Saturday, February 19, 2011


Foxmind's Architecto is a challenge block set, a three-dimensional verson of Tangrams, similar to MindWare's Blik-Blok, subject of my previous post.

Compared to Blik Blok, Architecto, has fewer blocks, has fewer challenge designs, the blocks are plastic instead of wood, and it costs more.

So why do I overwhelmingly recommend Architecto? Because it is simply superior to Blik Blok, with fewer if any errors, much better production quality. Blik-Blok's copyright is a year later than Architecto's, so one suspects that Mindware simply decided to release a similar product that sounds and looks better on the shrink-wrapped box, insisting on undercutting the price no matter the effect on product quality. But maybe they simply had bad luck to be second and are doing the best they can as to quality

Architecto is great fun, the blocks have good feel and desity, and are very precisely sized and shaped - a very important factor for this kind of play.

In addition to Architecto, with it's emphasis on 3-D constructions, all of which are shown in perspective view, in the same series and using the same blocks, are three additional sets, also available as separate books:
  • Cliko,which shows the constructions in flat views from the side
  • Equilibrio, which provides balance challanges similar to Haba's Time Blocks, which some might prefer because it has very nice wood block pieces and provides game play elements - I have aquired mulitple used sets of Time Blocks just for the wooden blocks, for symmetrical bloc play/pattern play
  • Tangramino, which provides two-dimensional designs even more similar to Tangrams.
All of these Foxmind sets are available as books only or blocks+book - either way the cost adds up, but the long term value is there, and an extra set of blocks can be used for competitive (or simply simultaneous) play, or to make sure that a lost block doesn't spoil play.

Top quality product. Good Block Play.

1 comment:

Alan said...

After posting, I contacted FoxMind via their web site to ask about replacement blocks. I received a response this morning: They have an excellent replacement policy, somewhat constrained by postage costs from Canada, which they recognize & try to work around.