Magnetic building blocks are one of the hottest open-ended toys in recent history. They are like the new advanced version of LEGOs. When evaluating magnetic building blocks, you are certain to have come across the two different systems Magna Tiles vs Tegu Blocks. Many parents approached us with the question of which one is better and what are the differences? They heard both good and bad things about these two types of magnetic toys, and can’t decide on which one is better. Little Discoverer is up to the task to compare Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks and find out which one is the best.
In our analysis, we compared key features, educational value, and overall quality of these two types of magnetic toys. Then we selected the best Magna Tiles block sets and the best Tegu Block sets for you to consider.
In this article, you will learn:
- What Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks are
- Comparison between Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks
- Best Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks
- FAQs about Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks
Our Top Picks
What Are Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks?
MagnaTiles and Tegu Blocks are two toy companies that specialize in making magnetic building blocks for kids. Because of their popularity, many people refer to their products using the company name. Magna Tiles are flat plastic tiles with bright translucent colors that can “click” together to make shapes and structures. Tegu Blocks are magnetic wooden blocks that can connect together to make portable toys.
Magna Tiles vs Tegu Blocks Compared
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks have headquarters in the US. They both make STEM-focused open-ended magnetic toys for kids.
Differences: Magna Tiles was founded in 1997 whereas Tegu Blocks was founded in 2006. The founder of Magna Tiles introduced the magnetic construction toy system from Japan to the US. As magnetic tiles become more popular in the US, many competitors start making similar products. For example, Picasso Tiles and Magna Tiles are similar and compatible, but Picasso Tiles are much cheaper.
Tegu Tiles was founded by two mechanical engineers in Honduras. Their specialty is in making magnetic wooden toys. Tegu Tiles is not as well-known as Magna Tiles. The advantage of Tegu Tiles is that they also make magnetic robots and portable toys.
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks are made with magnetic pieces that can connect with each other. They are both designed with smooth edges. Additionally, their sizes and complexity are age-appropriate for small kids.
Differences: Magna Tiles have both translucent tiles and solid tiles whereas Tegu Blocks are all in solid colors. Magna Tiles are flat tiles that feature crisscross lattices and metallic corner rivets. The magnets of Magna Tiles are inside the edges of each tile. Tegu Blocks are wooden blocks that are not see-through. The magnets are hidden inside each block and are not visible or accessible.
3. Shapes and Sizes
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks come in many different geometrical shapes, sizes, and accessories.
Differences: The original Magna Tiles have five shapes: small square, large square, equilateral triangle, right triangle, and isosceles triangle. There are bigger sets that offer more shapes such as rectangular, circles, and arches. Some Manga Tiles also include accessories such as doors, windows, and wheeled chassis.
Tegu Blocks come in cubes, short planks, long planks, columns, wheels, and parallelograms. Unlike Magna Tiles, Tegu Blocks don’t have accessories such as windows or doors.
In terms of sizes, each Magna Tiles has a base measurement of 3 inches. For example, the large square is 5.75″ x 5.75″. The cubes of Tegu Blocks measure 1.18″ x 1.18″ x 1.18″. In general, Tegu Blocks are smaller as they are designed to be more portable.
Similarities: On average, each Manga Tile weighs 0.061 pounds (6.08 lbs for 100 pieces) and each Tegu Tile weighs 0.062 pounds (3.25 lbs for 52 pieces).
5. Constructions and Structures
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks are open-ended building toys. Kids can make any structure or shape they like.
Differences: Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks have a different focus on the type of structures they can build. Magna Tiles can build 2D structures on a flat surface whereas Tegu Blocks cannot. Magna Tiles are mostly used to make buildings and machines such as castles, cities, and cars. Tegu Blocks specialize in simple characters such as animals, robots, small planes. Additionally, Tegu Blocks can be used to make portable toys whereas Magna Tiles constructions need to stay on a surface.
6. Material Safety
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks use materials that are free of toxins such as lead, BPA, and phthalates.
Differences: Magna Tiles are made of ABS plastic and doesn’t use any paint. Tegu Blocks use natural wood and water-based lacquer paint.
7. Magnet Strength
Differences: Each block of Magna Tiles contains ceramic magnets on the edges whereas Tegu Blocks have magnets built inside the wooden blocks and not visible.
Comparing to Tegu Blocks, Magna Tiles have a stronger magnetic connection. Some Tegu Blocks seem to lose the magnetic force overtime. That’s why we have seen some Tegu Blocks get weaker or lose their magnetism after several months.
8. Quality of Blocks
Differences: Magna Tiles are made of high-quality plastic and have a crisscross lattice design to make them stronger. They don’t show any signs of breaking even after kids standing and jumping on the pieces. Tegu Blocks are made of wood. However, the paint on some blocks chips and makes the blocks look old and beat up.
9. Compatibility with other Magnetic Toys
Similarities: Both Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks have many options of block sets, and each set is fully compatible within its own brand.
Differences: Magna Tiles are compatible with other magnetic tiles brands such as Picasso Tiles, MagWorld, and Playmag. However, Tegu Blocks are not compatible with any magnetic tiles.
