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As one of my daughters many, many birthday presents the one i will now review is by far her favourite. Firstly for the simple fact that her bestest friend Hayley bought it for her and secondly because it is a twist on the traditional jigsaw, but still easy enough for a seven year old (or at least she will be on the 17th, god I feel old!) to complete.
The product I will now review is "High school musical junior puzzle ball".
As with all other HSM merchandise the packaging is always in the same format, maroon in colour and with the main characters, in this case Troy and Gabriella, the lead couple jumping.... They seem to be randomly jumping on most of the merchandise we own. (Please no smutty remarks!)
Also featured the front of the box is a picture of the made up jigsaw ball with again a picture of the afore mentioned characters, although all the other characters do feature on this puzzle.
At the top is the piece amount, in this case it is 96 pieces with the width being stated as 5", and at the bottom the recommended age is featured, this is aimed towards 6+, a category she falls within......just!
Unfortunately the rest of the writing on the box is in what I think is German, and with English being my second language, (my first is chav....innit!), I'm afraid my tiny brain cannot cope with more language development, so have no idea what it means!
Upon opening the some what sturdy cardboard box, you will find a very detailed set of instructions, again in many languages but not in chav so again I have to stick the my secondary language to guide me (lol), a plastic bag containing the jigsaw pieces, a bag containing what, at the time, I assumed to be the top and bottom panel with a plastic strip to support the centre of the sphere, a black slightly concaved base to place the finished puzzle on to display to other HSM fans who may visit us and finally the starter piece, which should be at the bottom of the sphere, so as you build the puzzle up should act as a guide piece.
On the back of each jigsaw piece there is a number and an arrow, supposedly to aid the construction of the ball, of course it didn't work out that way and we ended up just going by the picture on the front.
Each piece is gently rounded and when attached to another piece holds securely stopping the ball from falling apart, the pieces are also made form quite thick plastic so again ensures more longevity of the puzzle, whether it stays displayed or repeatedly taken apart to be rebuilt.
This puzzle took, between the two of us about 15 minutes to complete, before placing the final piece at the top I noticed once the puzzle was constructed the numbers on the back of the pieces did make sense after all, running around in a spiral formation, but I still don't think they were particularly useful when constructing it. I suddenly realised that we hadn't used the top and bottom panels, I quickly read the instructions again, worrying that we would have to take it apart and start again, I came upon a very small piece of text explaining these panels were literally a guide to show the child how the picture should look on the finished article, which seemed pretty pointless as, of the child has managed to construct enough of the ball just going on the picture on the front of the box, the rest of the ball would soon follow!
The picture on the ball is actually quite nice, it features the main characters from HSM, all featured in their own little coloured frame, with graffiti writing and flying basketballs around it to fill in the spaces, at the top sitting like a crown is the obligatory basketball, this is due to the main character being a bit of a jock!
The price is around the £7.00 mark, varying of course on what design you go for and boy is there a lot of choice!
They are available in just about every children's character going , from Disney princess to Cars, there are even the puzzle balls for the older child in the format of world globes, which I think is a perfect idea.
Do I recommend, yes its fun, its interesting and of course educational, the fact that its HSM is just an added bonus!
For more information visit - www.puzzleball.info
Thanks for reading x