Scrimp or splurge? Toy robots

Toy robots have been the must-haves for kids and adults alike at Christmas over the past few years, and technological developments have helped make the latest models even more life-like. These days, you don't have to spend much money to get your hands on a machine that'll keep the children quiet for a few hours on Christmas Day – such as this Meccano Spykee Micro Robot, which costs £19.99, is easy to control and makes some great futuristic sound effects at the push of a button.

But if you want a robot that's going to dance for you, stand on one leg and even throw the odd back-flip, you're going to need to spend a bit more cash. The Robonova can do all of these things and more, but will set you back £720. This may sound like a lot of money, but the Robonova is technologically streets ahead of most other robots in its price range – and is able to turn enough tricks to keep the whole family enthralled for hours.

Both of these – and other robots – are available from, where you can also watch a video of the Robonova in action. If you want to be the most popular parents in the world this Christmas, you're going to need a robot.