We love wildlife in this house. We kill nothing, instead re-routing ants that find their way into the kitchen, relocating slimy slugs and letting out flies etc. My daughter has followed in my love of nature and as a result delights in anything that involves a creature, from a whale to a bug. I have had to teach her how to be gentle with bugs and slugs etc and she has grasped this, but it must be frustrating to want to pick things up and not be able to.
This bug in a jar was a gift for her from an Ecologist friend, who often buys us unusual nature themed gifts. It is a simple idea but great fun.
SO WHAT IS IT?
You get a "Firefly" in a jar made of glass which flits and shines like a real one. Nothing mindblowingly complex but the effect that it gives is quite mesmerising.
Firefly are winged beetles, and we have some types in the UK although many of us will have never seen them. They seem to prefer a tropical climate which is why they are not very known over here in the UK, but there have been reports of fireflies being seen all over the UK.
Now having never actually seen one, I cannot 100% vouch for the authenticity of the movements but I do know that in real life, fireflies do not have the plastic smiley face that this one has. It does add to the cuteness factor for young kids though and once it is flitting about you do not notice this aspect of the design.
HOW IT WORKS:
There is no meaningful info in the instructions that state how this magic occurs, but from a little research it seems that this bug uses a surface mounted LED light and a tiny micro-controller to simulate the movement of the bug. There is a wire attached to the bug and the movements are random. The LED flash patterns have been digitized from firefly behavioral research data found online, giving an accurate display of behaviour.
EXPERIENCE THE GLOW (and annoying clunk):
This Jar is very realistic and at dusk/night time it creates a fascinating light display. To activate the firefly you tap the jar and the little bug glows and flickers. It flies around skittishly and hits the side of the jar which after a while can be annoying to me, but my daughter does not seem to notice.
The container for your beastie is made of a thick glass, so young kids need supervision., or awareness of how to treat glass. We keep ours on a shelf and bring it down to play with, but my daughter knows that she has to be careful and has been. The jar itself is shaped like an old fashioned jam or Mason type jar from the 50's, complete with raised pattern across the front and a metal lid. It comes in a display box with a "try me" feature and uses 3 AAA batteries which are included. LED light is energy efficient so these should last a long time. Our have been sat in this contraption for 8 months and are still going strong.
Well this is a fairly useless item if I am honest but it is great fun. The website suggests use as a night light but I cannot see how a manic bouncing bug could be remotely restful. We have used our in the garden late evening where it casts a lovely glow when activated. This also looks great in the bathroom at night with the lights off but the bug only remains active for a short while.
The on/off switch is easy to use and the jar is nice and strong.
There are three colour choices available for this bug, pink, green and blue.
This toy drives cats bonkers as it bombs around the jar, pinging the sides and tormenting the cat from inside the safety of the glass. It is amusing to watch but be careful that the cats do not knock it over. I have four and each cat attempted to catch the "fly".
* Eye-catching animated firefly bug, magically captured in a jar
* Cartoon faced firefly which glows as it flits around!
* Tap the cap of the jar to activate and watch the firefly dart around the inside of the jar.
* Realistic movements
Starts at £12.99 on Amazon, who also stick the three colourways.
SUMMARY: A simple toy but with plenty of charm.