Geomag magnetic construction sets are fun and educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) toys.
With products available to suit all ages (we reviewed some Geomag Magicubes last year which my son still plays with them regularly), Geomag toys provide hours of magnetic fun without the need for screens or batteries.
We were sent the Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch set to play with and review.
This set is aimed at slightly older children aged 7+.
The box bulges with 243 separate pieces; 11 magnetic rods, 36 steel spheres and 196 plastic pieces. These go together to create both a magnetic track and a shoot and catch system, or in fact whatever your imagination can concoct.
It is a serious bit of kit and something that children towards the younger age limit will definitely need help with. I’d say it is more of a project to work on together or for older children with an interest in science and magnets.
There are two instruction booklets in the kit.
The first explains how to make the various special mechanisms; the magnetic transmission, magnetic cannon, gravity motor, stop and go and magnetic catcher.
The other has step-by-step instructions on how to put together the parts to create the magnetic track and the harder ‘Shoot & Catch’ track.
Once opened, do note that you’ll need another container for the pieces as the box doesn’t re-close.
Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch set
The Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch set helps you build a track which is a bit like a magnetic marble run. Using a combination of gravity and magnets, you can send a steel ball from one end of the track seamlessly to the other.
Place a ball at the start, then rotate the magnetic transmission using reverse polarity to work the seemingly impossible gravity motor.
The gravity motor pushes the magnetic ball upwards to the chute at the start of the track, where it rolls towards a ‘stop and go’; a system which stops the original ball and propels a one into action.
This activates the magnetic cannon where a new ball is sent along the track towards the magnetic catcher, which catches the ball on the end of a magnetic rod.
The whole sequence lasts a few seconds.
Well, I won’t lie, it is a little…
The instructions are very thorough but you do need space and time to concentrate because some of the bits are fiddly to put together. You need to do it very precisely in order that the whole track will work.
It’s probably not something you want to do with a three year old about…
Although he didn’t agree. Seriously though this kit is not for under 3s, or anyone who cannot be trusted not to swallow the steel balls and other small pieces.
How do you put it together?
The orange discs which form the base have small round holes in them into which you slot the connectors.
Note that the top side of the disc is smooth; the one you see above is upside down.
Make sure you know which way up you are connecting your pieces and that the connectors are facing the right way according to the instructions or you may have to re-do it!
It probably took me around an hour to get it put together and working properly with ‘help’ from my assistant. It was quite fun to do, and very satisfying when it all came together and ball went from one end to the other smoothly!
Anything not so great?
Some of the pieces can be a little tricky to slot together; this gets easier with practice and we managed not to break any pieces so at least they are sturdy enough for the task.
The instructions were in places a little tricky to work out, but we got there in the end!
My only gripe really was that the gravity motor section, in specific the chute at the top where it connects to the red towers, was fragile and the parts came apart quite easily which was frustrating.
Here is a quick video of the shoot and catch track in action!
The 243 piece Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch kit has an RRP of £70 and can be purchased from national retailers including Amazon here.
There are however many smaller kits in the Mechanics range which are cheaper and would make excellent Christmas presents, as well as other kits aimed at younger children. Take a look here.
We were sent this product free of charge for the purposes of this Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch kit review. Words and pictures are my own.
You can win a 243-piece Geomag Mechanics Gravity Shoot and Catch kit worth £70 in our competition!
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