MARBLE RUN REVIEW
Best for Little
Innovative, sturdy marble run. Great pick for kiddos with an artistic streak.
Mfr. Recommended Age: 6 Years+
Total score: 74 points
Components: Good (66 points)
Ease of build: Excellent (81 points)
Engagement: Good (75 points)
Repeat Play Value: Good (75 points)
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Great artistry potential
Securely interlocking pieces
Minimal piece variety
72 Pieces + 20 Marbles
The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 components have a nice quality to them. Our pieces didn't crack or show any wear and tear despite quite a bit of handling.
This set only includes one type of piece. The number and location of the exit points on the pieces vary, but they are essentially all cubes. The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 includes a type of cube that acts as a catcher, but there's no easy way to release the marbles without picking the cube (and thus the entire structure) up a bit off the ground. While our testers managed to avoid the catastrophe of a structure collapse, it seemed like an unnecessarily risky way to get the marbles out of the run. The included marbles aren't standard sized but they are of good quality and work well with the set.
Ease of Build: Excellent
The building instructions for the Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 are available for online download. They're nicely colored and illustrated, but it's sometimes difficult to tell which type of cube (single-exit, double-exit, or bottom-exit) you're supposed to use.
The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 fares well when it comes to building stability. Even our littlest builders were able to add to mazes without knocking over any of the previously built structure. It helps that the pieces connect quite securely, especially on the sides.
The beauty (and excitement) of the Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 is definitely in the artistry. This set includes instructions for building four suggested runs (including a fish and a banana split!), and they're the most visually stunning of any set we tested. The run itself is pretty interesting. There are plenty of direction switches, and it works well. Marbles never fly off and very rarely get stuck on the way down. The run is a bit limited though when it comes to variety: the pieces always fall waterfall-style from top to bottom.
The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 has mid-range potential for freestyle design. While the pieces connect easily, it takes a bit of artistic flare and planning to design a structure that mimics the cool appearance of the suggested builds. But if you're considering this set for a kid who enjoys free play with Legos, it'll probably be a hit.
Repeat Play Value: Good
Our littlest testers were enthusiastic about running the marbles through this maze but less inclined to get the pieces out and build a new structure.
The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 puts a new twist on the conventional marble run, and it's a successful innovation. While it may not have the variety of pieces found in a traditional marble run, it's a sturdy build that may be more appealing to kiddos with an artistic bent.