I always like toys that inspire imaginative and creative play. So when Freddy received a Zoob Modelling Kit , I was keen to see what he would make of it (and with it!)
Zoob is a children's construction toy that using ball and socket joints to create moveable and posable models. There are five different shaped pieces which are colour coded, and which fit together in different ways to make a variety of different connections. Children can use the pieces to construct designs as varied and as elaborate as their imagination and ability allows. The pieces feel strong and sturdy.
The Zoob Modelling Kit comes in a sturdy storage bucket with a fitted lid containing 125 Zoob pieces and five instruction leaflets with differing ability levels. The first leaflet explores the type of connections which can be made and introduces some simple models. The leaflets get progressively more detailed, inspiring more complicated models.
Freddy was happy to get stuck straight in (still wearing his PE kit from Friday's last lesson of sports at school) and intuitively fitted pieces together, twisting the ball ends in the sockets and attaching them to each other. True to form, Freddy constructed lots of laser guns, zapping guns and shooting guns! But I was impressed to see how quickly he worked out how to angle the pieces to create his visions of space age weaponry. He then went on to make robots, which he proceeded to shoot with his guns. It may not have been the most PC activity, but he had great fun and was being very creative with his imaginary game.
I really like the articulation of the various joints which allows you to manipulate the pieces at varying angles. The modelling set is really versatile with the pieces able to snap together in 20 different ways. You can make geometric shapes such as pyramids and cubes which is quite a therapeutic activity! There are so many combinations you can make as you explore the potential of the pieces, and they swivel in the joints with a satisfying clicking noise!
But the real fun comes in being creative. There are ideas for fourteen creations from the simple twirling top to the Zoob Dude to the very intricate Zoob Rex dinosaur, all featured in the instruction leaflets. You can go on to do unlimited creative building!
Some of the connections are trickier than others and need a steady hand. However the basic connections are very simple, which means this set has great play longevity and will grow with your child. At 4, Freddy was able to pop the joints together with ease, but over time he will be dexterous enough to make rotating hinges or multiple joint connections to create more complex models.
I had a go myself (as you do!) and made an articulated scorpion. I was rather proud of myself even though it is only a level 2 creation. Its legs and tail are all fully poseable. I will leave it up to Daddy to make the Zoob Rex which is the biggest and most complicated model in the instruction leaflet!
Overall, I really like Zoob. It's not too fiddly or complicated at its basest level meaning Freddy played happily and independently and could successfully make models on his own. It has the potential to grow with him as his dexterity and imagination further develops. There are different Zoob sets available so you can add to your collection as they are all fully compatible. It is very different to the other building block sets on the market, making it a unique addition to the toy box. The pieces are quite chunky so even small hands are able to manipulate them and make good sized models with ease. It's colourful and versatile and is very well made. Little fingers can get pinched between the pieces as they click together if you are not careful (yes, it was me that got my skin pinched!!)
The 125 piece Zoob Modelling Kit costs £35 and is available at Aspace, where you can also find a whole host of fabulous quality products for kids, from toys to bedroom furniture. Zoob is recommended for children aged 6 and up, but Freddy at 4 is loving it and plays with it every day. It is a great idea for a Christmas present for creative boys and girls.