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Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles: The Great Debate, Settled

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Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles is the great toy tile debate, and I’m here to settle it.

Picasso Tiles are a budget version of the brand name Magna-Tiles. Our family has loved Magna-Tiles for years, but you have to admit they’re very expensive.

After a lot of testing and comparing, I’ve come to the conclusion that Picasso Tiles are the better buy. But it’s complicated. Read on for more information and my final recommendation at the very end.

three kids playing with magnatiles
My three kids playing with Magna-Tiles, which we store in the Magna-Tiles storage bin
@twomamabears

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles is the great toy tile debate, and I’m here to settle it. Picasso Tiles are a budget version of the brand name Magna-Tiles. Our family has loved Magna-Tiles for years, but you have to admit they’re very expensive. After a lot of testing and comparing, I’ve come to the conclusion that Picasso Tiles are the better buy. But it’s complicated. Watch on for more information and my final recommendation at the very end. #picassotiles #magnatiles #magnetictoys #magnetictiles #magnatilesvspicassotiles #picassotilesvsmagnatiles #toddlermom #momtok #toddleractivities #productcomparison #debatesettled

♬ RAGE – scraizis

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles Price

Winner: Picasso Tiles

One of the biggest differences between Picasso Tiles and Magna-Tiles is the price.

Differences
100-Piece Set (Retail)
$119.99
$59.98
Price per tile
$1.19
$0.59
Lowest Price in Last 120 Days*
$82.99
$39.99
*I use Honey to look at the price history of Amazon prices. Prices constantly fluctuate on Amazon, and if you time things right, you can get a great deal. This shows you what the lowest tracked price was in the last 120 days. Prime Day is usually a great time to buy items like these.
honey price history of magnatiles
Honey’s price history of Magna-Tiles – the lowest price over the last 120 days was $82.99.

Even when there are sales or Amazon prices fluctuate down, Magna-Tiles is about twice the price of Picasso Tiles.

1 year old playing with magnatiles

Related: 25 Best STEM Toys for 2-Year-Olds

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles Construction Quality

Winner: Magna-Tiles

The construction quality of a magnetic toy is more important than most other toys, because magnets can be dangerous to kids.

magnatiles on top picasso tiles on bottom
Magna-Tile on top; Picasso Tile on bottom

If more than one magnet is ingested, the pulling force can cause serious damage in a child’s digestive system. But are magnetic tiles actually dangerous?

Are Magnetic Tiles Dangerous?

With both of these magnetic tile brands, the risk of ingesting a magnet is pretty slim. Toys that have made headlines have very small pieces that can easily fall out of a toy, like water balloons with small magnetic closures.

Plus, in late 2022, new safety standards were put in place by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that basically banned the sale of high-powered magnet sets.

So, would I be concerned about either of these magnetic tiles causing harm to my kids? Not personally.

But I know plenty of moms who would be concerned, and if that’s the case, Magna-Tiles has higher-quality construction. It uses rivets to secure things together, whereas the Piccasso tiles use glue.

magna tiles vs picasso tiles up close
Picasso Tile on the left; Magna-Tile on the right

Rivets are much stronger than glue, and that distinction can give a lot of peace of mind.

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles Tile Variety

Winner: Magna-Tiles

The types of tiles that come in a magnetic tile set are pretty important for our little engineers. They need variety so they can get creative!

While both brands have many different expansion sets, I first wanted to look at their classic 100-piece tile sets.

The Magna-Tiles set essentially has 5 different tile types:

  • 4 large squares
  • 50 small squares
  • 20 equilateral triangles
  • 11 right triangles
  • 15 isosceles triangles

The Piccasso Tile set has 5 tile types as well, but a different number of each:

  • 8 large square
  • 46 small squares
  • 20 small triangles
  • 12 medium triangles
  • 4 tall triangles

I suppose if you had a real preference for the number of tile types, you could choose one over the other, but I think they’re basically equal.

Magnetic Tile Expansion Sets

Where these tile sets start to differ a bit more is the expansion packs you can purchase.

