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My son loves building things so I wanted to find him some alternative blocks to play with. He owns regular wooden blocks and Megablocks and he has duplo coming for Christmas so I wanted something a bit different. From my childhood, I remembered owning stickle bricks and wanted something similar to this. However, I could only find sticklebricks on a handful of sites online and they were very pricey so I looked for alternatives. I came across a box of Playskool Clipo Blocks in Home Bargains for £7.99 and decided to get him these.
The blocks come in a red plastic tub with a yellow lid that can also be used as a base for building on. The bricks are similar to stickle bricks in that they are textures and can be pushed together at any point on their surface. The box contains 50 pieces in various shape, sizes and colours. The recommended age for these is from 18 months. Our box is the 'figure' bucket so contains two play pieces that are heads - you can also get vehicle and animal boxes.
The pieces are all chunky so ideal for toddlers. They are also bright colours so very attractive to toddlers too. They are different shapes too so help with shape and colour recognition. My son was instantly attracted to these as soon as we opened the box - the colours really grabbed his attention. He also loved the texture of them and they really encouraged him to explore what he can do with them. He understood quickly how these worked and knew he could push them together. However, in practice, he found them very difficult to stick together. They actually are quite stiff, with some pieces fitting better together than others but they need quite a bit of force to slot together. This isn't a very good requirement for a toy aimed at toddlers and we have experienced quite a bit of frustration with these!
The bricks are sturdy and well made (other than the stiffness) and stand up to the general wear and tear that a toddler inflicts. They can be washed but are difficult to clean due to their textured surface. They also come in quite a small box for the amount of bricks you get so packing away can be a bit frustrating! You need to ensure that some of the blocks are stuck together so that they take up less space and that you pack them in a correct order or the lid will not close.
For the price, these are a nice alternative to other types of building bricks. They do keep my son amused for prolonged lengths of time too. It is just the general frustration that they cause him that makes me hesitate in my recommendation. Perhaps as he gets older and has a little more strength and understanding of how these work the frustration may reduce. I am glad we didn't pay much more for them though - the same box sells at over £20 on Amazon! I would definitely say they are not worth paying this much for!