The big problem with letting kids play fight is that eventually somebody gets smacked in the head. Tears are shed. A brawl begins. Two kids are now knocking the tar out of one another in the living room. Jabii is an ingenious way to put an end to all that drama: the new boxing game lets kids throw real-life punches with an Inspector Gadget-like spring-loaded arm. It’s like real life Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots.
The brainchild of a Danish dad/inventor working out of his garage, Jabii is basically a full-size version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots designed to get kids off their butts while “making boxing harmless.” The kit features a physical boxing glove with a telescoping arm that syncs via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. Your pint-sized Stilt-Man simply holds the pistol grip — that’s secured with a Spandex wrist wrap so it doesn’t go flying — and throws their best right hook. The lightweight plastic arm then extends and recoils, while the soft silicone bulb (think tip of a Nerf dart) harmlessly lands the punches. A customizable foam helmet is also included to ensure parents who don’t like hitting feel okay. Even cooler, thanks to an accelerometer, gyroscope, and IR sensor hidden in the tip, Jabii keeps score and tracks stats like hit rate, punch speed, and precision ⏤ it’s all registered in the app. Also, it blasts sound effects: both crowd noise and coaching instruction based specifically on how well you’re not landing that jab.
As for the video game component, players can choose from (and customize) one of four characters, each with its own strengths and weaknesses: Jacob the Strength, Brutus the Stamina, you get the idea. Gameplay works like any other boxing game ⏤ fight until either time runs out or one player’s health is depleted. Win your fights, go up the levels of the game. Or, if nobody’s around, your kid can engage in a friendly boxing match against himself for practice.
Jabii costs $79 for a single glove and helmet ($142 for the pair), but there’s a gut punch ⏤ they don’t come out until next summer. So while you can pre-order on the Kickstarter today, you’ll have to keep rocking those Sock ‘Em Robots for another year.