Smartphone-controlled toys: we are not strangers to them at Gizmag. Rocket launchers, drones and maze-solving thingummyjigs are all very well, but creative sorts may prefer something they can build from scratch. The new iPhone-controlled Mini Brick Car and Van from iHelecopters.net would seem to meet the brief, being brick kits with which one can build any number of wheeled vehicles to crash into the furniture.
It seems the only major difference between the car and van kits is the main Mini Brick base you build from. Otherwise both kits come with Mini Bricks, a transmitter and USB charging cable. Once your car (or van) is built, and it and the transmitter are charged, all that remains is to download the UTICO app from the Apple app store and you're ready to burn carpet.
The UTICO app for iPhone or iPad gives the driver left/right and forward/back control over their car up to an ample range of about 20 to 30 meters via the transmitter which connects to the headphone socket. The website lists a 10-meter range for the van kit. The transmitter takes an hour to charge, the van (or car) 20 minutes. In use the car will need a recharge after about 10 minutes of full-on cat-chasing, though the transmitter will last up to 2 hours.
Though we haven't tried one, the kits do look like good fun judging by iHelecopters' promo video. The assembled vehicles appear both nippy and maneuverable. The kits come with assembly instructions which we suggest ignoring in favor of building your own wonderful and/or terrible designs. Both car and van kits are priced at US$59.95, with free shipping to all over the world.
In other DIY remote-control toy news, Atoms kits will start shipping in a few months time. If robots are more your thing, they may be worth a look.