Thames and Kosmos

AD| The Magnificent Mars Expedition STEM Toy Review

This week we were sent one of the new Pepper Mint STEM toys from Thames & Kosmos new range to review.

What is STEM?

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Taught through an applied approach. Rather than teaching these subjects individually, they are integrated into real world application. Developing children’s STEM understanding and capabilities helps young people to gain confidence in using science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their everyday lives.

Thames and Kosmos

Thames & Kosmos Range

The full range includes the Pepper Mint;

  • Great Treehouse Adventure (RRP £35)
  • Fantastic Underwater Voyage(RRP £35)
  • The Daring Escape From Hidden Island (RRP £30)
  • The Magnificent Mars Expedition (RRP £25)

Also available are the smaller Master Detective Kits priced from £9.99.

About Thames & Kosmos

Thames & Kosmos was founded in 2001 by Jane Holdsworth, with the mission of improving informal science education by publishing high-quality science and technology related educational products for children of all ages. They place an emphasis on teaching concepts and skills through hands-on modelling of real world devices and processes as well as comprehensive and meaningful reading materials for a rich learning experience.

Thames & Kosmos operates throughout the UK and Europe. They have won a number of awards from the most reputable organisations that review products for children.

We were sent The Magnificent Mars Expedition Kit to test and review. This kit is aimed at ages 8+.

The Magnificent Mars Expedition

This kit sees Pepper Mint’s adventures in Space! This is a story-based STEM kit that follows a young heroine who goes on a mission to the Red Planet! On her travels she makes all sorts of out-of-this-world scientific discoveries! Follow the story book to travel with her.

STEM toys

This kit includes 7 experiments. You’ll investigate magnetism to help Pepper hover in the air and control the Mars Rover! To get started you will need to build your rocket following the simple steps in the book provided. Once built you can start your missions.

Our first experiment saw us powering the Mars Rover using magnetic fields! Using the opposite poles of the magnetic ball my daughter was able to push the Mars Rover away as well as pull it back. She enjoyed using the longer magnetic to move the iron fillings in the test tube as well as on the magnetic slime! We also used the magentic ball to create a compass.

Another experiment uses Pepper tied to a rope with a magnet above her. By moving Pepper close to the magnet, the force is strong enough to hold her in place making her appear to hover in the air. One thing I have to add is that when I tried to attach the magnet to the wooden piece, the wood did break, therefore I had to use a hairband to hold the magnet in place which did result in a lot of hard work to get this experiment to work.

Mars Expedition

The award-winning Pepper Mint line, your rocket ship and Mars Rover models can be used long after the fun of the experiments have been completed. These models can become the setting for infinite adventures and storylines – limited only by your imagination!


Whilst this is a lovely set and would provide a great toy after use of the experiments I cannot give it 10/10 due the fact that the one wooden piece broke and we weren’t able to complete the experiment easily as a result of this. My children enjoyed the set but it didn’t really hold their attention for very long. I think maybe because the experiments are incredibly quick to complete and are very easy. If your child loves experiments and space however then this surely would be a great gift for them.

Available to buy at Smyths.

For the purpose of this post we were sent The Magnificent Mars Expedition. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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