Saturday, October 21, 2017

Why are Magna-Tiles so expensive? 4 things you need to know about Magna-Tiles.

I am NOT including Magna-Tiles in my magnetic tile review series for 4 reasons:
  • Magna-Tiles are expensive (well over a $1.00 per tile)!  You are paying for the brand name because, like most other magnetic tiles, Magna-Tiles are also made of high grade ABS plastic and simple ceramic magnets.
  • Magna-Tiles have only five different magnetic shapes in their 100 piece set.  If you want unique pieces, you need to buy a deluxe or expansion set.
  • Magna-Tiles' customer service is mediocre (You have to buy directly through their website to their 30 day satisfaction guarantee).
  • Magna-Tiles quality has gone downhill.  Apparently, the old Magna-Tiles used to be super strong. and the new-style is much weaker.  See this youtube video called "Magna-Tiles by Valtech: Old-style vs. New-style".  

If the current style of Magna-Tiles could do what the old style could do in that youtube video, then I would be so happy and feel confident in purchasing. (Please note, I know of no other brand of magnetic tiles--except PlayMags for one brief episode that I never could repeat--that can do what this video shows the old style Magna-Tiles doing.)

When I contacted the company about their strength and quality declining, they responded, saying,
“The materials for the product have not changed in 20 years :)”.
The response was a little evasive, if you ask me.

Their materials may not have changed, but their design certainly has.  In 2011, Magna-Tiles added metal rivets to their tiles.  I think the design change resulted in a weaker tile that was just too heavy to perform as it used to.  Or perhaps the magnets had to be weaker to conform to current toy safety standards.

Here is a close-up picture of the old-style versus new-style.
http://kk.org/cooltools/magna-tiles/
https://valtechmagnatiles.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/valtech-magna-tiles-square-pyramids.jpg?w=670&h=518
Why don't Magna-Tiles go on sale?
Magna-Tiles has a “Minimum Advertised Price Policy” which means that retailers have to advertise it for a certain company approved price.  If you're waiting for them to go on sale, stop waiting because even if a store is going to put them on sale, they wouldn't be able to advertise the sale price because of their "Minimum Advertised Price Policy".

Where can I get the best deal on Magna-Tiles?
If you are set on buying Magna-Tiles, then I recommend that you get them from Barnes and Noble using the 30% Kids Club coupon.  You would be subject to Barnes & Noble's return policy which is pretty strict ("Returns are accepted within 14 days of the date that you received your order. All returned items must be in their original condition; shrink-wrapped products must be unopened.") OR you could try a Lakeshore Learning store and use one of their store coupons (during Christmas they usually have Buy 1 item Get 1 item 50% OFF store coupons).  OR if you have a Target % OFF coupon/code, you could try buying from Target.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Mega Magnetic Tile Series: Playmags Review

When I first began testing out sets for this magnetic tile review series, I bought this 5-piece stabilizer set from Playmags. It quickly became apparent that the Playmag tiles were super strong and very well built, but I didn't know how to thoroughly show that on my blog with just five tiles. The Playmag company very generously stepped in and sent me two sets to test out. Thanks!

Playmags 100-piece set (with 18 bonus Clickin pieces) are currently on sale and only $57.99 on Amazon. That's only 58 cents per magnetic tile (I am not counting the bonus Clickin pieces in the tile average because they don't contain magnets BUT they are unique addition to this set).  I have followed this brand for a couple of years and the current price is the lowest I have ever seen, so if you are considering this set, don't delay. Amazon prices can change by the hour. This set include the following shapes:

Snippet from Amazon
Read on for more details!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Mega Magnetic Tile Review Series: Brain Power MagTiles

Next up in our magnetic tile review series is Brain Power MagTiles, and thanks to the company for providing a set for this review series.  This 65-piece set (currently $29.12 on Amazon) averages $0.45 per tile (super affordable for magnetic tiles).

Brain Power MagTiles includes the following shapes: 18 equilateral triangles, 8 right triangles, 6 isosceles triangles, 4 big squares, 24 small squares, 4 windows, and 1 car base. Read on past the page break for more details!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mega Magnetic Tile Review Series: Magnesia Magnetic Tiles Review

A big thanks to AMIT M at Amazon for providing Magnesia Tiles to be used in our Mega Magnetic Tile Review Series.  These tiles are currently $65.99 on Amazon.  Averaging $0.66 per tile, these magnetic tiles are affordably priced.

