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Other than Lego.... building toys.


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#1 Riotproof

Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:44 PM

Ds loves to build with Lego, but I'm tempted to move away from it this Christmas. He is getting a huge set for birthday.

Any ideas for something else?

I saw https://www.colorifi...BhoCp9sQAvD_BwE at a shop today and wondered whether it's any good. I also thought of meccano, but I'm not sure.

Any ideas?

#2 feralisles

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:09 PM

Have you seen K'NEX?  I bought my then 10 year old DD the screamin' serpent roller coaster kit for her birthday, it was a big hit.  She built it herself with no assistance.  A younger child might need a bit of help but would still enjoy it.  I was lucky enough to get it half price, otherwise it can be expensive, but lasts well.  Like lego, the pieces can be assembled to make anything you like.

#3 Mae55

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:13 PM

Not sure how old DS is? My kids loved zoobs for a different building experience than LEGO. We’ve got meccano as well but that hasn’t had as much use as the LEGO and zoobs.

#4 Tender Heart

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:16 PM

What about some of the more intricate / mechanical sets of LEGO?  They're more expensive, but come with motors, etc.

Meccano

Clip circuits - if he's interested in electricity, etc.

Techno gears

VEX robotics

Solar kits - can build robots, windmills, etc.

#5 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:23 PM

If he is under 6 the manetic shape sets are great plus teach 3D shape concepts. Kmart have the knock off ones at a good prices. Magformers are the original expensive ones. Make sure you get the set with wheels for the most fun.

#6 Riotproof

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:37 PM

Thank you so much for the ideas. He is turning 8 early next year.

#7 rickon

Posted 22 October 2017 - 03:59 PM

I purchased Q-ba-maze blocks several years ago. They are transparent coloured blocks that fit together to construct marble runs. Many plans can be downloaded free like bridges, animals, towers etc. google. There are different packs with hot colours cool colours etc. A bit pricey but they are as good as the day we bought them. Fun.

#8 ~strawberry~

Posted 22 October 2017 - 04:56 PM

My DS who is very into lego also loves the clip circuits. It's not really a building toy, but is very cool.

#9 Charli73

Posted 22 October 2017 - 05:04 PM

My kids love Mobilo... we bought a huge tub second hand as it looks very expensive..

#10 Riotproof

Posted 22 October 2017 - 05:10 PM

View PostMimikyu, on 22 October 2017 - 04:51 PM, said:

I have a similarly aged DS and have looked at those bots. I don't think they'd hold his attention for long honestly.


That's what I'm thinking.. it's about 2 years too late.

#11 Twinblue

Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:14 PM

Mine have enjoyed building with Meccano. They do sometimes need a bit of help though with things like tightening bolts

#12 CallMeFeral

Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:43 PM

View PostKiwi Bicycle, on 22 October 2017 - 03:23 PM, said:

If he is under 6 the manetic shape sets are great plus teach 3D shape concepts. Kmart have the knock off ones at a good prices. Magformers are the original expensive ones. Make sure you get the set with wheels for the most fun.

Was going to suggest these. We have magnatiles which are awesome but horrendously overpriced - the knock off ones seem pretty good too.

#13 ali-song

Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:50 PM

Thinking about it, we have several Lego alternatives:
Magformers - fantastic, got played with almost every day. May be too young for an 8 year old.
Snap circuits - enjoyed a lot in bursts (DS will play with them intensely for a week, then not touch them for a couple of months)
Marble run - we have quadrilla, which is pricey but very good quality. Played with intermittently
Keva blocks - these look really simple, they’re just plain wooden rectangular blocks, but they’re really fun to build with, and teach engineering principles (cantilevering, for example). Highly recommended

However, Lego is still the winner.

#14 Zeppelina

Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:55 PM

I second K'nex for more complex and intricate building. Easy to find second-hand on gumtree or ebay, too.

#15 Bearynice

Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:00 PM

Our Lego crazy kids have meccano, but aren't really into it. They enjoy zoob and the possibilities of building with it. We have the zoob set with wheels. If buying zoob go for a big set.
They love to build, they enjoy those plugging flowers shapes to make things with. (Think they were $5 at aldi!)
It's Lego, but do you have the crazy contraptions book? The kids like following those instructions.

The science shops have some good ideas (circuits, games etc)


#16 StringArt

Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:09 PM

Have a look at Fischertechnik. It's a German construction toy, much more mechanical than Lego. The marble run sets are great.

#17 Riotproof

Posted 23 October 2017 - 06:24 AM

Thanks so much for all the great ideas. The reason for wanting to avoid Lego, is that I really need to buy the bigger sets to get any challenge for him. And since he's made it clear that he doesn't want a main present as such, that presents a challenge. Also, he really wants minecraft Lego, and it all seems to be overpriced even in comparison to the other licensed range. Though thanks for reminding about that contraptions book, I'd forgotten.

I'm really tempted by the marble run ideas. We were going to get him the quadrilla one a few years ago, but dd was a baby and I didn't want to deal with marbles.

Edited by Riotproof, 23 October 2017 - 06:26 AM.


#18 ~Kestrel~

Posted 23 October 2017 - 08:13 AM

Nanoblocks? Tiny intricate models for much cheaper than a Lego set with the same number of pieces.

#19 EHMmum

Posted 23 October 2017 - 09:56 AM

I have recently sent this add on option for Lego to my 12yo Grandson.  It allows Lego items to bend, bounce and curve.  It has added an entire new dimension to his designing.  Also, I have been told the trampoline is great for launching cat toys.

https://www.flexo.nz/

For low tech design options we have the Citiblocs, Keva, Kapla style of blocks that have been used by 3 - 20 year olds.  Lots of incidental maths and science concepts used during design.

#20 MsNorbury

Posted 23 October 2017 - 10:04 AM

At a similar age my DS received a set like this for xmas.

Posted Image


it was a bigger 8+ version.  He still plays with it at 10.

#21 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:24 AM

My kids have enjoyed wooden marble runs and domino run sets. Often they build the two together.

Edited by Veritas Vinum Arte, 25 October 2017 - 11:24 AM.


#22 Riotproof

Posted 25 October 2017 - 11:41 AM

Thank you so much for all the suggestions. I am filing them away.

I am tempted to buy the Lego book contraptions and see how much he enjoys it.
He is also getting some of that Lego tape. So, while not a big Lego set, certainly something to add interest.

#23 Bereckii

Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:09 PM

Great thread OP! Following with interest.

The lego crazy contraptions book is great.

#24 ali-song

Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:17 PM

View PostEHMmum, on 23 October 2017 - 09:56 AM, said:

I have recently sent this add on option for Lego to my 12yo Grandson.  It allows Lego items to bend, bounce and curve.  It has added an entire new dimension to his designing.  Also, I have been told the trampoline is great for launching cat toys.

https://www.flexo.nz/

For low tech design options we have the Citiblocs, Keva, Kapla style of blocks that have been used by 3 - 20 year olds.  Lots of incidental maths and science concepts used during design.

Thanks for that link! I may consider for DS12, but he’s a bit of a Lego snob (non Lego is inferior). Has your grandson been satisfied with how well it joins to Lego?

#25 Tinselonthefloor

Posted 25 October 2017 - 01:54 PM

Kapla blocks are amazing. Pricey but great quality and what you can build with them is amazing. My teenagers still get them out especially during electronic device free periods.




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