Marble Run/track Toy

Updated on September 27, 2012
C.F. asks from South Jordan, UT
11 answers

We want to buy our 6 year old son a marble track for Christmas, but there are so many out there! I do like the wood ones, but would rather get more for my money with a plastic set. Are there any moms out there with kids who love their marble runs? I just want to make sure I get one that is durable, easy to put together and take apart. We are looking to spend around $50. Thanks for your expertise and advise.

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answers from Boston on

We used the Discovery Toys marble set - very versatile, and every time you build it, it's different. That's what makes it such a good toy from an engineering and creativity standpoint. (And no, I don't sell the toys!) You can add more marbles if you want. Plastic is nice too because you can use it in the bathtub. If you get the piece that is a sort of "jump" where the marble is in the air, it's fun with water too.

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answers from Houston on

We bought the plastic ones 3 years ago for my son and he is 7 and he still plays with it every once in a while! It has endured 3 years of playdates with kids of all appropriate ages. Of course, I never let the kids roughhouse with certain things and the marble track was one of them. We've added on to the set over the years so we have quite a collection of tracks and marbles.

Yes, the prongs on one 3 piece broke off, and a few of our connectors lost the tips, but overall it served its purpose in our household. Your 6 yo will LOVE it...they are just like Legos and all those awesome building toys, and kids can play with them for hours. Plus, I find it rather peaceful to put a design together and just listen to the marbles go through them, kind of like listening to rain.

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answers from Denver on

We got our son the 105-piece plastic marble run (from One Step Ahead I think....but also at Amazon) for Christmas last year and it is still set's never been put away and is used everyday. I would highly recommend it. The plastic one is super easy to put together and take apart and (in my opinion) more fun looking than the wood one. Some small parts do break if pushed too hard.....but it doesn't diminish the fun of the toy. I say go for it and get the plastic one :)



answers from Washington DC on

Well, we had a plastic set that didn't stay together well, and now I'm not even sure where all the parts are. I'd go for wood and take a good look at them and see what ones stay upright/together best. Or glue it in one configuration.



answers from Denver on

Our son got Marble Works for Christmas when he was five or six. He is now 11 and still plays with it. It is a plastic set and very durable. It is very easy to take apart and put together in a bunch of different ways. Plus, you can get additional pieces too. I do not remember how many marbles it cam with, but they are easy to find too.

I know you can google Marble Works and buy online or I think they have them at Toys R' Us.

We all love Marble Works in our family. It's one we all play together and watch our choosen marble win.



answers from Seattle on

I would NOT get a wooden one. I have sooo many friends who spent a fortune on Haba and other wooden marble runs... they look so great, they have such fancy parts (big colorful spirals, musical parts) etc and you know what: unless you glue them together with wood glue, they will not stay in place and really aren't that fun to actually play with. They are always great in the store because everything is glued and screwed in place, but I find part of the educational and fun value of a marble track is being able to take it apart and put it back together... if they are not permanently fixed, they will fall apart even when the kids may brush them walking by or even just when positioning the marbles.

So we went with a plastic one. Ours is a Quercetti. My DD isn't really old enough to build intricate runs with it, but she can put together simple tracks, the pieces stay connected with a little practice, I can even move it to a different table without taking it apart.
Good luck.



answers from Portland on

I've spent a lot of time with marble runs, in preschools and private homes.
This is the set we found at a garage sale. My son loves it and we get loads of use out of it.

The price on this one is $34 and worth every penny. My little guy actually went through a time when we used the marble run to make a 'drum kit', balancing wooden and hand drums on the set. Crazy, but so versatile.The only 'glitch' was that the Loop-de-loop piece is made of two plastic pieces, one of which is the top part of the loop, and that the top part would eventually pop off. I used a thick produce rubber band (like the kind you find on broccoli) to hold it together and the problem was solved.

I like the idea of the Quercetti track, but having used it at one family's house as a nanny, I found that the 'rail' type tracks can be tricky if they aren't lined up just right.. the marble will go backward or just stop. And the bases aren't as broad, so the run can tip over more easily.


answers from Dallas on

I bought a Discovery Toys one when daughter was about 4 and it is stil in great shape, sitting in a box upstairs. She liked it a lot, it was used a lot and it is good quality. I have no idea what I paid for it.



answers from Los Angeles on

I know a few others recommended the Discovery Toys set. I am a Discovery Toys rep and would love it if you bought it through me. A few highlights:

We sell a starter set & add-on sets, so you can buy it all but save the add-ons for future gifts if you want, or you can buy just the starter set.

It comes with a lifetime warranty, so if the pieces break/crack from normal play, you can easily get them replaced from the company at no cost to you (even shipping on the replacement is free and you don't have to send back the old one). even the grandkids can use it!

It's very versatile, with lots of different ramps, feet and connectors so you can set it up in a variety of ways.

My son's preschool had it and, after 20 years, it's still in great shape! I was able to get some pieces replaced that had cracked even though they bought it in the 80's!

If you want it, please visit my website at or contact me for more info.



answers from Cleveland on

My vote would be wood if money were no object.

either way awesome toy!!! very very cool



answers from Albuquerque on

For $50 you won't get much with a wood track. We have the wood Quadrilla one (awesome quality, very easy to knock down, really expensive) and a plastic Edushape one that has held up for two years with no issues. The pieces stay together well, it's easy to build, and not expensive. It's a lot more fun with two sets rather than one, just FYI. The real fun is creating new and different runs, so gluing the pieces together would not work for my kids. Here's the one we have:

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