This 100-piece set includes the following shapes:

Snippet from Amazon.


Read on for more details!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Mega Magnetic Tile Review Series: My Little Architect Magnetic Tiles Review

My kids will play for HOURS with magnetic tiles. I keep the fun going with a little bit of "oohing/aahing" and the reminder to "go get" whatever little figures or animals will add to the fun. Seriously, my kids impress me each time they play with magnetic tiles. Those little minds are smart and creative, and magnetic tiles are like fuel for the flame. Here's a review on one of the sets that my kids play with.

Snippet from Amazon
I would like to thank AE Labs for sending me a free set of My Little Architect magnetic tiles to blog review. It is a great addition to our collection and a fabulous introduction to my mega magnetic tile review series.

My Little Architect magnetic tiles set (priced $39.95 on Amazon) has 60 pieces (colored purple, yellow, red, green, and blue) in a variety of shapes.


Currently priced $39.95 on Amazon, this set averages $.067 per tile, which is a fabulous price. Please read on for more details! :)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Jello Simply Good Gelatin and Pudding Review

I cannot tell you how pleased I was to find JELL-O Simply Good gelatin.

I'm talkin':

Feel-like-doing-cartwheels pleased.
High-fives all around with the grocers pleased.
Creating abstract art with my JELL-O Simply Good loot pleased.

Smiley face made out of JELLO Simply Good gelatin
Seriously, I had given up on finding gelatin mixes without artificial dyes and it was just so satisfying to see these little packets of JELL-O Simply Good gelatin with the words "NO artificial flavors, dyes or preservatives" on the front. I bought all the flavors.  Then when I saw them in another store, it was happy flashback time and I bought even more.  And I picked up quite a few puddings too.  Yes, puddings too!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Ollas Part 3: How Did My Garden Grow?

Growing tomatoes with Ollas in Utah was a fail

So if you read Ollas Part 1 or Ollas Part 2, you will know that I have a fascination with gardening with Ollas.

Last summer I used about 10 ollas in my tomato gardening adventures.  Two of those ollas were the GrowOya brand and the rest were homemade.  Now that Spring is here I thought I would give a quick update on how my tomatoes did with ollas, so that I can potentially save you some time.

It did not go well.

I think that the super dry climate of Utah just did not allow the tomatoes to get the much needed water from the ollas, even when I filled up the ollas everyday.  And this went for both the bought GrowOya and my homemade ollas.  And just so you know, filling up ollas is a pretty big chore with lots of funnels and squatting involved.  Basically, during the intense heat of the summer, it was not fun and since it was not rewarding, it was double not fun.  I ended up watering from above to save my urban tomato crop.

So, even though I love the idea of using ollas to cut down on water usage and be a super cool gardener, I cannot recommend it for a dry desert climate, especially for use in growing tomatoes.  I. Am. SO! Bummed.

Why the Original Voluminous mascara beats out the new Voluminous Million Lashes mascara

Spring has sprung and my garden is calling.  I will be doing a future post updating my Olla adventure last summer, hopefully in time to save you some time.  But I digress.
I don't even need a picture of how this Voluminous Million Lashes mascara looks on me because it looks and feels just like the original Voluminous mascara and you can see it here.

There are 2 reasons why I highly recommend that you stick with the original Voluminous waterproof mascara.

1.  The wand applicator is way too huge!  This makes it too tricky to apply.  I think it is built for eyes like Rapunzel on Disney's tangled...lol.
2.  Its formula is almost identical in wearability and look to the formula of the original voluminous waterproof.

Thanks for reading!  Now go outside and enjoy Spring.  :)

YSL Baby Doll Mascara Review vs Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara Review

Picture only review.  Fast for me.  Fast for you.  :)  I wasn't too impressed with either brand and here is why.


Monday, January 30, 2017

Natural Lip Crayons: Juice Beauty vs Burt's Bees vs Shea Moisture

I love lip products!  Don't you feel like a good pucker just completes your look?

Today I am reviewing lip crayons from Juice Beauty, Burt's Bees, and Shea Moisture.  I know that the color shades are not identical but I wasn't trying to find a "dupe" of any thing so I just picks similar colors from what I had on hand.  I was surprised with my favorite brand.  Read on!