Bunchems On-The-Go-Easel has been designed for families to take with them on their travels to entertain the kids. It’s a great idea and suitable for quick trips to the park or longer journeys in the car, on a train or plane. But does it do the job?
Take away the packaging and you’ll find a small white plastic suitcase type carrier with a blue plastic lid. The lid lifts off easily revealing little compartments filled with 150 colourful Bunchems (25 red, 25 green, 25 orange, 25 yellow, 25 purple, 15 black and 10 white) plus a pair of eyes.
What Are Bunchems
Now just in case you didn’t know Bunchems are smallish (2cm) round coloured plastic balls that are covered in loads of spiky hooks (a bit like a cross between a fairy crochet hooks and some oversized velcro). There are two small holes on opposites sides of each ball that allow plastic accessories to be inserted. These little hooks mean they are super easy to connect together allowing kids to let their imagination run wild and build all manner of wild and wonderful things. You basically just squish/bunch them together.
Inside the lid is an area of slightly fluffy fabric ( a bit like the fluffy side of velcro) that the Bunchems hook on to. The lid itself slides into the base forming an easel to create your Bunchem masterpieces. You have to do a strange press twist motion, that takes a little while to master, so the hooks tether. But once your Bunchem base is in solidly place you Bunchem beastie stays in place easily …just like the Sea Anemone the girls made below. It’s the tray that makes it useful for travel and it perfect to take on trains and
You can also use the base like a tray and build up towers and rainbows.
But of course you can free style and create stand alone masterpieces to play with.
Bunchems have had mixed reviews ever since “hair-gate” which is a shame as I think they’re an interesting, tactile, creative, construction toy for children to play with BUT I have to say we were a little disappointed with the Bunchems-On-The Go Easel product.
For starters there are hardly any accessories … in fact all you get is a pair of eyes, which was really disappointing for my girls as they love playing with their friends sets that have a fantastic selection of accessories to add to their creations. More eyes, some hats, glasses, arms and legs would make such a difference to this particular set up.
More accessories please?!
The lid only slots on to the main container and so has the potential to fall off if knocked or if it isn’t positioned properly. Not the best thing to have happen if you’re running through an airport! I’m not sure what the get around is but I do feel there should be a larger lip or even a catch.
You don’t actually get that many Bunchems in the box. I know it’s supposed to be a travel set, but if you’ve got two or more kids trying to get creative with them at the same time then you end up having to build quite frail, one Bunchem deep, wobbly structures because there aren’t enough to go around. The Octopus below used just over 50 and is only one Bunchem deep which is just over a third of the contents.
As much as I love Bunchems this particular set just doesn’t do it for me. It’s almost there. Just adding a few more accessories would make such a difference. And if SpinMaster could also maybe increase the quantity of Bunchems in the carry case then we’d be more happy with it. Maybe they need to bring out a family sized Easel-On-The-Go as well?!
Don’t let this review put you off Bunchems though.
Bunchems are a brilliant bright coloured, creative toy. I’m just not a fan of the Easel On the Go but then I’m looking at it from a largish family of similar aged kids. If you’re just out to entertain one child whilst travelling then you may find that this is perfect even with the limited accessories. That’s the thing about kids toys…
What works for one family doesn’t always work with another