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Gogos/Crazy Bones are the toys voted 'most likely to go up the hoover 2011' in our house. They may lurk in the corner of any room. I found one in the garden yesterday, who'd been out there all winter and was greeted like a long-lost friend by the Boy. It still had its face, which was a minor miracle as sometimes they wear off a bit.
They are small and they are plastic, standing about an inch tall. Gogos come in a range of colours, shapes and faces. Some are furry, some metallic, some transparent, most are brightly coloured.
*** What's the point of them? ***
They are collectable, with several different series: among others, Power, Evolution, Advance and Gold. Some of the sets only take about 10 to complete while others have around 80 in them. They also did a series to celebrate England's World Cup efforts last year. We've mostly got ones from the Evolution and Superstar series.
You can also play games with them, that are apparently inspired by traditional 'knucklebones' games, where you throw them and which way they land decides how many points you get. If one lands on its feet, it's 5 points, on its side it's 2 points, face-up it's 1 point and face-down gives you nothing. They have arched backs, which are shaped in this way so they can rest on a single finger for throwing or flicking.
There are also marbles-like games to play, where you try to knock over your opponent's gogos.
Although we occasionally play these games, primarily the Boy likes them to create small armies, audiences for watching tv, drivers for his toy cars and queues of passengers for his train-sets. He also just likes to get them all out, line them up and discourse at length on the qualities and names of each one, where he got them from and which set they're from.
They're pretty cute and I enjoy my son's enthusiasm for them. I often buy him a pack for a treat or he'll spend his pocket-money on them. I just wish they would all manage to go back to their box after play: there's always at least one stray!
The cats also appreciate gogos and are partly responsible for their distribution around the house, flicking them with their paws and proudly carrying them around in their mouths, like the great hunters they are.
Over time, gogos do show signs of wear, such as scratches or fading. The metallic ones are particularly prone to losing their paintwork on the edges, while the furry ones can get a trifle grubby. Not surprising given their lifestyle.
The Boy says of gogos, "Some are really cute, some are really good and they can stand up to play games with."
*** I'm sold! How can I fill my house with small plastic creatures too? ***
They are sold in small packets, usually in pairs and often come with stickers or cards. You can also buy larger boxes of them, particularly for the smaller sets. Prices range from 99p to £9.99 for the boxed sets. Newagents often stock them, although our local one seems to have stopped, unfortunately. You can also buy them online from Amazon.
They're not suitable for very small children who might put them in their mouths, so best for young collectors over three.