Tenka Labs' Circuit Cubes let you add lights, motors and other electronics to your Lego projects while teaching important lessons about circuits and electricity. When we first reviewed the initial sets last summer, we were impressed with their potential, but disappointed that there was a limited number of electronic pieces. However, this weekend at Toy Fair 2018, the company showed off several upcoming products, including a set that comes with Bluetooth connectivity so you can program your creation from a mobile device.
Due out later this summer, the company's $99 Rule the Ring set features all the pieces necessary to make a number of vehicles, including one which rolls around, using a pair of giant, orange rings.
What's really neat about this kit, though, is that it comes with a Bluetooth LE module built into the battery cube so that you can control and program your creations through a phone or tablet. The battery cube also has power headers that allow advanced users to plug in wires from an Arduino board or other controller.
For those who just want the Circuit Cubes themselves, without any other blocks or project instructions, there's the upcoming Tinkerer Kit. Its nine different cubes include a mechanical buzzer, a tilt switch, a motor, a battery, a high-speed motor, a potentiometer and an RGB LED light. However, it doesn't come with the Bluetooth LE unit that you get with the Rule the Ring kit.
Other new sets include the Monster Mech kit, which has more wheels and parts than you get with the original Whacky Wheels product. However, you still get the same three basic cubes: a battery, a light and a motor.
The STEM kit has the same three basic cubes, but includes all the pieces you need to create all the projects from the company's initial three sets: Whacky Wheels (makes cars), Bright Lights (makes telescoping flashlight) and Smart Art (makes a drawing robot). Designed for the classroom, it will come with a set of lessons which explain basic concepts such as how electricity works.
In addition to its new kits, Tenka Labs will also start selling individual Cubes. So you'll be able to buy just a motor or just a battery, without paying for an entire kit with other things.
The Rule the Ring, Tinkerer Kit and Monster Mech kit are due out this summer. The STEM kit should arrive sooner.
Editor's Note: We shot the video and photos above at CES, but its contents were under embargo until now.