I’ve got three nephews of Hexbug-appropriate age, so when Innovation First International asked if I’d like to throw a “build party” for them — and a few of their friends and cousins — using the new Nano V2s and playsets…
If you’re unfamiliar with the second generation of Hexbug Nano, the V2, the difference is a trio of bristles on top. These allow the skittering mecha-critters to climb vertically within the new series of habitats, making it possible to incorporate loops and freefalls into the designs.
The appeal to this particular audience — boys and girls ages 4-11 — was undeniable; as soon as we broke out the supply of single-pack Nano V2s (each packaged with its own length of habitat tube), they just went bonkers for them.
I deliberately avoided GeekDad Curtis’ take on the Nano V2 bugs until after our party, but when I compare my notes with his post, I see several common concerns: the climbing bugs do seem a little too easily hung up on vertical tube connections, there’s a degree of flimsiness to the habitats, and we also wished for some horizontal curving tracks. And with close to a dozen Hexbugs active in the habitats at any given moment — some were on the tables, chairs and floors — traffic jams were common in the vertical chutes and the three-way intersection at the base of the freefall funnel. This kept us and the kids busy bugsitting.
It wasn’t long before we started experimenting, figuring out ways to combine the habitats using tunnels and bridges, and seeing how high we could build a tower that would successfully drop a bug into one of the funnels.
My oldest nephew also hit on the idea of putting a couple Hexbugs into the Star Wars origami finger puppets he made — to great effect:
All in all, a raucous and fun time, and a great way to pass a chilly Ohio November afternoon.