Monday, 9 January 2017

Coding Toys for Kids - What's New for 2017

Credit: LEGO Boost Media Kit

Coding toys for kids have now entered this mainstream. Let's take a look at what's new for 2017. We'll start with products that have been newly announced at CES and then update throughout Toy Fair season and the later announcements that appear throughout the year.

Some of these products won't be available to buy until later in 2017 (or even later) so if you're looking toy buy a coding toy, check out our Coding Toys for 2016 post from last year. Those products are still new, some of them very new. 2016 was the year when coding toys for kids really took off so there are some great options. Also check out our guide to programmable robots for kids.

LEGO Boost 17101 Creative Toolbox

Credit: LEGO Boost Media Kit

The big news in coding toys for 2017 is that LEGO have announced LEGO Boost, a programmable robotics kit for children aged 7+. This is a big deal! 

The LEGO Boost 17101 Creative Toolbox is a kit that allows young kids to build and program motorized LEGO robots and models. 

LEGO Boost is due for release in August 2017 and is likely to be a very popular Christmas gift. 

We've written a detailed overview of LEGO Boost which cover the features of the product and how it compares to other products in the LEGO range.


Last year, WowWee brought out Coji, a cute robot and app that teaches kids from age 4 to program using Emojis. 

This year WowWee have collaborated with Sesame Workshop to build a Sesame Street Elmo themed version of the robot called Elmoji! Elmoji and his custom app will teach kids coding and other thinking skills. 

UBTech Jimu LionBot, KarBot and TankBot

Last year UBTech introduced the Jimu range of robotics sets for children that allow them to build and program cool robots, vehicles and animals.

They introduced the TankBot (above) late last year and have now announced the new LionBot and upcoming KarBot kits.

LionBot will be an exclusive and is designed to tie in with Chinese New Year celebrations.

KarBot is Jimu's first robot on wheels and will be able to follow lines and avoid obstacles. 

XYZRobot Diver 

The XYZrobot Diver is an Edutainment robot which kids will be able to control from an iOS or Android app and also program using Scratch a popular graphical coding language which many kids will be familiar with.

Despite the name, the diver is not a swimming robot, it's a floor robot. The Diver is shaped like a deep sea diver, with batteries instead of air tanks, and has an LED matrix face. It can move around and is equipped with sensors and a camera. The Scratch coding looks particularly interesting. 
The XYZrobot Diver is already available to buy direct for $199 plus tax and shipping.

Sony Koov 

We first heard about Sony KOOV last year, and they were back at CES this year having won a  Good Design Gold Award in 2016 and saying that they will be releasing a product soon.

KOOV combines electronics with translucent building blocks to teach kids about coding, robotics and design thinking. Like several other robotics kits, KOOV has a central box programmable from an app and you can plug in additional input and output modules. We love the bright fresh colours and cool looking models.


KUBO is an educational robot for children aged 3+ which aims to teach 21st century skills and get kids off to an early start with tech fluency. KUBO teaches young children to code using tangible 'TagTiles' which KUBO drives over and reads.

KUBO will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in January 2017 to try and get backing.


Robohero is a new walking and balancing robot from TTRobotix. 

You can control Robohero from an app and run pre-configured moves such as dancing and exercise moves. 

Robohero is also compatible with the Arduino Coding IDE which is commonly used by beginner and hobbyist roboticists. 

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