It's not easy describing something as weird and wonderful as iZ. The boffins behind this impossibly cute creature call it an "interactive animatronic DJ/speaker" - which it is, but you're probably still baffled, aren't you?
Allow us to explain. iZ (pronounced "is") is a bizarre, battery-operated being that functions as a quality audio speaker, compatible with almost any music source. Simply plug in your MP3/CD player using the supplied cable and you're away.
But - and this is a big, fat, hugely entertaining but - you can also use iZ to compose your own wacky tunes. How? By pressing and twisting his various body parts, of course! Confused? You should be, because iZ is one of the strangest musical thingamabobs we've ever had the pleasure to play with.
Standing 9" tall, with three posable legs, two goggly eyes, trombone-shaped ears and a light-up nosecone, iZ looks like it has just stepped out of a cartoon drawn by an escaped lunatic from the Planet Tharg. Playing your music collection through iZ is entertaining enough, as his nose changes colour and his eyes bounce to the beat. But press iZ's belly and the fun really starts.
That's because this activates one of seven toe-tapping electronic beats. Turning iZ's right ear triggers one of seven additional rhythms whilst his left ear plays seven melodies. A special "flicker" switch dangling above iZ's head allows you to add "scratch-style" sound effects. And if all that's not enough to mark iZ out as the quirkiest DJ since Timmy hung up his Mallett, we don't know what is. Actually we do, because iZ also spouts his own gibberish language, at random, to any tune. See, we told you it was strange.
The jovial tunes you can create with iZ are devilishly catchy (some of the high-energy blip-bloppery we've composed would give the Gorillaz a run for their money), and he makes a brilliant desktop companion for all ages. In fact, we think iZ is going to be absolutely huge. The cutest, quirkiest, animatronic DJ in history? Course it iZ!
Three posable legs and three vibrant colours: