Gold Choice Award Winner
Overall 9
Play Value 10
Cost Value 8
Design 9
Quality 10
Parent Appeal 9
Educational Value 9
Safety 10

Fisher-Price® Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar™

In Stores
Age:3-6 years
MSRP:$69.99 ca
$49.99 us
Model:DKT39
Batteries:
4 x AA (Not Included)
Editor's Review

A well-designed coding toy that appeals to an impressively wide age range. Each section of the Code-a-Pillar tell it to either move forward, or turn right or left. Preschoolers just loved snapping the sections together and watching where the Code-a-Pillar went. It was their older siblings who spent time planning the sequence of sections that would successfully 'program' the Code-a-Pillar to navigate from the green start disk to complete its trip at the red end disk.

Tester Reviews

KIDS:

The code-a-pillar goes under chairs and tables. It can be taken apart and then put back together and then it can take a new route everytime. I like it when the catopillar changes directions and I like the lights because they are bright. My sister (10) thinks the code-a-pillar is to loud and when it hits a wall it is finished. I want more pieces that do different things. William (M3)

I like that you can break the toy into pieces and then make the caterpillar do whatever you want. I don't have other toys that you can control like this one. It turns where you want it to turn, but I can never get it to go to the end spot because it bumps into the walls or my baby takes it. It's fun that it makes music when it's going. Sara (F5)

I like the music and that you can control it. It's like a programming toy - it's fun for me and my older friends and fun for the little kids too! I like the challenge of trying to get it to the finish spot. I don't like that there is no volume control and that it needs so much space. It keeps bumping into the walls because our house isn't big enough. David (M7)

I like how you can code it to take different paths. Jason (M8)

He is funny. I like his sounds. Maya (F4)

Even if it is a kids toy I enjoy trying to make the catopillar do a pattern to obtain the red botton. Emma (F9)

ADULTS:

The kids (F4, M8, M9) are transfixed by this "out-going" friendly-looking caterpillar. Initial play lasted for hours, until Mum lost her patience with the noise levels. Straight-forward play directly from the box. I loved how all three kids had an extended play session, and returned to it often.  What I strongly dislike is the lack of volume control - it's loud and was heard throughout the house.  Contractor working in the basement even commented on it. Quality seems very good. No worries about it being robust enough to handle my tykes. The toddler just likes assembling his parts and watching him go. The coding part seems a bit beyond her. She enjoys watching him go, and is able to identify which direction he is going in. The round discs for go and stop gave the older kids a challenge as they tried to figure out how far "straight" actually was to program him accordingly. Instructions seemed to be more about battery replacement - there wasn't a lot of information about how to introduce the concepts of programming to toddlers. And there weren't a lot of tips on operation/distance etc. The older kids relied on their intuition and figured it out, then helped the toddler through trial and error. Quite challenging for my 4YO, but I would say the 8YO and 9YO also really, really enjoyed this toy. Confident that play value will grow with my kids. Tara Roy-DiClemente

All four of my children (boys, ages 1 and 7 and girls ages 3 and 5) loved this toy! It's definitely an interesting toy. My 7 year old played with it the way it's supposed to be played with, ie. he tried to program it to get from the start point to reach the end goal. My 3 and 5 year old daughters just liked to change the directions around and see where it ends up, and my 1 year old loved to chase it around the house trying to grab it as my other kids played with it! There are only two things that I dislike about this toy: 1) It's loud and 2) It requires a huge amount of space to play properly. Although my husband disliked the music immensely, I enjoyed it, but it is definitely too loud. The toy also requires a lot of space for the code-a-pillar to move around properly. It kept bumping into walls and chairs in our house, but my kids found that to be part of the fun anyway. I think novelty just wore off after about 2 or 3 weeks. My kids still really like the toy. They love to bring it out whenever friends come over, but it's just not a go-to toy for them in the mornings anymore. We have many friends and neighbours (ages 3-12) who come over and they all love the toy! I didn't expect it to have educational merit, but I do think it helped my kids understand directions and programming. Wendy Krakowski

At first look, coding sounds advanced. However, very simple to understand - both William 3y and Emma 9y enjoyed the toy. The lights and the robot like design really captured my kids attention even before they knew what the objective of the toy was. William 3y can work the toy no problem, but does he understand the objective? No. Emma 9y understands the objective of coding the code-a-pillar to a specifique destination. The toy is very interactivewith lights, sounds and quick feedback on the sucess of your coding. The lights are color coded - they flash when activated - and the code a pillar is easy to put together. I like the interaction and feedback but would prefer if the volume was turned down. Ann Lemire

Manufacturer's Description

This unique caterpillar learning toy encourages kids to experiment as they play, helping them to develop coding, sequencing and critical thinking skills. Code-a-Pillar features 9 easy-to-connect segments that preschoolers can arrange and rearrange to “tell” the toy how to move: forward, left, right, wiggle, dance or even wait for a couple seconds before moving again. Kids can configure the segments in such a way that the Code-a-Pillar can reach targets they set up throughout the room. There’s even a motorized head segment with lights, sounds and blinking eyes that brings Code-a-Pillar to life! Ready … set … code! When kids connect the segments—in tons of different ways—to make Code-a-Pillar move left, then right, then forward, or wherever-- that’s sequencing!  Then they figure out a sequence that will create a path for Code-a-Pillar to reach a target, that’s programming (and problem solving, too)! It’s all coding—and it’s all fun! Code-a-Pillar is one of the new learning...

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