Dave and Hope Maltz invited us to their house on June 7 for a very pleasant dinner. There, they showed us a fabulous toy called Magz.
Magz are nifty toys that consist of plastic sticks with magnets in the ends, and nickel-plated balls the magnets can attach to. So it's like tinkertoys, but with much more flexibility in the angles of connection, so it's much better for building something like an icosahedron.
Now, as you may or may not know, I have something of an obsession for polyhedral figures. It dates back to fourth grade, when I built paper models of polyhedra. But over the last five years or so, I've spent a lot of time in boring meetings visualizing elaboroate polyhedra, tracing out Euler paths on them, and so forth.
I took to the Magz with great zeal, so much so that I worried that I might be neglecting our hosts. Over the course of the evening, I built
- an octahedron
- a dodecahedron (not stable)
- a cuboctahedron (not stable)
- an icosahedron
- an octahedron with tetrahedra on each face
- a double-size dodecahedron
- a large tetrahedron
(http://www.magz.com/gallery/index.html has some pictures of things others have built.)
Since that evening, I've been plying with the toys behind my eyelids. There's no question; I need to have them.
But my googling for suppliers has revealed two varieties of this product: there's Magz, which is delightfully multicolored, and there's GeoMags, which one website describes thus: "GeoMags are similar to the more common Magz except GeoMags are of higher quality having stronger magnets and cost somewhat more." More pros and cons: the GeoMags come in only one color per package, and I've had color-related fantasies about things to build. But the GeoMags have the option of glow-in-the-dark pieces.
And so, because I'm on the fence, I turn to y'all:
Should I buy Magz or GeoMags?
Magz: multicolored, cheaper
GeoMags: stronger, glow-in-the-dark