My son is a big fan of magnets. Because he loved the magnets on the refrigerator that we use to mount pictures and event reminders so much I recently bought him some alphabet magnets. Those magnets were a big hit with him so when I found out about magnetic blocks I was excited to get some for him to play with.
I was contacted by a representative from Meigo about an opportunity to review their magnetic blocks, so this is a sponsored post but, as always, the opinions in this review are entirely my own.
I received the smaller 30 block set which consists of 18 square blocks and 12 triangle blocks plus a drawstring storage bag and a booklet with some ideas of what to create. They also have a 70 piece set which includes three additional shapes: long triangles, pentagons, and hexagons. The smaller set offers plenty of entertainment for my young son but as he gets older I will definitely be interested in expanding the collection to offer more building possibilities.
When I first received the box my wife, who didn’t know that I was getting these, said: “Oh, Magna Tiles.” I didn’t know what a “Magna Tile” was but apparently, these are similar in some ways. She works in a school for students with learning disabilities, mostly on the autism spectrum, and she said they were a common toy used for learning and as a reward. A few days later I saw some real Magna Tiles, which I now know are the “original magnetic block” and I have to say I like the Meigo magnetic blocks a lot better at least for the younger kids.
Magna Tiles are thinner, sharper and solid pieces of plastic compared to these Meigo blocks. The Meigo blocks are outlines of the shapes instead of solid so they are easier for little hands to grab. The Meigo blocks are a little thicker and are rounded both at the corners and on the edges so they seem much safer in that regard. Also, as I began writing this post I checked the price of Magna Tiles. A 32 piece set will run you $49.99 even on Amazon.
The 30 piece set of Meigo blocks is available at Amazon.com at a regular price of $17.69 and the 70 piece set is only $29.69. They are certainly a much better value than the Magna Tiles. 2d Meigo Magnetic Block Projects
Magna Tiles do seem to have a few advantages, however. First, the squared edges which I just complained about probably make it easier to build 3d shapes (this is why I added the younger kids caveat). It is certainly much easier to stand up something on a flat, square edge than a rounded edge. Second, there are various expansion kits available for Magna Tiles that are not (or not yet) available for Meigo blocks or other similar blocks. Expansion kits include cars, rectangles, and polygons.
Back to the Meigo Tiles.
The description on their Amazon page claims (bullet points copied directly from the page):
- Premium Quality: Every magnetic tile is made of durable ABS plastic. Powerful permanent magnet make you fit the magnetic tiles in patterns easily
- Visible Safety: Non-Toxic ABS plastic that surrounds magnet is food graded material. Round edge design without sharpness will not let your kids get hurt
- Diverse Development: This STEM toy set can develop color and shape recognition, creativity and imagination, practical and design ability. Perfect for preschool education
- MEIGO Warranty: 90 days unconditional refund and 12 months guarantee for a new replacement if there is any product quality problem
I agree with each of these points. The plastic is very strong, durable and well fastened. My son is younger than recommended for playing with these toys and he occasionally puts them in his mouth. I pay close attention to him while he plays and I feel comfortable letting him do that despite the warning against allowing it. Other parents may feel differently and I am not recommending that you let your child put these blocks in their mouth, I just feel blocks these are built well enough that I feel comfortable letting it happen occasionally. The fact that the plastic is a food graded material and there are no sharp edges also eases my concern.
As a learning toy, this is something my son still needs to grow into but I see the tremendous potential. I enjoy building different structures with them and letting my son play “the destroyer.” He is mostly interested in knocking down 3d shapes and playing with them in stacks.
The magnets themselves are pretty strong. Much stronger, in fact, than the magnets on the alphabet magnets I got him a couple weeks ago. I can toss them against the refrigerator and they will grab more than 90 percent of the time. They hold together very well when building too. With only the 30 block set, I haven’t been able to build anything too extravagant yet, but I have been pleased by how well things have gone together. Each block has one magnet per side.
Overall, I would recommend these blocks to basically anyone. They are a good first building toy because they put themselves together when held in proximity. My son is starting with just stacking, but I can easily see him being more creative as he gets older and his skills develop. Some people may consider these knockoffs of Magna Tiles but I think they are improved in some ways and cater to a different audience. These are like Mega Blocks versus Legos; each has their own merit. I am not the only one to think these blocks are worth it. Meigo magnetic blocks are an Amazon Choice product that has a currently has a 4.8 rating from 73 customer reviews.