Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Playplax is Back

Back in the sixties, Patrick Rylands invented the iconic British made toy Playplax.  By 1970 it had sold over one million copies.  The creative and imaginative game consisted of vibrantly coloured interlocking squares which are used to create all manner of objects from towers to castles to planes to ships.  As a child I coveted Playplax, but never got to own my own set.  That is until now.

Playplax has been brought back to a whole new generation by Portobello Games.  In a world of technology it is nice to see a toy which requires no battery, no buttons and has no electronic sounds. It works purely using a child's imagination.   Manufactured to replicate the first edition, it has been lovingly recreated using British manufacturers and suppliers, making a game that is as relevant now as it was back in the '70's.


The gorgeous, see-through, coloured squares are packaged in a box designed by design guru and friend of the inventor Brian Webb.  It has been such a labour of love bringing back Playplax.  Founder of Portobello Games, Lucy Baring calls Playplax "the best designed toy ever" and is a big fan of the timeless, iconic construction game.

Playplax is an open-ended toy that does not dictate how it is played with, it fosters imagination and has the potential to be different each time it is played.  It is suitable for girls and boys aged 3 and up (and is perfect for design mad teens and adults too).  It is as simple or as complicated as the child wants it to be.

My husband was very excited by the arrival of our box of Playplax that we received to review.  He remembered it fondly from his childhood.   He set to work with Kizzy and Ella to build some models using the chunky, colourful pieces.

A colourful tower.
The 48 pieces in five jewel colours are durable and sturdy.  They interlock easily and hold together in the shapes you construct.  It can sometimes be a bit frustrating as the pieces don't stick together firmly and can slip apart very easily in your hands.  So I think it is possibly better for children older than the recommended 3 years old. Older children can manipulate and hold the squares to create the more complex models.  Playplax can be quite challenging, but I think it adds to the play value and certainly kept 9 year old Kizzy and 15 year old Ella entertained as they created some really interesting shapes.  It really made them think and puzzle out the use of shape and colour to make some stunning geometric models.

play plax
Geometric shapes.
Priced at just £15.99 from Amazon and direct from, it would make a great Christmas gift for any creative child.  I love the simplicity, the design and the vibrant colours. I love how the light shines through the squares.   This toy will last for years and be a firm favourite in any household.  It will definitely be in ours!


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