There are marble run toys and then there’s this exquisitely crafted wooden marble run set from Cuboro. Based in Switzerland, Cuboro has been creating educational toys for children out of traditional materials since the early 20th century. The way the Cuboro marble maze is different from all the other marble runs and marble roller coasters is that they come in standard square blocks – a bit like some of the Quadrilla pieces, but there are no long straights or big curves. Each square block has the same dimensions but they will have unique holes, gulleys, tracks and tunnels which when put together creates a maze for the marble to run through. In some sense, it’s like building a Lego set.
Since each block can serve a different purpose, the brain power and problem solving capacity required to put a marble run like this together is very high. For example, your child will need to learn that certain parts can’t be used next to each other, or they might build up a new maze and realize half way through that they’ve run out of appropriate blocks. A huge amount of forward planning is required to get the full benefit of the Cuboro marble maze. In fact, as one parent remarked, the fact that a large part of the maze can be hidden from view in the form of tunnels, your child will need to work out where the marble will enter and exit even when they can’t see what’s happening.
Speaking of parents, this is one of the few toys that get the full thumbs up with a 5 star rating on all fronts from educational, durability and fun factor. The set is more expensive than the cheaper plastic marble run toys, but all parents agree that it provides far more educational value.
Although older children of 7 or 8 will get the most benefit out of this educational toy, younger children will also enjoy this wooden marble run, although a little more supervision will be required. Since these blocks are made out of beachwood (ecologically sourced from renewable plantations), they can stand up to a fair amount of wear and tear. Even if the structure gets knocked over, these blocks won’t get damaged. Infact, you never know, you might be getting the Cuboro marble run blocks out for your grandkids!
The only con – and it is a big one – is how expensive it is. Why are Cuboro mazes so expensive? It’s almost entirely because they are not made in China and made from sustainable wood. You can buy cheap, plastic marble runs for a dime a dozen, but if you want something long lasting that could be in the family for generations, then Cuboro ticks those boxes.
The video below shows how this particular maze works. As you can see, for large sections the marble is hidden from view. As with so many construction type toys, most of the fun comes with the planning and construction itself. Note: turn your speakers down before playing this video!
The set comes with a large number of wooden blocks which can be used to make custom marble mazes, or instructions for a number of maze ideas are also included. The great part as well is that if this set captures your child’s imagination, there are plenty of Cuboro add on packs and other Cuboro marble mazes available to create hugely complex tracks.Buy Now