Vex Robotics Hexcalator Construction Set Review: Perfect Gifts for the Science Girl or Boy on Your List #TMMGG2015
I am thrilled to share this first entry in my 2015 Thrifty Momma’s Tips Holiday Gift Guide. The Vex Robotics Hexcalator Construction Kit is the perfect toy for the science guy or gal on your list this year. But be warned this toy/ science and robotics kit is challenging, in a good way, so stick to the recommendations around age limits so your little one is not frustrated.
This science, technology, engineering and math construction set will eventually become a series of ramps, pullies, planes, inclines and rotating wheels that lift and move the eight balls that come with the set. It is essentially a small robotic escalator that also has two alternate builds. (I am impressed with that because often these kinds of kit toys have only one actual build and once the toy is done so is the playing.) But here you can dismantle the hexcalator to begin again and make a Dragonfly or Gyrocopter.
Have you heard of Hexbugs? The little robotic toys that resemble bugs and now fish too have been a massive hit for years. We had the Hexbugs environment and some of the first Hexbugs, which were pretty simple looking, like small beetle robots. We enjoyed those because they were a completely fresh take on smart toys for kids and they encouraged science, technology, engineering and math education. Essentially they got kids into robotics.
Each year since Hexbugs came out, the company that builds these smart toys, has managed to evolve slightly into something new. Each year I am surprised at how they continue to innovate in the field of toys that build STEM learning skills in the elementary school age set, and the tween and teen age group too. This year at Blogger Bash 2015 in New York City I spied these robotics kits and I was once again impressed with the way this company keeps reinventing their approach to robotics for kids. Soon after that the Hexcalator arrived here.
I was initially considering opening this when my nephew was here last. He’s not yet seven. But when my 11-year-old and I pulled the bagged pieces out and took a quick look at the instructions I quickly had to rethink that. The Hexcalator Construction Set indicates it is for ages 8 and up. My 11-year-old and I started this project and then very quickly realized we were in over our heads, so we had to call the ringer in (my 14-year-old daughter).
Payton took over and spent an entire afternoon putting this together. It was easily 4-5 hours of building. There are 260 plus pieces and many are super small. There are 8 balls inside the kit too. So get this for Christmas for your child if they are capable of focusing and reading instructions and if they like to learn in the kinaesthetic style. Payton was really hyper focused on making this work.
[tweetthis]Vex Robotics Hexcalator is a great gift for the science fan on your list #TMMGG2015[/tweetthis]
Payton has always been a super creative girl but she’s a science girl too. She mostly likes anything that explores learning and involves hands on opportunities to build and experiment. She’s the kid I used to catch creating explosive experiments in the bathroom at our old house. And that’s not a euphemism for something biological either. That’s a legitimate kid who bored easily and needed dozens of challenges to keep her brain occupied as soon as kindergarten. So this toy was built for kids like her. Sometimes it is hard to find challenging toys to gift kids over the age of nine so I really love that the Vex Robotics Hexcalator captures so many area of interest and helps develop so many skills. I find the price point actually way lower than I guessed it would be priced at. I assumed it would list around $80 Canadian when in fact you can buy it here on Amazon for $55.00 maximum. That’s a great deal for this quality.
For more information about how to get into my gift guide this year read this post: Thrifty Momma’s Tips Gift Guide Now Accepting Submissions.
And to see the gift guide this year you can click here: Thrifty Momma’s Tips 2015 Gift Guide.
[tweetthis]Vex Robotics Hexcalator is a steal in my opinion #TMMGG2015[/tweetthis]
I have seen this selling for $40 US and somewhere under $60 Canadian depending on the store. In the $40 to $50 range I frankly think this is a steal. The Hexcalator is hours of building and it’s hands on fun. Plus it has 2 other possible alternative builds. This is an excellent toy for a child 9 and up who loves building and science. I love that this can be used by girls and boys and fits ages 9 and upwards to 16 really in my opinion. I received product for consideration in this gift guide. My opinion is all my own.
Robin (Masshole Mommy)
What a great set -my boys would love this. They LOVE Hex Bugs!
They are a lot of fun!! Just different enough too.
My step son would have a ton of fun with the heccalator.
We had some of the first Hex Bugs too. The company’s products sure have come a long way since those cool little toys.
They really have evolved a lot. I like that about this brand.
This is so cool. My son loves robots and he enjoys building things. I will have to get him this for Christmas.
Put this on your list for sure then!
I like that this toy requires some thinking! It’s a really great toy for imaginative, hands on play!
What a great sounding kit – I have to admit even now I like building things. x
Oh this is way too cool. I love toys that get the kids thinking. It’s really nice that it has a couple alternative ways to build it too.
