Hexbug Nano V2 Build Party

The Hexbug Nano V2 set. Photo by John Booth

The Hexbug Nano V2 Black Hole set – and some instant fans.

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…

Well, duh.

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.

We started by assembling the large Black Hole and the Hurricane habitats so the kids could set their Hexbugs loose in a nice range of towers, arches, and freefalls.

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.

So: How tall a tower can we build and still have the V2 drop into Black Hole set's funnel? Making a note here - HUGE SUCCESS.

Answer: At least this high.

(Here — have a Die Hard-inspired view of a Nano V2 playing John McClane.)

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.

Every family got to take home a habitat — Innovation First also sent along the Barrel Roll and Sky Max sets — and a handful of Nano V2s.

About John Booth

Writer John Booth lives in northeast Ohio with his wife and daughter. He is the author of the book "Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years."

About John Booth

Writer John Booth lives in northeast Ohio with his wife and daughter. He is the author of the book "Collect All 21! Memoirs of a Star Wars Geek – The First 30 Years."

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