Make-It Blocks 100-Count Building Blocks (Dollar Tree)

A box of Make-It Blocks 100-ct. Building Blocks, from Dollar Tree
Phenomenal performance, and a phenomenal value.

I’ll open things up with some pointless trivia: I have never owned a Lego set. Never. And I probably would have gone through my entire life without experiencing the allure of the famous building block had a set not been given to our five-year-old son (Jesus Christ, he’s that old?!) as a birthday gift. Even though he doesn’t really care about them yet (he really doesn’t care about anything except cars), my wife and I have gone to town on them, graduating from the suggested designs on the instruction manual, to creating our own (often terrible) projects from scratch. Honestly, I see the appeal: Even if you suck at building things, it’s still a whole lot of fun to do, especially with the rest of the family (although it does suck when you need one of those single bricks that someone else is already using).

As much as I love a good off-brand, in general, there are some things that I just never would have expected to be “private labelized”, and Legos are one such thing. For starters, you would think that there would be patents on the design that would prevent other manufacturers from creating a similar thing; for finishers, given the cost of the national brand block, there just doesn’t seem to be a way that a private label could get it right.

And yet here we are, staring down a box of 100 off-brand building blocks from one of the main purveyors of cheap goods: Dollar Tree. Unfortunately, they can also be one of the main purveyors of worthless junk. I mean, I could see another company making a knockoff for around half the price of the name brand block, but a box of 100 pieces for a PENNY per piece? No way…this is one of those products where you just know going in they’re going to completely suck. And it should come as no surprise that these fail. Hard.

At least, that’s what I was expecting to say. How could I not go in with rock-bottom expectations? How in the hell can someone deliver an experience similar to the name brand for literally pennies on the dollar?

Well, somehow, Dollar Tree has. Not only are these sets fantastic to play with on their own, but in yet another shocking revelation, they are compatible with the brand we all know and love. I know what you’re thinking: “Compatible can be a pretty loose term.” I mean, sure, they might “fit”, only to fall out with the simplest touch, or stick together so hard that you need a stick of dynamite to pull them apart. But these suffer from no such issues: they attach - both to each other as well as bricks from the leading company - securely, and with no issues removing them. 

As amazing as this set is, there are still a couple problems - however minor - that I have in order to prevent giving them a perfect score: Firstly, they only consist of the basic-shaped blocks. I mean, it’s somewhat understandable, and there are still plenty here to get you started, but within a hundred pack it would be nice if they included at least a couple “weirder” shapes to open up even more possibilities. And secondly: the colors are ugly as hell. I mean, brown, grey, green and a light blue? What’s the theme here? And those colors aren’t just ones I randomly got: every 100-ct. (at least that I’ve seen) contain the same ones.

It’s even more baffling considering DT also sell 48-ct packs consisting of basic shapes in specific colors, which cover a larger section of the color spectrum: yellow, black, red, etc. Why couldn’t they add some (or all) of those colors to these sets? Do they cost more to make because of the dyes involved? I’m not sure of the reason, but it’s kind of unfortunate.

Still, despite these minor issues, these are fantastic building blocks for the price, that have far exceeded my expectations. Assuming you aren’t looking for pleasing aesthetics, or the more “specialty” pieces (which are available in the Make-It Blocks construction sets), this is a great basic collection to help get you started, or an inexpensive way to grow your collection. 

Overall: 9.5/10. These are all basic pieces, in an assorted mix of four mostly ugly colors, which is the only reason for the half-point deduction (they do have 48 packs of individual colors as well). Other than that, these are absolutely brilliant: An off-brand block that is not only compatible with the name brand, but that works - dare I say it - just as well. A great way to start your own collection, or to add to an existing one, and for a price that is, quite literally, unbelievable.