Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Fall 2010 Toys
Ages: 4 & Up
Manufacturer: Miller Goodman
Price: $150.00

There is a power in PlayShapes, a toy that inspires free expressiveness and artistic exploration through its modern and playful design. It's the power of a simple toy that's well-made - a power you can't get with batteries. It's an amazing toy that can be enjoyed as an adult, as the pieces make you itch to create. There is a sharing aspect through flickr that provides inspiration for young builders. If there is such a thing as "too open to possibilities" this would be it. The challenge is most daunting.

While these are in its purest interpretation a classic building block set, the primary colors on a few pieces resembles eyes, and asymmetrical shapes really bring this toy a cut above the other building block sets. These very things make it an artistic architectural toy rather than just another set of blocks.

Our tester first chose to build a city, probably because it took less time and thought to create than some of the other more advanced designs possible. Since then, I have seen her grow in her expressiveness as she spends more time with the set. The only improvement I would make would be putting the color on both sides. Because the color is only on one side, all of the blocks need to be picked up and turned over to see if there is color (if a child cares enough to make a design). We would definitely recommend this beautiful toy, as it will entertain any family for years.

Laura Seargeant Richardson   ©2010 Parents' Choice
Currently a Creative Director at argo design, Laura spent more than a decade at frog design, an innovation consultancy. As a designer, speaker, author and mother, Laura believes play is the greatest natural resource in a creative economy and is on a mission to empower kids to be designers of their own play.

Look for this product at:
Major, Specialty & Online Retailers
Miller Goodman
Book Stores
Museum Stores

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