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Marble runs have been popular with children young and old alike and in a world of video games and hi-tech toys, the humble marble run can still provide hours of fun and education. You now have a huge range of marble runs to buy for your children and on this website we have looked at and reviewed the best marble runs and done a thorough search to find the best prices.
Plastic or Wood?
You have two choices when it comes to marble runs which are plastic or wood. Plastic marble runs are significantly cheaper but are less hardwaring compared to wooden marble runs. If you are not sure how much your child will use their marble run then it doesn't make sense to splash out on a wooden marble run, however if your child already likes other types of construction toys then the wooden option will be able to put up with the constant building and rebuilding.
Many parents like the Quadrilla wooden marble runs from Manhattan Toys because it allows them to buy add on kits to let their child build ever bigger and more elaborate marble runs - they also make ideal presents that the rest of the family can give too!
How Much To Spend
One complaint some people have about the cheaper marble runs is that they are not all that durable so are not suitable if your child can play rough sometimes or if they get easily frustrated. Also, the cheaper the marble run the more flimsy the construction and many parents have complained that even out of the box some marble runs don't fit together securely or in extreme cases the construction falls apart if a heavier marble is used. Most plastic marble runs are made in China but the Quercetti kits are designed and manufactured in Italy while the more expensive Habe Quadrilla sets are made in Germany.
For budgets under $50 most parents recommend the Quercetti marble runs and we have to agree with them. Quadrilla does offer a wooden kit in this price range but it is very small and your child is going to get bored quickly as there are not many variations you can build. For budgets over $100 the wooden marble runs are the best choice as they are hard wearing and come with many add on kits.
Regardless of what your budget is no one wants to spend more than they have to and we've found that this well known eCommerce site has consistently had the best deals and prices on marble runs.
How Educational Are Marble Runs?
Many parents are looking to buy marble runs because they believe that they have an educational value but to be honest it's not going to shoot your child to the top of the class just because they play with one! That said, marble runs do teach children how to follow instructions to build the run and then allows them to bring out their creative side and encourages basic problem solving skills as they work out new routes to get the marble from the top to the bottom. Other things a marble run can teach your child are patience and motor skills as they'll need a steady hand as they build larger tracks. One game you can try is to challenge your child to build a run which gets the marble from top to bottom in the least amount or time or most amount of time. To make it more challenging limit the number of pieces they can use.
Marble Run Expansion Kits
Some brands like Quadrilla, Q-Ba-Maze and Quercetti take marble runs very seriously and offer a whole range of expansion kits to allow your child to discover and create their own runs. These brands are more expensive than other plastic runs but if your child is one who likes to build and construct then getting new kits will allow them to keep experimenting and be creative.
Extreme Marble Runs
In recent years a number of what we can call extreme marble runs have come to the markets which are more like marble roller coasters and even include elevators to take the marble back to the top when it reaches the bottom. Check out the video below to see an crazy marble run constructed from one of these marble roller coaster tracks.
The video above uses the Quercetti Skyrail track to build possibly the greatest marble roller coaster of all time.
The roller coaster marble run in the video above uses the Space Rail set. It can be used to create an extreme marble run with loops and fast paced drops.
These extreme marble runs are a little more costly than regular marble runs because they often contain advanced construction pieces. One complaint that some have had about them though is that while they look impressive the construction can be quite flimsy and you can see the track visibly flex as the marble rolls across it. The track is designed this way so you can bend it around to make banking curves and even full 360 degree loops.
Best Marble Run Prices
Needless to say, getting the best price is the most important factor when buying a marble run and research has shown that this famous eCommerce site is consistently the cheapest place to buy marble runs and are rarely beaten on price.