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I'm a married mum who loves chocolate & music & having an opinion on just about everything! E-Mail summermama@hotmail.co.uk

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Product Review - Waybuloo World Of Nara Playset

It’s been a few weeks since I last had chance to sit down and write a blog post, but finally I’ve been granted a few minutes peace & quiet so I thought I’d better get on and do the first (of many!) posts about Christmas gifts The Boy received this year.

Like a fair few children, The Boy watches CBeebies and one of the programs that has been a firm favourite for some time is Waybuloo. The adventures of Nok Tok, Yo Jo Jo, De Li and Lau Lau have kept him merrily entertained since he was fairly young. He perks up if he hears the intro music, the chiming music when it’s time for Yogo has him bouncing about excitedly and now he’s a little older he’ll even try to join in the Yogo moves.

A couple of weeks before Christmas I popped into Asda one evening with the sole purpose of seeing if I could find some nice things for him for Christmas. One of the first things that caught my eye was the Waybuloo World Of Nara playset. It was reduced from £30 to £15 and contained a fair few pieces and came in a handy box with handle.

The Waybuloo World Of Nara playset is aimed at children 18+ months, includes 2 Waybuloo figures and various accessories including a hammock, a picnic table and a trike. The description states “(…) Allows children to explore the Piplings homes, play peek-a-boo in 4 different hide + seek spots and help the Piplings float to Buloo in 3 different levitation areas.”

On Christmas Eve, when The Hubby and I were sorting through the pile of gifts accumulated for The Boy to wrap them, we decided that the Waybuloo gift would be from Father Christmas, so it was duly wrapped in the special paper that only Father Christmas presents were wrapped in, and it was one of the first things he opened on Christmas morning.

He was immediately very interested in the World Of Nara, and had everything out of the box and all over our bed within a few short minutes! He seemed duly impressed, and the two figures included were De Li and Yo Jo Jo.

Unfortunately within a few minutes the centre piece of the hammock (it would be the fabric part if any of it were fabric, instead this is a mesh of plastic) had fallen out of the hammock itself. I fitted it back quite easily but once it had come out once it seems determined to not fit back in properly again and as a result is always coming out and going missing. The Boy was disappointed that the wheels on the trike don’t go round and round as he expects all wheels to, so he was quickly bored of that idea and I find it hidden in various locations including the laundry basket and under the chest of drawers in his room – It’s almost like he puts it out of sight because he doesn’t like it and doesn’t want to be troubled by the lack of wheel movement! The levitation areas are a bit hit and miss too – they either flick up too quickly, resulting in a flying Pipling shooting through the air, or they get stuck and the Pipling doesn’t reach Buloo status! (This also frustrates The Boy). The cloud arrangement on the top of the playset is made so that the Piplings can sit in the clouds, and a third cloud is a lever which moves the other two in a circle – but when you’re trying to lever the third cloud your hand is in the way of the other two moving, which is frustrating, and the clouds rotate anti-clockwise which seems to upset The Boy, who prefers to push it round without using the lever, and he always pushes it clockwise!

I see no use for the picnic table other than it ending up on the floor upside down, and The Boy or myself invariably end up treading on it and as it is hard moulded plastic it does then really hurt your foot – more than once The Boy has ended up in tears about this and having a strop with the picnic table, generally resulting in him picking it up and throwing it into his toy box in disgust! In a similar way the sun dial is a non-moving piece of moulded plastic (I wasn’t expecting it to come complete with crystals or play plinky-plink music, but then again what’s the point if it does nothing?) Again, The Boy appears as frustrated by this non-moving thing as he does with the non-moving wheels on the trike, and again it is constantly discarded or hidden elsewhere!

The main playset itself is an inventive collection of Piplings accommodation, linked with doorways and including a winding slide that the figures can use, and he does spend some time playing with it – chattering away to his Piplings, he’s obviously having a lovely time with his imagination and he does play with it on occasion but it certainly isn’t as much of a favourite as I would have anticipated it would be when I first made the purchase.

If I’d paid full price for this, I’d have been seriously disappointed; It is cheap moulded plastic, the justification for the high price seems to be that they’re trading on the Waybuloo name, and I’m sorry but that alone isn’t enough to justify it. They could have included less in the playset and made it better quality and I’d have been happier – it seems quite flimsy, cheaply made and not very well thought out (what is the point of the trike wheels not moving, why is a picnic table included when in the show you never see them sitting at a picnic table and why couldn’t the sun dial have been made to do something – even if the dial turned it would be better).

My advice to other mums – even if your child is Waybuloo mad, spend your money on something more worthwhile! Unless you get this on a decent discount or preloved, it simply isn’t worth it, and the bits will most likely go missing within the first fortnight of ownership. While I don’t doubt his imaginative play is fun for him, I feel I’d have done better spending the money on something else. This is pricey for the sake of the name and I don’t think it’s worth it.

I rate this product a disappointing one out of five.

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