Product Type: Orchard Toys board games
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~Pop To The Shops A Great Board Game!~
Orchard Toys Pop to the Shops
Member Name: newby2
Orchard Toys Pop to the Shops
Advantages: great fun whilstbeign educational
Disadvantages: none at all
Pop To The Shop is a board game from Orchard Toys and is aimed at those children who are aged five to nine years old. It is a game that is suitable to be played by two to four players at any one time and in my opinion it is a great game
==Price and Availability==
Jack was bought this board game by his Nana for Christmas last year when he was a little younger than five. It was bought from Argos although it is widely available from many shops both on the high street and of course online too. I know that she got it for the two for £15 offer that Argos have running long term but the RRP of the board game is £9.50. it is currently selling on Amazon for a great price of £6.99 pence and I have seen it in my local toy shop for £8 so the price can vary a good deal and for this reason it is worth shopping around to get the best possible price.
==Concept of the Game==
The back of the box states "Help children learn about handling money and giving change by playing this fun shopping game. Go Round the board from shop to shop, using play money to buy lots of different items". This is the basic idea. Each player is given a game card that has six empty squares on and is shaped like a shopping basket. They need to fill this up with six different items from the four different shops that are on the game board using their money and making sure they have enough for specific items. It is a really simple idea yet has endless amounts of playability.
==What Comes inside the Box?==
Four pieces of the large game board which are shaped like a jigsaw puzzle
Four shopping basket type game cards
Four different characters each wearing a different colour of clothing (red, green, blue and yellow)
Little bag of different plastic money, 50ps, 20ps and 10ps
48 shopping item cards
Four character stands
==Look and Design==
I hadn't actually come across any Orchard Toy board games before we had this and another bought for Jack but since then I have seen a good deal of different games and it would seem that they are a highly reputed company who aim at selling games that are a lot more educational than most. The game itself comes in a box which is brightly coloured and designed with cartoon character type people on the front who we also come across when playing the game. The out box gives all the right information that one could need to understand the concept of the game and who the game would be suitable for. The back of the box actually shows a photo of what the game inside looks like when made up and all the items that come with the product.
The contents of the box is all really well made and definitely built to last even with little hands. All of the cardboard items such as the large game board, the shopping item cards, the shopping basket cards are all made of a thick and durable type of cardboard which has been printed on rather than having a picture stuck onto them. Even though we have had tons of play with them they still look as good as new. There is no sign of the boards peeling or wearing at all and they are all made to a good size for children to hold and deal with very easily.
The plastic money is true to life size and it is printed clearly with the corresponding amount that the coin is. They are the same shape as real money too so it does seem like you are playing with real money and gets any child used to having dealings with money and getting the right idea as to how much buys what.
The dice you get with the set is a green one which is well made but I do find the colour a bit of a downside as the game board has a lot of green on it and often it is hard to see as it blends in a lot. I think it would have been better to have had a white dice in with the set but this is really a minor problem and not really worth noting.
==Playing the Game==
Putting the four large piece of the game board together is easily done and the overall size of the board isn't too large so doesn't need a massive amount of play space. Once the board as been put together 24 of the shopping items need putting in the corresponding shops which are sat in each corner of the board. There is the greengrocer. The newsagent, the baker and the mini market. On these shops there are the items that are sold in there printed on the game board, these items need covering over with the smaller shopping item cards so that they can be taken off when purchased and popped into the players shopping basket.
The remaining 24 shopping item cards need placing upside down on the table or floor so that each player can choose a card which will tell them then which shop they need to head to. Every player has a character player which has a colour coordinating stand so that it can walk around the board. The colour of the players character will also dictate where that player starts the game from, the yellow character will start off in the mini market because that shop is coloured yellow, the green character will start in the greengrocer as this shop is green and so on.
Each player is given an equal amount of money from the bank, two 50 pence pieces, two 20 pence pieces and one 10 pence piece. Each player will select a shopping item card from the upside down ones on the floor. If they have chosen and item which is in their shop they will need to pick another card. The shopping item on the card then needs to be purchased from the shop and the player will need to head in that direction.
As per the instruction leaflet the younger player will roll the dice first. There are a small amount of 12 spaces from one shop to another so one could start and be in the shop they need to be to buy their item in a minimum of two rolls of the dice. Six spaces across the board is the bank (one player will have to be picked to act as banker) when a player passes over the bank or lands on the bank they can collect 20 pence. Once a player has made it to the shop they need to be at and purchased the item they needed and popped it on their game board they return to their own shop, pick another shopping item card from those upside down and then on their next turn head to that shop to buy the next item for their basket.
The winner of the game is the person who is able to fill up their shopping basket game board with six different items first.
I have been really amazed at how much Jack loves this game and how good he is at it! I love the fact that it is not only fun for him but also making him aware of the price of items and they way money works. He is now an expert at giving more money that the shopping item is and telling me exactly how much change he is expecting back from me! He will often ask me to give him different amounts of money so that he can work out the change on my items as well.
We often play with just the two of us and although the instruction leaflet says that if two are playing that you just play with one shopping basket board each, Jack does like to make it a longer game and plays it so that we have two of the shopping baskets each. This does make the game go on a bit and you do have to have twice the amount of money otherwise you will not have enough to buy everything you need in order to fill both baskets.
Playing with the maximum players of four is bar far the best way to play the game as it makes it easier when each of the four shops is manned as you don't have to keep taking ownership of other shops and making sure that money goes in the bank. However that said it is just as much fun when two people are playing. The fact that it is suitable for both boys and girls is also good because when Jack's little girlfriend comes around they can both play it together quite happily which is very cute!
I can not find a single fault at all with this Pop to the Shop board game from Orchard toys. It has so many positives that I would really recommend this for any child of around the 4-6 age range. It does say that players up to age 9 can play but I would think that this age is a little high for most and that a 9 year old may not be as interested in it as say a 5 or 6 year old would be. I love the fact that I know it is teaching Jack all about handling money as well as being great fun to play and he seems to like it more because most of the time he is the first to fill his basket.
This game is at a much more affordable price that a lot of other board games that we have yet it is one of our most played with in the house at the moment and it is far more educational than a lot of others. It is well made and definitely built to last and should be a good one for keeping until the baby I'm over cooking at the moment is of the right age to play with it and by then we shall see if Jack who will be around 9 or 10 is still interested in playing with us and the game. It is probably so well made that I will keep it for grandchildren just like mum did with a lot of items from my childhood as it is sure to be one that Jack will have fond memories of.
I am more than happy to award a top score of 5 out of 5 stars for this brilliant game. It would certainly make any child happy to receive for a Christmas gift or birthday gift and it wouldn't out the buyer out of pocket too much. This is a highly recommended game from both me and Jack!
I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you
Many thanks for taking the time to read.
Summary: a fantastic fun and educational game