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Better Blocks TV Exclusive Building Set: What could possibly be the truth. Does actually work with LEGO - (Read 4,821 Times)
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Post Icon Posted: Feb 6th, 2010 at 11:34 pm

As a late Christmas gift, I got a set of Better Blocks that was bought on eBay and was once sold on TV from 1992 to around 1997. This set was not sold in any stores and stands out more than the Better Blocks sets that were later available in stores.

That set had to be one ordered from TV because this is the original box:

My older brother's friend's younger brother has that exact same set and I have seen it before and played with it before back before I got my two 200-piece Glow In The Dark Better Blocks sets for Christmas and before I ever found the glow ones at Wal-Mart.

The contents in the box are a plastic bag that was sealed but I tore the contents out of the bag to inventory the set and it came with the instructions. The box said it was dated 1992 like on the commercial, but the instructions were dated 1993.

The commercial said the set had 170 pieces and later 173 pieces (same 170 pieces as on the 1992 commercial) and the box said 171 pieces, but when I tore open the sealed bag, it actually contained 246 pieces - an amount that was not in any Better Blocks sets that were sold in any store since the sets I have seen at Toys 'R' Us were the 250 piece, 500 piece, and 1,250 piece sets of the rainbow colors.

The commercial showed the top connectors in red, yellow, green, and blue and the instructions showed the bottom connectors in red, yellow, green, blue, and black. In all Better Blocks rainbow color sets, the top connectors were only in black and the bottom connectors were only in white.

So, for inventory, on TV, the set contained:
Basic Blocks: 130 pieces - 32 red, 34 yellow, 32 green, and 32 blue
Round Blocks: 12 pieces - 3 red, 3 yellow, 3 green, and 3 blue
Universal Blocks: 6 pieces - red only
Top Connectors: 16 pieces - 4 red, 4 yellow, 4 green, and 4 blue
Bottom Connectors: 6 pieces - white only
Tools: 1 piece - white only

The actual set contained:
Basic Blocks: 193 pieces - 40 red, 56 yellow, 32 green, 54 blue, and 17 black
Round Blocks: 21 pieces - 7 red, 6 yellow, 4 green, and 4 blue
Universal Blocks: 10 pieces - 1 red, 2 yellow, 5 green, and 2 blue
Top Connectors: 10 pieces - black only
Bottom Connectors: 10 pieces - white only
Tools: 2 pieces - white only

For the models in the 36-page instruction booklet, I was able to build the bracelet, dog, necklace, crown, man, basketball hoop, and monster successfully.

I had to do color substitutions for the snail, wristwatch, bumble bee, caterpillar, bird, airplane (requires standard bricks), arm bands, leg bands, spider, flower, racecar, mobile phone, and bendable man.

The set cannot make the road, table and chairs (requires standard bricks), leg shields, grid iron chest protector/space vest, grid iron helmet/space helmet, treasure chest, handbag, bulldozer, castle, robot (requires standard bricks), and tank (requires standard bricks) because it required more than one set which means I will have to mix those with my 250 and 500 piece rainbow sets I got from back when I was a kid.

For the feel and quality of the pieces, they have a feel a lot like the ratchet parts inside of a VHS tape and the tubes can easily break if they either get stepped on or caught in a door like what happened with one of my Glow In The Dark Better Blocks I got for Christmas in 1994. I should know about this since I have played with Better Blocks since age 9 but I have never ordered a set from TV, only bought sets from stores.

Overall, I give this set a 9.5 out of 10 because it is a nice small set to start with and an incredible breakthrough to discover what the set really contained but I have played with Better Blocks for years and I cannot build any of the large models shown in the booklet without using any of my store-bought Better Blocks to go with my rare TV-exclusive set.
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Post Icon Posted: Feb 10th, 2010 at 04:51 pm

These things intrigue me. Thanks for the review.
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Bloks Forum member since 5/10/09
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Post Icon Posted: Feb 11th, 2010 at 08:10 pm

Your welcome. I am still looking for other Better Blocks sets that were only available from TV and never sold in any stores. They were pretty interesting and pretty hard to find on eBay.
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