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Marble Genius Extreme Set

Marble Genius Extreme Set

We're thrilled to announce the arrival of our latest product, the Marble Genius Marble Run Extreme Set!

This set has 125 pieces in total and 20 glass marbles. Exciting new pieces include the following...

1.) 360 degree loop:

2.) Jump and catch piece:

3.) Y - Splitter Piece:

Here are all the pieces in the Extreme Set:

Since we launched our Starter Set and Super Set, the response has been amazing! One of the requests we've often received is if we have anything more. We're excited to answer those requests by launching the Marble Genius Extreme Set just in time for the Christmas shopping season. This set works great on its own, or it's a perfect addition if you already have a Starter Set or Super Set.

Let the building begin! 

 

 

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New Marble Run E-Book Instruction Manual

New Marble Run E-Book Instruction Manual

We're happy to announce that we've produced a new e-book with step-by-step pictures for 4 different marble runs!

Even though marble runs are a lot like Legos in that they allow for flexible play, we occasionally receive requests for step-by-step instructions. In an effort to respond to this occasional feedback and maintain a green footprint, we produced a 50-page electronic manual that has 2 beginner marble runs and 2 advanced marble runs. We've produced a Kindle version and a PDF version.

FEATURES OF OUR MARBLE RUN INSTRUCTION MANUAL

This e-book has a number of features, including a clickable table of contents and the ability to enlarge pictures to see the details.

We include a product insert in every package that includes pictures for ideas + details of how to access our Tips, Videos, and E-Book. Since we've received so few requests for this, we've created an e-book for now and haven't included a hard copy of the manual with the product. This allows us to keep the product cost lower and also maintain a green footprint.

Please e-mail us if you think we should include a manual with every product and raise the overall price of the product.

For download instructions, keep scrolling...

Instructions:

Kindle - If using a tablet or phone, simply click the link and open in the Kindle App. This manual will then be stored in your Kindle Library. If you download the file from your computer, follow these instructions for getting it to your library.

PDF - This version is not as interactive as the Kindle version, but it has all the same content.

We hope this manual gives you some ideas for how to build different types of marble runs. We plan to add more runs to these manuals over time, but we encourage you to build your own runs and be as creative as possible!

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Combining Multiple Marble Run Sets Together

Combining Multiple Marble Run Sets Together

With so many different types of toys on the market, it can be overwhelming to know what your kids will like and what they won't.

One aspect of a toy to consider is expandability. In other words, are there additional components/features you can buy as an add-on to enhance it? Some toys start gathering dust as soon as they're out of the wrapper, but the best toys are expandable and stay fresh and exciting over time.

EXPANDING YOUR MARBLE RUN

Marble run toys fit into the expandable toy category because there are many different expansion options. At Marble Genius, we offer marble runs that can be combined together to allow you to make bigger and more complex marble run setups.

People who buy our Starter Set or Super Set often go on to buy another set or two, because they want to make bigger and better marble run designs.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR EXPANDING YOUR MARBLE RUN

Compatibility of Marble Run Pieces:

Before purchasing an additional set, it's important to understand what marble run pieces are compatible with your current set. Marble Genius marble runs are compatible with all Marbulous pieces. So if you have an existing Marbulous marble run, you'll be able to buy a Marble Genius set and add to your fun!

Types of Marble Run Pieces:

Once you've determined compatibility, it's important to understand what you're looking for when adding on to your existing marble run set. Chances are if you're looking to add on, you'll want to buy nothing less than our Super Set. Based on the feedback we've gotten from those who love our sets, this is the most popular choice for an add-on.

Marble Genius also has an Extreme Set with twice as many action pieces as our Super Set, including jumps, loops, etc. Or for those looking for specific pieces, such as extra tubes, automatic chain lift, or sky-high circles, you can check out our Accessory Sets.

MARBLE RUN EXPANSION IN ACTION

Having a marble run toy is the pinnacle of fun, and adding on to it makes it even better. When you combine two or more Marble Genius sets, the excitement is unlimited.

