If you're not a Tree Fu Tom fan, I do apologise because I must be driving you mad at the moment ! First there were all the photos of the Tree Fu Tom twitter party earlier in the week, then I shared the pictures of our Tree Fu Tom-themed party food. Now I'm here to tell you about the toys, and I warn you in advance, I still have some books and a DVD to review too. Sorry !
If you do have a little Tree Fu Tom fan in your midst though - and let's face it, there are an awful lot of them out there ! - sit back and have a look at some of the range of Tree Fu Tom toys that hit the shops earlier in the week.
Proving that he appeals to children of both sexes, both 8-year-old Juliette and 3-year-old Pierre excitedly discovered the character figures representing Tree Fu Tom and his friends. They come with moveable arms and little accessories, such as Ariela's lasso.
The single figure sets are great as pocket money-priced treats or as add-ons to your collection but the ones that really appealed to the Madhouse Mini-testers were the bigger play setswith detailed accessories. Pierre loved making all of the Treetopolis residents ride on the big beetle and join in the rodeo (having seen that episode on the DVD that I'll be telling you about in a separate blogpost). Each character has a hole in their foot, allowing you to attach them to to the different accessories so that they don't fall off.
He was also totally wowed by Zigzoo's Wagon and the fact that it really rolls along and that the hatch at the back of the trailer opens.
First, he used it to deliver Maltesers to me and Juliette. Look out Pierre - the Beetle is in the way and there's going to be an accident ! The playsets led to some great imaginative play (as much from me as from the kids, as you can tell !) and are ideal for acting out some of the storylines that little fans will remember from TV episodes or books.
Then he tried piling in as many objects and people as possible when it was time to tidy up so that he could transport them over to the toy box !
It's not just plastic toys and playsets though. There is also a rather fabulous Magic Moves Rap Dance Mat which is great fun - *ahem* even for the adults ! It encourages kids to try out their Tree Fu moves and get active, while also working on observation skills and colour recognition because you have to use the little coloured lights on the round panel to show you where to place your feet. It reminded me of the old Simon game from the 80's actually !
Pierre was also very impressed with the Holopax which you wear on your wrist, although it is quite bulky for younger children. It lights up, makes sounds and opens up when you press the button, much to Pierre's obvious delight !
And the surprise hit from the twitter party was the Squizzles - simple lightweight frisbees that can be thrown (they're soft and the perfect size for small children) or used for a variety of silly games from balancing them on your head to passing them from person to person using just your knees ! I didn't think they looked very impressive in the box but the kids had a fabulous time with them, proving that the simplest toys are sometimes the best.
The whole range of toys went down well with all the kids at the party who instantly recognised the characters and got very excited about playing with them. The Madhouse Mini-testers have been playing with the activity sets every day since and I love listening to the stories they come up with.
Disclosure : As a Twitter party host, we received a selection of toys (and other party goodies), some to give away as prizes and some to keep.
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