Roger von Oech's Ball of Whacks: A Creativity Tool for Innovators
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- 30 Magnetic Design Blocks
- Magnetic fun for ages 14+
- unlimited number of uses
Frequently Bought Together
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CHOKING HAZARD -- This toy is a small ball. Not for children under 3 yrs.
CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
Top Customer Reviews
When I was younger I made crystal models out of marbles and geodesic domes out of cardboard and remember the excitement of uncovering different relationships between the shapes. The Ball of Whacks is bringing back that feeling of exploration and discovery and has quite a few patterns built into those 30 pieces. I forgot how much fun I had doing those explorations as a kid and can't figure out why I ever stopped. The Ball of Whacks includes the symmetries of all five platonic solids if you play with it long enough.
I would suggest getting a couple of them - at least one for your desk and one for playing at home. You may need extras to share with family and colleagues and they are fun to combine into larger constructions as well.
In creative problem solving sessions with coworkers I like to bring in various toys both to stimulate their playfulness and to change their environment a bit. I am looking forward to trying out the BoWs in my next session although I am a bit worried that I might not get them back readily.
Awesomely fun and gets the brain juices flowing too!!!
This is a timeless toy that can be split and combined in a zillion ways. Not quite the rubik's cube of the 00's, but fun for kids and adults.
The ball is well constructed and provides a fair deal of entertainment as you mess around with how the pieces fit together. The packaging includes a nice booklet about the ball and certain shapes one can make. Unfortunately I found these 2D pictures to be next to useless. What's more is that every shape they showed was very similar to the fully assembled ball. And this brings me to the chief complaint.
There just isn't much you can do with these! I tried and tried again with my younger cousins, I'd sit down and say "Alright, we're going to make something totally different from the ball" but quite literally every time I tried, I'd come back to the same shape. This is because the pieces are naturally pretty odd and unfortunately don't fit together in lots of interesting ways. And like the other critical reviewer said: if you attempt to make something that doesn't "lock together" but is only held together by the magnetic attraction, it will be so slippery and flimsy that you can't do anything with it. The magnets are generally very weak, designed only to pull each piece together for the ball.
At this point, I would immediately recommend my favorite desk toy, a cube of neodymium magnet spheres. However, they're very dangerous for young children prone to swallowing them, and not really worth it for any younger kid that can't keep very good track of all 216 magnets (which is very necessary). So, I'll put the decision on you. If you're an adult, I promise you'll enjoy a magnet cube more. If you're buying for a young kid though, this is a good first foray into the world of magnetic tinkering toys.Read more ›
Breakthroughs in effective creativity-inspiring methods seldom occur. Most "new" methods are simply restatements or reshapings of ideas that flourished among the ancient Greeks (such as Heraclitus, a favorite source for Mr. von Oech) or before. Those who are familiar with the earlier work usually don't gain much from the newer approaches. The Ball of Whacks is a happy exception. Heraclitus would say that you can never interact with the Ball of Whacks twice in the same way. And he would be right.
The most valuable creativity-enhancing methods I've experienced usually require having a team work together, with one of the tasks involving making little models or prototypes of creative concepts. I often find myself wishing I could have those experiences more often . . . but seldom having the right people and time to pursue that desire.
Then, I discovered Roger von Oech's Ball of Whacks. Wow!
My frustrations are now behind me.
This is day 8 of working with the Ball of Whacks. It's been quite an education. I can hardly wait to find out what I'll learn on day 9!
When you first see the Ball of Whacks, you won't quite know what to make of it. Open the box, take out the ball, the magnetic stand and the workbook.
Then, let yourself go. Discover what the ball is. To the geometrically inclined, you'll notice that it's a rhombic triacontahedron (try saying that 5 times fast!), a ball-like shape with edges formed by 30 rhombi (a rhombus is a four-sided equilateral with two pairs of parallel sides) that resemble scaled-down versions of an Egyptian pyramid done in red. The ball feels somewhat alive, however.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great time killer while i'm at work.
Always find myself playing with it and creating new shapes.
I bought this as a Christmas present for my 12 year old great-nephew. Kept him busy for quite a while. Read morePublished 3 months ago by CathieQ
Very fun. The whole family loves this one. Even my 3 year old can put it together and has learned all about magnets because of it. My husband loved it as a stocking stufferPublished 4 months ago by AmazonMom
We can't stop playing with this. I was going to take it into my office, but it hasn't left our coffee table since it was purchased. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Julie
there was no ball, with the ball of whacks.
returning the booklet, because sure did not want to pay 23 for a book about the ball of whacks.
I finally purchased this after an especially generous "secret Santa" gave me an Amazon gift card and was on edge to receive it. Read morePublished 7 months ago by charmingphlsphr