10 Memorable High-Tech Gadgets, Ranked Least To Most Useful

Ever since rumors about a Spy Kids reboot from Netflix began swirling in September 2022, the internet has been atwitter over the prospect of which direction Robert Rodriguez will take the franchise. Tentatively titled Spy Kids: Armageddon (via Collider), one thing everyone can count on is the return and introduction of several fantastic and futuristic tech gadgets that the lovable kids use to track their enemies, evade danger, and have an absolute blast doing it.

Yet, for as entertaining as the escapist family film franchise is, some of the elaborate spy gadgets the kids use are far more practical for everyday use than others, while others are far too ludicrous to realistically assist secret agents in the field.


Electroshock Bubbles & Gumballs In Spy Kids Are Effective But Don’t Last Long Enough

10 Memorable High-Tech Gadgets, Ranked Least To Most Useful

In the so-bad-it’s-good 2000 movie Spy Kids, Carmen was able to thwart a Thumb-Thumb by using a gadget that blows Electroshock Bubbles and Electroshock Gumbles. This would allow a spy to electrocute enemies on contact long enough to stun them and mount an escape or follow-up attack. The gadgets also have the ability to short-circuit an electric object, which is more valuable than used as a weapon.

Although playful and inventive, using such electroshock technology in the field as a spy would be incredibly dangerous and way too conspicuous for keeping a low profile given how loud and bright the device is. Moreover, the gadgets only incapacitate foes for a few seconds at a time, making them useful for very brief stints.

Inflate-A-Suit In Spy Kids 2 Saves Lives But Is Too Limited & Cumbersome

Gary and Gerti use Inflata-A-Suits In Spy Kids 2

In Spy Kids 2, the kids use an Inflate-A-Suits to escape underwater captivity. The gadgets are large inflatable wetsuits that function as flotation devices. However, the electrical automatic shutoff didn’t work, making the huge balloon-like devices immobile while inside.

As a practical flotation device that can save lives in a pinch, the Inflate-A-Suit is very useful. However, using the device has serious limits. It’s impossible for agents to move around inside the suits and they remain in a fixed position above the surface. The gadgets are only useful in dangerous scenarios involving large bodies of water, which tends to limit their effectiveness across the entire espionage field.

BuddyPacks In Spy Kids & Spy Kids 4 Are Cool But Impractical

An image of Carmen flying through the sky with a BuddyPack in Spy Kids

While unrealistic as they come given modern-day technology, the Machete BuddyPacks used by the agents in the underrated 2000s teen movies are extremely helpful for Juni and Carmen to pursue one of Mrs. Gradenko’s goons and retrieve the Third Brain. The high-flying jetpacks have been part of spy mythology since the 007 days in Thunderball, but have largely remained a fictitious fantasy than practical reality.

If such high-tech Jetpacks akin to BuddyPacks did exist in real life, they would be extremely beneficial for escaping danger on land or sea by soaring into the air as fast as possible and avoiding gunfire. But beyond the ability to escape fast and far away, the high-tech gadget would call too much attention to the spy wearing it. The gadget produces way too much noise, wind, and light to remain undetected.

Electric Purple Whip In Spy Kids 4 Is A Mult-Faceted Gadget For Everyday use

Rebecca wields a purple whip in Spy Kids 4

In Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World, Rebecca Wilson uses a high-tech purple whip to lash one of the Timekeeper’s henchmen. While whips aren’t often associated with spy gear, the ability to electrocute enemies with high-voltage electricity while also swinging a person around by their limbs gives the multipurpose gadget a leg up.

Alas, with very few comparisons to modern-day tech gadgets, the purple whip resembles more of a fantastic mashup between a lightsaber and a proton pack. If it did exist, it would be a helpful tool and weapon at once, allowing spies to retrieve items and fend off enemies with the same device.

Hammer Hands & Stompers In Spy Kids 4 Can Be Worn At All Times

Cecil holds a Hammer Hand fist in Spy Kids 4

In Spy Kids 4, Cecil fortifies his strength to superhuman levels by wearing Hammer Hands and Stompers, a pair of glow-in-the-dark, electronically-powered gloves and boots that, for practical use in the field, can be worn during the longest spy missions, especially at night. On impact, the gloves and boots cause a seismic impact on par with devastating Earthquakes.

