Thursday, October 18, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Jeliku? Jeli-Cool? Jeli-Cute? Jeli-Creative? There Are NO Wrong Answers! ($225 Giveaway Value)

Believe it or not, this is made of five separate multicolored folding puzzles. Five lucky winners will have it shipped free to their home.  This is our first holiday feature story.  Thank you Kris Kringle!  photo:

WHAT: Jeliku by
DOES: Use unique folding structure to make a million things;  Fun as one or fun as multiples; Intriguing pretend play toy; Satisfying Fidget; Very Portable; Lightweight but sturdy 
INVEST: MSRP  $5-7 for Version 1 of Jeliku; $8-10 Version 2 of Jeliku
TOOLS:  Express Yourself, More Make-Believe Please, Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, Holiday/Birthday Build-Uponner
AGES: 3+ 
GIVEAWAY: 5 Jeliku "Pentagon" (each box of one Pentagon is a $45 value: 5 Jeliku Puzzles Are Folded into One Pentagon) complete with its own case.  (U.S. giveaway only)  A $225 total value!!!!  DETAILS BELOW 

Sometimes I feel like there are two kinds of creativity when it comes to building and making things.   Number 2 Son doesn't like to build structurally complex things but at the same time, he can still impress himself with his symbolic creativity.
When I got my first email about Jeliku, a company that had recently presented at the New York International Gift Fair,  I saw the pictures and thought they were cute but I didn't see too many possibilities beyond the Think-Fidget category.  Before they sent me a review unit, in the politest way possible, I told the good folks at the Taiwanese-based Jeliku company that a review was not guaranteed.  If the testers didn't like it, I would have felt terrible since international shipping is so expensive. Luckily for us they sent it anyway.  I'M SO GLAD THEY DID!

Ever watch a child's eyes light up when they see a new toy?  Actually, I don't really think their eyes are "lighting up."  Rather, I think their eyes are moving so quickly as if the eyes are giving off its own energy.   I'm not the only one who thinks so.  Researchers have also found that people's eyes move more when they are thinking.  Whatever you may believe, I saw my children's eyes dancing as they stared and played with Jeliku.  While I couldn't read their minds, I'm quite certain they were gleefully asking themselves, "What can I make this become?" 

One Jeliku can make a house, a giraffe, a cell phone holder, a swan...  photo: Jeliku

Look what you can do with several Jeliku!  I think this is nicknamed Bumblebee (Transformers)  photo: Jeliku

Imagine if making Jeliku robots was your job.. Oh, I want that job!!!   photo: Jeliku

Open-Ended Building Can Lead to Confidence

I love how the kids were getting to know the Jeliku not just with their eyes but with their hands.   It's kind of like the way babies take information from mouthing things, right?  Jeliku is so great for the tactile/kinesthetic/spatial learner because those kids register information better that way.  I think many many children are still learning everything in this multi-sensory manner.  The end product from this form of discovery is very intuitive because as David Wells from the New York Hall of Science once said to me, building toys are constantly challenging youThe kids are the one who adjust their own level of difficulty.  Parents can not speed it up or slow it down.  You just have to leave them kids alone.  

Moreover, because these are so amorphous and thus designed and defined in the mind of an individual, the golden rule of creative building definitely applies here.  That is, THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS!   So brilliant!

Number 2 Son made one of these for his Dad.  I was like, "Hey, where the heck is mine?"  Why do Dads only get the cool tools?  He better not make me a potholder!

I like that it takes some dexterity to make the really cool stuff. photo: Jeliku

There are photos, instructions, and YouTube videos to help kids make what they want.  photo: Jeliku

Simple structures always look good in black and white! photo: Jeliku

You can actually fold and create your own Jeliku structure online too!  It's a very good depiction of spatial reasoning in action!  Amazing!!!!  Click here to play.

A Word About Material

Sometimes I think our love affair with wooden toys can sometimes blind us to other examples of good toy design.  Material does matter and in this case, the material must be nylon.  The only things that I know that are made of nylon are my super duper favorite HQ Kites and Airgliders but also something that I rely on to be really tight and tough.... my control-top pantyhose!!!!  All of these things must be TIGHT and must be TOUGH if they are going to do their job.  Because Jelikus must be constantly bent and folded and rotated, they must be made of a material that will not loosen easily over time.  

Additionally, there is a page that shows that Jeliku passed a bunch of safety tests but I must confess, I have no idea how to read them except that I can read the word "PASS" often.  Looks good to me. Check it out here if you like.

We have bent all 11 of our Jelikus for the past month on an almost daily basis and they still feel like they did when we first got them out of the packaging.  Honestly, even though this toy is not that expensive, if they do not retain the shape in which a child bends them, this toy wouldn't work for them so please make sure that when you find a Jeliku (the toys have "" and "Made in Taiwan" imprinted on it).  

Bird? photo: Jeliku

Fan.  Love this one! I think you have to have six rainbow colored Jeliku (colors probably should be in same order, check with the company)  photo: Jeliku

photo: Jeliku
This is my absolute favorite!  I only have one green one though!  Darn!   photo: Jeliku

Jeliku is Social And Self-Expressive

The kids don't care what the material it is.  All they want to do is pick it up and play with it.  I love how they don't question why something stays still after it is bent. (It really does stay still unless you are challenging the forces of balance and gravity.)  I love to watch them make stuff and then name them.  Each "creation" makes me smile.   You get to know your kids a little more.  I really mean that.  I think they like that reaction from the grown-ups too.  They don't look at you when they tell you what they've made but you can see them fill up with pride.  It's very special.  

