Alice-Sara, shared her construction skills when reviewing the Meccano tool box for girls, back in August, Now it was the turn of the boys.
Products we were sent: Space-Chaos & the Build and play mini case.
First up it’s Little man’s review of the Space Chaos
Space Chaos is designed for children 7-14 years (at almost 11yrs this was well within his age range).
Before getting out the cash and splashing out, I suggest you find out if, (a) your child is a goodie (therefore the Silver force is what you should be aiming for) or (b) Your child is a baddies (therefore requiring a construction set from the Dark Pirates range).
As we were sent the products for the purpose of a review we didn’t put a request in, but on arrival of a Space Chaos, Dark pirates, I felt this was the right choice (Yes, he actually prefers to be a baddie, like his mum, *Evil laugh* follows)
So, what’s the fuss about!
Space Chaos is a collection of Air craft/space ships consisting of drones, raiders, bombers, fighters, destroyers and more! Each Set can make two models with a pack contents of around 140+ parts and pieces. The kit contains a special sound function that can be activated at the push of a button.
Space Chaos Models come with a range of stickers to pimp out your ship, as-well as two trading cards showing the unique powers of each spaceship. Each trading card also displays a secret code, this can be entered online to access lots of extra goodies, including wallpapers, posters, cards, combat cards and plenty more.
Getting stuck in!
Before I go any further I wish to remind or inform the readers who don’t know, that little man has Aspergers and has associated difficulties with his Gross and fine-motor skills. His recent Occupational therapy assessment highlighted that he has a much greater difficulty with his use of fine motor skills, then we all thought and expected. With this in mind I wanted to see how he was able to cope with the Meccano set, or if it could actually help better his skills.
I grabbed some drinks and on my return discovered he had open every single individual sealed bag which contained the many different parts and mixed them together as one! “Great, this wasn’t going to be easy” All the pieces in the set were a mix of both plastic and metal. The instructions looked simple enough, yet the pieces were mixed and I can’t even construct a kinda egg toy let alone this thing!
Little man was getting nowhere, so after what seemed like days I finally managed to separate all the parts into their required piles. The bits where very fiddly for little man and he continually dropped them, he became angry refusing to try again. Little man has very low concentration, so, we did some sections over the course of a few days till day three when he spent time with his father, the model was finally completed.
Builds two models
Trading cards and online feature
End result, a great toy that offers lots of playability
Little man doesn’t stick with something for long specially if it’s not bus or train related. Through with his fathers help he remained focused, Patient, and willing. To have completed the model into something that offered playability. This was a massive achievement.
Difficult for children who experience difficulties with their fine motor skill.
No storable click case
The build and play mini (5-8yrs)
Now, this was Harley’s set and I’m not about to moan about the fact he didn’t have the first idea how to build this (apart from the construction of a wheel, which I’m sure happened by chance)! Why? Because at 21 months this set, that is recommend for 5-8 year olds is way to advanced and wasn’t going to happen. The idea was for Alice to carry out the honours and construct the set and once together, Harley would have a chunky car to text drive around the living room! I now jokingly call Alice Wendy from (Bob the builder) as she seems to have a skills when it comes to Meccano builds.
The way in-which the pieces click together is the same as Alice-Sara’s own meccano set. She read the instructions with ease and being at the top of the recommend age range for this toy she experienced little if not any problems at all.
The end result, Harley had a very nice buggy type car with beady eyes.
I’m unsure if a 5yr old could construct this set as well as maybe a 7 or 8 year old. Little man also had ago at Harley’s set and despite his fine motor skill problems, he had no difficulties due to the easy click together action and the bigger more flexible pieces.
For this reason I would personally recommend the set designed for younger children, with the bigger easier to hold parts, if buying for a child with difficulties with their fine motor skills. (Just remove the label displaying the recommended age) little man would become very dishearten if he saw this.
Capability to build two models
Big chunky pieces
easy to follow instructions
End result, a good toy with lots of playability
Plastic click case to store parts
You can only build one model at a time
I Liked both products, but could see myself buying the latter (mini build and play) purely because of Little mans difficulty with the Space Chaos. I think the finished models of both sets look great! The build and play looked fantastically funky and cute, especially the big beady eyes. The Space Chaos had the added touch of the sound effects which Little man loved.
I also love that the mini set comes in a click case allowing you to store the pieces away nicely, something sadly the Space Chaos lacked.
Space Chaos ****
mini build and play *****
Prices do vary so I would suggest having a look around online
But for those who hate bargain hunting you can get
Space Chaos Dark Pirates for : Amazon for £18.38
Mini build and play: Amazon for £9.99
The world of Space Chaos can be discovered by visiting its websites which has been dedicated to the Space Chaos entire range. http://spacechaos.meccano.com
- Girls can do Meccano too (aspergersinfo.wordpress.com)