Toy Review: Magic Brix Starter Set


magix brix
Did you play with Bristle Blocks when you were a kid? I know I did, but I forgot all about them until I saw Edushape’s Magic Brix Starter Set while browsing for a gift online. Just looking at those plastic blocks with little pegs sticking up brought back a ton of memories.

Apparently, the concept behind Bristle Blocks is public domain, so there are many different manufacturers of plastic blocks that look pretty much the same. I decided to roll the dice on the Magic Brix and see if Prima and Secunda are as intrigued by these toys as I was.

The short answer is, yes, they are. There are 100 blocks in this starter set, and they come in far more variety than I remember. There are the classic long rectangles, short rectangles, and squares, but also a bunch of other shapes: triangles, windows, and even axles and wheels. That’s right, you can actually make a car with this set. Consider my mind totally blown.

The thing I like best about Bristle-style blocks is that they are general, rather than specific. Here’s what I mean: When I was young, all Legos were generic: you had a bunch of small, colored, plastic blocks, and you could make a pirate ship, moon lander, or race car from the same little pack, if you had enough creativity. Sure, it didn’t look exactly like any of those things, but to a kid with imagination, it was close enough. Now, it looks like most of the Legos (at least the ones I see) are very specific; there’s not too much else you can make out of the Death Star set besides the Death Star. To me, that ruins the appeal of the toy: you might as well be putting together a model kit (something I never was able to do as a kid). So I like having a box of blocks that let kids build whatever they can imagine, even if it doesn’t look exactly like that they’ve seen in a movie or cartoon.

So far, for example, we’ve built a few different houses, a few cars, a helicopter car, a jet car, and a fairly accurate representation of the space shuttle orbiter (the wheels make good main engines). There’s really no limit to what you can do with these.

I’m happy with the quality so far, and at about $33 they seem to be a decent value, with lots of potential replay. And, just admit it, you’re probably going to have more fun than them playing with these.


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One Response to Toy Review: Magic Brix Starter Set

  1. Schopenhauer says:

    Seeing as nobody’s left a comment yet, I may as well. Yes, I loved Bristle Blocks as a kid, as much for having fun chewing on them as building things with them. This is actually a great gift idea in my worldview–the one that sees kids as too directed in play, in Lego sets and in many other nice store-bought toys. (I think most parents like to see their kids play with more than a ‘race car’ cardboard box or ‘unicorn’ muddy branch found in the gutter, since, after all, it is kind of pitiful in the first world to see kids reduced to having to use their imaginations.)

    Of course, the set I will buy is going to Auntie’s house, just so they can be an even more special playing and chewing treat and not get lost in the piles of other toys at home… and yes I will be making things with them when the Kids are away, hopefully with ‘adult’ themes. 😀 Thanks for reminding me these things exist!

    And, I’m surprised you didn’t spend a couple sentences mocking the name “Edushapes.” To me it almost sounds like some lame NSHE campaign that would highlight the diversity of our students and faculty, or something like that.

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