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Geomag Mechanics Gravity Loops & Turns – Toy Review

Photographer, artist and big kid Debbie Attwell plays with the Geomag Mechanics Gravity Loops & Turns set!

Launched in 1998, Geomag is a construction system toy that mixes engineering and mathematics into playtime. The basic sets provide kits of magnetic rods and steel spheres that “stimulate creativity, inventiveness and ingenuity”. Or in other words: you can mess around and build cool stuff.

Geomag Mechanics is a newer expansion to the range, which adds mechanical elements using attraction and repulsion, and the kits are much more complicated, with a specific structure to build. We previously reviewed Mechanics Challenge Goal!, and this time we’re tackling Mechanics Gravity Loops & Turns, a bigger kit of 130 pieces.

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The picture on the box is pretty exciting: an elaborate two-level circuit with a small 360 degree loop, two magnetic cannons, and metal balls running round it. It’s recommended for ages 8 and upwards. The instructions are picture-based, or you can follow along with a video via a QR code. It took over an hour to build the circuit, and we didn’t run into any major problems.

As with the previous Challenge Goal kit, Loops & Turns uses magnetic cannons to fire the metal balls, and there are two built into the circuit. The balls fire satisfyingly and at a fast speed, and it’s fairly easy and quick to reset the cannons and fire more. The balls exit the circuit into a little contained area, and can be fed back in.

Although the finished circuit looks impressive, there is a slight frustration to it, as the balls either move too quickly to fully enjoy (it feels over before it’s begun), or they stop short of completing it, so you’re constantly resetting and firing more.

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This might be part of the fun, trying to fire the cannons just right to get the balls to complete the circuit, but for us it felt a little unsatisfying, and after a while of firing and resetting, firing and resetting, the novelty does start to wear off. I think that Geomag could improve play by making some suggestions of ways to challenge yourself and keep the play interesting.

The back of the booklet has pictures of other Mechanics kits, and shows how you can combine them together. This would definitely be fun to try, making the circuit bigger and adding other elements; the ‘elevator’ and ‘gravity motor’ in other kits are intriguing!.

Overall, Geomag Mechanics Loops & Turns is a fun toy to build and play with, but we felt it had limited options for creativity after the initial construction.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal! is available via Toys R Us and other retailers.

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