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Anki Drive

Star Rating: 
10 out of 10

The Pitch: Slot cars (with no slots) that think, drive themselves, and battle.

What It Really Is: The coolest toy ever made! It’s everything you love about video racing games, but in a real toy. The sensors in the cars allow the cars to race and battle on a magical track with no slots. The $199 Anki Drive comes with two cars and a track that you roll out like a Twister mat. Charge up the cars, turn on your iPhone, and you’re racing. Each car has weapons (yes, they actually battle!) and special features like tractor beams and shields that you can use to dominate. Battle-race your buddies, or turn on the other car’s Artificial Intelligence, and race against what must surely be Skynet. Too lazy to race? You can also set up the cars to race each other - all you need is 100,000 drunken fans, and you’ve got a NASCAR in your living room.

Who’s It For: Anyone but Sarah Connor. The guys who founded Anki are super geeks from the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and according to co-founder Mark Palatucci, Anki is dedicated to bringing advanced robotics to consumers, and possibly, making me a slave to machine overlords. Anki Drive is their first offering – and yes, I asked: They have no knowledge of Skynet and they are not introducing a Chucky doll. Whew.

What’s Extra Cool: You can unlock special features with upgrade points that you earn when you win races. The upgrades are embedded in the cars, so they travel with you wherever you race. Anki Drive leagues are forming where members race and trade leveled-up cars!

What’s Missing: A ton of your time. Once you start playing with Anki Drive, you’re hooked. Don't make any plans.

 

 

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