Packing all that's good about Build-a-Bot into a tiny package! Create your very own working bug, learning about gears, electric power and more!
Watch how the motor makes your bug legs crawl and wings flap. Collect the set or link up with your friends' bugs to make a caterpillar!
Three bugs available: Ladybug, Buzzy Bee and Scatter Ant.
When we received our KIWIreviews box, the kids were instantly into it! They know what the sticker means and are always keen to see if there is something in there for them, which nine times out of ten, there is mostly things for my husband and I. You can understand their delight on seeing the Build a Bot Buzzybee in the box, especially as we had tried to get these at Christmas time!
First impressions were - oh my goodness - will we really be able to build this? But being the optimist that I am - I enlisted the help of my 9 year old! The recommended age is 5-7, but without a doubt this could be up to adults even (yes, I had great fun watching them put "Buzzy" as she is now named, together) and my husband had to be asked (told off by Miss 9) a few times not to touch it!
It has a few little pieces, but all in all every bit is very well designed and made for little fingers. we found the mouth piece a little bit difficult, until we re read the instructions and discovered we had in fact been trying to put it on completely wrong! The instructions themselves are great - explaining in both words and pictures so there is no confusion as to what piece goes where and what the next step is.
The pieces as really well made - not flimsy and cheap, and a lot of care and time has clearly gone into the making and designing them, to make them both enjoyable and, dare I say it, educational to make. Whilst my oldest and youngest were making Buzzy, there was a lot of chatter about why we like bees, what they do, what colour eyes they have and how many legs, to name a few things - and I was pleasantly surprised that Miss 9 remembered a lot of what I had told her about them. The bugs are beautiful and bright and the stickers provided mean you can personalise your bug to how you would like it - perfect if you end up with more than one the same! If the building and personalising is not enough - wait until your bug is turned on! The squeals of excitement from my kids was priceless..... until the squabbling about were Buzzy was going to go next started!
At a price of $30, these are the upper end of what I would generally buy for a birthday present for friends, however, in saying that - it is worth it 100% as I can honestly say any child will find this fun, interesting, exciting and just a little proud when they watch their bug come to life.
My children are asking for ALL the others now, and I actually will very gladly ask Grandparents and Aunty's and Uncles to buy them - they are a great, and different present to give, a toy, that is not a toy - all at the same time!
I only wish I had received this term four of last year, both girls had insect as their school projects and this would of been ideal to take and show their classes. Even the beginning of the year would of been ideal as my eldest, as part of her Brownie Badge had to go into the back yard and find six insects and draw one of them labeling all of the parts. She choose the Lady Bird and has already worked out that you can buy the Lady Bird and the Buzzy Bee along with this Ant makes a Caterpillar and both girls have already been begging for the additional bugs.
Both girls started squealing when I received my KIWIreviews package and both claimed the Ant as their own. As it states on the box that 5-7 year olds need help, I decided my 9 year old could do alone and see if it could be done, as states 8 - 12 year olds could do alone. Well this did not go down very well and ended up with more fights - so after some compromising my 9 year old ended up making it, where as my 6 year old decorated it with stickers that came as part of the kit.
Now kids being kids she quickly grabbed pieces and tried putting them together without looking at the instructions so my biggest kid (my husband) jumped at being part of the assembly group and ended up reading the instructions and helped in the tricky parts. At one stage I looked over and they were all scratching their heads but they all swear it was 'easy as' even though I did hear quite a few times 'your doing it wrong' or 'can you help me with this part'. We did find that one of the wings was broken and the part you are meant to attach to the legs was actually ripped so after a few suggestions were made they used cellotape to fix the small tear. Personally I don't think it needs wings but as it was the main decorating piece it had to be put on.
