Robots are becoming increasingly present in everyday life and HEXBUG is a company that has taken robotic innovation to the toy industry. Since its launch in 2007, HEXBUG has produced dozens of toys intended for children of various ages and, as of 2013, the company has even forayed into pet products via a popular line of cat toys.
HEXBUG is owned by a parent company called Innovation First and was founded as a spinoff to produce robotic toys. The name “HEXBUG” was derived from their first bug, the Original, which had six legs.
Nearly every HEXBUG employee has a background in engineering and is dedicated to instilling a love for STEM subjects in children. According to Lindsey Gideon, the Director of Corporate Communications, “When HEXBUG first launched its products back in 2007, it was developed as a way to reach children as young as 8 years old and provide them with a positive experience with a robotic toy. Over the past six years we’ve expanded our offerings to reach kids from 3 years old up through their teens.”
At present, HEXBUG produces an array of products via six lines including AquaBot, Nano and VEX Robotics. Robotic Creatures like bugs and fish are available as are larger “habitats” which can contain these figures. Best of all some of the smaller robots retail for under $5, making them affordable to practically everyone.
A look into the HEXBUG website will reveal how quirky, fun and borderline whimsical many of their items are. For example, there is a skeletally-patterned “HEXBUG Nano Zombie” that comes in a coffin-shaped box, Nano Easter eggs and some items that glow in the dark. The cat toy, which resembles a mouse, is a top seller. “Before we branched out into cat toys we actually saw tons of Instagram photos of cats playing with our regular toys,” Lindsey explained.
Most toys in the Nano line–which are credited with helping HEXBUG reach international recognition–are programmed with simple technology that looks more sophisticated than it really is. AquaBot, meanwhile, requires more in-depth technology that makes them able to recognize when they are submerged in water.
As a relatively small company, HEXBUG is able to produce new items quickly. Generally, they release new products every nine months opposed to larger toy companies which tend to have a two year turnaround. This makes working for HEXBUG busy but exciting. “We have a lot of cool new items that we’ll be launching at the TIA International Toy Fair in 2016,” Lindsey stated. “We’ll also be attending toy fairs in Germany and Hong Kong.”
When asked what is the best thing about working for HEXBUG , Lindsey did not hesitate to reply: “The environment! This is such a unique place to work. Everyone is willing to work together to tackle big issues and small ones. The way issues are approached is very innovative, I feel like I’m learning something new every day when I’m with my co-workers.”
To learn more about HEXBUG, visit their official website.