It’s all about the marbles today. As I said in the headline, the Hubelino marble run for kids is in my opinion seriously the best. At least for children between the age of three and ten. Maybe even a little older.
In this review, you’ll find out why I’m so impressed by this marble run system and whether it is the right one for your kid and your family. Because there are probably people out there who don’t love it quite as much as I do.
Buckle up and get yourself some tea. This Hubelino review is going to be detailed.
Also: I’m German and very much apologize for all mistakes in this review. I guarantee that it’s honest, but I don’t guarantee that the grammar makes sense.
As always: This review is not sponsored. We purchased and paid for all the toys in this review. We use them daily. The review does, however, contain affiliate links.
What is Hubelino?
Hubelino is a marble run system and fully compatible with Lego Duplo. The general principle of Hubelino and Lego Duplo is the same and all the building blocks of both systems fit together seamlessly. You can easily use Lego Duplo to build your Hubelino foundation or build a Hubelino marble run on an already existing Duplo building.
The Hubelino building blocks are made from plastic and are stuck together and on top of each other to build whatever form or building or structure you can imagine. They come in various sizes and can all be combined just as you want.
The blocks themselves are very simple and basic and are therefore endlessly variable. They are used to build the foundation for the marble run.
On top of these building blocks, you build the actual marble run with the help of the run elements. These also come in different sizes and shapes and the combinations are practically endless.
Your only limitations are your own creativity and the number of available building blocks and run elements (spoiler: you’ll need more than you think).
Run elements are what the marble run is made of. The marbles will run in those blocks.
There are a growing number of different sets with different combinations of those elements. We’ll look at these a little later in this review.
Every element comes in four different colours: red, blue, yellow, green. The colours are pretty much the same as the Lego Duplo colours.
You’ll need building blocks to build the foundation for your marble run. If you already have a lot of Lego Duplo building blocks, you can easily use those or combine the two systems. This is one of the reasons why I love the Hubelino system so much. You can utilize the whole Lego Duplo world with all the building blocks, structures and accessories.
Just stick some run elements on them an voilà, you have a marble run.
Don’t underestimate how much building blocks you’ll need for your run. Especially if you want to build a big one.
The Hubelino building blocks that come in the various sets are mostly just white. Which is great because you can easily spot them. A completely white foundation also looks great. If you don’t like the white ones, you can also get them in the colours of the run elements – red, green, yellow, blue.
Additional Elements / Expansions
Very important and a lot of fun are the additional elements. They are awesome if you want to build a more complex run or if you just want to add a little something.
I want to emphasize the quality of those elements. They are robust, solid, fit perfectly and they work. Which is kind of sad that it needs to be said. But I had so much toys that barely work that I feel the need to say this. They work great!
The additional elements are all orange. Bold colour choice, but at least you can easily spot them.
The additional elements are not included in the normal sets. You will have to buy them separately. Click on the image for a link to Amazon or scroll further down to find all the information.
If you have building blocks, run elements, additional elements and Lego Duplo blocks, Duplo figures and whatever else there is, you can build basically anything from the smallest toddler marble run to the biggest imaginable marble city.
The limit is, as I said, only your creativity, patience and the number of blocks and elements you have available.
Company, Material and Manufacturing
Hubelino is a German family business that has been operating since 2008.
The Hubelino marble run, on the other hand, has only been available since 2013. Which is probably why it’s basically unknown in comparison to other marble runs that are currently sold. Which is a little sad, but we might be able to change that.
I have asked the company about the manufacturing process because I wasn’t able to find anything online.
They confirmed that they manufacture the Hubelino elements exclusively in Germany. The whole process from design, production to packaging takes place here (or there – depending on where you are).
This is – according to them – the strength of Hubelino. Because there are a lot of marble runs made of plastic. But there aren’t many good ones.
The Hubelino expertise is quite clearly the production of plastic parts. The founder and managing director is also the managing director of a company that supplies plastic parts for various technical applications like engines and industrial machines.
