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Kids Review the Clixo Rainbow Set

“This is better to play with than Magnatiles and easier to clean up!”

Erica Silverstein

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The Seriously Official Camp Toy Reviews team went off into the woods for a bonding weekend, so my family was called in to check out one of the new additions to the Camp store – the Clixo Rainbow Set. For a building toy, the Clixo Rainbow Set comes in a smaller box than you might expect. Actually, the box looks like the kind of flip-top container your fast-food cheeseburger comes in, but as I deny my children plentiful McDonald’s because I am the worst mom ever, they did not make this connection.

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Inside are multicolored shapes that look like flat fidget spinners with magnets affixed to the ends. The pieces do stack compactly, hence the small box. My mom instincts tell me that the shapes will never again cozy up in their recycled bamboo clamshell. Like most STEM toys, they prefer the cracks in the couch cushions and the bit of floor most trafficked by bare feet.

The kid reviewers — whom I will call Brother and Sister because they are — instantly ripped into the box and spread all the pieces on the floor.

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“They’re magnetic,” Brother astutely pointed out, “But are they charged? It’s a building thing – maybe it has to do with electricity.”

No, batteries are not included with your Clixos, young electrical engineer. Stick to mechanics. This is a creative building and design toy.

If you want to get philosophical about it, Clixo describes its product as “a tool of personal expression — a flexible, mobile world to be discovered, assembled, and reassembled.” Their mission: “We free kids from the pursuit of perfection and give them freedom to follow their limitless imaginations.”

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Those are some noble goals to be sure, but my mom goals for the product were more practical: It should not make a mess of the living room. It should not hurt when I step on it. It will give me half an hour of peace and not require me to arbitrate disputes.

While Brother continued to analyze, Sister got right down to it. “I made a ball by messing around and folding it up.”

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Clearly, overthinking is not the way to go here. Clixo stands out in the STEM toy market because its flexible paper (rather than rigid plastic) shapes can be folded and twisted, then attached via the magnets to create more fluid shapes than toys like Magnatiles, Legos, or K’nex.

The official word from Clixo is that the “pieces are made from recyclable and durable synthetic paper with strong-embedded magnets for maximum safety.” Still, the product is recommended for kids ages 4 and up. It’s non-toxic, but anyone tempted to chew on a Clixo should play with parental supervision.

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The reviews team quickly fell into two camps. Brother, while busy creating futuristic hover drones and spaceships, remained analytical and skeptical, while Sister was clearly applying for a job with Clixo’s PR department.

Brother: The magnets are more connective [than other magnetic toys] but you can’t connect the pieces in many places. The poles actually matter.

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Sister: This is better to play with than Magnatiles and easier to clean up!

Brother: I can’t rip it, so it’s flexible.

Sister: You can be more creative with them than most toys. You can take your mind farther than you ever have before.

Brother: There’s lots of folding involved.

Sister: I’m going to make a new thingy and then it will be adorable. [Pause.] Flying snail!

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Brother: It’s tricky. Magnatiles are more obvious.

Sister: Excuse me while I make something weird. [Pause.] I made a mansion!

Brother: It rotates to particular angles [referring to how the magnets fit together, so the pieces hold their position, but can attach in several directions].

Sister: I’m going to try to make something that could fly. They could add motors to make things fly. It’s a flying thingy!

Brother: This is probably gonna be awesome.

Sister: I made a bunny ear hat!

Brother: We need more pieces.

Sister: My advice would be don’t think about what you could make, just make something. I made a diving board. Brother, you’re stealing!

Brother: I just want two!

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Yes, families, be warned: The Clixo Rainbow Set comes with 36 flexible shapes and 3 spinners, meaning there will always be one piece your two children will fight over.

(Did I say one? They fought over all of them. In my vast experience, even with six sets of a STEM building toy, you will never have enough pieces to make the mega-city of your design dreams, so budget accordingly.)

The Rainbow Set also comes with pictures of possible creations you can make to inspire kids having a hard time getting started. (The Clixo website has even more examples.) When offered this guidance, the reviewers had predictable reactions.

Brother: Instructions are no fun.

Sister: There aren’t instructions — just pictures. I’m going to try to build a snake.

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Despite the Siskel vs. Ebert vibes coming from our pinch-hitting reviews team, they have been happily playing with the Clixo set for days. When asked for their final assessment, the results were positive across the board.

Sister: There are so many possibilities that you can create with it, so you never get bored.

Brother: Eh, I give it a thumbs up.