Monday, May 16, 2016

Qixels vs Perler Beads



We watched Kung Fu Panda 3 again, on Friday evening.  I pulled out our Perler beads, thinking that the girls (ages 9 and 11) and I might make some Perler bead pandas while we watched the movie.


The girls spotted a couple of sets of Qixels in our "box of summer" though (more on that later), and decided to give the little square beads a chance instead.


If you haven't seen Qixels yet (I'm not sure how long they've been around, but they were new to me), they are sort of a cross between Lego blocks and Perler beads. 
  • They are cube shaped instead of round, and they snap onto their little peg board (over stencils that come with the kit, if you like) instead of just setting on the pegs.  This is nice, because you can't really dislodge and scramble your creation by bumping the board (the sad fate of my original panda).
  • They are made of some kind of glue, so instead of using the heat of an iron to fuse the beads together (as with Perler beads) you simply have to spritz your creation with water - and kits come with little spray bottles.  Water activates the glue, and once dry (in less than an hour) the creation is securely glued together, and ready to played with... 
 ...or posed on stands...


...that also come with the kits...


...as well as little pop in Lego like pieces...


...to turn your creation into...


...a pendant for a key chain or necklace.


As I mentioned the kits come with stencils, and a theme, and contain blocks in colors for making the suggested designs.  My girls opted to ignore the theme and make their own designs, and that seemed to work just fine.

The upside of the little blocks is that since they don't need heat to fuse together, the girls could make their creations, from start to finish, complete independently.  If the blocks come apart later, they can just be popped back on the pegboard and sprayed again, and the glue will activate and re-stick the blocks together.

I suppose the downside is that if the creations get wet while they are being played with - or worn, they will get gooey and sticky, and not be very pleasant.

Also, because they come mainly in kits, they are a little pricey in comparison with Perler beads (in the $7-$15 range for each kit, making three or four medium sized figures).  There are a couple of refill packs available, but you can't buy individual colors of cubes - which would be nice.  And, because they are glue, or glue coated, you really don't want children putting them in their mouths, while they are being made, or after they have been given as a gift to friend. Although I'm thinking, you wouldn't want children popping Perler beads in their mouths, either.

All in all though, given the fun my girls had with them, and their overall ease of use, I can easily recommend them.  This is not a paid review, just a mom to mom type recommendation.

7 comments:

Natalie PlanetSmartyPants said...

We had a couple of Qixel kits and I thought that water is not very reliable in gluing them together... or perhaps we did not wait long enough for them to dry...

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I'm not sure, but ours seem very sturdy. Maybe we used more water - the girls had quite a bit of fun dousing them :)

maryanne @ mama smiles said...

Qixels have been a big hit in our house, and ours have been incredibly sturdy. We got them as a review post, and were sent the spinner, which I would recommend for anyone looking to create with them a lot. That way you can thoroughly douse them but still spin off enough water that they dry reasonably quickly.

Angelic Scalliwags said...

I wonder if these can be found in the UK. My younger girls enjoy Perler beads but they don't stay together well for us, and of course they are forever falling off as the girls make their picture. I think these would be perfect for the girls over the summer. I am going to on Amazon just as soon as I finish here :)

Makkie said...

Are you able to use the perler bead boards with the Qixels? I'm looking for ideas for summer crafts and know we have the boards for perler beads, but would love to not worry about having an iron out in the open.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Makkie - I just gave it a try - they will set onto the Perler bead board pegs, but not fasten down like they do onto the Qixel board - the pegs must be slightly different. So, it would work, but just not as well.

Ticia said...

My daughter wasn't a big fan of Qixel, but she's still a big fan of perler beads.