Morphibians Gator RC
Street Price: $22.99 US
Manufacturer: Kid Galaxy
Mfgr's recommended min. age: 5
Our recommended age range: 3-7
Primary use: Indoor or outdoors
Top speed: Slow
- Assembled vehicle
- 3x AA batteries for the vehicle
- 2x AAA batteries for the controller
The Kid Galaxy Morphibians series includes a wide selection of fun vehicles including the car-styled Rover, truck-styled Explorer, and then the animal-inspired Shark, Killer Whale, Cobra, Stingray, and Gator. I chose the Morphibians Gator for this review, but in reality they're all the same vehicle, just with different colors & looks. Speaking of looks, all of the Morphibians look fun and perfect for younger kids with battery compartments that need a screwdriver, a finish that's almost soft to the touch, and no sharp edges on anything. I especially like the simpler controller, but the claim that these can be used in water really interested me too.
Preparing to Drive
Batteries are not included, so you'll need to supply three AA's for the Morphibians vehicle two AAA's for the controller. I'd also advise tying a single knot in the antenna wire on the vehicle, just above the top of the antenna tube, to keep the tube from popping out.
Right from the start, the Morphibians Gator had me smiling. It has more speed than I expected -- enough to make a child go "Whoa!," but not enough to be dangerous. The all-wheel-drive and skid-steer setup is foolproof and helps the little bugger get over small obstacles, and it drove equally well on hard flooring, dirt, gravel, and low to medium carpet. The Morphibians controller is arranged such that the left lever controls the wheels on the left, and the right lever controls the wheels on the right. Push one at a time to turn, or push both together to go straight forward or backwards. This is a much easier control layout for younger kids to get the hang of than the typical setup with forward/back on one side and steering on the other. Here, no matter what you do, something will hapen, while normal RC cars won't actually move if you only move the steering stick. Oh, and the headlights turn on too, and shine bright!
To test the Morphibians Gator's amphibious qualities, I filled up the bathtub with water and gently dropped it in. At first it floated right on the surface of the water and drove around like it was just on slippery land. Within about a minute, though, it sunk down halfway into the water, which worried me. Fortunately, this is what it's designed to do (says so in the instructions), so whew! It got a little slower once it took on some water, but it was still just as driveable, and it was fully up to the task. After driving in the water, you just have to pick it up and allow the the water it took in to drain out.
(Click a video a second time to view it larger in a new window.)
The Morphibians series are a perfect RCs for younger kids, and I would say that more than most, it's equally interesting for both boys and girls alike. Kid Galaxy recommends a minimum age of 5, but the safe design and simple, rewarding controls allow it to be perfectly usable by kids as young as 3 -- something I've positively confirmed! My only warning would be to ensure supervision of younger kids when using it in or near water. The controller is not waterproof at all, so a child should never be standing in the water with the vehicle, nor leaning over it. Otherwise, it's all safe & pure fun & games with a Morphibians RC, just the way we like it.