: 4-5cm each.
: Molded silver-gray, clear, and black plastics. Painted Blue & Red (Optimus Prime), Yellow, Black, and Red(Bumblebee), Black & Purple(Lockdown), and Green and Red(Crosshairs).
: Released May 2014 at an SRP of US$7.99 each.
Transformable Nano moves by vibration technology!
What better for a robot movie tie-in toy than actual robots? Innovation First is releasing several series of Transformers-themed Hexbugs to coincide with Age of Extinction. First up, we're reviewing the Nano series of basic bristlebots: we've got Bumblebee, Lockdown, Crosshairs, and Optimus Prime.
The bugbots each have their own unique shells patterned after their humanoid counterparts' bodies, but in an abstract way. The resemblences are most accomplished by color, but the shapes and patterns do generally reinforce it: Bumblebee's Hexbug seems to resemble his new battle mask, but the package and the toy show his older, unmasked face. Lockdown's the only one whose chassis suggests eyes, but Optimus' suggests his facemask and cheek vents. Crosshairs is probably the least evocative of his face or body, but conversely seems the most insectoid, so it works.
And since this is Transformers, each of the bugs "transforms" by opening their wings to reveal a monochromatic tampographed version of the character's face. By traditional Transformers-toy definitions of "transformation" it's a bit lacking, but in terms of little robot bugs, it's a neat extra, and the design lets you have bugs with spreadable wings, so that's cool. And on the whole it's still more creative than Speed Stars, Hasbro's Hot Wheels-style cars with robots sculpted into the bottom. Some of the Nanos have wings that open "backwards" - that is, the part of the bug I would call the head is at the opposite end from where the wings connect to the body. Probably my fault for trying to insectomorphize a small rectangular robot.
And of course the primary feature of the Hexbug Nano: turn the switch on the bottom, and the tiny little oscillating motor makes the bugs skitter across flat surfaces. For one thing, they're fast! A good bit faster than I'd been expecting in fact. For another, if you have a problem with bugs the movement is similar enough that it may give you pause. It did me, and I was not expecting that, so if you're freaked out by bugs, be prepared. They seem to work best on a smooth surface with lots of room, though obstacles to bounce off of could be helpful too. The kind of kid who loves bugs and/or robots will probably love these- but you'll need to watch where you step once you have them because I can see them getting away from kids easily.
It's not really fair or even possible to try and rate these as I would an action figure. They're a fun little toy with a fun little gimmick, and I suspect they'll be even more appreciated infesting a toybox in large numbers than they would as singles. Though at $8 apiece, infesting will take some investing and I don't know how attractive that will be to you as a parent. Especially for the Transformers fankid in your life, since there are TF toys not that much more expensive available. These could make great quick treats or stocking-stuffers come holiday time, but if you're looking for a novelty you might want to jump up to the Warriors, which for $2 more apiece come with accessories and a battle game built in. But they're definitely cute and fun.
The items featured in this review were provided to TFormers by the manufacturer for the purposes of the review.
Hexbug Nanos Gallery (14 images) Image Gallery