Look out for creepy-crawlies under the Christmas tree this year! If your kids are crazy about cars and insects, look no further than Mattel’s Bug Racer. This toy race car is for children ages six and up and it’s piloted by crickets! Actually, it is a vehicle and a cricket habitat all in one and uses sensors inside the habitat to move based on the cricket’s motion.
How It Works
- The Bug Racer is a battery-operated vehicle in the shape of a winged insect and it’s powered by ‘eleCrickety.’
- When the cricket is in the control room, motion sensors pick up on its every move.
- In ‘Cricket in Charge,’ mode, the cricket will drive the car by itself. If it crashes into something, the vehicle will reverse and redirect.
- The race car also doubles as a cricket habitat and can hold up to five crickets.
- The habitat is removable from the car for easy cleaning and transfer of crickets.
Crickets will have to be purchased separately. Mattel recommends medium to large crickets for best vehicle operation, around an inch in length.
The Bug Racer features four driving modes: Cricket in Charge allowing crickets to power the car themselves, Drag Racing, Autodrive and Light Show.
When the toy first hit the toy store shelves in 2015, it was claimed as the ‘worst toy ever’. Peta branded it ‘as cruel as it is ridiculous’ and demanded it be taken off the shelves immediately.
An executive for Mattel admitted at the time of it’s release that some consumers would find the Bug Racer ‘creepy’. She also said: ‘We haven’t lost a cricket behind the wheel yet’.
This toy car will either have you jumping for joy or creeping for the door. If the Bug Racer has you buzzing with excitement, you’re in luck. It’s still available in stores and of course, crickets are not included!