Our 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.
And that’s exactly what I did the past couple of years when my kids reached the ages of 5 and 7. There was just one problem. Out of the three Capsela sets I still have, the motor in only one of them still works. In fact, the battery connections are so super touchy that the slightest bump cuts the power off to the motor. So, even though we had hundreds of Capsela parts, we could only build a limited number of machines with that single working motor. I have included a photo of the old Capsela 1000 box as part of this review.
Enter the “IQ-KEY Perfect 1000” set. Talk about being blown away. Someone took everything that made Capsela my favorite building set of all time and created a brand new set. Everything worked perfectly. The connections were tight, plus the motor was powerful and consistent. The pieces were all so shiny and new. I almost couldn’t believe it when I opened the box to the IQ-KEY set. I am starting to think that there must have been other people out there like me who loved Capsela and finally one of them decided to bring it back to life.
My kids took to it just like I did decades ago. There is just something about these interconnecting capsules and the ideas you can bring to life that captures the imagination and attention of kids. The excitement of hooking up the wires, coupled with the glow on their faces when they flip the on switch is unlike anything I’ve seen with any other building set.
The instructions are easy to follow and cover a wide range of models. They can be built using step by step instructions or just jump in and get a feel for how the assembly process works. There is even a series of exploded view images to help little engineers learn how to put various models together. To this extent, “IQ-KEY Perfect 1000” is a building toy that does not insult your intelligence, rather it leaves room for young builders to explore some of their own ideas during the creative process.
Our first attempt went great, as we built the machine you see on the front of the box. The design was very creative, as it included a trailer (I never thought to build a trailer in my Capsela days), and after all, every kid loves trailers. When we turned the power on, the motor began to purr, and the machine took off with the trailer following right behind. We found that it ran equally good on carpet or hardwood floor.
After that first build, the kids were off and running, using the instruction book as a guide, but ultimately building their own contraptions with names they invented for each one. Thank you to IQ-KEY for bringing the best building toy of all time back to life. You have allowed a new generation of kids the opportunity to play with it, and parents like me a second chance to relive some great memories from my childhood.
“IQ-KEY Perfect 1000” contains 116 parts and is recommended for ages 7 years old and up. This large set retails for slightly over $100, and it can be purchased at Amazon.com. IQ-KEY does offer other sets of varying sizes and prices. Look for them at your local toy store, or check them out on Amazon as well.