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LASER PEGS – construction toys with lights

by admin on December 2, 2014

in Other Large Brands

While shopping for LEGO at various retailers you may have run into a brand called LASER PEGS. They are usually placed in the same isle as LEGO, or somewhere close by. You will noticed on the boxes that the elements look very similar to LEGO (same size bricks, knobs on top, etc.), but the pieces are all translucent and the whole kit lights up. So how does this brand compares to LEGO? And can LEGO fans get anything out of LASER PEGS to enhance their LEGO creations? Below I will show you some of the LASER PEGS sets I tried out and what I think of them, so if you have been considering checking out this brand, follow along. 🙂

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LASER PEGS advertises itself as The Ultimate Construction Toy For Kids. The sets come in sleek black boxes with an image of the sets themselves. Each set comes with instructions for several models. In all of LASER PEGS sets the included construction elements look exactly the same as regular LEGO pieces; bricks, plates, slopes, wheels, etc. However all of the elements are translucent; either clear, or some other tinted translucent color like yellow, orange, red, purple, blue and green. The reasons for the translucent elements is to make sure that the light can shine through each of the pieces.

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Besides the regular construction elements each set contains a power-base. This is a special part that includes batteries, or connects with an AC-adapter to a regular wall-outlet. Some of the power bases are large, and you can either build on top of them like on a base, or just use them as a remote control for your creation. A couple of these large bases also have wheels attached so you can use them as the body of a vehicle. There are also smaller power bases called Mobile Power Source. These can only operate with batteries, but can be full encased into a LEGO creation as they are quite small (about the size of a 2×6 brick).

LASER PEGS Review - Power Bases

No matter which power-base you use, you will be connecting it to what the company calls “Laser Pegs”. These are special parts with a LED inside, and they can also be connected to other Laser Pegs to create a chain of elements that all light up. Some of the Laser Pegs are shaped like a 2×4 brick with studs, and others are like tubes or pipes to create curved and angled connections (these don’t have studs). You can basically create a daisy-chain of Laser Pegs and surround them with regular construction elements.

LASER PEGS Review

LASER PEGS has a whole range of sets – mostly various vehicles and critters and some educational sets. They also have officially licensed National Geographic kits, and Major League Baseball model kits. Each set includes instructions for one model and alternate instructions can be downloaded from their website. And of course, just like with LEGO bricks, you can build from your own imagination. Even the smallest sets include enough parts to build alternate models and you can also mix them with LEGO elements.

LASER PEGS REVIEW 2

As far as the quality of the sets, the boxes do look really good on the outside; nice, modern, colorful design on a sleek dark-gray/black background. The inside of the box unfortunately screams “Made in China”. The plastic bags the parts are secured in are ugly, and the instructions look exactly like the ones you receive with inexpensive assemble-it-yourself furniture; cheap foldout paper with poor quality gray/black printing and tiny text. For the smaller sets this is not such a big problem as there aren’t very many steps, but for the larger ones it is literally a pain in the neck.

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I have made numerous mistakes assembling one of the larger sets simply because I had trouble following the instructions. It was not fun. And here comes my second criticism of the sets. All of the boxes say for ages 5 and up, but there is no way a 5-year-old would be able to follow these instructions. The smaller sets most likely, but not the larger ones. This company just haven’t done their homework testing out these sets on real kids of different age groups. Every time I review these LEGO-wanna-be brands I appreciate how much thought and care LEGO puts in all aspects of their own sets; design, user-friendliness, part and color choices, testing with the target audience, boxes, instructions, packaging, etc. Below is a LASER PEGS commercial – kind of goofy, but gives you an idea on how the sets look.

As I have mentioned, the construction pieces in the LASER PEGS sets look exactly the same as LEGO elements. They essentially highjacked the designs of all basic LEGO parts (plates, bricks, slopes, etc.). The pieces do fit well, and have a nice feel to them. I believe they are made of the same type of plastic as LEGO’s own translucent parts. The issue is though that since all elements are translucent it is hard to separate them. The kind of plastic used for translucent parts is not as flexible as ABS plastic – this is why you rarely see LEGO stacking translucent parts on top of each other. However here all of the pieces are translucent, so having a LEGO brick-separator around while using this brand is a must. The power-bases and the connections of the Laser Pegs work fine. You never want to immerse them in water though.

LASER PEGS REVIEW 1

Once you assemble the set you turn on the light to either steady or blinking, and it looks fun. But that’s about it. From a LEGO fan’s perspective the design of the sets is hideous compared to LEGO sets; basically something a 3-year-old would put together. The color choices are also about that of a 3-year-old; a psychedelic nightmare (no offense to 3-year-olds – they are awesome little people!). But the sets do light up, and that’s cool. So all-in-all, I would say that if you are buying this for a child who is fascinated with lights and likes construction toys, I would say give it a try. There are no issues besides the ones I mentioned above, the quality of the pieces is good, and they are compatible with LEGO.

