The Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 marble runs from Mindware are perhaps one of the most exciting modern takes on a marble run. Built out of vibrant, colorful cubes that slide and lock together, it's like Lego for marble runs. The open ended play means that the marble run can be used again and again to create different mazes and your child can come up with new routes for the marbles to get from the top to the bottom.
Although the Q-Ba-Maze Rails 2.0 set is technically an add-on to the Q-Ba-Maze system, it functions perfectly well as a standalone system. It comes with forty pieces, including those important marble catchers that stop the marbles flying off the table. In fact, the lack of marble catchers in the other Q-Ba-Maze sets is one of the biggest complaints that parents had.
The locking system can be very durable, even to the point where you can lift the whole thing up and moved to another place in the house if required.
Building a Marble Run
There are instructions on how to build a basic marble run with the set and also additional instructions online of different types of marble runs that can be built. However, the real joy is building a custom creation from scratch, using all the pieces to create exciting marble mazes that can have marbles racing against each other.
A Gift From (Or For?) The Grandparents
Grandparents love to buy educational toys for their grandkids but too many of those toys go unused because they are not exciting enough. The Q-Ba-Maze marble run combines excitement with educational value, making it the perfect gift for grandchildren. As one grandparent mentioned in her online review, she's "so happy that there are lots of Q-Ba-Maze sets" because she's bought them for her grandkids each year for the last five years. Lucky kids!
An Age Warning
The Q-Ba-Maze is a little more complex than the traditional marble run toy. Many parents of children who were less than 5 years old lamented their decision to buy the Q-Ba-Maze because it was just too advanced and the cubes had to be slotted all the way home for a snug fit. Older children and even teenagers that love construction based toys will get a lot of use out of it.
Expanding Your Q-Ba-Maze
There are loads of expansion packs that can be added to the Q-Ba-Maze marble run sets. They can even be bought independently - you don't need to have a starter set to be able to use it.
Top tip: Check that whatever Q-Ba-Maze marble run you purchase, it comes with a marble catcher or purchase the add-on marble catchers. Without them you'll be fishing marbles out from behind the fridge and from under the sofa everytime the Q-Ba-Maze comes out to play.