Tangeez – Tangible Lights

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Link to Kickstarter

Who doesn’t like LEDs and LEGO bricks?  Tangeez offers a little of both with stackable blocks that change colors as you stack them.  Better still, they’re made from recyclable plastic.

But what about the batteries?

At around $15 a brick, this construction toy is a little too steep for my blood, but it’s not impossible to imagine success if backers are just looking for a fancy coffee table distraction or night light.  Maybe you can’t make the tower  of blocks that these people are advertising, but it could still be fun to play with.  By connecting a few blocks together (and you’re only getting a few if you’re on the $45 backer plan), you can light up the night in a multitude of different colors that change as you change the blocks’ orientations.

I think the first question anyone should ask for any kind of illumination toy involving multiple self-powered parts is “what kind of battery life do you get”?

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Tangeez Kickstarter page makes no mention of the battery life of their devices or even what kind of batteries they use.  Images show a small slot in the base presumably meant for a coin-turned-wrench to twist open the bottom, but alas, no battery is pictured.

I’m surprised nobody has asked about this yet as I can imagine it’d be quite a pain to keep up with the ever dying batteries of a large collection of these guys.  Presumably the batteries will all stay in synch at the beginning, but over time you might get to a point where a hand full die every time you pull them out to play.

I think it’s great that these folks considered the environment when deciding to mold them out of recyclable plastic, but I’d be interested to see what kind of environmental impact a large collection of dead batteries will have.

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{ 6 comments to read ... please submit one more! }

  1. they should also consider in their design the ASTM F963 toy standards, if this is intended for child use, for securing battery doors using a screw to prevent little ones from ingesting easily accessible batteries.

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