Products Reviewed: Geomag Color 30 Piece Set and Geomag Glitter 30 Piece Set
Age Range: 3-10 year olds (although better suited to 5+ year olds)
Star Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
The Good: Open-ended magnetic construction toy that will get your kids thinking and building creatively.
The Bad: Round metal balls are a choking hazard (see age recommendation) and are easily lost. Strong magnets can cause frustration when building.
The Verdict: Geomag will provide hours (and hours) of fun, educational play, that can grow in complexity with your child.
What is Geomag?
Geomag is a magnetic construction toy range that can be put together and pulled apart again in a huge number of ways. Kids can choose to copy the model examples or design their own unique constructions, allowing for creative, open-ended play.
There are various ‘types’ of Geomag, and within each type, there are various sets to suit differing budgets. The two ‘types’ of Geomag that I’m reviewing today are Geomag Color and Geomag Glitter.
Geomag Color is is the original ‘classic’ Geomag toy consisting of magnetic rods (in various colours), non-magnetic metal balls and various accessories. It comes in five sets containing between 30-120 pieces.
I’m reviewing this 30 piece box set, which contains 13 x magnetic rods (in yellow and orange), 16 x metal balls and 1 x orange square base platform. It’s available online from Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.
Geomag Glitter sets contain various rods, balls and accessories that are similar to several other Geomag sets, except that they come in new bright colours and are all glittery! These add an extra aesthetic that is cute, girly and fun, without dumbing down or restricting the functionality of the original product concept.
There are four sets available, containing between 22-68 pieces.
I’m reviewing this 30 piece box set (pictured on the right), which has 13 x glitter magnetic rods (in pink, blue, green and gold), 16 x metal balls and 1 x blue glitter square base platform.
- Both the Geomag Color and Geomag Glitter have the same base components:
* magnetic rods are approximately 5.8cm in length and 0.6cm in diameter. They each consist of two magnets (one on each end), that are joined together by a metallic plug and encircled by hard transparent or opaque plastic (that is branded on one side).
* metal spheres that are approximately 1.2cm in diameter.
* a (branded) square base platform made of hard transparent plastic, with 8.5cm long sides. There are five holes that can each hold a metal ball and provide support for a 3D structure.
- Each magnetic rod has a north and south pole end. If you try to combine rods and bring two opposing poles together (north:south) they will attract and ‘connect’. You can also create a (weaker) magnetic attraction with the inner metallic plug in the middle of a rod.
- If you try to bring two like poles together (north:north or south:south), they will actively repel, causing the opposing rod to roll away, unless you add a metal ball in between, in which case the attraction of the metal ball overcomes the repelling forces.
- Several rods connected together exert a greater magnetic force than one rod alone. You can easily create enough magnetic force to hold up several of the metal spheres by magnetic force alone.
- There is a huge amount of magnetic science and awesomeness that can come into play with various combinations of Geomag rods, balls and what not. Most of it goes above my head at the moment, but I can see this toy being as much fun for me as it is for the kids! If you really want to get into it, check out sites like Geomag Masters, and prepare to feel slightly overwhelmed by their awesome creations. Wowzers. 🙂
Product Accessories / Extension Ideas
Geomag have several other ranges including Geomag Panel and Geomag E-Motion Magic Spin (for dynamic constructions!). I haven’t tried either of these yet, but they sound really cool.
You could easily combine several different sets of Geomag – in fact, that is what they are designed to be able to do. This is great if you are thinking of buying it for someone as a gift, because it won’t matter if they already have it or receive multiples.
You also don’t need to play with Geomag in the way it is ‘intended’. My kids had loads of fun combining Geomag components with all sorts of regular things, including a metal lid. They were amazed that they could get all the rods to stick out! (Please ignore the random 20 cent coin that was blu-tacked to the middle of the lid – I have no idea why that was there, lol…)
You can also challenge yourself to see what designs you can make using the magnetic rods alone. The rods will only stick together in certain places depending on the polarity, so this activity isn’t as simple as it might first appear.
Maybe you could use the Geomag rods to go on a hunt around the house to find things that are or are not attracted to magnets?
Or maybe you could place the metal spheres in a plastic tray, and see if you can make them ‘magically’ move by dragging the magnetic rods across the underside?
You can use the Geomag rods and / or metal balls as educational manipulatives to teach all sorts of thing, like these 2D and 3D shapes for instance.
There are so many learning and play possibilities with this toy once you start to think laterally…. Let me know if you have any suggestions in the comments below, as we’d love to try them!!
Packaging, Size & Other Details
Both Geomag products come in an attractive box, measuring 21 x 17 x 4cm, that feature examples of constructions that can be made using only the pieces in that particular set on the back.
Inside the box, the individual pieces were packaged in a sealed plastic bag, along with an instruction booklet that visually demonstrates how to make a few additional designs (including more complicated designs that requires combining different sets).
Overall the packaging of both Geomag Color and Geomag Glitter is very unisex. The packaging of both products is very similar, including a photo of (the same) boy on the back of the boxes building a huge multi-set Geomag construction.
Pros & Cons
- This is a great product to introduce kids to magnetism. Combining two rods is a great way for kids to ‘see’ polarity, and experimenting with picking up various numbers of balls is an easy way to ‘see’ magnetic force.
- Kids can follow the models on the back of the box to try to create various structures. Jewel found this a great starting point to illustrate the range of possibilities.
