I've reviewed products from online store Find Me A Gift many times on this blog and I am always impressed by the innovative, quirky gift ideas that they come up with. This time, however, it was the complete opposite. Rather than suggesting products that I had never seen before, they asked me to take a trip down memory lane and gave me a list of their retro-style kids' gifts on offer. We opted to give the Plasticine Activity Bucket a thorough roadtest.
Now, the Madhouse Mini-Testers often get modelling clay to play with but I have to admit that I've taken to buying the cheapie brands from the pound shop, reasoning that it all gets dropped on the floor and covered in dog hair in record quick time or all the colours get mixed together until it's a uniform sludgy brown colour that nobody wants to play with any more.
I was keen to see how Plasticine - the original brand that I used to play with as a child - would compare to these cheapie versions. The Madhouse Mini-Testers excitedly unpacked the bucket and discovered thirteen big sticks of Plasticine in pretty much every colour you could think of, four cutters and a leaflet with ideas of models to make or colours to blend. The cutters are actually very clever because, as well as the main shape - for example the car - you get little extra shapes around the edges that you can use with a constrasting colour to make windows and extra fiddly bits.
I started off showing Pierre how to do simple things like rolling, cutting and squishing Plasticine then let them get on with it all by themselves. I immediately noticed that the Plasticine seems softer and easier to roll into shapes than the cheaper versions we're now used to. There's a lot of Plasticine in each stick so I pulled a chunk of each colour off so that, when it all got squished into a multicoloured lump, there would still be plenty left for another day. In total, you get 1.2kg of Plasticine - that's a lot of modelling clay ! - so it will last for ages, especially as the write-up promises that it never dries out.
It was great to find a product that all three Madhouse Mini-Testers could play with together, using their own levels of skill and creativity but also avoiding squabbles because there was plenty to go round. A playmat on the floor meant that there was zero mess too. I was surprised to see that the Plasticine did leave some colour on my hands but this washed off very easily with soap and water.
The girls got very creative ...
Juliette seems to have made a self-portrait here ! ...
and Pierre had fun squishing, rolling and making random shapes.
Having seen the huge amount of Plasticine that you get in the bucket for £9.99, it does actually make me wonder now if the cheap and cheerful pound shop modelling clay that dries out and is quite hard to squish is not a false economy.
If I've made you get all nostalgic and wonder what other retro style gifts Find Me A Gift have to offer, you have to check out this one - remember Etch-a-Sketch ?!
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £9.99
for more information : http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/plasticine-activity-bucket.html
Disclaimer : We received a Plasticine Activity Bucket in order to write the review.
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