If Lego is too mainstream for you, there's a new kid in the construction toy scene to check out. Japanese brand 'Nanoblock', provides a novel construction experience with its miniature-sized blocks (4mm x 4mm x 5mm) which will enable you to construct your set to show even the finest details.
The whole range of Nanoblock sets includes original designs from international companies such as Disney, Sanrio (yes, girls, there are Hello Kitty nanoblocks!) and Nintendo.
Here's a look at some of the pieces.
HOW CUTE ARE THESE?!?!?
For the more adventurous ones, the 'Sights to See' series which include iconic architectural works and infrastructures from around the world, will be right up your alley.
A beautiful Himeji Castle from Japan.
A grand-looking Neuschwanstein Castle from Germany.
Nanoblocks are not as popular as the regular Legos but are slowly gaining popularity among both kids and adults.
I'm not a Nanoblock expert (I wish I was!) but these are some things I've learnt along the way and if you're a beginner 'blocker' or thinking of venturing into the world of Nanoblocks, you might find this helpful!
Tip #1: Check before purchasing
Always check the level of difficulty, and number of pieces (ranges from tens of pieces to thousands) before purchasing the sets to ensure you're comfortable with constructing it.
There are the 80-piece ones...
... to the 150-piece ones... (sorry guys, that isn't a Chilli Crab)
... to an EPIC 3800 pieces!!!!
So my point is, know what you are getting yourself into. It is always easier to start from the simpler blocks and build your confidence and skills up before attempting the sets with larger number of pieces.
Tip #2: Start Small
If you're a beginner, opt for multi-colored sets (around 4-5 colors, e.g Blue Opaline) as they are easier to build as compared to sets that are primarily based in a single color (e.g Polar Bear).
A blue opaline nanoblock that is great for beginners.
The slightly-harder-to-build polar bear nanoblock.
This little dachshund might give you a headache.
Tip #3: Separate by colours
If you are building a multi-coloured set, it will help to separate the pieces according to their colours in little cups or compartments so it will be more organized and easy to locate that particular piece you need!
If you're building a set with little colours, organize them according to length and sizes.
The worst thing that could ever happen while you are constructing your set would be the loss of THAT block. Everything looks fine and dandy but you are just missing that one block to make the set perfect! Or you get stuck at Step 5 because you're missing that block and cannot proceed on to Step 6. You will be so angry with yourself.
I'm a super careless person and these blocks are soooo small I'm afraid my cats would eat them or play with them and I am sure once the blocks are lost, they will never see the daylight again. To prevent the misery and frustration from happening, organize your blocks into a multi-compartmental box. The box will be helpful in facilitating your building process by organizing and storing your precious minuscule blocks safely.
Tip #4: Trust your instincts!
This looks like an emo poster that has been re-blogged 468 times on Tumblr but this quote is extremely relevant to Nanoblocking! The manual does provide a rough guide as to how you're supposed to construct the sets and they can be quite helpful.. to a certain extent.
I'm not too good at deciphering the angles and layout of the printed images on the manual so many times I just refer to it as a main idea and proceed on using my own instincts.
Anyway, if you are halfway through building and you feel "with your heart and soul" (sorry, drama a bit) that something is wrong then do inspect and take a careful and good look before carrying on. If you don't understand the manual or followed the manual religiously without yielding any success, just follow your instincts. Most of the time, your instincts are right.
So there you have it! 4 tips to get your Nanoblocking up and going! Be confident, patient and never give up and you'll soon find yourself addicted to the wondrous world of Nanoblocking.
Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post.