Set Name: Modular marble run
Set number: none – it’s a MOC
Pieces: >1700 (according to the description – once again I didn’t count them)
Year of Release: 2009
Price: 124 €
Where to buy? – available only at Polegons Bricklink shop *click here*
Description (taken off Polegons website):
“The offered set is an own creation of the seller. It is not available at the LEGO Group. Through the modular system of the marble run different runs can be built with the Set.
[list][*]The set contains:[list=1][*]over 1700 new LEGO® bricks[*]10 glass marbles[*]a building instruction[*]a paper with exemplary marble runs in the form of pictograms[*]table of contents and precautions[/list][/list]The bricks for the different modules are prepacked in zip bags<LI>You have to build the modules by your own using the building instruction<LI>The building instruction comprises 48 pages in DIN A5<LI>The building instruction was printed in a professional printing company (offset)<LI>Because the run is built with modules you can convert it quickly<LI>Optionally you can enlarge the run with own modules<LI>For every different module an unique pictogram is assigned in the building instruction<LI>The marble run on the instruction cover can't be built with the Set. This is because I didn't intend to offer a set at the moment I created the instruction.<LI>I can't give any age advice for the set. Children under 10 years need surely help (not building the modules but building runs especially using the pictograms). For children under 3 years the set is not suitable!“[list=1][/list]Link to the set at BL.
This is a custom ‘set’ I came across when I attended 1000steine land 2008 in Frechen, Germany. Somewhere in a silent corner someone had built a remarkable marble run. It was almost always surrounded by kids, making it very hard to take pictures. Later on at 1000steine.de I realized there was a member who created this fantastic modular marble run: Polegon or Jan Zensen in real life. I saw him writing about the single modules in the forum and always thought: I have to try this at home with my own bricks.
The only problem: You always lack the bricks! (I think you know what I’m talking about )
Then, in late 2009 Jan offered a “starter pack” with 68 modules and bridges to build your own creation. Fantastic! I immediately was hooked again and bought the set. It consists of more than 1700 brand new original Lego parts. And with 124€ It is absolutely fairly priced – try to get the bricks one by one off Bricklink or any other source. You will pay more than the actual price tag of the starter set!
This is what I got:
A first look inside. The set consists of 45 plastic zip bags with LEGO bricks, a solid 48 page paper building instructions, a “how-to-stack-modules” instruction, a table of contents and 10 marbles.
My goodness! The bags sorted by module number.
The result after quite some time of building. I didn’t take the time, but it was around 2 hours of building. No. 5 shows the bridges to connect two modules.
The very clever pictogram to show how to stack the modules to get a certain track.
(second photo taken from Polegons website)
The building instructions. One more word about it: The instructions are absolutely up-to-date. It’s like you have original ones, the paper is even thicker than the original. A parts list of each module in the upper corner, step by step instructions and you can easily determine what colour is what. (Easy, the parts consist of light bley and black bricks).
Note that there are (almost always) two types of each module: One on top of the building without “roof”, so you cannot stack anything on top and the regular one in the middle of the building with a tiled roof. The quantity is shown in brackets.
Starting module (inlet) 
Crossing with center hole [4/4]
Speed up module 
One ‘cut through’ to see how the module is working
External speed up (this is how the marble gains speed whilst going outside the modules) 
Two-way-junction (180°) 
Two-way-junction (90°) 
Collector at the end 
Big 270° curve (not part of this set (!), but the building instructions were included, so this is made of my own bricks). There are two problems with this module: It severly takes speed from the marbles, you have to use a speed up module right afterwards to keep the marbles rolling. If you use a lot of marbles at the same time - and my kids tend to do so - the marbles can hit each other at the crossing part. Traffic jam will be the result. So now onder this module isn't part of the most tracks (see below).
There is one more secret module which is not part of this starter set, but included in the instructions. As I was asked to keep it secret I can only tell you, that this is the most ingenious module Jan created.
Three examples of what you can build with the set. Of course you cannot build all the runs at the same time. Building instructions show ideas for 9 different tracks, but as usual with LEGO only your imagination is the limit.
The modules I made myself with my own bricks, before buying the starter set. Yeah I know, it’s disgusting…
The chosen colour sheme is so much better than mixing it all up. But my runs worked with these colours.
The one module in front is a special “design by me”: It’s a staircase. I have to admit though it’s one of the worse modules: It leads one floor down without increasing the speed, but decreasing it. No good idea. The marble run needs the different floors to gain speed again when going one floor down. Otherwise the marbles may get stuck on their way.
One last note: Jan asked me to point out that the marble run shown on the frontpage of the instructions can NOT be built from the set! But with all your bricks laying around at your place you might be able to do so. The instructions for this run ARE part of the booklet.
Parts: Okay, its bley and black only. But in this case I can’t imagine a better colour selection.
Price: I wrote it above and I stand to it: You won’t get the bricks cheaper elsewhere. For those interested: A fairly good price per piece ratio: 7c per brick. But I don’t think this information is too important.
Playability: If you can’t get children to play with this set, you will never get them to play with any other Lego.
Overall Rating: A perfect 10/10! And please don’t say it doesn’t come with minifigs.
I hope you enjoyed reading this review . It would be my personal pleasure (and I know Jan thinks so as well), if you are inspired by this review and the clever idea behind it and start to build your own marble runs or even new modules.
Think of a green marble run for example, or even a rainbow coloured one? If you did so, please post photos of them here!
Edited by Holodoc, 31 August 2010 - 07:16 PM.