BB-8 and friends

The Top Christmas Gifts from 5 Years Ago – 2015

2015 seems like much happier times, before the year of doom that was 2016! Let’s look back to Christmas 2015 to see what everyone was getting far to over excited about!

Star Wars BB-8 Droid

This list could have included any one of a number of Star Wards toys, everything from Lightsabers, Kylo Ren voice distorting masks, spaceships, action figures but the one that really stands out has to bee the cute BB-8 droid who was undoubtably the star of the film. Star Wars has a reputation for causing Christmas chaos with the original action figures perhaps being the first to cause panic in parents of 1980s children who just had to have them, and the more cynical would say George Lucas had a knack for designing characters that just so happened to make great children’s toys, you could say that BB-8 was no different.

As you may have seen from all of our previous Christmas lists there seems to be a recurring theme of cute semi intelligent cute robotic toys, so mixing this with a film franchise is always going to be a winner. BB-8 could be controlled by remote or he could be left to his own devices to chirp away and whizz around patrolling the living room scaring pets away!

This probably is the droid you are looking for.

Hoverboards

Which was the best Back to The Future Film? We all know it’s the second one as who wouldn’t want to travel into the far future of 2015 and see what technological marvels would await us? (even if seeing Biff look and act remarkably like Donald Trump is a little disturbing!). Some of them did very much come true, such as drones, flat screen TVs, video conferencing, high tech eyewear but there was one that every child wanted more than anything, a hoverboard!

Well sadly they didn’t really happen like in the film, but that didn’t stop the makers of self balancing scooters calling them hoverboards which inevitably boosted their popularity with all sorts of news headlines about Back to the Future hoverboards, they of course didn’t actually float but they were still pretty clever nonetheless enabling the rider to lean forwards or backwards to control speed and controlling the direction of travel by twisting the pads. They weren’t without controversy though, initially produced in China there was all sorts of court battles with the owner of the patent and the various companies manufacturing them and even involving Segway who separately claimed they had the rights to self balancing scooters). That wasn’t the end though, with all the hype and rush to get them on shelves for 2015 (to tie in with Marty McFly) many of the devices from China were cheaply and poorly made, catching fire due to the lithium-ion battery packs overheating. But was that going to stop a teenager pestering their parents for one?

At least the shoes are the same as Marty McFly’s

Drones

Another back to the future prediction, and another controversial one at that! Model aeroplanes had been around for years but were difficult to fly and a different proposition altogether. Technology had improved drastically so that relatively advanced and hi-tec models could be produced at a level that was just about affordable to many people. This immediately led to concerns about privacy, would you have one of them flying over your garden filming? Would the skies be filled with a never ending buzz from delivery drones from that online business we don’t speak of here in our office. Even worse would they interfere with commercial air flights? Would there be big brother style drones monitoring citizens? Despite them having a huge rise in popularity those nightmares haven’t come true (yet) and they are largely the preserve of people flying them as a hobby.

On the positive side drones have had some great uses apart from being just a toy, they are regularly used in emergency and rescue operations saving countless lives, they have been used in conservation efforts for example monitoring the dwindling orangutan population, they could also potentially lead to a reduction in pollution with drones being used instead of planes and helicopters for all sorts of things from mapping, farming and overhead video.

Is Big Brother watching?

See more from Christmas Past

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