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Brick Brites Blinking LED Plastic Building Brick Review

on April 27, 2012 11:00 am

A couple weeks ago, The Gadgeteer had a news post about Brick Brites, clear plastic LEGO-like building blocks.  They’re different from regular LEGO blocks because they have motion-activated blinking lights built-in to add some excitement to your LEGO constructions.  How do you improve upon the LEGO brick?  I had to see what this was all about.  

Brick Brites come in three different colors:  White/Red, White/Green, and White/Blue.  They come in packs of two.

They’re exactly the size of two stacked 2×3 LEGO bricks.  I thought this was a bit of an unusual size, but they had to put the batteries somewhere. I suppose if they used smaller batteries, it just wouldn’t last long.  Brick Brites says the batteries are good for about 100 hours of flashing.

Each Brick Brite is the the size of two 2x3 Lego bricks.

Closeup of the ends. Each brick has two LEDs: One white, one colored. It's interesting that the cardboard package shows three LEDs.

Top and bottom views. Note the 2x3 pattern.

The spring acts as the vibration sensor. When contact is made, the LEDs blink for 13 seconds. The two green bricks I received had bent springs (see right) which made it hard to activate.

To start the flashing, simply tap a brick.  I wouldn’t say shake; it requires a light “jolt”.  Some bricks came alive with a simple finger tap.  The two green ones must have been from a bad batch.  They wouldn’t turn on unless I really whacked ‘em.  Turns out both springs were bent somewhat.

And in case you’re wondering, I already tried to open it up.  It’s definitely adult-proof.  The two halves seemed glued together really well.  Once the batteries are flat, that’s it.

Ooooo...

I gave a handful of these to my 6 year old son and we set off making some crazy vehicles.  Here’s what we produced before bedtime, on location at his City of LEGOs.

"Police car with supply trailer". My son said the trailer carries the extra lights.

A baker in some kind of... car. Yes, he's holding a loaf of bread.

Frankenstein's drag racer lights up the night. (Daddy made this one)

The Brick Brites are a lot of fun and add a new creative element building with LEGOs.  No, you can’t replace the batteries.  The plastic feels a little different than the familiar feel of Lego bricks.  And, if you’re one of those engineering types who is SERIOUS about model building, keep in mind that the tolerances of the Brick Brites are a little off vs. the precise nature of LEGOs:  I found that if you stack a few together, you really notice they’re a little “off” by a fraction of a hair, which I suppose could add up if you’re going to build a half-size replica of the Death Star.

Otherwise, Frankenstein really likes his new ride.

Off to pick up Wolfman and The Mummy.

 

Product Information

Price:$9.99
Manufacturer:Brick Brites
Retailer:ThinkGeek
Requirements:
  • Legos or other "major toy brick brands"
Pros:
  • Add flashing lights to your Lego creations.
Cons:
  • Some bricks may be less sensitive to turning on due to manufacturing variances.
  • Non-replaceable batteries.
  • Cannot open brick without destroying it.

Comments

  1. 1
    Ronald says:

    Mmmm … More posion waste when the batteries go dead.
    Pitty they’re not rechargeable.

  2. 2
    andy chen says:

    At least the bricks are sealed tight. I tried to pry them open and failed.

    I’d like to see the batteries accessible so they can at least be replaced. Yes, rechargeable would be nice too, and would probably add to the initial cost a bit.

  3. 3
    Jackie Cheng says:

    Doesn’t Lego have official light up bricks? I’ve seen them before in kits that they sell.

  4. 4
    andy chen says:

    I only know about the ones that light up amber when you push a small, momentary button. My son has two of them.

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