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Code-a-Pillar


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Code-a-Pillar Basic Expansion Pack


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Code-a-Pillar Silly Sounds Expansion Pack


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Code-a-Pillar Master Moves Expansion Pack


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What changes would toddlers make if they were in charge of our software? Fart noises? Incessant nursery rhymes? A ‘rice cracker’ button for those times when hunger strikes? Well, we could be about to find out. The Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar is designed to hone the skills of the next generation of software developers and engineers, encouraging logical thinking and emphasising the cause/effect concept.

 

Bringing Back the Old Favourites

Something I’m beginning to notice more and more is that a lot of today’s hottest toys aren’t new. In fact, they’ve been around for about 30 years. Think about some of the hottest toys and themes today, things like Furby, My Little Pony, Care Bears, Tamagotchi… they’re all rehashed ideas, and the Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar is no different. Not that this is a bad thing. After all, we all like a bit of familiarity.

If you were lucky enough to go to school in the 80’s and 90’s, the idea of a coding toy shouldn’t come as too big a surprise. After all, we’re the generation that grew up with those little coding turtles / robot roamers that you could programme to race around the school corridors, bumping into everything and posing a massive tripping hazard that obviously wouldn’t be permitted under health & safety code today.

But this isn’t the roamers of the 80’s, this is the Code-a-Pillar of 2016. It looks nicer, it’s much more engaging, but ultimately it serves the same purpose: to teach kids a bit of logic. It does this through the 8 separate blocks that all connect together. When instructed, the Code-a-Pillar will take a different route depending on the order of the pieces. There’s no actual full on coding taking place here, but the fundamentals are definitely there in one form or another. Overall, it’s a pretty smart concept.

 

Does it Work?

The big question is can the Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar really teach kids how to code? Well, probably not, but it could help them to learn the basics. But like every aspect of learning, this isn’t something you can force on the little ones, not even when there’s an all-singing, all-dancing Code-a-Pillar in the mix (yep, it makes sounds and wiggles on its little journeys). Designed for kids aged 3+, the notion is maybe a little too advanced for kids that can’t yet wipe their own bottoms. Older kids, sure, but then we’re hitting the issue of design. This is very much a ‘baby toy’ in terms of how it looks. It just screams ‘Fisher-Price’.

 

Pretty Unique

Despite a couple of flaws, the Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar is certainly one of the best toys within its sector, which is, of course, pretty niche. There’s not a lot of competition at the moment. Sure, I’ve all seen promises of more involved coding toys on Kickstarter, but they haven’t materialised. You could wait a few years and see what’s going to pop up, but for now it doesn’t get much better than the Code-a-Pillar.

What’s in the Box…

Fisher-Price Code-A-Pillar

Fisher-Price Think And Learn Code-A-Pillar
Design89%
Usability88%
Features87%
Fun80%
Addictability90%
87%Overall Score
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