Customer Reviews: Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit
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This is the ideal kit to get your child on the road to understanding electricity. Everything just snaps together like building blocks, and there's no need for screwdrivers, soldering irons, electrical tape or testers.

The instruction manual is easy to read, and includes diagrams for 101 projects. With a little help for the first few, a child can easily work their way through the book with minimal adult supervision.

The video shows a few of the projects - a switch circuit with light bulb, running a DC motor and fan, a Space War alarm combo, and a flying saucer. There's also a clip of a lamp and fan in series, showing that the fan takes a while to turn at full speed because of inertia.

There are also games, sirens, projects activated by clapping or light, and projects that introduce digital circuits. There are three kits that are more advanced, but you can also get upgrade kits to take each to the next level.

If you're looking for an educational toy that your child will really enjoy, I recommend you put this one on your list.

Amanda Richards, December 30, 2007
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on June 6, 2011
We bought this toy, and at the beginning my children did not play with it , it was kind of "complicated", different from traditional toys, many pieces, etc... It was mysterious. One rainy day I started playing with it myself, grabbed the manual and suddenly all of my children wanted to play, it wasn't complicated at all y was super interesting and fun. All you need to do is do a couple of projects with them, so they can learn how to use it. We don't call the pieces by its name yet, but it will be my next step, to explain each part, what is it for, why is important, so they can learn. Since that day I always buy it as a birthday gift for the 5 years old children that have play with us while at my house and up. I'II recommend to use it with an adult to help them so it will be more fun for all. We have made the radio, the alarm, the water activated alarm, etc...
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on June 17, 2004
My son has a thousand motors working without this kit, I rarely can slow him down. I bought this and he loves it! He will sit and play with it. This kit stimulates his brain enough that he doesn't have to run around, tearing down the house, chipping the walls, screaching, teasing and peeling paint. Anyone with ADHD kids out there know what I mean? Gotta have something like this, for kids like these!!!
It doesn't contain a huge amount of pieces like a box of blocks and after a few tries with adult help, I would say an eight year old can do this alone. It isn't dangerous. There are a couple of parts that can be torn easily by rough kids but a lot of stuff can still be made any way.
Make lazer sounds, sirens, make songs come out, or fans, a ufo spin off toy (launches in the air),several types of games to play, a doorbell, a couple of computer part thingies, other light blinkie things, even stuff your kid can only dream up. Has lots of noisy sounds that will drive you nuts so send the kid somewhere else. LOL.
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on January 7, 2015
As a kid (more years ago than I care to admit) I played with the Phillips electronics set; it came with multiple values of resistors, capacitors, inductors, a few transistors, switches, and wires, instructions to make about 30 different circuits and a booklet which explained how and why things worked. That set has been off-the-market for ages, so reading that this set allows a child to build 100 circuits made me curious. I bought it for my kids and after opening the box had to realize that it is just advertising hoopla.
Your reaction to this set will depend on what you expect. If you are pleasantly surprised at connecting a few terminals and having something that works, this is the toy for your child. If you hope it will teach at least elementary electronics, you (like me) will be disappointed
I will list first the positives:
1) my 9-years-old child took to it like fire to straw; in the first 24 hours since opening the box (including one full day of school) he has blazed without help through about 2/3 of the projects, and shows no sign of getting bored. The 6 years old one, instead, shows no interest.
2) all components worked
3) the molded-plastic box liner helps keep the pieces neatly organized and identify what might have been dropped on the floor and risks being forgotten at the end of the play session.
And for the negatives:
1) There are maybe 15 basic circuits here, and multiple variations on each one. Example: a circuit will allow you to turn on a light by clapping your hands, and another circuit will allow you to start a siren by clapping your hands. The manufacturer counts those as two different circuits, even though the only (minuscule difference) is using as output the light bulb vs. the speaker component. Do not expect anywhere near the level of fun that "over 100 exciting projects" could provide.
2) Most of the elements provided are (really) just a glorified piece of copper wire of various lengths. There is two IC, a couple switches, an input and output unit each for sound and light, a DC motor, a battery holder; the rest could be replaced with unbent paperclips, and nobody would be the wiser. For over $20 I would have hoped to get more than a couple dollars' worth of components.
3) The instructions are erector-set-like: you are vaguely told what the circuit is supposed to do and given a picture representation of what it should look like. There is no discussion/explanation of why it should work as planned, or what each component does. The one control IC is provided in a sealed opaque box with unlabeled terminals and no description of what other circuitry might be embedded inside the plastic case.
4) The microphone is extremely insensitive. On circuits which are triggered by sound you get better/faster/repeatible response by hitting the IC component that by making noise near the sensor (microphone).