This looks pretty fabulous! All my kiddos would really love and appreciate this they love building things, especially together!
My daughter is in a STEM school and she would love this. I need to take a look into getting this for her.
I know a couple of people who would love this! Looks like fun!
This is a great idea and I love that this is easy to make. The kids and I will start making this for our game nights.
This is very interesting. I have nephews and nieces who will love this science project.
That looks so cool! I’d love this as a kid 😛
Now that is quite the project. It looks like so much fun for the young ones and something that really stimulates their minds too. I have a nephew who would love this.
My youngest is really into Robotics so this is a great idea for him for Christmas. I will have to check to see if they have anything for his age.
This is going to be a fantastic Christmas present. My kids loved to play with Hexbugs when they were younger.
My husband and daughter would have so much fun with this. We haven’t started playing with hexbugs yet, but its only a matter of time.
This is a great way for kids to use their imagination. I love the idea of them being able to build so many things.
We like to put things together. These kinds of toys are fun, and they’re great for teaching so many different kinds of things.
My nephews always loved those Hexbugs and each had a collection. I bet they would love the challenge of this set. Very cool!
These are amazing toys!! Hours and hours of mind therapy! Thank you for the fabulous review!
I know one or two I could give this to at Christmas, cool gift idea, thanks!
Okay now THIS is a cool toy! Creative too! 🙂
I honestly probably never would have thought of something like this for my daughter, but I think she’d love it!
Wow, this sounds like a great kit. Thanks for a great gift suggestion 🙂 I have a boy on my Christmas list this would be perfect for!
This would make a great gift for my grandson. He loves putting things together.
I dont have any grandsons but I have a granddaughter who is very interested in Science and anything mechanical
Very cool toy – my son would love one – think I need to start looking for Christmas!
I love how much creativity this toy allows!
This would be hours of fun, my daughter loves building things and taking them a part and rebuilding
Very interesting toy. I’ll have to see if any of our local toy stores have these as a floor model. My son is only 6, but easily builds other building toys labeled 8+ when the instructions are clear. I wonder if this would be difficult for him…
This looks so cool. My nephew would like this.
Looks like a fun toy. I think my husband would enjoy this too.
Such a cool kit, would make a great Christmas present!
Hex Bugs are very cool. Brilliant toy!
These sets are wonderful for keeping their minds engaged!
Such a cool toy, definitely something to consider for a Christmas present!
such a great kit! My son and my daughter would love to build with it!
Such an innovative toy!
Love that this toy is fun but very educational too!
Anything to do with ROBOTICS is very cool!
Love that it is a kit that both boys & girls would love!
We don’t have any HEX toys yet – this looks awesome!
This is a great learning kit! Would make a great present!
This is a wonderful present, unfortunately my grandkids are too young to manage this on their own.
I love these kinds of toys, keeps their hands and minds busy for hours
I love the name “Dragonfly or Gyrocopter” sounds so cool!
My daughter and all her friends would love to win this!
What a shame my grandchildren aren’t any older, I’d love this for one of them.
My husband really enjoys things like this as well. I love getting gifts that both kids and adult like and enjoy together.
I’ve narrowed down a few sets I’d like to get my daughter. This is such a great idea thank you again.
Hexbugs are really cool, I’ve never seen this before but it looks very cool too!
Sounds like it is a great learning experience to build this kit.
I think that this is marvellous and I believe that my son would have just as much fun as my granddaughter helping her to build one of these.
Great gift idea and good price.
I can just imagine how much fun my kids would have playing with this!
Such great mind engaging toys!
This would be perfect for my nephew who loves to build things!
I believe that my grandchildren are a bit too young for this, so instead I think this might be more for my son, he’s an adult but loves doing this sort of thing. 🙂
I love these kinds of toys that engage their minds and hands…. away from electronics.
This would be perfect for my nephew!
What a great way to promote a love of robotics for kids
I like this a lot and love that it encourages young children to think and use STEM skills.
I’m sure that which ever of my grandchildren got this that it would keep them busy for hours on end, would keep their minds turning too which is always good.
Love that this kit is fun and educational, my nephew would love it!
such a great set, my husband just may like helping the kids with it!
Who ever gets one of these will be occupied for hours on end. It certainly looks like a complicated machine and it will surely keep those brainwaves spinning 🙂
I love that this encourages creativity and learning while being fun – perfect!
I think it’s really good that it can be dismantled and you can then build a Dragonfly or Gyrocopter
Love that it is something that would keep them engaged for hours, lots of learning potential!