When people ask me about any tech “wows” I might have caught at the NY International Toy Fair this week, honestly there were a few but not tons. However the first thing I’m excited about is the upcoming Anki OVERDRIVE, and it’s killing me that I have to wait seven more months for it. Wah.
The 2.0 version of the hugely popular Anki DRIVE one of our top tech toys of 2014, maintains what’s cool about the original: A track on which you race your app-controlled, self-driving cars which each have unique 007-esque properties, like a gravity beam, or a shield that deflects attacks back at your opponent. Basically, it’s like living your favorite racing video game.
The smart update in OVERDRIVE brings us modular tracks, so you’re not limited to racing on a single oval on a giant matt–the one complaint of this apartment-dwelling mama with limited floor space for such things.
The starter set comes with two cars and ten track pieces letting you configure it however you’d like, plus a few pegs to raise the track above ground or even create ramps for jumping. And trust me, you’ll want to add more track. The pieces snap together super easily with magnets, and it’s great that if you already own first gen Anki cars, they’ll be compatible.
Also, the track looks pretty slick in person; I don’t think their press photo, above, does it justice.
It’s not just the building and racing that’s fun, it’s the increasing challenges that keeps it interesting, and the ability to play alone or against live opponents. And as a mom, the visual sensors that keep the cars magically on the track–and not careening across your living room floor–is a godsend.
Get info about the new Anki OVERDRIVE on their site, and sign up for notifications about preorders and launch dates.