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LEGO Boost Creative Toolbox 17101 Building and Coding Kit (847 Pieces)
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- Includes over 840 LEGO pieces, plus a LEGO Move Hub, Interactive Motor and a Color & Distance Sensor
- Move Hub features Bluetooth low energy (BLE) connectivity, two encoded motors, activation button, internal tilt sensor and a light
- Color & Distance Sensor detects distance, motion and color, and can also function as a light
- Building instructions for all 5 models are included with the free LEGO Boost app, requires 6x AAA 1.5V batteries (not included).
- Vernie the robot stands over 10in (27cm) tall, Guitar4000 measures over 1in (5cm) high, 16in (42cm) long and 5in (15cm) wide
- A tablet or mobile phone is required, but not included. Compatible with selected iOS, Android, Kindle and Windows 10 devices with BLE 4.1 and newer. Compatible with selected mobile devices.
- Download the LEGO Boost App in the Amazon Appstore: amazon.com/dp/B075LL7KGB
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From the manufacturer
LEGO Boost Features & Functions
5 In 1 Model
Kids can build Five models from One set, and each educational toy model is progressively more challenging.
Vernie The Robot
A robot that dances, cracks jokes and passes gas.
Frankie The Cat
An interactive pet that plays, purrs and expresses its mood.
A musical instrument learning toy with pitch bend and sound effects.
A robust, versatile rover with four different tool attachments including a spring-loaded shooter.
An automated production line that really builds miniature LEGO models.
Simple Coding. Challenging Fun!
Start inspiring their future with creative play!
LEGO creations come to life with LEGO Boost, a robot kit for kids! Using the free app on a tablet, kids can code behaviors into whatever they build!
- They can build and code interactive, motorized robots, models and creations with distance, color and tilt sensor technologies
- Download the free tablet app to your device and follow the step-by-step instructions for this great STEM toy
- This set also includes a playmat for use with specific activities, and a LEGO Boost wall poster
Boost your LEGO building experience with the amazing LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox. Build and customize Vernie, your own personal talking robot friend, code its behavior and complete fun activities with the included playmat. Speak to Vernie and it will respond with facial expressions that reflect its mood. Vernie can move in all directions at variable speed on its large tracks, see objects and colors, sense distance, grip and carry accessories, make hand gestures and launch darts from its shoulder mounted shooter! Vernie also senses and reacts to impacts and knows when you pick it up. Rebuild Vernie to create the M.T.R.4 (Multi-Tooled Rover 4), Guitar4000, Frankie the Cat or the AutoBuilder, all controlled via your smart device with the free downloadable app that also includes digital LEGO Building Instructions for all 5 models, plus cool activities and ideas to spark your imagination.
Top customer reviews
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LEGO boost is 80% of the learning at 50% of the cost and 20% of the hassle of LEGO’s fancier Mindstorms product. LEGO Boost compares really well to all other competing robots out there, so if you want your kid to know about coding, robotics, mechanics or technology, it’s a really easy choice. The age range is spot-on: 7 to 12 years old seems just right.
TOP PROS: 1) Great value for what you get; 2) Extensive models for a lot of fun; 3) Painless setup so that kids can use the app and Bluetooth connection easily.
TOP CONS: 1) Needs an iPad or Android tablet, which can triple the cost; 2) Limited accessories and other sensors/motors so far; 3) App can be very confusing at times and the “unlocking” of levels is irritating
WHAT CAN LEGO BOOST DO?
You can build 5 different, intricate projects right out of the box. LEGO included a huge assortment of great parts so that you can build a standing robot, a guitar, a “factory”, a cat, and a horizontal rover bot. Each model is part toy and part experiment because the app has included code that makes the characters lively and interactive while leaving room for customization. All the sounds and processing is done by your tablet, so that’s a smart way to save costs and make the “brain” brick really simple (which LEGO calls the “Move Hub”). The LEGO Boost app guides you through building and programming each robot in a set of challenges that are unlocked as you go. My 7-year-old and I could only figure out how to do Vernie the tall robot so far, which was sad because he wanted to start with the guitar or factory. This is minor bump in the road, though, because I envision this being a popular toy for a very long time. The fact that the Bluetooth setup was so painless (no pairing on iOS, it was like magic) makes this much easier to deal with than other robots like Cozmo.
NOTE: If your app crashes, power off your iPad completely. This worked great for me. I’ve noticed that upon installation, some apps need a power cycle to work their best. I don’t know if this is a memory leak in the iPad or what. I’m running the app on a 3-year-old iPad Air 1 (not 2) and it works great. Anything newer should be fine, and LEGO has a device check section on their website.
IS LEGO BOOST FUN AND EDUCATIONAL?
For sure, this product is a ton of fun and teaches a lot about coding/logic, problem-solving, and creativity. My younger two kids, ages 4 and 7, are over-the-moon-excited about it and have been counting down the days until it arrived on August 1st. My 7-year-old already spent three hours building the first robot and he was completely enthralled. I was especially impressed by the robot’s head motion and the intricacy of the gears used in this model. The app has been fun to go through, but we’re only partially through it right now.
HOW DOES IT COMPARE TO OTHER ROBOTS?
As you can see from my website, LearnRichly, I’m kind of a learning toy nut. I especially like logic games and programming, so robotics coding is a pretty natural fit. In our house, we have Cozmo (from Anki), Dash (Wonder Workshop), Ozobot, and *3* LEGO Mindstorms kits (the older kids do FIRST Lego League, so they’ve acquired 2 EV3 sets and 1 NXT set). (Ouch, I just realized that I’ve spent over $1000 in toy robots in the last 5 years, yikes. We don’t eat-out or see shows more than a few time per year, so that helps save cash!) UPDATE: See more below about Cozmo in the 8/15 Update..
