For those who attended my workshop in July you are already familiar with the key elements of buying playthings for young children. The purchaser of the Mix & Match Motors did not attend my seminar, and she broke the 4th rule ~ before blowing your hard-earned cash, we
look for a recommended age of the toy. To her credit, these cars seem to be an exception to the rule. Anyone interested in attending my workshop can click here.
Recommend this product?
What is the Mix & Match Motors? Is it blocks, cars, or magnets? Actually, its all three. Some of you might be wondering if youve already read this review, since I recently reviewed the Vehicle Magnetic Blocks in May. I assure you, this is a very different toy. Both playthings have wheels, and magnets, but the Mix & Match Motors is a cluster of magnetic blocks that forms a variety of moving vehicles when assembled. Unlike the Vehicle Magnetic Blocks which forms one car.
The Mix & Match Motors is a set of 20-plastic blocks that have magnetic surfaces. The blocks are brightly colored in red, yellow, green, blue, and the wheels are dark gray. When properly assembled the blocks form a locomotive, a bulldozer, a cement mixer, a garbage truck, and a flatbed truck. The design of this toy is rather ingenious. The cars are broken into 2-parts: the tops of the vehicles, and the bottoms. The top pieces are comprised of windows, doors, and freight per se, while the wheels form the bottom sections. There are 3-sets of wheels, and the remaining pieces are tops.
The magnets are encased in the plastic, so the magnets are not removable; however, they are slightly raised on the surface. This may be a drawback, as it might tempt those who like to pick at things. The blocks vary in size with most measuring 2 x 3 long, and they weigh almost nothing because theyre hollow. The Mix & Match Motors is recommended for children 4 and up, and its distributed by Discovery Toys.
As a developmental toy, the Mix & Match Motors offers the following:
● Develops fine eye-hand coordination skills
● Engages children visually which enhances all areas of development
● Problem solving activities, and sequencing help children build a strong foundation for understanding math in the future
● Cognitive stimulation with cause-and-effect
● Fosters analytical thought by promoting independent play
Let me begin by saying Great-Grandma sent this toy for Williams 3rd birthday. She usually sends things without receipts so I have no way of returning, or exchanging them. In this case, since the Mix & Match Motors is a Discovery Toys plaything, I knew that all I had to do was contact a representative for an exchange. When I opened the box, I wasnt sure how this toy worked. It doesnt come with instructions, only the pictures on the box. I played with it for a few minutes, and deducted quickly that indeed it was something that would entertain my 3-year old.
He played with it for 30-minutes, or more for several days straight. You see there isnt any right, or wrong way to put it together, so the patterns are endless. I love this aspect of the toy. At that time, William didnt understand that he could build several cars, and he bunched them altogether as one. Now, 6-months later hes still using these blocks, but with more interest in getting it right. He wants to make all the different vehicles at one time, but there arent enough blocks. Since, theres only 3-sets of wheels one can only make 3 vehicles at a time, yet, there are 5 different tops. This facet of the Mix & Match Motors doesnt deter Will from playing with the toy, but it does frustrate him.
Another factor that parents might want to be aware of is, that the bucket for the bulldozer needs to be snapped into a small green block for it to properly attach to the wheel sections. This probably isnt a concern with 4-year old children, but it is small at 1½ x ¾ and it may pose a chocking hazard for younger siblings.
Overall, Im pleased that the Mix & Match Motors have amused my child, and I would recommend it to any parent. Its a bit spendy at the suggested retail price of $24.00, but as far as durability goes, its a winner. The magnets are strong, but will release if knocked, and as anyone whos witnessed children at play, this is a favorite pastime. Build them up, and then knock them down.
A special thanks to Suzanne one of the Category Leads in Kids & Family for adding the Mix & Match Motors to the data base. Your speedy service with a smile is always appreciated!
Additional Pre-School Related Toys:
250 Mini Bricks by Mega Bloks
Stacking Train by Melissa & Doug
Yard Crew Zip Trimmer by Playskool
Unit Blocks in a Tray by Melissa & Doug
Vehicle Magnetic Blocks by Small World Toys
My First Brain Quest: Animal Matching by University Games
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Amount Paid (US$): 24.99 (Gift)
Type of Toy: Car, Truck or Raceway
Age Range of Child: 3 to 5 Years