EyeClops BioniCamFall 2008 Toys
Ages: 8 & Up
Manufacturer: Jakks Pacific, Inc.
Review:When a youngster shows signs of interest in science, a parent or grandparent is almost sure to show up with a microscope at the next gift occasion. Too often, these well-intentioned and expensive pieces of lab equipment gather dust, due to their intimidating looks, delicate controls, and array of small, easily lost accessories. The EyeClops Bionicam offers a redesigned microscope (think "eyeball on a stick") combined with digital photography for still and video images. Bionicam in hand, young scientists can peer at the world at magnification of 100x, 200x, or 400x. See Lincoln sitting in his monument on the penny! Watch yourself sweat! Make a movie starring an ant! The images can be reviewed on the camera or transferred via USB drive to your PC for even closer viewing. This is a well-conceived device that combines the natural curiosity of children with high-tech entertainment, but there a few drawbacks. Our Bionicam often informed us that its batteries were low, immediately after we had installed new ones. Younger users with unsteady hands found the camera frustrating to use at times; at these high magnifications, it is easy to miss the target for your shot if your hands are wobbly. Once we mastered the learning curves of battery life, hand positions, and that images read best in good light, the choruses of "oohs" and "aahs" resumed.
Ann Hillers ©2008 Parents' Choice
Ann Hillers is a mother of three young boys and former international tour director. Her travels led her to more than 60 countries, a few of which she's trying to get back to with her family. She is a published poet and creative writing graduate of Duke University, now residing in Baltimore.
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Jakks Pacific, Inc.http://www.jakkspacific.com
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