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  • Building Toys Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Building Toys

Brick by Brickadoo

This is my 4th toy fair, and one of the categories that I have been seeking out are great, new building and construction toys. There seemed to be a plethora of items that match that description, many of them wooden, but my favorite product of the day were the Brickadoos. When I mentioned the Brickadoos to Sheri and Isaac, they ... Read More »

Stacks & Slots

The new Dado Cubes set from Fat Brain Toys offers a sophisticated spin on stacking construction toys. Dado comes with 10 plastic nesting cubes that feature interlocking slots. You can organize them in millions of combinations to create complex and beautiful structures, and the blocks are touted as beneficial for visual-spatial learning. They are really fun – when we opened ... Read More »

Building with trees

I picked Tree Blocks as one of my favorite finds this past year at Toy Fair. Now, they’ve finally arrived. We’re carrying a 21-piece set, a 36-piece set and two types of treehouses. The blocks are extremely unique. They are hand-cut from real branches in precise 2cm length increments, with wider 2cm pieces that can serve as bridges or platforms. ... Read More »

The search engine is rolling into the station

Here’s a quandary. Your company produces an iconic children’s toy beloved by generations. But lately, it seems like everyone is knocking off your product, and sales have slowed. How do you update your product for the 21st century, to keep it fresh and relevant for today’s kids? Well, if you’re Brio, you take a huge risk. You move away from ... Read More »

Squishy towers

Edublocks have been a fixture in our store’s playscape since we first opened in 2004. The set of giant, foam Lego-style blocks are probably the only toy that has survived two years of unmitigated abuse at the hands of our littlest customers. But they are very expensive, and despite their popularity, we don’t sell too many of them. Now, I ... Read More »

In gear for the holidays

Oliblocks are one of the successful instances where art and play intersect. Designed by architect Daniel Oakley, the original blocks have been featured in a variety of venues, from museums to toys stores. Now, they just introduced Oligears, a set of 11 gears in various sizes that can interlock or connect magnetically. The pieces are beautiful, the quality is excellent, ... Read More »

Lego on and on

The appeal of Lego is so broad, it’s staggering. This one company produces plastic bricks (or variations on that theme), and manages to successfully attract customers ranging from infants to adults. Until recently, though, the older Lego customer was usually a die-hard Lego enthusiast, one who loved the challenge and satisfaction of assembling the models and displaying the finished product. ... Read More »

Warning: Hexabits are addictive

One day, a salesperson sat down at my desk and pulled out a plastic baggie filled with small, flexible hexagon-shaped pieces that interlocked. A new construction toy. I don’t think I paid attention to another word he said. I was totally captivated by my creative efforts, and I was reluctant to return his sample an hour later. Now Hexabits have ... Read More »

If they’re Not Bloks, what are they?

We’ve just received our first shipment of Not Bloks, a new mega-size construction toy that looks like a lot of fun. Inspired by cardboard box play, these are big sheets of corrugated plastic, and they attach using velcro to form large structures, like playhouses, tunnels, rocket ships, etc. I like that they’re so open-ended, and that they will engage parents ... Read More »

Moon Sand

I loved Moon Sand at first sight when I saw it at Toy Fair. It’s a substance that looks like sand, feels like a combination of sand and play-doh, but never dries out. So you can build all kinds of sand sculptures, enjoy them on display for a while, then squash them up and build something else. To be honest, ... Read More »