Youngsters put five hi-tech gizmos, from robots to racing trucks, through their paces

Toys are getting smarter. Whether they are racing cars that “read” the track, robots that teach coding or ground-drones controlled with the swipe of an iPad, these “connected” playthings have been proclaimed as the future of the toy industry.

For parents concerned about the amount of time their kids spend in front of a screen, connected toys offer a welcome and reassuring physicality: the toy is the focus, the app merely the control panel. For their children, it means (effectively) getting a pet robot. Which is why brands such as Sphero and Anki are set to dominate 2016 Christmas lists. But the question remains: how much fun are these digitally driven playthings? We asked Louis (10), Phoebe (10), Eliza (eight) and Max (seven) to help us find out.

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