“ Brand: PlayMais / Type: Craft Supplies - Pirate Box „
When I was shopping around for my ideas for presents for my son for Christmas last year I stumbled across playmais in a small toy store and thought it looked interesting and so decided to check it out when I got home. I ended up looking to amazon which is something I so often do and ended up ordering the playmais pirate box for him.
What is playmais?
Playmais is a 100% natural and biodegradable product which is made from maize, water and food colouring and can be used to make projects and creative sets without the need for glue as it can be stuck together using just a small bit of water. I liked the idea of this product as it was something that I hadn't come across before and as my son and I like to do crafty things together I thought it would be a different experience for us.
Playmais pirate box
The playmais pirate box comes in a good sized cardboard box which is really colourful and so automatically looks fun. The box shows pictures of the pirate ship and other such things that you can make using this set and I have to say it does look quite impressive how you can make such nice things using these little pieces of maize which to me look much like those squishy things that come in your parcels sometimes to protect them in transit!
You are advised on the box that you can use this set to decorate your pirate boat and create most of the characters shown on the box using the pieces in the box. In the box you do get some cardboard cut outs to assemble the boats and such like for decoration, over 500 pieces of playmais and full instructions as well.
My son and I started off this set by popping out the cut outs on the cardboard and assembling them ready for decoration. You are able to make a large pirate ship, a smaller one man boat and an island with palm trees on it. Our first mistake was perhaps here as if we had been sensible we would have taken it step by step and built one thing at once as it is obviously much more tricky to store the items when they are built as opposed to when they are flat and we didn't have time to build all of the items on that occasion.
The idea is with playmais is that you can wet a cloth and then just dab the piece of playmais on to the cloth and get it a little wet and then stick it to the cardboard or another piece of playmais as required and so my son and I just wet a tea towel for this purpose and placed it on the dining table which we were working on. We found though as we were sticking the playmais that in some cases it needed to be a bit more wet and so we resorted to filling an egg cup with water and using a paintbrush for some of the pieces. This way we found in particular that the playmais stuck better to the cardboard on the boats. What I found tricky with using this set was that once the playmais had been wet it just smelled unpleasant and I really didn't enjoy sticking it as parts would stick to my fingers and the smell really got up my nose. This is perhaps just me being a bit particular and perhaps wouldn't be the case for everyone! My son wasn't too bothered by the smell I have to say and seemed to just get on with sticking it.
There are 500 plus pieces in this set and they are all jumbled up of course in the box as they are all just thrown in together. This proved to be tricky at times when we needed lots of browns for example to decorate the bulk of the ships and so we found emptying the playmais in to a large bowl and picking out the ones we needed and placing them to one side was the best option. The playmais can be shaped with your fingers easily should you want to make it a flatter piece or something and you can also use scissors to cut it to shape easily as well should you want to.
Now in the set as I mentioned there are the boats and island and such like to create which use a cardboard background which you can decorate. These I think were much easier to make than the things which didn't have a base such as the treasure chest and people as they just seemed to squish too much without the support of the cardboard and didn't look anywhere near as impressive as the pictures on the box which my son was pretty disheartened by and he didn't want to carry on making any more people for that reason. Sticking the playmais to the cardboard was much easier and my son was able to decorate the smaller boat completely independently but again he got frustrated when there were small gaps which were tricky to fill and when it just didn't look as wonderful as the one on the box. This made him lose interest in the set to be honest and as yet we have still not fully completed the large pirate ship fully because each time I ask him does he want to do it he says that it is boring and he doesn't want to so I have to say the set didn't grab his imagination as I had hoped it would. It is a satisfactory product but it is not without its flaws.
My son and I have spent a good few hours on this kit since Christmas and so I think to fully complete it would take plenty more hours to be honest and it is not the kind of thing that you can complete all in one sitting in my opinion and is much more like a project perhaps done over a few weekends. It costs £14.99 on amazon and the price isn't bad for something that will take time to complete if you think your child will be patient enough to do it and would be happy with it not looking as good as the pictures on the box. Whilst my son isn't too keen really to carry on with the set as yet I don't plan to throw it away because in general the playmais is a good option for encouraging creativity and it is a natural product as well and so he may well decide to use the pieces to make something else or one day decide he would like to continue with the boat.
Thank you for reading my review!