Christmas gifts for kids just got a whole lot smarter and more pricey

Gadget technology has become the reality for the teens of today, and those are the items on their wish lists as Christmas presents.
Gadget technology has become the reality for the teens of today, and those are the items on their wish lists as Christmas presents.
Image: 123RF

Parents need to buck up and familiarise themselves with the latest technological terms and gadgets as teens today are no longer interested in a BMX bicycle or cheap costume jewellery.

Gadgets, live game streaming and virtual money has become their reality. And they cost quite a packet.

Surprisingly, superhero merchandise and comic books remain up there too as a hot favourite.

But all is not lost as board games like Monopoly and 30 Seconds have made a huge comeback.

A snap survey of around 10 boys and girls aged between 11 and 17 revealed that wireless and bluetooth enabled headphones, bluetooth speakers, electric mobile equipment and gaming accessories was right at the top of their "needs".

A hoverboard
A hoverboard

More girls asked for superheroes that reflect themselves as well as recording equipment to upload content to YouTube and Instagram - all in the name of fame.

Smangaliso Ngwenya, who is in Joburg for the December break, says he hopes to find all his heart's desires here.

The teen from the Eastern Cape says he often visits his mom who lives and works in Joburg and who buys him the latest in technology.

"We don't have much going on back home. This year I hope to get a hoverboard, a new phone - maybe a Hauwei P5 - and a bluetooth speaker that can play loudly because I love music," says the 13- year-old.

The hoverboard he refers to is more like a sophisticated skateboard - the type parents may have seen in films like Back to the Future back in the 1980s. The two-wheeled electric, portable device, also known as a self-balancing scooter, consists of a platform for the rider and is powered by large lithium-iron batteries. Some include bluetooth speakers that you can connect to your phone.

Competing with the hoverboard is the Zingo electric scooter which Khomotso Tshabalala, 11, from Honeyhills, Honeydew, has been saving up for.

Volkano Boom gamer headphones
Volkano Boom gamer headphones

The plug-in electric vehicle operates on electricity stored in a rechargeable battery.

Tshabalala started saving up his spending money for it in June this year. Most stores sell them from R1500.

"I have a bike but I never ride it because it's boring. This is more exciting," he says.

Tshabalala is also a hardcore gamer who always requires V Bucks.

V bucks is Vindertech Bucks, or Vinderbucks - an in-game currency. It's popular with the latest craze, online live-streaming game Fortnite. Tshabalala explains the latest version dropped this week and to purchase a battle pass for season seven he requires V Bucks. V Bucks can be purchased as vouchers through BT games retailers or loaded via credit card.

"I play games like Fortnite, which requires purchases of characters known as skins, battle passes and emotes, which are dancers in the game. I get the V Bucks vouchers from a local games shop."

Kaiden Johnson, 14, from Discovery, Roodepoort, says as a Fortnite gamer, he plays with teens around the world. He hopes Santa will throw in a gaming set of wireless headphones - as well as access to his mom's credit card.

He also hopes to get the latest in sneakers - Nike VaporMax. "The original kind, not the ones sold on the streets," he says, admitting they are quite pricey at R3000 a pair.

His sister Keisha, 17, says she will settle for jewellery and airpods (ear phones for the iPhone).

Blessed Zulu, 17, from Kempton Park, says she wants a small device that allows her to record and edit videos which she can post to a YouTube channel she seeks to create.

"I love fashion and would like to become an influencer. My phone doesn't have all the functions I need," she says.

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