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My son loves trying to assemble things, whether its magnetic tiles, wooden blocks or putting plastic shapes together. At home, we have Mega Bloks and Lego Duplo for our two children to play with, so for this article I thought I’d do a detailed comparison of the two products.
Mega Bloks is designed for toddlers up to when children are around 5 years old. They feature larger blocks which are easier to put together. Lego Duplo is for older toddlers and above, as they contain smaller pieces which are harder for babies to connect together.
Why should you consider Mega Bloks or Lego Duplo?
You should consider buying Mega Bloks or LEGO Duplo for your toddler as these toys are a great way for children to practise some key developmental skills, as well as simply enjoying themselves.
- Mega Bloks and LEGO Duplo are specifically designed for babies and toddlers, so you can confidently leave your child to play with them without fearing that they’ll choke on any of the bricks.
- Playing with this type of toy allows toddlers to practise their fine motor skills as they are learning how to grasp things securely with their little hands, as well as learning how to build.
- Your toddler will learn how things fit together, which improves their spatial reasoning. They can build houses, castles, towers and other objects.
- Mega Bloks and LEGO Duplo are both very diverse, so your toddler will be able to enjoy a range of products (such as new colors and shapes) within each brand.
What is the main difference between them?
Mega Bloks and LEGO Duplo are very similar products, but there are some key factors that distinguish them from one another. The main difference is that Mega Bloks are recommended for younger children and older children alike (1-5 years), whereas children should only play with LEGO Duplo when they are around 18 months old and older. LEGO Duplo is smaller and more compact than Mega Bloks, which is why it is recommended for slightly older toddlers.
Pros and cons of Mega Bloks
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of Mega Bloks.
What age are they for?
Mega Bloks are designed for kids aged between 12 months to 5 years. Thanks to the large size of the bricks and the fact that they fit together loosely, they are safe to play with for babies of 12 months and older.
- Variety: Mega Bloks are great for toddlers as they come with many different colors in each set. You can also add extra products to keep your child interested.
- Themes: You can purchase a themed set such as an Angry Bird or Hello Kitty set, making the experience more unique for your toddler. This makes Mega Blloks great for a birthday or Christmas present, as you can never run out of themed sets to buy for your child.
- Cost: Mega Bloks are very affordable, which means they are more accessible for parents across the board. However, this will depend on the set that you purchase, as themed sets are more expensive than classic sets.
- Quality: You get what you pay for, and this means that you are opting for worse quality when you purchase Mega Bloks over LEGO Duplo. Mega Bloks are more likely to deteriorate faster than LEGO Duplo, so you may find that you don’t get your money’s worth after a few years. This is not always true, as Mega Bloks are still durable and can last for many years, but it’s something to keep in mind as you really need to look after the pieces properly.
- Loose-fitting blocks: As the blocks are fairly loose-fitting, Mega Bloks loses points for accuracy. This is particularly a disadvantage for older children, who may become frustrated with blocks coming apart easily.
Pros and cons of Lego Duplo
Here are some of the strengths and weaknesses of Lego Duplo.
What age are they for?
LEGO Duplo is designed for children between 18 months and 5 years of age.
- Reputation: Everyone knows LEGO for its high-quality products, so when you purchase LEGO Duplo for your child, you can be rest assured that it will be very durable. This means there is more chance LEGO Duplo will last for many years, allowing you to either pass it on to another child, donate it, or recycle it.
- Tight-fitting blocks: This allows for more accurate building, which is beneficial for older children who are getting more creative when they assemble the different shapes and pieces.
- Cost: It is well known that LEGO products are not cheap, so you will have to keep in mind that LEGO Duplo is going to cost a lot more than Mega Bloks. However, it is possible to purchase a cheaper LEGO Duplo set if you look for the right deals and aim for the classics rather than themes.
- Tight-fitting blocks: This can be a disadvantage as well as an advantage, as it can be tricky for young toddlers to get the hang of building with these blocks. Though they are likely to grasp it with practice, if your toddler is easily frustrated, they may give up before they get better.
Detailed Comparison – Mega Bloks vs Lego Duplo
Here’s a side-by-side look at both products and how they compare with each other.
Both Mega Bloks and LEGO Duplo are made from plastic, which means they are safe for toddlers to play with, and they allow your child to build easily and accurately. However, it has to be said that the quality of LEGO Duplo is superior as the plastic is more durable.
Mega Bloks are larger than LEGO Duplo, which is why many parents opt for the former for their younger toddlers. In terms of a direct comparison, a block of LEGO Duplo is around four times smaller than a Mega Blok piece.
Assembling and dismantling LEGO Duplo requires more skill as the blocks fit more tightly together, making them more difficult to pull apart. On the other hand, Mega Bloks are very easy to dismantle, but this also means they don’t fit together as well.
Both Mega Bloks and LEGO Duplo rank high in compatibility as you can purchase many extra products from these brands, such as figures and themed blocks. There are always new sets coming out that may appeal to your child, particularly if they are into popular franchises such as The Simpsons or Harry Potter.
LEGO Duplo is sold at a higher price than Mega Bloks. For example, for a bag of classic LEGO Duplo blocks, you could be paying around $24, compared to just $15 for Mega Bloks. However, it goes without saying that these prices vary depending on where you purchase the blocks from.
Both products are extremely safe for young children as they are made out of robust plastic and their large size does not present a choking hazard. However, overall Mega Bloks are slightly safer for young toddlers as they are larger.
Which is better for toddlers?
Mega Bloks are better for toddlers as they are much easier to assemble and disassemble, meaning your toddler can happily play with Mega Bloks independently and practise their fine motor skills without your intervention. They are also larger which is less concerning in terms of choking risks.
Which is better for young children?
LEGO Duplo is the better option for young children as they are higher quality and tight-fitting, which makes for a better building experience for an older child, who is capable of assembling and disassembling the blocks without parental guidance.
Are Mega Bloks compatible with Lego Duplo?
Yes, Mega Bloks are compatible with LEGO Duplo to an extent. If you can’t decide which one to purchase, you could combine the two and give your child the experience of building with both types of blocks and many different themes. It’s important to note that you can place Mega Bloks on LEGO Duplo blocks, but the same cannot be said for building on Mega Bloks with a LEGO Duplo block.
What can you do with old Mega Bloks or Lego Duplo?
The best thing to do with old Mega Bloks or LEGO Duplo blocks is to donate them to charity and allow another child to enjoy them, as these blocks tend to stay in good shape for many years if you look after them. Another option is to keep the blocks if you believe you will be having another child, or even if someone else in the family will be having one soon. However, if you have LEGO Duplo blocks that are in poor condition, you can recycle them through the LEGO website as part of the brand’s pledge to be sustainable.
What can you buy after Lego Duplo?
When your child has moved on from LEGO Duplo, you could introduce them to a LEGO Juniors set, as they are more advanced than Duplo but they are still designed with young children in mind. The blocks are the same size as standard LEGO blocks, so your child will get the LEGO experience, but the designs are much simpler.
Graham is a father of two who founded Dadometer to share his parenting journey with other moms and dads.