Years and years ago my oldest son was gifted a magnetic vehicle building set by his great grandmother. It was a Magformers set and at the time they could only be purchased through specialty catalogs. My son loved the set, despite probably being younger than the recommended age. Five years later that set is still used by both him and his younger brothers. It’s one of my favorite building sets because there are no sharp pieces to step on, and the magnets go together easily so my three year old doesn’t spend his afternoon frustrated over being unable to connect something. Seeing the Magformers booth at the TTPM Holiday Showcase was probably the most exciting moment of the entire day for me. I just couldn’t believe how far Magformers had come from that early set! I am beyond excited to be writing this Magformers Heavy Duty Set Review today because this set takes everything we already loved about Magformers and blows it completely out of the water.
The Magformers Heavy Duty Set is huge. It contains 73 pieces and the idea booklet walks you through building nine different construction vehicles that can be built and operated using the enclosed R/C motor and remote control. One of the things I like best about Magformers is the extreme ease it takes to put them together. Because Magformers use cylindrical neodymium magnets the pieces connect no matter which way you place them together. For beginning builders this is such a huge plus – kids don’t have to struggle with the frustration of properly aligning magnets and can be more creative as they build and connect shapes together. The nine vehicles included in the book have very clear instructions listed, with pieces needed and photo instructions for building each vehicle in six steps.
The Magformers Heavy Duty Construction Set includes an engine block and special blocks that can be connected to it to allow for rotation, sliding and piston movement so that forklifts really lift, dump trucks dump and each model included in the book can perform realistic actions, which take this from ordinary building set to something much more – a chance for children to not only create, but then realistically play with their creations. Magformers magnets are some of the strongest you can get in a magnetic building set and we find that the vehicles hold together well during play. Of course, they are magnets, so pulling or rough housing and throwing will cause them to come apart, but our boys were easily able to lift and move their creations and -of course – drive them around with no issues. Clean up is so easy because the magnets quickly stack for storage!
The Dump Truck build was a clear favorite. Using the piston and engine block the boys were able to create a truck that could transport their shopkins from one area to another, which provided and entire evening of entertainment for them and their friends. The box says ages 6 and up, and I agree that some of the components like the motor or engine block may be difficult for younger children to use, but my five year old was able to put the vehicles together quickly based on the instructions and even my three year old was able to master driving the vehicles around. My eight year old and his friends really loved the set, eventually challenging each other to build stranger vehicles. This Magformers set works with any other Magformers as well, so they were able to incorporate pieces from an older set into their designs.
Overall, Magformers Heavy Duty Set was a huge hit in our home, across multiple age groups. This set is great for beginning builders and experiences builders alike, with lots to offer for kids who are ready to move past just building blocks and incorporate some R/C ability and engineering into their play! For a retail price of $199.99 we found Magformers to be a great value – well built and designed for long term play, this set is equipped to grow with your child and provide years of fun.
If you’re concerned about the safety of magnets with your children Magformers has this to say on their website:
“Here at MAGFORMERS® we pride ourselves in the quality of our product and the play experience it delivers. Each shape contains rotating Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, the strongest of their kind for guaranteed connectivity. Every magnet is kept safe and secure in Sonic welded, BPA free, HQABS plastic. This process of manufacturing ensures each magnet is encapsulated with the utmost security, providing a safe, long lasting play experience.”
From our own experience I can say that we have Magformers sets that have been played with, stored and moved around with us for years and the pieces are in the same shape as they were when we first got them.
Check out our 2015 Holiday Toy Guide for more hot STEM toys!