Occasionally we're sent items to review which we get incredibly excited about; when we opened up the bag containing Simbrix, we realised that it was one of those times.
It was October 2015 when Simbrix creator and father, Assam Ishaque, successfully won his kickstarter campaign to fund the production of the new construction toy which cunningly resemble pixels beads. Such was the appeal to backers, that in fact the funding target was met within six hours, enabling production to start before the kickstarter campaign had even reached its deadline!
Simbrix are a very cunning construction resource, which completely turns other craft toys and similar play equipment on their heads! The natural comparison to make is with Hama beads as they are of a similar size and seem to have the same function. However, Simbrix are so much more than Hama beads, and far less frustrating!
Simbrix work in a very simple and clever way; two sides of each piece have protrusions and two sides have a 'lock' for these protrusions to be slid into, it's a similar method to jigsaw pieces although each brick is the same design. This very clever design ensures that when little fingers drop their creation onto a tray containing thousands of small pieces of coloured plastic, there's a fairly good chance that it doesn't break and that the other Simbrix have not scattered all over the living room floor!
Scatter-free play without frustration? Yes please!
The other bonuses of Simbrix include:
- no pegboards or templates. This is excellent as it means that the frustration which occurs when the pegboard is knocked and Hama beads end up everywhere, is preventable! We also usually struggle to ensure that the beads end up on the right peg, and then have difficulty moving them onto the right one. To be honest, we never manage more than ten minutes or so with those pesky round beads.
- no need to iron them to keep the picture. Because the Simbrix pieces lock together via a sliding action, they are semi-permanent and pictures can be kept for as long as is needed. Of course, if the little artist wants to keep their picture permanently then they can be ironed with greaseproof paper as usual. However, the constructions can easily be taken apart and the Simbrix pieces resused. I like reusable craft resources.
Packets of mixed Simbrix contain 850 pieces, and inside the Crafter Kit that we received there were three packets of 850 beads, design sheets with ideas to start users off, and no instructions. Because children don't need instructions to have fun and create.
We set to work this afternoon during the Wimbledon final; there was a lot of tension waiting for Murray to make his mind up and win, and so we needed a distraction. For the next hour we both sat busy constructing a whole range of items, some were from the design sheets and some from our imagination. The Boy launched straight into creating a tree in a garden with flowers, while I attempted a Superman emblem, and then we both worked on a nice and jolly Minion together.
The Boy actually turned to me and asked if we could get rid of the Hama beads, my answer was a resounding 'YES!'.
Simbrix are available to buy directly from their online shop priced from £2.49 for individual colour packs, or £15.00 for a beginner's crafter pack. It can also be purchased from Amazon at the same price.
We were sent this product for the purpose of this review, our opinion (that it's awesome!) is honest and unbiased.