Which robot do we like the best? So far, LEGO Boost and Dash are the winners, with an edge towards LEGO if you have kids 8 and up and a recommendation for Dash if you have younger kids. Cozmo is small and limited, but more emotive and fun. He’s definitely a “toy” and the others are “learning toys.” Oddly, he’s also capable of real Python programming after a complicated SDK setup, so it’s an eclectic mix. Ozobots are only really useful for the most price-constrained budget; save up and buy a Boost, instead.
Why are Dash and Boost the best? Because they give you real coding experience and make it fun. Dash has several apps available and is generally more mature as of right now, but I think Boost should catch up and exceed Dash overall. They both can take LEGO parts for building, but LEGO far and away exceeds Dash in versatility. It can be a factory, guitar, cat or who-knows-what-else that’s coming in the future! I do appreciate Dash as a standalone, start-from-scratch project, but LEGO will be the better choice for most households. Dash has been alone in this space for quite a while, but probably just got dethroned.
UPDATE ON AUGUST 15th, 2017
OK, we've had LEGO Boost for 2 weeks now. We've built the standing robot, the guitar, and the mini-factory. We couldn't get the factory to work and must have done something wrong--we'll come back to it. My son wants to build the rover next. We also had to buy a large organizer set to keep all the pieces--what I didn't realize is how many *unique* pieces there are in this set. The Mindstorms kits have lots of pieces, but they are easier to organize since there are fewer than 100 unique ones. LEGO Boost has over 200 different types of pieces; we ended up using about 60 little divided bins in plastic craft organizers. If I had it to do over again I would buy the Akro Mills 64-drawer organizer like this one: Akro-Mils 64-drawer organizer. They charge too much for the drawer dividers, but I believe another company (stack-on?) has a 48-pack for much cheaper that *supposedly* works with the Akro Mills set, but I haven't verified.
Since I wrote the above about Cozmo from Anki, I realize that he now has coding in the app! It's pretty good, too, so he's now much more competitive with LEGO Boost. I will review all of them in a future roundup at my little hobby blog LearnRichly.com, but for now I at least have an in-depth review of LEGO Boost that gives you much more detail than I could put in this Amazon review. Using my 6-criteria scoring scale, the average I came up with was a 4.4 out of 5 stars, so I wish Amazon would allow me to award LEGO Boost a 4.5 star rating instead of my 5 star rating.
1. The program freezes after the first motion instruction. This is very annoying as you have to restart the app, and it has a long start-up time. Then it works for a few runs and starts freezing again.
2. The programming steps, represented as icons are not documented. Most are obvious (move forward, move back, etc). Others are completely cryptic. Usually you can figure it out just by trying it, but others still remain a mystery or their effect is unclear.
Another peeve is that the sound emanates from the tablet, not the robot. They should have added a speaker. I have emailed Lego support on the two issues above. I'll update this review with their response when I get it.
EDIT: Lego customer support responded within 24 hours with a thorough email that included a PDF with a "cheat sheet" for all of the programming blocks (a.k.a. "icons"). Regarding the freezing program issue: they claim to be unaware of it. After some testing here, I'm thinking it might be radio interference with nearby routers and cellphones. I moved to a different room and the issue virtually disappeared. I communicated this to Lego. I'll continue updating with any new information I get from them.
Here is THIS dad's review of the Lego Boost for parents out there wondering if it is right for their child.
Review Summary: If your kid loves Lego, then they will REALLY love this. Just make sure you have an Android or iPad tablet and LOTS of AAA batteries.
The price is certainly right, considering there are non-robotic Lego sets for the same price point.
We ordered it a couple of months ago looking forward to the August 1 release date. Sure enough, it was shipped August 1 and, thanks to Amazon Prime, we received it August 2nd.
Before you get started, here are some things to consider:
An iPad or Android tablet is REQUIRED as there is NO PRINTED MANUAL in the box.
The app to control the robot also holds the instructions for building it.
Make sure your tablet has a full charge and you have a good supply of AAA batteries on hand. The "move hub" takes 6 and uses them up rather quickly. In fact, the first thing the app does when you fire it up is establish a Bluetooth connection to the move hub and won't let you go any further until it does.
Since there are multiple robots than can be constructed from this set, get ready to have all 11 bags (!) opened at once. Unlike the previous sets we've built, where the instructions show a happy yellow little Lego person emptying the bags in order as the different sections are put together, each robot will draw from all the bags at once, and there are several bags within bags, so be careful not to mix them up with your existing sets. We did encounter at least one missing part, but easily found a replacement among our collection.
We've built two projects so far, Frankie the Cat and Vernie the Robot. The cat looks very cute and definitely familiarized us with the whole set and the app. It can only sit and stand, so don't expect it to run around the house chasing its Lego fish bone chew toy.
Vernie is quite mobile, however, and, as I write, my 5 year old is having blast programming him to cruise around the living room, up and over books, and, of course, fart.
Yes, the fart sound seems to be one of the initial highlights of the set, but I was very happy to see that novelty fade and my kids more interested in the challenges of planning out its course using the app then setting it loose around the house.
My only criticisms of the set are battery life and lack of printed manual. Six AAA batteries seem to drain rather quickly, so I'll definitely be shopping for some rechargeables soon.
The iPad battery, even with the screen dimmed just this side of being completely dark, drained faster than it could be charged. Maybe that's a short coming of this older iPad, but because of this and a lack of printed manual, we had to take several forced breaks to let the tablet charge re-energize. A regular manual, or the option to download a printable PDF, would have been most helpful. Of course, breaks are good, too.
Apart from that, we LOVE the Lego Boost and highly recommend it for anyone who loves Lego sets, especially kids well practiced with the more complicated sets.
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