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Meccano 6037618 Meccaspider Accessory

£99.99
build quality
fun
design
longevity

4.5

5

Overall

The Meccano MeccaSpider makes for a good introduction to STEM and I think this is perfect for kids who have no programming experience but are starting to show an interest in science and tech.

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Jennifer Watts

31st July 2017

By Jennifer Watts

Mum, Wife, Gadget Lover & Foodie


The Meccano MeccaSpider is a STEM toy, but one that’s accessible to kids. There are a lot of STEM toys out there right now which have all sorts of cool capabilities. This isn’t one of them. This is more basic, but the Meccano MeccaSpider makes for a good introduction to STEM and I think this is perfect for kids who have no programming experience but are starting to show an interest in science and tech.

First Impressions

It’s quite fierce looking and much bigger than I thought; about 20 inches front to back so this definitely isn’t a small or compact toy! It seems to have quite similar features to the Meccanoid robots and the Meccasaur so if you have other Meccano sets it’s probably quite familiar. The plastic pieces all appear pretty durable and strong, but then I’ve never had any trouble with the quality of Meccano sets before.

Building the MeccaSpider

This is a level 3 (intermediate) Meccano set designed for kids aged 10+. I think even at 10 most are going to need a bit of adult help though because it’s not always straightforward. The recommended build time is anywhere from 1 - 5 hours. We took about 4-5 hours to do it over the course of a couples of days. I think this is probably just about right for older kids who want to be able to get stuck into a good and enjoyable build, but are also keen to get to the end and see what it can do and how you can play.

Some of the parts will look quite familiar if you’ve built Meccanoid or Meccasaur before. The set comes with both of the tools you need, but it is a new design spanner which I found to be a little bit slippery and more difficult to use than the older spanners. We got there in the end though! Some parts were actually easier to build than I thought they would be. There was a lot of ball and socket action going on with the legs that the kids found quite easy to do once they got the hang of it so that was really good.

Playing with the MeccaSpider

You can control the MeccaSpider either using the buttons on its back, or by downloading the app (it’s free and works on both Android and iOS). The movements are incredible and very lifelike, so if you don’t like spiders then this might not be the best set for you! One of the most impressive features is the infrared sensor on the front which acts like eyes so the spider can ‘see’. It can avoid obstacles when it’s in autonomous mode, but it also sometimes chases its prey around the room which is quite fun.

The MeccaSpider’s ‘unique selling point’ is the fact that it squirts water (it’s supposed to be like spraying venom). I thought this feature would be quite short lived but it’s actually an important part of the games so we’ve used the venom feature quite a lot already. There’s a couple of good games in game mode, we like Venom Roulette’ where the spider spins around and then sprays someone, but there’s also a Simon-type game too. You can also put it into guard mode and it acts like a bit of a guard dog.

Downsides?

I really like this, the only thing that does bug me a little is that the MeccaSpider needs 5 x C batteries, and my kids have played with this so much so far that it’s costing me a fortune in batteries! Also, this wasn’t a problem for us, but if you’re planning on buying this as a gift be warned that it comes in a very weird shaped box with a handle that looks like it’s going to be a nightmare to try and wrap up!

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To read more on this model, check out the MeccaSpider homepage here (opens new window).

Images

  • Age: 10+
  • Complexity Level: 3
  • Batteries: 5 x C Batteries (Not Included
  • Model Number: 6037618

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