Thursday, 12 November 2020

Nostalgic Play with Flair Creative Play & Heritage Brands - Review

[AD/Gifted - We received these items for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

Toys have a come a long way since the 80s and 90s but I love that there a few that have either stuck around and are still popular or have made a comeback. C and E were very excited to receive a box of goodies from Flair.


We received:

  • Mr Frosty
  • The Original Spirograph
  • The Original Spirograph: Scratch & Shimmer
  • Plasticine Movie Maker Studio
  • Plasticine Tool Box
  • Plasticine Softeez Noodle Doodle Assortment
I don't know who was happier with this - the kids or me! When I was a child, I owned The Original Spirograph and adored it (it was my favourite toy!) and I was desperate for a Mr Frosty but never got one. Imagine my excitement when we opened this parcel!

Mr Frosty
Mr Frosty has had a bit of an update since the 1980's. His look has definitely been modernised but it still works in the same way.

Inside the box you get the Mr Frosty Ice Crunchy maker, 3 x ice lolly moulds, 2 x Mr Frosty spoons, 1 x penguin juice dispenser, 1 x shaped ice tray moulds and 2 x Mr Frosty bowls.

Using a Mr Frosty could not be easier! To make lollies, we simply popped a mix of water with our favourite lemon flavoured squash and put them in the freezer overnight. 

Similarly to this, we changed up the flavour and did apple and blackcurrant ice shapes using the mould. These are great for putting on top of the crushed ice that you make with Mr Frosty or even putting into your drinks on a hot day.

Making crushed ice was definitely the children's favourite aspect of Mr Frosty. This parts works best if you use small ice cubes that have been left for approximately 30 minutes at room temperature, otherwise they can be difficult to crush.

Simply put the ice cubes into the Mr Frosty maker, gently put his hat on top and push down while you twist the handle on the back. This will make the mechanism move and the crushed ice will appear in the drawer at the front of the maker.

When your ice has all been crushed, put it into a bowl to eat and if you want to add a bit of flavour, simply put some juice or squash into the penguin juice dispenser and add as you please!

You can get your own Mr Frosty from Smyths Toys for £17.99.

Spirograph

Spirograph is one of those toys that brings me right back to my childhood. I remember sitting for hours making different designs.

We used The Original Spirograph first as the children had never used it before. Inside this set (which also doubles as a carrycase/built-in work surface) you get 19 x spirograph precision wheels, 2 x spirograph precision rings, 1 x spirograph precision rack, 3 x fine line design pens, 5g of reusable spiro-putty, 20 x sheets of design paper and 1 x design guide.

The design guide is a great place to start as it gives you a bit of an idea when it comes to know which size wheels will give you which design. Each ring has a number of holes for you to put your pen into and the design you get will different depending on which one you pick.

Spirograph definitely takes a bit of getting used to. You start by using the putty to stick the ring to your paper then make sure that you use the pen to push the wheel around the ring - without it coming off! - and you'll begin to see your design come to life! 

Spirograph is recommended for children aged 8+ due to the difficulty. C turned 8 in September and needed a little assistance to begin with but he soon got the hang of it. Once he had had enough practice, he started to get adventurous and was able to change pen colours and wheels, making for a more lively picture.

You can buy your own Original Spirograph from Argos for £28.

The Original Spirograph: Scratch & Shimmer is one that I have never seen before but it works in a similar way.

Inside the box you get 1 x spirograph precision ring, 6 x spirograph precision wheels, 4 x rainbow scratch sheets, 4 x glitter scratch sheets, 2 x sticker sheets, 1 x drawing stylus pen and 1 x guide book.

I loved to do scratch art as a child too so this was the perfect combination of two of my favourites. The underside of the rings have little dots which cause friction against the scratch sheets so they don't move. We did feel like we had to still hold it on the sheet though when moving the wheels around.

Scratch & Shimmer was a little bit more difficult. The main concept is the same, pick a hole in the wheel, move it around the ring and create a design. This time though, the stylus needs to be held at a ninety degree angle and more pressure needs to be put on it to make the scratches in the sheet.

The images come out very beautifully and E has already asked to hang them up in her room!

You can buy Spirograph Scratch & Shimmer from Argos for £20.

Plasticine
We love Plasticine in our house because, unlike other types of dough brands, it doesn't dry out. We only ever owned the individual strips and didn't know that there were other sets to choose from.

The Plasticine Tool Box is a cute little carrycase containing 7 x colours of Plasticine, 5 x shaped cutters, 1 modelling tool and 1 x roller.

This makes for a lot of open ended play which is definitely 6 year old E's favourite. The Plasticine is quite hard when you start off but after playing with it in your hands, the heat will make it softer. The shaped cutters are great for making animals and objects then creating your own pictures or scenes with them.

E took it one step further and made a full sculpture using the tools too!

You can find the Plasticine Tool Box at Amazon for £12.99.

Plasticine Softeez Noodle Doodle come in three different designs; Jungle, Ocean and Circus. E chose to do the Circus one while C opted for Ocean. Inside each pack you get 3 x Noodle Doodle sheets and 5 x Plasticine colours.

The Plasticine colours are already in "noodle" form and attached together so all you need to do is peel off a noodle and follow the squiggly line guides on the included sheets to create your picture.

I loved these as they are the type of set that the children can be left with to entertain themselves while I am busy cleaning! It has a great reusable aspect too and both C and E were very proud of their finished results. I think these would make lovely little gifts.

You can find the Plasticine Softeez Noodle Doodle Assortment from Amazon and independent toy retailers for around £4.99 each.

When C saw the Plasticine Movie Maker set, he was desperate to open it straight away because he spotted the 'Stop Motion' app logo on it. He loves making stop motion movies so this is right up his street!

Inside the box you get 12oz of Plasticine in assorted colours, 1 x modelling tool, 1 x stand for a smartphone or tablet, 4 x background scenes, 73 movie props and 1 x idea guide.

Both C and E were excited to get stuck in right away and set to coming up with a scene for their first shoot. Each of them designed their own person, using a few props along the way. 

We chose a scene then put our Plasticine people in the beginning positions. If you don't already have the Stop Motion app, this can be downloaded from Google Play or the App Store. After taking the first photo on the app, we moved the people slightly then took another photo, and so on, until we were satisfied that we were finished. They were delighted with the outcome!



It is a lot easier to do that I first thought and it is a set that they have asked to play with almost every day since it arrived! This will definitely be a popular one for Christmas.

You can get the Plasticine Movie Maker from Amazon for £9.99.



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