Reviewed by DT (initials used to protect my childrens’ privacy)
My twin sons had their 9th birthday in summer and I wanted to make the occasion extra special for them this year. I have been on the look out for toys which are portable enough to travel without taking up a lot of space in our luggage. These toys certainly fit the bill. They arrived quickly in perfect condition. The card packaging was, I felt, minimal which is a good thing. It was simple but appealing to adults and children alike. We were lucky enough to receive two different Pop A Tops to play – Match A Martian and Bake A Cake. Both really appealed to both of my twin sons.
Match A Martian
This toy consists of a metal tin and a top which has three dice within it, several alien cards and some instructions. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. The toy is suitable for age 6+ so my twins fall nicely within the age range and 2+ people can play. I loved the design of the toy. It was simple but very exciting and therefore appealing. I think that the colours very much compliment each other. Now, this got very competitive which added to the amusement. One of my twins and I raced to be the first ‘Earthling’ to match find, match and grab the alien card first. We also loved the fact that if someone else has that card you can ‘steal’ it from them. The game was simple to play, we just had to roll the dice and then race to do as I mentioned above. We loved this game. It kept T very well engaged and it helped that each round didn’t take too long to play. The alien cards are well designed in vibrant exciting colours.
Bake A Cake
This toy also consisted of a metal tin and a top which has two dice within it. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. This toy too is suitable for age 6+ so my twins fall nicely within the age range and 2+ people can play. I like toys suitable for 2+ players as they can be a lovely way to spend 1:1 time together. As with the other toy we were sent, the design of the contents was great. I loved how all of the colours complimented each other. Inside the tin was a set of instructions, cupcake cases and various pretend cup cake ingredients. The aim of the game is to roll the dice and then collect and match the cake topping card to build your cupcake. Sometimes a swap symbol comes up and you can swap toppings with your opponents. Do watch out though for the cake guzzler symbol as if this comes up you must put all of your toppings back and start again. I think that this just adds to the fun and I think it’s important for children to learn problem solving skills. The first person to create a perfect cupcake with all of the toppings in the colour of their cupcake case wins.
I have to say that I was totally beaten by my son when playing this game, which I think added to his enjoyment and amusement.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Pop A Tops games to others as well as Playmonster as a brand.
I think that these games would make an excellent birthday, ‘just because’ well done at school or Christmas gift idea. I think that the RRP of £7.99 represents excellent value.
This review has been written as part of a wider piece of coverage about a Summer Birthday Celebration. Do have a look out on the website for the other reviews that are a part of this coverage plus the main review-led article. At the time of writing this review, the review-led article is not yet online.