1. What I really like about this set is, however, that almost anyone can make the system work, if even just a little bit. My 3-year-old can make a very short little ramp system and be perfectly happy. When the older siblings get involved, or Mom and Dad, then the designs can get rather elaborate. Either way, the children tend to play with it for at least an hour at a time.

    Secondly, I really like the quality. Basically, the kit is like a set of very high-quality wooden blocks, some with holes and some with grooves and some just solid. The pieces are big and chunky and heavy, so there is very little chance of breaking them (just don’t let the toddler start throwing them!). Once you design a series of ramps and turns and drops, you can bump it out of shape and have to re-position everything, but usually the disturbance is minimal and easily fixed.

    Thirdly, I like all the accessories that you can get for it. Sure, they’re expensive, but I’m treating it like an investment and buying a little at a time.

    Finally, Haba recognizes the educational value in its system, and provides a booklet with suggestions for doing scientific studies with it. These are, sadly, in German; however, the pictures are clear enough.

    To me, the Haba marble run and its accessories are worth a hundred action figures, so do yourself a favour, and choose this one item over a handful of cheap/faddish/breakable junk. (My 7-year-old suggested only 4 stars because he likes his Lego better, but this is a close second)

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