“ Type: Kids Games „
THE INTELLIGENCE TOY
Once upon a time, when my husband credited me with a little intelligence, he bought me an Intelligence Toy. Thankfully, he learned better, though the toy is still with me, and although there are more expensive versions of it on the market, it still holds a place in my home and has come in very handy from time to time as I shall explain.
Packed within a box that has separate compartments for all the components, the Intelligence Toy consists of 14 Magnetic Triangles, 20 Magnetic Squares, 26 Magnetic bars and 42 shiny metal balls. The idea of using it is very well illustrated on the cover of the box, and there are various models that you can construct, using the shapes which hold the balls neatly in place with magnetic force. It's clever and it's rather fun, and the biggest challenge I was set by my other half was to construct a model using every component. I did it. In fact I did it several times, because this really is user friendly and I am amazed at the possibilities that the game has.
This particular make was cheaply made in China although it has the normal CE stamp, making it suitable for the European market. What I noticed that worried me a little bit was that the plastic contruction of the triangles and squares is brittle and although at first I thought that the pieces would break in a childs hand, my last year of using it has actually meant that I have gained confidence in the products ability to withstand the horrors of being handled by a child.
When we have visitors, the game has come out time and time again, and the age range of children that have used it safely in my home and have been entertained sufficiently for hours are from 6 to 15 years old. Even adults have had a go at the challenge of putting every piece in the set into a finished model, some of which collapsed and had to be started again, and others which stayed in place for weeks because they were so cleverly thought out.
The age range on the box is confusing. Although the box is printed with the age 5 as being the youngest age suitable for using it, and my experience tells me that this is accurate, there is also a sticky label that says that age 3 is the correct age. I would argue that and agree with the printed version of 5 as being a suitable age, although I would advise those with small children to keep an eye on them, since the little metal balls are easy swallowing material, although the plastic astounds me at being able to survive the abuse it has had, and did not become sharp or broken as I anticipated it would. I love the fact that the plastic pieces are constructed in primary colours, and are bright and cheerful, and not easily lost, although care should be taken to keep all the metal balls in the tray supplied as these easily roll under furniture, only to be found months later !
The game retails in cheaper shops and is a cheap version of the more popular Geomag construction kits, and may suit people that cannot afford the expensive alternative. It's really a good construction set and can be played with either alone, or with children constructing models together, although I found that this lead to arguments, and had to split the set into two piles to get around the impending possibility of world war three.
Personally, I loved it. It was cheap at 8.00 and has years of life left in it, and will occupy those children that visit me, as well as being dragged out to challenge my husband occasionally. It's fun to build with and actually takes more than just putting pieces together because you have to work out if your creation will sag, since although the magnetic joints are very solid, the pieces have a tendancy to be too weighty for the metal balls if you try to get too clever and too top heavy.
I think it's a good alternative to more expensive items and it has become available to the British market in budget shops. Parents don't have unlimited budgets, and I feel this really would make a good stocking filler and will keep the kids busy for hours, each trying to make a better model than their brothers or sisters, and ingenious enough for parents to take up the challenge as well, using the squares and triangles joined together with the balls to make some weird and wonderful pyramids and space-age shapes and forms, without having to worry about having to buy those horrible extras that many toys require in the form of batteries !
The only instructions provided at the pictures on the box itself, though they are sufficient for a child to make the most of the project, and they really do keep youngsters entertained for hours, since there are so many possible ways of fitting the pieces together to make your construction the most imaginative.
Does hubby think me any more intelligent after buying me the game ?
Not really, he's getting me a teddy bear this year.