Marble Run Super Set X 2Marble Run Super Set X 2

When looking for a toy, always keep in mind the expandability of it. If there's nothing to add over time, it won't keep your kids engaged for long and will just collect dust.

Marble runs are the perfect expandable toy that can stay fresh for years. Add components to keep it new and exciting, and most of all, HAVE FUN!

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All You Need to Know About Marble Games

All You Need to Know About Marble Games

Many of us have fond memories of playing with marble games when we were kids, and nothing makes us happier than seeing our own kids or grandkids having a blast with the very toys that brought us joy.

While some aspects of marble games have remained the same, a lot has changed over the years. Many more products are on the market, not to mention new innovations and mind-bending challenges that have been introduced. When it comes to choosing the right marble game for you, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. 

What are some of the key categories of marble games on the market today?

1. Marble Roller Coasters

These come unassembled, often with many small parts, and the track is open rather than tubed. The building process can require a lot of imagination and patience, making these a better fit for older kids. Once built, marble roller coasters create lots of excitement as the marble follows the path. Since they’re geared toward older kids, these sets tend to look less vibrant, focusing more on the construction aspect than providing a variety of colors.

(Spacerail Star Coaster Level 2)

2. Marble Runs

These of course are our specialty here at Marble Genius. Marble runs are similar to marble roller coasters in that they require assembly and create lots of exciting action once they’re built. However, the pieces are tubed and slightly larger, making them much easier to assemble and modify for kids of all ages. Marble runs feature bright colors, and most sets feature see-through pieces, allowing kids and parents to watch the marble as it races down the track.


(Marble Genius Super Set)

3. Magnetic Marble Runs

These marble runs contain larger pieces that can be arranged on a magnetic surface, such as a refrigerator or magnet board. Once they’re arranged, the marble rolls from top to bottom. Placement is important to avoid dropping the marble between pieces. These sets typically work best for younger children, since the pieces are larger and require less construction work. Older kids may get bored with these quickly due to the limited creations that can be made and fewer unique pieces.


(Tumble Trax Magnetic Marble Run)

Once you decide which type of marble game you want, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Set up your marble run or coaster on a smooth surface, preferably in an open space for free movement around the track. If setting it up indoors, a large table or sturdy flooring work well. Softer carpets aren’t ideal due to lack of stability.
  • Let your imagination have fun as you explore new combinations and structures. The best way to make the most of these toys is to allow for free play.
  • Challenge a friend or family member with a competition, such as building the tallest marble run, using pieces of all the same color, or creating a marble race down the stairs. The possibilities are endless! For more ideas to take your marble game to the next level, check out our YouTube channel for creative ways we’ve used our Marble Genius sets.

Marble games are the perfect toy to have around the house. They’re an appealing alternative to screens, and they provide endless possibilities of creativity and fun. Let your kids’ imaginations run free!

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Is Your Marble Run Fun?

Is Your Marble Run Fun?

When you're a kid, toys are your world. They give your imagination space to play and keep you entertained for hours.

With millions of toys to choose from, it's safe to say not every toy ticks all the boxes for imagination and entertainment. Here at Marble Genius, we believe the best toys combine fun and learning. Not only do you want your kids to smile while playing with them, but you appreciate toys that teach your kids to be creative and gain some knowledge about the world around them.

This is why we pour so much effort into producing quality marble run toys. Not only do they capture a child's interest, but they can teach fundamentals of physics, engineering, and design. Learning through entertainment is the best education of all!

THE FUN FACTOR

As you've probably discovered, if kids know they're learning, they may be turned off from a toy. That's why the fun factor is so important. What ups the fun factor in a toy? In our view, the ability to continually expand and change a toy is crucial.

When buying a toy, consider the various uses it will have. Does it offer additional components or add-ons that can freshen it up in the future? Does it provide multiple possibilities for use beyond pushing a button? These are the qualities that can keep it new and exciting for your child.

