This amazing piece of kit has come up completely out of the blue. There are some things that you could just never get rid of and this mad little device is one of them. It was a bit of a shock when it arrived this morning, as I had absolutely no idea what the thing was at all. But thanks to the instruction booklet I quickly worked it out. You didn't guess it, so don't pretend you did. It was a Desktop Music Composer. It turned out it was the winner ofthe Oppenheim Toy Award, and after trying it out myself, I can whole heartedly agree with that title. How does this work? Well, it's so simple, a baby could do it. This is often an expression used when things are fairly easy, but when I say this, I mean this. It's rather amazing really. Basically, you pick up these different coloured, different shaped things and then you start messing about with them, plopping them onto the white surface. When they're on the surface, the composer will create one of 1159 different sounds and lighting effects. It might be soothing, cosmic, deep base, keyboard, strings, or percussion. The cuboid can be programmed with up to five seconds of sound. The base unit can attatch to any device that has a mini-jack audio output. This includes iPods and lets you thouroughly mash up your favourite tune. Adjust the tempo, the pitch of a podcast perhaps, or make a piece echo scarily. It's completely up to you. The music is accompanied with some very nice lights which seem to be synced to keep in time. It's a bargain, the Desktop Music Composer, costing only $60 (£30) from Hammacher Schlemmer. See for yourself.