What is it? GeoMag makes building toys that use magnets. MagiCubes are hefty blocks that have magnets that allow children to build with them. Unlike legos, they are smooth and connect with the power of the magnets. The blocks have a nice heft to them – they feel solid but the texture has a bit of grip to help young fingers manipulate them. The set I reviewed came with 9 blocks of various shapes and colors. The set also comes with an instruction manual with directions to build different models, though following the directions isn’t required to enjoy them.
What is the target age group? This set is advertised for ages 1-5, and the blocks are perfectly sized for that age group. How do I know? I just so happen to have a two year old, so I put her to work for this review. The blocks are big enough that they won’t be swallowed, sturdy enough that they won’t break, and they strike the perfect balance between sticking together and being easy enough for little fingers to pull apart.
Is it fun? MagiCubes passed the two year old test with flying colors. The instructions are basically pictures of different creations and I was pleasantly surprised that my daughter actually followed them … and then did her own thing too. MagiCubes seemed to scratch that same building and creativity itch that she gets from Duplos, without the occasional frustration she gets when she can’t pull apart Duplo blocks without help. One cool feature about these blocks is the magnets are not polarized so they can be attached in any configuration (usually magnets are attracted on one side and push each other apart on the other – and yes, I know that is a horrible scientific explanation of magnets). MagiCubes held her attention and then she uttered the best endorsement of any toy we’ve given her. In the middle of working on a creation, she looked up and said, “I need more.” The next day, she noticed the MagiCubes sitting on the counter and asked to play with them again.
Parent’s take: MagiCubes are a great product for young builders because they require less assistance or supervision than other toys. MagiCubes fill the same role as DUPLOS, serving as a great introduction to building. Their ease of use ensures kids won’t get frustrated. I should probably also admit that I found myself tinkering with them absentmindedly and they are quite relaxing. Perhaps the best difference for parents is the fact that their shape and smooth edges make it less likely you will suffer pain by stepping on one. GeoMag’s toys are 100% recycled plastic so you can also feel good about the impact on the environment. Finally, it felt great when my daughter asked to play with them again instead of trying to steal my phone again.
Conclusion: I was surprised by how much I liked GeoMag’s MagiCubes. I highly recommend them for children 1-5 as an entry point into building toys. But in this case, my opinion matters less than my 2 year old daughter’s – she loves them.
Thank you to GeoMag for sending a review copy.