Monday, 28 June 2010

Review: Bloco Scorpions and Insects Set

Poor Master Craftiness has been very ill all weekend with severe tonsillitis. Worst still was the fact that he was stuck in bed when the sun was shining so beautifully outside. There was a plus side though, and it was a massive plus side for us; we discovered Bloco. Bloco was a totally new medium for us to work with, and the joy experienced was like discovering Lego for the first time. I think that is a hard comparison to beat.

Anyway, for those of you who have never used Bloco before, then it is basically a set of foam pieces; tons of different shapes which can be connected in a number of different ways. You can either connect the foam pieces together by slotting them together in a certain way, or you can connect them by little ball connectors (which can also be used as eyes).

If I haven't explained that well enough, here's how the Bloco website describe it:

"The Bloco™ construction toy is a patented concept that uses high density foam designed in unique colourful shapes. Foam pieces link together and rotate to any angle using the special connectors. Build and create your own creatures or build from the instructions provided."

The pack which we had to review was the 'Scorpions and Insects' pack. This is a 162 piece kit which has orange, red and green pieces. The pack comes with instructions to make four models. When discovered that you could actually make around two models at a time. Any more than two models and you would have to start dissassembling made models to get the parts to make the other models. This was the only downside. I think I would rather pay a little more and have enough pieces to make all four models without having to disassemble the other models. However, when I buy another kind of Bloco kit this can be used in conjunction with this kit. So we will soon be able to make amazing creations without dismantling the ones we have just made.

Here's a pic of the first creation:

A little tip from us would be to follow the instructions to make the four amazing models. After this you will be extremely well versed in the way in which parts connect. We started off by building the scorpion together; this was so enjoyable. As Master Craftiness gets older it is becoming a rarer and rarer opportunity that we get to do things together, as he would much rather be outside kicking a ball with his friends. This kit provided a perfect bonding opportunity.

It could have made a scene from a sitcom, as I went out of the room for 15 minutes to tend to my other son, I left Master Craftiness in bed moaning and writhing in pain. When I had come back Master Craftiness had really perked up and was sitting in bed with the model of his spider which he had made all by himself. He said to tell anyone that reads this review, that he thinks this kit is "absolutely brilliant!"

Here is the spider which he made all by himself:

We were very impressed with the fact that the foam was so sturdy. When we read that this was a foam kit, we were expecting our creations to fall apart at the slightest touch. Which was certainly not the case. We also thought the fact that the creations actually looked like they did on the pack was a huge bonus!

As you can see the detail of the pieces are amazing! This grasshopper almost looks like he is going to fly towards you!

After making the four models, Master Craftiness then went on to make various creatures with the kit. The great thing is when we buy another Bloco set we will even be able to connect the pieces from this kit to that kit, so we can come up with even crazier inventions. Bloco has an online gallery where you can upload and show others your creations, which is brilliant if you have just made something that you are particularly proud of!

What I really loved about this kit was the fact that it wasn't a kit that was made and then forgotten about. Much the same as Lego the pieces can be reused over and over and so we will get tons of use out of this ONE kit!

Our verdict: Amazing!!!

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