Geek toys review: Skitterbot!

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The Skitterbot is one of those toys you buy for your kids, but end up hoarding for yourself. It's that awesome. The stylish body of this six-legged mecha-insect is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and when activated, it scurries around the floor at a speedy one foot-per-second. You can choose from four different colors—red, blue, green, and white—and all of them look fantastic covering the Skitterbot's armored shell. You control the Skitterbot via an oval remote that also doubles as a USB-powered recharger (via a retractable data port on the remote and a cord that plugs into the Skitterbot's mouth).

Sending the little monster in different directions is attained by pressing one of the remote's five buttons—left, right, back, forward, and stop. Precision jukes and moves are tough to master though, as once a movement button is pressed, the Skitterbot will rocket off in that direction indefinitely until another one is mashed. Sadly, the Skitterbot can't jump, and those tiny legs tend to skid along smooth surfaces when you change its trajectory. Battery life is kinda so-so as well—about 15 minutes of non-stop skittering—but that's plenty enough time to generate some heroic pet/spouse-scaring.

You bring the Skitterbot to life by toggling a small switch under its rump; and you'll know when it's turned on, because the Skitterbot's eyes will glow and pulse at you, staring directly into your soul. Pitting two Skitterbots against each other is pretty much euphoria. I could watch my two little guys battering-ram one another for hours and not get bored. Playing with them in the dark is even better, as their angled, plastic bodies look like miniature UFOs dashing around the carpet. For God's sakes, show your inner child you still love him and buy a Skitterbot.

Grab one here

It'll cost ya : $15 (plus shipping)

It'll terrify your cat because: Its crimson carapace acts as a natural defense mechanism to feline incisors. Also, it sounds like a mini-machine gun whilst skittering.