For as much as the world seemingly loves LEGOs and wooden blocks and Lincoln Logs, there are a crazy number of unsatisfied toy inventors out there hell-bent on building a better mousetrap — be it blocks with augmented reality, life-sized cardboard bricks, or 3D plastic puzzles that teach STEM skills. Adding yet another to the mix: Lux Blox.
Designed to encourage creativity and “light the imagination” (“Lux” means “light” in Latin, duh.), these plastic pieces connect using a “patent-pending snap-and-lock hinge system” that emulates “nature’s construction principles.” They let your kid create structures that bend, turn, curve, and twist — shouting is optional. They’re also billed as “the principled block,” so you know they won’t change their vote if/when you apply pressure. What your kids build is obviously limited to their ability to think outside the block, but examples provided range from a starfighter and doll house furniture, to a capillarion (a noisy collapsible machine, apparently) and a D’Arcy crab (“a six-legged creature with working joints that can grab things,” again, apparently).
Aimed at kids 6-to-11 years of age, kits come with either 88, 200, or 450 pieces and an assortment of straws, fluted birch dowels, and popsicle sticks for connecting structures. They do not, however, come with printed instructions; insisting instead that you check out their videos online to see how they work before getting busy building that damn mouse trap.
Lux Blox ($30-$200)