WHY MARBLE RUNS ARE THE ULTIMATE FUN TOY 

Since we specialize in marble runs, here are some of the reasons we believe marble run toys tick all the boxes for "fun":

  • They're colorful and eye-catching. Kids are visually driven, so bright and exciting colors are crucial to increase the fun factor.
  • They're dynamic and offer endless hours of entertainment. After a marble run is built, the fun doesn't stop. Kids love watching the marbles roll through the paths, and they can constantly make tweaks to change up the action.
  • They're a playground for the imagination. Kids can let their creativity loose and build whatever structures they want. Even better, they're more fun to build with friends!

HOW TO CHOOSE A MARBLE RUN WITH THE HIGHEST FUN FACTOR

We believe there are two key components that guarantee the highest fun factor in your marble run:

1. Action Pieces

When looking for a marble run that delivers the most fun, the first thing to keep in mind is the parts that make it up. Marble runs can be very simple, offering the basic components to build a structure. Others offer lots of exciting action pieces, like ladders, wheels, and chutes, that will keep your child entertained for hours. (Our Super Set and Extreme Set offer a great variety of action.)

Important Note: Be aware that some marble run manufacturers like to advertise a large number of pieces for a cheap price. However, some of these "pieces" may actually be half of a piece that needs to connect with another to create a full piece. For example, one particular product counts each marble as two pieces, since they come in two plastic half-spheres that have to be snapped together. Don't be fooled by the claims on the front of the box, but dig deeper to see what the actual pieces are.

2. Solid Construction

Even if a marble run is visually appealing, it will quickly lose its fun factor if it doesn't stay together once it's built. While marble runs encourage kids to problem solve and make sure the poor construction isn't due to an error on their end, the manufacturing of the pieces can also be a factor.

At Marble Genius, we've worked hard to create a high-quality product, including testing multiple versions on our own kids to ensure the most solid construction possible. (To see one of the biggest tests we put our pieces through, check out our two-story marble run video.)

Marble runs are a classic toy that have gotten a facelift in recent years. We're honored to be part of the new wave of toymakers creating toys that not only inspire children to learn, but more importantly, deliver tons of FUN!

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Is Your Marble Run Sturdy?

Is Your Marble Run Sturdy?

Marble runs can be great toys that provide hours of entertainment for you and your children. However, a number of very cheap and poorly designed marble runs have emerged on the market that will lead to nothing but headaches.

To an untrained eye, all marble run pictures on the internet might look the same, leading you to buy the cheapest priced product. However, we've learned from firsthand experience that this is definitely not the case.

There are six questions you should ask yourself to ensure you buy the sturdiest marble run possible:

1. What does the marble run look like up close?

Marble run products that have few pictures and no close-up pictures are ones to stay away from. Nine times out of ten, the companies selling these products are trying to hide something. If you can’t see the marble run pieces up close, keep looking!

Here's an up-close image of our Super Set pieces. You can see the plastic is thick and strong, and there aren't any tiny parts that can easily break.  You can also tell that all the pieces fit together snugly.

Marble Run Up-Close 

2. How big are the marble run bases?

The base of the marble run is the equivalent of a strong foundation of a home. If you have weak bases like the green one below, the marble run will be weak and wobbly. However, if you have at least one or more large bases like the blue one on the right, this will go a long way to help ensure the marble run is stable and strong.

Marble Run Bases

3. How thick and strong is the plastic of the marble run pieces?

To the untrained eye, it might appear that the two pieces below are the same. However, the marble run piece on the left is significantly thicker and stronger than the piece on the right. This leads to a strong structure and allows the pieces to stick together better.

4. How well do the marble run pieces stick together?

Most marble run sets won't show this to you because their pieces don't stick together well. Below is a picture of the Marble Genius pieces being held sideways over the floor. They didn't budge through the multiple takes of this photo.

If you buy a set with pieces that don't stick together well, you'll know it instantly because your set will keep falling down as you try to build it. If you're lucky enough to get your marble run assembled, you won't be able to move it because it will quickly fall apart. 

