My kids are all about technology these days and anything that involves virtual reality or augmented reality gets their interest. I love gadgets that offer them the chance to learn while they play (it’s the teacher in me, I think) and that’s why the MERGE Cube really caught my eye.
We had the chance to check out the MERGE AR cube as part of a sponsored partnership with MERGE however all experiences and opinions are our own! There are a few things we really love about our new AR cube that make it a great gift idea for kids who loves STEM products and activities.
MERGE CUBE REVIEW
I’ll be honest, these days I’m more likely to buy a gift that offers the chance for the kids to learn or be creative. They have a lot of toys and so I usually stick to the ones I know I like unless we can find something that gives them these opportunities.
Oh, and if it’s something that I might be interested in playing with as well, it’s a no-brainer!
MERGE is all about pushing the boundaries of imagination and creating toys and games that are fun, accessible, and appropriate for everyone! Yes, everyone in the family might find themselves pulled into the fun of the MERGE Cube. I’ll admit that it happened to me!
I had a pretty good time learning more about space and our planet. Yes, I said that’s what I’ve been doing with our VR cube! The kids? Well, they’ve been up to a lot of exploring too!
WHAT IS A MERGE CUBE?
The MERGE VR Cube is a hologram cube that is made from a squishy, foam-like material. If you drop it, no worries! It won’t shatter into a bunch of pieces and end the fun.
When you take it out of the box, it just looks like a pretty cool little black box. But the amazing part comes with the MERGE Cube App!
You can use the holocube on its own or pair it with the MERGE VR Goggles, which offers some diversity in how your kids play too. Having multiple ways to play is something that usually guarantees that a toy will hold Weston’s interest so this is important to me.
MERGE CUBE APP
The magic of the MERGE Cube comes with the MERGEe Cube App that opens up a whole world of information and fun for the kids to explore. You can hold a virtual object in your hand with the MERGE Cube!
All you have to do is download the Cube apps on your smartphone or tablet. That’s the one requirement that I could see being an issue for some families. You will need a phone or tablet.
When you point your device’s camera at the cube, it changes into something different right before your eyes!
The MERGE VR apps are available for both Apple and Android which is a plus. Many of the apps are FREE but some of the ones that Weston thought looked the most interesting were paid apps. Prices range from $0.99 to $8.99.
But I loved that most of the apps were free for us to download.
Our favorite FREE MERGE Cube VR games were:
- HoloGLOBE (this is MY favorite!)
- Party Games
- Tilt Ball
- Snake Attack
- Galactic Explorer (my other favorite!)
The kids love all of the game apps and I’m okay with that because most of them involve problem-solving, so they’re having fun while they think.
Weston has his eye on a few of the paid MERGE games too, including:
- Rubik’s Cube ($1.99)
- Nexus Box (this is the $8.99 price tag)
- Operation Zombie Annihilation ($2.99)
Although this AR toy is generally recommended for older kids, Carrigan had no problem getting involved and having fun. If you have a younger child who wants to try the MERGE VR apps with your cube, try one of these to get started:
- Party Games
- Cube Paint AR
All of these apps are free to use with your MERGE Cube so they’re great to check out with the younger kids who want to play.
The great thing is that there are currently over 30 AR games to chose from which means you can get a lot of play from one MERGE AR toy!
These are more than just games. With the cube, the kids can twist and turn and really explore the entire environment while they play and learn! It’s engaging and fun. I think that’s what we’re all looking for when we buy gifts for our kids!
THE NEXT LEVEL WITH MERGE VR GOGGLES
The MERGE VR headset is another way for kids to explore and learn. These are for older kids and even teens. They’re lightweight and soft so they fit almost everyone. The lenses are adjustable too. I was even able to wear them over my glasses.
So if you’re worried that your kids won’t want to wear them because they’re not comfortable, DON’T WORRY. My kids are pretty picky when it comes to comfort and Weston is more than happy to put on the virtual goggles!
When you’re ready to take the MERGE VR/AR experience to the next level, the goggles are a great addition. There are over 300 apps, games, and virtual reality experiences that you can access with them!
Check out the MERGE Miniverse portal to learn more about them!
IMPORTANT! You do need a smartphone to use the MERGE virtual reality goggles. They’re compatible with most smartphones (both iOS and Android) but it’s recommended that you use iPhone 6 and newer, Galaxy S5 and newer, HTC M8 and newer, LG G4 and newer for the best experience. But if you have a phone that was made within the last two years you’re probably good to go!
WHERE TO BUY THE MERGE CUBE
You can learn more about all of the MERGE Virtual Reality products on their website at mergevr.com.
The MERGE Cube is $14.99 which makes it a great gift that’s under $20! The MERGE Goggles cost a bit more at $49.99 (currently on sale for $29.99) but are a great addition to your MERGE Cube. Weston’s favorite way to play is with the headset!
If you’re looking for a great gift idea for a kid in your life who loves STEM learning, we highly recommend the MERGE Cube and Googles! They’ve been a hit in our house! With dozens of apps and games, the MERGE Cube provides hours and hours of educational entertainment!