Monday, September 20, 2010

A Hexbug Party

MomSelect sent me a kit so that I could have a Hexbug party for 10 of Kyle's friends.  We got some great product to keep, as did all of the guests (that's the disclosure, folks).  None of my friends are involved in this aspect of social media, so they didn't get it.  They didn't get why they sent me the stuff "free," and why they got to keep some of it.  When I sent out the invite via email, I tried to explain it, and said, "There's nothing to buy at all.  They want me to show my friends and get your opinion."

But after watching our kids play with these things for over an hour without growing bored or wanting to do something else, I think that they see the value in this kind of word-of-mouth marketing.  I figured that I was sent at least $400 worth of product, if not more, and each guest left with over $30 worth of product to keep. , including 3 of their own Nano Hexbug Robots. But for the cost of sending out that kit to me, I think that company gained 10 new customers.

Each kid loved playing with the Hexbugs on the Hexbug Nano Habitat Set, the moms loved the creativity of them and the fact that it would be an easy Christmas gift to ask for, and how each set can work with the other sets.  The track is very easy to put together.  These kids were about 6-years-old, and they each were able to manipulate and reconfigure the track very easily.

I am sad that Kyle will no longer play with his trains.  He's now at an age where he could make pretty cool tracks himself, but I think that this is the perfect step up from that.

We didn't get any of this out until our party on Saturday, but since then, Kyle has played with them multiple times per day.  He's named his Hexbugs and "fed" them (that's all imaginary), and let them "exercise."

Are you still asking yourself, "What is a Hexbug?"  Basically it's this little colorful thing that is about the size of a large toothbrush head, and moves around like a cockroach (A friend of mine who is also originally from Texas made this observation, and unfortunately we Texans are experts on giant roaches.  Forgive the unpleasant diversion from my otherwise excited post about this fun product).  The Hexbug Habitat sets allow them to run around like on a track or a maze.  There is also a Battle Bridge set coming out in October (but that we received for the party), so that you can set two cockroaches Hexbugs to battle.  The one left on the little orange bowl longest, wins.

Another guest said that her 12-year-old nephew was familiar with them as well, and his friends liked collecting them.  A friend who couldn't come said that her older sons have them as well.  This was the first that me or any of my guests had seen of these Hexbugs, but I guarantee it won't be the last.

By the way, a few of my guests were girls (who happened to have brothers, so they are used to this sort of thing, I'm sure), and I had some pink Hexbugs to give away, but they enjoyed them just as much, I think!

Thanks MomSelect and Hexbug for letting me host a party!


They also sent a bunch of ideas for Hexbug party games.  We played a few of them, but I can honestly see how you could have a Hexbug birthday party, and play these games.  Each child's "goodie bag" could be their own Hexbug (which cost about $10, I think -- a little high for a party, but it's cheaper than going somewhere else, right?).  Some of the games included:
  • Bug in Your Pants -- The kids pass a bug (turned on and buzzing I guess) around behind their backs, a la musical chairs.  When the music stops, the person in the middle (who was blindfolded) has to guess who has the bug.  If they guess right, that person is "it." If they guess wrong, you add another bug (to make it easier), and that person tries again.  Amanda, my 12-year-old, led this game, and by this point the moms and I were out on the back deck talking, so I don't know how it went over (10 6-year-olds squealing and playing with bugs are VERY loud).
  • Bug-A-Baloo -- Turn a box over that has a few 1 - inch doors cut out around the base, and then you put all the bugs under the box.  You can assign a point value to each door, and as the Hexbugs come out, they get that number of points.  Play a few rounds, and see who gets the most.  If some of the children have the same color Hexbug, mark it with a small sticker on top that will identify theirs.
  • Challenge the kids to make the longest (or the tallest) habitat trail that they can out of the pieces available.  Then time them to see whose Hexbug is fastest.
  • Nano Palooza races -- Create a start and finish line.  Give each child two toilet paper or paper towel tubes.  Each player puts the tubes on the ground one in front of the other.  When you say "Go" they put the Hexbug in the first tube.  When it goes through the first tube, they pick it up and put it in front of the other tube.  They keep doing this end over end until the Hexbug reaches the finish line.
  • There were also suggested relay races (taking the Hexbug on a flyswatter), and some crafts, but I was glad I hadn't planned too much.  These younger kids really enjoyed just playing, especially since it was their first time seeing them.
Have you heard of Hexbugs?  If so, how old is your child who is interested?


Carrie said...

I've never heard of these either. And before I read your description of what Hexbug was, I looked at the picture and thought, "That looks like a roach."

Hail, fellow Texan!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

This is the first I've seen or heard of Hexbugs. I'm sure my #2 guy would enjoy them since he loves building with tracks.

Katrina @ Callapidder Days said...

Fun, fun, fun!

Let me just warn you...sometimes a child turns a hexbug on and then forgets about it. Much later, it gets stuck somewhere and the only reason you know is because you hear a buzzing/rattling sound, but can't quite pinpoint it. It can take a while to track down the little bugger. :)

Martha said...

We love them!! If you get more we would love to have them. I wish they would go on sale more often so we could increase our stash.

Barb @ 1SentenceDiary said...

I've been looking for a gift for my nephews (ages 4.5 and 8.5) and I think this might do the trick. They are expecting new siblings (twins!) and I wanted to get them something fun for themselves.

Thanks for posting those adorable photos of the party!

Erin said...

We do have Hexbugs, but no tracks since I've been rather skeptical of it's entertainment factor. Until reading this. (The take apart feature appeals to me.)

My son did create his own track with a Costco box (large), and glued toilet paper rolls and smaller boxes inside of it. Only problem, it can't be folded up or taken apart.