The production uses exclusively ABS plastic. Lego and Lego Duplo are made of the same high-quality material. There are many benefits to this plastic, mostly regarding longevity and resilience. The material is also recyclable, which means that defective or imperfect parts can just be grained and reused.
All Hubelino products are chemically and mechanically tested by Bureau Veritas in Hamburg. They are compliant with all international guidelines for toys (e.g. EN-71 and ASTM).
Why is Hubelino so great?
I’m not even trying to sound professional with my titles anymore…
This section is going to be very detailed. For everyone who doesn’t have the time or the patience to sit and read through all of it, I’ll summarize the biggest advantages.
- It’s fully compatible with Lego Duplo. The elements fit together seamlessly. You have to look really closely at the blocks to even tell them apart.
- It’s endlessly expandable. You can always add more building blocks, more run elements and more additional elements. There are always new sets and new possibilities. You can always go bigger, more creative, more complex. It grows with the child.
- It’s solid, robust, almost non-breakable, washable and there’s hardly any wear and tear. Ours look as good as new after almost two years of playing. They can be used for a long time and I would be shocked if they didn’t resell for a decent amount once your kid has outgrown them.
- Eco-friendly, sustainable manufacturing, made in Germany.
Here you go. That’s why it’s the best. But stay with me because it’s going to get even better! I have pictures and videos.
What are the benefits for my child?
From my point of view, there’s basically no toy that is perfect and can fulfil all possible requirements, no matter if it’s quality, learning experience, fun, interaction, consciousness or whatever else you might find important.
Hubelino comes close, though.
Why I think that Hubelino is a great educational toy.
- Hubelino is compatible with Lego Duplo (I might have already mentioned this a time or ten). This means you cannot only build ‘normal’ marble runs but you can create whole marble worlds. That stimulates creativity, imagination and improves concentration. It also means that children spend more time playing with this toy no matter if they want to build a zoo, a dollhouse or a parking garage.
- Sticking the blocks together, pulling them apart, building, fitting, placing. This system is a great training tool for fine motor skills without the children even noticing that they are doing it. Which is why it’s such a great toy for small kids. And if the kids aren’t there yet to do it alone, they can help older siblings or they can build together with Mom and Dad.
- It improves logical and analytical thinking. It stimulates the ability to be focused on a solution. It’s remarkable how long kids can play with this and try and figure out how to build exactly what they want. I see this with my three-year-old daughter who is usually all over the place and never stops long enough to concentrate on anything except for chocolate and Hubelino.
- Hubelino is great for spending time together and playing together with everyone in the family. It’s a toy for many different ages. Small children, school-aged children, even teenagers, parents, grandparents. They not only play with it because the kid likes it, Hubelino is genuinely fun to play even for adults. It’s just quality time together.
Last but not least. Hubelino is so much fun!
I’ve also looked at the different ages and what benefits Hubelino has for each group:
Hubelino for Toddlers
There are a few very good reasons why I love the Hubelino marble run for toddlers. And I observe these reasons almost daily as our daughter was gifted her first Hubelino set when she was two years old. She’s three now and loves to play with her marbles.
Please note: The manufacturer recommends Hubelino for children starting from 4 years old. I believe this is because of two things:
- There are a few small elements you have to look out for. Especially with toddlers who like to put things in their mouth. You should never let your toddler play with Hubelino without supervision. Especially the marbles should be watched. Although they’re bigger than ‘normal’ marbles, you should still have an eye on them.
- Children who are younger than four years can’t really build working marble runs on their own.
But. That said. Our daughter still loves it.
Because even if it’s too early for her to build her own marble runs, she can still help to build it, help to design it, and she can definitely let the marbles run.
Why we bought a Hubelino marble run for our daughter (and not any other)
- The building blocks are stuck together and the whole construction is a lot more solid than all the other marble runs that we’ve tried and that would be suitable for younger children. Especially those that are just stacked. Even toddlers can operate the runs without just having everything collapse. Even if the fine motor skills are not the best yet.
- It’s compatible with Lego Duplo (I’m sorry for mentioning that yet again). Which means that our daughter can contribute other things like putting Duplo flowers and animals on the track. She can help to build without having to build the marble run. If that makes sense.
