“ Type: Costume „
It's extremely rare to discover a toy that manages to keep children entertained and amused whilst at the same time being an aid to keeping the home tidy! That is exactly what this so-called 'robot arm' manages to do and consequently it proved to be a popular item (for both children and adults, although for very different reasons) in our household for several years.
Originally starting out as an impulse buy at the checkout at Toys R Us, the robot arm, known to us as the 'grabber', immediately grabbed my oldest son's attention in the way that random toys sometimes do. Unusually, although this falls under the category of being a novelty toy, the novelty didn't wear off within a few days as it tends to and this proved to be worth its weight in gold, for both ongoing play value and sheer usefulness.
One of the attractions of this toy is its simplicity. It is merely a long sturdy bar with a opening and closing 'gripping' mechanism at one end and a handle at the other. The gripping movement is simple to operate with a single bar inside the main handle which needs to be pressed. The amount of pressure needed to operate the opening and closing motion is not excessive, making this a toy that can easily be operated even by very young children. (My oldest son was around six or seven when we originally purchased this and was able to use this with ease.) The only thing to be aware of with little ones is that the main body of the grabber is very rigid and can cause damage if thrown about or used to assault others! (My kids have managed to utilise these as a weapon as well as a tool so I can vouch for the ability to cause injury!)
This may not appear to be the most versatile of toys, with its chief function being the ability to grip hold of, pick up and deposit small items, but it is something that has a strange enduring appeal to young and old alike. It's difficult to resist picking one of these up and having a go at opening and shutting the grabber. Every child that entered our house would make a beeline for this grabber and, amazingly, tidying up and putting toys back into their rightful place was instantly transformed into a fun game. The grabber can cope with most typical play items - toy cars, jigsaw pieces and even intricate pieces such as small bits of lego (which proved to be challenging but fun to my boys.) This really has to have been designed by a parent! I could emphasise the educational aspects of this toy, as it clearly has the potential to help young children develop their co-ordination by attempting to pick up and drop appropriate items but, let's face it, this is a toy that encourages children to find tidying up fun! I really don't think I need to oversell this any more!
As well as a being a fun, appealing and functional toy, this has the potential to be used by a much wider audience. The length of the body is sufficiently long enough to allow it to retrieve items that have got lost under chairs or behind the television and, as the pressure needed is relatively little, this could be a useful aid to an older person struggling to bend down and pick up small items. The opening section does have rubber padding around the grips, so it shouldn't cause damage to any items picked up.
In terms of durability, this proved to be a pretty robust toy, as well as being a useful household aid, surviving several years of regular use, misuse and abuse. The grabber is not entirely indestructible, however, and ours eventually began to stick in the open position, meaning that quite a lot of force was needed to operate the grabbing mechanism effectively. In one over-zealous de-cluttering session, I did get rid of the grabber - although part of me wishes I hadn't - and I am seriously considering replacing it as this is a pretty inexpensive and useful product.
The grabber or 'robot arm' is exclusive to Toys R Us but can be ordered online for free collection instore or for home delivery. Currently costing just £4.99 (excluding delivery costs) this is an excellent value product, designed to delight children and their parents alike.
This little robotic arm is a very simple yet entertaining device that is about two thirds of a metre long, with an appealing yellow/black/grey/red colour scheme that makes it look like it should belong on a Transformer or in an automated car factory.
It has a handle like that of a spade, within which is an ergonomic second handle that when gripped, pulls on a label attached to the two pincers at the other end, closing them and thus allowing objects to be picked up and carried around and then dropped when the 'dead mans handle' is released. It's very straightforward design means that it is unlikely to break in a hurry, as does the fact that it is made of sturdy plastic pieces that are firmly fixed together.
It's a well-made, sleek looking and ingenious novelty toy with myriad uses- for example it is great for kids' sci-fi roleplaying, for making tidying up the bedroom fun for kids, or even as a labour-saving device for adults who just cant quite reach the can of beer/remote/bag of nachos from where you are sitting.
It does require a firm grip to successfully hold objects in the claw's grasp, but the easy manner in which the grip must be brought towards the user by firmly grasping it means that this is not difficult, and it is certainly fun to flex your fingers and see a big shiny red claw moving in unision the best part of a metre away from you, giving the illusion of bionic technology. The claw is a little expensive at £10-12, but it is well made and designed enough to make this expenditure ultimately worthwile.
My son is a typical into everything five year old. He has never been one for quiet games or puzzles. He is into all things that allow him to imaginary play that he is a 'workman'. A few months ago the little boy next door showed my son his new robot arm toy. I remember being facinated by these hand held devices when I was little. From the moment he saw this robot arm, my son nagged the living daylights out of me. Until in the end I did what all responsible, dominant and 'im the boss' parents do. I went and got him one!!
These 'robot arms' can be found in argos. They are basically a mechanical grabber which is used via squeezing the handle/lever at the top. The arm is around 20'' long and can very easily reach and pick things up. It is sturdy and strong. Which has pleased me, as my son is not very gentle with his toys. But this arm has proved to be both durable and safe.
What I really like about this toy is the fact that it can make the most mundain chores which used to cause arguments such as cleaning up toys, much more fun. As your child can use the grabber to pick the toys up. My son is becoming an expert at operating the grabber but initially he found that the things he was trying to pick up would slip out of the grabber. But with patience and pracise he has now become a grabber expert.
