Toy Test #5: MindFlex and Boom-o-Ring - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Toy Test #5: MindFlex and Boom-o-Ring

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By Lauren Keith - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - I've received daily emails about the $80 Mind Flex game this last month of toy testing. So, I took it to a class of fifth graders who also wrote me letters about this toy and more. They also checked out a $10 toy that might be great for outdoor fun, but Does it Work?

Look out! Fifth graders at Trinity Lutheran School are having a good time trying to catch the Boom-o-Ring. You can throw it like a Frisbee or flip out the sides and make a boomerang, but that might be a little easier said than done. It's also a bit challenging to get the boomerang to actually swerve back to you after you throw it.

"I think the trick is just throwing it the right way to get it to come back to you," predicts Adam Childers, a student.

Good thing Mrs. Susan Ward's class has two weeks to figure it out. I'm not sure it'll last that long though. After just a few throws, the Boom-o-Ring might be a bust.

"It's kind of falling apart," says one student.

We'll see what happens when I return. Meantime, the fifth graders also have to put on their thinking caps. Can we really move the little balls of the Mind Flex with our brain power?

"Check headset.  See that means there is a hair!" the student said while putting on the electronic headset.

The headset is very temperamental.  You can't wear earrings with it either.  Instead, the sensors snap into place on your ear lobes.  The fifth graders are finding that hurts a bit.

"But if it hurts, it works," explained Ben Daniel.

He's not kidding either. We see a spot left behind on Ben's head after wearing the headset! Enough suspense…does this $80 mind game work?

"The ball is supposed to get in the hole, and then it shoots it into this funnel!" explains Ben.

Ben's concentration seems to work.  He focuses and uses the knob to direct the ball. It's as light as a marshmallow.  The students are in a trance, moving the ball through an obstacle course, even a teeter totter.  These fifth graders quickly learned a high-powered fan is mostly propelling the object.

"I'm looking at you and not even at the ball and it's rising! I think it's sensing signs of brain activity like pressure, heat, stuff like that," said Ben.

To see, these Does it Work testers researched further, making me quite proud.  They hooked up the sensors to a wet sponge, even Mrs. Ward's scissors, and the ball's moving with the apparent inactivity of the brains in these inanimate objects!

"Even when the sponge is plugged in, some people couldn't do that on high concentration! So it's like, are you smarter than a sponge?" sings one student.

You can't fool these fifth graders!

"The students went out into the hall and the ball was still moving up and down, but in my opinion it is not your brainwaves," said Mrs. Ward.

Even so, half of at least them still want this game for Christmas.

"Yes 'cuz I can fool my parents or do experiments!" laughs Ben Daniel.

Let's think on it a bit, and answer the next question. Remember the Boom-o-Ring? Yeah, it's busted.

"I wouldn't be too thrilled to see it under my Christmas tree," said Adam Childers.

Turns out in very, very fine print, we learned you're not supposed to play with this on hard surfaces like pavement. So no driveways, sidewalks, or playgrounds, which isn't too realistic for these active fifth graders.

"D +" said Adam.

The kids say this stocking stuffer can stay on the store shelf. It doesn't fly, earning a D+ . Now, let's flex our muscles on the Mind Flex.

"I think after a month, the newness will wear off and they'll get bored with it," said Mrs. Ward.

Although, there's no denying you have a lot of fun at first, no matter your age. For $80, I'll let you decide if this belongs in your home. The students meet in the middle, giving the Mind Flex game a C minus and draining our brains on this final Does it Work toy test.

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