Summary: out-of-the box this seems a construction set (think Lego City) with electricity. If left alone with the toy a child will learn how to connect the pieces and follow instructions, and little more. A child left with the toy will not understand electricity and electronic any better than a child without the toy unless he/she has also access to a DMM or (preferably) an oscilloscope and a relative showing what happens to the voltages and waveforms when different terminals are connected on the ICs .

I would definitely recommend this toy before a playstation, but want to believe there are better products out there.
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on July 5, 2013
I purchased this along with the Elenco Snap Circuits SC-750R Student Training Program. The SC-750R is for a nephew of mine that I home-school. This product (the SC-100) is for his little brother who will be going into the first grade next school year (Fall 2013).

I knew that the little one would be jealous of his older brother when he would see the larger box for the SC-750R, so I got him this one so that he & I could work some of the projects together as well.

Now, the project book and all of the pieces come with the SC-750R; however, I wanted to be sure that the two had their separate sets of equipment and not fight over who wants to do what.

So far, we have only unboxed the SC-100...we have not yet put any projects together. We will be doing that tomorrow, however he is already chomping at the bit to do something with it. As we assemble the projects I will be adding pictures and/or video of what he's doing and updating this review. I do have one thing to say, though: as I had mentioned in my review for the SC-750R, the SC-100 does feel like it can not take much abuse since it is mostly plastic. But, once again, we have not put together any projects yet.


The next day - so we ripped through doing about 6 or 8 of the projects. He loved it. I've added a video of him doing the second project. Now remember, this is a 6-year-old putting this circuit together.

In regards to my earlier comment of the durability or the Snap Circuits, I still think some care needs to be taken in handling them. When placing the pieces on the Base Grid (breadboard / circuit board equivalent), you should press on the nipples of the connectors and not on the center of the piece. I know this seems like "Common Sense" information, but when a child gets excited they don't tend to think of the little things like that; so keep giving them little (and nicely put) reminders to press on the ends of the pieces and not straight down on the middle.

(Btw, the video was taken with Apple iPad with Retina Display MD511LL/A (32GB, Wi-Fi, Black) NEWEST VERSION, but I had to downgrade the resolution due to having a size requirement of 100Mb for video reviews.)
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on December 13, 2015
I purchased this as a gift for a clever 6 year old, although I know the box says 8-108. The idea was to show her how it worked to see if she had any interest in electronics. I was concerned it wouldn't maintain her attention, so before gifting it my partner and I decided to try it out so that we could explain it to her. We both have Masters degrees, and his is in engineering, so we figured it would be a piece of cake. He also played with similar, though much more complex kits, beginning at the age of 9 (but he was far more advanced in engineering skills than his peers) and had a blast.

While using the kit, I was trying to look at it from the average kid's perspective.

The first thing we noticed about the kit, especially for me considering I wasn't really exposed to circuits as a child aside from a brief period in junior high, was that for the most part you couldn't just look at the pieces as a newb and understand what they were. They have symbols like "U1, U2, U3, WC, S1, SP, R1...". It would have been extremely helpful if the resistor, for example, was actually labeled "RESISTOR". Page 2 is incredibly useful since it names each piece.

The kit seems to assume you have some basic understanding of circuits before you even get going. For me I like to jump in and try things out; learn as I go. I despise manuals. With this kit however, you really need to take the time to read the manual, especially since a wrong arrangement can actually short out some of the pieces. If you have an inpatient kid or one without great reading skills you'll need to help them with this. I've attached some photos so you can see the complexity of the manual. There is a lot of really good info in there if you are willing to take the time to read it. It's 45 pages in length.