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Of course the biggest question for older LEGO fans is are these sets and pieces have any use in our hobby? I do like the Mobile Power Source that you can get in the smaller sets. It is fairly small and can be used for lighting up LEGO creations, and is a good alternative to LEGO’s own light-bricks, offering more color choices. I also like that the power-bricks can be connected to create a whole chain of bricks that are lit up – something LEGO light-bricks can’t do. I was also considering that the tube-style Laser Pegs may be useful as lights inside LEGO buildings, but the tubes are actually pretty thick (somewhere between the diameter of a 1×1 and a 2×2 round LEGO brick), so it would have to be a quite a large building to use these in. Here are a couple of pictures of how LEGO and LASER PEGS can be combined.

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If you are interested in trying out LASER PEGS you can visit their website at LaserPegs.com. For LEGO fans I particularly recommend the Laser Pegs section where you can get the elements with lights by the piece, and the power-bases section with all the options for powering the lights. And of course you can also get the full kits. LASER PEGS is also available at select retailers (find one near you at their website) and they have a dedicated store on Amazon with most of their kits: LASER PEGS ON AMAZON

LASER PEGS ON AMAZON

I hope this review helped you a bit in case you were curious about LASER PEGS. And if you have bought any of the LASER PEGS sets before and would like to share your own thoughts and opinion feel free to do so in the comment section below. 😉

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Micho December 2, 2014 at 11:30 AM

These are great and all, and it’s nice to see them winning the compatibility award. Sadly, MOST LEGO enthusiasts will not work with an off-brand (myself included), so no matter how great the product is, we probably will not buy it if it is not branded LEGO. What doesn’t help these upcoming off-brands is that most contests will disqualify you if you include non-Lego elements in your entries.

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admin December 2, 2014 at 11:35 AM

That’s a really-really good point about the contests. Thanks for mentioning that. I mainly wrote this article because I know that people will run into this brand during their Christmas shopping and might be curious because the boxes do look nice and practically everyone likes to play with lights. The quality is not bad, and for novelties sake it may be worth checking out one of the smaller sets, but yeah, most LEGO fans would stay away from non-LEGO brands, and I totally understand. I do the same – except for products from LEGO customizers. 😉

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ninja of stealth December 2, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Yeah there cool. But I agree with what Micho said, If it’s not LEGO, its not mine. 😀

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LegoUniverse Bob December 2, 2014 at 12:24 PM

I haven’t seen this I and I don’t really mind if I do, as I’m not going to get it. Hopefully I don’t get these instead of LEGO for Christmas, as anyone could just run into it and be curious if I like it or not. 🙄

By the way, what’s with the ‘Current ye@r*’ thing? I don’t really like how I have to replace 2.6 by 2014…

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admin December 2, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Yeah, you have to educate relatives and friends that you want LEGO only please. I have had to do that before. I have no idea what you mean by “Current ye@r thing”. 😕

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admin December 2, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Okay, I figured it out. There was a plugin we use that had an update a few days ago that messed things up a bit. It has been fixed, however since your browser keeps a cached version of websites you visit, you need to clear your cache. Just hit the button CTRL and the button F5 (it is in the top row of your keyboard) at the same time, and that will serve a fresh version of the site for you and the year box should go away. That should fix your problem. 🙂

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Jake December 2, 2014 at 5:55 PM

My grandmother bought me a Light Bricks kit one time. All I have to say about it is that it’s interesting. Its not really something I’m all that interested in, but I spent a few minutes messing with it.

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ninja of stealth December 3, 2014 at 1:49 PM

I have that too. maybe it’s because both of our internet’sets? …whatever-its-called is outdated.

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admin December 3, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Hm… what browser are you using? That box should not be visible to humans. It is there to keep out spammers and keep our community safe.

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Kim December 2, 2014 at 2:39 PM

These look interesting. Light solutions for towns look fun. I don’t plan on building for competition but if I did, I’d just leave out the other stuff. But for my own personal city, meant to make me happy, not everyone else, I make exceptions for non-Lego things. My G.I. Joe Kre-o may even come and invade Legoland someday. =D

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laser pegs January 5, 2015 at 3:43 PM

Kim,
We would love for you to try them out! We have some great kits with the Mobile Power Source, http://www.laserpegs.com/product-category/kits/mps/ we only have one of these kits left in stock as of today, but it happens to be my favorite! The MPS Cars. The MPS Kits use a small (thumb size) Powerbase that does not light up, but is meant to be a “handle” for the individual kits. We also have the Zippy Do powerbase line, http://www.laserpegs.com/product-category/kits/zippy-do/. The Zippy Do line, the powerbase lights up and also come with at least 1 Laser Peg for more lighted parts.
Use the coupon code MASHUP to save 15% on your order as our gift to you to help you see if they are for you.
Thank you for your valuable time and feedback!
Tim

