Friday 21 April 2017

StikBot ZANIMATION Studio Review (age 4+)

StikBots are bendy little characters who have moving arms, legs, torso and head. Their hands and feet are suckers, so they stay where you put them and are ideal for creating stop-motion animation films. Perfect then that they've released their own StikBot ZANIMATION Studio.

The StikBot ZANIMATION Studio is suitable for age 4+ and we've been sent one to review. It promises to make a movie director out of us all and includes everything you'll need barring an actual device - smartphone or tablet. My son is using a 4 year old phone and the app. still worked on his old Android version.

Included in the box are 2 StikBots, a tripod, staging and scenery. We were also sent the Hair Styling Set with a gold StikBot and 9 different hats and hairstyles.

Setting up the staging is easy and takes seconds, simply curving and slotting the backdrop into the base. Very cleverly everything will fit into that base for safe storage afterwards.

You have a choice of blue and green screen for your animations, which is excellent and opens the technology up to what the child already has in their house. If their favourite toy car is green, simply flip out the backdrop, turn over the floor and return the backdrop the other way around to show blue screen.

We were also sent the Hairstyles Action Pack - with 9 different hair and hat and zombie head pieces...

The tripod is really sweet, easy to use and fits any phone we can find, but it's just not stable enough. It falls over and wobbles too much really for any busy household and was ultimately the cause of many 'you nudged me' arguments. It works better if there's only one of you...or if you blue tack it to the surface.

Animating the StikBots is child's play - literally. They're very easy to use and the clever way they are shaped means all manner of poses can easily be achieved and held for the photo. The Zanimation app. itself is ridiculously simple to use and completely intuitive. My 8 year old got it instantly.

In fact he was so keen to carry on through mealtime, he animated his tea as he ate it...

For anyone with experience of editing video the app. is limited, but keeping it simple opens it up to much younger children and makes it fun straightaway. There are masses of sound effects - although as often happens, you have to trust you put the sound effects in the right place, as the preview doesn't play them exactly the same as the finished product will. That's confusing at first, but 'save' the movie and it'll be where you wanted it.

Here's our 1 minute movie reel....

You can share your animation through Social Media and then save it to another device as an MP4.

It's great fun, we've all had a go and mainly the Zombie Hairstyles do mean we end up with many zombie StikBots and lots of running away, but why not. The StikBots are easy to move and stick to the scenery really well, so they aren't frustrating for younger Movie Directors.

The StikBots Zanimation Studio is available now rrp £21.99, and the StikBots Hairstyles Action Pack has an rrp of £9.99. From all good toystores instore and online, including Amazon.

Find out more and check out some of the things you can do on the StikBots Website.

We were sent our StikBots sets for review.

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