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.


  1. Thanks for the purchasing tips! 3 years later, and your information was very helpful!

  2. Thank you for the very honest review. I've been wanting to lay my hands on a set for my kids, but the price tag has kept me waiting! I don't think I want one now; it's just too expensive

  3. Jeez Loo-Eez! Thanks Ms. Blunt! Just bumped into you here as I was researching to find different possible deals for bigger & more varied Magna Tile sets. Great, if irksome, info! ❤️❄️😷☃️πŸ€ͺπŸŒΆπŸ™πŸ½

  4. Thanks for sharing this post. I too had the doubt that why Magna Tiles are this much expensive. You have well described the reasons behind the high rate of Magna Tiles. It would be nice if you can share a post about the Best Magnetic Building Blocks and where can we get the best deal on Magnetic Building Blocks. Keep posting.

    1. Thanks for reading, and sorry for the late reply! I did compare quite a few brands previously in past posts. You could start with: