Bender, R2D2, Optimus Prime: robots, all. And aside from the more obvious cybernetic similarities, they're also very, very cool. Whether they shoot lasers, fly, or crush passing buildings - it doesn't matter - as long as they're electric and shiny, we'll want one. But now thanks to those clever Japanese fellows you too can have your own plastic pal... and here are the 5 best of the lot.



Click 'Next' for WowWee Wrex The Dawg...



5. WowWee Wrex The Dawg

Why’s it good? Can’t be bothered buying a pooch you need to walk? Like fart gags? Meet your new best friend. Wrex parps, cocks his leg, breaks down just for fun – oh, stop it – does impressions of cats, talks and is one mightily entertaining pest/pet.

Gimme: £100; character-online.com



Click 'Next' for Tomy i-Sobot...



4. Tomy i-Sobot

Why’s it good? The smallest humanoid robot in the market. Care not that Robonova would kick it to bits – this dinky gizmo packs in the features. Two gyroscopic sensors keep him upright, while 17 servos and 19 chips let you programme him via remote to do pretty much anything from kicking a ball, to fighting (weakly), dancing and even talking.

Gimme: £200; firebox.com



Click 'Next' for Meccano Spykee...



3. Meccano Spykee


Why’s it good? This wi-fi camera-packing little sneak can be controlled via any PC on the planet, so you can keep an eye on the house/dog/missus while you’re at work – he’ll even send you an e-mail if someone breaks in. Up-skirt camera mode upgrade due in 2009. Not really.

Gimme: £200; therobotshop.com



Click 'Next' for WowWee Tribot...



2. WowWee Tribot

Why’s it good? This hyperactive little bundle of sensors needs Ritalin. He’ll play games, guard anything you point it at, be your alarm clock and even tell jokes. Downside? He needs more batteries than an ’80s boom box.

Gimme: £80;
character-online.com



Click 'Next' for Robonova-I...



1. Robonova-I

Why’s it good? It can’t be bargained with, it doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear… and it’ll kick the arse off those other cute robot toys. The Robonova-I may not come from Cyberdyne, or be intent on turning the world into a lump of coal, but controlled with 16 digital servos it’ll do flips, cartwheels, dance, karate chops and kicks and press-ups. So what? Well, can you?

Gimme: £720; iwantoneofthose.com