1.17.2011

Bucky Balls Review



I am always amazed at what ends up being the hit toy for the year in the Meatwad household. We are big spenders for Christmas and always buy way too much. In addition to the normal “requested” haul, we also try to find unique things for the kiddos that they may have never seen before and certainly weren‘t on any list. Now, if you asked the kids, they will always say the big item they asked for was their favorite but I tend to watch what gets played with the most to see what was the real hit and what holds their interest the longest time.

This year a family favorite came in the form of a tiny little stocking stuffer called Bucky Balls. These are just tiny magnetic balls that you form together to make shapes, but they are very strong rare earth magnets so the shapes hold together really well. Santa brought a set of 216 balls to me and a set for my 10 year old daughter this year. 216 balls makes a cube about 2 inches by 2 inches so the individual balls are really more like BB’s than balls. (If I had a nickel for every time..)

Now there is a big warning on the side of the package that says “Keep away from all Children! Do not put in nose or mouth. Swallowed magnets can stick to intestines causing serious injury or death!” Hence, Santa didn’t bring them to my 5 year old. That being said, all of us, my five year old included, have been playing with these things non-stop since Christmas. Every time we are sitting on the couch, or are in the car, one of us is fiddling with these things.

I am a little bit of a fancy lad, so of course I made the standard necklaces, bracelets, and rings with these, varying the designs from simple to intricate. I even put on ball on either side of my earlobe to pull off an 80’s throwback BB earring without the actual piercing. Yeah, it didn‘t say anything about keeping away from the ears in the warning. The most difficult geometry to pull off is actually the cube that the set comes in. I distinctly remember from physics a right hand rule for the direction of current in a magnetic field…..or was that centrifugal force?….I swear there was something with a thumb and the curling of fingers. Either way, it won’t help you when trying to align 216 BB’s in a cube. That requires mad patience and a “feel” for the placement. I’m a bit of a prodigy, I’ll admit, so I got it after only a few days. Oh yeah, the kids have fun with them too.

These things are a little expensive, but I hear Santa found some pretty good 2 for 1 deals on Woot just prior to Christmas. Also, there are tons of knock-off brands, but according to the reviews, they are not very powerful and will fall apart if trying to go with the oh so popular single ball chain. Bucky Balls have no such problems and “Oooh, ooh, oooooooh, stick like glue”. If it wasn’t for the fact that I am pretty sure the magnets are strong enough to destroy my cell phone and laptop if accidentally converged, I would give these geometric gems 5 stars. But, since they will likely erase my hard drive and can potentially cause death, I am “sticking” with 4.


3 comments:

Matt said...

Be honest...have you made a belly chain out of these?

MeatWad said...

A belly chain that could fit around my gut would take approximately 2,500,000 Bucky balls. That's a lot of balls.

foodjunk said...

Argh I want some of these. Didn't this company have some spat with another smaller company a while back? Or was it the other way around. These are the original guys right?

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