Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Mega Bloks First Builders Pony Palace Review - Pink is NOT just for Girls

We received the Mega Bloks Pony Palace set on 28th August, so we have had some time to put it through its paces.

When it first arrived, I was busy writing a letter so my best friend played with 4 Mega Bloks' first builders sets with her son and mine. I got a few photos but that was it.

Today I got a bit imaginative, and made a little "show" of sorts with the Pony Palace to bring it alive... would you think I was weird if I said I did it alone while Aaron was at school? I thought I was doing the video for the purposes of this review, but it turned out it had a special effect on Aaron too:

After I collected Aaron from school, I couldn't wait to show him my efforts as he watches toy reviews similar to that A LOT so I knew he would be a discerning one/two man audience. Daddy wasn't so sure about it but Aaron LOVED it. I explained to Daddy that my video is PITCHED at KIDS! Their differing reactions as they watched were hilarious. All Daddy wanted to know was what accent was that I was trying to adopt. Ha! I had no idea. It was unscripted and so off the hoof, it just flowed out of me.

I then went on to make dinner, and Daddy & Aaron remained in the sitting room as I cooked. All I could hear, tonight, the whole time I cooked, was Aaron doing role play with the set, using similar stories and styles to what I'd adopted but with his own twist. He even introduced other toys to add to the scene. Daddy was GOB SMACKED and said LOOK at what watching YOUR video has achieved. 

I wasn't overly surprised as Aaron often role plays with his toys, but to be fair, until he watched my video he hadn't done so with this particular set yet. I showed him the possibilities.
My Boy Aaron playing with the Mega Bloks Pony Palace
So dear reader it's not just about BUILDING it despite it being part of the first builders Mega Bloks aged 1-5 years range. It's also about all of the many possibilities for learning through play, once it's built.

Now that Aaron is 4 I have seen him revisit some of his baby toys and play with them in a different way. So I can well believe this is 1-5, as you can get years out of toys like this.

Aaron was more interested in the car tracks (that we also received same day from Mega Bloks to review). Look out for that blog post, if you're a boy Mum, but I am glad that my video brought this "pink" toy alive for him. It's great, as normally he's open to girl's pink things, like he LOVES Sofia, Doc McStuffins, Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom etc... As much as he loves trains, tractors and cars, he is open to playing with pretty much anything and I love that.

So back to the review itself. 

This Mega Bloks First Builders - Pony Palace set retails at 19.99 GBP and is available now. In my opinion I would suggest it provides great value for money. I have paid double that when Aaron was younger, for what was effectively a big tub of Lego Duplo, that is not themed in any way. A toy such as this has more longevity when their imagination kicks in, and they're no longer simply making colourful towers. It's a beautiful set for role play, for learning through play, and I can imagine siblings or best friends on a play-date playing with it very well.

I loved that the Princess is really snug, when pushed on the Unicorn. She doesn't fall off, even if turned upside down, whereas the block pony, if he is placed on a block, it's not such a secure connection. However the pieces are all easy to play with for cute little hands. The colours are beautiful and there are quite a few GLITTERY sparkly blocks, which I know little ones will adore.

It's a set that can be built in quite a few configurations. I did the one that is on the back of the box. That's the one you see in the video above. The front of the box is a different build. So straight away there are two ideas for the structured child like *me* but for younger ones, the possibilities are endless in terms of how they can "build" the set.

The stable doors are adorable as are the two archways.

Here's a pic:
Mega Bloks First Builders Pony Palace collage of it built

This is what Mega Bloks themselves have to say:
Let your curious, little princess discover an enchanted world with the Mega Bloks First Builders Pony Palace! Create and decorate a pretty palace and stable for Lil’ Princess and her magical unicorn and pony friends. With over 50 blocks and stickers, your little one can build a beautiful palace with tall towers and a stable with real swinging doors. When Lil’ Princess is ready for a ride, she flies with her sparkly wings to meet her animal friends with her magical pop-up tiara glittering in the sun!Ideal for ages 1 to 5.

Features:
  • One Lil’ Princess with pop-up tiara, a unicorn pony and a pony Block Buddy for lots of magical adventures
  • Magical stickers to create a colorful Lil’ Princess world
  • 50 colorful and sparkling blocks to build a pretty princess pony palace
  • Fun on its own or combined with other Mega Bloks First Builders sets
Disclosure: I was sent the full range of *new* first builders sets. So you will be seeing some more reviews like this one shortly. I am reliably informed that they are all in the new Argos catalogue so start planning Christmas now :-) 

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