MARBLE RUN REVIEW
Marble Run Super Set
Interesting pieces, good price, frustrating build.
Mfr. Recommended Age: 4 Years+
Total score: 70 points
Components: Excellent (82 points)
Ease of build: Average (58 points)
Engagement: Good (70 points)
Repeat Play Value: Good (67 points)
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85 Pieces + 15 Marbles
The Super Set includes a large number of building pieces and is top-of-the-line when it comes to variety. There's enough swirls, zigzags, and roundabouts to please even the most creative builder. The set also includes a few well-functioning catchers.
Ease of Build: Average
The step-by-step instructions aren't bad. The pictures are helpful, but the completed parts aren't greyed-out or otherwise marked when you move to the next step, so you can't always tell what's new. It can also be difficult to distinguish the straight pieces from the curved ones in the instructions. A 6-year-old tester was able to build part of one leg of the design without assistance, but the complex ways the separate components connect meant that an adult had to lead the build the majority of the time.
Stability is something of a problem for the Super Set. Different pieces of the run often toppled during construction and even those that didn't were often leaning rather than standing up straight. The pieces connect snugly but come apart fairly easily.
The Marble Genius has the greatest variety of components, and that variety pays off once the run is constructed. Marbles rarely fly off or get stuck during the run. Our littlest testers love the multiple entry points for starting the run and the large number of possible routes the marbles can take.
The Marble Genius includes step-by-step instructions for four different builds, but the complex way the pieces connect limits the opportunity for free design.
Repeat Play Value: Good
Once constructed, the Marble Genius is lots of fun to watch, and our littlest testers returned to it multiple times to run more marbles through. But once the run was disassembled, it only came out of the box a couple times. Our littlest testers couldn't put it together on their own and the frustration of the build dampened their enthusiasm for it.
The Marble Genius gets top marks for component variety and the interest of the run itself. Building the run is a bit tricky and will probably require adult assistance, at least for the junior engineers.