Bluetooth Robot Sound Box: This is the droid you are looking for

It’s a truth universally acknowledged by everyone who’s ever turned an amp all the way up to 11 – music sounds great loud. PMPs and smartphones of all shapes and sizes are pretty incredible music devices – they can store gigs of musical data and even better, can hook up to services like Spotify and tap into an infinite jukebox. But their built in speakers aren’t designed to blow you away (and I’m sure anyone who has ever travelled on a London bus with teenagers is infinitely grateful for this fact. But there are times when it’s nice to get a little Radio Raheem and break out your boom box. We looked at TDK’s pretty impressive answer to this conundrum earlier on in the year. But what if you’re ballin’ on a budget? Well our friends at mobilefun.co.uk hooked us up with a toy that should help you bring the noise.

Bluetooth-Robot

Android fan boys your time has come. Why waste time screaming about your preferred mobile OS of choice on forums when you can can let your smartphone shout from the rooftops for you (real answer – no one in the real world cares what operating system your phone uses).

The Bluetooth Robot Sound Box utilises Android’s key strength – the darned cuteness of its robot mascot – and turns that into a sonic weapon in the form of a Bluetooth speaker and microphone. This isn’t your Granddad’s bluetooth however, and the BRSB uses Bluetooth 3.0 so the sound quality is pretty sharp.

The robot’s head acts as a control for your phone, letting you change tracks with a twist or pause with a push
The top of the robot can be moved to let you control your tracks, play/pause music, or activate voice-dialling with a simple motion. The head rotates left and right for track changes, while it acts as a button for the other features.

6th generation CVC is also deployed for echo and noise reduction. Set up is simple (it’s Bluetooth after all) and for your time you get 300 hours of standby time, 4.5 hours talk time and a working distance of 10 meters. Plus you look immeasurably cool talking to a robot at your desk -especially if you’re using Siri.

The Bluetooth Robot Sound Box is £19.95 from mobilefun.co.uk

Is it a plane, is it a bird? No it’s a Sky Car

We’re overrun in our house with remote control cars, so something has to be pretty special to grab out attention.

Enter the Sky Car – is it it a car? Is it a helicopter – well, yes, it’s both!

Sky-Car

This is a neat little piece of kit (it measures just 19x8x9cm) -– get it out of the box and you could be forgiven for thinking that it feels rather flimsy, but take it from me, it has survived being bashed by a broomstick handle (more of which later) so is far stronger than your first impressions may suggest.

The other thing that might be disappointing for anyone who is overrun with battery-run gadgets is that you’ll need six – yes six! – AA batteries to run the remote control – and the cheap ones won’t last long as we discovered.

However, it does work really well – in fact a bit too well. I took the helicopter out into the field behind our house (we’d tried it indoors and nearly decapitated the cats, so outside it was). Unfortunately while I was busy marvelling at how quickly it had shot up high into the sky, I suddenly realised that it was heading over the hedge and into the field behind – sometimes empty, sometimes full of sheep, so I panicked, dropped it down and got it stuck on a 10ft hedge.

After much muttering, poking and prodding, my lovely husband came to the rescue with a broom handle (hence the bashing it got). I nervously picked it up off the ground, expecting bent rotor blades, missing wheels and so on, only to find it in perfect working order (The makers do include spare blades in the box, so they obviously expect some collateral damage).

This is a cool piece of kit – its headlights turn on when you switch on the sky car, and it can be charged using USB – it took about 20 minutes on my laptop.

However, be aware that it takes a bit of practise to perfect your flying skills – and it moves pretty quickly, so you’ll need more space than you might expect from a small device. Driving it in car mode is far easier!

At a smidge under 30 quid, it’s not bad value, but it is definitely more suitable for an older child or adult than younger kids unless they have a good bit of supervision.

Available from Gizoo

Why was the chicken thrown across the office? Red5’s Chuckimal

It’s pretty hard to get my attention when I’m in the office. As someone who gets hundreds of emails (all trying to sell me things, I’m not popular) and lots of tweets, texts and actually work screaming for my time someone actually in the room with me often misses out. Even worse I often have earphones buried deep within my ears blaring bass heavy rap classics in stereo. I’m pretty sure any one who’s every shared an office with me has thought, “if only I could hurl a soft toy in his face… but one with a four second message recorded inside.”

Chuckimal

Bizarrely enough, those people’s dreams have been have been fulfilled (while my prayers for app that tells me where all the good chips shops in London are go strangely unanswered) by the good people of Red5.co.uk who have added the Chuckimal to its range of weird and wonderful ways to spend your money.

