magnatile lane

Magna-Tiles: Greatest toy ever

31 January 2011

Until we got these for Christmas, I thought Legos were the greatest toy ever. But now I’m all about Magna-Tiles. Colorful plastic shapes with imbedded magnets, they are easy enough for my two year old to build with but so ingenious even adults can’t resist. They have become the one toy that never gets put away.

Magna-Tiles come in solid colors, but it’s hard to beat the jewel-like glow of the clear ones. They make amazing towers. (This is extra high – we got a second set 100-piece set for my daughter’s recent birthday; 100 pieces doesn’t go as far with four kids.)

Triangles make nice castle finishes.

And my four year old even figured out how to spell with them (he doesn’t know a lot of words, but this is Buckeye country, after all).

Like Legos, Magna-Tiles are an investment, but they are similarly sturdy and will last through years of daily use. I got these for Christmas on a tip from my friends in the Palo Alto-Menlo Park parents’ forum. I purchased directly from the manufacturer, Valtech, because I found a 15% off coupon online. If you can’t find a coupon, Amazon also sells them with free shipping – the 100 piece set is $119; the 32 piece set is $51.

I couldn’t wait for next Christmas to share this discovery. I hope this idea brings happiness to some lucky birthday boys and girls this year.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

peilin chou 31 January 2011 at 4:35 pm

These are Hayden’s favorite toy too! He got them about a year and a half ago as a 2nd birthday gift and since then we have also purchased a 2nd set for those extra big castles. 🙂 Hayden also uses them to make shelter for his animals, trains and superheroes, and lined up around the room they also serve as good racetracks too! Personally I love how when kids are even still too young for blocks, they can already maneuver these because of their magnetic quality — kids don’t really have to “balance” them to build up. When we went on preschool tours in Manhattan last year, almost every school we went to had them, and bragged about having them!


Caroline @TheOliveOrchard 25 October 2011 at 10:58 am

Agreed! I have a well-deserved reputation as a purge queen in my family, but our (now 300 piece) collection of Magna-Tiles will never go away. It’s one of the few toys that is worth the price tag. But only the clear ones :). While most toys are a flash in the pan, my kids (ages 7, 9 and 11) consistently play with Magna-Tiles. By the way, I found your blog via The Kitchn and I’m thankful to now be a subscriber!


cg 25 October 2011 at 11:12 am

hi caroline – so glad you found me from the kitchn. i love that jewel-like glow of the clear magna-tiles too. thanks so much for taking the time to comment, and i am excited to have you as a subscriber!!


Daniel 24 October 2012 at 10:57 am

These are really great. There’s a new transparent 48 piece set out that has transparent cars, magnetic door, and a curved loop roof!


cg 24 October 2012 at 3:21 pm

hi daniel – magnatiles on wheels, how great! thanks for the heads up.


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