- Hubelino can be as small or as big as you want. You don’t have to build everything in one go. You can build in sections, a few minutes here, a few minutes there, but still use the small sections even if the run is not yet complete. This is great for the attention span of a toddler.
- Big Hubelino runs can be very complex and complicated. There are a few examples in this review. But they don’t have to be that big and complicated. Below this list, I’ve included an example of a toddler-run that I have built for my daughter. Because simple is sometimes better.
- The Hubelino blocks and elements are absolutely easy to clean and low maintenance. You can even put them in the washing machine. They endure all possible and impossible liquids, dirt, whatever. They can also be used outside.
- The elements are made of plastic, which makes them very light. They are easy to handle for small children and easy to carry and transport. We always have a small bag of the blocks and elements with us when we go on vacation or if we’re overnight somewhere. And if you lose an element, it’s not the end of the world.
Obviously this doesn’t mean that toddlers can’t enjoy the big runs. Especially when Daddy helped to build it:
Hubelino for Kids from 4 to 6
Four-year-old kids can already build their own, small runs. The great thing about this system is, that you can build the easiest and simplest runs. Why not build a starter run with only 4 or 5 elements?
And then you can take those runs and expand and grow and let them be more complex.
Or build several very easy and small runs and combine them. You can do this with boxes, steps or just more building blocks to lift them up.
This will train and improve logical thinking, concentration, fine motor skills, and the children will be rightfully proud of themselves.
If you haven’t noticed yet: I think Hubelino is one of the best educational toys for children in this age group.
Hubelino for School Kids
Now it’s getting more complex! The construction can be higher, wider, loopier, with different tracks, additional elements and own ideas. Seriously. Ask your kid, they are a lot more creative than I am.
If you have enough building blocks and run elements, basically anything is possible.
The general rule of thumb is: around the age of six, Lego Duplo gets a lot less interesting and will sooner or later be abandoned for the normal Lego line. This is a bit sad because there are so many great things about the Lego Duplo world and so many interesting elements. I personally think that with the addition of Hubelino, your Lego Duplo investment will last quite a bit longer. Because it can be a lot more challenging even for school kids.
Hubelino für Adults
Ok. Let’s be real.
In case you didn’t notice yet: My husband and I love Hubelino. There. I said it. There were honestly quite a few rainy Sundays when all three of us were sitting in our daughter’s room, building ever higher and crazier marble runs. And I’m not sure who of us had the most fun.
Where can you buy Hubelino?
Outside of Germany, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Your best bet is Amazon. Though even on Amazon, you’ll not always get all the ‘normal’ sets or additional sets. Watch the shipping costs, they vary quite a bit.
This is going to improve once more people will be interested in Hubelino. So do your part 🙂
I’ll introduce all the available sets from the manufacturer, so you’ll know what’s out there. I’ll also link them to Amazon.
If you are a Hubelino starter and have no building blocks or elements, it makes the most sense to start with one of their sets. With those, you’ll have all the parts you need to build a decent run.
They come, of course, in different sizes and each year, there are new sizes and combinations. Which sometimes gets a little confusing but doesn’t actually matter as all blocks are compatible. Just get the set that you need to build the size of the run you want to have.
The Small One – Starter Set
Perfect for a first try, a present, for small children or maybe as an add-on for a bigger set.
The Middle One – Basic Building Box
You get enough blocks to build a decently sized marble run but it’s not excessive in case you really don’t like the system for whatever reason.
You get all the building blocks and normal run elements.
The Big One – Big Building Box
Big kids, no matter what age, will love this.
Also great if you have more than one kid and they like to build together.
(Note: This had unreasonably high shipping costs at the time of writing this article. In this case, I’d recommend buying two of the normal building boxes. You’ll get a better deal with that.)
In this case, it might be enough to buy only the run elements without the Hubelino building blocks.
But keep in mind that you’ll need quite a few blocks for a marble run foundation. The more, the better, especially if you like to build high.