Ostensibly a big fluffy chicken (yes that is a great way to start a sentence) the Chuckimal literally has a hidden egg that stores short messages. You simply record your piece with the Chuckimal and he’ll repeat it back the moment he hits or is caught by the person you’re chucking him at. If you can find someone one playing Angry Birds, record “Stop Playing Angry Birds” and manage to hit them on the head with it, you may be in danger of dying from high 5s.

Available in two different birdie designs, blue and yellow, Chuckimals are very simple to use, just press his wing, say something in 4 seconds or less, then hurl with gay abandon.

Out now for £12 from Red5.co.uk

Toys for boys (and girls) of all ages

It doesn’t seem to matter what age you are – the Nerf gun definitely seem to be the ‘toy’ of choice – I’ve seen them hidden away from 30-somethings in offices where they are supposed to be working, not messing about – and my five-year-old spends ages mooning over them in the Argos catalogue.

Red5-tings

So whatever your age, if you’re a Nerf fan you’ll be pleased to see the appearance of the Raider CS-35, which has a big drum magazine that holds 35 darts – so you can take out most of the office, or your whole class, depending on your age. A window allows you to see if your ammo is running low, it’s a rapid-fire device and the pump-action handle allows you to adjust your rate of fire. And when you lose all the darts (which you will, believe me!) you can buy refill packs. Not the cheapest of the Nerf guns at £34.95, but an essential piece of kit for your next office bonding day!

If you’d rather destroy your colleagues by boggling their minds, challenge them to complete the Perplexus Epic Puzzle. It’s a step up from those ball bearing mazes we all played with as kids. This is a 3d puzzle marathon, with a total of 125 barriers to get that little shiny ball through, as you guide it around the tracks, steps, levers, tubes and falls to reach the end of the puzzle. The price of frustration? £19.99.

Finally, if you need to relax with a good book after all that action and brain work, the Tiny Tim book light is a nifty little piece of kit that will let you read your book in bed, even if your other half wants the light out. It measures just 13cm high and can either standalone or clip on to your book. Battery powered, it comes in red or black and costs a neat £7.95.

All the gizmos featured here are available from red5.co.uk

Red5 launch four ‘essential’ holiday gadgets for serious timewasters

When you are off on your travels, with so many things to see, places to discover and sites to explore, why would you need to be ‘entertained’ by gadgetry? Well perhaps on the plane, train, car or bus we could do with something to play with in order to kill some time, especially if we’re delayed. Being firmly engrossed in the holiday season, people are likely to be on the lookout for such ‘time-killing’ products at present and Latest Gadgets thought a feature about four new ‘summer travelling entertainment’ gadgets, launched by Red5.co.uk, the ‘ultimate gadget shop’, would therefore be appropriate.

Red5-Holiday-Gadgets

Go Pad

Remember good old Gameboys that caused a storm in the early 1990s? Well the Go Pad, being reminiscent of a Gameboy, will bring all those memories of early gaming flooding back. This small and portable gaming device is likely to keep you entertained on a plane, train, bus or car, if you’re a gaming enthusiast that is and providing you’re not the one driving!

The Go Pad can also be connected to your laptop or notebook so that you have even more control of your gaming experience.

For just £17.95, the Go Pad could be worth a go, at least if not just to keep the kids entertained.

Darth Vader LEGO LED Keychain

You never know when you may have a power cut in countries like Spain and Greece, and if there is no generator backup system, you can be sitting around twiddling your thumbs without electricity for hours. Don’t let a lack of light be a problem if this situation arises on your holiday and take a Darth Vader LEGO LED Keychain with you. Press Darth Vader’s tummy and he will light the way, great if you do happen to have a power cut or are camping, but an unnecessary item if you are not camping or are not involuntarily plunged into darkness.

Joystick-IT

I don’t know about you but I would rather encourage my kids to be out in the open air on holiday, discovering new places and experiences on holiday, rather than cooped up playing video games. Red5.co.uk don’t seem to share my sentiments of holidays being an educational and cultural experience, as they have labelled yet another gaming accessory as being an essential holiday gadget. Add the Joytick IT to your touchscreen and bring your tablet-based gaming to the next level – Ditch the joystick, get outside and have some fun, don’t you mean?

Bear Grylls Survival Kits

Now this one’s more like it! Adventurer Bear Grylls has worked alongside Gerber and created an extensive outdoor survival kit. The kit includes ‘essential’ knives, tools and gears, to help you survive any potential disaster your camping holiday may entail.

For more information head to Red5.