Bendaroos: Does it Work?

By Lauren Keith
FRUITLAND, MO (KFVS) - We can't wait to get our hands on these little building tools and neither can the three, four and five year olds at Big Stuff Preschool and Childcare in Fruitland, Missouri.
Bendaroos sort of look like licorice, but they feel like a candle wick.  Sure enough, they do bend into letters, just like the commercial shows.  Our little helpers also came up with other fun stuff.
I spotted a spider, a car, and a "rainbow" snake.  Plus, one future farmer is ready to plow ahead with Bendaroos with his favorite colors, green and yellow. 
Truth be told though...even though the box label reads this toy is for ages three and up, these creations came with a lot of help from us adults.  I helped Mason make a pair of glasses.  Another classroom helper "crowned" a little princess with a Bendaroos tiara.  "Miss Susan" made spiders and caterpillars, galore.
"How do you make a mask?" one child asked.
"See, I can't. I can't," we heard all over the classroom.
"At this smaller age, it's a mom project," notes Susan Todt, preschool teacher.
Here's something else moms and dads will have to watch.  Bendaroos bend and twist into fun shapes, but they also mesh into the carpet.  I step on a few strands, and they get mashed in, leaving a waxy residue both on the carpet and some fibers remain on the Bendaroos.
Maybe you should keep this toy on slick surfaces only, including windows you don't want to wash.  The toy does stick, as promised to the glass, but so does the waxy feel on our hands. So, is the fun sticking with the preschoolers?
"It's too abstract for the young children. They don't know what to do with it. They make letters, ball it up----and I don't know if it'll keep their interest that long," says Todt.
Boy, is Miss Susan right!  In the hour we spent here, the younger children already started drifting away from the fun.  Then, on their own, they arranged their chairs into what they call an "imaginary bus," on the other side of the room!  Still, some of the older kids enjoyed sticking Bendaroos to the window.
Still, after I left the toys in the classroom for a few days, Miss Susan says a few of the older girls enjoyed making crafts with the Bendaroos.  Miss Susan isn't "sold" on the product though.
"I think it's one of those toys that will end up in the back of the closet or thrown away," she says.
Kids might like 'em, but I think parents are going to be disappointed with this $20 toy that's really nothing more than waxy pipe cleaners.
Bendaroos twist around a D+ on this Does it Work test.