Lego bricks are terrible for the environment. These wooden alternatives biodegrade

By Lilly Smith

March 30, 2021

Legos have been a pandemic pasttime, but now they have some competition.

Japanese company Mokulock has created toy blocks that have a familiar shape but an entirely new ethos. Similar to Legos, they’re small and rectangular, with eight small cylinders on top of each block so they can easily interlock with others. But rather than the kaleidoscopic colors that Lego is famous for, these bricks come in just a few earthy shades.

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That’s because Mokulock’s blocks are made out of sustainably sourced wood instead of plastic, which is terrible for the environment. The company says it sources the material from trees that are typically cut for forest thinning and thus are too small to use in architecture or furniture design.

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According to the company, the blocks are made from a few different tree species, including maple, birch, and cherry, resulting in blocks with different colors, textures, and even scents. The color palette of cream- and toffee-hued wood is refined and subtle.

Mokulock notes that using wood as a material can also help pique kids’ interest in the world outdoors. “Even in the house, there is nature in the hands of children,” the company posted on Instagram.

The blocks are free of harsh treatments like finishers, paint, or glue. And though au naturel, they’re sanded down and free of splinters. But be warned—they may hurt just as much as Legos when you step on them. Ouch.