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First developed in Japan, magnetic tiles are now a near-ubiquitous toy in American households. Enter any home with a toddler, and you’re likely to see a basket of colorful tiles in all shapes and sizes that have magnets around the edges. Or better yet, you could come across a towering creation standing proud in the center of the living room.
Connetix is one of the key players in the magnetic tiles market, founded in 2019 by two families who had a shared love for the genre and set out to create their own product. My family dipped our toe in the Connetix waters with their 62-Piece Rainbow Starter Pack ($79.95), which offers enough pieces to build anything from a house to a rocket ship, and gives us the flexibility to grow our collection of tiles and add-on kits over time.
- Variety of shapes and colors
- Option to add additional kits and pieces
- Premium packaging and unboxing experience
- Bevel design adds more dimension and visual interest
- Created with non-toxic materials
We don't like
- Though enclosed, magnets shift and move within the tiles
- Rivets on tile corners don’t make for a seamless exterior finish
- High price point
Learning and Play, All At Once
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) toys are on trend, and for good reason. What parent doesn’t want their child to learn in the process of playing with their toys? Recommended for ages 3+, Connetix tiles tick the STEAM box and also help kids express their creativity by making different creations with their tiles. From tall towers to flat patterns, every design is teaching my daughter something new — from the concept of magnetism to shape and color coordination.
With some supervision and practice, my 2-year-old is starting to get the hang of how the magnets work and how to build with the tiles — and I’m learning to love her left-of-center houses with tiles askew. The Starter Pack includes big squares, small squares, windows, and multiple triangle sizes in a range of colors, and gives us more than enough to build in these early weeks of playing with the tiles. I’m excited to see how this exploration with a toy that’s slightly “old” for her makes her an expert builder in her big kid years.
Connetix also prides itself on solid construction that will last for years of play. While I prefer a more seamless design, Connetix has intentionally riveted the edges of their tiles for an additional level of safety to keep the magnets sealed within the tiles. I can certainly forego aesthetic preferences if it means a toy is safe for my child.
Connetix tiles also offer a unique bevel design to all of their tiles—this means that no tile is a completely flat surface. It’s a “nice-to-have” feature that offers some additional visual interest to Connetix tile creations. Last but not least, all parents can get behind the use of non-toxic materials. On this Connetix delivers: all of their tiles are made using non-toxic ABS plastic that is BPA-, lead- and Phthalate-free.
Build Your Collection, Kit by Kit
One of the key features of Connetix is that you can build your collection over time, as their entire product line is laid out in complementary kits. Because it’s an open-ended toy, our set of tiles will grow along with my daughter’s skills. As she transitions from being a toddler to a big kid, I know that she’ll love the Motion Pack ($49.95), which will allow her to build everything from cars to a ball run. And as a parent, it’ll only get more fun to join her on the floor and figure out what kind of creation we can make together.
In addition to the activity-based kits, Connetix offers tile expansion packs that range in size. Base plates allow you to build out and up, and expansion packs go up to as big as 212 pieces ($240). With that many tiles, Connetix creation goes to another level — what couldn’t you build with that many tiles?!
Whether you have a younger toddler or an older child, Connetix is a great line of toys to add to your chest. It teaches concrete skills, brings out creativity, and offers fun for the entire family. While its high price point may not allow for having a large collection at the outset, their kit-based product line allows for building your arsenal over time — particularly for the features that may skew toward older kids. I can’t wait to see what my daughter builds next!