robertson

While the internet groans under the weight of umpteen Nintendo Switch reviews, including our own here, here’s an assessment of Nintendo’s new console with a difference - from a family perspective.The Switch, if you have somehow missed the hype thus... Read more

Skylanders Imaginators review: Create your own Skylanders at last
4.0 stars

Skylanders Imaginators review: Create your own Skylanders at last

By Andy Robertson

Rather than introduce another pre-packaged figurine novelty for this year's Skylanders game, Imaginators puts character creation in the hands of its young players.From top to bottom Skylanders Imaginators focuses on a creation tool that snaps together... Read more

PlayFusion Lightseekers for iOS and Android: Toys to life is not dead, it's only just beginning

PlayFusion Lightseekers for iOS and Android: Toys to life is not dead, it's only just beginning

By Andy Robertson

With Disney's withdrawal from the toys-to-life game genre questions were asked on whether the bubble had burst for videogames that interact with physical toys. However, not only are Lego Dimensions and Skylanders still going strong, with both having significant... Read more

Infinite Arms for iPad preview: Skylanders for Halo fans

Infinite Arms for iPad preview: Skylanders for Halo fans

By Andy Robertson

Infinite Arms is a toy-game cross over aimed at fans of Gears of War, Halo and big Transformers style mechs. It’s a sophisticated RPG for iPad and iOS generally, where adding weapons to model robots instantly sees them appear in the game. It aims to... Read more

Skylanders Imaginators at E3 2016: Crash Bandicoot joins the fun

Skylanders Imaginators at E3 2016: Crash Bandicoot joins the fun

By Andy Robertson

We've previously previewed Skylanders Imaginators after having its basic theme and gameplay demoed to us at an event in London prior to E3 2016, but during the US expo itself we found out so much more.It injects some role-play character creativity to... Read more

Anki Overdrive Supertrucks: Extending AI racing to big rigs

Anki Overdrive Supertrucks: Extending AI racing to big rigs

By Andy Robertson

Anki has steadily improved its Overdrive AI racing system since it launched last year. Software enhancements have added extra modes, like One Shot Kill and Balanced Cars, and it now sports handy features, such as replaying the same track without the cars... Read more

Cyberbullying facts: 5 things to spot and how to help your child online

Cyberbullying facts: 5 things to spot and how to help your child online

By Andy Robertson

The internet can be an incredible resource for adults and children, for both entertainment and learning, but it can also be a scary place at times. This is especially true for kids who spend a lot of time interacting with each other online.As with all... Read more

5 fun Raspberry Pi projects you can do with your kids

5 fun Raspberry Pi projects you can do with your kids

By Andy Robertson

Like the BBC Micro in its day, the Raspberry Pi mini-computer is an accessible way to get children and families into the world of computer hardware and coding/programming.It costs around £30 and is about the size of a credit card. It can be plugged... Read more

Parents guide to games consoles: How to make Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U safe and secure

Parents guide to games consoles: How to make Xbox One, PS4 and Wii U safe and secure

By Andy Robertson

As entertainment technology offers children more ways to connect, it is important parents understand the risks and how to safely get the most out of these devices in the home.Before even starting or choosing between the different games consoles therefore,... Read more

Parents should not let their kids play Hitman and here's why

Parents should not let their kids play Hitman and here's why

By Andy Robertson

Getting the most from videogames with your family is no easy matter. Games are complex, long and offer a range of experiences not always evident from the first few minutes.However, with a little research you can find the right games to play and easily... Read more

Anki Overdrive v1.3 update makes it better for families, here's why

Anki Overdrive v1.3 update makes it better for families, here's why

By Andy Robertson

Anki Overdrive launched last year and freed slot car racing from its slots. At the same time it turned simple racing into augmented video game battles.Its premise is simple, connect the flexible track to make a circuit and the robot cars will automatically... Read more

Best Apple Watch apps to streamline your family life

Best Apple Watch apps to streamline your family life

By Andy Robertson

With plenty of apps available on iTunes these days, the Apple Watch can potentially revolutionise interactions by extending phone features to our wrist and making them more efficient. And beyond the situations early adopters took their phones through,... Read more

