What It Is…
It was great to meet up with the Nano Magnetics representatives at Toy Fair again this year. They’re a very personable gang of lab assistants indeed – and why not – they have a great product to demonstrate – Nanodots. These shiny metallic mini-beads are nirvana on Earth for the finger fidgeters and paper clip manglers of the world, like myself. Why? They’re magnetic; described by the company as “kick-ass, take-no-prisoners, juiced-up super magnets… milled from Neodymium, the world’s strongest permanent magnet.” In other words, Nanodots are light years away from those “kissing puppy dogs” you used to get in Crackerjacks boxes.
Even a small handful will have you fiddling for hours, making strings and rings, clicking them together and pulling them apart, flattening and folding. It’s very therapeutic, like scientific rosary beads, but assuming The Doors’ Jim Morrison was right and “you cannot petition the Lord with prayer” you’ll want to move on to craftier possibilities. Try your hand at cajoling the dots into any of a myriad of geometric forms and build from there. That’s where the fun really starts.
Magnetic Expanding Inevitable
You can see from the photo selection that the Nanodot community really gets their game on with simple to spectacular magnetic constructs. This year the company decided to display some user inspired designs at the toy show and even they had some brain twisting to do in order to figure out how a few of the geometrics were achieved. Don’t fret, the Nanodots website has plenty of basic tutorial videos to get you started. Many are by mathematician, and Nanodot guru, Janos Szaki. Even more grandiose constructs can be gleaned from the expanding online Dotpedia Community as you advance.
Nanodots come in an array of finishes from titanium to black, gold, and silver; it’s fun to highlight patterns and components of your constructs with a variety of colors. Basic starter packages include 216 dots and a cloth carrying pouch (don’t leave home without ‘em.) This year the larger “Mega Nanodots” joined the product line. They’re 27X larger than the originals by volume; bigger than a natural pearl but smaller than a Brooklyn grandma’s meatballs and are packed in a reusable storage cylinder.
Also pictured below is Nano Magnetics’ 2011 Guiness World Record winning Golden Globe Award replica. The 600 lb. construction is made up of 550,000 Nanodots.
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