Mega Zoob Building Set

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Zoob Vs. Lego - There's Really No Question About Who The Winner Is.

Apr 4, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: OK

  • Durability:

Pros:Ummm, well, they don't get lost easily.

Cons:Lose their grip easily, limited colors & pieces. Hard to find.

The Bottom Line: My boys didn't like them and I have to agree - no real challenge or replay value. Limited amount of construction content and end products.


My kids first discovered the world of Zoob toys at – of all places – Denny’s. I’m not sure why Denny’s sells the Zoob toys but they do. We were leaving Denny’s one night when my oldest spotted the box on the counter. Being the die hard Lego fanatic family that we are – we all looked at the box and produced a sour look on our faces. Does the world really need yet another Lego wannabe toy on the market?

If you aren’t familiar with the Zoob line of toys here is my personal definition – small plastic arms that either have sockets or connectors on the ends – they snap together yet remain mobile because of the joint like structures that are created. In the initial set I purchased at Denny’s – there were 20 pieces including a clover connector (4 sided piece). Now, one of these small sets hardly contains enough pieces to create anything so you have to either buy more small sets at $2.99 a piece or pop for the bigger set for $23.99 – and that’s just to see if your kids will enjoy the toy.

When I saw the Zoob set at KB Toys on clearance I figured that –if nothing else – the boys could find an alternate use for the connector pieces. The 120-piece set was on clearance for $10.99 – that’s over a 60% savings. Money really isn’t an object – if I can find it on sale then that’s great but it’s the amount of time the kids play with it that matters. It goes along the same lines as the pet that plays with the grocery bag instead of the $7.00 rawhide bone you bought.

The brood [my boys] didn’t really seem too enthused with the Zoob set. They used the other pieces from the Denny’s set in Lego scenes and on their remote controlled cars to boost up the frames. I thought that maybe – just maybe having more pieces to use and build with might make them change their minds about the whole “Zoob experience”. Sadly, they opened the box, pulled out the booklet and give it about five minutes before they brought it back out to me. They had no interest in it what so ever. It was then that I was struck with “Toy Story Syndrome” – that wave of guilt I get when a certain toy is tossed aside due to lack of interest or injury.

I sat down at the table and tried to build something – anything – that would validate my purchase. I proceeded to clip, span, disconnect and pop the pieces until frustration sank in. None of the instructions made sense to me – and as far as that DNA design – good luck! An hour later I finally gave up after three of the prongs on the connectors broke. I admitted defeat and packed up the pieces that weren’t damaged and tossed it in the recycle bin.

The entire Zoob concept is that the variety [and I use that word loosely] of pieces can be interconnected to create a moving masterpiece. While it is true that the pieces can and do move once assembled – the more complex the design – the less mobility you have. On the same token the less pieces you use the less stable the piece is; after about 45 minutes I noticed that there was a lot of slack in the connector joints and the pieces wouldn’t hold their shape. Translation: sloppy design by the Zoob creating team.

The booklet wasn’t much help either. It gave vague instructions – which were more like suggestions – on how to create different designs. I am not sure if this set was all that new because the box [over packing] was rather ripped up – hence the clearance price. Perhaps I purchased an old set that didn’t include detailed instructions. Regardless, I doubt Zoob will be on the request lists of any of my boys in the near future.

Zoob vs. Lego

Variety
Lego wins hands down. A wider variety of sizes, colors and sets not to mention the ability to create structures and vehicles. While you can make a little spacecraft or vehicle with Zoob you can be more detailed with Lego’s.

Zoob – 0 Lego – 1

Colors
Zoob uses only the primary colors of green, blue, yellow and red; advanced sets have white, black and silver but those are more expensive than gold at this point in time. Lego’s colors are basic as well but include clear pieces, metallics and glitters in the standard sets.

Zoob – 1 Lego – 1

Imagination
Zoob’s can challenge kids only to a certain extent before they hit an inspirational wall. If you can build the pictured double helix then hats off to you – but I can’t see many 8 year olds cracking the DNA code with the basic Zoob sets. Lego sets are limitless in the realm that they can be broken down and rebuilt endless numbers of times.

Zoob – 0 Lego – 1

Price
Most of the smaller Lego sets range from $2.99 - $5.99 and the larger sets can be as high as $99.99. Zoob’s range from $2.99 for the smallest set to $67.99 for the 290-piece set. However, I have found it hard to find the larger Zoob sets except at online at various toy stores. This one is a toss up – you can look at the number of pieces in each set vs. the price or the entire price range.

Zoob – 1 Lego – 1

Durability
To be fair I have to say that some Lego pieces can be damaged – levers, antennas on walkie-talkies, metallic visors and wheelbases all have landed in the troy graveyard. The Zoob connectors lost their grip after about 45 minutes of play and out of the 120 pieces in the set – three of them were broken beyond use. Again, another toss up.

Zoob – 0 Lego – 0

Safety
Out of curiosity I clipped one of the connectors on my finger – I was bored ok? It went on easy enough but I had some trouble getting it off. Lego’s do have small pieces that potentially could pose a choking hazard. Kids that are being converted from Duplo’s to Lego’s should be supervised at all times or have the smaller pieces removed. Zoob’s have no sharp edges but if the prongs on the connectors break the resulting jagged edge of the plastic could pose a serious threat. Again, parental supervision is the key with ALL toys – they aren’t “out of the box babysitters”. And remember those age recommendations on the box aren’t there for decoration.

Zoob – 0 Lego – 0

So, total up the numbers and you’ll see what my personal choice is. Some children might find a challenge in the Zoob sets while others may find it boring or tedious to follow the instructions. I suggest that you buy the smallest set available – or find them on clearance – if you child expresses interest in them. How many times has a child begged you for a toy only to say “that’s stupid” ten minutes later? If you child loves Lego’s or any of the other building sets chances are they will find no challenge in the Zoob line of toys – but that’s just my own personal observation.

Thanks for reading ! ^V^ Freak ^V^


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): $10.99 -sale
Type of Toy: Other
Age Range of Child: Whole Family

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