ToysBulletin.com reviews a inventive maze from MindWare.
Before reviewing this product, we had to find out what “KEVA” was all about. It turns out that “KEVA” generally refers to something that has stability or permanence. From a toy standpoint, “KEVA” is usually associated with wooden planks that measure 4 ½”L x ¾” W and ¼” H. They are used to stack and build structures that are amazingly sturdy, and young kids find them simple to use.
The “KEVA Maker Bot Maze” takes those wooden planks to a new level in construction toys. The idea is for kids ages 7 years old and up to build a maze using the wooden planks and a large assortment of obstacles. Once the maze is in place, two fully customizable bots can be turned loose inside the maze to see if they can find their way around, even looking for a possible exit.
The kit includes 38 KEVA wooden planks, 24 KEVA connectors, 2 battery powered bots (batteries included) and an ample amount of blocks, balls, pipe cleaners, feathers, felt, string, googly eyes, glue and craft foam. After putting together a maze using as many planks as desired, the rest of the parts can be turned into obstacles to place inside the maze to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting bots. Additionally, the parts can be used to decorate and personalize the bots, which measure approximately 1¾” in length and stand ⅞” in height. As mentioned by the designers, “Creativity is the key to becoming a master maker!”
There are also some suggested maze designs included in the instructions that will help to get things started. We tried the Bot Wash right away, as the maze took on the appearance of an actual car wash, using planks, connectors and felt to brush the bot and a unique feather duster, making use of a feather, planks, connectors and a pipe cleaner to give a drying effect. It was fun to watch the bots race frantically around the completed maze.
We did design our own maze, a large race track, using some household items as obstacles, including sticky paper and clear tape to create some road bumps, and some Lego blocks and figures to add some realism. Really, anything goes and everything works.
The Bots work amazingly well. They each have a small on/off switch and the battery can be changed with ease. The battery is a 3V Lithium button type, and we found them readily available for as low as 40 cents each. The battery powers a vibrating motor that causes the bristles on the bottom of the bot to move just enough to propel them forward. The bots turn, change directions and are completely unpredictable when they strike an obstacle, which is of course, what makes the “KEVA Maker Bot Maze” so much fun, and educational too.
The “KEVA Maker Bot Maze” retails for $39.95 and can be purchased directly from the MindWare website.