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Hexbugs are little robotic toys that are designed to look like insects. The original Hexbug is based upon a 6 legged arthropod, and you can buy it in black, blue or red, the only difference being the colour of the plastic components. I own two of these i the red colour which were bought for my children this past Christmas as a bit of fun. Really, they are meant for children older than mine. On amazon it mentions age 14 plus, but with supervision, there is no real reason that a younger child couldn't enjoy playing with hexbugs.
The red one we own looks quite like a ladybird in my opinion. The hard back has a split down the middle which looks almost like ladybird wings, and the plastic on this one is really quite transparent so you can see the complicated circuit board insid the toy. The size on this is about the length of my pointing finger, and similar width. I find the bug is about the right size to sit on the palm of my hand, and if it is moving at the time it is a little ticklish.
It is battery operated. It requires 2 LR44 round batteries. These came inside the toy when it was new. To get into the battery compartment is pretty tricky as you need a very small crosshead screw driver. I have one I got in a cracker once, that is excellent for this type of small and fiddly job.
The Hexbug has quite distinctive packaging. The base is made from cardboard, but the top is made from a dome of plastic. The name hexbug relates to the shape of the packaging apparently. We found it was pretty easy to get into the packaging, and the bug was ready to go straight away. On this model there is a little black slide switch at the rear of the toy just under the wings.
The bug has sensors on its rear and the two antennas so it will react if it bumps into something. This original version has also been designed to react to noises like clapping or stamping your feet. I don't think this feature works that well. There are plastic bits linking the legs, and these cause the legs to move backwards and forwards. No two legs appear to move in the same direction at the same time, so the bug has a very realistic scuttling type movement - almost like it is shuffling along looking for food or something.
This bug is quite strikingly different from the 'ant' hexbug we also own. It moves a lot slower. I also think it is a bit less reactive. They seem to move around more in a bit of a circle due to the way the legs move, and the noise reactivity this model has is not as good as the light reactivity in the ant. Although it is a bit comical, it is nowhere near as entertaining as watching the ant whizz round, though this model looks more like an actual bug in design. I also find the legs are quite spindly and more likely to stop moving on this one. Again, it is better at moving on flat surfaces as the legs do not lift that far off the ground when moving and it would get caught in carpet.
I think if I were only buying one, I would choose one of the other versions myself. At nearly £10 per bug, it is not a cheap item so you want to have maximum fun from it. My children seem to prefer the ant as well as it is the one they both want to be playing with.
Watch the Black Hexbug Original scurry round your living room! The Hexbug is a crawling robot creature that uses its sensor antennae to detect objects, and to move around them. When it bumps into an obstacle or hears a loud noise, it reverses and turns before scurrying off in another direction. You can make it change direction by clapping, shouting, and even slapping the table in front of it. Hexbug Original uses 2 LR44 batteries, which are included. A great gift for boys aged 14 and up . Features Crawling Hexbug robot bug Uses sensor antennae to avoid obstacles Changes directions when it hears noises