Let’s get building! Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht joined Family Circle Magazine for another installment of their “25 Days of Toys.” Today’s segment focuses on toys designed with “buildable action” in mind. For more on the items featured in this segment, check out the product notes below, and for our complete rundown of the best gifts for the holidays, check out our complete holiday gift guide.



  • Kids can boost their LEGO building experience with the amazing LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. LEGO BOOST combines building and coding in one super-charged LEGO set that lets children add sound, movement, and personality to their LEGO creations.
  • Build and customize Vernie, a personal talking robot friend, code its behavior, and complete fun activities with the included play mat.
  • Speak to Vernie and it will respond with facial expressions that reflect its mood. Vernie can move in all directions at variable speed on its large tracks, see objects and colors, sense distance, grip and carry accessories, make hand gestures, and launch darts from its shoulder-mounted shooter. Vernie also senses and reacts to impacts and knows when you pick it up.
  • Rebuild Vernie to create the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), Guitar4000, Frankie the Cat, or the AutoBuilder, all controlled via your tablet with the free downloadable app that also includes digital LEGO Building Instructions for all five models, plus cool activities and ideas to spark imagination.
  • The LEGO BOOST app guides children through their first build-and-code experience in a series of game-like challenges. Combining familiar LEGO building instructions and a simple drag-and-drop coding language, children build a LEGO model while building and adding behaviors.
  • Age: 7-12
  • MSRP: $159.99
  • Available: LEGO brand retail stores, shop.lego.com


  • Directly from the BattleBots TV show comes Minotaur, a beastly competitor of mythical proportions. Kids can build their own version of this fearsome adversary.
  • Snap-together pieces teach hands-on problem-solving skills and result in a highly realistic, miniaturized version of this fan-favorite robot.
  • Each sold separately.
  • Ages: 8+
  • MSRP: $39.99
  • Available: Amazon, Target, Toys “R” Us, HEXBUG.com


  • Builders can construct the Lunar Launch Roller Coaster Building Set for interactive building fun.
  • Kids can use the 559 included K’NEX pieces to build this coaster and when complete, stomp on the launching mechanism to send the coaster car on an out-of-this world orbital journey through the included coaster track.
  • Age: 7+
  • MSRP: $54.99
  • Available: Amazon, knex.com