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I'd seen all the hype about Moon Dough just before Christmas. Our daughter was taken by the TV adverts for it, declaring she would like some Moon Dough for Christmas please because "It never dries out!"
We bought the diner play set which retails for around £9.99. Within the set you receive a plastic moulding diner, moulds for fries, milkshake and pie. You also get two packets of dough.
I really wasn't sure what to expect the first time we opened it. All we knew was the fact that the dough itself wouldn't dry out if left in the air.
First impressions on opening the dough were that it was quite a crumbly texture, and there wasn't very much of it. A quick read of the instructions and we realised we needed to mould the dough before playing with it for the first time.
Moulding in our hands, we realised what a funny texture the dough was. It was very light and almost plasticy in texture. Later we learnt it was made from plastic with a silicone base. Hence the weird feeling attached to it.
Once prepared we handed the dough over to our daughter to let loose playing with all the moulds. The diner itself was there to make burger shapes, and what we had to do was pack some dough into the hole at the top of the machine, turn the handle and out pops a burger.
This was a nice idea in itself but in actual fact when the dough was pressed into the hole, we found that unless it was packed in tightly, then the burger came out looking quite weak and crumbly. It also left a ridge that needed removing around the edge of the burger.
Onto the individual moulds of fries, pie and milkshake, we found these quite easy to make decent looking pieces. The moulds are very much like silicone but with a more rigid structure to them. The dough sits well in the markings of the moulds and the pieces come out looking very real. They are also easy to be popped out by a three year old.
Despite our daughter having fun turning the burger mould handle over and over again, we quickly realised as parents that there wasn't a lot of point to the set. You can only make burgers, fries and milk shakes so many times before you get bored.
She has had fun playing with the set with friends, but on her own it only comes out every now and again.
The dough itself comes in plastic packets and I had to find somewhere to store the dough when it was put away again. It lives up to its claims of not drying out, only occasionally needing a mix together to return the texture to playability.
Despite this we found that there were still stray little bits that end up on the floor, and they can and will be mashed into the carpet much like playdoh if not removed straight away. It's almost messier than playdoh in the fact that it crumbles quicker so more stray pieces leave the working area and end up on the floor.
We also found that once the colours are mixed together, like playdoh they start to mix onto one colour. The promise of lovely looking items from the box and TV adverts don't go a long way to promote the product as if you mix the colours once, you are left with less and less each time you need to make a new mould.
Overall, I'm not sure the diner set is worth the £10 we paid for it. It has provided fun and entertainment, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of point to it. There aren't any add on's available for the set which is a shame as this may make it more attractive.
Suitable for children over three years old
A Summer birthday gave me ample chance to see that my 4 year old is both far too easily brain washed by ads on TV, and prone to making bad choices where toys are concerned. With that in mind I managed to influence most of her Santa list, however the one item that she would not be swayed with was this Moon Dough - luckily for her Santa found it in the half price Sainsbury's Toy Sale, she was pleased to receive it, but in all honesty it's been a five minute wonder and is definitely not worth the £10 it costs full price.
Moon Dough is the follow on from Moon Sand, play sand that doesn't dry out. This is billed as being dough that doesn't dry out, and that is the first disappointment with this item - it's not really like dough at all, as I shall explain.
When you open the pack you get 2 very small dough packs in non resealable bags - they weigh 42g and are about the size of a large spoon of mashed potato each, there's a red one and a yellow one. There are 3 moulds, one in a piece of pie shape, one a milkshake, one fries and there's also a small plastic machine (as pictured on the box) to make burgers, the moulds and the hamburger shack themselves are a lot smaller than they look in the picture, I'd say the moulds are about 3cm along, with the shack being smaller than 10cm high. It's all a bit plastic fantastic, but does appeal to children, that is until they try and play with the "dough".
Now, call me stupid, but dough to me, means something you can roll or knead - not so with "moon dough".
This dough is plastic based - you can tell as it smells very very strongly of plastic, and not like traditional dough at all. The instructions do say you will need to squish and squash it to use it, which we did - but it just kept crumbling and has a very strange texture indeed, not damp but a bit unpleasant to touch in all honesty, it's hard to describe but the texture is like a slightly crumbly man-made sponge, it just doesn't feel right. Bits easily fall off it and onto the floor and in small bits pretty well everywhere.
To be fair, when pressed into the moulds it does shape into the items pretty well, and if you put a blob in the top of the burger shack and turn a fairly convincing burger shape thing comes out of the bottom - and this is fun for a while. The items you make are easy to get out of the moulds, and even quite solid, you can play with them before squidging them up again. Unfortunately though you can't produce anything like the little burger on the picture on the box as the colours can't be mixed - well they can but it's a one way street and results in blobby, crumbly dough. You can mould things, but that's it, nothing else at all, this isn't dough that can be rolled, shaped or played with creatively in any way at all. If you happen to own moon sand moulds you probably could use them to make other shapes but there's nothing else at all to do with this, and to call it dough is really a false description.
My four year old has played with it a few times, and says she likes it, but probably as she asked every Santa she came across for it, and even wrote a begging letter to the real Father Christmas. When she does play with it, I can't say it holds her attention for long, at most she will make about 2 burgers and fries and maybe a drink before giving up - possibly she is not cut out for a career in Mc Donald's. Given the mess that the set makes for a limited amount of play time(albeit fairly easily swept up and seemingly not prone to staining thus far) I don't really encourage her to get it out too often either. I think, actually I know, it will soon be accidentally lost somewhere. I don't like the fact that it has limited possibilities and also though the dough doesn't dry out at all - as promised - you have to find your own tub to store it in, and, as I have explained it's not really dough at all to start with.
Overall I think that Moon Dough is over priced, disappointing and not really something that I (oops I mean Father Christmas) would buy again or could, in all good consciousness recommend. I would suggest you maybe google a play dough recipe instead, it will be a lot cheaper and ultimately far much more fun. This product is just one to avoid.