Marble Run Strong Pieces

5. Does the set have miniature pieces?

The orange pieces below are a great example of tiny parts that will break in no time once your child starts playing with it. These can also become a choking hazard for small kids. Stay away from marble runs that have a bunch of miniature parts like the orange pieces below.

6. Which marble run looks stronger?

When you put two marble run toys side by side, you can easily tell which one is sturdier. The marble run on the right has stronger bases, and the quality of materials doesn't compare. When shopping for a marble run, you might not have the luxury of putting two pictures side by side, but hopefully this gives you an idea of characteristics to look for.

Marble Run Comparison

If you use these six questions as a guide when buying your next marble run, it will go a long way in saving you time and frustration! Always read the product reviews, and try to watch any videos that the manufacturer has created so you know what you're buying.

To save yourself a lot of time and hassle, rest assured that if you buy a Marble Genius marble run, we've thought of all these things and produced our toys accordingly.

Happy shopping and happy building!

 

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Is Your Marble Run Safe?

Is Your Marble Run Safe?

If you ask parents whether they want their kids to play with safe toys, the obvious answer is yes. However, if you ask them how they know the toys are safe, the answer may not come as quickly. This article is intended to bring to light the U.S. toy safety requirements and refer you to additional resources to learn more.

LAWS TO ENSURE TOY SAFETY 

Over the past 10 years, multiple laws have taken effect in the United States to protect children from dangerous manufacturing practices, but one in particular is worthy of note.

Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

This act was enacted in August of 2008 and mandated that toys containing more than 600 million parts per million total amount of lead were not to be sold. Those products that were manufactured before or on February 10, 2009, will not be allowed to sell if they possess more than 0.1% of specific phthalates and if they're unable to meet the standards of the manufacturing process of toys. This limit of 600 parts per million in substrates was later reduced in 2009 to 300 parts per million in substrates and 90 parts per million in surface coatings.

The act mandates all manufacturers producing the products domestically to certify the children’s products be made according to the standards of safety prescribed by the government and the lead ban. It strictly prohibits sellers of used children’s toys like thrift shops and secondhand stores to certify the toys that are sold according to the new standards. Exposure to lead is obviously very bad, especially in young children and this law was passed to help protect kids.

MARBLE RUN SAFETY 

It's essential to monitor young children at all times when they play with marbles. Children age 3 and below are especially prone to putting things in their mouths, which is why a choking hazard warning is included on anything with marbles. Storing marbles safely away from young children is very important.

In addition to the choking hazards that come from marbles, there are other safety considerations to keep in mind. Some marble run sets have lots of small parts that can easily break off and become a choking hazard, such as the orange pieces in the picture below.

Marble Run SmallPiece

OUR SAFETY STANDARDS AT MARBLE GENIUS

At Marble Genius, we take child safety very seriously and make sure our marble runs fully comply with the current laws. We leverage certified testing laboratories that do this for us.

Before you buy any toy, make sure to look for the label stating that it complies with ASTM 963 standards. Also, if you have any concerns about whether a particular toy complies, ask the company for their Child Product Safety Certificate that demonstrates the appropriate testing has been completed by certified laboratories. Here's a link to our Children's Product Certificate.

Toys are a gateway to fun, but first and foremost, we as parents need to ensure they're safe for our kids. Thankfully the U.S. has established laws to ensure children's safety, but due diligence by parents is just as important as ever.

For more information on the Consumer Protection Safety Improvement Act, feel free to visit these links:

CPSIA Timeline

CPSIA Details

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Promote Child Development with Marble Run Toys

Promote Child Development with Marble Run Toys

Developing a child’s creativity and skills is a goal of every attentive parent. And toys are a perfect way to do that. Playtime doesn’t have to be wasted time. It can be a fertile ground of learning and discovery and an expansion of mental, emotional, and physical skills. 

Toys that challenge kids will increase their mental capacity over time. This is known as “active learning.” It's what happens when children use toys that make them think through challenges, problems, and scenarios.

