Fun or boring? Thinking very hard about Mattel’s Mindflex
We’re late to the game in checking out the Mattel Mindflex — it actually came out last year. But this year it’s cheaper, and one of the game specials noted in Target’s Black Friday ad. Get yourself to Target in the wee hours on Nov. 26 and you could buy the Mindflex game for $49.99, marked down from $79.99. That’s a good discount, but based on the reviews we read, not every kid will be happy with the Mindflex game, and $50 is still a lot to spend. Read on for our take…
There’s no denying it: the Mindflex is a cool idea
The Mattel Mindflex works the same way an EEG machine works at your doctor’s office. After putting on the special headset and clipping the electrodes to your earlobes, you vary your concentration to control the speed of a fan that moves a little blue ball up and down. After you’ve mastered that basic trick, you can play various obstacle-course games. The uber-geeks over at CNET tried it out last year and found it pretty fun (check out the video at CNET).
There’s another video of the Mindflex in action at Gizmodo. While Sean Fallon found it pretty neat for a while, the headband quickly become uncomfortable, and in the end, the game didn’t hold his attention all that long.
But the Mindflex isn’t for everyone
“Attention” is the overriding theme in the user reviews we read. The Mindflex gets middling overall ratings from users posting to the Toys ‘R’ Us website and to Amazon.com. While about half of owners say their kids enjoyed the game, the others say that it didn’t hold their attention very long once they got the gist of it. We did read a couple of insightful reviews from parents of autistic and ADHD kids, who said that the Mindflex held their attention longer than other games.
But even among those that enjoyed the game, the price is a big issue: For $80, the Mindflex seems overpriced. For the Target Black Friday price of $50, it’s a little more attractive, but $50 is still a lot to pay for a game your child might not enjoy for very long. Incidentally, we saw that the Mindflex can be had for around $50 right now — so if you’re interested, you don’t need to wait in line at Target. Amazon.com has it for $56 and Walmart.com is selling it for two dollars less.