Ultimate toys for (big) boys


Andy Round plays around with the hottest collection of cool toys. From animatronic dinosaurs and Ferrari mini Enzos to pirate treehouses and models made from solid gold, here are 20 wonderful ways to spend your play dough.

1 Animatronic dinosaurs

There is nothing like having your own pet dinosaur to make your friends glow with Jurassic envy. Need a little Tyrannosaurus Rex for the study or a Brontosaurus for the lobby? Speak to the friendly folks at Dinomotion in the US or Dinosaur Maker in China who are purveyors of prehistoric thrills to corporates, museums and children’s parks. Prices are on request but moving jaws, shaking heads and wobbly claws come as standard. Dinomotion even rents out ‘baby dinosaurs’ that you can just plug in and play at home.

2 AR Drone

Need to spy on the neighbours? Looking to flush out local FBI operatives? You need an AR Drone ‘quadricopter’. Wi-fi-operated by smartphone or tablet, this flying high-definition camera is perfect for invading other people’s privacy with impunity. And perfect for sharing the real-time photos or video with friends for laughs. OK, we’re not advocating this, but it woooooould be fun. And just US$300? That’s a steal.

3 Combat vehicle and rocket tank

Playing soldiers with friends is so much more engaging if you use real hardware. Leave toy tanks to the kids and splash out on a Boyevaya Razvedyvatelnaya Dozornaya Mashina (Soviet for amphibious armoured patrol car). This little Russian BRDM-2 beauty is fully restored and in road-ready condition. “Surprising quick and with a good reputation for reliability and durability,” says Duncan Nicholson, the guy selling it for US$30,000. If amphibious reconnaissance isn’t your thing, Nicholson has an SA-6 rocket tank for sale for just US$100,000. Install that in your garden and the neighbours will never hassle you again.

4 Dieppe chess set

Every would-be master of the universe needs to have an office-friendly status symbol that is shorthand for “I’m sophisticated, intellectual, big on international strategy and I’ve read the Art Of War. Come, pay homage to my genius and maybe we can catch Game of Thrones together later.” Or something like that. A decent chess set can say a lot about a man. This 18th century French ivory Dieppe chess set could be yours for US$15,000. Available from Bonhams, sets like this are for serious players only.

5 Giant sweet dispenser

This two-metre sweet dispenser is every dentist’s nightmare and every sweet-toothed child’s dream. Packed with more 14,000 gumballs it is the epitome of fairground nostalgia and a shrine for careless calorie counters. The chrome dispensing mechanism is the same one that provided the ‘click-clack’ of gumball machines around the world since the 1960s, but frighteningly no coins are required on this model. The price? Just US$3,900.

6 Gold Lamborghini

Take a look at this gold Lamborghini Aventador. For the moment it is just an artist’s impression, all beautiful gullwing doors and diamond-studded upholstery. But the man who has conceived it is former Mercedes Benz development engineer Robert Gülpen and he plans to machine a full-scale version from a 500kg block of gold worth 20 million euros. OK, hard to believe, but Gülpen has a golden track record of precious metal models. His 1:8 scale model of an Avenador made from gold, platinum and diamonds landed him in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most expensive model ever, worth 3.5 million euros. He has completed golden models of Mercedes Benz 500s, Aston Martin DB5s and Morgan Aero 8s. Prices of these are on request.