The PopCult Toybox
In Walmart now, fans of building toys can find Zuru Toys’ entry into the building brick game with MAX Build More. These are fully compatible with LEGO bricks, but can be had for a fraction of the cost. There is no loss of quality, as these are well-made out of high-impact plastic, but since they don’t have “that brand name,” they are much more affordable.
As somebody who does extensive graphic and video work without ever having owned an Apple product, I can appreciate not overpaying for a brand name.
Right now you can get a giant tub with 759 pieces at Walmart for under twenty bucks. That’s about a third of the suggested retail price for a comparable LEGO set.
LEGO’s patents on their particular interlocking brick design expired a long time ago, and anyone can make compatible building bricks now. That’s why LEGO leans so heavily on licensed sets like Star Wars. They know that they can’t compete on price, so they go with licenses and blind-brand loyalty. The great thing about MAX Build More is that they are virtually indistinguishable from LEGO in terms of quality, but they won’t break the bank.
Zuru was kind enough to send me a big tub of MAX Build More bricks to review, and I have decided to use it to create five pieces of Monday Morning Art, which will run here in PopCult during the month of November.
This is going to be a bit of a departure for me, since I have never posted three-dimensional art during the fifteen years I’ve been publishing my art in this blog.
You can see my first, untitled piece right here.
For this piece I augmented the tub of MAX Build More with a gray base panel (under five bucks at Walmart) and used less than half the pieces from the tub to create a geometric abstract piece. This was basically me getting a feel for working with building bricks for the first time since I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, and seeing how well all the pieces fit together. These bricks are great to work with. They go together well, and come apart easily when you want them to.
The plan is to raid this work for bricks to build stuff for Monday Morning Art. So enjoy these photos. This build is not meant to last forever. Check back Monday to see what I do when I decide to cut loose.
The 759 piece MAX Build tub includes a huge checklist with all the pieces inside, so you can plan your projects in advance, or just wing it like I did. There’s a great mix of basic blocks in many colors, along with specialty bricks, fences, small baseplates, parts to build figures, a decal sheet with eyes and mouths and other features, plus there are dozens of smaller pieces that can be used as wheels, weapons or architectural features. There’s hours and hours of play value in this tub, regardless of your age.
Several MAX Build sets can be found at Walmart, in stores on online. The most expensive set is under twenty bucks, and you can also choose from additional baseplates and smaller sets that offer more specialty pieces like doors and window and vehicle parts.
For what you’d pay for one LEGO tub, you can get two giant MAX Build More tubs, plus a set of specialty parts and four baseplates. If you have kids who are into building sets, this is like manna from Heaven. With so many families spending more time indoors due to the pandemic, MAX Build More sets are an ecominc way to let kids use their imaginations in a constructive way. It’s not bad for adults either.
Below is an example of the kinds of things you can make with MAX Build More.