Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Christmas tree

A bunch of things have happened in the past couple of weeks. For one, the bridge was made a little bit longer and not touched for a while. It was just too impressive of a display on the desk behind me. Pictures really don't do it justice, and my wife really liked it when she finally saw it in person.

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She didn't like it when I told her I had torn it apart :).

I just wanted to try something with the panels that I have, since I hardly use them. I quickly realized as I was building that I didn't nearly have enough panels to do what I wanted to do so as a result my tall building became rather stumpy:

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I'd like to order more square panels to make it taller, but considering how little I use panels I'm hestitant to spend additional money on them. Maybe after I get my birthday money tomorrow I'll reconsider :).

Also: Last week I received three samples of the Tin Zippered storage box that FatBrainToys is giving away with certain Geomag sets. These are nice boxes and make for a decent building base. However, the zipper means that it won't hold a ton of Geomag on top of it. While it isn't big enough to hold a good portion of my panels collection (what I was hoping these might do), it is a perfect little tin to carry around a box of Geomags with while you travel. Not sure how much it would hold, but if you don't use panels you can put a couple hundred bars in there with balls easily enough.

And finally, Christmas is coming up so I figured I had to make a little Christmas tree. It's too bad I don't have that many green bars, and that the building is still standing (meaning that most of my blue metallic bars are tied up), or I'd make a larger tree.

But I like the result:

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Hope you do too. Happy holidays everyone!

Thursday, November 10, 2005


A few additions to the bridge...

The previously described bridge got moved, had a lot of non-vital pieces removed to create a good pile of unused pieces so that I could make the second ramp. When I was done, I had used up every Geomag bar I own (2819, I think). But since I wanted some towers at the ramps as well I made four of them with SuperMag (504 bars to be precise). The result looks pretty cool, though I could've used the colors better I suppose...

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Hope you like the result. I do.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Another bridge...

This bridge is the biggest thing I've made so far with Geomag. It may not look like it, but there are 2652 magnetic bars involved in this piece. While it's not all that visible, there is a little boat and a little man on a raft on the desk as well to go with the bridge.

I'll be adding some small decorations to use up the remaining Geomag bars that I have (there's not many left now). When this project collapses/is destroyed, I'll try and build something large using a lot of panels.

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Thursday, November 03, 2005


Geomag Blaze / Pastelles

Two quick notes:
1. The Geomag Blaze 60 sets have 12 Black rods and 24 Orange rods in them. I like the orange but I love the black rods. Hopefully they'll be available by themselves sometime in the future.

2. My daughter will love the Pastelles colors. I really like the purple ones myself, but they're all pretty neat.


Messed up clock...

During the past week the clock has been modified here and there by various people... I figured I'd post the results before I'll take it down:

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Not too much is new in the world of magnetic construction toys. I found a place that sells Unimag (Geomag knockoff using the exact same construction) for 20.2 cents per bar (if you buy 6300 bars, otherwise it'll be around 25 cents per bar). A great deal except that you can't pick your colors. Each box comes with their 4 basic colors. I didn't really need that.

I'd love to get my hands on some Unimag or Madmag (another Geomag knockoff) in the colors that Geomag does not make, and their curved pieces. If anyone knows where to find those, let me know. I wouldn't mind some purple, black, etc etc.

Geomag Blaze (orange/black) came out in the UK a few weeks ago, and is now available through a special deal at FatBrainToys. Buy 2 boxes of Geomag color 184 and get a box of Blaze 60 for free. Considering that this week they also have a 10% off coupon that they sent out to their mailing list (great list to be on, very useful :)), it's a very good deal.

Through a glitch in their system I made up my own special deal (while not as good as the one they offer, it gives me magnets that I actually need instead of the standard colors), and the wonderful people at FatBrainToys actually honored it. Very nice...

My order should arrive this morning.

Once Geomag Blaze is available regularly in the US, I'll buy more of it. On another note (you read it here first), FatBrainToys will have the DekoPanels available soon as well...

Now on the Supermag front, I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, Sam's Club has another large Supermag set available this year for the holidays. It's a 345 (if I recall correctly) piece set (I think) that has several of the new model sets and a small regular box of Supermag inside one large box. At $53 (I believe) it's a very good deal IF you like the new flex pieces. As I commented on before, I just don't like the idea of non-magnetic/metal pieces in a magnetic construction set, and unlike last year, have not bought any of these sets from Sam's Club. Though just like last year they are already showing up on eBay at a small markup. (Same with the Toy Liquidator Geomag boxes that are everywhere on eBay at the moment).

Kids 'R Us still has the Geomag Panels 60 boxes for $9.99. Oddly enough the regular Toys 'R Us stores still charge $19.99 for them.

