Reviewed by Louise Totton
We have been trying out lots of rainy days activities in our house recently, and one of the most popular choices is regularly craft activities – both of my girls love all things craft and making related, and the only thing that can make it even better is being left with something cute and sweet at the end. There actually aren’t many crafty activities that fill that brief – there are plenty that give us something lovely to stick to the fridge or to store in the family memory box, but surprisingly few that will give the kids something to play with or enjoy at the end of the task.
That is, until now! We spent last weekend trying out EUGY – a lovely series of collectable toys that combine crafting with jigsaws, and that leave the kids with a very cute little friend at the end, all whilst being non-toxic, eco-friendly and bio-degradable. It actually sounds too good to be true but it really isn’t and we have had a wonderful time with ours!
The range of characters is extensive, featuring creatures from dinosaurs, unicorns and dragons through to pandas, elephants, giraffes and sharks… we were sent a unicorn, a dragon and a wolf to try out and I have to say that they were all gorgeous. These products come packaged in lovely, compact little boxes, which I think makes them lend themselves particularly well to being stocking fillers or birthday party presents. Inside each box is a series of thick and beautifully printed rectangles of card, where the component pieces are die-cut, a tube of non-toxic glue, plastic bead-eyes and support sticks to help you put the pieces together.
Assembly is really simple, but also very satisfying and great fun! All of the component parts are popped out of the card and laid out on the desk. They are all numbered and marked with L or R (left or right), so there will be pieces, for example, L1 – L10 and R1 – R10. The largest piece is the starting point for assembly and is actually a double piece which is folded over and becomes both L1 and R1. Each of the pieces have a little hole in them, and the first job is to insert the support rod(s) into starting piece. From there, it is a simple matter of following the numbers to glue then slide the next piece over the rod, and the shape seems to appear before your eyes, with each bit effectively being a slice of the creation! One of the slices will indicate that you need to pop the plastic eye on, which is then cleverly held in place by the next slice.
We had the most fun afternoon building these little creatures, and the kids were over the moon with the little friends that they managed to build. My girls are 7 and 9, and they were both able to work on these with minimal help and support. There is no cutting required, and neither of the kids found assembling them fiddly or difficult – we did all have to concentrate on what we were doing but that is no bad thing. It is good for kids to be doing things that require them to focus on what they’re doing and I think it gives them an even bigger sense of achievement when they are finished.
As I said, we were sent three of the kits to try out – my youngest was desperate to attempt the unicorn, my eldest wanted to do the dragon and I did the wolf. The completed figures are not only beautifully detailed from the side, they also look fantastic from the front, especially the dragon where we could see into his mouth and admire his teeth and tongue! The completed figures are strong and sturdy, and my girls have each popped theirs on their bedside tables, although I have no doubt at all that they are strong enough to be played with like toys.
The EUGY are a wonderful way to spend any afternoon, rainy or otherwise! With minimal support, it took the kids around half an hour to get their puzzle built, but they then have had an awful lot more time spend playing with the finished result. The girls have both said that they would love to start collecting more creatures from the range, and have each kept hold of the collector’s guide so that they can decide which one they would most like to work on next. Starting at around £8, I think these are great value, especially when you consider the fantastic eco-credentials of the product. I can’t fault these at all and am looking forward to expanding our range.
Available to buy from Amazon here.