Tuesday 29 October 2013

Marbel Toys review

A few weeks ago, I received an email from Marbel, asking if I'd like to review some toys for them. They explained that they are a toy distribution company based in Cornwall who represent several great brands, specialising in traditional wooden toys, educational toys and construction toys, as well as offering a range of Disney figurines and WWF & Battersea plush toys. I love the focus that has been put on slow toys in recent years - getting back to traditional toys that rely on imagination and creativity rather than batteries to work - and the selection of toys that we received from Marbel really fit in with this ethos.

First up was this Homemade Pizza from Hape. There's not even any plastic in the packaging - it comes in a paper bag inside a cardboard box.

The Madhouse Mini-testers had me laughing because they thought it had a table tennis bat in the box but I explained to them that this is what real pizzas (made by proper Italian chefs, not frozen food manufacturers !) are pushed into the oven with. We enjoyed layering the felt pieces representing the pizza base, tomato sauce, cheesy topping, pepperoni and mushrooms.

Felt isn't the only material used though. There are also onion rings and green pepper slices mades out of wood, as well as a pizza cutter and server. We loved the different textures and the fact that you can make a really realistic looking pizza. The kids had great fun ordering different combinations of pizza toppings, then pretending to cook and serve them.

Next up was this beautiful pink bag from Pink Poppy, which is perfect for carrying around treasured possessions or keeping things tidy in the bedroom. I was surprised at just how excited Pierre got about a simple Mr Tumble shoulder bag during our Something Special party and this girlie version was just as popular with Juliette. It really makes you wonder whether all those elctronic toys and gadgets are necessary !

The final toy would be the perfect stocking filler for teens - a Nanoblocks construction set to create a humming bird model.

It's just like a scaled down, miniature version of Lego. It all looked very fiddly to me but Sophie loved the challenge of trying to put it together.

The instructions are very clear and the finished model is quite recognisable as a humming bird.

Well, OK, you do need to use your imagination, but that's the whole point of the slow toy movement - getting your kids to use their creativity and enter a world of imaginative make-believe play that can be really enriching.

RRPs : Hape Homemade Pizza (HAP-E3129) £17.99, Summer Song Hard Handbag (PIN-JHN220A) £12.99, Nanoblock Hummingbird (NAN-NBC078) £7.99

Disclosure : We received the toys in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Board game review : Santa's Rooftop Scramble

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