Tegu offers unique magnetic wooden block sets that can be used right out of the box. No instructions are needed, no batteries, no putting together of small pieces by harried parents on Christmas morning or during crazy birthday parties.
Here’s the box for their 52 piece version.
It’s a nicely designed box, cardboard, but it is solid and sturdy. This is not something that will be ripped apart in just a few minutes once it is open. I think it’s aways a good sign that the box the toy comes in is sturdy and can be used to store the toy in. It is extremely annoying to find all the miscellaneous small parts lying around on the floor or in various storage bins within days of getting the toy out of the box.
It is also a very attractively designed box, with interesting tree and magnet facts printed on the inside. Things like; ‘Magnets are used in everyday objects like speakers, computers, compasses, cars, trains, and even credit cards!’, and ‘The oldest recorded tree was 5,000 years old’. Some interesting projects that you can try out are described too, like creating your own magnet by passing a paperclip over a magnet repeatedly.
The company describes their efforts to help preserve trees as well, such as their efforts to provide jobs where the blocks are made in Honduras, and how they plant new trees to replace the ones they use. That’s a lot for just the outer box!
The blocks themselves are just amazing. There are four different sizes, squares, and rectangles of various sizes. Each one is magnetized somehow and easily fit together to make anything that your kid can imagine.
So there’s not much to show regarding putting anything together, you just open up the box and go! One really nice thing about the set is that it does not come with a booklet of any kind that would show what you could build. I find that our son would just look at the booklet and build things to copy what he sees in the booklet. Since there’s no booklet, he just goes ahead and builds what he thinks of on his own. We have some other magnet block sets that do have a booklet like this, which is useful to some extent at first, but I do find that it limits the imagination of the kid who is using it.
Unlike other magnet block sets, there are no tiny little magnetized metal balls that can get lost under the bed and sucked up by the vacuum. No plastic connecting panels that can easily break. No batteries that need to be replaced. Just sturdy wooden blocks that can be used to create things that other wooden blocks can not do, such as something like this:
Every kid is different, but I always felt a little bit apprehensive about giving our son one of the other magnet sets. What if he swallowed one of those little balls ? He’s really not about to swallow one of these blocks!
Blocks like this can easily be used with any number of other toys as well. It’s not a free standing play set that can’t be used with unrelated toys. Mr. C makes all kinds of things such as bridges for Matchbox cars, skyscrapers that can be knocked down by his toy planes, pens for his Playmobil zoo animals, and lots more.
Tegu is a U.S. based company, though the blocks themselves are made in Honduras. There are a variety of other sets as well, including ones that can be used to make specific things such as cars, and smaller block sets that cost as little as $22. Here’s their website: www.tegu.com
The 52 piece block set pictured in this post, which retails for about $120. This might seem pricey for a toy, but this is something that will last for years, and will most likely be played with for years as well. Highly recommended!