I bought my little boy one of these for his first birthday as I remember I used to love them when I was little. I thought he would find it great but so far it has been a bit disappointing to be honest.
The bigger ones that you find on display for kids to play with in certain stores/doctors etc are great because there are so many spirals and beads to keep the kids entertained, however this is a much smaller version and gives much more limited play value. It really doesn't keep my now 19 month old entertained for long at all, and he only ever goes to play with it if I get it out of the toy box and sit down and play with it with him. Even then he still gets quite bored. Because it is so small there isn't much wire to push the beads along, and not much height or spirals to watch the beads falling down or going round and round.
I think it's a bit pointless really and will no doubt end up getting cleared out sooner rather than later. I think it is just one of those toys that kids love to play with elsewhere so you think they're going to love it when you buy them one, but in actual fact they're not bothered about it at all in their own home surrounded by more favourable toys.
Its good for me as it doesn't use batteries or make noise, however they're the type of toys my son generally shows preference for over this.
Our Doctors surgery has a large bead maze and anytime we have cause to visit my little girl heads straight for it, and is most distressed when we actually get called in for our appointment.
When shopping in Asda one day I noticed that they sold the Little Tikes Bead Maze for £5 and I was instantly taken by how well designed and made it is. The colours are bright and eye catching and it is the perfect size for a child to have on their laps or to carry. I could not resist buying it for my little girl- who instantly loved it.
The Bead Maze has two routes one orange rather like a loop the loop roller coaster track the other blue and straighter. Both have brightly coloured wooden beads. On the base there are two small straight tracks to simply move the beads side to side. As it is small in size it is very portable and we often take it out with us.
My daughter absolutely loves her Bead Maze and plays with it most days. She also seems to find it very relaxing to play with it when she is sleepy and wants a cuddle or on longer car trips.
The Bead Maze copes very well with the rough play of a small child or being dropped, quite an achievement when you have laminate floors and even after being dropped multiple times it is unscathed.
My daughter absolutely loves her Bead Maze and plays with it most days. She also seems to find it very relaxing to play with it when she is sleepy and wants a cuddle. It is very well made and designed, and light enough for a small child to handle with ease. It is bright coloured and eye catching coping well with the rough play of a small child and I cannot recommend this highly enough.
This review also appears on CIAO under the same username.