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- Mindflex, the new mental acuity game from Mattel, makes that dream a reality
- Mindflex combines advanced technology with the power of thought!
- A game where players compete in the ultimate mental marathon
- The various obstacles can be repositioned into many different configurations
- Finalists for 10th Annual Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards
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A lightweight headset containing sensors for the forehead and earlobes measures your brainwave activity. When you focus your concentration, a small foam ball will rise on a gentle stream of air. Relax your thoughts and the ball will descend. By using a combination of physical and mental coordination, you must then guide the ball through a customizable obstacle coursethe various obstacles can be repositioned into many different configurations. Mindflex™ combines advanced technology with the power of thought to create an interactive experience unlike any other a game where players compete in the ultimate mental marathon!
For ages 8 and up.
Requires 4 "C" and 2 "AAA' batteries.
Mindflex--featuring a headset that reads your brain waves and a levitating foam ball--is the kind of game that must be seen to be believed. Recommended for players aged eight and older, the game begins when you strap on the headset so you can use your powers of concentration to move the ball around the game console and through a mind-bending obstacle course. A dial-in console lets you to keep the ball lifted on a cushion of air, but raising and lowering the ball must be accomplished by alternating concentrating and relaxing your mind.
Your telekinetic fantasies becomes a reality with the Mattel Mindflex. View larger.
The challenging obstacle course will hone your mental focus. View larger.
Headset Measures your Brain Waves
Tired of games that depend on the roll of a die or lucky draw? With the help of advanced technology, Mindflex introduces a whole new way to play--by using the power of your mind!
You'll feel like a character in a science fiction movie as you strap on the headset, connect the clips to your ear lobes, and align the metal forehead sensor just above your left eyebrow. But even this strange accessory won't prepare you for the sight of a foam ball quivering five inches above the game console!
Move the Ball with the Power of your Mind
Skeptics will be quick to point out that the console's moveable fan nozzle holds the ball aloft on a cushion of air. However, as players learn to alternately focus and relax their minds, the ball will respond by rising and falling. An instruction manual provides various concentration and relaxation techniques to try such as math problems or visualization and practice exercises.
Once you feel like you've mastered the art of telekinesis, you can test your mental acuity with five challenging games designed for groups of one to four players. Use the game console to select your game, set the difficulty level, and track your scores.
Design a Mind-Bending Obstacle Course
A variety of hoops, hurdles, funnels, and a teeter-totter can be positioned however you choose on the game console. Players use their minds to move the ball under, over, or through the obstacles. Several games test speed, while another challenges players to lift a ball up and through a funnel, shooting it across the game console to score points.
While Mindflex's advanced technology is sure to intrigue, mastering the games may prove difficult for some. Because concentration techniques will vary from person to person, the game rewards patience and a willingness to experiment. Fans of mazes and brain teasers will appreciate the mental challenge, and creative types will like designing the obstacle courses.
Mindflex's game console requires four "C" batteries (not included), and the headset requires three "AAA" batteries (not included). The four foam balls should be handled with care to keep their ability to levitate. Fortunately, the game console features an inner compartment for safe ball storage.
What's in the Box
Game console, headset, four foam balls, and various obstacles. (Batteries not included.)
Top customer reviews
I read the other reviews. They make some good points. This toy could get boring fast. The headset does get uncomfortable after about 10 minutes. The guy who said that all it does is measure stress is way off-base. He is right that the ear clips are used to complete a circuit, but that is not all this toy does. After playing it for awhile, I can say it responds negatively to stress (i.e., the ball lowers and the fan turns off). I'm basing that off of the fact the fan tended to turn off when I would get worried about it turning off. If it was responding to stress, the power should have increased.
So why am I recommending this toy? Because studies have shown that if you can increase frontal lobe activity through exercises like this, you can increase objective measures of concentration (e.g., amount of time engaged with a task) and decrease measures of impulsivity. And not just for the task where the skill was trained. So a child who got adept at playing this game should also pay better attention in school, likely increase their reading comprehension, do better on homework, etc.
My recommendation is that, if this is something that is interesting to you, you buy this toy for your child and that you play it with them. Set performance goals with them and give them some sort of reward for meeting and exceeding those goals. Start small. At first, get a stopwatch and see how long they can keep the ball in the air. After that, see if they can start to raise and lower the ball a couple of times, then see how many times they can pass it through one of the hoops. And take data the whole time. Chart their data in some way so they can see the progress they are making.
But get this toy!!! In labs where they do this sort of therapy, children with ADHD have shown serious improvement in functioning. Some kids are able to get off meds altogether.
If you want to do a little extra research before purchasing, go to wikipedia and search neurofeedback. There's a good synopsis there with links to some peer-reviewed research at the bottom.
Scott Herbst, Ph.D. (in behavioral psychology)
The game is not without its problems. The clips that attach on the ears are a bit tight, becoming uncomfortable after a while. There is an indicator for the power from the fan, but otherwise there is no feedback on what is going on at all. Trying the concentration techniques from the booklet was hit and miss: at times, the game seems to respond well, but other times, the game seems either too responsive or not responsive enough. With no way to know what triggers the fan exactly, and no way to see what the headband is measuring, it is really frustrating to get the game to do what you want. The airstream can also be erratic with turbulence, making controlling the ball much more difficult.
As for educational value, don't expect the game itself or the booklet to provide any extra information (which would not be unexpected given the high price). On top of that, its lack of any feedback other than the fan lights make this very limited as demonstration material as well.
So, if you don't mind your head hurting, it's a very fun group game to see who can concentrate the hardest. We have played 3-4 times and and are still not ready to move to obstacles. We are looking forward to playing again. I can see this game being played over and over - not only by the kids but by the parents as well! I would like to have a parent game night with it because all of the adults will be trying to figure out how it "really" works.
I highly recommend it!