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Whilst out looking for toys and gifts for my daughters 9th birthday a couple of few weeks ago, I came across the set that I will now review and was quietly confident that this would appeal to her, well to me too, but that was not why I was getting it....honest!
The toy I will now review is - "Fab-tastic food - pop and freeze".
The idea behind this and the other sets in this range, is to encourage children to cook and prepare food by themselves, with as little adult intervention possible, with this particular set being more the preparation side than the cooking side.
This set is ideal for my daughter due to how much she enjoys ice lollies, and even making her own using various juices and fizzy pops, this set encourages the use of any juice, pop or smoothie mixes, so when the product is in it's frozen form it can be eaten as a mixture of flavours rather than one flavour at a time.
Within the set there is a stand on which the three bulbous looking juice/pop bottles can be hung from, you also get 6 freezer trays, a funnel, 4 small plastic bowls and spoons, 2 pens with which you can even make your own frozen designs and two stencils which can be placed under a freezer tray to follow and trace patterns onto.
Before use you should wash everything thoroughly, which I did but it took forever due to how many pieces are in this set.
The idea is to fill each of the bottles with different juices or pops, then hang them upside down each within it's own compartment, making sure that the lever at the base is securely closed to prevent any liquid from dripping out.
Which is where the first problem came about, the seal on two of these bottles was not thick enough to prevent any drips from escaping, meaning we couldn't hang the bottles the way they were supposed to be, having instead to pour the juice straight into the funnel attached to the freezer tray.
The third bottle however seemed to work well enough to be hung, so after doing so we placed a freezer try on the stand and attached the funnel to the hole on the top ready to be filled.
When set up you gently release the lever an the juice runs out into the funnel, you then fill that to the max line and release another lever to allow the liquid to flow into the freezer tray, with is a two trays clipped together, but full of small circle indentations to create tiny ball shaped ice pieces, which can then be mixed together for contrasting flavours.
This was where the second problem arose! When filling the freezer tray with juice I noticed that only half of the indentations filled up, this I concluded was due to the air inside the tray having nowhere to escape from, so once the air and the juice was trapped together it started pushing the juice out before all the circles had been filled.
By this point I was not too impressed with he set anyway, so I decided to try and make the best of a bad lot and stuck all the now half filled trays straight into the freezer.
It states in the instructions that these should only take 45 minutes to freeze solid, it actually only took ½ an hour which pleased be immensely as my kids were by this point chomping at the bit!
The final part is the removal of the balls, you simply take the trays from the freezer, remove the top tray and leave to defrost for a minute or two before gently bending the tray to release them as they should pop out........problem number three!
I literally had to beat them from the tray, I tried bending the tray as instructed to do, not realising the tray has absolutely no give in it whatsoever, I left for a couple of minutes to defrost slightly, in which time they defrosted almost entirely leaving a puddle of mush, in the end I beat them into submission which sprayed them across my kitchen with much gusto, leaving around ½ a bowlful to eat, which I still had to re-freeze for a little while before serving.
On the upside my children said how delicious they were, using cherry coke, sprite and orange juice as their chosen flavours.
Price wise I paid £12.99 for the set and this was half price from www.toysrus.co.uk, though I really don't know why I bothered!
The set is worse than useless, with the idea being the driving force but the execution severely lacking.
Thanks for reading x