Back in April last year, I wrote about a new twist on the wooden block: Tegu blocks, which have magnets embedded in them, allowing you to create some pretty neat constructions. I’ve always loved fiddling around with magnets, and the open-ended play that Tegu blocks encourage is a lot of fun and exercises my kids’ imagination. It’s an added bonus that Tegu’s social mission incorporates local employment, reforestation, and education in Honduras, where the hardwoods are harvested. Last winter they debuted tinted blocks, some in bright rainbow colors and others in more muted earthier colors (browns and greens). This year, they’ve added a new spin, literally: wheels! The wheels are wooden, with a rubber tire and a metal-and-magnet hub. They snap onto the original blocks, instantly turning your creations into vehicles that can vroom around. No more square-wheeled cars!
Tegu has some pretty cool things in store for the holiday season in conjunction with the new line, so read on for more details.
There are four new Mobility sets available. Two are from the Silhouettes line: Maddy Micro and Riley Roadster. These are the smallest sets, with just a flat car silhouette piece and four wheels. The car body has recessed pits with metal plates for the wheels to snap onto, and doesn’t really combine with the other Tegu sets. The other two are the Tegu Mobility Compacts: Dart and Hatch. Both of these come with some standard sized Tegu blocks (4 long planks, 4 short planks, and 2 cubes) along with a piece that fits on top and gives the car a signature look. The blocks are also colored: Hatch has black and lime green pieces, and Dart comes with red and black blocks.
A set of 4 wheels by themselves is $15; the Silhouette series are $22 each (for a body and 4 wheels); the Compacts are $38 (11 blocks and 4 wheels). As I said in my original review, they might seem a little pricey for toys, but they’re made to last, high quality wooden toys, and every purchase contributes to a good cause.
To celebrate the launch of the magnetic wheels sets, Tegu is hitting the road. They’ll be traveling up and down the East Coast, showing off the new Mobility line of toys, and letting kids build and race cars. There will be races, free play areas, and time trial building challenges. But the probably the biggest highlight is the “How Do You Roll?” sweepstakes — one lucky kid will get to spend a day working with Tegu’s lead designer. They’ll get to help design the next vehicle for Tegu Mobility, come up with the name, and work on artwork for the packaging. They’ll even get to travel to Honduras to see the factory and watch their design being created.
For more information about the Rolling Block Party and the contest, visit Tegu’s website. You can purchase sets directly from Tegu or through Amazon, or check your local toy store and ask if they carry them!
Disclosure: Tegu provided Maddy and Hatch sets for review.