DIY Marble Run Marble Explorer- 3D Mechanical Model
If you are looking for a different gift for a teen or tween that requires a little perseverance and delayed gratification (for a very rewarding end) then this innovative offering from ROKR is just the thing.
The marble run arrives flat packed in a box, with smooth, easy to press out, laser-cut wooden pieces and with all the tools you need included (plus a pack of marbles). No batteries or glue is needed, pieces slot together. The detailed assembly instructions break the construction down into clearly defined stages. As you proceed some parts needs to be polished with sandpaper (provided) and others need be be waxed (supplied). To ensure success every stage needs to have gears that appropriately engage with each other and parts that freely rotate.
Marble Explorer is full of elaborate mechanisms and fascinating tricks. The finished spectacle with its crane lifter elevator, curving rails and flip-flop mechanism to drive marbles down 2 different paths, is a delight to watch. A real engineering treat and a fun way to see physics in action.
Please be advised that this gift does take an extended period of time to complete and it is likely that some adult input will be necessary at points. My 12 year old completed a similar marble run in this series, largely on her own. However, at times she needed some stronger fingers to complete a certain trickier stage, or another opinion when things did not quite go to plan. She worked on this for a couple of hours over a few weeks (usually for about 40 minutes at a time). Once she was a few hours into this activity there were lots of small rewards along the way to keep her motivated as she completed the different stages and got to try out how the marble could flow through that element.
So although there is no quick outcome, Marble Squad makes a great gift and is a real tribute to patience and slow careful effort. There is a huge sense of achievement when the whole marble run is finished and the first marbles do the entire circuit.
If teens had the coolest executive toy, it would probably look a lot like this. A very welcome alternative to plastic marble runs. A wooden masterpiece that looks beautiful, is very relaxing to play with and will be a real conversation piece (when you finally have guests again).
This particular model is given a 4 out of 5 difficultly rating. Other models available.
Recommended for children aged 14 years + (younger children can still enjoy but should assemble under the guidance of an adult).
Assembled size: 255 x 229 x204 mm. 260 pieces. Boxed dimensions: 317 x 233 x 46mm
Contains 7 pre cut Plywood Wood sheets, square of sandpaper, steel balls (marbles), wax, screw nut x 2, steel shaft x 12 and bag of shaft sleeves.
WARNING: Choking Hazard – Small Parts. Not suitable for children under 3 years old.