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When it comes to the wide variety of toys in the world, there aren’t too many options that are capable of keeping every member of your family entertained. However, thanks to their inoffensive, uncomplicated nature, the best marble run toys definitely fall into this category. Also known as marble racers, these toys appeal to a wide range of kids. So if someone has an up-and-coming birthday, Christmas is just around the corner or just because, it’s worth keeping these versatile gift ideas in mind if you’re struggling to come up with a unique gift idea.
Parents will also appreciate that the best marble runs for kids aren’t just about entertainment, either. These toys, which are usually multi-colored and require some form of assembly, are also ideal for encouraging a range of useful life skills, especially in young to tween children. Applicable skills practiced in marble racer toys include visual tracking, fine-motor dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Because of this, these toys are also classed as STEM toys, meaning children inadvertently focus on four of the major school subjects while playing, learning and generally enjoying themselves. The four subjects relevant to STEM Toys are:
- S – Science
- T – Technology
- E – Engineering
- M – Math
Below, you’ll find our top 14 picks for the best marble racer toys of 2021, with picks from familiar brands like National Geographic and Ravensburger. We’ve included a range of different kinds of marble runs to best accommodate different ages and budgets. Every product on the list has been well-reviewed and is available for ordering online. Read on to find the best marble runs for kids.
1. National Geographic Glowing Marble Run
If you’re searching for a well-reviewed, fairly priced, comprehensive marble racer toy kit, it’s hard to look beyond National Geographic Glowing Marble Run. It comes backed by over 6,700 five-star ratings from Amazon users who love everything about it, including the glow-in-the-dark marbles, handy drawstring storage bag and learning booklet, which includes fun activity ideas to get your creative juices flowing. In addition, if the 150-piece kit isn’t to your liking, it’s also available in a range of other configurations, including 80 and 250-piece sets.
2. Ravensburger GraviTrax Speed Set
Gravitrax is famous for its award-winning marble racers, and this is one of the toymaker’s newest marble run toys. This particular version is built for speed, but it still has all of the features kids love. Your kids will have a blast tinkering with this set as they put their imagination and creative thinking skills to work. This 185-piece set is designed for kids eight and older. It does carry a higher price tag, but Ravensburger’s GraviTrax line of toys has proven to be a big hit with kids and adults alike.
3. National Geographic Magnetic Marble Run
Adults know National Geographic for their magazine and nature documentaries, but kids know the company for its awesome toys, which inspire a love of science and the natural world. This year, one of Amazon’s hottest toys is this affordable marble run, also from National Geographic. Designed to be built on a magnetic surface (some are provided, but a refrigerator will also work!), this STEM toy is one of the year’s best-selling STEM toys.
4. Imagination Generation Mini Marble Mayhem
With only 32 smaller-than-average pieces, the Imagination Generation Mini Marble Mayhem Set is a great option if you’re tight on space. Each block is made from natural cuts of wood which have been covered in a pattern-adorned, water-based paint. It is suitable for children three years old and up and comes supplied in a cardboard box which can be used to store the set when it’s not being used. Unlike the alternative sets, which feature one-color pieces, the pieces in this set are covered in a range of eye-catching, multi-colored designs, making them more visually stimulating and stylish at the same time.
5. JOYIN Marble Run Premium Toy Set
At under $35, the JOYIN Marble Run Premium Toy Set is a budget-friendly way to add a marble racer toy to your playroom arsenal. The set comes complete with 50 regular-sized marbles and 170 pieces, which are made up from over 20 different kinds. This piece variation makes the set an ideal option for kids and adults who like variety in their construction kits. For greater aesthetic appeal, these pieces are transparent and made from a 100% non-toxic plastic. To get you going and inspire more ideas, the set comes with an assembly instruction booklet.
6. Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set
As we mentioned before, one of the great things about the best marble racer toys is that they can entertain almost any age group. This Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set is an interactive track system that uses the power of gravity to let marbles naturally find their way through the track, however, it has been assembled. To really test your know-how and encourage logic, hand-eye coordination and problem solving, the kit is supplied with 24 building challenges. To further build up its appeal, it’s worth noting the 2,700+ 5-star ratings on Amazon and the fact that over six million sets have been sold worldwide.
That might have something to do with the fact that this Ravensburger puzzle toy was named the 2019 Toy of the Year.
