Move over Zhu Zhu pets, here comes the Hexbug Nano! Upon receiving the package from the MomTV crew, I was immediately intrigued by this new creation from Innovation First International. These guys are packaged nicely with a slit in the package allowing me to open the clam shell relatively easy. One package consisted of five different colored and decorated Hexbugs. Some Hexbugs were designated more common or rarer than others - a very nice touch. The Hexbugs feel like bugs on your skin when activated and can turn over (although this may take a while) when placed on their backs. Fortunately, these did not give my daughters the heebie-jeebies that normal bugs do. They are both under the age of seven and they loved them! Another cool feature is that they have their own unique code enabling you to keep track of your collection online.
Not only did I receive a pack of five different Hexbugs but I also received the Starter Set which consisted of a Hexbug and a “habitat.” This habitat was shaped like an octagon. Along the octagon, there are doors that you can attach other octagon habitats or paths that the Hexbugs use to bridge and explore its habitat. Setting up the habitat, as well as attaching and detaching the habitats and bridges was very easy.
One improvement that I would like to see done is making the habitats bigger. I was given one habitat and an accompanying bridging system that enables the Hexbugs to enter and exit through the same octagon. It was very crowded when I placed more than three Hexbugs in this particular environment. At least a 50% increase in the size of the octagon would be ideal. More than three Hexbugs confined to one octagon is one Hexbug too many. Also, the sides of the wall are too short. At times, the Hexbugs were able to “jump” the wall after bumping other Hexbugs in the habitat. Possibly doubling the height of the wall would be better. Of course, the more habitats that one attaches makes the experience much more enjoyable since it started to lose its luster after about 45 minutes of watching these little guys bump the walls and each other over and over. Luckily, my daughter was able to come up with some games to heighten the experience such as “who can turn over the fastest” or “who can find the exit or bridge the fastest.” Finally, the habitat color itself was white with orange doors while the bridges where gray. It would have been nice to have a habitat that mimicked the color of a real bug environment. Maybe the octagon could have been painted green or better yet display a leafy background. The bridging system could have been colored brown - indicative of branches.
Again, these little buggers seem to have the same concept as Zhu Zhu pets but on a smaller scale. Although my daughters love their little “Hexies” and bring them to school so that they can explore the playground there are definite improvements that can be made that can make these robotic bugs even more desirable.