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The Ultimate Gem Block Comparison: Bauspiel, Nurture Play Australia, Papoose

Wooden gem blocks - these are the perfect combination for wooden toys lovers who also love colour and sparkle. We've gathered all the gem blocks we currently carry in our shop to do a deep dive comparison of the gem blocks we have here and available to Canada and USA.

We'll go over details of each set and a mini review of each. All sets will be compared back to the the Bauspiel Color Street.

Bauspiel: Color street blocks.

The OG. Correct us if we’re wrong, but we believe that these are the original wooden gem blocks out on the market. It's also the largest of the ones we're comparing today.

Details of the set:

  • 45 rectangular blocks
    • 40 double gem blocks
    • 5 plain blocks
    • 80 gems total
  • Comes in sturdy wooden tray
  • Made with Alder wood
  • ~$8 per block
  • Single Sided
  • Hand made
  • Made in Germany

 This set is quite lovely. Out of the three, it's the only one that has an oiled finish - giving it that warm colour. The wood is from Alder, so it's a hard wood yet on the softer side. Overall very durable, it takes a beating well and doesn't really show it's dents as easily. With a whooping 45 pieces, this is great for those families who really likes to build or just looking to purchase a large building set for a child over 3. In terms of colours available, it contains a nice variation of rainbow and pastel colours - all in one.

Another thing to note is, if you take a closer look at each gem - you'll notice there are about 3 different types of cuts to the gems.

Bauspiel Color Street

Nurture Play Australia: Large Double Sided 4x4 Bling Block set

  • This set comes with 21 pieces
    • 7 each of the following combo: triple gem, double gem, single gem
    • 84 gems total
  • Comes in a sturdy wooden tray
  • Made with New Zealand Pine
  • ~$14.50 per block
  • Double sided - matching gem’s on both sides
  • Hand made
  • Made in Australia

This set is a bit special for the shop since we've customized our gem blocks. We'll create a post more on that another time. These building blocks are thicker than the Bauspiel and Papoose - at 4 x 4 cm, it's actually the size of many standard Grimm's, Gluckskafer and other brands. So if you were in the market for something that has the functionality of a Grimm's LSP (large stepped pyramid) this will serve the same purpose. All the gems (like the others today) are recessed. So it makes for easy stacking.

In our shop, we currently offer two colour ways: Rainbow and Pastel. So if you like brighter, richer gem colours - the Rainbow set will serve that. As for the pastel, you still have a great selection of colors, but overall more muted (and our personal favourite between the two).

These sets are made with New Zealand Pine, which gives it that beautiful, pale creamy colour. In terms of hardness, pine is a soft wood - so if you had a kiddo with rough hands, do expect dents. Pine wood is also more lighter in weight compared to other hard woods, such as Alder and Beech.

Nurture Play Australia Rainbow set vs Pastel (Custom Ordered)
Nurture Play Australia vs Bauspiel

Papoose: Coin Windows

Now these coins probably look larger than what you’ve imagine them to be.

  • Most set comes with 15 pieces 
    • 15 gems total
  • Comes in a sturdy wooden tray
  • Made with Beech wood
  • ~$7 per block
  • Single sided
  • Nepal/Sri Lanka/Indonesia 

Beech wood is a hard wood that is pale in colour. It holds up well and can take a beating. Compared with the Bauspiel colour street, these blocks are the same thickness. So the two brands fit flush together.

These coins are great if you already own many building blocks but looking to add something more unique or different. They offer these set in the gems and the transparent window variation. So the windows are a great option if you want to use it as a kaleidoscope, on a light table or by a window.

Papoose Window Coins
Papoose Coins Comparison to Bauspiel Color Street


What are your thoughts? 

 To view our full gem block collection, click here.


Coming soon:

Papoose: Double Gem Blocks

These blocks are the same size as the Bauspiel colour street blocks. One noticeable difference is the papoose blocks are un-oiled, more dense, and lighter in colour.  

  • This set comes with 20 rectangular blocks.
  • 40 gems total

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