“ Brand: Mega Bloks / Age: 6 Years+ „
As I've said in some of my other reviews, I'm not terribly impressed by the value for money (or rather - the lack of) that Magnext has to offer. This special parts set includes just 45 pieces - and that count includes the little chrome coloured magnetic balls. The full retail price in the shops is £19.99, which is obviously a little excessive, though as it's become a discontinued set - you can now pick it up new from ebay for a more reasonable £10 plus P&P.
For those who don't know, Magnext is basically a construction toy which works with magnetic balls to join the pieces together. It's like a cross between Lego Technic and Knex - but with magnets (obviously). You can only make abstract models with this, as the pieces don't resemble anything remotely realistic like animals, buildings of vehicles. That seems to be the appeal with the grandson though, and if nothing else is good for encouraging imaginative play as well as a basic understanding of magnetics and logical construction.
Despite being a little unimpressed myself, I have to admit that the grandson absolutely loves this set. In particular, he loves the two giant wheels which came with it (bringing his total Magnext wheel count up to a very pleasing four wheels) and he loves the chains too. There are three differently coloured chains in this set, and each has a silver ball attached to either end of it. These are handy for attaching shapes to one another which are to be towed along (like a trailer) or for decorative use.
The other parts in this set aren't so special really. They include a lot of the more ordinary pieces, like square and triangle shapes, plus the standard chrome magnet balls. The shaped pieces are slightly different from usual in that they're coloured, so other kids, like the grandson, may find that novelty enough to make them want to add this to their existing collection.
If you're thinking of buying this for a Magnext fan, then I would recommend it - especially if you find it on ebay for a good price. If you're looking at this as independant play set then I'd say avoid it though. The contents really is pitiful and barely sufficient to make a small space ship or monster with. You'd get far better value for money looking at one of the (equally over priced) podium cases. Fortunately Toys R Us do seem to regularly offer this brand at half price, so look out for deals.