I also really like the Jeliku because like skateboarding and Lego building, a child can do a half-parallel and half-interactive play with another child.  That is, while you are clearly working on your own thing, you are also doing it with a goal to share your experience with another person.   This kind of social play is very comfortable for lots of kids.  We don't always have to do group work to be in a group.   Sometimes the exchanging and expressing of ideas is what is the best part of being in a group. 

Number 1 Son made this for me.  It's a drill.  How cute! 

Number 2 Son is chilling out with his best buddy who is a different kind of builder than he is. They both learn from each other and while there are tons of toys around them, Jelikus are a top favorite when they are together.

We brought Jelikus to a restaurant and it kept Number 2's friend quite busy!   I forgot what he called this but how cute is the Oblo Puzzle Sphere holder?  He made this himself and he's just four!  Cute!!!

This is cute too, isn't it?  My son's buddy made a "shoot-inator"?  Forgot what he called this.  All I know is that he is a big fan of Phineas and Ferb.

It's just a bunch of right angles but it looks so cool! I don't know why Number 2 had to put his finger inside.
Of course Number 1 Son, the Beyblader, made a spinning top. Look at the middle part!  It's like it's not moving!   My son learned this on Jeliku's YouTube channel.  This is his own video here.

Seen enough?  Now we have to help each other out... Let's get Version 2 sold in the U.S.!  Shall we?  Version 1 is already sold here but I love Version 2!!!!   Are you with me?  I think they are going to make excellent school fundraiser sales (much better than HFCS chocolate bars).  They'll also keep fidgety hands busy in the supermarket and in the car and most importantly, they will be excellent tools to grow young people's imaginations. (Grown-ups too!)

You can help AND try to win your own Fabulous Jeliku Pentagon (5 puzzles total see video above) all at the same time!- You can't get this package yet in the U.S. so consider this super special!!!!   We're getting ready for the holidays so why not be special?  My goal is to make this more available to all of us so write in your comments on this post please!!!    There is a big international toy fair starting tomorrow and so hopefully someone will hear our voices!  To me this is a perfect gift for any age person!!!  For now, you can buy multiple versions of the Version 1 Jeliku which is slightly smaller than the 2nd version.  See my Amazon links below.

There are five of these for Toys are Tools readers.  This package is not yet available in the U.S. but you can still purchase individual first versions of Jeliku on Amazon.   photo: Jeliku

Try the Rafflecopter widget below and remember... please follow the rules... If you are supposed to make a comment on the blog post, the rule of thumb is... if you can't see your comment and you have entry points for the comment then, it doesn't count!   Also, if you have trouble entering Rafflecopter via Facebook, try just using your email address. I'm sorry this system frustrates some of us.  Also, this will only be shipped to U.S. addresses.  If you have trouble email me.  I want to help.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can't wait until Version 2 comes to the U.S., then you can buy the slightly smaller Version 1 Jeliku on Amazon.  Here is my link. 

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools has not been compensated in any way by the manufacturer of this product.  The product was submitted to tester to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.  The giveaway prize is being donated by the manufacturer.



  1. Here is where you leave your fabulous comments. I need to buy the other green one to make my froggy man thingy (see above). Shout your opinions out to the universe and get some U.S. distributor to sell them here otherwise you'll have to buy direct from Taiwan.

  2. would like robot best if it were programmable

  3. You are one tough customer!!!! Love your comment!

  4. You now have my son's heart! He loves the top. He made his own design too!

  5. You have my son's heart! He made his own design after making a video for me. He thinks his design is better!

  6. Those swirly cubes are great!

  7. I would get one with our school logo

  8. I like the multi colored

  9. All the geometric designs are my favorites, but the robots won with the kids, for sure! I home school, but I'd buy it with a school logo on it to support a local school. I might prefer it without, though. The multicolored is my favorite simply because you can see the details of those cool geometric designs so well with all the colors! DS 5 likes black and red best.

  10. i love the multi-colored!

  11. i know that most people love logos (of all kinds) but i kinda hate logos (of all kinds). so no to the school logo for the fundraiser. but i know from experience that most folks would love that.

  12. i really like the abstract bird!

  13. No logo for fundraiser- you could give as a gift

  14. I like the giraffe. It looks easy to recreate. :)

  15. As for the school logo I think it would depend on where it was and how large it was. i wouldn't want it distracting from the simple beauty of the solid colors. I wouldn't mind if the logo was placed on the box.

  16. I like the multi colored ones myself. I think a single color would be best for my son. That way there would be less frustration trying to have the 'right' color.

  17. The star and robot are pretty cool.

  18. I'd rather it not have a logo on it.

  19. I like the blue/white.

  20. Like the multi-colored the best but also like the green/white.

  21. I prefer non-logo items.

  22. I know my boys' favorite would be the robot!

  23. My favorite Jeliku is the circle rainbow!

  24. I would definitely buy one with our school logo. But our school logo rocks!

  25. favorite colour is rainbow!

  26. One question: how does it travel in bags/purses? Does it easily come apart and get tangled up in things, or does it holds it's shape?