We finally took these to the beach this past week. I had figured these were like any other beach toy. But there were some things that really made them nice for me. The first is that they are smoother and thicker than some others. This made them feel nicer to play with. Also, the colors seemed brighter and just enough different than the others we and our friends have that I was easily able to tell which pieces went with this set even once they were strewn all over the sand. I was really happy with these and hope they last long term. Overall great buy and I highly recommend.