Anki Drive

Pre-teens love racing with Anki Drive
Pre-teens love racing with Anki Drive

What makes it different or cool?

Anki Drive is one of those rare toys or game sets that can engage across all generations. We’ve had our Anki Drive starter kit with 2 additional cars since December 2013 and I’ve watched everyone that comes over to our house enjoy the races! From toddlers to the baby boomers who are their grandparents – Anki Drive keeps everyone engaged and having fun together.

One thing I like for kids is that each race has multiple opportunities to “win”.  Victory conditions may simply be stunning your opponent for one lap or racing to the finish and the big win. What great about that for smaller kids is that it provides multiple chances to advance and they see it happen before their eyes. A 4 or 5-year old is less likely to be upset about losing the entire race because she can see that her car slowed another car down on one lap. You can celebrate and laugh with each other as the race advances and start-up a new race easily to keep the momentum going.

Personally, I like the technology and interactivity. The application is easy to use and the cars have a very nice design. They charge up quickly, so you don’t have to wait for a battery which is important when there anxious young racers at the ready.

Limitation or Challenge and My Wish List for Future Capabilities:

A couple of minor things to think about. The Anki Drive race track is BIG and so it requires quite a bit of floor space or a really big table. Be prepared to move furniture and make space to race – it’s worth it, but makes it tough to just leave the race track set up. So, we end up playing less because it’s a minor hassle to set it up. Also, be sure to keep your track clean – I obsess about this when I have the track out – to get a good clean run for the cars you’ll need to protect your track, it just takes some minor attention to details. This can become critical if you’ve got pets or small kiddos. We have managed to protect the track easily so far and we’ve got lots of foot traffic of both the animal and young human kind.

Where can you get one today?

The Anki Drive has exploded onto the market. You can buy a starter kit through their website directly (https://anki.com/en) or visit any number of online retailers. Just use your favorite search engine and search for Anki – you’ll quickly find a retailer with the kit, cars, and components to start racing.

Cost: $$ moderate for the Anki itself, but $$$$ expensive because each player needs a device to race

Note: An Anki drive starter kit is $149 and includes 2 Anki cars. I highly recommend purchasing additional cars (we love Rho!) and each of those will cost about $49, but that ability to race with a group adds to the fun factor and I think it’s well worth it.

I do consider the Anki to be reasonably priced by itself. For between $150 – $200 you can be up and running. BUT you have a dependency and will need for each racer to have access to an iphone, ipad, or other compatible device. We happen to be techno junkies at my house, so we’ve got lots of devices…but if you don’t have the enabling device, then you cannot play – so that’s a limitation to consider (my Android phone is not in the running, so I have to borrow my son’s mini-ipad :-).

Learn more and watch for updates:

Follow @anki to keep an eye on updates, advances, and interesting stories about people who are playing with this interactive racing system!

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