© 2012 Innovation First, Inc.
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In toy stores this spring, Bobble Bots are fast moving $6 micro-robots that scurry around in random directions, inside snap-together, LEGO-like doll houses that are sold separately. The durable, button-cell powered creatures were designed by Innovation First, makers of Hexbugs (...
In toy stores this spring, Bobble Bots are fast moving $6 micro-robots that scurry around in random directions, inside snap-together, LEGO-like doll houses that are sold separately. The durable, button-cell powered creatures were designed by Innovation First, makers of Hexbugs (www.hexbugs.com) and will be marketed as collectable toys by Mind Candy, the UK firm that publishes Moshi Monsters (www.moshimonsters.com). According to Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith "We met the team from Innovation First at the Las Vegas Licensing Show last Summer and really hit it off with them. We were very impressed with their Hex products and were keen to find a way to work together when we discovered they were looking to do a girls range with the same technology. We're being careful not to over license the Moshi Monsters brand but this felt like something completely new and innovative so we wanted to give it a crack." Never heard of Moshi Monsters? Just visit any bus stop. The well-designed virtual world for kids aged 6 to 12 years lets you create and take care of your own monster, who can then play games, chat with friends in Monstro City, and earn pets. The site is free at first, but can cost up to $60/year. Each robot will come with a special code that unlocks a virtual "Moshling," using the tried-and-true Webkinz model of merchandizing. The idea, Mind Candy hopes, is that once your child samples one, they'll want to get the entire set. Bobble Bots joins a growing line of Moshi-themed merchandise, that includes a Nintendo DS game, silver charms, rubber bands and plush toys. Be warned that Bobble Bots are noisy -- they sound like little electric razors. The buzzing is caused by a quickly rotating counterweight that causes the Bots to bounce around on tiny silicon legs, a hundred or so times per second, creating tiny jumps. This up and down motion, when bounced on the silicon and plastic legs, causes the forward, chaotic and bug-like motion. The technology was adopted from the roach-like Hexbug Nano, with the addition of a tiny bobble head, and the noise is sure to drive any adult from the room. Perhaps that's the idea.