Hands-on: Hexbug Strandbeast is a hypnotising robotic creature (video)
There's nothing quite like a colourful micro robotic creature to grab our attention and the Hexbug stand at the Toy Fair 2014 in London was definitely one to visit for just that.
The company unveiled a number of new products including the Strandbeast, an eight-legged walking micro robot that really does catch the eye. It is described as having a "mesmerising walk" and we would completely agree. As it speedily moved its legs in opposite directions simultaneously, we weren't sure where to look and found ourselves almost hypnotised by it.
The Hexbug Strandbeast features a two-channel infrared remote control, just like the Hexbug Battling Spiders, but this micro robotic creature can do all things wonderful.
The remote is easy to use and the response time is quick, showing no lag between command and action. You can operate each side of the Strandbeast's legs independently and you will be able to direct them forwards, backwards and even in turning motions so you can imagine the kind of mish-mash of leg movements you can create.
The remote can also be used to control two Strandbeasts independently or multiple Strandbeasts in unison, so if you fancy more than one of the eight-legged creatures, you can have a Strandbeast party with this addition to the Hexbug range.
We didn't get a chance to try out the multiple Strandbeasts using one remote, but given how smoothly the one Strandbeast operated, we suspect you will see the same response from a couple.
Just like many of the Hexbug products, the Strandbeast is available in a range of colours, five in this case, and if they are anything like the rest of the company's range, you can expect some bright, vibrant options.
The colours are all translucent and expose the electronics and mechanisms, which is something we really like about the design. The company says it's also a good way to get kids to think about the science inside the robot. Fun and educating - that's a winner in our book.
The Hexbug Strandbeast is said to be suitable for ages 8 and above and will available in the second half of 2014 for £39.99.