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BLProductions December 2, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Transparent parts mean you can lose them easily. I know because my brother has a helicopter from Laser Pegs that he got a few years ago; I’m not sure what has become of it. 😕 He still has the light parts, though.
Also, my brother watched some 2015 Technic sets videos (by Sariel), and it turns out there are a lot more new Technic pieces than I originally thought. Mainly (and I knew it would happen) the opposite of this year’s Con. Bush 2M. It can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIPYdXmFf-s . I have been waiting for this, now for the 4M Peg! 😐

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BLProductions December 2, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Off-topic, but LEGO Shop seems to be messed up. The listings show the products in reference to how they were on Sunday. That is, all the sets that sold out yesterday are again available, and all the sets that came out yesterday are labelled “coming soon 1st Dec.” I’ve reloaded the pages multiple times, with no change. Correction: the S@H home page is proper, but all the themes are wrong. Is anyone else having this problem? 😕

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admin December 2, 2014 at 10:38 PM

It seems to be working for me. I do see the new 2015 products in the City, Creator and Technic categories. They show up as available and the themes seem to be fine too. I don’t see anything unusual. Maybe it was just a short glitch? 😕

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BLProductions December 3, 2014 at 9:02 AM

Apparently so. Everything again shows up properly, although the condition of the Galaxy Squad sets is almost heartbreaking. And I can’t order the Obliterator from my hotel, my mom will go berserk, I’m sure. Hopefully it makes it to Sunday…. 😕 Also a new theme has been added: BIONICLE. It claims there are 13 sets, but when you click on it it takes you to the home page. Maybe that will be resolved in a few days. 😐

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admin December 3, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Oh, nice to see the BIONICLE theme there! I’m sure they are still working on it, but this is a sign that we should be seeing them shortly. 😛

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laser pegs January 5, 2015 at 3:32 PM

BLProductions,
We want to let you know our 2015 core line and all others will be containing tinted bricks only, in addition to the clear and half tinted/half clear Laser Pegs.
You can see 2 of those kits here:
http://www.laserpegs.com/shop/liteboard/tinted-dragon/
http://www.laserpegs.com/shop/kits/tinted-space-fighter/
The Dragon set is being discontinued due to cost to consumer, but the Space Fighter will live on.
We agree, tinted parts look cooler and are easier to find. They will still be transparent and look twice as cool when lit up!
🙂
Thank you for your feedback,
Tim

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Crazybricks December 3, 2014 at 9:07 AM

I agree the instructions are hard to follow there is deffinetly no way a five year old would be able to understand the instructions

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laser pegs January 5, 2015 at 3:28 PM

We feel kids 5+ can play with and enjoy Laser Pegs.
They can use their imagination and build to their hearts content!
How old were you guys when you got your first LEGO or clone set? I personally was about 3-4 when I got some LEGO parts, however, I don’t recall if it was an actual, boxed set, or if someone merely gave them to me. The point is, kids that are bright enough not to eat the pieces can play with the kits. Older kids will follow the instructions while younger ones will “freestyle” and build awesome, imaginative creations before attempting the instructions.
Thank you all for your valuable time and feedback. We appreciate you.
Tim

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kyle December 8, 2014 at 11:12 PM

My power base quit working about a month after I got it 🙁

It’s too bad, since I don’t really find Lego’s ability to create a lighting system all that great. I have created a Lego city with a subway level and really need good lighting.

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admin December 8, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Kyle, I would suggest you call their customer service. They should replace that for you.

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laser pegs January 5, 2015 at 3:23 PM

Hi Kyle!
I’m sorry we overlooked this until now.
Did you ever give us a call to get your powerbase sorted out?
941.371.0909 or send an email to support@laserpegs.com or fill the form out here: http://www.laserpegs.com/contact/ and we’ll get you taken care of and make you happy.
Thank you!
Tim

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Anne January 16, 2015 at 7:39 AM

Just to be clear – the Laser Pegs must be connected to each other and the first block must be connected to the base, correct? In other words if I put together a laser peg/Lego/laser peg sequence then the second laser peg and this following won’t light up? My grandsons aren’t old enough to care about using only Legos but would be frustrated by this constraint and the need to stay connected to a base. The truly ultimate construction toy would have solid bricks with current but no light so that you could isolate the lighted elements.

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admin January 16, 2015 at 11:31 AM

Anne, some of the round pegs are only carriers. Meaning they carry the current but don’t light up themselves. Light could also be channeled by building a solid color barrier around an element that lights up but you don’t want to show. It is a good way to learn about both electricity and light. As far as being connected to a base, the smallest light source is actually quite small, so it can be incorporated into vehicles and other creations without having to stay stationary. The recommended age for the sets is 5+, although as I have mentioned in the review, I think this is way off for the larger sets. The small ones should be fine for a five-year-old though. Those are the ones that are more “fun” meaning the light-source is small and mobile. There are much more sophisticated light solutions for LEGO, however those are meant for older kids and adults. Hope this helps some. 🙂

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