In children aged six to twelve years, the advantage of using toys as teaching tools is that they think they're just having fun. But we know that the game they're playing is teaching important life-long skills.

Here are some of the skills we believe kids can learn from marble runs:

1. Marble runs build self-esteem.

Between the ages of six and eight, kids are beginning to exhibit some independence. They want to do things on their own. They also begin to understand the feeling of a sense of accomplishment.

This is a great place where marble runs come into play. Not only are they building cognitive and motor skills, but they're also building self-esteem through the accomplishment of building and playing with the marble run.

2. Marble runs foster teamwork.

While we as parents love to encourage independent play, we also have the responsibility and privilege of helping our kids learn. Working together as a team, we can encourage and guide them to maximize learning opportunities that come from marble runs. This ensures that they get the most out of their toys – and the learning experience they bring.

3. Marble runs encourage goal-setting.

We can assist our kids with marble runs by helping them set goals, as well as identifying the steps to reach those goals. Building a marble run is a lesson in creativity and patience, and we're the ones who can break down the ultimate goal of a completed marble run into manageable steps for our kids.

4. Marble runs develop the ability to focus.

Let’s face it, children in the age bracket of six to eight years have trouble focusing. We can help improve that focus by encouraging manageable playtime goals. Giving them pictures of run designs that they could make would give them something to shoot for. Many children are visual learners, so this is the perfect way to help them. 

The truth is that children have the ability to focus, but often their attempts are thwarted by their environment. Things like computers, phones, and tablets can offer distraction, but not necessarily learning experiences. Removing these, as well as clutter from other toys, from the play environment helps them focus on the task at hand.

5. Marble runs improve memory and recall.

One of the great advantages of marble run sets is their ability to improve children's memory and recall. If we show a picture of a marble run and encourage our kids to replicate that run, we're effectively exercising and expanding their ability to memorize and recall. This teaches them how to gather, store, and retrieve the data they need for specific tasks.

Kids in this age group have a greater memory capability because many routines (such as tying shoes, brushing teeth, and bathing) are automatic now. Once they figure out how to do basic marble run structures, you can give them more complex challenges. (To see different levels of design ideas, check out our Starter Set, Super Set, and Extreme Set, or download our app for interactive ideas and instructions.)

Your children are a precious gift. You love them deeply and want what's best for them. Creating a loving environment in which they feel secure is obviously most critical. However, finding ways to develop their mental and physical skills at home is important as well.

By using marble run toys in patient and creative ways, parents can help their children learn and exercise those abilities that will last a lifetime.

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Setting Up a Marble Race with a Marble Run

Setting Up a Marble Race with a Marble Run

Marble runs are a long-lasting toy because you can design so many different types of games with them.

Setting up a marble race is a perfect example of the toy's versatility, and it can be a great learning opportunity for kids. It also introduces a competitive aspect, which further extends how much the toy gets played with.

TO CREATE A MARBLE RACE WITH YOUR MARBLE RUN, HERE ARE SOME STEPS TO FOLLOW:

1. Make sure you have a high-quality marble run.

There are lots of different marble runs on the market, and not all of them are created equal. (Check out our buying tips to find a fun and sturdy marble run.)

The best marble runs for racing have plenty of tubes and action pieces. See-through pieces are also a must-have, since they allow you to see the marble action from start to finish.

2. Decide which type of race you'll create with your marble run.

You can either build a race with interconnected pieces (like the one pictured below), or you can build two separate structures. Building an interconnected race requires a little more teamwork and planning, while separate structures allow for independent construction.

3. Evenly divide your marble run pieces.

Once you decide what type of race to set up, evenly divide the number of bases, tubes, and action pieces. This is very important so the race is as fair as possible. As you set up the marble run, you might find that one needs more bases or tubes than the other, which is okay. The key is that you don't want an imbalance of action pieces because it will greatly impact the outcome of the race. 

