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Nanoblock micro-sized building blocks review

on May 21, 2013 4:45 pm

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A few weeks ago when I was in a Barnes & Noble bookstore, I happened to see Nanoblock micro-sized building blocks kits. As a huge LEGO fan, I was instantly captivated by these miniature LEGO-like bricks. My mind was whirling with ideas of cool models that I could build and display at home and work. I ended up snapping a picture of the box with my phone and after I returned home, I ordered 2 kits from Amazon. Here’s a very quick review.

Note: Images can be clicked to view a larger size.

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I ordered the 550 piece Castle Neuschwanstein kit and the I Love Dog Corgi kit. The castle kit arrived first, so that’s the one I will show you… The boxed kit arrived with bags of assorted bricks, a display plate and instructions.

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Nanoblocks are tiny. Teeny tiny. Here you see them next to LEGO versions of the same bricks. The smallest 1×1 Nanoblock is only 4mmX4mmX5mm.

My advice is to dump the bricks into a bowl instead of a table where they can easily slide off onto the floor. If you have shag carpet, you’ll never find the smaller blocks.

Nanoblocks have the same feel as LEGO blocks in that they are made of hard shiny plastic. The top “peg” design is very similar to LEGO bricks.

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But as you can see, the bottom design is different. This causes the bricks to not fit together as perfectly as LEGO bricks. It’s not a huge deal, it just means you’ll have to do a little tweaking to make sure everything is lined up properly. You’ve probably already guessed, but Nanoblocks are not compatible with LEGO bricks…

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The included instructions have step-by-step pictures with very little text. That means most people should be able to figure them out without much trouble. I would say though that the Nanoblock models are probably not really suited for younger children. The pieces are very tiny, which can cause some frustration.

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It took me a couple hours over the course of 2 days to build the Castle Neuschwanstein model. There was nothing difficult about it and it was actually relaxing and fun to build. At one point I dropped one of the orange bricks you see in the entrance to the castle and couldn’t find it. I was bummed because I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete the kit. But luckily extra bricks are included. I didn’t count them, but I’m guessing there might be as many as 50 extra bricks.

Nanoblock kits are fun and make a cool alternative to any LEGO fan(atic) looking to build with something different. I know I’ll be buying more kits in the near future.

 

Product Information

Price:Varies by kit (As reviewed: Castle Neuschwanstein $14)
Manufacturer:Nanoblock
Retailer:Amazon
Pros:
  • Fun
  • Extra bricks included
  • Compact models
Cons:
  • Very tiny bricks are easy to lose
  • Not good for very small children

Comments

  1. 1
    Jackie Cheng says:

    I purchased a few of their smaller animal ones. It’s frustrating with larger hands and all I can say is “don’t sneeze!”. I also wished the pieces would hold together with a bit more friction.

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    @Jackie The only blocks that didn’t fit together tightly were the round ones. Otherwise, I found it difficult to remove them when I snapped them together in correctly.

  3. 3
    Dmitriy says:

    @julie what type of background and lighting were used for this photos?

  4. 4
    Julie says:

    @Dmitriy A black poster board and a Canon flash sitting on the desk pointing straight up to the ceiling to bounce the light back down. I wrote about my photography setup years ago and it remains unchanged except that I now have a Canon G11 camera and a Canon flash instead of Nikon camera/flash. You can see more info here: http://the-gadgeteer.com/2007/07/22/how_to_take_great_macro_pictures_without_a_lot_of_equipment/

  5. 5
    Adrienne says:

    @Julie Thanks for introducing me to something that fuels two of my obsessions…..Legos and miniature things. I ordered a “Seven-Spot Ladybird” kit from Amazon last night. I can’t wait to build it!!! :-)

  6. 6
    Julie says:

    @Adrienne cute! I’d like to get the parrot or even better, the basic set. But it’s over $60…

    Be sure to let us know what you thought of the kit once you get it and build it :)

  7. 7
    amy says:

    The nanoblocks are very relaxing to build. I have two hints that make building the model easier. I place a silicone baking sheet in a sheet cake baking pan and i use needle nose tweezers and miniature needle nose pliers. The silicone mat and the tweezers are almost mandatory and make construction much easier.

  8. 8
    Jamie says:

    I have built a few of these, most recently the White House. By the time I was finished my thumb had no feeling. Any suggestion on how to build without this happening? Are there tools?

    Thanks!

  9. 9

    Cool post. i just bought the grand Piano set and love it.

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