“ Brand: Mega Brands / Age: 6 Years+ / Pieces: 55 „
Magnext is a brand of construction toy, made by Mega Bloks, and consists of magnetic metal balls and connectors with mini-magnets on them in various shapes and forms. We are big fans of construction toys in our house, mainly of the various versions of Lego, but Magnext and its previous incarnation Magnetix are also part of our rainy day emergency arsenal.
This particular set was bought for a bargain £4.99 from Tesco Home Plus, the rrp is £19.99. Normally I wouldn't buy anything with "Girlz" on it and object to the idea that girls can only play with things if they are pink, a recent and to my mind rather nauseous development in the toy world. However, at this price I thought this set could join and perhaps enhance our rather raggle-taggle collection of various bits of Magnetix and Geomag.
This collection contains 55 pieces, as stated on the box, but what was not clear until opening the box was that 33 of the pieces are magnetic balls. There are, admittedly, a variety of other pieces included - 12 square pieces with magnets for the balls to attach to on each corner, 12 triangular pieces and two long sticks. The pieces are a variety of pink, blue and purple; I'm guessing the pink explains the "girlz" label. It does all seem a bit ball heavy however.
The pieces provided do allow for some construction and have good play value by themselves. The balls are placed on each mini-manget on the corner of the plastic pieces or end of the two sticks and can all be joined together.
There are three simple instructions included on how to make a pyramid, cube and 3-D triangle. The pieces fit together ingeniously to make a solid whole. Compared to the previously available magnetix they are billed as "Bigger, Stronger, Faster", by the manufacturer. I think they do allow more rapid construction but you would need an awful lot more pieces to make anything very meaningful, though my daughter has managed a house with roof and something that was apparently a "cup holder". Cleverly, I think, she also worked out how to make a cube with balls in the middle of it to make a "shaker", as the pieces can swivel she was able to designate one of the squares a lid. I do think, therefore, that this set does allow for free and imaginative construction.
The pieces are compatible with the magnetix pieces we already own, but not quite with "geomag" of which we have a few pieces given to us (Geomag is, I believe the original magnetic construction set and is more expensive).
As these pieces are magnetic care should be taken around the under 3's or any child prone to putting objects in their mouth. The age guideline says 6+, which seems a bit random to me, I would say my 5 and a half year old is able to play with it perfectly satisfactorily but may get more out of the pieces as she gets a bit older. I have to admit to having had a little play myself and producing what I thought was a rather impressive 3 pyramid structure; my kids weren't over awed however and soon de-constructed my work. Using the pieces does get your brain thinking differently to, say, using lego, particularly as the pieces slot together and also as anything placed on a magnetic ball can rotate.
Overall this is a good set, particularly at the price I paid. I am not sure why it had to be "pinked up", and I think probably we will get more out of it if we add more non-ball pieces to our collection.
www.megabrands.com/en/kids/magnext/ for more information and non-pink sets
Build bigger, stronger and faster with this 55 Count (approx) MagNext Girlz Ultimate System. The new revolutionary magnetic system allows for better, more stimulating and innovative building experiences as the new MagNext parts produce bigger, stronger and more realistic builds. This MagNext Deluxe System comes in an attractive funky colours with metallic balls and is compatible with all other MagNext building sets. Engage in endless hours of spectacular construction and building possibilities.