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Peppa Pig Tumble and Spin Memory Game
As many of you may already know from some of my previous reviews, my three year old daughter is completely in love with Peppa Pig and has numerous toys and games associated with this character who can be seen on Channel Five's Milkshake morning show as well as on the sky channel of Nick Junior. The show features Peppa Pig and her family and friends as they go about their daily lives in five minute slots, bringing fun and laughter to young children.
HOW FAST CAN PEPPA SPIN?
I usually find that branded toys and games such as the Peppa Pig named ones are usually overly expensive for what they are, and quite often, the toys end up being quite flimsy. Goodness knows why I continue to buy them for my little girl with that in mind, though perhaps it is because my little girl already has me wrapped around her little finger - a scary thought at only three years old! I have found, though, tthat the Peppa Pig named games tend to work out to be a much better quality for the price than the toys, and so with this in mind, we came across this Peppa Pig Tumble and Spin Memory Game on Amazon shortly before Christmas which was being sold for £10.00 at the time though is now just under £9.00 brand new and a little less than this second hand. With our fingers crossed, we decided to purchase this game and hope for the best.
Christmas morning came and my daughter couldn't wait to play with her new toys and games, and one of the games which caught her eye immediately was this particular game. It is not surprising that it is an eye-catcher for little children as the packaging is what you would expect with a typical Peppa Pig game, with the bright colours and bold images of Peppa and George which is all easily recognisable to young fans of the show. The box also allows a sneak peek to the contents inside the box via a see-though window which is situated next to an image of the actual toy. The box makes the whole game look extremely fun and inviting and luckily, there was no real set up needed.
There are only a few parts to the main bulk of this game, a lot less than the size of the packaging indicates! The main part of the game is the spinner area. Included with this is a green, circle shaped dish which is decorated as though it is a grassy area, a matching dome shaped electronic spinner and a large Peppa Pig figure who clicks into the spinner very easily. The Peppa Pig figure, although quite large, is actually quite light, though weighty enough to help the spinner go around properly. At first glance, it looks a little flimsy, though I found it surprisingly well made and it manages to survive knocks and bumps without even a scratch appearing. My daughter even uses this figure alongside her smaller Peppa Pig figures in other play as the figure stands perfectly on her two feet. This figure clicks perfectly into the spinner which then covers the battery compartment which is securely hidden in the spinner and can only be opened via a small screwdriver. Two AAA batteries are required for this game, which are not supplied though they do last a good length of time before needing changing. On the side of the spinner is an on/off switch (with no volume control unfortunately!) When you turn on the spinner, Peppa introduces herself with her well known voice from the television programme. She also says goodbye when you turn the base off again. During game play, when you spin the base with Peppa on the top, you hear the Peppa Pig tune alongside Peppa shouting various phrases such as 'faster faster' and 'this is fun'. Once the spinner stops, Peppa will call out a number referring to the game rules which I will outline below. Peppa's voice and the music is rather loud, and as mentioned, there is no volume switch, though I do not find it annoying overly much, though at times, Peppa's high voice does go right through my head and can cause headaches if your child does as mine does and spin the spinner for hours on end! The dish shaped base itself is made of a thin, yet durable plastic. The centre is dipped in to allow room for the spinner and is high enough to keep it inside there without it falling out. Around the outside are six slots; three red and three yellow. These are used to place the small markers inside (see below). My daughter found putting these in quite tricky at first, though one she got used to slotting them in the correct way, she was able to do it herself.
Once the spinner unit is all set up, which takes a matter of seconds, each player chooses a friend marker. There are four markers to choose from, allowing game play for up to four players, and each one is a different friend of Peppa Pig. The markers themselves are extremely flimsy, though, made with a thin card which has two areas; a circle area with the image of the character and a large arrow area which slots into the base. It is the area where these two parts meet which is the worst part of the marker, easily bent and after a while, easily ripped apart. Luckily, the markers we have are still in tact, though every single one of them are now bent unfortunately. Many of the bends occur when slotting the markers into the base. Once you have chosen your marker, you follow the instructions as to where you put your marker (ie: which coloured slot) depending upon how many people are playing. Personally, I do not see that it really matters where you put the markers in, apart from the fact that if you follow the instructions, it will space the players out more evenly.
There are 24 small square cards which hold a picture of each of the four friends as seen on the markers (six each). Like the markers, these cards are very thin and can be bent, though due to the shape, it is harder to bend these than the markers. Each card is a different colour depending upon the character, and holds the bright, bold images as seen on the box. These cards are shuffled and placed face down around the spinner unit.
