Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide: Techno Gears Marble Mania Sidewinder 2.0 Review #toyreview #holidaygiftguide #learningjourney

Just in time for to be added to my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide, we were chosen to review the Techno Gears Marble Mania Sidewinder 2.0!  You guys already know that I LOVE building toys with all my heart!  Building toys help to contribute so much to the growth and the development of children. They are especially key to helping build coordination, help develop creativity and when they perform actions, help show cause and effect.  They also help to introduce kids to physics, engineering and help to boost confidence when they finish a build.

The Techno Gears Marble Mania Sidewinder 2.0, is a roller coaster themed building set, with over 200 pieces you build and create your own marble run.  The box projects a 3-4 hours to build, which is a great way to keep the kids busy for awhile! The Sidewinder 2.0, has a hand crank to move the marbles up a spiral lifter, back to the top of the track.  As you can imagine the minions were thrilled to be able to try this one out!
Somebody was excited to get this!

First up was Teenie, she decided that she would put the track together with no help from Sonshine, me or  the hubby, even though we hovered over her and asked her repeatedly, until she told us to stop and leave her alone.  It took her about 4 hours to build the Sidewinder, when she was done she had something that worked with a bit of help from dad (and a couple of zip ties) and a mound of pieces leftover.  She was happy regardless, so I left it up and the kids played with it for hours that day and everyday for about a week.  They were fascinated by the hand crank and twisting and turning marbles on the track.  That was until
Sonshine decided that he could do a better job of putting the track together.
Look who wanted to be in the picture, pieces sorted , in process of building
I took the track apart and Sonshine did a great job of putting it together, but something was still a bit off.  I realized that the set would not work perfectly UNLESS it was put together perfectly, because of you know...science. The ramps have to be tilted at the right angles, pieces of ramp joined together properly so there were no gaps that the marbles could get stuck in.   Here's the thing, it comes with a big full color step-by-step manual for assembly. All of the parts are numbered, so I went over the track again with Sonshine and we found some of the pieces had been put in the wrong place. He told me that he had "ran out of these, so I improvised..."  Naturally this was a great opportunity to explain the laws of motion and basic physics.  The swapped pieces didn't allow enough of an incline so the marbles would get stuck.  I should have questioned why he put it together so fast. It took him almost half the time that Teenie did! 
TA-DA!!!

Once we got the all the pieces in the right place, the marbles ran down the track perfectly, and the kids love racing their marbles down the track.  Their favorite part is the hand crank on the big clear tube that brings the marbles back to the top of the ramp. The Sidewinder 2.0 has turns, drops and even a little "water" wheel!
 
The Learning Journey Marble Mania Sidewinder 2.0 is recommended for ages 6+ years, I think it is better suited for older kids, and even then the build will need adult help, just to help troubleshoot if needed. This is a great educational toy for any youngster that is interested in physics, engineering or is just plain mechanically inclined. The Learning Journey Techno Gears Marble Mania Sidewinder 2.0 comes with more than 200 brightly colored, durable plastic pieces and is compatible with all of the other Techno Gears sets.  Also you can visit their site, to get step by step instructions for alternative builds of their Techno Gears Marble Mania Building Kits!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.