A few weeks before my two daughters broke up for school holidays I began buying a few craft items and small toys to keep them occupied. I had heard quite a few positive things about Hex Bugs from general word of mouth and some lovely informative Dooyoo reviews, so decided to see what all the fuss was about. I headed to Amazon and was a little overwhelmed by the choice! There were Hex Bug Spiders, ants, crabs and inchworms, not to mention various packs to go with them. Each of these products wildly varied in price. I was a little unsure that my daughters would even take to these Hex Bugs so didn't want to go for anything expensive or overly - elaborate. It was then I spotted the Hex Bug Nano, a small electronic ant, priced at just £2.99 with free super saver delivery. The picture showed all the various designs available, but Amazon stated a random colour would be dispatched. I swiftly added one to my basket and I eagerly awaited the arrival of our Bug wondering what design we would get.
Five days later a small white bubble wrap envelope arrived. The Hex Bug Nano comes in thick plastic test tube style packaging, the little creature can clearly be seen inside. A sticker around the tube shows the brand logo along with the product name. General information is also given, including a warning that this product is not suitable for children under three as it contains small parts which may pose a choking hazard.
The Hex Bug Nano itself is easily removed from the tube, there are no plastic ties to unravel nor is there any assembly to do, Nano is ready too go!
As mentioned earlier, I was unable to choose the colour / design of the Nano, but was quite happy with the one we were sent. Ours is yellow and red in colour, there is also a strange silver circular design on top. I can see how it would be fun to collect these little bugs and have them in various colours. The Hex Bug Nano is small, around a inch or so long.
The Hex Bug Nano is made of plastic which is mostly hard, apart from his twelve legs which are soft. The on / off button is located underneath, although the switch is small it is really easy to use, both my daughters (aged 9 & 4) have no problems using the switch. Also located underneath is a small screw which is used to change the battery - but I'll come back to that in a bit.
My daughters were extremely excited to receive this Hex Bug Nano and interested (as I was) to see what it could do. Once out of its test tube it was promptly switched on. It began to gently vibrate, my youngest daughter held it in her palm and found it hysterical remarking that it tickled. She then placed it on the floor and off it went, scurrying about the place frantically... like... well ... like a bug I guess. Unfortunately it held my nine year old daughters attention for around ten minutes and since then she has paid little - if no attention - to it since. My four year old daughter however absolutely adores it and treats it like a pet, playing with it pretty much all day. She is absolutely fascinated by the way it vibrates along the floor, changing its direction should something be in its way. She has made some elaborate mazes for it to explore which has amused her for hours on end. She particularly likes placing the bug on its back and watching as it independently vibrates its way back to its feet. I have lost count of the amount of times I have had to "rescue" the Hex Bug Nano from under our sofa or some other piece of furniture, this little bug sure likes to explore!
Downstairs we have wooden floors and the Hex Bug Nano has no problems navigating this terrain, but my daughter has thin carpet in her bedroom and the Nano struggles to get about. Those with thick carpet may find the Nano won't move at all. Since the Nano has problems moving on my daughters carpet she uses paper or cardboard to make little "runs" for her friend which seems to do the trick.
This little bug is pretty durable, he has been dropped by my daughter a few times, but keeps going strong none the less. We have not experienced any cracking of the plastic or any general wear or damage at this point and my daughter has been playing with him for around two weeks now. That being said, if it was bumped about too much I can imagine that he would eventually fall apart, so I encourage my daughter to look after her bug.
The biggest downside to this little creature is the fact that it absolutely eats batteries. In the first week we began playing with the Hex Bug Nano I had to change the batteries twice. It takes those little button cell batteries, I ended up buying a pack of ten of these batteries for 90p (free super saver delivery) from Amazon. If you are thinking about purchasing one of these little bugs I would add a pack of these batteries - because your going to need them! Changing the batteries is pretty simple though, briefly instructions are given on a little leaflet enclosed in the tube.
Apart from battery changing instructions, the leaflet gives some general information ( in various languages) on the bug. There is also the option to log onto the Hex Bug website and register your bug on line where you can "play games and learn about science". To do this you need to go to the Hex Bug website and enter the code which should be found on the leaflet. Unfortunately no code was printed in the square were it was meant to be on our leaflet, so we have been unable to do this.
For the price I paid for the Hex Bug Nano I have been overall happy with my purchase, but doubt I will be making further Hex Bug purchases in the near future. My nine year old daughter paid little interest in it, although it has nothing to do with One Direction, so why would she? My four year old however clearly loved the little bug and has had much enjoyment playing with him, Can I imagine she will play with him long term? probably not. That being said I feel these would certainly interest most kids, those who enjoy collecting would particularly be interested.
Would I recommend? Certainly, especially if you can pick them up for under three quid!
We've recently had a few Hexbugs around the house, and I hadn't realised just how much fun they were until we actually started using them. The concept is of different types of bugs which are battery operated and run havoc around whatever arena or room you set them free in. The scarab and the spider are particularly exciting, but the standard Hexbug, and perhaps the one you should start with, is the nano.
The Hexbug nano comes in a tunbe, a bit like a pod, and is very easy to get into. You just open the tube and out it comes. This is much easier than the larger Hexbugs which generally have that cabling tie stuff which makes it somewhat arduous to get out, especially if you're a kid just wanting to get on and play with the toy. That's why the nano is ideal. It comes out of the tube, ready to use.
It's a little bug, about an inch or two long and smaller in other dimensions. It has rubber 'legs' as if on a centipede, and on the underside there's a small switch which when flicked on makes the legs vibrate at high speed. If you put the bug down once it's on, then it'll scurry forwards very quickly. It does need the traction on the floor to work, and the slightest impediment will stop this from moving anywhere. We found that a couple of pieces of paper overlapping can stop it, whereas the traction it can get on a flat surface like the inside of a drawer or on a carpet is impressive for something so small.
These little things are ideal and you can get them for next to nothing from a number of places online. They'll set you back a hefty £7 or so at brand new price which I think is really expensive, but amazon have them at £3 a pop at the moment so I'd get in there quick if you've got any kids to buy for who'd appreciate this as a present.
Combining this with other Hexbugs is so much fun, whether it be other Hexbug nanos or the larger ones such as the scarab or the spider. The main element of fun here is the unpredictable nature of its direction. It's fun to set it off with a number of obstacles in an enclosed space and watch its aggressive movement in and around wherever you've placed it. I really liked the way it bounced off a lot of obstacles, and how it interacted with the larger Hexbugs, and our kids love them. Our 9 year old has plenty of fun with the construction element, trying to create an arena where there's a pathway for it to try and make its way along, although this works better with the larger ones. Our 18 month old absolutely loves this one compared to the others because it's small enough for his hand and it makes him giggle like you wouldn't believe when he picks it up. His favourite thing to do is to stick it on the inside of his vest, and because it's the sort of vest which does up under his nappy, it gets stuck in there and continues to vibrate, making him giggle until we get it out for him.
Endless amounts of fun with these things, the kids love them and if you're lucky you can get them for a decent price. the cheapest I've seen is less than £1 second hand or £3 brand new, much better than the original price of £6 or so, which I feel is too much. Great fun with Hexbugs, the nanose come in different colours and you can even get adventurous with them by using an individual online code for them which allows you to play online. Highly recommended.
Collectible Battery Powered Robot Crawling bugsBehaves like a real bugFlips over by itselfFits in your handBatteries included. One supplied Colour and style may vary. Ages 3+