Magna-Tiles has 32 tile listings on Amazon, and Picasso Tiles has 41, but the variety of the options is very different.

two boys playing with race track magnatiles
My two boys playing with the Magna-Tiles race track expansion set

Here’s a comprehensive look at the expansion pack options from both brands:

Magna-Tiles:

  • Roads
  • Construction
  • Cars
  • Grand prix
  • Stardust
  • Grow-in-the-dark
  • Ice
  • Freestyle
  • Polygons
  • Metropolis
  • Dino world
  • Farm animals
  • Forest animals
  • Jungle animals
  • Safari animals
  • Arctic animals

Picasso Tiles:

  • Ferris wheel
  • Cars
  • Action figures
  • Bricks
  • Race track
  • Gears
  • Alphabet and number inserts
  • Windows and doors
  • Mirrors
  • Castle
  • Supersized

Both brands have some unique options, but the Magna-Tile ones are way more exciting, at least to me.

pushing a car down magnatile racetrack hill
My son playing with the road tiles from Magna-Tiles

I’d much rather get their cool animal or dinosaur sets than tiles that look like bricks. The Magna-Tile options just seem more gift-friendly and excitable.

Are Picasso Tiles and Magna-Tiles Compatible?

One thought would be to purchase the bulk of your magnetic tiles from Picasso Tiles to save some cash and indulge in some of the cool expansion sets from Magna-Tiles.

Picasso Tiles and Magna-Tiles are compatible with each other, but the magnets in each are not exactly the same size. They’re close enough to work, but if you’re OCD, you won’t be happy as they don’t always line up perfectly.

compatability of magna tiles and picasso tiles
Picasso Tile on top; Magna-Tile on bottom

Would your kids care about that? I highly doubt it.

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles Magnetic Strength

Winner: Picasso Tiles

When it comes to magnetic strength, there are two schools of thought:

  • Weaker magnets are better because they pose less of a health risk if accidentally ingested
  • Stronger magnets are better because they make it easier to create cool structures and keep them from collapsing

I’m in the stronger magnets camp because I have no concerns about my children somehow swallowing a magnet from either of these toys.

The tile with the stronger magnet is actually Picasso Tiles. The magnets in them are a little bit bigger, which is probably why they have a slightly stronger force.

magnetic strength difference between magnatiles and picasso tiles
Magnet size difference between Magna-Tiles (left) and Picasso Tiles (right)

The stronger magnets in Picasso Tiles help structures stay together instead of falling down at the lightest of taps.

Picasso Tiles vs Magna-Tiles Durability

Winner: Magna-Tiles

Let’s face it: toddlers can be savages. My kids destroy and break things quite often, and I wouldn’t be surprised if magnetic tiles joined the party.

jack pulling apart square magnatiles

None of my kids has broken any magnetic tile to date, but I still wanted to put them to the test.

I used all of my force to try to break these magnetic tiles in half, and the results aren’t too surprising: the Picasso Tile snapped in half and the Magna-Tile wouldn’t budge.

easy to break picasso tile square

However, it’s reassuring that the pressure points on the Picasso Tile allow it to snap without revealing any of the magnetic pieces.

I don’t believe you could expose the magnets even if you tried.

Should You Choose Picasso Tiles or Magna-Tiles?

Magna-Tiles beats Picasso Tiles when it comes to the actual construction. It’s simply a higher-quality magnetic tile with more durability. Magna-Tiles also has much cooler expansion sets that can spark all kinds of creativity for your toddlers and kids.

But Picasso Tiles excel in two very important categories: price and magnetic strength.

5 year old making a house with magnatiles
My daughter making a house with Magna-Tiles

Are Magna-Tiles twice as good as Picasso Tiles? Not so sure about that.

Picasso Tiles are great for the price, and the strong magnetic pull is a clear advantage. While the way they’re constructed isn’t as good as Magna-Tiles, I’d rather have twice as many tiles for the same amount of dough.

close up of picasso tiles inside box
Picasso Tiles (100-piece set)

Even if your child managed to break a few, you still paid about half of what you would with Magna-Tiles.

So, honestly, I think Picasso Tiles have a slight advantage over Magna-Tiles. If you want to bulk up on magnetic tiles, I’d recommend Picasso Tiles. And if you want to add in some really cool expansion sets and accessories, supplement with Magna-Tiles.

You’ll get the best of both worlds for the best price possible.

Related: The Best Open-Ended Toy Ideas for Christmas Gifting

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