We recently announced through our email newsletter that Once Upon a Toy and both locations of LagoonaMagoo Toys are now stocking Cobi Blocks, a brick building system similar to Legos. Cobi Blocks are manufactured in Poland and are a beloved toy in Eastern Europe. Shawnta’, our fearless leader, discovered Cobi brick building sets at Toy Fair earlier in the year and is very excited to introduce them to our little part of the world.
Manufactured to the same exacting standards as Lego blocks, Cobi building sets are focused on real-world machines and scenarios. Their most popular building sets have a military theme-- Cobi’s Small Army. There are also military themed sets that feature Jeeps, civilian Boeing airplanes, and free-style building sets. We were curious to see how well Cobi bricks would compare to Lego bricks, so we drafted a youngster to road test one of their Small Army sets.
Our Lego Expert, 12 years old, ripped into the 150 piece Small Army Vulcan Helicopter set. Getting him to slow down long enough for me to change the batteries in the camera was a bit of a challenge. With the skill and speed of a long-time Lego brick builder, he quickly assembled the Cobi helicopter.
Overall, he enjoyed the building process. The pieces snapped together securely and the illustrated instructions were easy to follow. The specialized shapes for the helicopter set intrigued him. And the high level of detail in the accessories (the mini figures have noses!) won big approval from him. One thing he noticed is that hinges and the rotor for the helicopter were stiffer than comparable Lego parts would be. While that meant the chopper’s blades didn’t spin as freely as he would have liked, it also meant the pilot didn’t fall out the doors during a steep dive.
He also tested Cobi blocks compatability with Lego bricks. Some pieces clicked together in a satisfying way. Others, like putting a Cobi mini fig head on a Lego body, were almost too tight of a fit. For the most part, our expert thought the Cobi blocks would work perfectly well with his Lego collection, as long as he wasn’t trying to combine specialized pieces. These would be special pieces like hinges, heads, or propeller blades. When asked if he would spend his own money on a larger set, he quickly said “Yes. ‘Cause these Cobi blocks are cool...”
If you can’t make it in to either of our LagoonaMagoo locations or up to Once Upon a Toy, we are now offering Cobi sets through our website, happyupinc.com. To see the sets currently available, click here: Cobi Building Sets.