Kor Geomag Tazoo and Proteon are a great new magnetic toy, which landed in the UK just before Christmas this year, from the Swiss company Geomag.. I will confess to being sceptical after all the bad press a few years ago about magnetic toys and the hazards of swallowing pieces. But I needn’t have worried as you would expect from a Swiss company this has been carefully considered in the construction of these toys and while like any toy you give your child an amount of supervision is needed. There is however no hazard with Geomag and the chance of swallowing small parts.
The story goes that there were two asteroids landing on earth bringing new creatures with them. The Tazoo lines have Paco & Beto, where children can build fanciful creatures from the land or sea. While the tougher Proteon combine beasts akin to volcano’s, swamps, and mountains. These characters can be built on their own, or combined with the other sets to make even bigger fanciful monsters.
We were sent Blatta from the Proteon sets to build, and the boy was excited to see what was in the box. With sets starting from RRP £24.99 to RRP £49.99 these sets are not cheep, but you are getting a good quality toy which can grow and can be built on. With the toy fair in London just a week away, I will be very interested to see the new lines and would expect Geomag to feature in the top toys for Christmas next year.
Back to Blatta!
In the box we had 3 bags of plastic parts each a different colour, as well as a large metal ball and instruction booklet.
Orange for the core pieces with the magnetic element set into the tips.
Blue for the connecting pieces which make up the body of the model.
Finally a darker blue for the feature pieces.
The colours make a very striking contrast and certainly add to the feel of the models once built.
We found there were some initial parts that the boy simply couldn’t fit together, despite the fact Kor Geomag are recommended from age 5+. Once these knuckle type joints are built they remain together and don’t need to be taken apart. So I don’t think this detracts from the enjoyment, it just means Mum or Dad have to play their role in construction!
Once you have followed the instructions supplied and made your base shape from the magnetic parts, you continue to make either a ball or egg shape as the base of your creation. At first the boy was treating the Kor set like other construction toys and a lighter touch is needed, as you have to remember that the model is being held together by magnetism. After a couple of false starts, explosions and giggles we soon got the hang of setting up the base shape. You then add the features, this again needs an amount of dexterity and patience, with some parts needing to be removed from the ball for the additions to be made.
There is plenty of flexibility with adding limbs, eyes heads and even tails, with only imagination as a limitation, adding other coloured sets will only add to the fun. You can see some of the boys creations in our photos, and the boy laughed when I made a bendy knee monster! The boy enjoyed the construction of the magnetic parts most, finding that he could roll the ball when constructed seeing how it smashed when bumped into things. In fact for most of Christmas this became the game to play see who could roll the ball without it smashing.
I have been very pleased with the durability of this toy, and the fact if has encouraged the boy to think about different forms of construction. I like the mathematical elements of the shapes used to make the ball, as well as being able to change this shape into an egg with the addition of a few extra pieces. I think the recommended age of 5 is ideal although I can see younger siblings wanting to get involved, and with supervision and no small parts wouldn’t see this as a problem.
Kor Geomag Tazoo & Proteon sets are available in department stores as well as independent toys stores across the country and Amazon online.
You can find out more at www.geomagworld.com or on the Geomag Facebook Page but watch out because I think these monsters will be big in Christmas 2014.
Disclaimer we were sent this set for review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.