A few weeks ago we got the most fun package in the mail! It was full of Magformers!
FedEx dropped our review sets off just as we were getting ready to leave for the day on a fun outing. I didn’t tell the kids what was in the box though because I knew they would then drag their heels at leaving the RV. When we got home, they discovered Magformers…
and it was nearly impossible to get them to bed an hour and a half later!
The kids has played with them a little bit at another fulltime family’s ‘house’ in FL, and we’d heard positive things about them from other traveling families, so we wanted to check them out to see if they really were a toy worth a place in our limited space.
The sets we received were: the Magformers Inspire 14pc. set (retail $24.99), the Magformers Lightshow set (retail $119.99), and the Magformers Custom RC set (shown below – retail $129.99)…
At first I was a little daunted by the price, but now that we’ve got to play with them for some time, getting to check out their durability and quality (and solid ‘feel’), I don’t feel that they are overpriced. They do cost a little more than some magnetic toys because they are constructed using neodymium, which are some of the strongest magnets in the world. One thing that really makes Magformers unique and versatile is the patented design which allows the magnets to free-float/rotate within the plastic shapes; that means that they always connect together, never repel! And neodymium magnets can hold up to 600 times their own weight, so the connections hold up under play.
The kids started putting the bright, smooth, translucent shapes together immediately, right out of the box…
All of the sets came with instruction and/or idea booklets to get the kids started (but mine didn’t look at them right away, they just played with the shapes right out of the box). They are one of those great toys where there is no right or wrong way to play with them…just create (and learn a bit about geometry before you know what geometry is).
We are really liking these great, award-winning building toys, and they are still brought out daily even though we’ve had them for nearly a month. We haven’t broken any yet, which says quite a bit a about their durability, and the kids are really enjoying coming up with increasingly complex designs as they get more and more familiar with the process of building with Magformers. I love to see their creativity at work.
The boys really get into building, especially remote controlled vehicles; the Custom RC set comes with 55 different pieces, including 3 sets of remote controlled wheels plus remote, and 2 free-floating people (a boy and a girl). The kids really enjoy using the people in their creations – no matter the angle that the supporting square is placed in, the little plastic people are always riding sitting up.
All the kids, Thomas and down, really like them. The RC set is everyone’s favorite. Above is a super simplified creation. The kids’ vehicles usually have two stories, and would definitely be considered big rigs! LOL!
The girls really like the ‘Inspire’ sets – they are made up of girly colors 😉 pink, light blue, and purple; those are the shapes that they dig out first, and go to the other colors only when they run out of Inspire pieces. The boys aren’t so picky! LOL!
The Lightshow set includes 51 pieces, including a rechargeable light cube and 6 new pyramid shaped pieces. The light cube does not take batteries (love!), but comes with a USB cord to use for charging it. There is a small button on the cube that the kids can push to make it change colors at two different speeds, or they can set it to glow a single color.
(the kids used some pieces from all the sets to create the above ‘house’) 😉
The Inspire set came with an idea book of projects that the kids can make from the small Inspire set, and larger projects containing more ideas. One of the things they have been copying, and then expanding on, is to make flat, spread out projects that can be pulled up from the middle, making a 3-D, enclosed shape. The kids started out making some of the more simple projects in the idea booklet (like the one shown below), and are expanding on them.
The magnets attract each other, so the object forms on it’s own as the magnets automatically draw together as the connected pieces are slowly pulled up off the floor…
The kids like to make elaborate spider shaped designs on the floor, trying to make sure they will connect together, on their own, to make the design they have in mind. I love that they started with the booklets, but now they seldom look at them (except to see what they could create if they had more Magformers!), but try to make their own elaborate designs.
(and if Daniel would have made it without the little triangles at the bottom, the longer pieces would have closed up the bottom like a prism, instead of making a stand as in the pic)
Magformers come in 14 geometric shapes, in 9 colors, with 65 different components available! They are so versatile – my littles started by making two dimensional shapes on the floor, and quickly moved on to three dimensional creations. The 25 different available sets offer a wide variety of building experiences.
Magformers have great educational applications, and the kids enjoy making different shapes with them, all the while learning to understand spatial relationships. They can be used for counting exercises, and I’m using them to help one of my students understand multiplication – because the shapes cling to each other, they seem to work better than piles of pennies for teaching lessons like – ‘5 groups, with 4 in each group, equals how many all together’. 😉
Besides being a great educational tool, they are just plain fun. They have become the kids’ go to toy – and both the boys and the girls equally enjoy them.
Magformers inspire creativity, improve coordination, and encourage kids to think outside the box (or idea booklet) in their creations. They are the perfect RV building toy (and for roadtrips in the car too!)…I love that since the shapes naturally stick together they aren’t spread out all over the house (or lost); and the littles like to stack like shapes together when putting them away, so they really don’t take up much space at all!
The Tribe kids give them two thumbs up for fun and creative play!
~I would recommend them for ages 3 and up – Molly gets into them, but while Caleb (2 today!) likes them, they don’t hold his interest yet, and he mostly likes to take them apart. ~I would recommend a minimum of 30 pieces – Molly (4) is happy building with just the shapes from the girly 14pc. Inspire set, and while Savanna (6) was at first, she now likes to use more pieces to create larger projects.
~I would also recommend letting Gramma know right away that the kids are going to want more Magformers than they are getting. 😀 The current wish list in this RV is: Super Brain Set (or Miracle Brain set – they can’t decide which – they figured the Expert set was probably pushing it! LOL!), the Inspire 30pc. set, the Transform set (because it has a propeller and gun!), and the Math Activity book (ok, that’s really on MY wish list 😉 ). I’m pretty sure you can’t have too many of these!
Magformers can be purchased straight from Magformers.com, and they can often be found on sale on amazon. Their website has all sorts of pages where you can check out the sets that they make, look at completed projects (many include assembly diagrams), and even download some of the idea booklets (I really love that – I had considered contact-papering ours to make it last, and now I don’t have to!).
You can also find Magformers on Facebook, Instagram (Magformers), and Twitter!
Disclaimer: The Tribe received the above Magformers sets to aid in providing our honest, unbiased opinions of the products, with no obligation or incentive to write a favorable review (and no other compensation was received). All opinions expressed above are just that, our opinions. 😀