Reviews Sundry


I received an Ugears model for Christmas. We started assembling it last month and I loved it so much that I bought another one. I wanted to talk about them for 2 reasons. Firstly, because these products are amazing and well worth their price tag. Secondly, these are made in Kyiv, Ukraine. Buying from a small Ukrainian company is the least I can do.
Ugears started in 2014 and their range is growing steadily. They have some basic models for small children, but the most interesting ones are for teenagers and adults.

Ugears - Marble Run Stepped Hoist

All their models are mechanical, they do different things. The one I got, Marble Run Stepped Hoist, is, as the name suggests, a marble run. I got another one, the Marble Run Chain Hoist, which can be linked to the first one. We just started assembling that one. You can see all the items on their website and a short clip with how the models are working too. I haven’t taken a clip for this post, but I will share one in my Instagram stories.

Marble Run Stepped Hoist is one of their advanced ones, with 355 pieces. As you can see, the model is quite big, at about 30 cm x 27 cm x 28 cm.

size of items

All the pieces are laser cut from sheets of plywood and they do not need any glue to assembly. The pieces vary in size, with this one being the smallest, to ones that are huge, as you can see below. In the pack there is a piece of sanding paper to smooth out the edges for some of the pieces and a small piece of candle, to use as a lubricant for the pieces that will move. You can use any candle you have at home if you need more lubricant.

The pieces are easy to take out from the sheet, pressing on both sizes until they are loose. It is a bit scary at first as it feels that they might break, but they are sturdy.

How to make

To make the model there is an instruction manual with details, making it relatively easy to assemble. Attention must be paid because some pieces have strange shapes, some are similar but they differ, so the right ones need to be used. Overall by the end a bit of 3D imagination is needed too, to see how the pieces work together. All this makes the model so interesting to assemble.

My suggestion is to remove from the sheets only the parts you are going to use, as you might lose them or you will spend some time trying to figure out which one is which.

Marble Run Stepped Hoist from Ugears

As I mentioned before, I got the Marble Run Chain Hoist model kit too, which has 400 pieces and is about the same size as the one I did before. These two should be able to work together, with a couple of pieces to join them.

This model is for people over 14. I think slightly younger children, over 10 or 12, could do this if they are doing it as an activity with a parent or an adult.

Of course, I am considering buying other models too, like the Research Vessel, Mechanical model V-Express Steam Train with Tender, Mechanical model Tower Windmill, and Mechanical model Stagecoach. Do check them out if you are curious.

8 Comment

  1. I think this would be beyond me, but in time — not yet — they might be a wonderful thing for the boys. They already like things that work but don’t have the motor coordination for this yet. It’s beautiful and looks fun.

  2. You know I love puzzles of all types, so I think this would be great fun to assemble and all the better because it “does something” after assembly! I’m definitely going to check out their website.
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    1. It does quite a lot, all their models do, it’s so interesting. The Research Vessel picks up stuff and moves on the table. I will share a clip today on Instagram, yesterday I was so busy I forgot to do it.

  3. Wow, that does look like a complicated model, but it’s certainly very impressive. Also very good that no glue is involved, I can imagine that would get super messy very quickly. I’ve not heard of Ugears before but, as you say, supporting a small Ukrainian company right now seems very much the right thing to do.

    1. I saw them a few years ago at a Christmas market, but forgot about them until I received this gift for Christmas last year. It was so much fun to make it. Now we are doing the second one and it goes faster, as now we have experience with the models.

  4. What I like most about this model is that it’s doesn’t require glue to assemble. No glue option is always more ecological. My whole philosophy when it comes to DIY projects is about avoiding glue whenever possible. I always prefer to sew something on (or assemble it if possible) than to glue it together. Thank you for sharing this review for Ugears. I haven’t heard about this Ukrainian company before.
    This looks like a great activity for both kids and adults- Plus, it’s something that parents or guardians can do with their kids.

  5. Whilst as you say, the prices at first glance, do seem quite high for these products, when you consider that these small 3D wooden puzzles retail from £5-£10 and they have no moving parts, then Ugears don’t appear so expensive…

    At only 6, my great nephew is still a little young for this kind of model building, however I can see him loving it in a couple of years time.

    A great hobby for this horrible wet weather! 🙂

    1. Yes, these models seem expensive at first, but when I saw how complicated they are to make and how many moving parts are, I think they are great value for money. For this one, the marble balls can go through 3 different directions and there are lots of levers and cogs moving. It’s really fun to make as an adult too. 6 is way too young, even for more basic designs, although they have some cheap models with only a few pieces, 15 or so, and some paint, which are suitable for smaller children.

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