Disclosure: We were sent a StikBot Zanimation Studio and four StikBot Pets for review purposes. No other compensation was received.
Most people I know have some sort of love hate relationship with technology. Especially for those raising children, where to draw the line seems to be increasingly difficult. How do we properly manage our children’s online time, while still encouraging their imaginations? It’s a tough balancing act.
The StikBot Animation Studio really is a toy that lets kids explore the art of movie making, using a smart phone or tablet, and their own creativity. And since the smart device being used does not have to be connected to the internet, there is no fear of online predators.
The Zanimation Studio does come with all of the physical stuff you need to make your first movie. The people over at Zing did learn that we have four children anad sent along a few more pieces, just to help keep the peace. For this bit of kindness, I am forever grateful.
The StikBot Pets come in all sorts of colours and species. Given that they are plastic, they can all happily co-exist together in the same box.
How to use the StikBot Animation Pro Studio
After downloading the free app (possibly the hardest part of the whole process, really), from either iTunes or Google Play, you set up the studio in either green or blue and the StikBot people or pets and you are ready to roll.
One thing we did find was that the backdrop for the studio did not want to stand up straight on it’s own. A few books stacked behind it solved this problem.
To make your green screen movie, first choose an image for the back drop. There are several scenes included with the app. You can also choose your own photos. Then simply position your characters and snap a picture. Adjust your figure slightly and snap another one.
The app gives you a ghosted image of your last shot, so you can see how far you want to move your character to get a better movie. When you play back your movie, you get to see your figures move across whatever scene you put them in. Check out the StikBot Youtube channel to see what I mean.
StikBot Zanimation Studio Final Thoughts
My biggest caveat with this toy is that creating a final product can take a while. If you are looking for an activity to do with your younger children, this would definitely fit the bill. My two eldest definitely had enough patience to complete several scenes by themselves.
Don’t limit your movie making to just the StikBot figurines. As weirdly enticing as they are, you can add all sorts of other bits and bobbles to dress up the scene. Maybe your Lego action figures or favourite Hot Wheels cars want to get in on the action. This is an equal opportunity movie making device.
The StikBot Zanimation Studio has an MSRP of $24.99. Each of the pets is approximately $5.99. Not at all a huge investment for hours of creative play.