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Showing 1-10 of 5,016 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 5,474 reviews
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 January 18, 2017
My son loves these snap circuits, and I love it because it's a fun "toy", yet it promotes curiosity and learning. After we got this one, my son (7) wanted to buy another set. He has spent lots of time trying all the different set ups. He also likes to try his own ideas. Worth the buy!
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on September 4, 2017
Bought this when my daughter was 9 and got a couple of years of use out of it. She was never really into electronics (despite my best efforts) but she would work through the included exercises, and often had fun despite herself. If you expect your child to come away with an understanding of Ohm's law then this isn't the kit for you. But if you want them to get comfortable playing with safe electronics and come away with a basic idea of how electricity flows, then this is a great kit. I just dug it out of the back of a closet nearly 5 years after buying it and it's all still in great condition which you couldn't say for a lot of electronic kits.
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on April 28, 2017
I ordered this as a Christmas gift for my 11 year old. She has a similar one at school that she loves to play with, and I wanted her to have one to use at home as well. This one was a nice quality, and everything worked like it was supposed to. Some of the circuits were really simple for her, but some were more challenging. She really liked using it, and even several months later still uses it.
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on August 24, 2016
This is one of my favorite toys ever. My son is one of those kids who doesn't play with toys, but he was given this when he was four and a half and he LOVED it! He would play with it for hours! I love how the instruction book does not require the child to read in order to build the circuits so preschool children can be successful in building them. He loves to have friends over and show them the basics of electricity and do experiments wit his friends. Some of his favorites include making a flying saucer, making a water detecter, and making a doorbell. This is always a great birthday gift as well.
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on March 20, 2017
Bought it for my 9 year old daughter who is a budding inventor. She loved it. Instructions were clear and she could build almost all the experiments without help. I was hoping she would learn some concepts as well to learn more about electricity and build her own projects. There wasn't that much included to further this process, though there were additional documents available on the web.
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on June 17, 2014
My children, 5 and 8, absolutely love this. My fifth grade students love it too. This is one of the best educational toys out there. Children learn all about simple circuits with it. Younger children benefit from having an adult do the projects with them and explain the electronics concepts being demonstrated. The directions do briefly explain each concept as it comes up, but younger elementary school students will probably not fully comprehend the directions even if they can read.

The components are very sturdy plastic which are perfectly suited for classroom use. The parts are all colored brightly to help in finding the right part. This beginner kit is just the right complexity for elementary school students working with a parent or teacher. Children 9 and up could easily work on their own with it once they have been walked through a few beginning projects.

Once your children have worked through all these projects there are expansion sets to get for it that add many new circuit parts and projects.
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on March 12, 2017
Great constructive learning toy. Good even for 5 or 6 year old if the child is a little advanced for his age. Adult should supervise to make sure kid has guidance. This toy allows child to read instructions (practice reading) then follow the instructions. Also mostly they can just look at one of the project pictures and match up the parts to look like the picture in the booklet. One part did not work (alarm) so we called and got a new one sent to us - so we were happy with the customer service. The fan / motor runs out the batteries a little fast - so don't leave the motor piece ON too long.
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on February 2, 2016
I got this for our homeschool classroom. My son does a project and then I need to tear it down again and he will revisit another a few days later. I love how easy it is. I read some reviews by guys who really thought lowly of it and they could get the same parts for way cheaper at radio shack and the kids don't learn anything. Yes, go ahead and get a breadboard style kit, or just buy a breadboard and a diode, resistors, etc. I think this is perfect for a young child to discover electronics. The way they learn even more is to take something out of a circuit or swap two things and see what happens to the signals. That is what we have been doing. I think it is a great learning tool. I have heard when you get the more advanced kits more learning goes into it! We intend to! We love it!
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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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