Thursday, 7 July 2011

Toyologist Review - Badge It! Badge Maker

Missy Woo is a creative little soul. You can forever find her drawing something or trying to make something. Whenever we get given some kind of craft item, she wants to do it straight away. The problem is that most things either take longer than her attention span, and on top of that, it makes a mess. Now, I am not the perfect housewife; our house is not the tidiest but it's lived in and livable. But children's craft things seem to be made to create mess, and I get landed with the clearing up. And not just mess, paint on clothes, glue on tables (even if covered), crayon on walls, pen on children. Arrrrgh.

So, when we were sent Badge It! Badge Maker to try, I was a teeny bit reticent about having a go, expecting it to be a) a lengthy process and b) a bit messy. I saved it for an afternoon after school and decided to take the plunge with the children.

Boy, was I wrong. The box contained a press and everything you need to make 15 badges. (You can purchase refill packs once you run out). There's also a little template if you want to make your own designs but there are 15 designs included too. So we started off by choosing designs and cutting them out. I did most of the cutting out but Missy Woo did some of it. The designs were perforated which made cutting out easier. I was quite careful but it became apparent that it doesn't really matter if you're not that careful.

Then you make your badge; you put badge top, design and a seal into the press. You turn the dial until it clicks. This was quite hard for little hands to do - they could turn it but not far enough to reach the clicking stage as it required a reasonable amount of force. Then you return the dial to the start position, add the back, and turn again. When you release it, your badge is done. Well, apart from popping a pin in the back, which pops in easily. The whole process took a few minutes and the results are very professional looking. Missy Woo was so delighted, we made Monkey's badge (he had lost interest after 5 minutes; he prefers to run about!) and we made another one, all in the space of about 15 minutes. And when we were done, there were a few things to pick up and put away - but no mess.

We made these! 
Missy Woo loved the different designs on offer and now wants to make her own badges using the template, something we will try some other time. I think she would have liked it to be easier to turn the dial but it is marked as suitable for 6 years and older and she's only five - although she is as big as some 6 year olds. She was, however, more than happy with Badge It! and she loves her new badges. And I was happy too - I can get the press out, we can make a badge in a few minutes and not have masses of clearing up. When the children are a bit older, I am pretty sure they would be able to make badges without my help.

Overall, we loved this - more so for me as I wasn't expecting to like it. It costs £20 and refill packs cost under £10, which gives you enough to make another 30 badges. I personally think that they could put the parts to make more than 15 badges in the box without adding too much to the cost but really it is a minor quibble. It's fun and it's easy. And it doesn't add to the mess.

Hmm, possibly Missy Woo and I like it for different reasons...

(I was provided with the above toy to review and have received no other compensation. The opinions stated here are my own, and have not been influenced by the aforementioned compensation.)
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