Senario has released its latest toy to hit the market with Zibits mini remote-control robots. There are currently twelve different Zibits to choose from — an affordable collectible priced between $9.99-$14.99 at most toy stores. The Zibits robots stand just under three-inches-tall. They light up and make robot-like sounds as they glide easily over smooth flat surfaces.
On the Zibits website, consumers can learn more about the “personality” behind each Zibits mini robot. For the purpose of this review, I was sent Sproc, a scatter-brained explorer who fearlessly ventures out to discover new territories, but often loses his way. I would have prefered to have more of this personality profile information in the packaging, rather than just on the website. I’ve found that my own kids get easily hooked on both the look of a toy product, as well as the story behind each character.
As with all my toy reviews, I consulted the “experts,” namely my three-year-old and six-year-old daughters and their friends. Though the recommended age group for this toy is eight to ten-years-old, Sproc the Zibit heartily stood up to multiple children under the age of eight playing with it for several days of testing, and it maintained the interest of both my kids for the most part, as they still with it every couple of days. It captured the curious attention of both the boys and the girls in the group, and I have no doubt that if there had been a Zibit for each one of them, they would have had a blast racing them all across the hardwood floor at the same time.
My one minor criticism about its limited capability is that it’s not easy to direct onto a particular route. Using the mini-joystick remote control, a user can move the robot forward or spin it 360 degrees in a circle. It doesn’t make precise right and left turns, and when it spins, it spins quickly in an almost comical way. My kids didn’t seem to mind this drawback one bit though, and they thought that the frenzied spinning was hysterically entertaining. At just ten to fifteen dollars per robot, it is a fairly high tech toy for the price.
Note: This article was first published as “Toy Review: Zibits Mini R/C Robots” on Blogcritics.org.