This post is for Cee’s Black and White photography challenge and for my evaluation of a science kit for kids. Impact Jack is a SmartLab Toys “Crash Test Lab,” featuring a virtually indestructible Jack.
The premise and design of the kit is well done. Kids aged 8+ can (fairly) easily assemble the crash test vehicle and then experiment with the effect of a seat belt, roll bars, bumpers, etc. The kit comes with a colorful fold-out of directions, experiments related to Newton’s Laws of Motion, and other suggestions for Jack as a crash test dummy. It’s a bit hard to see in the photo above, but Jack has a glowing “I’m alive!” button on his chest which will turn red if he doesn’t survive the impact.
My primary concern is that Jack is virtually immortal. A student and I rammed the car numerous times with a force that should have had led to hospitalization, if not a coffin. I took Impact Jack back to the toy store where the sales clerk dropped/slammed him on the counter and Jack glowed red. I was offered a refund since I had trouble replicating that force, but decided to give it another try in his vehicle. Jack ALWAYS survived his car crashes but finally passed away when I body-slammed him into a wall.
I would purchase this kit again but not for use with students who startle easily at the loud sounds which accompany the only way to make a true impact on Jack. Impact Jack is a terrific toy for kids who are extremely rough with their playthings.