Cool Construction and Building Toys

Friends Heartlake Stables 3189
Richard Carpenter
FamilyFun's favorite new building sets

We Come in Pieces

Arc-a-teksWaba Fun, $13Ages 3 to 8

Arc-a-teks have an interesting backstory. Long ago, one escaped planet Arcatopia and came to Earth to help humans construct some of the world's greatest wonders. Our testers were certainly over the moon about the set's 40 or so plastic pieces, which they used to build the silly characters. And rebuild, and rebuild, and rebuild?

Originally published in the March 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Make New Friends

Lego Friends: Olivia's Tree HouseLego, $6 and upAges 5 and up

The new, not-so-blocky miniature dolls may be the first thing kids notice about the Lego Friends building sets. But it's the details -- the tiny doggie bones, science beakers, a sweet birdhouse -- that will quickly engage them. The small and medium-size sets, such as Olivia's Inventor's Workshop and Olivia's Tree House, shown, are great introductions to this new line aimed at girls.

Originally published in the March 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Richard Carpenter
Richard Carpenter

Monster Fighters Vampyre CastleLego, $99.99Ages 8 and up

With 949 pieces, Lego's monster of a building set has more moving parts than a bat-infested clock tower. "The greatest Lego set ever," raves one mom. "It glows in the dark! It flings spiders! It comes with a car!"

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Richard Carpenter
Richard Carpenter

Undersea Friends Building SetK'Nex, $20.99 Ages 3 to 6

This 48-piece set made a big splash with our young judges. They found it a snap to create a slew of colorful corals and crustaceans.

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

Richard Carpenter
Richard Carpenter

Friends Heartlake Stables 3189Lego, $49.99 Ages 7 and up

Equine enthusiasts and building buffs alike adored this 416-piece playset. Testers saddled the two horses to take on the jumping rails, then awarded tiny ribbons to each. After feeding and grooming the mares, the Lego ladies retreated to the hayloft hangout.

Originally published in the November 2012 issue of FamilyFun magazine.

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