We’ve really got to hand it to Thames & Kosmos: It truly knows how to build fans of STEM.

The Mega Cyborg Hand is one part Frankenstein-esque science experiment, one part learning exercise, and all fun. When kids first open the box, they may be surprised by the five colorful levels of plastic parts. It’s neatly formed — but it also might have people asking how it can possibly turn into a usable toy.

All anxiety is quickly calmed when kids open the experiment manual. It’s a hefty guide that looks more like a comic book or magazine than an instruction sheet. On the very first page, it explains aaaaaaaall of those important pieces and that’s just the beginning — literally.

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After a quick introduction for parents — which explains that kids ages 7-9 might need some help, but those ages 10 and up should be able to complete the project on their own — it jumps into a comic which begins the origin story of the Mega Cyborg Hand but is interrupted by the actual directions for the project. Partway through the directions, the first two experiments come up. About seven pages full of directions later the comic comes back — this time when kids’ Mega Cyborg Hand is fully built and it’s officially introduced into the story.

The design of this book alone is worth this kit. No detail is spared and on every page, kids can find facts about why these things are working and tips on how to make their time building go smoother. This isn’t a five-minute activity — it will take time and patience — but the journey is just as enjoyable as the final product.

After the comic, the guide goes into detail on how to move the hand and provides more fun experiments. As for the hand itself, it’s made for one-size-fits-all so there could be some wiggle room, but kids can always grow into it. It’s fun to use it to try picking things up or explore the full range of motion. The thumb can be placed on the left or right side so lefties don’t have to feel left out.

This set is more than just an activity to cure boredom. It teaches kids all about science and how joints work. The theories of pneumatic and hydraulic technology become easily digestible and, more importantly, exciting! Through the various activities and experiments, anyone can have fun and learn some handy facts along the way.