The longest part of the whole creation was the decorating as each sticker had to be placed very carefully on. I have to say it is the cutest ant I have ever seen. I really was not expecting too much and I am pleasantly surprised at the finished project. The really cool thing is it moves and it is rather speedy. It worked fine on the carpet but does not do well on the woolly rug but loves the lino. It is not the best in going in a straight line and the cats are so unsure what to make of it. We have yet to introduce the turtle to it.
The biggest issue I am having is whose room it is allowed to stay in so I am guessing it will not be too long before I end up caving and getting the Lady Bird which would then end up in getting the Buzzy Bee cause I am dying to see what the Caterpillar is like. It really is very cute.
I was very excited to see this product as a project for Miss 6. She loves getting in and making things from whatever she can; her imagination can be wild! But apart from the newly acquired Lego which she has found a fascination in, she has not made a lot of creations by following instructions.
Because she's only 6 and her first proper project, I enlisted her Grandfather to help her out. I remember growing up that he spent many many hours at night putting together intricate mini models of ships and army tanks, so I knew that he would be the man for the job of assisting in a 25 piece ladybug. So off they went, set to build a bug bot during the holidays. Grandfather made sure Miss 6 laid out the instructions, and all the pieces in their little sets so they knew what they were doing. She, of course, just wanted to go straight for the stickers! But was 'patient' enough to wait until the end to put those on - I think that was the best and most fun part for her. While the instructions were easy to follow, they did get confused a couple of times regarding pieces but another careful look at the paperwork got them back on track and produced a beautiful ladybug within a fast 30 minutes!
The 25 piece Bot I felt was the perfect number to keep Miss 6 amused and interested enough to complete the entire project and not get bored or frustrated with it.The beautiful colours made it even more enjoyable and the ability to place the stickers wherever was favourable meant that the ladybug could be personalised as Miss 6 felt the need to. And while it was a project for Miss 6 and her Grandfather, we all enjoyed watching Miss Ladybug on her maiden journey around the tiles! A robot came to life, and the satisfaction was easily seen on both involved faces.
While the price of $30 is on the high end of birthday presents, this would definitely be one I would consider for my daughter's friends as it ticks the boxes of both fun (her specifications) and educational (my specifications). Parental guidance for this age group was definitely needed, but not a project where they would need to take over and complete it. A great one to work together with.
We did find that her little shoes came off easily, and that has resulted in 4 of her 6 shoes being lost within the first few days. But in saying this, apart from the danger of having tiny pieces around young kids, it didn't harm the ladybug's walking ability at all.
When I saw the packet, I first thought it was a bit boring but it looked OK. I thought it looked like it had no real visual texture, there wasn't anything really interesting to look at because of the colours but the little robot did look interesting.
When I started putting it together, I got a bit confused by some bits until I opened the instructions. Younger kids really should be shown the instructions and told to follow them, because I started to grab bits and try and build it from the picture and almost got stuck. I found the instructions were easy to follow, but I still found some bits a bit confusing in places, but mostly it was OK. Putting the legs on was quite easy to do, but I quickly figured out that if you attach the legs to the bars first, then stuck them on to the axles, they went on a lot easier. This is something not really shown on the instruction sheet. The only real problem I had was the head. Putting it together, I accidentally put the nose in upside down and the head would not close up properly. Once I fixed that, sticking the head into the body was really hard so I had to get adult help for just that bit.
Putting the stickers on was mostly easy. My dad suggested I put the stickers on the wings before I put them on the body, so I could make sure they lined up with each other. Some stickers didn't want to come off the sheet as easily as others, but it worked out in the end and I have a sticker-covered bug now.
I had a go playing with it. I pretended it was a lego boss where little lego men had to battle it and get rewards... but they lost to the evil Beetle Queen. When it walks on carpet, it kept getting its feet stuck and walking around in circles of marching on the spot. It worked a lot better on smooth floors.
All in all, I liked it overall. It was fun to build and I like building things. I thought the little flip-down towbar on the front was a bit hard to do - You have to remember to push at the bottom, not pull at the top - but since I only have one bug right now that won't be a big issue.
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