Last week I attended a great event to celebrate the US launch of nanoblock, micro building blocks that are already all the rage in Japan. Nanoblock is micro-sized pieces that work using a patented feather design that locks the pieces firmly together. The small size makes it possible to create incredibly detailed and realistic creations. Once completed, finished projects can be disassembled and built again, or displayed.
Nanoblock sets available in the U.S. include the "Mini" series (koala, panda, giraffe) as well as the "Sites to See" series (Moai Statues of Easter Island, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal) which were recently named ASTRA's Best Construction Toy of the Year.
More sets will be added soon, including a castle with over 5,800 pieces in October, and Holiday selections in November.
Each nanoblock set is rated 1 to 5 in difficulty, and are recommended for ages 8 and up. My six-year-old daughter and I sat down to build a "Level 3" koala together and it was a little too challenging for her, and possibly her mother too. Still, it was fun to work on it together and I have every reason to believe we will be able to finish it. In the meantime, we were hooked enough that we went to Toys R Us and got a "Level 2" panda (over 150 pieces) that was much easier to put together.
Nanoblock is distributed in the US by Ohio Art, which is the company also behind the childhood favorite Etch-a-Sketch. For more information visit http://www.mynanoblock.com/site/
The nanoblock event was held in Manhattan at the Kinokuiya Bookstore on Bryant Park, and this Japanese book store itself is worth a visit - filled with great books, gifts, Hello Kitty and Anime as well as an upstairs cafe with Japanese pastries, sandwiches and green tea.
A gift bag was received at the event, and while it was nice, it has not influencd the opinions here.
Anna Sandler is a contributor to Momtrends. She also blogs at RandomHandprints.com.