Magna Tiles vs Playmags – 8 Key Differences Between These Sets
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We love magnetic tiles in our house.
(And we have them ALL over the place. Ouch!)
The boys spend HOURS building and demolishing amazing creations. But, there are so many choices that it can be hard to know where to start.
If you want a rundown of which magnetic tiles are the best, we have an article on that.
And here I’m going to be more particular and give you a comparison of Playmags vs Magna Tiles.
The main difference between Magna Tiles and Playmags is price – Magna Tiles are significantly more expensive than Playmags. With that higher price comes slightly stronger magnets and an overall higher build quality and finish.
But, as always, there is more to this story…
Related post: Picasso Tiles vs Magna Tiles
Playmags vs Magna Tiles — Key Points
Market Leading Magnetic TileMagna Tiles 100-Piece Set
Good Budget OptionPlaymags 100-Piece Set
Price is one area where you can see a big difference between the two brands.
And I mean, really BIG.
Magna Tiles retail for a little over $1 per tile. Playmags, on the other hand, are a little over $0.50 per tile. So if you’re on a budget, it’s probably a pretty easy decision to make.
Magna Tiles and Playmags are pretty similar in design and execution. It’s quite clear that Playmags have been modelled pretty closely on Magna Tiles. In terms of size, they are pretty similar, with a base length of 3 inches.
A standard Magna Tiles set comes with four shapes. There are squares, equilateral triangles, right angle triangles, and isosceles triangles. The pieces are made from translucent plastic and have flat faces. The bases are thick enough that you can easily stand the pieces up for easy construction or 2D models.
At first glance, a Playmag tile looks very similar to a Magna Tile. They are the same size, and both have the same internal reinforcement for strength.
However, in a standard Playmags set, you get a wider variety of pieces. There are window pieces, which can be used with the Playmags click-ins.
These let you add special pieces to these cutout tiles. They can be used to display letters, numbers or other special blocks. You also get more shapes with rectangles and double-sized squares, which make building big things much easier.
4. Magnet Design
The magnets on these two tiles look very similar. Playmags have recently updated their magnets so that they are now stronger and more effective. As a result, the newer Playmag tiles compare a lot better to Magna Tiles.
Both types of tiles have two rectangle magnets on each 3-inch side. The magnets on Magna Tiles are still a little bigger, which does still lend them greater strength. On a side by side comparison, you find that one Play Mag square can hold four others hanging from it while it’s 5 for Magna Tiles.
This is noticeable once you start to make larger constructions.
The construction of both these tiles is pretty similar. They are both sonically sealed for a smooth finish, and they both have metal rivets. This means that the chances of a magnet coming loose from either type are very slim.
To avert another parents’ nightmare, both types of tile are unlikely to break in the course of play, even if stepped on repeatedly.
The difference comes in the quality of the plastic on the faces. The Playmag tiles are a little softer, so they are more prone to getting scratched. The Magna Tiles aren’t impervious to scratches, but they do seem to hold up better than the Playmags.
Storage of most magnetic tiles is pretty easy, and these are no exception. They can all be stacked together with ease.
If you get the Playmags 100 piece set, it does come with a lot of bits, and not all of them are magnetic. For instance, there is an ideas book and some click-in pieces.
So what’s nice is that the set also comes with a storage bag. This makes tidying up at the end of playtime really easy.
One of the great things about magnet tiles is that most types are based on the original Magna Tiles. As a result, most of them are compatible with each other.
This means you can mix and match sets as you grow your collection. Because the chances are that once your kids try magnetic tiles, your collection will only grow.
In other words, yes you can stack Magna Tiles with PlayMags, as well as PlayMags and Picasso Tiles.
The only big exception to this is Magformers. They have a different style of magnet, so neither Magna Tiles nor, Playmags are compatible with them.
8. Different Packs Available
Both Magna Tiles and Playmags have a lot of different options to choose from. They both have sets that come with wheels and ones aimed at creating buildings.
Playmags have some fun little magnetic people, which can be a nice addition for kids who like to build houses and castles. They also have a range of click-ins to choose from, which can be a nice addition, if a little limited.
Magna Tiles do, however, have a bigger selection of options. If you can imagine it, you can probably find it. For instance, there are glow in the dark tiles, see-through ice tiles, and even stairs.
Playmags vs Magna Tiles — Bottom Line
So which magnetic tiles are the best?
The answer is that it likely depends on your situation. When asking which brand of magnetic tiles you should buy, you need to start by considering your budget. Either or both of these tile sets will be a good option. They are fun and effective.
If you can afford it, I recommend getting the Magna Tiles as a starter set. They’re solid, reliable and have really strong magnets.
The Playmags are a great option if you want to expand an existing set. Mixing them in with a set of Magna Tiles lets you expand the set without spending a fortune and give you a strong base set of tiles for larger construction projects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What about Playmags vs Picasso Tiles?
Playmags are probably a step above Picasso Tiles. Playmags have metal rivets for extra security while Picasso Tiles do not.
As a result, Playmags are a little more durable (and, frankly, safer). Picasso tiles are therefore a little cheaper than Playmags.
What age are Magnatiles for?
Magnetic Tiles are great for pretty much any age of kids. The recommended age is three years old, but my 18 month old has great fun ‘helping’ me build and then crushing them.
If I’m honest, I love playing with them, and so do the boy’s grandparents. They are a truly fantastic toy.
Do Magna Tiles go on sale?
Magna Tiles retailers sign an agreement with the company before they’re allowed to stock them. They agree to a minimum advertised retail price. This means that if they are on sale below the agreed price, they can’t advertise that fact. So, as a result, you don’t often find Magna Tiles on sale.