I’ll admit that I know almost nothing about what makes it on little boys’ Christmas lists, so I went on complete instinct when I decided that Ben 10 Alien Force was it this Holiday Season. The wonderful folks at Bandai told me a little background on their Ben 10 Holiday offerings and I was absolutely certain I needed to profile them for our 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.
For those who are as clueless as me as to what little boys are watching these days, I will give you a little Ben 10 background so you can fake being knowledgeable once the present is unwrapped. Ben 10 is an animated show on Cartoon Network that stars, you guessed it, Ben, who finds a watch-like Omnitrix or alien pod on the ground that allows him to transform into various alien life-forms, each with their own set of powers. He then embarks on a mission to fight evil, both earthbound and extraterrestrial.
The show has been wildly popular with boys aged 4 – 9 (ish) and is currently in its second installment (Alien Force) with the third installment currently in the works. The show has had a whole host of merchandize offerings with the Ben 10 brand, but the Bandai line seems to be making every boy’s list.
Just days after I had decided Ben 10 would be profiled on the site, I realized how right my instincts were. It turns out Ben 10 and his gaggle of aliens is what every boy under the age of 9 is dreaming of unwrapping this Holiday Season. The confirmation came when my little cousin met me at the door of his house wearing a Ben 10 t-shirt and over the course of 30 minutes was rattling off all the alien’s names he loves and telling me that the Ben 10 Alien Creation Challenge is top on his Christmas list this year. Go me!
Ben 10 Alien Creation Challenge: Ages 4 and up
What could be better than aliens, a timer, body parts flying through the air and some healthy competition? Nothing, if you’re a pre-teen boy. The game is simple enough for even the youngest player to understand and doesn’t require any reading or bookkeeping of any kind. You simply draw a card, set the timer and begin creating the alien seen on the card from all the alien pieces provided. It sounds easy, but it’s actually quite hard, especially when you’ve never seen Ben 10 (guilty) and can’t tell the difference between the four torso pieces. I had a bit of help from my 5 year old cousin and actually managed to successfully complete an alien creation before the game console hurled all the little pieces into the air. Yes, that’s why this game is 4+.
Ben 10 Alien Creation Chamber: Ages 4 and up
By the twist of a knob you can create your own customized alien by using pieces from 4 aliens included in the set. If that’s not enough, once you have created your special alien, you get to press a button and the alien leaps out at you and the chamber illuminates. Maybe it’s my crafty nature, but I love this little set. I had fun designing my four aliens and popping them out. I love that you can actually play with the aliens you create and then use the provided key to unlock the pieces if you want to redesign and that it comes with special recipes for you to construct. If you buy additional aliens, the Creation Chamber gets even more fun, since you have even more body parts to pick from when constructing. All those little pieces store in the bottom of the Alien Creation Chamber when not in use, but to reiterate, this is also 4+ for a reason.
Omnitrix Illuminator: Ages 4 and up
Now your little one can actually pretend to be Ben 10 himself with their own Omnitrix Illuminator that allows you to project aliens directly onto your wall. There are 30 images total on 3 discs that promise to bring all those aliens along everywhere you go with the ease of simply wearing a watch-like device. The discs slide in one side of the Omnitrix while sticking out slightly, which is how you rotate it to cycle through the ten aliens on that particular disc. I can only imagine how many kids will be lying awake in their beds at night, projecting aliens on their ceiling when they should be sleeping. I know one five year old who will be!
Bandai is having a few promotions on their site that any Ben 10 fan should check out:
This Giveaway is closed. Thank you to all who entered and congratulations to Christine who has won the Ben 10 Omnitrix!A big thank you to Bandai for introducing us to Ben 10 and letting us create our own aliens. No type of monetary compensation was received in exchange for this Rave Review.