7. Hape Totally Amazing Roller Derby Toddler Toy
BEST FOR TODDLERS
Everybody has to start somewhere in the world of marble racer toys. In this Hape Totally Amazing Roller Derby Toddler Toy, you’ll have an ideal way to introduce toddlers to many of the key principles found in larger marble run toys, without too much complexity. This one-piece toy offers users double-sided entertainment as the large, wooden balls pass through the peek-a-boo holes as they descend the run. For added fun, the toy includes a bell chime at the bottom to indicate when the balls have finished running. Furthermore, this award-winning toy puts your children’s safety first by sporting rounded edges and being constructed within high safety and quality standards.
8. WEofferwhatYOUwant Super Ball Drop
It wouldn’t really be right if we didn’t include a larger-than-average version of a marble run toy on our list, which is why we bring you the WEofferwhatYOUwant Super Ball Drop. The large pieces and extra-tall configuration make it a great option for younger kids who love to stand as they build. And, thanks to this larger-than-average design and BPA-free, non-toxic construction, the age advisory starts as young as 10 months old. In terms of included pieces, this 28-piece kit comes with swirling bridges, multiple bases, a few spacers and four spinning activity balls.
9. Meland Marble Run
By including a bonus drawstring bag, any owner of this Meland Marble Run will have a handy way to both store and transport their new favorite toy. The 132-piece set is made up of 102 translucent structural pieces as well as 30 glass marbles. It also comes with an easy-to-follow instruction booklet with building ideas for a range of capabilities. Fun options included in the non-toxic ABS material set include windmills, stairs, vertical drops and swirls.
10. ROKR Wooden Marble Run
For some, there’s something about wooden toys that just makes them more appealing than their plastic competitors. In this ROKR Wooden Marble Run, you’ll find 254 pre-cut pieces which all fit together to create a functional toy or conversation-starting display piece. The advanced design includes a number of eye-catching parts, namely a funnel rail, a flip-flop and a stairlift. Once assembled, which takes around five hours on average, you can use the hand crank to power the marble racer and enjoy the constant, repetitive motion for as long as you continue to turn it.
11. COUOMOXA Marble Run
If you’re looking for a marble racer toy for a child over the age of five and want it to be as fun to look at as it is to play with, the COUOMOXA Marble Run could be the right choice for you. Built into this colorful marble run set, you’ll find a water wheel piece and a piano piece, which both add fun visual and audible elements for builders to enjoy. Plus, unlike many of the other sets which let you build out as far as you physically can, this set, which includes over 100 structural pieces, comes with a base, making it a good option for semi-advanced builders who are limited on space.
12. Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set
With over 6,500 five-star ratings, the Marble Genius Marble Run Super Set was definitely vying for the top spot on the list. This comprehensive kit is made up of 150 usable pieces, including 12 different types of action pieces, in addition to 65 glass marbles. For an easy introduction to marble racer building, the set is also accompanied by a handy app which gives builders access to four skill levels, nine projects and 12 challenges. In addition, the base pieces in this set are larger than many of its competitors to ensure your creations always have stable footings.
13. Discovery Toys Marbleworks Deluxe Marble Run
Choosing the Discovery Toys Marbleworks Deluxe Marble Run is a particularly good idea if you have children who are prone to breaking things. While a little more expensive than some of the other options on the list, this set is built to last, with pieces made from highly durable, impact-resistant plastic. The 96-piece set also includes fun pieces like a start gate, a finish gate and 11 ramps. All in all, this fun toy is a great way to foster creativity and curiosity in teens and younger children above the age of five.
14. PicassoTiles Marble Run Magnetic Tile Race Track
Do your kids love magnetic tiles, too? After Magna Tiles, PicassoTiles are probably the most popular brand in this category, and PicassoTiles also makes a great marble run for kids who love building. Rather than relying solely on a one-piece-fits-into-another style of construction, this PicassoTiles Marble Run Magnetic Tile Race Track also uses magnetism. By doing this, it increases the number of possible ways each piece in the set can be put together.
The set is suitable for children three years and older, and acts as a great way to stimulate brain development. You’ll also find that some of the pieces in this 100-piece set are a little bit different, as their magnetic element makes it possible to have unusually shaped pieces, such as triangles and squares.