Review and Giveaway: Zen Magnets
If you’re into magnetic toys, abstract art, or fidgeting, read on because I have an awesome giveaway for you today!
Zen Magnets (the same company behind Neoballs.com) sent me two sets of rare-earth magnetic balls – one to play with, and one to give away to a lucky reader. Each set contains 216 incredibly strong magnets, plus some accessories and six spare balls. If you want to win a free set worth $38.24, continue reading and join the giveaway.
What’s In The Box
The Zen Magnets come in two different sets: the Original (Low Packaged) Zen Set and the Gift/Retail Packed Zen Set. The latter is slightly more expensive because it comes with a couple of extras like a laser-etched stainless steel building platform, a microfiber cloth and a hard case. And that’s what I got.
This is a top view of what’s in the box. It’s a very cool magnet set, and comes with lots of accessories, but not everything is perfect: As you can see above, the box is very flimsy, and actually arrived broken; the lid just fell off – there’s no metal hinge, just a thin strip of coating. The good news is that this was the only problem, and everything the box contained arrived in top-notch condition. Next to the box (clockwise) you can see the Zen Magnets, lying on top of a PVC card that can be used for separating and manipulating them. Then there’s a nice bag for storing the magnets or carrying them around, an instruction sheet with some construction ideas, and a heavy metal plate that the magnets just love to stick to. Let’s check some of the more interesting parts of the kit:
The Magnetic Balls
Obviously, this is the most important part of the whole kit. Above you can see Zen Magnets next to the 900lbs gorilla of the toy magnet market, Buckyballs. As you can see, they look virtually identical. Since the Zen Magnets are newer, they feel stronger than the Buckyballs, but there’s no telling if this strength would keep over the next few months of intensive playing, construction and fidgeting. Here’s a closer look at the magnets:
Very smooth and shiny, and lots of fun to play with.
The Instruction Sheet
This instruction sheet is jam-packed with ideas an explanations. It’s just one sheet of paper so it can fit in the box, but the text is tiny and there’s a ton of information and ideas, not to mention buzzwords like “octahedron” and “9-Tri-Icosa”. It’s all explained with pretty pictures.
The Heavy Metal Plate
This is something that doesn’t ship with Buckyballs, and I was surprised by how useful and fun it was. Here’s something I could never do without the plate:
The magnets really grip onto the plate, so it’s easy to construct domes:
Even a simple structure composed of three hexagons looks impressive when mounted on the plate:
These are far from the peak of engineering possible using Zen Magnets (or any other high-quality magnetic toy, for that matter). To see what the real pros can do, check out the Zen Magnets gallery on Flickr or watch this video:
That’s about it! Zen Magnets are as fun to play with as they look, and I look forward to making one MakeUseOf reader happy with their very own set. Join the giveaway below to be in the running to win it!
How do I win it?
It’s simple, just follow the instructions.
Step 1: Fill in the giveaway form
Please fill in the form with your real name and email address so that we can get in touch if you are chosen as a winner.
The giveaway code required to activate the form is available from our Facebook page.
Step 2: Share!
You’re almost done. Now, all that’s left to do is to share the post. There are 2 options to choose from or you can do both!
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This giveaway begins now and ends March 15th. The winner will be selected at random and informed via email.
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