“ Manufacturer: Hawkins Bazaar / Type: Growing toy „
I always find it difficult to find fun but inexpensive presents to fill my children's Christmas stockings. Browsing in my local Hawkins bazaar, I came across a small plastic tank containing a so called pet dinosaur for you to grow. Priced at just over £2, I decided this looked fun.
The grow your own dinosaur kit is a very simple but effective idea. The small plastic tank measures 6.5 x 6 x 4 cm and contains a very small dinosaur. The tank is decorated to make it look like a prehistoric landscape. To make your dinosaur grow you will need to fill the tank with water. On the bottom of the tank is a very small and fiddly plastic stopper. Remove the stopper and fill the tank nearly to the top with tap water, replace the stopper so the tank is watertight and wait for your pet to grow.
My son was pleased when he opened this present and had the tank filled before breakfast! For the first few days nothing changed and we had almost given up hope of seeing any growth! However after about 5 days my son came downstairs one morning and shouted in excitement that the dinosaur was now much bigger. Indeed it had grown to about 5 times its original size and was now almost filling its tank.
The downside of this "pet" is that once it has grown there really is nothing else to do with it. You can't get it out of its tank and once we emptied the water it started to shrivel. I am not a fan of throw away toys so probably wouldn't buy this agin,but it was fun whilst it lasted! Hawkins bazaar are now in administration so I am not sure where you would find this toy if you wish to buy one.
You may have recently read the review of the Growing Penguin I bought from Hawkins Bazaar for my husband at Christmas. As I was not sure if the Growing Penguin would do exactly that, to try to spread the risk, I also bought this "Grow Your Own Dinosaur" kit priced at £2.50 as a back up present.
I wrapped this Grow Your Own Dinosaur toy up for myself for Christmas with the intention of my husband setting the Growing Penguin off filling it with water and me doing the same with this and us both watching the respective toys to see which one, if any, would "grow".
What you get with the Dinosaur Kit, is pretty similar to the Growing Penguin- as pictured- you get a small plastic box with stickers on the front and back (on the inside) intended to look like a pre-historic scene with a volcano pictured on the back of the box (so you know which way around you are supposed to look at it) and a small plastic dinosaur inside. The box measures around 6cm high by 5cm wide and 3cm deep.
To "activate" the growing, all you do is turn the box upside down and remove a small black plug and fill the box with water then replace the plug so it is watertight. You don't get any packaging or a separate instruction booklet, but it is pretty easy to work out what you are supposed to do.
Personally, I would leave about a 1cm gap at the top and not fill it totally full of water so your dinosaur has some "growing space". I'm not sure if this actually makes a difference but when I was filling this, I started to think if I filled it completely with water then the dinosaur grew, it would displace some of the water (me harking back to GCSE physics?!?).
I first saw this product in the Hawkins Bazaar catalogue before Christmas and was going to order it off their website, but noticed a Hawkins store had opened near where we live, so I had a hunt around in the store and managed to find this along with the Growing Penguin. In the catalogue it had a bit of a write up about what you have to do so I was aware before buying the product what it was and what you have to do with it.
The plastic dinosaur in the box is VERY small- around 2cm wide x 1cm high to begin with. It is supposed to grow "several times its' size" over the course of three days. Indeed, on Christmas day, nothing happened. Nothing at all. We resorted to talking to it and shaking the box impatiently. Nothing. On boxing day, nothing happened- again talking and shaking didn't help... On the day after boxing day, it looked a little "pouffy" and my husband was convinced it had got "wider" but you could still not see the dinosaur over the printed trees all around the box. We had to look down the sides of the box to clearly see the dinosaur.
By this time, three days later, the Growing Penguin had started to noticeably grow and the Dinosaur was not doing very much at all. I figured I had probably wasted £2.50 and our time checking the box every time we walked past it and had a look to see if it was growing.
So, I just left it on the table by the TV and forgot all about it. To my surprise, three days after that (so six days after we had filled it with water) I caught sight of the dinosaur and it had gorwn massively- it was now as big as the dinosaur in the photo in proportion to the box. The dinosaur was green and it appeared to be stood on something resembling an egg (if you look closely you can see this in the picture here- a white round egg looking thing it is stood on). I think it must have been the plastic that sticks the dinosaur down to the base of the box- they must use the same "magically growing" plastic which also swells up over the course of a week!
Overall- this does work, but it will take around a week. I wasn't sure how long we could keep it as I wasn't sure if the water in the box would go all mouldy. It was fine for 2 weeks then I decided it was probably a good idea to throw it out.
I would only recommend buying this as a sotcking filler, as a novelty toy or as a pocket money toy for a child aged 6-11 as it takes a lot of patience to keep checking it over the course of a week and any child who likes dinosaurs wil enjoy it- if they can keep their interest going for a week to keep faith and know it will grow- eventually. Which is like watching paint dry, but it does get there in the end! for £2.50 it is not a bad buy at all. But it is a very short term novelty item.