One of the bestselling toys this Christmas season is called Mindflex by Mattel. Kids love this game because they can purportedly use their mental powers to levitate a ball. And this is, well, fascinating and rather unbelievable.
In this article, we will take a look at the Mindflex Game and whether it is a toy that your kids will like. We will also have a look at the veracity of the claims: can you really levitate a ball?
Let’s start with a description of the Mindflex Game and find out if it is truly one of the best toys for Christmas 2009. One thing is for sure: It is certainly a unique toy unlike any others. If you have any visions of what mad scientists may build, this may be close to that vision. The game comes on a little stand called the game console with an accompanying headset and four foam balls. The game console presents various obstacles through which you will navigate the foam balls once you learn how to levitate them.
If you have read my other articles, you are aware that I enjoy Christmas games for kids that exercise either their growing minds or bodies, preferably both. This game succeeds with the former but not the later. In fact, in the packaging of this product, the “pitch” is someone sitting very still and simply concentrating.
So, when this gift arrived in the mail, my kids were anxious to try it. Frankly, so was I. The claims of telekinetic powers were unbelievable and I wanted to see for myself whether you could actually learn to levitate a ball. Being the generous dad that I am though, I let my kids have at it before me.
My daughter had a go at Mindflex first. Now, my daughter is quite different from my son. She’s a reader; he’s an athlete. She’s accustomed to concentration; he is not. And this game takes concentration. Apparently, the games works by measuring your brain waves. Thus, the more you concentrate, creating more brain waves, the higher you can levitate the ball. My daughter was up and running in no time.
My son, on the other hand, was unable to raise the ball like my daughter. He got frustrated that she seemed better at the game. He prefers cool teen gifts to this scientific aberration. I was thankful that the game comes with a fan that does what I call “levitation manipulation” and keeps the ball afloat so he did not feel too bad.
My turn! I put the headset on and it felt rather uncomfortable to me. Pretty quickly, I was able to manipulate the placement of the ball in the air and this rather fascinated me as it had the kids. I did a little more research on exactly what was happening and found some sketchy science behind the claims.
But do you know what? This is a cool game and the kids loved it. I have had each of our house guests try it as they look at the strange object and ask, “What is that?”. It’s a great conversation piece for you and all of your guests. The novelty amuses everyone…at least for a time.
By Richard Mas
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