Virtuali-Tee AR t-shirts not for the squeamish, will take your kids on a fun, bloody ride

Virtuali-Tee AR t-shirts not for the squeamish, will take your kids on a fun, bloody ride

By Andy Robertson

Engaging children in educational pursuits is a fickle old game. A popular route to success has been with edgy content from shows like Horrible Histories. Based on the books of the same name these highlight the gruesome side of life in the past, in a way... Read more

Don't just watch BBC's Robot Wars, fight your own Hexbug Battlebots at home

Don't just watch BBC's Robot Wars, fight your own Hexbug Battlebots at home

By Andy Robertson

Robot Wars is no longer confined the the sentimental memories of parents. A new generation of British youngsters will be able to enjoy enjoy the carnage of metal, flywheels and pistons doing battle in a relaunched BBC 2 Robot Wars series coming later... Read more

Mattel ThingMaker preview: 3D printing for the Minecraft generation

Mattel ThingMaker preview: 3D printing for the Minecraft generation

By Andy Robertson

The barrier to new technology for children is rarely that they don’t understand it. More often it’s that they don’t know how to access it, or that creation tools aren’t visible to them.Minecraft is successful not only because its technology enables... Read more

New Lego Star Wars sets in the flesh: Minecraft and Ninjago complete the line-up

New Lego Star Wars sets in the flesh: Minecraft and Ninjago complete the line-up

By Andy Robertson

Having shown off a range of Lego at the London and Nuremberg Toy Fairs in the last few weeks, the brick brand let us take pics and video of the last entries in the 2016 line-up at the New York Toy Fair.The biggest question mark still left for Lego this... Read more

Reasons why Realifex for iPhone and Apple Watch is the fitness tracker for the mind

Reasons why Realifex for iPhone and Apple Watch is the fitness tracker for the mind

By Andy Robertson

The online world and devices in our pockets aren’t always conducive to mental wellbeing. The endless checking of social media and always present technology, such as smartphones and, nowadays, smartwatches can make it even harder to find calm in the... Read more

These are the Lego sets you'll want in 2016: Nexo Knights, Angry Birds and more

These are the Lego sets you'll want in 2016: Nexo Knights, Angry Birds and more

By Andy Robertson

Each year Lego unveils its new sets that combine top name franchises and in-house brands. For families though, there’s a tension between block building creativity and the product becoming a way to get children into other franchises.At this year’s... Read more

iOS 9.3 will be an essential update for families, here's why

iOS 9.3 will be an essential update for families, here's why

By Andy Robertson

Apple is expected to release a major iOS update this spring, for iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices. It will bring several new features, including CarPlay enhancements, and we're particularly excited that iOS 9.3 will introduce tweaks that will be perfect... Read more

We went through a tech detox by playing an iOS game, can you?

We went through a tech detox by playing an iOS game, can you?

By Andy Robertson

Distractions are a problem in modern family life. It’s all too easy to let the weekend slip away spending more time staring at a screen rather than engaging with your children.For kids too there are ever more shiny things vying for their attention.... Read more

Battle of the smart toy racers: Anki Overdrive vs Scalextric Arc vs Real FX Racing

Battle of the smart toy racers: Anki Overdrive vs Scalextric Arc vs Real FX Racing

By Andy Robertson

Gadget toys can be like buses, nothing new for years then along come three at once. This year has seen the resurgence of slot-car racing, while a new twist on these car-track combos has added AI steering to do away with the slots all together.Anki is... Read more

How to make parental controls on consoles, phones and tablets work for you

How to make parental controls on consoles, phones and tablets work for you

By Andy Robertson

While keeping TVs and videogames out of the bedroom and in shared spaces is a great step towards healthier media consumption for children, not least because you can keep an eye on the type of content your children are accessing. <obile devices like tablets... Read more

Should you stick to age ratings and scores when choosing games for the family? The answer is surprising

Should you stick to age ratings and scores when choosing games for the family? The answer is surprising

By Andy Robertson

The Christmas holidays provide prime opportunity to sit down with your children to play videogames. You might also be inclined to pop on a game for them to play on their own, under supervision. But which games are most suitable?Sure, you can check the... Read more

Is the iPad Pro suitable for family fun?