Friday, October 28, 2005


The Clock

Upon request I made a Geomag Clock (though I planned on taking the clock apart, that will have to wait a little longer). The clock was $3.76 at Target :).

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Thursday, October 27, 2005


Where are we?

I found an interesting site, and added a Geomag Fans map to it. Add yourself to the list so we can see where all the Geomag addicts are located.

Check it out at:
Check out our Frappr!

I will post a link to this on the official Geomag forums too, just for fun.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Geomag Castle?

My Geomag castle, about halfway through (It looks the cutest at this phase due to the color matching):

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And even further (two of the four towers are now floating, suspended by the pipes between the towers):

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At this point I evened up the height of the supporting towers, put two pipes on them aimed at the center to somehow try and connect a fifth tower (much smaller, of course) to suspend in midair that would be taller than the other four towers. These pipes looked neat but didn't meet in the center. Instead there was about 3 cm of space between them. When I put a bar between the two pipes, they wrenched the towers out of shape and the whole thing came crashing down... As a rough estimate I guess the structure used a little over 2000 magnetic bars...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


Promised Pictures

Here are the pictures I promised yesterday. The first is of my current Geomag collection:

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The box on the left is the replacement that came from EuroToys. It is just about perfect except that the hinges open further than the ones on the other two boxes. The box in the center is the original box with some replacement screws and the pieces glued back together using wood glue. It looks good from the inside but the cracks are very obvious from the outside. The box on the right came from GeomagSA as a replacement for the center box. It did not come with the wooden divider blocks (though it did have the styrofoam pieces in it to keep the divider blocks from moving just like the other box did), and the paint of the handle bar is chipped. Still, I'm not complaining about what turned into a spare box.

On the bottom right the drawer of my desk contains boxes with the different Geomag Panels. The DekoPanels aren't in this picture since I didn't know where to put them and I don't have that many of them anyway. I'm still looking for a good storage idea for the panels to begin with...

On the other hand, here is a picture of my current (well, as of January 2005) collection of Supermag:

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The smaller pieces means that a lot more of them will fit into a single box. It is a nice collection though.

Then there was the 810 bar sphere I built with the new Geomags I got last week. We put it on the floor for my daughter (17 months old) to crash, but instead she pulled a few pieces from the top and started playing with them:

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But she tapped the ball harder and harder and eventually managed to crash it:

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Though it really didn't crash that badly. My wife helped crush it a bit further to enhance the photo :).

Monday, October 24, 2005


2520 Geomag Bars

That's how many Geomag bars I currently have. My collection jumped when I found a sale at Toy Liquidators (KBToys outlet stores) where they sold the old Plastwood Geomag boxes (184 piece box for $29.88, about 25 cents per bar!)

I now have a good number of white bars as well as the other colors, but I like the white ones since GeomagSA doesn't make them in that color anymore.

I found these last week when we went to Colorado, and bought some, then bought some more in Williamsburg, IA this Saturday. Though they only had the 42 piece boxes left when I bought the last two 184 piece boxes (still, the 42 piece box at $7.88 is still a great deal at 33 cents per bar).

Also while I was in Colorado, a replacement wooden box for my Geomag Collection 1450 arrived in the mail. And this morning another replacement arrived (one was from EuroToys, one from GeomagSA). I wasn't sure if I would get one from EuroToys, so I was very pleasantly surprised. Now I have a great way to store my entire collection, including the new bars.

I will post some pictures tomorrow. Including a picture of my daughter crushing an 810 bar sphere. We let her (under strict supervision) play with Geomag with us, and she loved it...

EDIT: Make that 2519 Geomag Bars, as one of the white Plastwood bars doesn't actually have a magnet inside it, just two separate metal bars. It doesn't conduct the magnetic field and doesn't have one of its own. Kinda cute, but I can't count it :)

Friday, October 14, 2005


A bunch of pictures...

In the past few weeks, a coworker build a space shuttle and launching pad:

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I played with circles:

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I tried to assemble a sphere out of 1440 magnets, which collapsed at around 1200 magnets since I was trying to massage a magnet near the bottom that had sprung out of place, resulting in another 5 magnets disconnecting and causing a tear that I couldn't do anything about without an additional 3 hands. But two layers or so before it collapsed, it looked like this:

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And to console myself I build another large fractal pyramid. I always like this construction:

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And it looks cool from the top too:

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That's it for now ... I'll be on vacation next week... no magnets for me :).

Monday, October 03, 2005


Failed corkscrew design

I tried making a neat looking corkscrew today, but the twisting angles make the design not quite perfect, leaving me with an angle offset in a single 360 degree loop. The result is that just before hitting two full loops the design will break apart. Too bad, as I really liked the way it looked.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005


Geomag Diamond

Putting together a Geomag fractal diamond isn't as easy as it seems. It's a little tricky to put together and if you don't get the polarities in the bottom right, the whole thing will collapse.

