Product Reviews

Review and Giveaway: Zen Magnets

Erez Zukerman 08-03-2012

Review and Giveaway: Zen Magnets zenmagnetIf 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 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.

Zen Magnets

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.

Review and Giveaway: Zen Magnets giveawaycodes

The giveaway is over. The winner is Larry McElhiney.

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!

Like it on Facebook

Or share it on Twitter
This giveaway begins now and ends March 15th. The winner will be selected at random and informed via email.

Spread the word to your friends and have fun!

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  1. velomac
    March 15, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I would like to enter this giveaway, but the page says "Sorry, but this form is no longer accepting submissions.". You state that the giveaway ends March 15. It's 3:20 EDT on March 15, 2012. Why won't the form let me enter?

    • muotechguy
      March 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      ... because it's March 15th. It ends today.

      • velomac
        March 15, 2012 at 7:49 pm

        In the past, MUO giveaway contests have accepted entries on the day the contest ended. The page would state e.g. "The contest ends at 9:00 PST on January 13." Entries would be accepted until the published date & time. I could have entered such a contest at 11:30 EDT on January 13.
        So, has the policy changed?
        If this contests stops accepting entries at a specific time on March 15, it should be stated on the page. After all, this site is followed world-wide.

  2. KD Smith
    March 15, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I never stopped being a kid; somewhere inside!

  3. mahomy
    March 14, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I love these Chinese pun intended.

  4. Carey Pugh
    March 14, 2012 at 3:14 pm


  5. Himanshuchaudhary87
    March 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    It seems suuuuuuuuuper Cool

  6. Timm061
    March 14, 2012 at 6:56 am

    These look totally awesome. Would love to score these ...

  7. Hana
    March 14, 2012 at 3:29 am

    Hi nice of you guys, Erez,
    This reminds me of a small similar looking pool of little round magnets (it must have been from the Science Museum) more of decoration, as you couldn't do such masterful works like this. ;o) Good luck to all! :o)

  8. Mark
    March 14, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I've always been fascinated with magnets. Kinda magical.

  9. Dav532000
    March 13, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    These look fantastic, just think of the fun you could have with these. Great for when the grand children visit, thats if they can get them off me lol.

  10. John Carlisle
    March 13, 2012 at 6:35 pm


  11. Allan Fernandes
    March 12, 2012 at 12:33 am

    If this is for real
    I wanna have a ball
    even in installments
    one at a time!
    even ZEN I will be happy

    Hey how long will that take? mmh
    Thanks for some great creativity

  12. Kitty
    March 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    really nice!

  13. Scoop Alexander
    March 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    something I can do with my 10 year old instead of lego, lego, lego,lego..............

  14. Anony-mouse
    March 11, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Please give me the magnets. I REALLY have no decent toys around the house to play with ;) and I was eyeing this for a long time.

  15. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

    Anyone can help me out

  16. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 11, 2012 at 2:39 am

    When is the result been displayed

  17. MacGrandmother
    March 10, 2012 at 5:27 am

    Magnets also have healing capabilities other than stress relievers.

  18. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 10, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Just trying to figure it out what new things can be explored with this magnets....

  19. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 10, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Undoubtedly by getting this surely everyone will be a Kid again 

  20. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 10, 2012 at 2:05 am

    An Awesome Toy for  crazy Kids.....
    Please Do count me Admin

    And can anyone please tell me when the result will be displayed

  21. Chazpenedwards13
    March 10, 2012 at 12:51 am

    it would be so cool to win :D

  22. Mag
    March 9, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Keep them away from the kiddos, would want them swallowing these little magnets.

  23. Hayley Clark
    March 9, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I have been wanting these FOREVER! I hope I win :)

  24. Marcus Lindgren
    March 9, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Have a set of buckyballs from 2 years ago, they're so used that they have almost lost all their shiny finish and barely work anymore :P

  25. Asriel Rusdyawan
    March 9, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Great Giveaway! Please count me in Dear Admin.

    THX, LJBU!

  26. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 9, 2012 at 11:03 am

    And can make varieties of design because of their spherical shape

  27. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 9, 2012 at 11:02 am

    The Magnet especially called as rare Earth Magnets I have heard about it They are super strong thats why you can stack them one above the other.......

  28. Abdullah Sorathia
    March 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Damn Cool........! A Brain Train Toy. Remembered me of my Childhood..
    A toy which can Bring you imagination to live....

  29. Î??ç???™
    March 9, 2012 at 1:39 am

    Neat! Looks like I want one! Have been using magnets taken from different stuffs! LOL! so can person living in Maldives Participate? XD

    • Erez Zukerman
      March 9, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Absolutely: We'll ship these anywhere on the planet, no restrictions whatsoever. If the winner has a mailing address, that's all we need.

  30. Christopher
    March 9, 2012 at 1:15 am

    omg what a way to feed my magnet addiction! The last magnets I had are from an old microwave I took apart but they broke :(

  31. Marcus Glahder
    March 8, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    So much want
    It would be so awesome

  32. Dss
    March 8, 2012 at 8:35 pm


  33. MrTax
    March 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Just entered into the giveaway. Please consider me as an applicant to the giveaway. Thanks

  34. Carpenter__RichardCarpenter
    March 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I have seen these before, a friend had some (IDK if they are the same brand though, anyway) They are really funny to mess around with :) untill someone gets mean and bumps them and the go EVERYWHERE :)

    They made a group of adult into nine year olds, They are good stress relievers.

  35. MohammadWasiullah
    March 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    This is memorized me my childhood 
    Thanks for this toy!/mohammadwasi786/status/177788562777964544 

  36. Barb Osier
    March 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    One of my co workers has some of these. He plays with them during meetings. (insert  your own funny one liners here)

    • Erez Zukerman
      March 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

       LOL, I know what you mean... I had to avoid these puns in the giveaway post. :) Everybody loves playing with...

  37. Thymez
    March 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Very interesting, pw

  38. Fayz
    March 8, 2012 at 10:56 am

    Damn I need this bad! Please let me win this! The day I lost mine was a very dark day for me! :'(

  39. Russell Copeland
    March 8, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Liked, Liked and Liked again! + entered :D

  40. Agregory
    March 8, 2012 at 9:53 am

    What an interesting item... always lots of fun!

  41. ????(???? Amy
    March 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I have a set of Buckyballs...the plate would make it way more fun!

    • Erez Zukerman
      March 8, 2012 at 2:56 pm

       That's true! The plate really adds.

  42. Rene Gatdula
    March 8, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I'm gonna be a kid again....

    • Erez Zukerman
      March 8, 2012 at 8:02 am

       A seriously awesome toy. I play with these all day long, every day.