Figure Tack Zap
Reviewed by Sophie Rix
The box was sealed in an ‘easy to open’ cellophane film enabling full view of the product details whilst protecting the box and contents prior to opening. The box itself has a lift off lid the same as the boxes most games or puzzles come in, allowing easy access without spilling everything out onto the floor. It also meant my daughter (age 3½) could easily put the game away again HERSELF once she had finished playing! (FAB!)
The box itself is strong enough to hold and store the product without it being damaged and it doesn’t take up too much room for storing in between use. It is easily stackable amongst other games of similar shape and size.
My daughters’ first reaction when seeing the product was fairly indifferent as I hadn’t told her what she was receiving. She looked at the bright colours on the cover and wasn’t sure what to expect or what this would bring for her as she had not experienced anything like this before. However, upon opening the box, her reaction was “WOW!” J
Upon opening the box you are presented with all you need to play – a large, thick, hard wearing piece of cork board, a packet of metal ‘tacks’, a small wooden hammer and a number of brightly coloured, pre-holed, wooden shapes inviting you to start playing!
Everything is loose inside the box, aside from the tacks which are in a small sealed bag that once opened, cannot be re-sealed.
The hammer and shapes are solid wood with smooth edges, are lightweight and easy for my daughter to handle without an adults input. The tacks are as expected, lightly sharpened, just enough to enable ‘tacking’ but not enough to harm anyone during general use. The product is very simply made but to a good quality finish.
Overall, my daughter LOVES this! After an initial demonstration and instructions on how to play (and how not to!), in just a few hours she had played with it a number of times, creating numerous farm pictures by tacking the shapes in and then undoing it all and starting over again. She has thoroughly enjoyed hammering the tacks in to the shapes and particularly felt ‘grown up’ by using a hammer independently (which she has only ever seen an adult use for DIY projects). The well made and easily identifiable different coloured shapes enabled her to confidently name different animals and colours prior to tacking them in to her picture. As there was also almost two of each shape, she created patterns and symmetry’s in her pictures too so she was clearly learning as she played – something I hadn’t expected from this.
I was sceptical at whether a three year old would be able to safely use a hammer and tacks without a lot of help and whether such a simple concept would keep her interested for very long, however, I was pleasantly surprised at how you are easily drawn into the activity and even as a “grown-up” I was desperate for a turn and to be involved!
I would definitely recommend this product to people with children of ages three and above, I don’t feel it would suit a younger child as I do not feel they would stay focused or be as safe and imaginative as they need to be to enjoy it. It is excellent value for money – at such a low cost it kept my daughter entertained and stimulated and she is still excitedly asking to play – on a daily basis. I am more than happy for her to sit and play with this unsupervised now she knows what to do and is aware of tidying away safely so her younger siblings do not handle the tacks. Overall… I love it too!
I would rate this 4½ out of 5 – I would have given 5 if there was a variant theme or expansion on the theme within the box to enable a more involved picture as I imagine the same farm pieces could eventually become tedious – i.e. a tractor shape and hay bales, farm buildings etc… rather than just animals, trees and people. Something to store the tacks in once opened would also be a great addition as I had to source something at home and the tacks are now kept separate from the box otherwise they would be loose sliding around in the box, possibly escaping around the sides and therefore a danger to little (and big) feet standing on them or cutting short play if there weren’t enough.
A great product!
Available to buy from Amazon here.