For all our technology-loving ways, there are still some traditional toys that we as a family love, and one of those toys is LEGO. Both the geekdaddy and I remember fondly playing with LEGO as kids, and we’re really looking forward to loads of LEGO playtime with our kids. The geekdaughter got her first LEGO DUPLO set for her first birthday, and it’s now one of the few toys that we possess that both kids can play with together without (too many) arguments.
So when the email arrived in my inbox inviting me to be a member of the LEGO DUPLO UK blogger panel for 2012, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough! What this means is that I’ll be working with the LEGO DUPLO team throughout the year, reviewing some of their products, and hopefully getting the chance to talk to some of the team to find out what their plans are and give them my feedback.
The first product we were sent to review was the Creative Cakes set. As soon as I saw it I knew it would be popular with both kids – the geekdaughter loves playing tea parties, and the geekson is starting to get the hang of them as well. Sure enough – they couldn’t wait to open the box and play!
There are 55 pieces in the set, and I’m pleased to say that most of them are “standard” DUPLO pieces. This will be something that I look out for particularly when reviewing LEGO DUPLO products, because I regard LEGO and therefore DUPLO as a very creative toy, and don’t like the idea of only being able to make one thing with any set. Obviously some pieces, like the rounded cake tops and the cake cases are bespoke for this set, which is understandable, but I would happily mix the contents of this set in with our other DUPLO and I think it would all be used for bigger projects.
LEGO DUPLO has a recommended age range of 2-5 years, but as I’ve previously mentioned both my kids have been playing with it pretty much since they could pick things up. The geekson is now 21 months, and he loved putting the cake pieces together, especially the candles that go on top. The geekdaughter (4) enjoyed looking through the booklet that came with the set and copying the cakes in the pictures – this struck me as excellent practice for when she moves onto “grown-up” LEGO and has instructions to follow. And whilst we’re on the subject, I really like the way that LEGO DUPLO will interlock with that “grown-up” LEGO. The geekdaughter will soon be old enough to play with the “real” stuff, and I’m pleased that won’t make all our DUPLO redundant when it happens.
My first impression of the set was that quite a lot of it seemed to be pink, which made me think it was made specifically to appeal to girls, something I’m not at all comfortable with. However once we actually started playing with it and making things it became clear that the colours were entirely appropriate to the subject matter, and the kids made a variety of different kinds of cake for me (with a heavy emphasis on chocolate cake!).
LEGO DUPLO Creative Cakes retails for £19.99 and is available direct from the LEGO online store as well as many other retailers.
Disclosure: We were sent the LEGO DUPLO creative cakes set for the purpose of this review