Differences: Tegu Blocks are smaller in sizes and the structures usually consist of 5 to 10 pieces, therefore, more portable. Tegu Blocks also have blocks sets that are meant to build toys and structures for on-the-go. Magna Tiles structures need to stay on a surface and are less portable.
11. Age Range
Differences: Magna Tiles are designed for kids 3-years and above whereas Tegu Blocks are made for kids 12 months or older. Tegu Blocks make great gifts for toddlers.
Which One Should You Buy?
So which one is better, Magna Tiles or Tegu Blocks? Here are our recommendations:
- If your child is younger than three-years, we recommend Tegu Blocks as they are less complex and easier on small children’s hands. Additionally, Tegu Blocks also specialize in on-the-go toys that your toddler can bring along.
- If your child is three years or older, we recommend Magna Tiles because they are capable of making more complicated and exciting structures. Additionally, Magna Tiles are compatible with many other magnetic tiles brands, therefore, your child has lots of options to expand her magnetic toy collection.
Best Magnetic Tiles Reviewed
1. Magna Tiles Clear Colors 100 Piece Set
Why We Love It?
The Magna Tiles 100 Piece Set is great for beginners and kids who want to expand their current collections. This set comes with the original five shapes, consisting of 2 squares and 3 triangles. It’s less complex than other tile sets yet adequate for many 2D and 3D structures.
The Magna Tiles 100 Pieces Set is made with 100% non-toxic food-grade ABS plastic. This set is perfect for young kids to develop a better understanding of math, science, spatial relations, and geometries. Furthermore, through connecting and orienting each tile, your child will develop better motor skills and tactile skills.
- Number of Pieces: 100
- Number of Shapes: 5 shapes. They are large squares, small squares, and 3 types of triangles
- Weight: 6.16 pounds
- Dimension: 12.2″ x 3.15″ x 8.66″
2. Magna Tiles 28 Pieces House Set
Why We Love It?
This 28 Pieces Magna-Tiles House Set is a fantastic option for kids to follow a designed build rather than free play. The 28 pieces is a good starting point that will not overwhelm your child. Moreover, these 28 pieces include 9 shapes including a door that can open and close.
Another high point is that this set comes with 21 reusable stickers. Once your child puts up the house together, she will then have fun decorating the house. If she doesn’t like her arrangements, she can peel the stickers off and do it over. It’s a great way to promote planning skills and critical thinking skills.
- Number of Pieces: 28
- Number of Shapes: 9 shapes, including a door, a C shape, and a T shape
- Weight:2 pounds
- Dimension: 11″ x 2.5″ x 10″
3. Tegu Blocks 42 Pieces Blossom Set
Why We Love It?
If you are attracted to the adorable colors of this Tegu Block set, you are not alone. Better yet, this 42 Pieces Blossom Set is as entertaining as it is attractive. They make wonderful gifts for toddlers and kids of all ages.
The 42 pieces that are included in the set are not overwhelming and your child can make a good amount of structures. Additionally, it comes in 8 shapes, including wheels, angles, and parallelograms. Therefore, besides houses, your child can build cars from the blocks and take them as a portable toy.
There are three other colors you can choose from, including blue, tint, and sunset. There is also a paint free option that features the original wood color.
- Number of Pieces: 42
- Number of Shapes: 8 shapes, including cubes, planks, columns, wheels, angles, parallelograms
- Weight: 3.85 pounds
- Dimension: 14.41″ x 10.75″ x 3.19″
4. Tegu Blocks 240 Piece Classroom Set
Why We Love It
If you want to indulge your child with the best Tegu Block set that can transform into skyscrapers, the Tegu Block 240 Piece Set is the perfect option. This set includes 10 shapes including cubes, columns, planks, and angles. They are great for playing together with other kids.
The biggest advantage of the Tegu Blocks is that it’s suitable for small kids 1-year-old or above. This set will give your child a taste of magnetic building blocks. Besides, through building various structures, your child will learn patterns, dimensional scale, and imagination. What’s more, your child can make portable toys and bring them along during road trips. That’s why it is one of the most popular STEM toys for toddlers in daycares and classrooms.
- Number of Pieces: 240
- Number of Shapes: 10 shapes
- Weight: 20 pounds
- Dimension: 16″ x 11.25″ x 9.25″
FAQs about Best Magna Tiles and Tegu Blocks
How to Clean Magna Tiles?
To clean Magna Tiles, use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface. You can also spray a mixture of white vinegar and water on the surface of the tiles before wiping. Never submerge Magna Tiles in water because they are not water-proof. Once water gets inside the tiles, the magnets can rust. Therefore, if by any chance water gets inside, stand the tiles on their side against a wall and air dry.
Are Tegu Blocks Safe?
In general, Tegu Blocks are safe for kids older than 1-year-old. Tegu Blocks are made with natural wood and water-based lacquer paint. The magnets are built inside the blocks and not accessible to kids. Additionally, all blocks have rounded smooth edges. However, the paint can chip off over time, and some long planks can break into two pieces and become dangerous to kids.
Hopefully, at this point, you are clear about whether Magna Tiles or Tegu Blocks is the best option for you. Our recommendation is that Tegu Blocks are ideal for toddlers between one to three years old and Magna Tiles are suitable for kids older than three years. Overall, Magna Tiles are more versatile, less expensive, have stronger magnets, and are more durable.