Earlier this week I shot some new segments of my Geek Vs. Geek show, and for one of them we brought in a couple of Combat Creatures Attacknid robot spiders. Cast, crew, producers -- every person on the set exclaimed at least once: "That is so cool!"
And it's true: These things are insanely cool. Which is why I'm insanely excited about today's deal. For a limited time, ShopTronics has the Combat Creatures Attacknid Stryder robot spider 2-pack for $99.96 shipped when you apply coupon code ATTACKNIDCNET at checkout. That's $40 off the regular price and even less than you'd pay if you bought two of these separately. (On Amazon they run about $80 apiece.)
The Attacknids are kind of a marvel of toy robotics, marching around on six moving legs. Atop them sits a rotating, tilting weapons system that fires Nerf-type darts up to 35 feet. So you can be moving in one direction and firing in another. You can also "amuse" your pet(s) in ways your Roomba simply can't. (My pup's reaction to a walking spider nearly as tall as he is: BAR-RAR-RAR-RAR-RAR!!)
Fun as it is to simply steer your Stryder around the room, firing at random people and objects, the real joy lies in head-to-head combat -- hence the need for two of these. In Battle Mode, you try to destroy the opposing Attacknid by shooting pieces of armor off its legs. Or, if you're a crack-shot, you can try to hit the "battle brain" target three times to fully disable your foe.
Although some Combat Creatures come with remote controls, these models rely on Bluetooth-powered apps available for Android and iOS. I had some initial difficulty with pairing, but eventually got it working with an iPhone 4S.
It's also a slight bummer that both of these are black (rather than a mix of, say, red and blue versions), but they do come with lots of stickers for creating unique looks to help tell them apart during battle.
Those gripes aside, good heavens, are these fun. If you love toys, especially of the RC variety, the Attacknids are a must-have. Heck, they might even cure your fear of spiders.
Bonus deal: Game time! Horn for iOS is a third-person action-adventure game that rivals the Infinity Blade series for jaw-dropping graphics. It normally costs $6.99, but for the first time (and no doubt a limited time), you can get Horn for free.