* Prices may differ from that shown
Each year I ask my children to write a Christmas list, I usually get them to write it in September and they are allowed to add to it once more just before Christmas.
A couple of years ago my daughter, who was twelve yesterday, wrote me a list that contained a lot of craft/creative toys. One of these items requested was a set of Wammy; you are probably now asking yourself what on earth is Wammy? so I will endeavour to explain.
Wammy is a reusable craft set, in each box you get 100 or 200 (depending on the set you buy) strange shaped, flexible plastic things, I can only describe them as dog bone shape, but flat, and with a cut out area in the centre. Each Wammy is made so as you can easily clip it to other Wammies.
The Wammies are quite soft and flexible; they can be twisted, looped and curled. It can be a bit awkward to pull them apart when you are trying to dismantle your creation. They can be used over and over again, my daughter did play with these for quite a while before they were shoved in her toy box never to see the light of day.
The box my daughter owns has got 200 Wammies in, they are a mixture of Pink, Blue, Green, Yellow and White, the colouring and box design is aimed at girls but I think boys would also be happy to play with these. The box also contains an ideas booklet which contains pictures and step by step instructions of what it is possible to build. It is worth looking through the booklet as it will give you some inspiration as to what to build.
My daughter was very excited to receive this present, I think she was 9 at the time, she promptly tipped all 200 Wammies on to the floor and started clipping them together, at first she made a lot of bracelets, as this seemed to be the easiest thing to make. Tipping the box out on to the floor myself for the purpose of this review I can see that she made a few flowers.
In all honesty I think Wammy is a bit of a gimmick, the things shown on the front of the box and in the ideas booklet take a lot of time and patience to build and then when you are done really serve no purpose as they are full of holes.
I brought my box of 200 Wammy from my local Co-op for £14.99 (Christmas 2009) as the postage charges on Amazon near Christmas were a bit more than I was willing to pay. A box of 100 Wammy will set you back £14.95 + £4.62 postage on Amazon UK and a box of 200 cost £48.75 on eBay UK. So in all honesty I think they are very over priced and a waste of money, there are much nicer craft sets available that give you a more useful end product.
In conclusion Wammy is not a toy I recommend, it is well made but that does not justify the high price tag that these sets demand.
Thank you for reading.
Also on Ciao/Dooyoo.
A couple of months ago it was my younger daughter's sixth birthday and she unsurprisingly received lots of lovely presents. As she loves making things, a lot of her gifts were along this theme, and one of her favourites was a 100 piece Wammy starter set. We had been aware of Wammy before but had never owned any, so my daughter was highly delighted.
The Wammy set contains lots of small plastic shapes that look a bit like bones with the middle hollowed out. There are a hundred of these and are shared out equally into five different colours - blue, pink, orange, green and white. All of these colours are pale pastels which give the pieces a more elegant look. The great thing about all these little pieces though is that you can do all sorts of things with them in order to create wonderful things! You can bend them, twist them or connect them to each other thanks to some very handily placed pegs and holes. The pieces are extremely easy to manipulate and fit together and my daughters are highly delighted by some of the amazing things that they have managed to create.
On the whole, I would say that my daughters just enjoy twisting, bending and connecting these pieces however they please and I think that they are most proud of a colourful and classy dog collar that they made for one of their toy puppies! However, if they want to seek inspiration the little instruction booklet offers lots of ideas as well as demonstrating the different techniques that they can try out.
It is very easy to connect the pieces just by pressing the peg and hole together and this creates a really strong link. It is also easy to separate them just by gently twisting the two pieces apart. This is really good as it means that you can make lots of different things by reusing the pieces although equally you can save the special things that you have made. As there are only 100 pieces though, they will soon run out if children do not at least recycle some of them. There are also lots of different ways shown in order to connect the pieces and that makes it all the more interesting. Children might want to practice the different things that they can do before embarking on things to make, but if they are anything like my two, they will just want to get on with making things!
There are tons of suggestions of things to make in the booklet with relatively easy to follow instructions, both written and in photographs. There is also a guide to tell you whether the project is easy, medium or challenging. This is very helpful as I can steer my daughters to the most appropriate projects, although it does not take a genius to work out that it is going to be slightly easier to make a basic tiara than it is to make a trinket box and its lid! These are some of the suggested projects along with basic flowers, chain bracelets, tulips and butterflies to mention just a few.
The suggested age for this kit is five years and above and this is probably just about right. My daughters love making things out of the wammies and find the little pieces easy to handle and connect together. This set has really fired up their imaginations and so far has provided many hours of entertainment, particularly as it is all reuseable.
This 100 piece set is available on Amazon for £11.98 (May 2011). which seems reasonable value as it does seem to keep my daughters busy. They definitely recommend this fun activity set!