Busy mums everywhere are starting to think about Christmas – yes I said it! The ‘C’ word, in October! But tell the truth, you have started thinking about it haven’t you? If you have not then I’d advise you to think about it now because you want the best chance to ensure that the gifts you want to buy are in stock and will arrive with you before the chaos of December postage!
One toy that you might want to look at getting early is this HEXBUG Battle Spider set – my 9 year old son has been reviewing it with me to put it through its paces and see if it would be a suitable toy for a child his age this Christmas. You may have heard of HEXBUGs – they have been around for a while but this set is new for Christmas 2016. The Hexbug Battle Spider Twin Pack is the first mechanical HEXBUG designed for two-person play. These sci fi battling robots have a remote control and come to fuelled with futuristic voice and sound effects and high tech infra-red battling capabilities. Here is what the box looks like.
Now first I’m going to tell you what I thought as a mum. They scared the crap out of me is the honest truth! My son got the bugs out of the pack, synced up the remote controls to each bug (you get two remotes and two bugs), then made them advance toward me across the floor remotely so he was nowhere to be seen, whilst I tried to relax for a rare 5 minutes with a cuppa and a magazine! I saw these things walking toward me, their legs moving like tarantulas with the speed of a mouse that dashes across the kitchen whilst you freak out from the doorway! My son of course – loved this. The more I said how I didn’t like them, the more he enjoyed making them follow me around the room.
However after my initial scare fest, I sat down to play with him and they are really very good. I was curious about them because whilst they are ‘robots’ they do not move robotically. They really are like tarantulas! Quite smooth running although you can hear them coming. Watch our video below to see them move within the battle ground…
As I mentioned, my 9 year old was able to operate these bugs straight out of the box so they are simple to get started. They come with some spare batteries, but these really are spare as the batteries you need to make the bugs move are already included. All you have to do is to sync one remote control to one robot and you do this by turning it on near the robot. Just ensure you sync up each robot to remote far away from the other as we accidentally synced up two robots to one remote which meant that rather than battling each other, the bugs went in exactly the same direction across the floor! It is easy to reset though, and we were playing within minutes.
The HEXBUG Battle Ground Tower pack which we got comes with 15 walls and 20 pylons, so you can create whatever shaped battle ground you like. There is also a tall tower included which we used as the ‘base’ for one bug, so one bug defended the tower whilst the other attacked! You fight with light, so when you press to fire on the remote control, it zaps a light beam toward the other bug, but you can be clever and bounce your light off the walls, so you can actually fight around corners! My son and I had a lot of fun when we played and his mate came round for tea one night too and they loved the battles and watching their bugs creep across the floor!
The bugs even recoil realistically and have a physical response when hit. With a 1 metre range you can fire once per second and every hit on target will stun your spider for a second. After 10 blasts your Battle Spider will shut down leaving a lifelike heartbeat light flashing, and the aim of the game is to be the last Battle Spider standing!
This set has an RRP of £49.99 and is available from Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Mankind, Red 5, The Entertainer, Toys R Us and Smyths. You can see the full HEXBUG collection at www.hexbug.com.
My son loves his Battle Spiders and it’s nice for him to play a real ‘toy’ rather than just computer games (which is his other hobby!) But I like the strategic element to the play and that him and his friend played for an hour happily with them, even if I didn’t initially like the way they move! He even takes it on the school run to play in the car. All in all, this is an excellent hands on game for Christmas.
This post contains a review sample.