Magna Tiles Review: A Magnetic Building Set

Editor's rating:
10.0
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Reviewed by Bobby Brower
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We like

  • Extremely durable pieces are virtually indestructible
  • Rare earth magnets are strong and keep pieces together
  • Clear plastic resembles stained glass
  • Helps kids develop math and science skills
  • Allows kids to be as creative as possible
  • Can be used with other Magna Tile sets or any other types of toys
We don’t like
  • Very expensive to purchase
  • Number of tiles may be too small for use by multiple kids

How it works

Magna Tiles is a great alternative to other toy building kits that are popular with kids and adults. Magna Tiles has received rave reviews for its durability, ease of use, design, and ability to entertain children for long periods of time. Magna Tiles has also been praised for bringing children together to play and learn. Magna Tiles focuses on developing a child’s creativity when it comes to designing structures and using math and science to create art. Although it has been criticized for being very expensive, Magna Tiles does offer a lot to children and the lifespan of the toy is quite long.

 

Design

Design

Magna Tiles are clear plastic, completely flat building blocks. They come in two different shapes. They are designed to be triangular (equilateral, right, and isosceles triangles) and square (large and small squares). Each piece is made of a clear hard plastic that comes in a variety of colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. When pieced together, each piece resembles stained glass. The pieces are also held together by small rivets that prevent the pieces from coming apart as the trick that makes Magna Tiles so popular is the magnets that are between the two pieces of thin plastic that make up the piece. Along the sides of each Magna Tiles piece is a line of magnets. The magnets are what make Magna Tiles stick together in whatever structure you construct. The ends of each piece stick or click together.
How To Build

How To Build

Magna Tiles can be used in anyway you see fit. The object of Magna Tiles is to allow children or adults to be as creative as they want and build whatever they can imagine in their minds. The large squares serve as the perfect start to a base or foundation. You can link together as many of the large squares as you can to make the footprint of what you want to build. After that, it’s whatever you want to create. The isosceles triangles work best when constructing a pyramid. The pyramids work well on top of towers or to make any kind of round object like a hump, but with a point. The equilateral triangles work best when making diagonals in structures while the right triangles thrive in corners. The smaller squares that come with the kit are the best for making walls and adding height to your structure. Just make sure that you have a solid foundation because the higher you go, the weaker the structure gets.
Science and Math

Science and Math

Magna Tiles boasts being able to bring science and math to playtime. This statement is true. The different shapes of the triangles helps kids learn the difference between the triangles and why they are the shape they are. It’s a geometry lesson every time your child plays. Equilateral triangles have three angles that are all equal, right triangles have one corner that is at 90 degrees, and an isosceles triangle has two sides that are equal while the third is not. The early geometry lesson helps accelerate a child’s knowledge of math, which helps when they enter or are already in school and helps if they start to participate in music. The science portion of the toy helps children develop knowledge in building science, physics, and engineering. By using the science of weights and balances, kids can start to build higher and higher structures that are more sturdy. Kids will start to understand that less weight is needed as you build higher. The combination of the math and science to create new structures every time will begin to be better understood as time goes on.
Creativity

Creativity

The biggest asset found with Magna Tiles is its promise to allow kids to be creative. Not only does the set come with brightly colored tiles that add to the aesthetic of any of its creations, but the act of taking raw materials and turning them into something recognizable is paramount. Although there are some pointers as to how to start building and what is easy to build with the Magna Tile pieces, there is really no concrete formula to using the pieces. Whatever yours or your child’s brain can conceive can be built using the 100 pieces that come in the box. The kit comes with 54 squares (50 are small and five are large) and 46 triangles (20 equilateral, 11 right triangles, and 15 isosceles triangles). Any of those pieces can be connected to another piece and as long as the structure is sturdy enough, more and more pieces can be added until you have used all 100 pieces. Users of the set have created animals, robots, bridges, and rocket ships. The best way to create is to simply play with all the pieces putting them together and taking them apart until something starts to take shape.
Additional Sets

Additional Sets

Magna Tiles comes in a variety of sets. You can purchase thirty-two piece sets, fifty piece, seventy-five, thirty-four, and one hundred piece sets. All Magna Tile sets can be used together no matter what style (some of the sets are not clear plastic but opaque plastic) or number of pieces come in the box. As long as they are magnetic they will work together and you can continue to build bigger and higher structures. Some buyers who have more than one child found it much easier to buy more than one set of Magna Tiles because when two or more children are playing with them the pieces tend to run short. By having multiple sets, children are able to create more together because the larger number of tiles goes much further.
Use With Other Toys

