Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bugging out -- Discovery Channel's Bug Net Launcher


When we opened the box and the toy emerged, Seth's eyes grew big. As I explained the premise behind the toy, I could tell by the look on his face. Saying the word "launcher" was all it took -- the boy was in love.

The Bug Net Launcher looks like a futuristic gun. The four safety darts are attached to a mesh net. When you pull the trigger, the darts fly out. This pulls the net over the unsuspecting insect, butterfly, spider, or even toad. (Yes the net is big enough to cover a small toad or frog.) And if you're wondering about spring action? Oh yeah. The launcher shoots the darts/net so fast, the critter won't have time to react.

The darts can be difficult to jam back into the gun but determined youngsters will find ways around that once you tire of doing it for them. (Like putting all the darts back into the gun then pushing it up against a hard service like the sidewalk or retaining wall.)

As for "catching" stuff, a good aim and a steady hand helps. But so does a plentiful supply of "specimens" for targets. While Seth has the first two, we've found the bug supply lacking lately. But I'm sure summer will bring a vast amount of insects.
Oh and if you're hosting a playdate of more than one child, be beware. Three boys + one bug launcher = drama. ("Hey, quit hogging the gun! Its MY turn!") Oh and depending on the rambunctiousness of the group, the gun may quickly be used for other, um, endeavors instead of its intended purpose. (Not that I had the latter experience but from watching the older kids running around in our 'hood? Its doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that one out.)

For the kid who practically lives in the backyard, is fascinated by bugs, and has a strong love of "weapons"? This toy (priced at $24.95) is something you'll want to look into -- especially since we're on the cusps of summer.
This review was written on behalf of The Parent Bloggers Network. For more reviews on this product, go here.