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 be eligible for 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 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.
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 you should 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.

What are some alternatives to Magna-Tiles?
I'm so glad you asked.  I've tested many brands and written a post called Best Magnetic Tile Set, and it contains my most up-to-date recommendations.

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!