This is where I found the instructions a little confusing for young children. A player spins the spinner, which really needs a hard spin to make it go around properly which young children may find difficult, and waits for it to stop. Peppa will then call out one of three things outlined below. Usually, you would expect the person who spun the spinner to take the go, though the instructions say that it depends upon whose marker Peppa is facing, or has just passed, to whose go it is. This is a little confusing for little children so we take out this rule and simply say that whoever spins takes the go. This way also prevents arguments when my daughter is playing with my nephew of the same age as then they have an equal amount of turns.
The three phrases Peppa will call out are as follows, and whichever she calls out will depend on what the child does with their turn;
1. One - Player turns over one card and calls out the characters name. If it matches the childs marker then they get to keep the card, if not, they put it back where it came from, face down once again. This is where the memory part plays out as the other players have to remember where their own characters are!
2. Two - As with the one card, though this time the child turns over two cards.
3. Close Your Eyes - The child has to put back one of the cards they have collected. This is completed by the child closing their eyes and another player putting it back around the base. They an not tell the child where they have put it!
The game play is a simple one and ends once a player has found all of their six character cards. This can take anything from five minutes to twenty minutes depending upon the ability of the children. Older children will possibly find the game play a little boring, though it is a fun memory game for children from the age of two and a half. The box states three years though with help, I can see younger children benefiting from this game too. We changed the style of the game to suit our daughter and you can also change the game play in other ways such as removing cards not in use if there are less than four players.
For £10.00, or slightly less depending on where you go, I would say that this is a great game. It not only helps young children with their memory, but accomplishes this in a fun way using a well loved television character. I can see the only negative to this game is that after a couple of years, the child will probably need a more taxing memory game as this is a very simple game, though my daughter is only three and loves playing this. She picked up the instructions very quickly and enjoys playing with us or our nephew and even on her own. Although the box states 2-4 players, my daughter has a great imagination and is able to play for a good length of time on her own and still enjoy it.
This game was voted the winner of the 2009 toy fair - best new children's game award.
I brought the Peppa Pig Tumble and Spin Memory Game for my daughter at Christmas. It wasn't on her list but I knew she would love it as the game looked like fun and she loves Peppa Pig.
* Who's Peppa? *
If you are the parent of a preschooler you probably find it impossible to escape from her! Peppa Pig is a British animated television series which is shown on Nick Jnr and Five. It is based around a cheeky young pig called Peppa - her friends and family also make regular appearances.
* What's included *
The game comes packaged in a smallish/medium sized cardboard box. Inside the box comes...
- 1 Peppa figurine
- 1 Electronic spinner
- 1 Spin bucket
- 24 Cards (6 x Peppa Pig, 6 x Suzy Sheep, 6 x Emily Elephant and 6 x Rebecca Rabbit)
- 4 Friend markers
* Setting up *
The game is very simple to set up. Just put the bucket down, attach Peppa to the electronic spinner and place her inside the bucket. Shuffle the cards and place them all facedown around the bucket.
* How to play *
Each player must choose which character they want to play with - once you have decided between Peppa, Suzy, Emily and Rebecca you should then pick up your chosen Friend Marker and slide it into a slot in the bucket nearest to you.
Decide who is going to spin first - we generally play by the youngest goes first rule. Give Peppa a big spin and watch who she lands on. If she lands on your marker, you must follow her instruction (if she lands inbetween markers you should assume she is talking to the player/marker which she has just passed). She will say "One", "Two" or "Close your eyes".
"One" means you should pick up one card and "two" means you should pick up two cards. If the cards match your chosen character you can keep them, but if they do not match your character you must say their name out loud and put them back. "Close your eyes" means you must close your eyes whilst the other player takes one of your cards and puts it back facedown around the bucket (this doesn't apply if you don't have any cards - we just spin again).
The first player to collect all 6 of their cards is crowned the winner!
* Overall *
The rules of the game are pretty simple to grasp, even for very young children. It's relatively easy for little ones to play, but that's not to say it isn't challenging. It's an enjoyable game that keeps my daughter engaged - infact I'm usually the first one that's ready to pack the game away!
When you spin Peppa the Peppa Pig theme tune plays and Peppa chuckles "Hee hee! Faster faster! Weee! This is fun!" which my daughter finds hilarious. Plus when you switch the electronic spinner on Peppa says "I'm Peppa Pig" and when you switch it off she says "Bye bye" which is very cute. I like the fact they have used Peppa's real voice.
This game is not only fun, but is educational too. It's great for building memory skills and can also improve communication and social skills (naming the cards out loud, playing with others and learning to take turns). If the child doesn't concentrate and use their memory, they won't win the game - therefore my daughter has her eyes glued to the game whilst playing!
The game can last quite a long time if you use all 24 cards, however you can shorten the game by removing cards which neither player has chosen (Eg. If 3 players have chosen Peppa, Suzy and Emily - you could remove Rebbeca's cards from the game?). We usually just play the normal version but the short version does come in handy if you don't have much time on your hands or if your child is running low on patience!
