[UPDATE] The deal mentioned below is no longer live, as you may have gathered from our updated headline. But you can find plenty of great discounts in our round-ups of other toys, including Lego deals, Nerf gun deals, and Star Wars deals.
Do you have a scientifically-curious kid on your holiday gift list this year? The Orboot Mars, an augmented reality globe by PlayShifu, is sure to delight the little space-lovers in your life. PlayShifu's augmented reality globes give kids an in-depth look at the geography of different planets. The Mars version is on sale at Amazon right now for $43.99, 20% off the original price of $54.99.
This is the first of PlayShifu's globes to represent a different planet than Earth. The company has made three Orboot globes, including Mars, Earth, and Dinos, which brings Earth to life at a time when the dinosaurs roamed. The Orboot Earth is also on sale for Cyber Monday, at a 31% savings.
Like the Orboot Earth, which lets kids hook up to a tablet or smartphone app to explore the Earth's geography, Orboot Mars uses AR to let kids explore Mars in 3D. Twenty-two different spacecraft cover the globe. Each one can be scanned into the Orboot Mars app for interactive playtime.
Each of the 22 spacecraft across Orboot Mars can be scanned in the app, which pulls up information about that spacecraft's mission on Mars. Kids will learn all about these missions, including when they were launched, the equipment on board, the discoveries made, and more.
The Orboot Mars comes with a 10-inch globe, a Mars Rover 3D puzzle, two cute Mars-themed iron-on patches, and a detailed help guide. It may go without saying that the toy doesn't come with a tablet or smartphone — you'll have to have a smart device in order to connect to the augmented reality part of this toy. The Orboot Mars app is available for free on iOS and Android and compatible with iPads 5th generation and above, any iPad Air or Pro, iPhone 6 and above, and any Android with 3 GB RAM or more. No internet is required to play with the globe. In addition to exploring Mars through its space missions, the app lets kids play interactive and educational space puzzles and games with stories and characters that are sure to capture their attention.
The Orboot Mars is recommended for ages 6 to 12, and gets top reviews on Amazon. Amazon reviewers rate this AR Mars globe a 4.5 out of 5 stars. Parents particularly like that the globe has pads on the bottom to keep it steady as a kid plays. One dad commented that he wishes the Orboot Mars was around when he did a 7th grade report on Mars — and was surprised that even the Spring 2021 landers and rovers were included on the globe (that includes the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars February 18, 2021).
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Kasandra Brabaw is a freelance science writer who covers space, health, and psychology. She's been writing for Space.com since 2014, covering NASA events, sci-fi entertainment, and space news. In addition to Space.com, Kasandra has written for Prevention, Women's Health, SELF, and other health publications. She has also worked with academics to edit books written for popular audiences.