Tuesday, September 20, 2011
My sons have become the model of good behavior. Every morning they get up, dress up, have breakfast, brush their teeth and make their beds. After school, they put away their things, do their homework, read for 15 minutes, practice piano, and water their plants. I can't really claim all the credit -- they do it because they want to earn the right to some computer time. And computer time has become a hotter commodity than usual, thanks to their new Mechatar Wrexx remote-control robot. CleverGirls selected us to review a Mechatars robot, and it seems like it's all they want to do! Keep reading to see what this new phenomenon is all about (and enter to win one of your own).....
Mechatars is an interactive toy robot and a free virtual online game. With a Mechatar robot, kids are able to drive their toy around with the included remote control, complete offline missions and also challenge their friends to online and offline Mechatar battles. Kids who have a Mechatar robot can connect it to the online game. Those without a Mechatar robot can still play the virtual online game for free. The objective of the game is for kids and Mechatars to work together and defeat the evil Swarm.
My boys are loving this robot! The love how it rolls around at the touch of a button, and they love the cool dino sound effects. Here's a video of them figuring out how it works:
But the remote control aspect is only half of the fun. You can also connect your Mechatar to your computer with the included USB cable, and download missions from Mechatar.com (you have to create an account). You can play games online at Mechatar.com, and playing games earns you credits that you can use to download missions to your Mechatar. We only have one Mechatar (at the moment!) but I imagine that if you have 2 Mechatars in the room, they'll want to do battle with each other!
Here are some of the things I love best about our Mechatar:
* You don't need a second Mechatar to have fun. Mechatars can go on solo missions involving "spy hunts", like the Swarm Hunter Mission. In the Swam Hunter mission, your Mechatar picks out an object that you have to find by driving your Mechatar around, and you are given feedback on how close you are to the object via a series of beeps, as well as audio tips (i.e. "Not Close Enough").
* You don't need to spend actual cash to download missions to your Mechatar; kids earn credits by playing the online Mechatar game.
* I really love the "hint" button -- when you press it, you'll hear audio instructions to help you figure out what to do next (for example, "Press Go and Turn buttons to drive").
* The remote control unit does not have one of those retractable metal antennas, so there are less parts to break!
Here are some thing that I think could be improved:
* The Mechatar desktop application runs on my laptop, even when the Mechatar is not plugged in. It runs in the background, but it does take up some memory, and I find it extremely annoying. Why not run the app only when the Mechatar gets plugged in?
* It's extremely difficult to connect the USB cable to the USB port on the back of the Mechatar. You really have to push firmly and make sure it goes in deep, otherwise the computer will not recognize the device and you won't be able to sync your Mechatar.
* There is no auto-power-off feature, so our Mechatar often gets left with the power on for hours at a time, draining the battery.
* Right now, all you can do out of the box is make the Mechatar go and stop. I wish the Mechatar came pre-loaded with a few missions, so that parents who really don't want their kids to play games online can still buy Mechatars for their kids to enjoy.
The Bottom Line
None of the limitations I mentioned really bother my kids, only me. As far as they are concerned, their Mechatar is the coolest remote-control toy ever -- and I'm betting a lot of boys, little and not-so-little, would agree.
Save 10% on your purchase of a Mechatar Robot
Use the coupon code MECHMOM to receive 10% off your purchase at iloverobots.com. This code is good until November 30, 2011.
Win a Mechatar
One lucky Bonggamom Finds reader will win a Mechatar robot!
Visit www.Mechatars.com and check out the Mechatar robot line up (click on "Play Now", then "Register" to see the full product line -- don't worry, you won't have to submit any information). Then leave a comment on this post and tell me which Mechatar you'd most like to win. This entry must be completed before any extra entries will count.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Blog about this giveaway, making sure you include a link to the giveaway in your blog post (1 entry).
2) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Mechatar giveaway! http://ow.ly/6zOXF
3) Add the Bonggamom Finds blog button to your sidebar (1 entry).
4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger/Google Friend Connect (1 entry).
5) Follow @bonggafinds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day):
Enter to win a Mechatars remote-control robot on @bonggafinds http://ow.ly/6zOXF #CleverRobot #spon
6) Join any of the open giveaways on Bonggamom Finds (1 entry for each giveaway you've joined)
7) Leave a comment on the Mechatar Wrexx video on the Bonggamom Finds YouTube page (1 entry).
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on October 3, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on October 4 and post the winner's name after he/she confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was selected to participate in this sponsored post series by Clever Girls Collective. Mechatars (via Clever Girls) has provided me with a product sample to facilitate my review as well as a similar product to give away and compensation for my time. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.