Building blocks move up a gear

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It’s no surprise that designers keep coming up with a new take on building blocks – kids never tire of playing with blocks and will always be interested in new or unusual ways to connect different pieces and shapes.

Oligear from architect and toy designer Daniel Oakley is an amazing set of interlocking magnetic gears. The fact that the pieces can be linked or stacked to create intricate moving masterpieces will thrill kids who want a change from static creations.

Personally, I think the organic shapes and translucent colours of the interlocking pieces are beautiful and are somehow reminiscent of the morphing shapes of jellyfish in water.

The stroke of genius is that Oligear is magnetic. This means the kids can busy themselves creating Oligear masterpieces on the fridge while you get on with cooking the dinner. I figure if they’re going to hover near the fridge they may as well create something at the same time.

Daniel Oakley has created other toys and puzzles that are also incredibly aesthetically appealing, in particular the Olizoid and the Olistripe 3D puzzles (see below). Oakley’s designs are available from Oliblock. Oligear is US$37 and can be shipped to Australia.

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Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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