The backpack kit is only $12.95 at the time of this writing. connects to the back of the Adafruit 16x32 RGB LED Matrix Panel and is a very convenient way to control this awesome panel. The board is simply a small Arduino. You can easily program the board using the Arduino IDE. As you can see from the video below, it's possible to create great color animations, completely in Arduino programming!
Here is a video of mine running. I cannot wait to dig further into this.
Fri 20 November 2015