Think LEGOs are for little kids? Think again. LEGO Mindstorms NXT 2.0 is the latest iteration of the plastic brick company's programmable robots, and it's cooler than ever. Check out this list of features: 32-bit microprocessor. Bluetooth. Three interactive servo motors. And the all-new Color Sensor, which "distinguishes colors and light settings, and functions as a lamp." Remember when we were impressed by word processors?
Available at Amazon.com for $272.88.
Courtesy of LEGO®
Radio-controlled vehicles (or R/C to those in the know) are fun, but this is 2009. To get people excited you've got to kick it up a notch. The Spin Master Air Hogs Micro Zero Gravity Laser kicks it up several notches -- this thing can ride up the wall. Adding to the "wow" factor is the fact that the Air Hog moves by following a beam of light. A freakin' LASER. We live in excellent times.
Available at Toys "R" Us for $27.99.
Spin Master Ltd.
Trivial Pursuit is great, but it's so '80s. What to do? What to do? Get Trivial Pursuit Team Edition. With new questions and new ways to play together, this could get your teenager excited about Family Game Night. To paraphrase the great Homer Simpson, sometimes all you need to do is take a great product and put a clock in it.
Available at Toys "R" Us for $26.99.
©2009, Hasbro, Inc.
You have a teenager. Teens like to take pictures. Digital pictures, and lots of them. Do they back them up? Probably not. Backing up computer files is something that is easier to forget than last night's homework. Unless you have the Portable USA Picture Keeper USB Drive, that is. Just plug it into the USB port of any computer running Windows, Mac OSX, or even Linux, and -- bam! -- every image on the machine is safely copied onto a teeny little 8 gigabyte flash drive. Keeping the embarrassing pics away from mom and dad? That one they'll have to figure out for themselves.
Available at Amazon.com for $49.98
DJ Hero is the hot new game. But if you want your teen to be one of the cool kids, get them the Activision DJ Hero Renegade Edition. What's the difference? You not only get the game, you get a "premium Renegade turntable controller" (that's a good thing), a carrying case that converts to a DJ stand, and 2 music CDs featuring tracks from Jay-Z and Eminem, some of which are new, unreleased and exclusive to DJ Hero. Holla!
Available at Gamestop.com for $199.99.
Love marshmallows? You'll love shooting them at people. No, really. The Marshmallow Fun Company Marshmallow Skull & Crossbone Shooter lets you fire soft, sugary projectiles at the entire family. They don't even have to be close by -- this thing has a range of 30 feet, and the magazine holds 25 mini- marshmallows. Mr. Stay Puft would be proud.
Available at sportsunlimitedinc.com for $27.95.
Marshmallow Fun Company
Thanks to the success of movies like "Iron Man" and the three "Spiderman" flicks, superheroes are no longer just for nerdy dudes who live in mom's basement their entire lives. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 is the sequel to the wildly popular video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and with a huge collection of Marvel heroes (Thor, Human Torch, and many many more) plus a fully destructible environment, this game will keep teens occupied until "Iron Man 2" comes out on May 7, 2010. (Not that we're counting the days or anything...) Cape and repulsor rays not included.
Available at Amazon.com for $46.99 (XBox 360 Version; prices for other consoles vary).
Carrying a laptop to and from school is fine, but maybe your teen wants to lighten the load a bit. They could put important files on a USB flash drive, but wouldn't it be nice if they made memory sticks with Star Wars characters on them? Moxsie Star Wars Mimobots are exactly that -- high capacity memory devices featuring the likeness of Darths Maul and Vader (pictured), C-3PO, Princess Leia and many more. May the Force be with you.
Available at moxsie.com for $41 (Darth Vader pictured; other characters available).
Maybe you have a teenager who has been really good this year. You want to get them something special -- something that not every kid on the block has. The new Sony Computer Entertainment PSPgo is an update to Sony's popular Playstation Portable, but this time there are no discs to deal with. Like most futuristic devices, the PSPgo gets all of its content from the Web -- music, games, even television shows and movies. Use the built-in WiFi networking to browse the Internet and chat via Skype, the popular software for making voice calls online.
Available at Amazon.com for $244.99.
image courtesy of SCEA
OK, let's say you have a teenager who has been really really good this year. They've been bugging you for a PlayStation 3 since it came out. But the price was too high. Um, not anymore. This year the Sony Computer Entertainment PlayStation 3 is only $299.99 for a 120GB system. This is the same PS3 that plays Blu-ray movies, offers an amazing HD gaming experience, and wireless controllers. That's right. You can get them what they want, and save money. Nice.
Available at Amazon.com for $299.99.
image courtesy of SCEA