Thursday, December 14, 2017

#HGG2017: Stickbots {review}

I first encountered Stikbots last year while I was shopping for Christmas. I picked up a couple of the individual figures for Michael's stocking, and he did a few short videos, but I think he needed a few accessories to get really into the craze. Stikbots are poseable figures that you use in creating stop-motion animation videos. Kids have been creating their own movies and uploading to share with other fans using the hashtag #Stikbot. To date, the Stikbot YouTube channel has received nearly 200 million views, and over 150,000 original videos have been uploaded to YouTube by kids. This is clearly a hot toy!

Stikbots have suction cup hands and feet that can stick to almost any flat surface, and allow them to hold props. Kids download the free Stikbot Studio app (iOS and Android) and use it to create their masterpieces. With stop-motion animation, you pose your Stikbot, snap a still picture with the app, then move slightly, snap another still. etc. When you are done, use the app to weave it all together into a short film, complete with built-in music and sound effect options. It's a pretty detailed process, and takes some time, but your child will feel like a pro when they see the final product. The app is easy to use, and kid-friendly.

Here's a three second video Michael made to demonstrate:

Stikbots are available in sets and as individuals. The Zanimation Studio Pack even includes a green screen stage, and both it and the regular Studio Pack include a tripod to hold your smart phone steady while you create. This is important, because you need all the pictures for a video section to come from the same angle, or the video will look jumpy. You can even buy Stikbot dogs, cats, and a monkey!

These all come in a variety of solid and clear colours, and are available at major retailers including, Walmart, Indigo, ToysRUs, Mastermind, and Costco. Prices range from $5 - $25, so this is truly affordable fun. Stikbots are recommended for ages 4 and up, but I think I'd recommend for ages 9 and up, as the older kids will get more out of the experience.

Mostly, I love the creativity involved here. Your child will love playing with these characters, developing a story line, and filming their unique creations. You never know, you could be fostering the next Spielberg ;)

Disclosure: I 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.

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