Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal review

The Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal is a magnetic cannon with a few games built in, listed as ages seven and up. I sat down with my seven year old and for the half next hour we spent reading, re-reading, and trying new things to get the cannon part to work.

TL;DR – this is not the enthusiastic review that earns us sales commissions. Not a bad product, but room for improvement and I question how STEM is something that has minimal configuration options and fails to list how the magnetic canon actually functions.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal box

I’m going to say my seven year old was not up to the task and got frustrated very quickly as the diagrams to put the thing together did not align with how she could perceive them. I barely got it either. Something about the A/V-ish shaped semi transparent piece doesn’t look or feel right. We reached the point finally where I had to do most of the building for her as she just wanted to fire the cannon. I’d agreed to build that part so we could see how it fired because … well, that was a mystery.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal cannon in simplest form.
Base cannon. Orange lever will lift ball over and place it in front. Rear ball will come and contact where center ball is and cause polarity of middle ball to reverse, or at least repel the far ball.

It doesn’t say in the documentation how it fires. I’ve asked the PR people who sent it over, I’ve re-read the documentation and the back of the box. There’s not anything that I could find that indicated how this little plastic lever that lifts a ball has anything to do with “bang” which is all the documentation says. I had to google it to find out.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal box contents
What’s in the box

TL;DW is that two magnetic balls go on the front on the firing side, and when a third magnetic ball comes up and touches the plate behind them the center ball changes magnetic polarity and the far ball is thrown using magnetic repulsion. The documentation just says “bang”.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal cannon in simplest form, how it actually works

I do not know if seven-year-olds are being taught magnetic principals of multiple items, or if I am expected to know this, but I did not.

Aerin did not have fun assembling this she said, although the firing was fun for a minute, the games were not.

After you’ve got the thing assembled there are a few games you can play, but they’re just ok. There’s one thing you do with this set and that’s create a cannon and that’s ok, but it feels like with all these pieces you should be able to create something more than just a shooting toy. Like let me make something that propels itself. Turn those wheels sideways and make a rolling terror.

Your kiddo wants a pretty neat magnetic principle demonstration unit that fires metal balls about three feet at most? This is it. I don’t think either of my kiddos were particularly interested in this after a couple of shots however.

I really wish this could build other things, or even using recoil and a tube maybe make something like a limited perpetual motion machine… but eh… firing cannons can be fun I guess.

We’ll give it another go this weekend, but it’s been a hard sell to get the kiddos interested.

You can get the Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal on Amazon for about $30.

Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal

The Geomag Mechanics Challenge Goal is a very well designed, extremely poorly documented, frustrating to assemble children's toy that you'll want to watch a YouTube video on how the thing actually works before you attempt it.

Product Brand: Geomag

Product Currency: USD

Product Price: 29.51

Product In-Stock: InStock

Editor's Rating:
3.2

Pros

  • Demonstrates interesting magnetic principals
  • Well constructed
  • Games could be fun

Cons

  • Documentation lacking
  • Firing cannon principals not explained in shipped documentation
  • Small connector parts

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.