But the result if you build it right looks very neat:

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I tried putting my favorite spinner inside the diamond, but it didn't spin very well since the polarities of the diamond weren't perfect throughout the entire construction and the spinner itself isn't neutral either (hard to do with 3 sides). Still, it worked and looked pretty neat. But in the end I decided to remove it since I liked how it looked without the spinner better.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Patched up wooden box (and a pyramid)

While it's far from perfect, after a few screws and some wood glue, the broken 1450 wooden case is at least functional, and actually looks pretty good from some angles.

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Once a good box comes in, I'll use this one for the other half of my Geomag collection. So it looks like everything is going to work out for the best.

In the meantime I've started on a cute pyramid project. It looks like this:

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It's a little on the heavy side with all the balls inside it, so I don't know if my idea of putting it upside down and then building another one on top of it will work. But I guess there's only one way to find out...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Geomag DekoPanels

It looks like my Geomag Collection 1450 problems will be solved as soon as possible. While it might take a while, they will send me a new wooden case free of charge. I can't wait to get it.

In the meantime, I now can play with the magnets in the box since I know I won't have to return them. I'll see if I can whip up something nice sometime this week...

Now, since the tripod I made a few weeks ago is still standing, I have attached a DekoPanels spinner to it. It looks like this:

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The spinner in more detail:

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The flash wasn't kind to the last picture, but I figured I'd put it up anyway. It looks really neat and I like the way it turned out. I may never disassemble the spinner. :)

Monday, September 26, 2005


Geomag Collection 1450

Well, my order finally arrived this morning. Finally I have my box of Collection 1450, which is the wooden collector case with 1000 metallic blue rods in it.

The case is beautiful, but arrived with some nasty damage...

Hopefully I can get a replacement case for it (to save on the massive shipping cost), and not have to send it back so they can send me a complete replacement order.

Here's to hoping it'll all work out smoothly.

The Dekopanels are interesting, and so far I've made one panel with a picture of my daughter in it. It is really cute. Once I have something built I'll post more.

In the meantime, this is what my Collection 1450 looks like, sadly enough...

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Friday, September 09, 2005


New Supermag line of products and ranting...

For those of you who care (all 0 of you), my order finally was completed and shipped so hopefully I'll be getting my Geomag collection 1450 box and some DekoPanels in a little over a week or so. I'm looking forward to receiving them.

But really what I wanted to post about today was the new line of Supermag products from PlastWood that I've seen at Fat Brain Toys.

For example:

- Supermag ATV (link)
- Supermag Motorcycle (link)
- Supermag Ferrari (link)
- Supermag Jet (link)

Now there's nothing wrong with adding specialized components to your MAGNETIC building set, but come on... Plastic wheels? Pierced spheres? Twist bars? Soft twist bars?

I'm sorry, but those components have nothing to do with magnetism. If I wanted K'Nex, I'd buy K'Nex.

Here is a large picture. Granted, the motorcycle does look cool, but when you realize that most of the bars you see aren't magnetic bars at all, I wonder how disappointed some people will be when they get their box of magnetic toys.

They are turning Supermag into a modeling kit, which is fine, but it's not the basic toy I like. Just like Lego went batshit with all the specialized components that serve almost no use outside the original model, so is Supermag.

Late last year I received a sample of different bar lenghts and ball sizes from the Supermag Discover line. As you can see, I never posted a review on these. The main reason is that I really cannot build anything with them. In small numbers they are useless when building larger constructions with the regular sized bars and spheres except for details on your project.

Now in large numbers some of the alternative lengths would be quite useful to have. But nothing you need to create a special shape with that you can't do with the regular lenghts, which are far cheaper to buy in large quantities.

The only good thing I see about these model kits for Supermag is that someone buys one, really likes the magnets and will start buying their regular toy line boxes.

Another thing that just annoys me is that you can buy the RoseArt Magnetix everywhere in this region. I'm sorry, but that product is crap. But since it's cheap and an American company with wide marketing channels they can get their product in everywhere, pushing Supermag and Geomag out of the stores.

The closest place where I can buy a box of Geomag is over an hour away from here. Within 15 minutes I can be at 8 places that sell Magnetix. It's no wonder that every time a coworker tells me that they love the stuff I have sitting in my office and that they bought some for their kids, it's Magnetix they have bought.

And then eventually they'll tell me one of two things:

1. Their kids love it, but want more pieces.
2. Their kids like it, but they have problems with paint flaking, the spheres are no longer shiny and flake too, the kids can't build anything big and things keep collapsing.