4. Decide how you'll conduct your marble race.

Now that your marble run is ready for the race, you have some options for how to conduct it. You can either release the marbles down the marble run simultaneously, or you can get a tablet/smartphone/stopwatch to time the marbles from top to bottom. We recommend trying both options and conducting the race at least three times before declaring a winner. This guarantees the result is consistent.

LEARNING BENEFITS OF MARBLE RACES

If you've been around here long, you know we believe strongly in the value of marble runs as an educational toy.

Marble races are a perfect learning opportunity for the following reasons:

  • Kids can analyze which action pieces produce the fastest results and why.
  • They learn basic physics concepts by noting how steepness and length affect the speed of the marble.
  • They learn time concepts and comparison of results.
  • They gain the ability to analyze processes and make adjustments to achieve faster results.

Setting up and executing a marble race is also an opportunity for us as parents to work alongside our kids and show them how we problem solve.

Marble runs provide kids so many opportunities to play and learn. The marble race is just one of the many ways you can use your marble run to help your child grow and develop.

We would love to learn how you use your marble run to have a marble race at home. Please send your pictures to us at support@marblegenius.com and we'll find a way to share with others!

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Importance of Interactive Toys For Kids

Importance of Interactive Toys For Kids

Interactive toys are an inseparable part of kids' lives, playing a vital role in their development in early phases of life. The main purpose of interactive toys isn't simply limited to having fun, but also to learn. 

FUNCTIONS OF INTERACTIVE TOYS

In our view, there are five primary functions of interactive toys for kids:

1. Improvement in Cognitive Skills

Interactive toys help kids recognize colors and develop memorization and problem solving skills. Kids also learn about numbers and size when playing with certain interactive toys.

2. Development of Social Skills

It's important for children to know and master social skills from a young age. Some of the interactive toys like board games prepare them to understand emotions, explore the environment by turns, and learn to cooperate with others.

3. Growth of Imagination and Logic

Children use their logic and imagination while playing with toys that are open-ended and allow for flexibility. Interactive toys also develop awareness and recognition of the surrounding environment.

4. Development of Motor Skills

Some interactive toys work on various parts of the body like legs, hands, and fingers to balance and develop kids' muscular abilities. This is necessary for continued growth as they explore the environment around them.

5. Growth of Speaking Skills

Today some robotic interactive toys are available in the market, teaching kids how to speak a language properly. With guidance from parents or older siblings, they can learn speech skills while enjoying the fun of the toy.

TYPES OF INTERACTIVE TOYS

Various types of interactive toys are available in the market today, including educational toys and digital games. While you can find a wide variety of interactive toys, here some of the most popular.

Gear Sets

These interactive toys improve children's imagination and logical skills. They're very kid-friendly, with bright colors, and can be assembled easily. In addition to providing kids a new building experience, gears also develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills. Children think like engineers as they interact with different components, such as pillars, gears, axels, handles, and interlocking bases.


(Gears! Gears! Gears! Deluxe Building Set, 100 Pieces)


LEGO Blocks

A long-standing classic, LEGO blocks are a perfect choice for developing kids' intelligence while having fun. There are many different LEGO toys, including free-form sets with no instructions to highly scripted sets that build boats, cars, planes, and more.


(LEGO Classic Medium Creative Brick Box)


Marble Run Toys

Marble games have been played by kids for decades. With the advancement of new technologies and manufacturing innovation, they've emerged as a leading interactive and STEM development toy in recent years. This is particularly true of the marble run.

Though you can find a variety of marble runs at stores or online, there are only a select few that offer the highest quality while maximizing the development benefit for children. At Marble Genius, we consider our marble run toys among the best you'll find anywhere.


(Marble Genius Super Set)


Whether you decide to move forward with the purchase of gear sets, Legos, or marble run toys, it's always important to do your research so you know what you're buying.

Marble runs in particular have had a number of very cheap and flimsy versions being sold on the Internet. Do your homework and read this blog post to find the best marble run money can buy!

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