Ball of Whacks magnetic creativity toy/tool

I gave "Ball of Whacks" to my 6-year-old son as a Hanukkah gift and I wish I'd have given it to myself. It reminds me a bit of Rubik's Snake but it's much more free-form and fun as the individual blocks aren't permanently connected but rather held together by 180 rare earth magnets. The blocks fit together in a 30-sided rhombic triacontahedron and can be recombined into animals, stars, and other geometric wonders. The Ball of Whacks comes with a guidebook suggesting lots of neat configurations, creativity exercises, and tips but we haven't bothered with that yet. It's addictive without any instruction. Ball of Whacks is available in red, blue, black, and multi-color which is what I, er, my son, was given. Maybe next we'll go for Von Oech's X-Ball, Y-Ball, or Star Ball magnet toys! Ball of Whacks


  1. But them now, because in 2 years or so they will discover that if swallowed magnets if swallowed separately can connect in the intestines and either kill or severely injure children, dogs, and adult idiots.  That’s what just happened with Bucky-balls, I remember the same thing happening when i was kid with some other magnetic toy.  The world needs to decide to either trust each other with magnets or create some international ban on any magnetic toys that look appetizing. 

  2. Here’s a video of a magnetic cube made up of its constituent least common symmetrical irregular tetrahedra, the A and B Quanta according to Buckminster Fuller’s Synergetic geometry:  

    It may spark some ideas.

    I’ve made similar magnetic models of all the five Platonic Solids after finding the least common symmetrical irregular tetrahedra for the icosahedron and pentagonal dodecahedron. All five can be made from four different irregular tetrahedra, each of which include one particular right triangle.

  3. Boo to living in Canada… UPS tacked on a $128 shipping charge. I blame the magnets. Does anyone knows a retailer in Toronto for this?

  4. At 22 years old one would say I’m too old for toys; I don’t know about that, I’ve found the device to be excellent for meditation and keeping one’s hands busy.

    Plus it is just too much fun to abruptly toss it to someone and say “Catch” as they fumble and watch it fall to pieces in their hands.

  5. Hi David!
    Thanks for reviewing my “Ball of Whacks.” I’m glad your family is enjoying playing with this creativity tool. It was fun to design and develop.

    Several of your commenters have compared the Ball of Whacks to Bucky Balls. A significant difference between the two products is that each Ball of Whacks piece “passes” the small objects choke test, that is it will not pass through the 1.25″ choke cylinder (and cannot be ingested by small children). Because individual Bucky Balls were the size of BBs, they failed the small objects choke test.

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