Hamsters in a House - the newest little toy critters for little hands
This week we were lucky enough to get our hands on a range of the latest craze to sweep through the world of children's toys, the Hamsters In a House collection from Zuru Toys, the same company that brought you the “Bunch of Balloons” craze last summer.
As we opened the boxes from Toy Universe, the squeals of delight from Mr James (4) and Miss Emma (6) were at the ear drum bursting level, a sure sign that we are onto a winner. James and Emma both started talking at once in a vague attempt to explain exactly what each piece was all about often getting half way through the rendition before being distracted by the next one out of the box or correcting each other when they were so “clearly” wrong!
So what is Hamsters in a House? I guess the best way to describe Hamsters in a House would be a Hamster Village, populated by Hamsters with tiny plastic rods for legs that vibrate to make their way around the tracks that connect each of the “Hamster Entertainment Centers.” There are 9 Hamsters in total with names like Snowflake, Periwinkle and Daisy and 7 odd “Entertainment Stations” that include the Hamster House, The Hair Salon and Supermarket to name a few. Each Hamster and “Entertainment Center” are sold separately, although most of the “Entertainment Centers” do appear to include a Hamster, and are recommended for ages 4 plus.
So what do James and Emma make of Hamsters in a House?
Well, my table had been cleared to the floor in that special way only young children can manage and James was studiously preparing the layout of the track whilst Emma was busy ripping open packages and adding them to my new storage unit, previously known as the floor.
It took Emma and James about 40 minutes to get the layout just right, it is very easy to assemble the units and minimal help was required throughout the setup. They seem to really like the Hamsters and they way they moved, the Hamsters are quite little and will scoot along the tracks quite speedily.
The designers of these toys have obviously thought very hard about how these ‘Entertainment Centres” work. Each one can work as a standalone unit or be joined together using the tracks to make a village like setup. The Entertainment Centres are nice and sturdy and reflect the adult world that children live in with Shopping Centres and Hair Salons, so much so that Emma was in the supermarket with her hamster “Sprinkles” when I heard her exclaim in an annoyed tone “Why don’t you just open more checkouts you fools” I must remember to talk to her mother!
Emma and James played with the Hamsters for about 2 hours until they had to go home for dinner but they both took their hamster home and asked if I could leave it setup for them tomorrow? Overnight, their Dad and I moved the Hamsters to their dining room table and somewhat reluctantly I then set about disassembling my new storage unit and returning it back to a floor.
These Modular type toys are fantastic for young children as they enable you to firstly just buy one, relatively inexpensive unit to “test the waters” with your child and then add to the collection as Birthdays, budgets and your child’s behaviour allow.
I think the Hamsters in a House range are a good toy and collectively we gave it an 8 out of 10.
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