You get what you pay for... Most people realize that, but when there's no other product in the stores but the cheap stuff, everyone ends up buying the cheap stuff. Oh well, hopefully when the holiday season starts places like Target and Kids 'R Us will stock Geomag again locally.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


Small modifications and delays...

I moved my 'brain' up on top, and put in different spinners. I tried to come up with a really neat base for the different legs of the tripod using Supermag, but in the end it just didn't come out right (plus I didn't feel like taking apart the tripod and rebuilding it just yet).

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I do like the bottom spinner a lot. It has 3 pentagons and just looks different from the spinners I usually make.

Not much news other than that... Just having a heck of a time trying to get an order through at EuroToys. It would've been fine if I hadn't decided that I'd like to add a few items (DekoPanels) to my order.

I was told that they'd have to cancel my existing order and that I then could create a new order. They deleted my order and now their credit card provider won't accept my credit card anymore since it had a payment cancelled or something (of course, they won't give me a reason, but I can't seem to complete an order). So now I'm dealing with them through email and that is taking some time... It's hard to be patient when your attention span is as short as mine.

Oh well... Hopefully today or tomorrow they'll get around to completing my order and then the wait for shipping begins. On the other hand it's possible that they still can't use my credit card and then I'll have to figure out some other form of payment. Hopefully that won't be necessary.

Friday, September 02, 2005


A larger tripod, DekoPanels

I have made a few attempts to increase the size of the tripod from my previous entry. My first attempt was a tripod made up of 3 arches that each had 7 pentagons in them, but this tripod collapsed when the last strut was removed. It was just too top heavy.

Another attempt worked out great, which is made up of 3 arches that have 6 pentagons in them. I really like how it turned out:

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There's a brain inside the spinner...

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You can't see the brain now, but it's still there...

The brain is a freebie from Fat Brain Toys when you order things from them. I bought some Geomag Combo 42 boxes and while the free brain was on the packing list, I couldn't find it. I made a note of that in an email while thanking them for the great turn around time on my order (I ordered on a Wednesday afternoon and had my toys the next morning, using FREE shipping). A few days later, they sent me a package with just a brain in it. Their service really impressed me a lot.

On another note... I found some information on Geomag DekoPanels. To be honest, I wasn't impressed at all with this, thinking it was just a goofy gimmick until I saw the video (9MB) that they have on that page as well. It made me realize that while goofy, I could just make really neat spinners with it that have pictures of my wife and daughter on it. And in a few years, when my daughter gets into crafts and wants to not only build things with my Geomags/Supermags (Hey, I can always hope), she'll love to play around and put different images into the things she builds too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Tripod Spinner

Yesterday during my lunch break I quickly made a Geomag bridge. Nothing really fancy, more just to check out how to build the connecting bits at the angles. The result was a bridge that still spanned 37", so not too shabby. I could've made it another few inches longer, but didn't feel like messing around with it much. I'll wait until I have more rods before I'll do that.

Still, I figured I'd put up a picture of it:

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After lunch, there were network problems and a new Windows security patch had to be installed. So between compilations, reboots and the like, I used RaM's latest creation as inspiration to build a tripod spinner.

It turned out really well, though I want to see if I can make the arches a little bigger today. We'll see how well it'll work out. Anyway, I really like the result so I wanted to show it off here:

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Hope you like it too :).

Sunday, August 28, 2005



At the end of last week, I made a little pyramid after Miller broke the 360 paneled sphere just so that there'd be something on my desk. It's quite cute and looks like this:

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Then Miller came along and modified it into this:

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Note the Sphinx of which he was quite proud. It made for a cute little decoration.

In the meantime, I made another little pyramid on Friday. Nothing really special, but it's cute nonetheless:

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That's it for now :).

Thursday, August 25, 2005


The classic 360 bar sphere, paneled

Two days ago I quickly put together a regular 360 bar sphere with Geomag:
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A coworker suggested adding panels to the sphere, and he spent some time putting the panels in. The result was actually quite pleasing to the eye:
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Since I always like the pictures showing detail on the inside that I've seen, I've tried to make one of those too even though my camera isn't too good at it. I still like the result though:
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I'm going to need more bars and panels if I am to go up a size sphere...

Monday, August 22, 2005


Supermag bridge (final length)

The final length of my Supermag bridge was an unsupported span of exactly 42 inches (106.7cm). It collapsed again when a coworker hit one of the supports with the wheels of a chair. While I could have fixed the pieces and rebuilt the bridge, I decided it was time to clean up instead.

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Eventually I'll try and beat my own record again, but for now I'm done.

It looked cool while it lasted :).

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