Ball of Whacks

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Invented by Roger von Oech, author of "A Whack on the Side of the Head" and two others, the multiple award-winning Ball of Whacks is a combination of 30 magnetic design blocks that can be used to create countless different shapes.

There have been many of these toys over the years, that enable one's creativity to build new patterns or shapes. I personally, have some of these in my puzzle collection, like the Rubik's Snake, the Rekubus cubes or even the classical Tangram.

So what does the Ball of Whacks have that makes it so special?
...Well, the 30 pieces that make the Ball of Whacks are built with 180 rare earth magnets, that enables you to combine the pieces, in order to create any kind of shape your imagination can think of. It's a great way to exercise and stimulate your brain. The pieces only connect with the faces that perfectly fit together, otherwise they repel. When you're building the ball shape, you can see that the pieces almost connect to each other by themselves.

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What's a Whack?
According to Roger von Oeach, it's a creativity term for "something that stimulates you to think differently".

Each Whack piece's base is a golden rhombus, that is, it conforms to the golden ratio which is 1.618. To prove this, you can measure the long and short diagonals of the base and when you compare them, they'll have a ratio of 1.618, represented by the Greek letter ϕ (phi).

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You can make different challenges with the Whack pieces, for example:
- Close you eyes and imagine a shape. Now, with your eyes still closed start building the shape you have in your mind. When you're done, open your eyes and see if what you just made, is close to what you were thinking of.
- Another challenge is to get a metallic surface to play with the pieces. Because the pieces have magnets, you can build different patterns on the horizontal plane.

There's much more challenges you can make. You'll find them on the 96 page activity book that comes with every Ball of Whacks.

Currently, there's four available color versions of the Ball of Whacks: Red, Blue, Black and 6-Color. There's a different challenge you can make with the 6-Color BOW, which is to make a ball where no Whack piece touches any other piece of the same color.

The Creative Whack Company also has available two other magnetic toys, the X-Ball and the Y-Ball, that you can use to make a wide variety of new shapes, and you can combine them with the Whack pieces to form even crazier patterns.

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In conclusion, the Ball of Whacks exceeded my highest expectations. When I got it, I was very impressed with what you can make with it. It's an ingenious design and extremely addictive. It's a very enjoyable toy that anyone at any age can pick up. Even my mother got fascinated by it, and she's not into puzzles that much. For being a toy that only is limited by your imaginative thinking, it's recommended to anyone that likes to create shapes and patterns with any kind of material and it's very relaxing to just play with it. You can have it anywhere and when you're feeling bored or need to unwind, you can just pick it up and start creating. You'll see that it puts you in a good mood in no time.

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Links

Video - Since there's virtually no video for a Blue BOW on Youtube, I made a small video for this one.

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