For the foundation, you’ll also need the base plates. Any Duplo compatible plate works. Of course, there are also plates in the building boxes.
If you need more, you can order them separately.
Additional Elements and Expansion Sets
We’ve already introduced the additional elements. They are not included in the starter set or building boxes and they’re a great addition to your marble run world.
You can buy the additional elements with their own sets with various run elements and building blocks.
The App and the Website
Yes, indeed, there’s a Hubelino App. There’s also a Website.
Those are the two only things I’m not really excited about. Apparently, someone decided ‘We need an app!’ Then they paid a student to build something and called it a day.
As there is apparently no English language version, I won’t go into the details content-wise. Just know that there are at the moment exactly 8 building instructions.
The website, on the other hand, is not so bad. At least the German part. There’s not much content in English. Which is also a little sad. Because why not? It can’t be that hard to translate an existing webpage.
There are also building instructions on the website. About twenty-five of them. They are also only available in German, but that’s not a big problem, as you need only the pictures. Again: I don’t understand why no-one translated them.
Fortunately, no one needs the app or the website to build great runs. Your kid will do just fine without them and in my very humble opinion, it’s better for creativity and imagination to build your own.
Let them enjoy their childhood until they’re forced to assemble their first IKEA-bed.
Are There Other, Comparable, Marble Runs?
Sure. Kind of. I’ve looked at a lot of other marble runs and tried most of them at least a couple of times. For me, personally, none of them can tick as many boxes as the Hubelino. At least at the moment. This may change once our daughter gets older and our requirements change.
People Who Shouldn’t Buy Hubelino
No matter how great I think this toy is, there are always families and children who wouldn’t like this system and thus shouldn’t invest their money into something they won’t use.
Hubelino is not the right toy for people who don’t like plastic
If you don’t like plastic and rather have toys made from natural, organic material like wood, then Hubelino is not the right system for you.
Because Hubelino is a lot of plastic.
Hubelino works best in combination with Lego Duplo
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Hubelino can only be played by people who already have Lego Duplo at home. Not at all. With all of the Hubelino sets, you can build awesome marble runs all on their own.
If you and your kid tried Lego Duplo and didn’t like it, then I’d reconsider buying Hubelino. Because the way you build and construct the runs is the same as you would with Duplo blocks.
If you’re not sure, then start with one of the smaller starter sets and see how you like it. You’ll know very soon whether it’s the right system for your child.
Let’s Summarize this Review
This was a lot of text. I doubt that many people are still reading.
For you brave people that are still here: I love you.
Advantages of the Hubolino Marble Run System
- Very good quality. Exclusively made in Germany.
- Low maintenance, washable, robust, solid, long-living. Suitable for travelling and outdoors.
- Fully and seamlessly compatible with Lego Duplo.
- Grows with the child from toddler to school age.
- You can build as small as you want and as big as you want. As simple and as complex. You can start with only a few elements and expand for as long as you like.
- Great educational toy to improve concentration, focus, motor skills, logical thinking, analytical thinking, problem-solving, patience, imagination and creativity.
- Great way to spend family time together and build with siblings, parents, relatives, friends…
My Very Personal Subjective Opinion
If you’re still not convinced, there’s nothing I can say to change that 🙂
No, seriously. I don’t often give such a strong recommendation. But Hubelino does everything right in my opinion. The quality, the playing experience, the learning experience, the social experience.
If you have young children, who love Lego Duplo, are marble run fans or are interested in construction toys, there’s not much else out there that’s better than this system.
Go buy it.
Alright. I have written ‘Hubelino’ so many times that it doesn’t even feel like a real word anymore.
If you don’t like this marble run, then I’d love to hear why. Leave a comment, let me know.
If you already have one, I’d also like to hear from you.
Thank you for reading this. Thank you for clicking on the link. Thank you for enduring my English grammar. This site is not new. But the English portion is. This is the first review I’m publishing and I’d love for it to help people make good decisions.
This website might seem empty but it won’t stay empty for long.
I hope you find this helpful and come back some time.