One of the most awesome build-your-own computer kits for kids, the Piper Computer kit, has been very successful, and for good reasons. The kits have been used by schools, parents and coding clubs all over the world, to teach kids basics of electronics, computer design and coding. In case you are not familiar with the product, here’s a short intro video by the company:
The Piper Computer kit is so successful, in fact, that it apparently pays off to counterfeit the kits and sell them on Ebay and elsewhere online.
These copycat kits are marketed as “TEQstone Educational Toy Computer Kit” or “Educational Toy DIY Computer Kit for kids” or variations thereof. Here is a sample of some listings. These are all counterfeit PIPER kits shipped from China — stay away from them.
I have reported the listings to Ebay several times during the past couple of weeks, but they still have not been removed. There currently are at least 10 listings.
The wooden box that you build, the parts, etc look EXACTLY the same. The screen contents – also the same except that changed the name from PIPER to BIBER so they basically modified the original code and just changed the name.
Here is what a REAL Piper Computer Kit looks like (you can click the images to enlarge).
You can get lucky on Ebay and get a decent deal on open box or surplus inventory items but for new ones, make sure you don’t get the fake ones from China. Your best bet is to purchase directly from the Piper store, or from a major retailer like Amazon or Toys R Us.