There was a magnet with a grip that can be used to lift coins and paper clips, two funny plastic spheres with bar magnets hidden inside, and two rings of magnetic material. The only thing missing was the little jar with iron filings to map out magnetic field lines - but I remember that my mother once had removed it from the kit, because she had become fed up with this stuff ending up either distributed all over the kitchen or sticking to the magnets.
These ring magnets were especially fascinating because one of them could be made hovering above the other on a pole, and oscillate along the pole when dropped.
The most surprising effect I could create with the oscillating magnets I had discovered by chance: I could use the magnets to switch off our new, remote-controlled TV set. Physics was cool!
Here are more Cool Experiments with Magnets. Unfortunately, understanding the origin of the "itinerant ferromagnetism" of the classical permanent magnets, iron, cobalt, and nickel, is not that easy, but interesting nevertheless.