Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Ants Go Marching...

...and so do the Spiders, Crabs, Inchworms and Nanos.

What are Nanos you ask? The smallest robotic insect available from Hexbugs, of course! Created by Innovation First International, the Hexbug line is a great look at the hobby-robotics section of the toy industry. Easily affordable, battery powered and numerous unique designs make this relatively new product a great toy for an child who likes technology. It's little wonder that the Hexbugs Habitat won the 2011 Specialty Toy of the Year Award by the Toy Industry Association!

With 6 different designs available, and numerous tracks/habitats, we've decided to create a review of all the various Hexbugs on the market today, including the Glow-In-The-Dark sets that only small box stores like ourselves can carry this year!

Original Hexbug 
This little six-legged robot has wiry antennas that, when touched, will cause it to change direction. It also reacts to loud sounds and vibrations, such as clapping or certain music. It comes in Purple, Black, Orange, Blue and Green and has 5 shell different designs, too! (Batteries Included, MSRP $11.99)

Inchworm Hexbug 
The first full-range insect, this one comes with a remote control. All 4 legs will walk in whatever direction you wish, and can spin on the single 'pedestal leg' for even more maneuverability. Unlike other toys, these operate on a dual-band controller, so 2 can be used at once with no mistakes! Comes in Red, Green, Indigo, Pink and Orange, all with the same design. (Batteries Included, MSRP $19.99)

Crab Hexbug 
Much like actual crabs, this particular Hexbug loves to hide in the dark. Their 8 legs will bring them to any shaded place, and will stay there till light or loud noises 'scare' them from hiding! When scurrying around, the it will change direction according to pre-programmed intervals, or will run from a flashlight/clapping. Comes in Red, Indigo, Turquoise, Green, and Black, all with the same design. (Batteries Included, MSRP $14.99)

Ant Hexbug 
Perfect for those who love racing, the ant will run as long as you let it. Equipped with 6 'propeller' legs, it can easily move over most carpets/flooring. Ever the busy-bug, it will run till it hits an obstacle then bounce back using the touch-sensitive antennas on its back and head. Comes in Green, Pink, Orange, Blue and Red, all with the same design. (Batteries Included, MSRP $11.99)

Spider Hexbug
Easily the largest of all, this newest Hexbug has full-range actions that you control. Use the enclosed remote to determine where it moves, and it will continue in that direction until it sees there is an obstacle in the way. How? It has a bright-red sensor 'eye' that allows it to notice things in its path! Comes in Teal, Orange, Red, Blue and Green, all with the same design. (Batteries Included, MSRP $24.99)

Nano Hexbug 
Quite possibly the most well-known of all, these Hexbugs, love running everywhere. Only about 2 inches long, they move by vibration on their numerous rubbery legs. While they don't have light, noise or touch sensitivity, they do have numerous colors available, and are considered collectible! Very hardy, they will scurry over any hard horizontal surface and flip themselves over if they fall. Can be played with separately, or with any of the below Hexbug Habitats. (Batteries Included, MSRP $9.99)

Hexbug Habitats 
Made specifically for the Nanos, these tracks come in many varieties. Choose from the Raceway Set, Normal Set, Elevation Set, Spiral Set, Starter Set and our store's favorite, the Bridge Battle Set. Can be used alone, or combine different sets to let your Nanos run for hours! (MSRP $14.99-$49.99)

Glow-In-The Dark Nano Hexbug and Habitats
Exactly the same as the other Nanos, these are made far cooler by the fact that they glow (quite brightly) in the dark. Just leave the Nanos and their Habitats in bright light for an hour or two, then set them up in a dark room and watch the resulting 'light show'! Currently, the Habitats available for these are the Starter Set and Normal Set. **Our store was very excited about this particular product because big-box stores can't even carry it til 2012. Thank you, Hexbug creators, for supporting the local gaming stores!**

Each of these designs runs on a standard battery, available in packs of 2 wherever Hexbugs are sold. The batteries are easily changeable, and only require an eyeglass screwdriver to open.  (MSRP $4.99)

As you can see, Hexbugs has made something for everyone, or at least everyone who enjoys technology and insects! My personal favorite is the Crab, but any of them are great fun. Now it's up to you to find your favorite Hexbug, too! 

Stasi King

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