The Xyloba Marbles are an essential component of the Xyloba marble runs as they are the element that strikes the finely tuned chime bars. All Xyloba sets include the original glass marbles but various other materials such as wood, steel or even cotton wool are available to purchase separately.
There are 3 different options:
Wooden Marbles: Includes 9 wooden marbles, each made from different varieties of wood. Depending on the type of wood used, the wooden marbles can produce low-pitched or high-pitched notes.
Experimental Marbles: Includes 10 different marbles crafted from materials such as cork, cotton wool, steel, different varieties of wood and even one with an integrated bell.
Glass Marbles: The original marble which is included in every Xyloba set and is made from glass to produce the clearest and cleanest sound when striking the metal chime bars. Includes 20 glass marbles.
Made in Switzerland.
Recommended Age: 5+ Warning. Not suitable for children under 36 months. Choking hazard due to small parts.
An overview of the different Marble and Ball Runs available can be found in our blog post The Ultimate Marble Run Play Guide.
Samuel Langweiler started working on his idea of a musical marble run in 1969 which would allow a marble to create a melody by striking chimes while running down the tracks. Samuel wanted the marble run to be interactive and the chimes to be interchangeable so children could not only build marble runs but also create different tunes by changing the order of the chimes and the lengths of the tracks in between. During the design process Samuel encountered quite a few problems but after many experiments he came up with his first melody and design. Due to his busy job as a cellist for the Tonhalle Orchester Zürich and being on tour for long periods at a time, Samuel did not have time to search for a manufacturer for his marble run. It was only years later that the Weizenkorn Foundation started manufacturing and distributing Samuel’s invention under the name Xyloba Musical Marble Runs.
Xyloba Musical Marble Runs is a creative wooden toy which develops fine motor skills, spatial imagination and facilitates a creative approach to music. As the marble rolls down the track it hits each chime in succession. The interlocking system of ramps and sound blocks, which house the chimes, lets children create a large variety of set ups. Xyloba Musical Marble Runs allow children to compose their own tunes by experimenting with the different chimes and the distance - the lengths of the ramps - between the chimes to create a rhythm.
The Weizenkorn Foundation, based in Basel, Switzerland, is a social business which supports and employs over 200 young men and women with psychological impairments who are unable to find work. In the sheltered workshops of the Weizenkorn Foundation these young men and women create the different components of the Xyloba Musical Marble Runs as well as many other beautiful and high quality wooden toys.