My son now tells me that he wants to be a leaf collector when he is older, on the counsel. So proud to see that my son has such high aspiraions. And when he is collecting the leaves and rubbish of the street I can thank myself for buying this toy and encouraging him on his career path. (Only jesting. As long as he's happy i'll be happy.)
Back to the grabber. It was only £4.99 which considering it was from Toys r us is very good value and extremely reasonable. I believe that this toy has more than earned it's price tag as it has kept my boy entertained for hours. He is continuing to find different uses for this device. such as reaching a toy on top of his wardrobe that I have placed away as punishment. (cunning!!)
I would certainly recommend one of these grabbers to anyone who has a child who is into gadgets and gizmos. This toy doesn't do anything apart from grab. However there is something about this product that captures a child's imagination. It is also a great toy for allowing your child to develop their role play skills. It has certainly made an impression in my household.
Just an afterthought which has sprung into my mind at this very second. I think these grabbers could be an absolute godsend for people who have mobility problems. My step mother has just broken her leg and I am sure she would find this grabber to be of great use. reaching things that she may have dropped onto the floor.
This toy is not exclusive to toys r us. I have recently seen them in Tesco for around the same price.
My son loves all sorts of gizmos and gadget and got hold of this robot grab arm in toys r us one day and didnt want to part with it.
We are not keen on buying as we are well aware of his sense of humour and that this would be used to annoy everyone. We managed to get out the shop without it but for days that was all that he would talk about. He told everyone that we met about it, including the lollipop man and the bus driver.
A few weeks later we went to visit my Mum and Dad and my Dad disappeared with my son and all I could hear was wild laughter and I knew then that my son was up to something.
He then came back carrying this robot arm. It is about 20 inches long and has a handle that when you clench you fist, you pull the handle together and that makes the grabber on the end tighten to pick things up, like his sisters sweeties or my handbag.
My son has had hours of fun with this ( some at his sisters expense) but has discoved lots of useful things to use it for like getting coathangers out his wardrobe when he cant reach etc. I have found uses for it too, being only 5ft 2 I use it to reach things on high shelves. It also encouraged him to tidy his room if you mention that he can use this.
Although it is a toy it is very useful.
Why is it children are always completely fascinated with toys that aren't their own? We spent Christmas Day at my in-laws, and Harry and his cousins had lots of fun playing together and sharing their toys. However, once Harry had clapped eyes on his cousin Jamie's "grabber", he was a boy obssessed and the two kept fighting over whose turn it was, despite the fact it was Jamie's toy! Being like an elephant, Harry didn't forget about the grabber so when we were in Toys R Us on a brief visit, Harry spotted a grabber in a end of aisle bin and was determined he had to have it. Since we knew how much he loved it, I relented and got him it for a little pressie.
This particular toy is called a Robot Arm and is sold only in Toys R Us as far as I am aware. There are different types of Robot Arms on the market, but this is the only one I have found so far. The arm measures 20" in length, so it is a considerable size for a toddler, but it is very lightweight and easy to use. It's nice and colourful too, with a bright yellow handle, black arm and red grabber, so its quite unisex. The arm is made of plastic and seems quite sturdy. Harry can be quite heavy handed with things, but its withstood his treatment so far and doesn't have any damage on it, so credit to the manufacturers for making it Harry-proof thus far!
The arm works on a pull-lever mechanism and this is easy enough for a toddler to operate one handed. You simply hold the yellow handle in your hand, squeeze the black inner handle inside the main handle, and then the "grabber" at the end of the toy closes fully. The harder you pull it, the quicker and firmer it shuts, so I have had to teach Harry to be a bit gentle with it otherwise he might damage something with it! The ends of the grabbing part are plastic so aren't particularly soft, so caution must be taken when your child is trying to grab things with it!
Although its a small toy, it really does make quite a noise. So much so that we've had to take the toy away from him after quite a lengthy play session because the noise of the grabbing part being used really wears on you and Harry doesn't seem bothered by it at all. It's a very noisy mechanical sound and is certainly louder than Harry's cousins toy which didn't really make a sound at all! This is definitely a negative of this product. I am sure they could have found a way to make this toy much quieter, but as it is, kids love it but unfortunately parents ears will have to suffer because of it!
A great thing about having this toy in the house is Harry enjoys trying to help us tidy up with it! We tell him to put his cars away, and he stands above for ages, concentrating so hard on trying to grab the toy between the small parts of the grabber! It does take quite a bit of co-ordination to pick something up with it, especially something small but I think Harry is definitely getting the hang of it, and enjoys picking up all manner of things over the house with it. It's not advisable to pick up large items with it because it isn't that strong, and your child might hurt themselves with it if they strain themselves trying to lift something.
For the money, which was only £4.99, I think this is a very good toy, and certainly one that Harry enjoys coming back to again and again. Although it is quite noisy and can be annoying, I can't stop Harry using it too much because he has lots of fun with it and anything that encourages him to tidy up is a blessing in my mind! It's a well made toy, quite robust and good value for money. I am glad Harry likes this toy, and I'd recommend it to anyone who has an inquisitive toddler who likes something a bit different!
The toy is available in Toys R Us, and on the Toys R Us website, priced at £4.99.
Thank you for reading.
Make cleanup time fun with the children's robot arm. The toy room will never look so good!