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We were in town today and DD was absolutely fascinated by a marble run we found. I’d love to get her one sometime (maybe for Christmas) but there seem to be so many out there I’m not sure which would be best for her. She’s only 2 and a bit so wouldn’t be able to build complicated runs herself yet but it would be nice to get something which could grow with her as she gets older. Any recommendations for nice quality (but also reasonably priced) marble runs? How much have you got/do you need to make a decent run so it isn’t always exactly the same layout? Thanks!
Ah well, having bought ds’s christmas present last week… (yes, I know! But I didn’t fancy doing all the christmas prep with a newborn and wanted to spread the cost, lol!) we’ve gone for the Quadrilla marble run. It’s fairly pricey - £38 for basic set - but you can buy bits to add separately and we’ll probably add to it on his birthday. They have it out in our local toy shop and ds LOVES it, I can’t wait to see his face when he can play with it at home! We decided it was worth paying that to have something that’ll last and really be good fun.
We’ve got the plastic one from ELC and it is really popular in our house both with DS1 (very nearly 4) and suprisingly DS2 (16 months). DS1 is learning to build it himself, DS2 just loves to put marbles down over and over and over…...again! I got ours (probably approx 2 sets in total) from the local carboot last summer for under a tenner in total. If I had bought new I might have gone for a wooden one - but you might want to consider whether the track ‘clicks’ together or not - the fact that the pieces ‘click’ into place make sit much easier for a little one to build and play with as the pieces do not become mis-aligned.
We have this one (though second hand so I have no idea which bits we do and don’t have) http://www.elc.co.uk/Extreme-Marble-Madness/120386,default,pd.html with extra bits!
We were really blessed by two separate families passing on their old ELC marble runs to us within the space of a couple of weeks so we have a double set and can make huuuuge runs! They are plastic sadly but I’d rather give them a good home than see them be thrown away. The plus side is that Meri who is 2 can do it herself, whereas the wooden ones I saw seemed to be aimed at the 4+ age range. Anyway, I expect you wouldn’t want to buy new plastic but the design is fab and they seem virtually unbreakable so maybe worth a look on a second-hand website?
Edit: Hadn’t seen PCC’s post above, yup I hadn’t thought of a carboot… We have the same one (and I can’t quite believe the parents wanted to get rid of them as I’m sure the kids still would have been of the age to enjoy them!)
Diana, DS (Sep 05), DD (Jan 08)
We bought ds the quadrilla basic set for Christmas a couple of years ago, as they had one set up in a local toy shop that he always wanted to play with. We intended buying extra bits to build it up, but his interest has waned recently. It is great, solid quality though and I can see him playing with it as he grows older too. We bought it from Amazon, as it was much cheaper than most places, but not sure if they still do it.
Mum to Isaac, Dec 2003
We bought Quadrilla for Zander last christmas. It is great fun if you don’t mind being the one to build it every time - Zander is 3 and has not yet got the skills to follow the instructions himself and it is a little difficult to create your own freestyle as all the blocks are different inside. But it is a toy he will grow with and into and for this I am grateful.. I am hoping by the time he’s 11 or so he may be interested in the physics of it all as there are no slopes the marbles gather speed inside the blocks.
Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am
thankful that thorns have roses
Mamma to Zander River nearly 5, Gaia Arwen Sky nearly 3
mulberrybush.co.uk have a beautiful wooden one for £22.99 and they also have a race track tower for £12.99 which would have the same effect. I buy every year from this company they are very good.
We are thinking of one for DD at Christmas this year. The Mulberry Bush one looks great! Our two boys had one as children and they absolutely loved it for many years. We passed it on to cousins who then passed it on to friends.
GP LETS 25
We’ve got the plastic ELC one as well. It was very popular with the girls, and like someone else said, virtually unbreakable. So if you don’t mind plastic, a good value toy.
(Lets number 63)