Recently we reviewed a Star Wars-themed Aquabeads set which involved arranging small plastic beads into a pattern and then dousing them with water to make them stick. We had a similar kind of fun a couple of years ago with the SpongeBob Squarepants Bead Creations set, which had us arranging tiny beads onto a pinboard and then ironing over them to make them fuse together. Both ways of crafting were fun, but hardly adult-free fun. That is why is Simbrix caught our eyes.
Simbrix are small bead-like building bricks which, despite coming in many different colours, are all the same. Each brick consists of two sticky-out parts, and two sticky-in parts, allowing it to combine with any number of other Simbrix to form a pattern or shape. Once clipped together, the creation doesn't need water or heat as it will stay firmly combined in that shape until you take it apart to make something else.
So basically, it is crafting without the mess or danger, allowing kids to make cool 2-D shapes and images without adult supervision. And it is just 2-D shapes they can make, as there is no way to 'build up' from a flat surface. But, just like the SpongeBob set we played with (as you can technically put layers and layers of Aquabeads on top of each other – as we saw in our London Toy Fair 2017 report), this means you can get creative with pixel art and try to make scenes and recreate characters in an 'old-skool' computer game way.
Simbrix are also very small, and despite being sent only a relatively small pouch of them, we still ended up with about 500 bricks – more than enough to make a large picture. Colours range from the primary colours to several other shades of green, blue, purple, greys, browns, pink, and black. It's called the Cute Kit, and contained a sheet of ideas and inspirations to get you crafting. Also available are the larger Geek and Crafter kits, as well as individual colour kits if you need specific shades for a particular project. You can also buy a small glow-in-the-dark kit, with bricks that... yeah, you get it.
Simbrix are fun, mess-free and pretty open-ended. The lack of any binding agent or action is quite unique for this kind of craft system, and attaching each brick really is very simple for small hands. Check 'em out.
Cute Kit £15
Geek Kit £25
Crafter Kit £35