What We Like
Large size is easy for younger tots to manipulate
Storage bag included
Good price for 80 blocks
What We Don't Like
Unequal amount of each block color
Uncertain plastic composition
In 2014, Mattel acquired MEGA, a Montreal-based brand long known for its blocks. The Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag is a set of large, chunky building components aimed at young toddlers embarking on their first construction projects. We tested the blocks for a couple of weeks with our 18-month-old son who found them to be easy to use and relatively entertaining.
Design: Big blocks for big fun
After some playtime with our 18-month-old, we discovered that the blocks, which range in width from 1.25 to 2.5 inches and in length from 1.25 to 5 inches, are well designed for small hands. Our toddler was easily able to grasp and manipulate the blocks due to their larger size, but we did notice that they don’t encourage fine motor skill development in the way that slightly smaller blocks would.
The blocks fit together easily, but the connections were a bit loose, which is unlike other brands of building blocks that we’ve tried in the past. This can be either a good or a bad thing, depending on your child’s abilities and how the blocks are being used.
One thing to note is that the set doesn’t have an equal number of blocks in each color. This potentially limits their value for sorting activities, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker for kids more interested in building walls of blocks and then knocking them down.
Entertainment Value: Not sky-high
Our toddler was only mildly amused by the blocks. The fact that they snap together quite easily was nice, but on the flip side, it left our little builder with little to figure out.
The blocks are well designed for small hands, since their large size makes them easy to grasp and manipulate.
Age Range: Easy to outgrow
The Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag is rated for kids ranging in age from 1 to 5, making them one of the few block sets on the market for children as young as 12 months. That’s a major plus for parents concerned about the choking hazard posed by blocks with smaller dimensions. However, the large size and simplicity of the Mega Bloks might make them too boring for older tots honing their block-building skills.
Ease of Cleaning: Wipe but don’t machine wash
The plastic blocks can easily be wiped off or soaked in a sink of sudsy water. It’s not recommended that they be washed in the dishwasher, unlike some other brands of toddler-friendly blocks.
Price: A lot of blocks for your buck
With an MSRP of $19.99 for 80 blocks, this is a large, affordable building set. The 80 included blocks should be enough for your toddler’s building plans, but if they’re looking for more, you can always combine two sets.
Competition: Bigger but not necessarily better
The obvious competitor is LEGO’s Duplo sets, but those are smaller and only rated for children as young as 18 months—not 12 months like Mega Bloks. Another popular building block brand for toddlers is Hape, but you should know that these are also only recommended for kids ages 18 months and older. Hape Polym Blocks do get added points, however, for being bendable and dishwasher-safe.
We did notice that they don’t encourage fine motor skill development in the way that slightly smaller blocks would.
Since young kids tend to put things in their mouth, you may be interested to know that Mattel does not state what kind of plastic the Canadian-manufactured blocks are made from. When we asked the company ourselves, a representative did not respond to our inquiries in a timely manner. In 2007, Mega Brands came under fire when it was found that a specific series of its blocks contained unsafe levels of lead. Hape makes a point of declaring that its Polym blocks are made in Germany with polyethylene, known to be a particularly safe plastic.
If you have concerns over the type of plastic used in your child’s building blocks, you may want to look for an alternative. However, if you’re primarily concerned with a block that is big enough and easy enough for kids as young as a year to play with, it’s hard to beat the Mega Blok Big Building Bag set.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best gifts for toddlers available online.
A mildly fun, basic block.
These interconnecting building blocks are uniquely large and easy for young toddlers to handle, but they don’t provide the most amount of fun. In terms of size, this toy is safe for tiny tykes, but the company doesn’t clarify what kind of plastic is used in construction.
- Product Name 80-Piece Big Building Bag
- Product Brand Mega Bloks
- Price $24.99
- Weight 1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 6 x 12 x 14 in.
- Manufacturer Recommended Age Range 1-5 years
- Model Number DCH63