The game requires 2 x AAA batteries which aren't included and is suitable for 2-4 players. You should keep the box to store the game away (you may need to remove Peppa from the electronic spinner first).
I recommend this game to all Peppa fans that are between the ages of 3-5 years - any younger and this game may be too challenging, any older and this game may be too easy/boring. The age recommendation on the box is 3+.
Peppa Pig Tumble and Spin game
One of the many toys my little one received this Christmas came in the shape of this Peppa Pig Tumble and Spin memory game. Peppa Pig is a well liked name in our house with our little ones quite often watching the lovable character and her friends on the Nick Junior channel. I even find that I quite enjoy watching this show as it can be really funny and entertaining.
Anyway, back to this particular toy...
We picked up this Tumble and Spin game for the reduced price of £5.99 on Amazon about a month or so before Christmas, though the RRP is £9.99. Either way, I think that this game is a great buy, though any money off is a plus!
The game itself is a simple memory game with a Peppa Pig theme (which is one reason the price is bumped up!). The main playing piece is a round green container which is shaped in such a way to allow the Peppa Pig figure to spin easily around in the centre without falling down or out. The Peppa figure is quite large and a good size for little hands. It has an on/off switch which powers the motion detector and sound. When someone spins the Peppa figure, the Peppa Pig theme tune plays and Peppa shouts 'Faster Faster'. As Peppa slows down, she will shout out one of three phrases; "One", "Two" or "Close Your Eyes!". (This is explained below). Peppa is also very polite and says goodbye when you tun it off! You will need two AAA batteries which last quite a while.
Before the game can start you need to each choose a game piece. These are small cards in the shape and picture of Peppa and three friends. These slot into the designated holes in the green base. The cards will then need to be positioned around the base, face down. It does not matter in what position the cards are though the instructions suggest around the base to make it easier for younger players.
Taking it in turns, the players spin Peppa and listen for the three phrases. If she calls out one or two then the player who Peppa is closest to (the chosen marker) chooses one or two cards. If she says 'close your eyes' then the player closes their eyes whilst the other players take back one of their cards and place it face down somewhere around the container. Although the instructions state that the person whose marker is closest to Peppa per turn has the go, we play it slightly differently and whoever spins Peppa has the go as this seems to make it easier for younger children.
The basic aim of the game is for the players to find all six of their chosen character cards to win the game.
My little one loves this game and the game play doesn't take too long so little ones do not get board. I even find playing this game fun which is a good thing when being pestered to play over and over again!
Keeping your first pre-school child happy when a new one comes along can be something of a challenge. The focus of attention, out of necessity, is usually lavished on baby and so you have to be careful not to inadvertently leave the older one out, ensuring enough quality time is spent with them so that they don't resort to "other" means (tantrums, strops, and creatively destructive behaviour...) to get one on one with a parent.
The temptation is to plonk them in front of Nick Jr. or CBeebies for hours on end, but turning your kid into a goggle-eyed zombie spouting catchphrases from the likes of Dora, Diego, Peppa Pig and Lazytown does not strike me as the height of responsible parenting. As such, along with her bedtime routine, we have created some time after dinner to play games with Little Miss H, and so far, it is proving to be a stonking success.
Courtesy of her doting grandmother, alongside her favourites, like Pop-up Pirate, Buckaroo, Shopping List and Snakes and Ladders, we now have the Peppa Pig Tumble & Spin Memo Game ("the Game") which is fast turning into her number one choice. Although she's a big fan of Peppa Pig in any case (I didn't say we never give into temptation!), I have often been disappointed with the sub-standard fare that lurks beneath glossy merchandising. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality, playability, educational elements, and above all - fun - to be had when playing this game with my daughter.
Most parents will already know of the cute bossy little cartoon piggy with her own animated series on Nick Jr. and Channel Five. For those who aren't similarly enlightened, Peppa has a veritable menagerie of friends with alliterative names (Danny Dog, Zoe Zebra, Rebecca Rabbit etc.) and lives with her Mummy and Daddy - and baby brother George - in a house on top of a hill. Each animated five minute episode is aimed squarely at the pre-school market, and like all kids TV franchises these days, it has spawned a mountain of merchandising that includes plush dolls, DVD's, toys, character tie-in computer games on DS and Wii, and of course, board games.
The Game is currently available on Amazon for £6.99 (RRP £9.99)- a veritable steal at the price. It is manufactured by Dutch company Jumbo, it is suitable for ages three and up and is ideal for group play for three to seven year olds. It works equally well as a family game -which is how we use it a majority of the time.
WHAT'S IN THE BOX
At its heart, the Game is a simple memory game that is imaginatively and creatively put together. It comes in a colourfully decorated, sturdy and hinged top-opening cardboard box. The robustness and re-usability of the packaging made an immediately positive impression, as so many kids games these days are thoughtlessly packaged so that once you open them, there is no hope of keeping the bits and bobs together without creative intervention.
