Combat Creatures: Vanguard Stryder Attacknid Review
This is a Guest Review by David Lee
The Vanguard Stryder Attacknid is a remote controlled combat robot, intriguingly marketed as “the ultimate in blasting robotics.” Before we continue, I’ll preface the above by noting that this is a toy; it will not act as your personal robotic bodyguard, nor will it lead your next campaign for world domination. “Really, what is it good for then?” you might ask. Read on to find out!
One of two base models of Combat Creatures from Wow! Stuff, the Stryder Attacknid package comes with a remote controller, various components for the Attacknid robot itself, sponge darts, and a custom decal set. Apart from the internal electronics and structural screws and rivets, the toys are largely made of plastic materials.
The remote’s design is simple and can be likened to a basic version of a typical modern console controller. With an 8 directional d-pad and four action buttons, the remote should be easy enough for a young child to grasp, while providing some depth for older enthusiasts. While it won’t be winning any ergonomic design awards, the dual hexagonal design is comfortable enough for casual interaction.
While the remote requires two AA batteries to transmit commands, the robot itself requires an additional 4 AA batteries. Oddly, both battery compartments require the use of a Philips screwdriver for access. Generally, you’d expect toys to provide easy access to allow quick play, particularly for younger players, but in this case, the sources of power are securely protected from any harms during combat.
The Stryder Attacknid unit itself is comprised of the Core body standing more than 25cm tall with 6 legs (despite the allusion to arachnids), the Battle Brain with a Brain Target, Dart Blaster, and various Armour Plates to cover the legs. The components are quickly and easily snapped together, though given the unique robot design, for first time Attacknid players, some reference to the instruction manual may be needed. Thankfully, the manual is well written and provides extensive diagrams.
The Dart Blaster has 12 chambers which can be manually loaded with the included 12 rubber-tipped sponge darts. The Blaster is fitted with elevation capabilities, allowing the darts to be fired at various angles. The included decal pack can be used to decorate the Stryder Attacknid body.
Use and Control
Operation of the Attacknid is simple: after flicking the on buttons on both the Unit and the Remote, the two will sync and it’s time for action!
On the remote, pressing up or down moves the Attacknid backwards or forwards in the direction that the head is facing, while left or right rotates the head. The Red button spins and fires the Dart Launcher, the Green button emits a “targeting” light, while the Blue and Yellow buttons raise and lower the Dart launcher respectively.
The Stryder’s movement speed is underwhelming, somewhat limiting any agility based combat strategies. However, the novelty of the mechanics involving movement via six legs is impressive. Despite the slow speed, the Stryder was able traverse over rugs, carpet and floorboards (note: very noisily in all instances – definitely not suitable for stealth operations). The legs themselves are protected by “Exploda-Armor”, which to be honest, would hardly be sufficient protection from snowballs, let alone explosions – simply accidentally walking the Stryder into a wall was enough for the leg armour to spring off and clatter uselessly to the floor. All jokes aside, the fragility of the leg armour is clearly by design, to providing an entertaining spectacle by emulating destruction during battle. Who doesn’t like to see a few explosions?
On first impressions, the Dart Blaster mounted upon the Stryder is somewhat confronting. Nobody enjoys the prospect of a projectile heading your way. The firing of the sponge dart and accompanying low bitrate gunshot sound is initially quite alarming, due to the dart’s relatively high velocity and a surprising firing distance. Wow! Stuff claims that the Stryder is capable of firing shots up to 10m, but in my testing with fresh batteries, I was only able to achieve ranges of approximately 6m. Significantly drained batteries yielded even lower distances of around 2-3m. Nevertheless, the Stryder’s firing range is surprising and even comical – presentation of the Stryder’s capabilities drew many laughs and curiosity from members of my family. Given its target market, the Stryder’s firing accuracy is also decent and provides entertainment value from its unpredictability.
Despite these novel features, I do have some concerns with the Stryder’s battle-readiness. Occassionally, the firing mechanisms would jam, requiring manual intervention to resume firing. Curiously, I also noted that the Stryder struggled to respond when commanded to move and shoot at the same time. Similarly, simultaneous movement and dart elevation was also hit and miss.
The unit can be set to either Training Mode, or Battle Mode. While the unit will act in the same way in both scenarios, Battle Mode adds a competitive flavour to the Attacknid’s actions. Unfortunately, we only received one Attacknid to review and thus could not analyse a live battle.
Nevertheless, the battle arena can be simulated! Initially, the Attacknid’s head is lit up with three LEDs. When the head sensor is hit, an LED dims, the unit will shudder and emit explosion sound effects. If this is done three times, the Attacknid will shut down. GG!
NB. Safety risks associated with the projectiles are mitigated by the slow rate of fire. Also, while the dart materials, firing velocity and range are unlikely to cause harm to primary/elementary school children and above, I would suggest that the Stryder not be used when babies and small animals are present.
The Combat Creatures Stryder Attacknid from Wow! Stuff is a novel gadget which brings combat experiences usually limited to the virtual world, into real life. While there is certainly entertainment value to be enjoyed, the Stryder Attacknid retails at a high asking price, which may present a high barrier to prospective combatants.
$99.99 Toys R Us Australia:
$79.99 at Amazon.com:
March over any terrain and with the 360 rotating head you'll be sure never to get stuck behind any obstacles;Controllable from up to 200ft with the 2.4ghz remote, indoors and out;The Snypa Dart Blaster attachment fires your Snypa Darts up to 45 feet;Take three direct hits to your Electronic Battle Brain and your Attacknid will shut down;Get hit on your Exploda Armor and it will ping off your legs for great battle gameplay