With so many tats and Instagram-polished rip-offs vying for our attention, it can be hard to get to the real gems when shopping for high-quality tech toys.

But lucky for our readers, we’ve through a process of trial-and-breakage come up with a list of tech toys that won’t disappoint. These aren’t only for shaping the future in the hands of our young talent, but also equally entertaining in the hands of the curious adult.

Lego Super Mario 64

It’s true: it’s hard to beat a combination of Lego and Super Mario. Which is why the Lego Super Mario 64 Question Mark Block tops our list.

When closed, it’s an authentic presentation of the classic Super Mario Question Mark Block, but when opened, it reveals several popular and recognisable levels from the Super Mario 64 game.

They’re all there: Bob-omb Battlefied, Cool Cool Mountain, Peach’s Castle, and Lethal Lava Trouble – top name but a few. Consisting of a cool 2,064 pieces, adults and budding young brick-builders alike will be looking to snap up this creative piece of genius.

The Osmo Explorer

Nearly every young Newton or Einstein today owns at least one piece of tech. And it’s usually a smartphone or tablet.

Osmo is the perfect accompaniment to any iPad and will instantly transform the device into the essential learning environment.

With the help of special software and a camera, the app is able to recognise shapes and scribbles on an electronic drawing pad. And for manipulating what’s happening on the screen even with on-paper drawings and doodles, there’s a special Newton mode for pure immersion.

The Gingko Smart Moon Lamp

The Gingko Smart Moon Lamp has got to be our favourite not-your-typical tech toy.

What makes it so captivating is that it seems to hover magically above its white or walnut wooden base as it rotates just like a real moon wood.

The “magic” is of course created by several build-in magnets for levitation and rotation. It’s a clever concept for lighting up a room in an otherworldly sort of way, but also has much to teach budding young (or older!) science minds about physics and magnetism.

The Tightrope-Walking Gyrobot

And while on the topic of physics, it’s hard to beat the allure of the Amazing Tightrope-Walking Gyrobot.

A 2021 finalist for Toy of the Year, the tightrope-walking robot is fitted with a special gyroscope that enables it to maintain its balance through eight different experiments/manoeuvres.

While probably intended for a younger audience, even adults will enjoy exploring the amazing physics behind gyroscope technology.

Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit

Kano’s Disney Frozen 2 Coding Kit will teach the basics of JavaScript to just about any enquiring mind of any age.

With the help of a Bluetooth sensor, players can dream up a variety of scenarios while learning all about logic, loops, and variables by learning to connect the code blocks for achieving specific outcomes.

Also from Kano are a Star Wars The Force Coding Kit and a Harry Potter Coding Kit.