Product Type: Flair Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... sets we have owned, and it matched into the them of the show with a garden theme. The pieces of fuzzy felt were large enough for toddlers ... more
This certainly isn't 'Feltastic'!
Flair Feltastic In the Night Garden
Member Name: i_am_joy
Flair Feltastic In the Night Garden
Advantages: Looks beautiful, large in size
Disadvantages: The pieces don't stick to the board, does not allow really imaginative play
My granddaughter has been an In the Night Garden fan almost from birth and, at four years old, is not showing many signs of distancing herself from the characters from this rather babyish television programme. It's rare she watches it anymore but is still very much in love with Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Makka Pakka. She was given this faux Fuzzy Felt set for her birthday by an uncle; she was immediately impressed by the large size of her gift, being packaged only in a thick transparent folder it allowed her to study the product for a while before playing with it.
She has been sorely disappointed with this impressive looking toy, in this case appearances certainly are deceptive as the felt set has a fundamental flaw - the felt pieces do not stick to the board. It's such a pity as initially this looks so promising, I recalled my grown up daughters' playing with various Fuzzy Felt sets and I really wanted my granddaughter to experience the same pleasure.
The flimsy board is roughly the size of two A4 sheets of paper; the general appearance is one you'd associate with In the Night Garden, being a grassy green colour with basic 'bush' deigns printed onto it. There are twenty seven large felt pieces to represent characters and scenery from the show; in my opinion Flair have put very little thought into the selection of pieces, for example there are four of each main character which is surely confusing and unnecessary. My granddaughter doesn't like the fact that there are four Iggle Piggles, she is old enough to realise that she can realistically use only one Iggle Piggle piece to create her scene so in the end has more characters piled up at the side than are on the board. She was rather pleased to find the flying Pinky Ponk included as this is an aspect of In the Night Garden that she's always found extremely amusing, and sadly a character that is often overlooked in related games.
The entirely themed pieces make for a rather dull game; there is little opportunity for imaginative play and I quickly noticed my granddaughters boredom with the toy. The In the Night Garden was enough of a draw for her to begin with but after a fortnight she stopped playing with it altogether unless I happened to mention it or she espied it tucked down next to the toybox. One day we noticed that the bridge wasn't sticking to the board properly, and from that moment practically every piece stopped adhering securely to the board - it was quite shocking to see how quickly and uniformly the pieces or board (or both) lost their ability to stick together. Of course, now the toy doesn't work it has been rendered rather useless - in fact we popped the felt pieces into my granddaughter's craft box this evening as she may as well use them in her collages than become frustrated by trying to stick them to the board.
As lovely as it looks, I simply cannot recommend Feltastic. With Christmas approaching it is just the kind of toy that will cause awful disappointment if bought as a gift, it is suitable only for children of three years and above - which is far too high a minimum age as most children are growing out of In the Night Garden by then, and there really is very little to capture the imagination or attention of a three year old. If the felt pieces had been a little more receptive to being stuck to the board my opinion may have been slightly higher, but I know my granddaughter would much rather play with something that will make her think and give her some scope to be imaginative and/or creative - unfortunately this delightfully designed felt play set does neither and has proven itself to be an utter waste of money, and at £20 that is a rather expensive mistake to make.
Summary: A waste of money, which is a shame.
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