Amazing what a few minutes of building a marble run with my son will buy. *wink* Thanks to helping him build this I got a whole hour of nap time! Yay for marble runs!
Incidentally, as an owner of two sets, I have advice to share for anyone considering them. The first set I bought was a wooden one with colorful blocks and sections of rectangular runs. It looked fantastic but it showed manufacturing thoughtlessness in the design and cut. The run grooves were all completely flat so the marble wouldn’t roll; they should have been cut on an angle creating a slight slope. Unfortunately the blocks were all cut to the same sizes with no wedge pieces so if you tried to manually create a slope it would be too high or too low and cause the drop holes not to align. In short, it looked great and wood lasts, but it never worked as a marble run.
I should like to note here that as a little girl I remember hours spent playing with my cousin’s marble run. It was nothing more than a single column with sloping zigzag style rows. Proof to me that often less is more.
I purchased this plastic marble run set from a company called Mindware. It’s been a great toy and has been used and abused without breaking. My only wish on this set is that it had a few more collection bases for multiple runs and few more pieces. For example, there’s a 3 run connector piece that allows three runs to come to one hole for collection, but I’ve found the more helpful one would have been one that took one hole and split it out into several runs, especially as the connector unit’s runs are so short. Additionally, there’s a fun piece that sends the marble into a slot maze but there’s only one entrance and exit. Again, it would be even more fun if that piece had at least 2 or 3 different exit points adding more variation to the run. But all in all, this toy gets a 5 star rating from me and earning me a nap is icing on the cake!