Inside, you get a set of four character "markers", twenty-four thick, glossy character cards (six each of four different Peppa characters), a green container reminiscent of a pet's feeding bowl, and a Peppa character that slots onto a half sphere that acts as the "spinner". The instruction booklet is easy to follow and is printed in a large enough type to facilitate reading by older, more literate, children.
The spinner is electronic and has a speaker and motion-sensor built in to it - when you spin it, the Peppa theme tune plays and the character utters various instructions (more on these below). The spinner takes two AAA batteries and has a discreet on/off switch at the side. When you turn it on you get a the pleasing confirmation of "I'm Peppa Pig! Oink", and when you turn it off, she says "Bye Bye". This is a useful feature that would have been easy to leave out.
You turn on the spinner, place the figurine onto the base, and then put the assembly in the "bowl". The game accommodates two to four players. Each player chooses a character marker - either Emily Elephant, Peppa Pig, Rebecca Rabbit or Suzy Sheep - and places the marker into one of the slots at the side of the "bowl". There are six slots and they are colour coded - yellow, red or half and half - so that no matter how many people (or kids play) the markers are evenly spaced apart. The twenty-four cards are then shuffled and arranged, face down, in a circle around the base. You will need a fair bit of space to do this.
The youngest player goes first by spinning the Peppa figure in the bowl. The first few bars of the signature theme tune play for a few seconds with Peppa encouraging the player to spin "faster, faster, weeee! - this is fun!" and then, after a short pause, "she" issues one of three instructions - "One", "Two" or "Close Your Eyes!".
If Peppa says a number, then the player whose marker she is closest to (or just passed) turns over either one, or two, character cards, trying to match them to their character marker (i.e. the player who is Peppa Pig has to try and find all six Peppa cards). If they succeed, they keep the card. If not, then they show the card to the other players, making sure to say the character's name. Play then continues clockwise.
If Peppa says "Close Your Eyes", the player immediately to the left of the one whose marker she has landed on, gets to remove one of the cards that player has successfully found, and place it back, randomly within the circle. Play continues until one player has found all six cards. Trust me - it's a lot simpler than I am making it sound!
Play is relatively quick, but also depends on the age and faculty of the players involved. We found it frustrating to play strictly by the rules, as where and when Peppa lands on your marker is a bit arbitrary, and as such, younger players (like my daughter) can find it frustrating to wait a while for a turn when they can flip over cards. As such, we did away with the marker idea and instead made a "House Rule" that you follow Peppa's instructions whenever it is your turn to spin. This made the game easier and quicker to play.
The game won the "Best New Children's Game" award at the 2009 Toy Fair, and its not hard to see why. The quality of the materials and attention to detail is top notch. For instance, the character cards are robust, durable and wipeable and each of them has an individual design (Ex. Peppa riding a bike, playing with a ball or flying a kite).
My only real criticism is that the four character markers are easy to bend if pushed into the slots a little too forcefully - a fate that sadly, Peppa and Suzy have suffered since we started playing the game. I don't think it would have been too much to ask to have these made of harder wearing plastic - but seeing as this is the only downside in an otherwise excellent design, it seems churlish to complain too loudly.
The motion sensor is pretty sensitive, but on balance, the other point worth mentioning is that sometimes, the Peppa character fails to "start-up" with the theme tune when you spin, but that's usually corrected by spinning it again with a little more force (which the game, to be fair, encourages you to do). We have played it on the carpet as well as the dining room table, and the game seems to work equally well on both - as long as it's a flat surface.
I like the toys my daughter plays with to have a solid learning element, and whilst there is always something to be gleaned from even the most basic toy, I prefer them to have a bit of depth. The Game obviously improves and develops memory skills. My daughter has gone from turning over the same cards (or near enough) every turn to learning that she has to try different parts of the circle if she is to succeed. It is also a useful tool to develop social skills such as group play, patience and taking turns. My daughter is very goal-focussed, and wants to win every game she plays, so we have also been using it to teach her (with some success) that it's OK not to win all the time.
As mentioned, the game is a firm favourite and, in terms of parental endorsement, I don't find it boring to play - that may sound like damning it with faint praise, but it's not made for me. My daughter - the most important "consumer" of this toy - loves it to bits.
The Peppa vocalisations can get a little wearing after a while, but for kids, it adds to the charm of the game. The game details are very well thought through, with the Peppa character embedded throughout - this is no lazy "port" of an un-original idea - it has been built from the ground up and it shows.
At the current sale price of £6.99 (or even at its RRP of £10) this game stands out amongst the competition as excellent value for money. It is robust, well-designed and a great example of successful and well executed character merchandising. Highly recommended, but especially for pre-school girls.
© Hishyeness 2010