We worked through several configurations together, and then started to feel like there was too much redundancy. A new configuration would often just be the replacement of a particular piece, or it would involve taking two configurations and linking them together. After going through maybe 6-8 different configurations (and believe me, those would be pretty cool for someone who had never worked with circuits before) we stopped, because flipping through the book we found we weren't seeing a whole lot of additional variety.

The plastic base seems well made and although I feared I would crack it as I popped the pieces in place, I didn't. I did find it difficult to pull some of the pieces apart after they were snapped together (literally had to use my teeth on more than one occasion).

All in all, this is a very high quality kit, though somewhat limited it what it can do. I think something like this would have been great when I was just starting to learn circuits in the 7th grade. To get the full value you need to not only follow the circuit configurations to achieve a certain output (fan, dimmed light, siren) but also really read and understand why certain things are happening and how each unique piece contributes to that.

I'd recommend this for your budding 8-year old junior engineer, or purchase it for your ~12-year old when they start learning about this sort of thing in school. It makes for a great hands-on activity to supplement school learning. I wish I had something similar. For the price it's a deal. I doubt it would keep my 6-year old niece's attention, even if we worked through it with her, but we'll hold on to it to see how she progresses over time and will share it with other kids we know as it makes sense to.
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on February 23, 2015
I got this for my seven-year-old daughter for her birthday and didn't take it out of the box for almost a month because I have such bad memories of science projects. I assumed it was going to be difficult and complicated and I'd have to babysit her . . . but today I cleared out two hours to help her with it, and dang, it was easy and fun. We did the first five projects together and then she just kept going all on her own. I gave her a little bit of techno-talk about circuits and whatnot, but mostly she just wants to play.
The pieces seem pretty sturdy so as long as we store it carefully, I'm hoping it'll last for a long time. There is a lot of educational promise, but mostly, I just like to let her mess around with it.
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on August 7, 2015
The product is such a nice thing to have with a 4 year old boy. My son recently had challenges in focusing on tasks when he is intelligent and sharp but due to latest I-pad and mobile technologies swiping between tasks has become so easy for kids that they can;t focus on one task at a time. I bought this STEM product for specific reason. I made sure i sit with my son every day now and go one project per day with him. initially for first two days i noticed in middle of project excitement caused him to distract but when he saw end result and achieved to make a circuit of his own he noticed that focusing a little can get him good results. now every day he brings the box to me and he himself creates new projects.
I recommend this to every parent today as this will help you create better bond, sync your thought process, develop consistency to your kids and off course add a lot of fun along the way.
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on January 2, 2015
Bought this for our gifted 5 year old for Christmas. I admit I wasn't sure how good the quality would be with it being such a low price but it turned out to be great quality and his new favorite toy (I'm not sure who was more excited to play with it- our kid, or us!!!). It has many different circuits to build which he can easily do without assistance. This is great for building confidence and encouraging kids to tinker and explore on their own and we don't have to worry about him getting shocked. He's already gone through and made most of the circuits in the book and is now coming up with new ones by making adjustments to them. Watching him play has also piqued his younger sister's interest and she is now learning how to make circuits as well (with some assistance) :).

If you want something that will last, and will encourage kids to explore and use their imagination, buy this! We look forward to purchasing the upgrade kits next.
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on January 5, 2011
First of all, great product. Bought this for my 7 year old son. He immediately began investigating and building the various projects. Product is solidly constructed without being too difficult for little ones to assemble. Instruction book is clear and easy to follow. Projects are active and fun. Can't wait to upgrade to the UC-30.

Writing to commend responsiveness of this company. There is a snap in light bulb that blew the 2nd time we connected to a circuit (it happens). Called company and left voicemail not expecting to hear back for a while. Received replacement light bulb within days. Was easy to follow replacement instruction over phone. Highly recommend these products and this company.
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