Every good creation, from towering skyscrapers to beautiful works of art, is built brick-by-brick, piece-by-piece. So why shouldn’t your imagination work the same way? That’s the idea behind Plus-Plus, a new Danish building toy that aims to bring your dreams to life.
Plus-Plus combines the hands-on building fun of block toys like LEGO, with the added challenge of open-ended creation. But Plus-Plus doesn’t just allow you to be creative, it naturally encourages you to flex your imagination.
Boxes come with 100, 300, 600 or 1,200 pieces in a variety of colors. Each piece is in the shape of two plus symbols placed side-by-side. The simple nature of the blocks allows them to be connected in several different ways, like a puzzle that has an infinite number of solutions. There’s no wrong way to play with Plus-Plus – dead ends turn into new roads. At very worst, you get to make strange, abstract creations (“It’s a moose! Err…a mouse! Maybe a house?”).
The company’s website boasts pictures of birthday cakes, watering cans, boats and crowns. No pressure, right? While it can be tempting to want to recreate what you see in the manual, it misses the whole point of Plus-Plus. The idea is to make pictures in your head, and use the blocks to create those pictures.
What’s interesting is that the geometric shapes of the pieces distort those pictures in a very unique (and some may say, very Danish) way. Every window of every house will be shaped like a Plus-Plus piece. Or maybe a square of Plus-Plus pieces. Or maybe a plus of Plus-Plus pieces.
That design, while always reminding you your creation is made of little plusses, also serves as an incentive to keep building. You can make a square block, but it will have little turrets poking out to allow you to build onto the block. Your creation then branches out like a tree, stretching out infinitely, farther and farther until you run out of ideas or, more likely, you run out of pieces.
The Plus-Plus pieces are made of sturdy plastic, meaning they fit together easily and stay together well. Things can get a little shaky when moving from two dimensions into three, but the thrill of bringing your imagination to life is well worth it. My duck monster looks great, but he looks even better when he can stand up on his own and do the Macarena.
It can be equally fun to make lots of simple boxes. But those boxes soon turn into columns, which turn into towers, which turn into castles. Before you know it you’re making kings and princesses and dragons and fire. The engineering and artistically-minded alike can find plenty of fun in Plus-Plus, and can even collaborate to make true masterpieces. The only real requirement is the desire to create.
While the company’s slogan, “The only tools required are the children’s imagination,” doesn’t translate very well from Danish, the message is still clear: Plus-Plus blocks are the bricks, and imagination is the mortar. Once you bring your imagination to life, the only question is what you’ll make next.