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Lots To Do At The Post Office
Casdon 532 Toy Post Office
Member Name: arleek
Casdon 532 Toy Post Office
Advantages: Lots of accessories, replicates the real thing, minus the grumpy assistants
Disadvantages: Perhaps too much for younger children
I'm not entirely sure why I bought this Post Office, probably because it seemed cheap for what you get, I think I paid about £10 for it, and I gave it to my eldest daughter for her 5th birthday back in January. Since then it has been played with sporadically, but it is not something that gets regular use and it spends most of its time in its box on the shelf.
**A Miniature Post Office**
What you get in the box is basically a mini post office with all the accessories. It takes a few minutes to assemble but it's really simple, and to store it in the box you must disassemble it each time, otherwise it will need to be left on display, because there's no way this can be stored in a toy box with all the loose parts, which would ultimately get lost or misplaced.
It's a plastic unit with a post box with an opening front, weighing scales for your parcels, a stamper (without any ink), a coin drawer plus coins & notes, and two racks for all your bits and bobs such as license applications, tax discs, greetings cards, postcards, magazines & newspapers. You also get a notebook & pencil. It looks really impressive once you have it all set up, especially with all the miniature cards & magazines, you also get little envelopes to use with the cards and some stamps. So it's got everything you need to spend time pretending that you work in the Post Office, and a lot of thought and detail has gone into creating the ultimate Post Office experience!
I've no idea what the recommended age is, but I would say a child aged at least 4 and upwards to about 7 or 8 would enjoy this toy the most. Simply because most children below that age would not know much about the workings of a post office, and also the loose parts are very fiddly and small, such as the cards and envelopes, and I presume these would end up getting damaged and lost by very young children.
**Time To Play?**
As I said in my opening paragraph, this is not something that my children play with on a regular basis, and to be honest, I think the reason for this is that it takes so much time to set it all up - you have to snap everything back into position, then spend time sorting out all the paperwork and positioning them in the Post Office. My children have no idea what license applications are or indeed tax discs, so these just get put on the rack and left alone, and so do the magazines. But the thing they seem to get most enjoyment from is the greetings cards & envelopes. And because you have a pencil with the set, they like to write little messages inside the card, pop them in the envelope (which is a very tight fit by the way and they often need my assistance with this) and either post them in the post box, or hand them out to people, usually me.
What I have noticed with this toy is that they enjoy the whole procedure of setting everything up, but then it seems that is usually where the fun ends, unless they feel the need to send me a card. I am not entirely sure whether this is due to them not knowing exactly how to play being a "Post Office Lady", or whether it's just something that does not particularly appeal to them. However, when my 8 year old niece comes to play, this is something she often requests and I have noticed that with her being older she seems to be able to gain a lot more from it than my 5 & 3 year olds. So perhaps my kids are too young to get real enjoyment from this toy, perhaps when they are older and have more of an understanding of such things they might enjoy it more.
I actually think as Post Office sets go, this is a great one, with great attention to detail, and it comes with lots of fun accessories. For a child who knows a lot about posting things and buying cards & magazines, then they should gain a great deal from it. My children just don't seem to be too bothered by it at the moment, but I am still going to rate it highly because I do believe other children would really enjoy it.
From my experience I would actually recommend for 6 - 8/9 year olds.
Currently on Amazon for £8.00 (Oct 2012) but I have also seen it in places such as B&M Bargains & Tesco for around the same price.
Summary: Fun Post Office
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