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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Pretty Cool -- but doubt you'll use it more than once
on October 2, 2012
The packaging is impressive, intriguing, exciting -- and leads you to believe you're getting much more than what is inside. Inside the box, you'll find a number of little plastic bags filled with multi-colored plastic parts, just waiting for you to snap them together to create the Alien on the lab table. We finally got the little guy together --but it was hardly worth the effort. We spent more time putting this toy together than we did playing with it.
The instructions were less than clear. The very first instruction is to remove the battery pack door with a screwdriver. Hmmmmm. Where's the battery pack door? I found it taped between two pieces of cardboard. And although the plastic parts are multi-colored, the instructions are in various shades of gray, so it is difficult to tell what part goes where.
Once you get the Alien mold assembled and you've added four AA batteries (not included, of course), you're left with several plastic parts - a syringe, a tiny spoon with a hook on one end, and a tiny beaker, apparently with measuring marks on one side -- though they are very, very hard to see, almost imperceptible -- and four tiny bags of "ingredients." The total amount of edible ingredients is about 3.5 ounces -- less than a small box of Jello. You get one bag of lung bug mix, one bag of stomach mix, and two bags of intestine mix. The contents of the ingredient packets are not identified, but I'm assuming it's mostly sugar and gelatin for the first two experiments, and sugar, flour, and cornstarch for the gut experiment. With a healthy dose of finger-staining food coloring added in. Sadly, none of the bags are resealable. (Just putting the ingredients in zip-loc bags would be a huge improvement.)
There are three "experiments" to do. The "lung bug and eye" experiment involves creating a dark gray/black/purple "gummy mix" out of warm water and powder, then pouring it into the alien's eye sockets and injecting it, using a syringe, into the alien's lungs. Let set, peel & eat. Yum -- little blackish sort-of-banana-flavored blobs, somewhat similar in consistency to gummi bears. There you have it.
The "intestine experiment" involves pouring a liquid mixture into the alien's intestinal cavity, then creating a second gelatinous blue mixture iand injecting it into the alien's intestinal cavity, where it is set by the first mixture. Again, inject mix with syringe, let set, open lungs, pull out intestines, eat and enjoy! Couldn't peg a flavor on the intestines. These have a gelatinous texture -- think blue, stringy jello.
The "guts experiment" involves putting a thick, olive green "stomach mix" into a rubbery "belly pan." Turn the battery-power know and the mixture bubbles and little slug-shaped pieces that jump out of the rubber bladder and spill down the sides of the alien. Wow. You have to use four AA batteries just to boil a single tablespoon of guts. Those are some expensive guts. I thought this mixture was the most disgusting of the three-- it was dense and floury, a thick, flour water, and probably cornstarch paste, with a touch of sugar thrown in for good measure. Hard as a rock as soon as it sets. Alternatively, you can remove the belly pan from the alien, put in in the freezer -- and then eat and enjoy your frozen cookie. There you have it. You're paying quite a premium for a single, cornstarchy popsicle puck not even two inches in diameter.
After you've done the three experiments, you get to disassemble all of the parts for a good cleaning. And you'll need to get out the scrub brush. The lung bug goo has gelled in every crack and crevice of the syringe and is all over the alien parts. After you get everything cleaned up, I doubt you'll have much use for a repeat encounter with Alien Autopsy. There is no information on how to purchase replacement ingredients. And curiously, the Alien, when assembled, doesn't fit in the box it came in. So what do you do with it?
This toy is somewhat cool and it definitely comes in an impressive box. But it doesn't have much staying power. And we definitely spent more time assembling the Alien than we did playing with him. If you're looking for something fun to do for fifteen or twenty minutes, feel free to give this a try. The jumping green guts was by far, my eight-year-old's favorite "experiment" and it was pretty fun to watch. For a minute or two. But for my money, I think you're better off buying something you might want to use more than once.
UPDATE: Day two with Alien Autopsy, and much to my surprise, my eight year old came home from school and wanted to make more guts. She reassembled the Alien on her own, mixed up the green gut mix (which I've come to learn, after reading the back of box, is made of cornstarch and ground up chocolate cookies) and made herself a frozen gut cookie, along with some lung bug eyeballs (which she didn't eat). I had to do much of the cleanup. But we are up to two uses of this product. And she seemed to enjoy it.