Solar power has been a promise since I was my son’s age. In the future. we were all supposed to have roofs covered in solar cells and not having to use ugly power lines to power our lives. We were barely able to get to the point of powering calculators. Fast forward 20 years and while there have been advances, we still don’t drive solar cars and we still have to have power lines run to our homes. Thankfully, there are more things run by solar cells than back when I was 11 and some of them are fun too. That’s where EFO’s solar toys come in.
The first 2 EFO sent me are solar powered bugs. One is a cockroach.
The other is a grasshopper.
Both of these have solar cells replacing the wings that would normally be on their backs. When you take them in to the sun, they will vibrate and dance around until the sun goes down. The motion is caused by what looks like a vibrator mode motor for your cell phone. The legs are made out of wire. The vibrations travel down the legs and make the bugs dance around.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmlOcHQcyXo[/youtube]
It is really fun to watch them bounce around.
The last toy EFO sent me, is a 6 in 1 Solar Education Kit where you can build a total of 6 different solar powered toys. You can build a Windmill, a Revolving Plane, a Stationary Plane, a Solar Puppy, a Air Boat and a Car.
The first thing you have to do when working with the education kit is build the solar panel module and the gearbox/motor module. Each of these modules have springs are used to connect everything electrically. These are the only two components that are made to stay together.
To build a toy, you simply add pieces to them depending on what you want to build. Once the toy is built, you make the electrical connections by using the included wires between the springs on each module. When sun shines on the cell, the toy will start to move.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDDtUwXp8rA[/youtube]
All of these toys absolutely need the sun to work. Some solar powered items will work fine on indoor light, but none of these would work at all unless they are exposed to real sun. The best time of day to play with these is during the middle part of the day around lunchtime. In the low evening sun, it’s pretty much impossible to get any of these to work.
EFO Gadget Shops solar toys are fun to play with. Even my son likes playing with the cockroach and grasshopper. Any 4th to 5th grader would love playing with these cool toys.
What I liked: Cockroach and Grasshopper required no assembly. 6 in 1 Solar Education kit taught many different ways of using the sun to power a toy.
What Needs Improvement: The wire in the 6 in 1 is the braided style of wire rather than a solid wire. This occasionally made it harder to connect the solar panel and the motor.