Building blocks are one of those toys that just about every kid in every generation played with in one form or another – whether that's the classic wooden bricks, the satisfying Lego or the digital worlds of Minecraft. Now Antsy Labs has introduced its own spin on the toy with Pixl, a set of building blocks with tiny embedded magnets to keep them stacked in 3D models or lined up in pixelated 2D artworks.
Magnetic blocks might not be completely groundbreaking, but Antsy Labs brags about a few things that apparently set Pixl apart. The rare-earth neodymium magnets embedded in them are stronger than those you'd normally find in toys like this, and the team says they're also able to automatically adjust their polarity to stick together without ever repelling each other.
The Pixl set comes in a few different-sized blocks. The base unit is the 1-block, a tiny cube that looks to be smaller than a die. As you'd expect, the 2-block and 3-block are the same size as two or three 1-blocks in a line, while the rectangular 6-block is the equivalent of two rows of three. Sticking these different sizes together looks like it opens up a pretty wide range of things to build – it depends on your own creativity, of course.
Pixl blocks are all available in 52 colors, including black and white, as well as different shades of grey, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, beige and brown. That palette is divided into 13 different packs, each of which includes five different shades of one "core" color from that list. Except the black and white packs – those are just purely what they say on the tin. If you're after a bit more variety, the rainbow pack mixes in eight different colors.
Along with the blocks themselves, Antsy Labs has a few other accessories in the works. The Pixl Canvas is a magnetic base that holds your creations in place while building or displaying them, and comes in a range of sizes from 7 x 7 up to 63 x 63. And if the magnets aren't doing what they're told, the Pixl Wand can realign their polarity in one direction, by tapping it to a block.
If you're looking for inspiration, Antsy Labs also plans to release a companion app. With that, the company hopes that users will swap and share designs, and apparently it will also be able to convert uploaded images into pixelated blueprints ready to be built with the blocks.
Antsy Labs is currently funding Pixl through Kickstarter, where it smashed its US$15,000 target in just a few hours, and is currently heading towards the $120,000 mark with 46 days still remaining on the campaign. Pledges start at $16 for three Pixl Packs (which include multiples of one type of block), $19 for a Pixl Starter Pack or $37 for the Builder Pack, both of which include several blocks of different types and a Pixl Canvas.
If all goes to plan, you'll be building out of Pixls by February 2019. Check out the campaign video below.
Source: Antsy Labs
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