Is the iPad Pro suitable for family fun?

By Andy Robertson

Although there has been much talk about Apple's new iPad, the 12-inch iPad Pro, being an ideal tablet for creatives, its extra screen size could be appealing for other situations too; as a family device, for example. It could be the hub of a whole family's... Read more

How to enjoy toys to life games without spending a fortune

How to enjoy toys to life games without spending a fortune

By Andy Robertson

The latest trend in children’s videogames is to combine them with collectable toy lines for a rapidly expanding genre dubbed "toys to life". The plastic figures and toys have an NFC chip inside that, when placed on a USB peripheral, unlock content in... Read more

Lego Dimensions review: Everything Is Awesome
4.5 stars

Lego Dimensions review: Everything Is Awesome

By Andy Robertson

Lego Dimensions joins the toys-to-life race this year in impressive form. Because from the very start the focus is as much on the toys as it is the screen - within minutes of play you'll put the controller down to build the Lego Toy Pad peripheral, which... Read more

Skylanders SuperChargers review: Turbocharging toys-to-life
4.5 stars

Skylanders SuperChargers review: Turbocharging toys-to-life

By Andy Robertson

When Skylanders launched in 2011 the novelty of unlocking in-game characters with physical toys piqued gamers' interest. And having sparked the toys-to-life genre Skylanders now has to work harder to stand out from its peers, such as Lego Dimensions and... Read more

Pokémon coming to iPhone and Android with Pokémon Go and a wearable smartband

Pokémon coming to iPhone and Android with Pokémon Go and a wearable smartband

By Andy Robertson

Three gaming industry heavyweights are partnering for a new Pokémon Go game where players track, catch and battle miniature monsters in the real world with wearable tech. And what's more, it will be available for smartphones and tablets.The Pokémon... Read more

Disney Infinity 3.0 review: The force is strong with this one
4.0 stars

Disney Infinity 3.0 review: The force is strong with this one

By Andy Robertson

Disney Infinity 3.0 Star Wars Starter Pack ups the ante with triple-A gameplay and enhanced Toy Box creations tools for the well-established toys to life series. Although the toys lack innovation and purchasing is somewhat complex, the Star Wars brand... Read more

Scooby Doo trailer shows how Lego Dimensions is taking toys to life to a new level

Scooby Doo trailer shows how Lego Dimensions is taking toys to life to a new level

By Andy Robertson

As momentum builds towards next month’s launch of Lego Dimensions, a new trailer focusing on Scooby-Doo underlines the multiple franchises available in the Starter Pack along with a staring role for Shaggy and Scooby.Scooby-Doo is one of the 14 brands... Read more

Skylanders Superchargers preview: Multiplayer online racing hands-on

Skylanders Superchargers preview: Multiplayer online racing hands-on

By Andy Robertson

Skylanders Superchargers already looked strong this year, offering proper playable toy vehicles along with the usual on-foot figurines and on-screen antics.Ahead of Gamescom most assumed that this action-adventure game would be matched by a Skylanders... Read more

Top children's tablets: 8 devices your kids will love

Top children's tablets: 8 devices your kids will love

By Andy Robertson

Finding the best tablet for your child isn’t simply a matter of comparing technical stats. Operating system features for safety and ease of use, as well as bespoke learning tools are just as important.Equally, the device needs to engage children in... Read more

Disney Infinity 3.0 preview: Not just a Star Wars sandbox

Disney Infinity 3.0 preview: Not just a Star Wars sandbox

By Andy Robertson

Disney Infinity could have rested on its laurels this year. Star Wars would certainly have shifted enough units with only minor changes. But happily we also have a range of enhancements injected from a trio of top tier developers.As is the way with toys-game... Read more

View-Master hands-on: The VR reimagining of a 50s classic

View-Master hands-on: The VR reimagining of a 50s classic

By Andy Robertson

As you have no doubt heard, Mattel wants to re-launch its classic View-Master toy with a fresh injection of virtual reality, Google Cardboard style.This leverages the iconic red viewer from the late 50s that used disc-mounted photos, one for each eye,... Read more