Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wedgits Cards

Last night I thought I had found a Wedgits design (card D-5 from the 100 Advanced Design Cards) that could be built with standard size Wedgits but not with Mini Wedgits - not that it wouldn't go together, but the fit wasn't quite good enough to keep it from tipping over backwards.

This is an example of a structure that is basically unsound, but will work if you are careful enough and the fit is good enough. The standard size structure wanted to tip over as well, but with care I could keep it standing.

But when I rebuilt today in a different location, both stood, though both were precarious. Probably the surface I built on last night sloped slightly to the rear. I was prepared to shim today's table to tilt slightly forward to get the picture, but turned out not to need to.

Even if the Mini Wedgits structure wouldn't have stood on a level surface, I think I would not consider that an argument against using them for larger structures, but rather an argument that they do a better job of enforcing balance constraints. That is a worthwhile educational objective, albeit sometimes painful.

On another topic, I visited another toy store today, beyond my usual haunts, and found both the eXPANman and eXPANnie sets in stock, and the latter actually has FIVE of the red rhombuses, not the four I had guessed - they also do not have the stands for the 15 piece subsets, which I thought were in the whole line. Huge boxes - no wonder stores with tight space have doubts about stocking them.

The new "special part" in the eXPANman set, a diagonal row of three small green rhombuses, turns out to be less interesting than I had hoped since it violates basic Wedgit geometry - the segments connect as if the corners were cut off and the segments glued together, which means that the spacing is tighter than the building boards. I had hoped that standard spacing of touching corner-to-corner would be used, with external gussets for structural rigidity. I am probably too much of a purist and the piece is surely still fun.

I can't buy everything, though, and if I get the eXPANnie I should have more than enough Mini Wedgits for any likely projects.

The store also had the pink & purple Activity Tote, which looked simultaneously both appalling and great. They also had the WEDGiTS Starter Tote, which is also nice, though the two-colored pink & purple building board makes me wish the starter came with a two color board, and more were available. I'd like one black on one side, white on the other, for photography.

You might have noticed that I was admiring the sets with card decks I don't have. I like cards. After I left the toy store I went to a book store, sold some used books, and got some hike cards, inspired by a recent hike.

Next week I have cataract surgery. Wedgits will be a very satisfactory activity for however long I have vision limitations after that, and are helping distract me in the meantime.

Good block play.

6 comments:

Model Builder said...

Alan;

Not really into Wedgits; however your Blog is always good reading. Good luck on your Cataract surgery next week.

I hoping to get a Mosaic set by Christmas and will be busy on my Blog then.

Alan said...

For adults, one must see past the toddler colors to get the most from Wedgits - they more are about shape, abstraction, tactile feedback. See naef and nova68.

Thank you for the good wishes on my eyes - should work out okay and be a great benefit.

Note that comments here are moderated to avoid occasional spamming. I have held your second submission, but will approve it if you wish ;)

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I love Wedgits and am SO pleased I found your blog.

Where are you finding mini Wedgits in the store?

Alan said...

I am not clear as to what you are asking by "where are you finding mini Wedgits in the store?"

If you really mean whereabouts within the store, then the answer is "with the standard size Wedgits."

If you mean which stores, I've given names & web site links in other Mini Wdgits posts to a few Seattle-area stores where I have found them. Not much help if you are not in the Seattle area.

Otherwise all I can suggest is the Block Play Store or wedgits.com/

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I used to be in the Seattle-area. *sigh* No longer. Though I like Texas too Was hoping for a larger B&M type! :)

I've asked at the various places that have Wedgits around here and so far none of them have heard of the Mini version so I guess I'm going to have to do that!

(Though wedgits.com doesn't have the Starter Tote. Out of stock, won't be back until "August" it says. Yikes!)

Alan said...

Hi,

The Starter Tote is available through Amazon via my Block Play portal - I was hoping for at least one Wedgits sale out of all those posts :) - didn't manage to break the $10 minimum payment threshold for Amazon commissions for August through October, so won't be seeing a payment until after December. Good thing I'm not in it for the money.

I hope you are aware that the Starter Tote is standard sized Wedgits, not Minis. Great set though.

And if buying through an Amazon seller, try to check that they have the newer version, not the older version.