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Details: “The national award winning Laser Pegs® is the first unique toy construction set in the world in which each piece feeds the next piece low voltage current. You can design and build any lighted abstract model. Laser Peg® can be used lit up or turned off. Once one Laser Peg is connected to a power source it then illuminates any other peg it is connected with, making this a very creative construction toy set.
Creatively construct our models or design your very own lit up creation. A high quality LED will run about 100,000 hours, which is equivalent to keeping them illuminated non-stop for 11 years. Therefore, each Laser Pegs® piece has a very long life expectancy. The batteries supply the toy models current, however, the length of time is determined by how many Laser Pegs® are attached to the power base. If you have 70 pegs on one base, the batteries will last about half as long compared with 35 pegs.”
Personal Experience: From a very young age, I loved to build with a variety of building blocks and construction kits… Legos, Lincoln Logs, bristle blocks, Kinex… you name it! When I was given the chance to try Laser Pegs for myself, the kid in me came back out ready to play!
I received the 6-in-1 Bot Kit for the purpose of this review. On first impression, I wasn’t very impressed with the quality of the packaging. A blister pack doesn’t seem sufficient to protect the blocks from damage and left no way to store them when not in play. The kit contains 20 Laser Peg pieces, a triangular power base, and an instruction manual.
Packaging aside, it was time to play! My son is still a bit too young to be trusted with these blocks without supervision, so naturally I had to play too. 😉 I noticed that the instruction pamphlet included with the kit had some suggested layout for different “bots” that we could create.
We had a lot of fun playing with different configurations and seeing what our imaginations could come up with. They are all clear when not lit, but light up in a variety of different colors. You can determine which color the block is by a little colored mark on the inside of each piece.
Obviously, the true fun came when we turned the lights out and saw our creations in their glowing splendor. You can alternate the light show between slow flash, quick flash, and steady. While Xander is too young for the bot, it has been constructed into a lamp-bot of our own creation and is being used to scare away the darkness at bedtime.
Overall, they are a fun toy to play with, but I did have a few concerns about the quality. There was a lot of crackling-type noises as we pressed them together. We were not being rough with them, by any means. None broke during our trial, but I worry that children playing with them on a day-to-day basis would be destructive on them. Laser Pegs will replace defective blocks or blocks that burn out.
I would buy more kits. I had a lot of fun playing with them, as did my son and husband. I have played with other Laser Pegs items that were not part of this kit and the quality was much better.
Pros: They light up, adding a whole new dimension to play. They are compatible with Lego blocks. They replace defective or broken blocks for free.
Cons: No way to replace lights yourself when they go out, but they will replace them for free when they go out! Some parts, particularly the globe-shaped pieces, seemed a bit flimsy.
Update on Feb. 24, 2015: As much as I wanted to love these, I just didn’t. We held on to these until Xander was a year older and then let him play with them under supervision. My concerns about quality held true with a few pieces and I had to throw out several that broke while he played. He wasn’t being overly rough with them… simply pushing them together. The batteries on the base ran out fast. Xander lost interest and we eventually donated the set to a thrift shop.
I don’t want to give up on Laser Pegs just yet. They appear to have made some updates to the design since I received this set, so perhaps I was not the only one to experience some issues. I would love to get my hands on a current set, because the ratings (and prices) are better than ever over on Amazon. They’ve also added an educational series that looks better designed for Xander’s age and would be a great tool for enforcing math and reading skills.