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It's official. We have succumbed to the Hexbug craze! These little battery operated toys are often animals that zoom about all over the place and are just fun to play with. The scarab is a bright blue spiderlike crablike toy with crazy fast legs that almost acts as if it's in a pinball machine when you turn it on. It's fun to play with and fun to watch. Our 9 year old loves it, and this is what it's all about.
When you first get the scarab, it's in a dome box with a cardboard base. This base houses the instructions, which to be honest are more useful for changing batteries than for instructions on how to play. It's easy enough to get into the box, as it's sealed with tape on two sides. Cut this and you're in. There's one of those awkward to unwind wire like ties that you undo to access the scarab.
Once it's out, there's a little switch at the base of its tail end that you flick one way or the other to turn it on and off. A word of caution though - get your playing surface ready before you turn it on, as this thing goes crazy once it's on. It has three legs either side of its flat blue body, which is raised as the legs act as they do on a tripod. Once you have your playing area sorted, it may also be worth putting a couple of obstacles down to see what it does once it comes into contact with them.
So, by flicking it and turning it on, the legs start to go mad. Put it down and watch as it scurries along the floor in whichever way it's facing. I really like how it does this, and it's obviously the pull and lure of the toy. The legs go at an incredible 20 times a second, and it scurries along until it hits something and then, as the legs are still going, it simply changes direction as per the laws of physics! It's quite good to give it a number of different things to bounce off and see how it can escape from an arena, for example, or if you have any other similar Hexbugs you can pop them in the arena too and see which one gets out first.
If you're not a fan of spiders then this thing will creep you out. It's a very aggressive toy, and while there's no danger of it gathering a mind of its own and attacking you, it's quite adrenaline inducing when you're kneeling down and it suddenly bounces off something and ends up scurrying straight across the floor at you. My wife has jumped up and run off a number of times as she really doesn't like spiders and finds it really freaky. My 9 year old thinks it's funny to get it to lie in wait for her at various moments, or to pop it down in front of her while she's watching TV, etc. We see the funny side, although I'm not sure she does!
It's a pretty durable little thing. The legs go up slightly above its body and then sharp turn back into it to join on, which means that if it's on its back, it can also right itself, which is another impressive addition to its aggressive scurrying, especially if you want to create a number of different tiers of an arena for it to navigate through. We've set up a couple of times a way for it come down off a shelf, onto a table, then onto the floor and into a different room, to see if it can do it, and it's fun timing it to see how quickly you can get it to do it.
You can get this toy for around the £6 mark from amazon at the moment. I've seen it for more, and I think we may have paid a little than this for it when we first bought it, but it has a lot of value for its money, and so we're very happy with it. Well worth buying for multiple entertainment value. Highly recommended.
The Hexbug Scarab - Blue is a great introduction to the exciting world of robotics. This cool little 8.25 cm long bug skitters about on six legs, just like the real thing. If he gets flipped over whilst he's zooming about, he can even put himself right again. Your Scarab runs on 3xLR44 batteries, which you'll find included in the box. There are all sorts of different Hexbugs for you to collect, check out our full range of Hexbug robots and accessories .