While superhuman strength isn’t the first quality spies aim for, the ability to keep the Hammer Hand and Stompers on at all times would make them very useful for daily espionage missions. One punch to the ground can lay out several enemies at once by using electron fields to create superhuman impact force. Convenient, wieldy, and more versatile than most, Hammer Hands and Stompers marry futuristic technology with human biology better than most Spy Kids gadgets.

Acid Crayon In Spy Kids Is Portable, Disguised & Makes For Easy Escapes

A hand holds an Acid Crayon in Spy Kids

One of the most vital attributes of a spy is having the ability to escape from confined captivity. Another is the ability to keep their spy gadgets as hidden as possible and small enough to carry anywhere. In Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids movie, Carmen uses an ordinary-looking red coloring Crayon that shoots caustic acid strong enough to melt through steel prison bars as a way to free Ingrid.

What’s so practical about the high-tech gadget is how portable and disguised it remains, allowing Carmen to use it and escape from almost anywhere she and her friends are held. Unlike the ostentatious BuddyPacks and Purple Whip, very little attention is paid to the Acid Crayon, all but ensuring its ability to release spies from captivity in a jam.

R.A.L.P.H. In Spy Kids 2 & 3 Is The Most Multifunctional Camera Around

RALPH sits on Juni's shoulder in Spy Kids 2

As every spy knows, surveillance and photographic evidence are as valuable as currency. In Spy Kids 2 and 3, Juni is assisted by R.A.L.P.H., aka Robotic Arachnoid Lithium Photo Helper, a robotic “spy-der” that has some of the most useful surveillance tools in the entire franchise.

Aside from Juni’s ability to communicate with R.A.L.P.H. remotely and direct the device to spy on people without their knowledge, the gadget has a built-in camera, broadcast mode, mini-AI computer with smart technology, and grappling cables that allow it to swing from walls and take pictures without falling. For modern-day usage, being able to take and broadcast secret photos gives spies a clear tactical advantage.

Machete Elastic Wonder In Spy Kids 2 Has The Most All-In-One-Gadgets

Carmen wears the Machete Electric Wonder bracelet in Spy Kids 2

While there’s no way of knowing exactly what comprises all 999 high-tech gadgets, more options are definitely more effective. In Spy Kids 2, Machete gives Juni and Carmen his Elastic Wonder gadget, a small rubberband-like bracelet that holds 999 special spy tools that must be discovered by using their brains.

While using the gadget, Carmen was able to turn the rubberband into a snapping weapon, a switch binder, and a lasso to round up the Transmooker, while Juni managed to mold it into a bracelet. If such a high-tech gadget existed in reality, it would simply give spies a wealth of nearly 1,000 tools and accessories to ensure every mission is completed on time.

Spy Glasses Resemble Modern Consumer Technology

Juni wears Spy Glasses in the sky in Spy Kids

Communication, surveillance, and privacy are essential for spies to operate successfully. In Spy Kids, the futuristic spy glasses worn by great movie kid characters Juni and Carmen were so advanced that they now resemble modern-day video calling tech, Google Glass, smartwatches, VR headsets, and the like.

The glasses allow the kids to search a person’s identity, locate their local time and distance of their exact coordinates, and make it much easier for them to track down their targets without being noticed. For practical everyday spycraft, these would be much more ideal than outlandish jetpacks and electric gumballs.

Spy Watch In Spy Kids 2 Has More Communication Tech Than Any Gadget

Machete holds Spy Watches in Spy Kids

Without question, the Spy Watch seen in Spy Kids 2 would be the most ideal gadget to use in everyday spy missions. The supercomputer has internet access, a cell phone, satellite television, and digital communication tool necessary to stay connected in the 21st century. It’s essentially 40 years of James Bond gadgetry packaged into one high-powered watch.

While many of the tech gadgets in the Spy Kids movies play to the silly sensibilities of the kids, the Spy Watch is a plausible piece of practical, tactical tech that would ensure constant surveillance, communication, secrecy, and the ability to stay connected to the outside world regardless of location.

MORE: 15 Best Spy Movies For Kids

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