As my kids age, we purge their toys. Many just get thrown away because they are cheaply made and not all that great. Decent ones that are outgrown and unloved get donated. A select few get held onto, for the kids to keep playing with (even though they are past the intended age), or for me to save for the grandkids.
Over the years, I’ve saved the best of the best so that when I have grandkids, I’ll have a toybox of quality toys for them to play with. And as my own kids get older, we get choosier and choosier when looking at new toys. They are of an age (12 and 9) where we rarely buy true toys anymore—other than Lego—but when we do, we get quality.
When I first saw Tegu blocks, former-GeekMom Amy Kraft had pulled them out for her son to entertain himself with while we enjoyed lunch together. She had the portable Pocket Pouch set which came in its own felt pouch. The blocks are magnetic and can be arranged in any way your imagination desires, as long as the poles of the magnets match up properly. The blocks were attractive, high quality, and kept her son’s interest. I wished that I could take them home with me, since the blocks also felt good in your hands, and were really fun to arrange and rearrange.
Recently I got my hands on a couple of larger sets of Tegu, the Endeavor set and the Dart car set. These have different kinds of pieces from the portable Pocket Pouch set, including long and thin pieces, with magnets only at the ends (and in the middle for the really long beams), and wheels in the car set. These “blocks” take a little more thought than just attaching cubes and short strips together, but you can build much more complicated structures. Buildings, garages, towers, ramps, and many different vehicle configurations are possible. Magnets are only in certain places on a lot of the pieces, so you have to know where they are to make the best use of them. The Endeavor set combined with the Dart car set allow for quite a combination of possibilities, however.
The most impressive part, to me, are the wheels that came with the car set. They, too, are magnetic, and they roll much more easily than I would have assumed. The “tires” on the wheels are rubbery, so they grip pretty well to their running surface. You can easily make a wide variety of vehicles with the wheels along with any of the other pieces.
Tegu blocks come in a variety of sets and colors. They are a bit pricey (sets run from $22 to $1500, with many options for extra pieces or accessories), but will last a lifetime, and will be fun for kids and adults of all ages. I recommend them to anyone who would like a new twist on wood blocks.
The Tegu company is headquartered in Honduras, naming themselves after the capital city, Tegucigalpa. They sustainably harvest the wood for the toys from local forests, and contribute to the local economy, paying their workers a living wage.
Note: I received products for review purposes.