Something small is making big news in the toy world: Hexbug Nanos! You wouldn't think that such a small, simple toy could offer so many possibilities for play, but these vibrating bugs seem to be all the rage. I've seen them at retail outlets like Target or Walmart, in individual test tube packs or as part of a bigger set containing bug(s) and habitat pieces. And when MomSelect gave us the opportunity to host a Hexbug Nano party for 3Po and Jammy and their friends, some of the boys we invited already knew about Hexbugs and how much fun they were.
Here's a detailed description of the little critters:
Mother Nature meets micro-robotics with Hexbug Nano. Designed to look and behave like a real bug, Nano is actually a very cool little robot that uses the physics of vibration to propel itself along and explore its environment. It runs, it skitters in all directions, it flips over and then pops back on its feet. There s no telling what Nano will do next! Real fun with real science. Let your Nano run free or build a special Nano habitat (sold separately) with a whole family of Nanos. Start a Nano nation! The possibilities are endless and so is the fun.
Visit the Hexbug website to register and track your Nano, play games with other collectors, download photos and learn more about robotic science. Nanos measure approx. 1+" long, with batteries included. Nano uses 1 AG13 button cell battery (sold separately for $3).
Each child received three Hexbug Nanos and a spare battery at the party; MomSelect sent along so many habitat pieces that I sent each child home with an assortment of hexagonal arenas, straight ramps and curved ramps so they could continue their play at home.
The kids went buggy for these little bugs! It's always good when the first word out of their mouths when they see a toy is, "Coooooool". There was a mad scramble for each to get their favorite colors (that's another fun thing about Hexbugs: you can collect and trade them), then it was off to build the most complicated Hexbug Nano maze ever. I think they must have spent a full hour configuring and re-configuring their Hexbug system of hexagonal arenas, straight ramps and curved ramps. It's super-easy to snap the pieces together and take them apart, so the kids didn't need any help from me. MomSelect even provided us with a Bridge Battle Habitat Set containing inclined ramps and bridges and risers, so the kids were able to make a multi-level maze for the Hexbugs to travel through! The Hexbugs travel by vibration, so no two will travel the same path. The kids can put obstacles such as barricades and one-way doors to make things more interesting.
We played lots of fun games with the bugs and tracks! We held timed races, where each child chose a bug and let it loose through the Hexbug labyrinth, competing to see whose bug took the least time to get from Point A to Point B. Because of the random nature of their motion, some bugs never even made it! We tried relay races and push-a-pebble races and every kind of race you can think of.
By far their favorite activity was letting every single one of their bugs loose on the track and letting them swarm all over each other like a cockroach-phobe's worst nightmare:
I love the fact that you can break the habitat into small pieces, which means you can just dump them into a big plastic bin and store it away, nice and neat, all ready for the next playdate. The whole Hexbug Nano habitat play system combines the best elements of a construction playset, a race car set, a battle arena, an online game and a collector's item.
Everyone had a wonderful time building and racing and battling and having lots of little-boy fun. They've even given their bugs names and are now thinking of building little egg-carton condos for their bugs to live in. See, more creative play possibilities. Thanks, MomSelect, for introducing us to yet another fun toy!
Disclosure: I received a HEXBUG Nanon in-home party kit courtesy of MomSelect and Hexbug in order to host this party. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.