Use With Other Toys

One of the biggest benefits of Magna Tiles that many users have found is that children were able to not only be creative in constructing their own structures with the tiles alone, but they were able to use their creativity to use Magna Tiles to create structures for their other toys. Some children have created bridges for train sets or animals for zoos or stuffed animals. The versatility of Magna Tiles is that it is able to be used with anything that is found around the house or in your child’s room or playroom, and that adds to what Magna Tiles already offers.
Safety

Safety

Magna Tiles is not intended for children under the age of three. As a matter of fact, any child under the age of six should be supervised while playing with Magna Tiles. Not only do the pieces have the potential to have a poking hazard with the edges of the squares and triangles, but in the event that one of the magnets comes loose from the tile it poses a huge choking hazard. All the sides of the Magna Tiles are lined with magnets so anyone of them could come off if the tile is smashed or purposely broken.
Storage

Storage

One of the most praised aspects of Magna Tiles is its ability to be stored anywhere. Because all of the tiles are small and thin, they can easily be stacked and stored in a small space. Many parents store the pieces in plastic food storage bags that take up very little room. The pieces can also be put in plastic containers, shoe boxes, or the pieces can be kept in the box they came in. What’s more is that the pieces won’t come apart from each other because the magnets that are in the pieces keep them together and prevent them from coming apart and getting lost. Magna Tiles are never in the way as long as they are kept together allowing for the set to stay complete and kept in a safe place where they can easily be accessed and used whenever and wherever your child chooses.
Durability

Durability

Every review of Magna Tiles praises the same aspect of the toy: they are virtually indestructible. Many parents have said that no matter how much they are dropped or stepped on, the pieces do not break or come apart. Many parents have had Magna Tiles for years and the pieces still look like new. Many kids have dropped them on concrete floors or ran over them with other toys or stepped on them in the dark or by accident, and each time the piece never chipped, cracked, or broke. The hard plastic and rivet design keeps the pieces safe and sturdy. Other building block sets hurt when you stop on them in the dark or by accident, but with Magna Tiles not only can you accidentally step on them pain free, but you will not damage the piece either. This trait has allowed many parents the joy of buying multiple sets because the investment of learning and a long life span of the toy are worth the money spent.
Travel

Travel

Due to the high level of durability that comes with Magna Tiles, parents and grandparents have found it quite easy and reasonable to take Magna Tiles with them wherever they go. The tiles weigh nothing and can be stored in something as small as a plastic sandwich bag, so the toy can be enjoyed away from home. As long as there is a flat, hard surface you can use Magna Tiles anywhere. One parent found it beneficial to take Magna Tiles to the airport while waiting for a flight. Not only was their child entertained in the crowded airport waiting area, but once the pieces were taken out and played with, other children began to migrate to the area and play with the toys as well allowing for other parents to entertain their children at the same time.
Price

Price

Magna Tiles are very expensive. The price is the main complaint that many buyers have expressed. It’s easy to see how Magna Tiles can be far out of budget for many consumers, but when you look at the benefits along with the durability of the pieces, it is easy to see why the price would be so high. The tiles are virtually indestructible and they do contain rare earth magnets. As a matter of fact, the 100 piece set can have anywhere between 600 and 800 magnets. The pieces are also held together by small rivets that prevent the pieces from coming apart and the magnets coming out. The loose magnets are also a health hazard as they can be swallowed or choked on. The expensive construction of the pieces prevents any of these hazards from happening. You do get what you pay for with Magna Tiles and the high price guarantees a high quality product a well as high quality learning and development.
Conclusion

Conclusion

Magna Tiles is one of the best building sets on the market. It has received rave reviews from parents and grandparents who have purchased the set for the children in their lives to great satisfaction. Children get to be as creative as they wish by taking all of the pieces and creating structures, animals, and whatever their minds can create. The pieces are aesthetically pleasing and can be used with any other Magna Tiles set. Children are also exposed to geometry and building science along with engineering. The more kids play with Magna Tiles, the more they will begin to develop these same science and math skills that will inevitably help them in their educational journey both artistically and scientifically. Although many feel that the price is too high for this set, it is quickly understood why. There are far too many benefits to having Magna Tiles as part of your child’s toy collection. Not only does it promote family play, but friendly play as well that is both educational and social. Magna Tiles is perfect for any child who wants to be creative and learn.
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