Thursday, November 16, 2017

#HGG2017: Vex Robotics {review & giveaway}

I love a toy you have to build before you can play with it. That makes it like two toys in one! Michael has been helping me in reviewing 2 toys from Vex Robotics (same makers as my much-loved Hex-Bugs!) He actually jumped in and built the first one, the Vex Robotics Crossfire Launcher before I even knew he'd seen it, so I don't have a ton to say on the process of building it, but I do know the finished model was an instant hit with him and his friends.

The Crossfire is basically a crossbow that shoots paper airplanes. Cool, right? The planes are launched over 30 feet, and this toy saw a lot of action in our back yard in the first couple of months of fall.
The first step is always to sort and organise your pieces.
The second kit we received was the Vex Robotics Minotaur, and I made sure to be around for this one. The Minotaur is from the TV series "BattleBots," and his fellow battling robot, Tombstone is also available. We haven't seen the show, but these guys are miniature replicas, complete with fully functional weaponry for the ultimate fan experience.

Both of these kits are comprised of snap-together parts, so you don't need any tools on hand. They come with clear, image-based instructions to guide you.

These are STEM-based kits, teaching basic engineering skills and hands-on problem-solving skills. Identifying each piece from the illustration and then figuring out the mechanics of successfully putting them together is a great brain exercise. And the finished products can prompt further discussion and study on topics like force, propulsion, the function of gears, etc.

Michael told me the working of these gears is pretty cool.
This is a large kit to build and the inner workings are pretty elaborate.
Of course then he referred to this as "robot guts," so there's that too.
The final product. Ready to battle. Possibly with our cats.
Michael is 11 and had no trouble putting together either of these kits, although a few of the smaller Minotaur pieces he found were a little tough to snap in, and he asked me help, with my superior strength ;) (Ha!) His review - he found the Minotaur more interesting to put together, and the Crossfire more fun to play with, although he's enjoying them both.

Get Yours

These kits would make great gifts for tweens who love to build and create, or who have an interest in STEM topics. Both items are available for purchase from the Vex Robotics website.

The Crossfire Airplane Launcher  is recommended for ages 14+ and retails for $25.99. It has over 130 pieces and comes with 6 planes.

The Minotaur is recommended for ages 9+ and retails for $51.99. It has about 350 pieces. Got a BattleBots fan on your list? Great choice here for them!

Vex Robotics has a ton more options as well. Check out the full line on their website.

A Giveaway

One lucky RMB reader will receive a Vex Robotics Crossfire Airplane Launcher of their own. Entries are via the widget below and will be accepted until 11:59pm ET, December 3. Giveaway is open to Canadian residents only. Best of luck!

Disclosure: We received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

1 comment:

  1. My granddaughter loves to build things and enjoys robots so it would be fun for her.


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