Sunday, 30 September 2012

Interplay Wild Science Kits for Girls and for Boys review


I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from some of you already and I haven't even got past the title ! If you recognise yourself in that description then please read through to the end, the kits are actually very good. It's just the gender-stereotyped packaging that is totally anachronistic.

You must all have heard the rhyme :

What are little boys made of?
Slugs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And all things nice,
That's what little girls are made of

According to Wikipedia, this well-known nursery rhyme dates from the early nineteenth century or possibly even earlier, but it's obviously exactly what the Interplay marketing team had in mind when they came up with the concept for their Wild Science Kits for Girls and Wild Science Kits for Boys.

You've guessed it. Girls get to choose between Wild Science Perfume Laboratory (£12.99), Luxury Soap Science (£12.99), Bath Bomb Factory (£12.99), Lip Balm Laboratory (£12.99) and the Face Mask Laboratory (£12.99). Boys get the choice of Volcano Factory (£12.99), Hyperlauncher Rocket Ball Factory (£12.99) and the Weird Slime Laboratory (£12.99). The girls' kits come in pink/purple boxes and the boys' come in blue boxes and, just to make sure the message has really hit home, you see girls on the pink boxes and boys on the blue ones.

When I was asked if I had a child who would like to review one of the boys' or girls' kits, I replied that I had two girls who would love to make slime and volcanoes just as much as face masks and perfumes and that I'm sure they're not the only ones. Although the beauty products ones will obviously appeal to girls, I think it's a real shame to focus on the other kits being aimed at boys.

I won't labour the point though - packaging and dodgy marketing strategy aside, the kits themselves are actually pretty good.


11-year-old Sophie (who was totally oblivious to my reaction as per above) thought the Face Mask Laboratory looked fabulous fun. She has already tried out similar kits to make perfume, shampoo and lip balm and she was really proud of being able to use - and share with the rest of the family - real products that she had made herself.


The blurb says : "Another Christmas treat for girls would be the Face Mask Laboratory (£12.99) which has been given its own makeover for 2012. The kit allows girls to create their own clay face masks using the same ingredients as top brands making it an ideal gift this Christmas at just a fraction of the price!" Whether or not they really are the same ingredients as the top brands, I have no idea but they did make lovely face masks.

The instruction booklet advises you on how to diagnose your skin type and create the perfect face mask to suit so it's a great introduction to skin care and beauty products for tween-aged girls. The kit contains everything you need to make the face masks - the only thing you need to add is water - and the face masks are gentle on the skin (I had visions of spotty or red faces the next day and that didn't happen). They're easy to mix up and apply and Sophie had great fun trying this out at a sleepover with her friend (which is why there aren't any photos of it in use, I'm afraid, because I don't have any without her friend in - oops !).


After making up their girlie-girlie face masks, Sophie and her friend went straight on to the Weird Slime Laboratory, which instantly had them going "euuurrgghhhh" and giggling when they read the descriptions on the box that mention ghastly experiments to make your own blood clots, tadpole soup, authentic looking guts and much more. Mmmmmm !


The box again contains everything you need and the girls had a whale of a time, laughing their heads off and squealing in delighted disgust, before coming to show me their horrible creations. I have only one regret - I couldn't get more involved because it was Sophie's sleepover so I was giving her some space. Luckily there are still some of the materials left so I'll be asking Sophie to show me how it's done and have another session with me next time !

star rating : 4.5/5 (the kits are great, even if I contemplated deducting a point for the specific boys'/girls' labels!)

RRP : £12.99 for each kit





Disclosure : We received two Wild Science Kits in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

4 comments:

  1. I can imagine as a kid, I'd have been fascinated with the Volcano kit rather than a bath bomb, though a face mask sounds fun too. Not too keen on the gender-division, I think they should just be gender-less, and let the kids decide what they want. Why discriminate against boys who would want to do a bath bomb, or girls going for slimey kit?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a great present for children to get them interested in chemistry (a bit).

    ReplyDelete
  3. These look fab! My son would love the slimy lab! I bet it gets messy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not as bad as I expected but I made them stay in the kitchen next to the sink just to be on the safe side !! Can't wait to get in there myself and have a go ! lol

      Delete