This post is an open thread and contains affiliate links.
If you spend time with young children — as a parent, a relative, a friend, or a professional — you know that one of the most magical and important things a child can do is engage in unstructured creative play. Not only do young children get enjoyment out of exploring their creative side, but it also helps them develop in ways that will pay off in adulthood.
Sometimes the simple things are the most effective. Give a kid a set of building blocks, Legos, or other modular toys and they can spend long stretches at a time in the journey, crafting their own entire universes out of nothing but some objects that are made to fit together.
In the 1990s, an American salesman visiting Japan stumbled upon a toy set that involved connecting magnetic tiles. He bought the rights to the toy and sold them as Magna-Tiles in the United States. Since then, other companies have made similar products such as Magformers and Picasso.
These toys can be fun for kids, but they’re not exactly cheap. Every once in a while, though, Aldi will sell its own alternative to certain toy lines, and recently one of those alternatives was a take on magnetic tiles.
What We Know:
Bee Happy Magnetic Tiles (Product Code: 55930) are an Aldi Find, which means they’re only in stores for a limited time. Once they’re gone, they’re gone, and you won’t be able to get them again until they come back, whenever that might be. Since Aldi doesn’t ship products online, if you can’t find a set in stores, you’re out of luck.
At the time of this post, a box of 26 pieces costs $12.99. That comes out to about 50 cents per piece. For comparison, a Magna-Tiles 32-piece set currently costs $49.99 ($1.52 per piece), a Magformers 30-piece set retails for $49.99 ($1.66 per piece), and a 60-piece PicassoTiles set currently runs $27.99 (47 cents per piece). The Aldi version is much less expensive than the Magna-Tiles or Magformers and is in line with the price of PicassoTiles.
Of note: Magna-Tiles and Magformers are sized differently from one another and are not compatible. PicassoTiles are designed to work with Magna-Tiles but not Magformers. It’s not clear if the Bee Happy tiles are compatible with either brand, but they look like they’re shaped more like Magna-Tiles than Magformers, just as PicassoTiles are.
Here’s more information on the magnetic tiles, according to Aldi:
- Includes 18 squares, 8 triangles or 12 squares, 8 triangles, 2 trapezoids, and 4 isosceles triangles
- Tiles are in assorted colors
- Encourages creative thinking, color training, and coordination
- For ages 3+
What We Don’t Know:
We haven’t tested these magnetic toys, so we don’t know how well they connect together, how well they work with Magna-Tiles or PicassoTiles, or how durable they are. That’s why we’ve created this open thread for users to share their experiences.
Have you used these Aldi magnetic tiles? Let us know in the comments.
Since you wrote your review, have you learned whether bee happy mag tiles are compatible with Magna tiles brand? The only difference I discern on product package is that one is made in chine and the other in the Philippines. It’s a Christmas present, so I need to know which box to return to give fast! Will appreciate your advice.