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Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 – Build and Enjoy

ToysBulletin.com reviews a great construction toy from MindWare.

Q-BA-MAZE 1The Toys Bulletin staff was truly captivated when they visited the MindWare booth at the New York Toy Fair, and first laid eyes on a “Q-BA-MAZE” demonstration. The toy name has a unique meaning, which we believe stands for “Cube Amaze.” Pronounce it quickly and you will get the idea. In any case, the “Q-BA-MAZE” is a very advanced type of marble run with several features we had not seen before.

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Posted in Building, Learning

The Awesome World of K’NEX

ToysBulletin.com looks at building sets from K’NEX.

KNEX 1K’NEX works a little different than Lego or other building sets, and we were able to test the pieces and assembly with two kids, ages six and eight. The K’NEX pieces as you can see from the pictures primarily consist of long rods and circular connectors. The result is that you can build very large sets with

Our progress after the first night, about halfway done.

Our progress after the first night, about halfway done.

fewer pieces, and the pieces do a great job staying together because the overall creation is very lightweight. When you do break a piece it is different than Legos, and other sets in that there is no type of chain reaction that causes more damage to your project. Fixes are quick, easy and usually isolated.

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Posted in Building, Learning

KEVA Maker Bot Maze – Navigate the Obstacles

ToysBulletin.com reviews a inventive maze from MindWare.

KEVA Maker Bot Maze 1Before reviewing this product, we had to find out what “KEVA” was all about. It turns out that “KEVA” generally refers to something that has stability or permanence. From a toy standpoint, “KEVA” is usually associated with wooden planks that measure 4 ½”L x ¾” W and ¼” H. They are used to stack and build structures that are amazingly sturdy, and young kids find them simple to use.

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Posted in Building, Learning, Puzzle

Magformers – Magnetic Building at its Best

ToysBulletin.com reviews a magnetic construction kit from Magformers LLC.

Magformers 1We have searched for several years to find the ultimate and best magnetic building toy. Our search is now over. We have found “Magformers,” where the high quality is equally matched with a rewarding play experience.

We got our hands on the 62 piece “Magformers Rainbow” set for review. The set includes 20 triangular, 30 square and 12 pentagon shaped magnetic pieces in 6 different colors, along with a 28 page full-color “Idea Booklet.” Each of the geometric shaped pieces has one magnet on each of its sides. Thus, the square has 4 magnets, one positioned in the middle of each of its 4 sides, the triangle has 3 magnets and the pentagon has 5 magnets. The magnets are actually rotating Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, considered both strong and having great connectivity powers. For safety, the magnets are encased in HQABS plastic and are BPA free.

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Posted in Building

4M Crystal Growing Kit — Sparkling Crystals Form Right Before Your Eyes

ToysBulletin.com reviews a science kit from 4M.

This is a great little “Crystal Growing Kit” that you can find on Amazon for around $10. The key here is to follow the directions very carefully, which not only ensures the success of your crystal growing but it provides a strong foundation for learning about science and teaching kids to follow instructions.

We tested this kit with a six year old and an eight year old, and I would say it was perfect for them, although you could even go a little younger if you are prepared to assist with the project. Everything you need is included in the kit except for water. We began by dissolving the powdery crystal mixture in hot water and letting it sit for 15 minutes. Then we transferred that to the clear crystal display case and waited another 30 minutes for everything to settle. Next we put in the multi-colored crystal seeds, and according to our watch, the preparation process took about 60 minutes.

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Posted in Building, Crafts, Learning, Novelty

Plasticant Mobilo – Building Set Supreme

ToysBulletin.com reviews a building set made in Germany from Plasticant Mobilo.

Mobilo 1There are many construction sets to choose from these days, but there is one that clearly has established itself as a standout. “Plasticant Mobilo” is developed and manufactured in Salzburg, Germany, where they use an injection moulding system to create their high-quality plastics, and the final products are a sight to behold.

We first discovered “Plasticant Mobilo” products while roaming the halls at the last New York Toy Fair. We were immediately drawn to the bright colors used on the display models, and we had to see more. We were able to get a 120 piece Standard Set of construction parts, which provided us with a sampling of nearly every type of connector, wheel, rail and support needed to build just about anything.

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Posted in Building, Learning

Crash Test Lab – Can “Impact Jack” Survive a Crash?

ToysBulletin.com reviews an interesting new toy from SmartLab Toys.

Crash Test Lab 1A Crash Test Dummy now comes to life right in your own home, with the release of “Crash Test Lab” from SmartLab Toys. This 23 piece set was designed for ages 8 years old and up, and allows kids to actually build a crash cart, position a dummy called “Impact Jack” right in the drivers seat and then test their creation to see if Jack is properly protected from harm.

The “Crash Test Lab” includes a chassis with 4 rubber tires, various rails, posts and bumpers, along with a seat, head restraint and even seat belts. And let’s not forget the most important component, “Impact Jack,” who measures 9 inches in height and, of course, sports his own protective helmet. To get things started, the crash cart must first be assembled and there are several options as to which accessories to include. For example, there is an optional roll cage that can be added to safeguard Jack even more.

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Posted in Building, Figures, Vehicles

IQ-KEY Perfect 1000 – The Spirit of an Old Favorite Brought Back to Life

IQ KEY Perfect 1000 1Our Editor talks about a game experience that still impacts him today.

When I was a young boy growing up in the eighties, there was one toy that stood out among all others as a personal favorite and it was called Capsela. Capsela was a building set that used interconnected plastic capsules with motors and gears inside to create a machine. Once assembled, you could actually wire the motors to a battery pack and the machine would come to life.  There were even sets that could move across water, with the motor powering a spinning propeller. I was captivated by this toy and the possibilities it created. I was especially lucky enough to have my parents keep my old Capsela sets so now I can enjoy them with my own children.

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Posted in Building








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