- Kids can then come up with their own creative designs, experimenting through trial and error.
- The various colours of the rods (especially in the Geomag Glitter series) adds a fun aesthetic element to designs, and allows for pattern making.
- You don’t have to make 3D structures necessarily. You can use Geomag rods and balls as educational manipulatives (to create 2D letters, numbers, shapes or in this instance, a fairy wand).
- You could combine Geomag rods and balls with other objects to further explore magnetism.
- You could also make structures to use in role-play. My kids enjoyed making a Geomag ‘house’ for their fairies or a ‘stable’ for their horse figurines (and when they inevitably knock it down, they can rebuild it again).
- You can easily combine several kits, and indeed, this is a logical progression to create more challenging design opportunities as kids mature.
- This is a toy that can be enjoyed by multiple age groups, from basic magnetic investigative play by 3-4 year olds, as an introduction to engineering for 5-7 year olds, to more challenging structures that older kids (and adults) would enjoy.
- I love that the Geomag Glitter sets appeal to kids who want a bit of extra colour and sparkle, without dumbing down the original product concept. Aesthetics and engineering can go hand in hand! I especially love that the glittery rods come in pink, green, gold AND blue – perfect for my blue-loving girls.
- I love how the packaging design and product design of both sets are very unisex. Most of the packaging is about what the toy can do rather than indicating the gender of the child that it should appeal to.
- The environmentalist in me loves the minimalistic packaging materials with this product as well. Less waste!
- The metal balls are within the choking hazard size range, making this toy appropriate for 3+ year olds who understand not to put things in their mouth.
- The metal balls are very spherical and so they roll away really, really easily. This is not only frustrating for the kids, but it also means that the balls are easily lost. Luckily there is a generous number of balls provided in the base kits, and you can buy additional balls if needed. (Tip: if a metal ball rolls under your refrigerator, combine a few magnetic rods together to make a long magnetic ‘stick’, which you can slide under the fridge until the metal ball connects onto the end.)
- The strong magnetic forces can cause rods and/or balls to connect that you didn’t necessarily want to connect, which makes building really frustrating at times. We had many structures collapse, because a rod or ball accidentally connected to the wrong piece, and the force that is needed to pull them apart again is enough to make the whole structure fall over. Similarly, gravity can also cause structures to fall down if the supporting ‘vertical’ rods of your structure are at a slight angle. Both of these cause a lot of frustration and angst, particularly for a 5 year old who may not understand what she is ‘doing wrong’ just yet.
- Because of the aforementioned frustration, young kids will benefit from an adult helping (without necessarily directing) their construction efforts.
The Nitty Gritty: What do I really think? What do my kids think? Would I buy it?
Can you see the expression on Jewel’s face here? This is her ‘thinking’ face. This is what you’re really buying when you buy this toy.
Both my kids (5 year old Jewel and 3 year old Bumble) really love these sets, although they play with them in different ways. Bumble likes to tinker as she goes, and enjoys the process of constructing with the magnets rather than focusing on an end product. She also likes to throw the balls across the room, which tends to result in the set being confiscated until she’s in a better mindset to play appropriately. 🙁
Jewel likes to follow the suggested designs. Or, if she is free-building, she tends to have a set idea of the structure she wants to create. Often her structures have a purpose – a stable for her horses or a reading nook for her fairy figurines – and she likes to role play afterwards. She gets very frustrated if her structures collapse mid-build, and we’ve had a few “Why won’t this work?” moments. Whilst there is undeniably a level of frustration involved, I think it’s worthwhile however, for the sense of success when she does build something that looks really cool.
My kids haven’t shown a strong preference specifically for the Geomag Color or Geomag Glitter – they are happy to play with either (or both combined). If I had to choose, I’d probably opt for the Geomag Glitter set out of the two, mainly because of the additional colours, but also because glittery sparkles are fun!
I would happily buy either set as gifts for a 5-8 year old girl or boy, knowing that whilst it might be frustrating at first, they’ll be challenged. I would hesitate however, to buy this for kids who have a baby sibling – the metal balls roll away too easily, and I could see one becoming lost along a skirting board where little hands could find it later.
What I’d Love to See
- I’m curious as to whether a metal polyhedron would work rather than a metal sphere. This may stop the metal balls from rolling away quite as readily. I imagine that it may provide additional structural support as well.
- I think it would be handy if there was some sort of marking on the magnetic rods so you could tell which end was north or south visually.
Where to Buy Geomag Color and Geomag Glitter
Geomag Colour comes in sets of 30-120 pieces. Geomag Glitter comes in sets of 22-68 pieces. You can check for local sellers in your country here.
I’ve added some Amazon (affiliate) links for the US and the UK below. (Shipping may be possible to other countries too.)
- 22 Piece Set (US)
- 30 Piece Set (US) & (UK)
- 40 Piece Set (US)
- 64 Piece Set (US) & (UK)
- 86 Piece Set (US)
- 120 Piece Set (US) & (UK)
Have you tried any Geomag products, or a similar product? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts (both positive and negative) in the comments below.
Disclaimer: These magnetic toys were sent to me for an honest review. I was not paid or obligated to voice any particular preference. All opinions are my (or my kids’) own. This post does contain affiliate links. An affiliate link means I may earn referral / advertising fees if you make a purchase through my link, without any extra cost to you. I am not obligated to link to any particular product. Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it.