Sunday 28 August 2011

Fab Effex by Spinmaster review

After signing up for the latest campaign over on Blog-Match, we were lucky enough to be selected as reviewers and received a box of Spinmaster's latest crafts product called Fab Effex. The blurb says : "SpinMaster introduces a fantastic new craft material called Fab Effex. Create & decorate with Fab Effex, the fabulous fabric that is mouldable, reusable and magically sticks!" It was a product that we'd never heard of before, although we've always been very impressed with all the other Spinmaster toys we've reviewed in the past, so we excitedly opened the box without really knowing what to expect.

We received the fashion-themed kit, which contains three paper dolls, a couple of sheets of Fab Effex (so that you can cut out your own choice of shapes) and a bag full of well over a hundred assorted pre-cut shapes.

I have to admit, the pre cut shapes all seem a bit random and all the grown-ups wondered if they were the offcuts left over from some other toy production process ! There are a handful of hearts and a few vaguely clothes-shaped pieces but those are the only recognisable shapes - the rest are a slightly haphazard collection of strips, curves and zigzags.

The girls had a quick look at the pictures on the box and in the enclosed instruction booklet but decided to improvise and make up their own unique designs. They loved discovering the different patterns and colours and trying out different combinations of pieces, layering them for added effect.

The material is strange stuff, kind of like wax-backed fabric strips, which stick to each other or hard surfaces when you peel off the backing paper. It also holds it shape so you can make curls and twists that stay in shape. On the doll designs we made (below), you can't really see it in the picture but the hair on the doll on the left is twisted into long ringlets and the handbag is actually 3-dimensional, made by sticking four triangle shapes together and twisting on a handle.

We had fun but the girls did need quite a lot of help to find ways of transforming the small pieces into something resembling a proper outfit. The good thing is that they are reuseable so you can pull off anything that doesn't look right and start again. The website is also a great source of inspiration and I'm sure the creative juices will start flowing the more we play with it, as we get used to the material and its possibilities.

There is also an animal-themed kit which has 3d animal bodies allowing you to make and decorate a lion, fish and butterfly, which I think would be easier because you could basically stick bits anywhere. I think that would be better for younger children and the dolls kit that we had for slightly older tweens, even if the packaging says age 6+ for both kits.

The pieces can be used for funking up your possessions too - Sophie used some to jazz up her new white mp3 player that she got for her birthday and they stuck really well. She's thinking up other things to customise too because she loves the bright colours and funky patterns.

You can see what the other Blog-Match Fab Effex reviewers thought here.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £9.99

 Other reviews you may be interested in :

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