Kids toys for £1 – is Poundland’s new toy range any good?
Kids toys for £1! What’s not to like about those four words? Provided they aren’t preceded by the words “slightly soiled”, absolutely nothing. Which is why, when Poundland sent me an email about its new line of kids toys for £1, I whooped in delight, then asked the PR to send the Bubster and I some samples to review.
We were on holiday when the cut-priced goodies arrived (living it up in an Ibizan villa, if you must know), but the moment we got back, we hot-footed it to the Post Office, opened the parcel and discovered not one, two, three or four, but FIVE samples from the shop’s latest toy launch.
The new lines
One of these was a sparkly pink unicorn with loads of hair and a comb that the Bubster has not and probably never will play with, but the other four were ripped from their packaging faster than you can say “Did Father Hood & The Bubster create the greatest musical parody of all time?”
Unicorn discarded and cardboard annihilated, the line-up of toys that were now “in play” read as follows:
- A Transformers-style car/machine called Tranbot–360
- A pack of two Urban Blazerz cars
- A LEGO-style Brix Play Building Base
- And a Brix Play Career Girls Figure Set
What happened next? I’ll tell you what happened next. The Bubster got down to work. And by work, I mean played with his new toys until he got bored or lost them under the sofa. Here’s what went down…
It didn’t surprise me that this was the first toy to catch the Bubster’s eye, as he already owns a couple of cars that morph into strange-looking superheroes. Like both of those, the Tranbot–360 works well as a car. Like both of those, the Tranbot–360 takes a while to get back into its original form after you’ve turned it into the figure. Unlike both of those, the Tranbot–360 is only £1.
Yes, the plastic is light. Yes, I had to make a bit of a repair after the third car-to-figure changeover. And yes, the Tranbot–360 seems pretty flimsy when compared with the Bubster’s other transforming vehicles. But it definitely punches above its weight in terms of performance per pound spent.
2. Urban Blazerz
No bells. No whistles. And definitely no wind-up wheels, tricks or somersaults. This is simply a pack of two toy cars that have four wheels, fit most tracks and entertained the Bubster for somewhere between five and 10 minutes. Is that worth a £1 of your hard-earned cash? Given how much I’ve previously paid for toy cars, I’d say yes. Others may disagree.
3. Brix Play Career Girls Figure Set 1 + Building Base
I’ve grouped the final two products together, because they are part of the same toy family. Brix Play is Poundland’s version of LEGO. Which means? It means you buy a bunch of the stuff, shove it all on the base and take bets on how long it is going to take your kid to destroy it. Or, you know, carefully craft a tableau featuring characters with hidden intentions and exotic back stories. Or, you know, something in between.
It’s aimed at the 6+ market, so it didn’t keep the Bubster’s attention for long. That said, I did notice two things during the time he did play with it. Positively, the figures slotted onto the base really well. Negatively, a couple of the figures’ arms came off really easily and would definitely be a choking hazard for younger kids (the box carries a disclaimer saying “unsuitable for children under 36 months”).
The bottom line
A brilliant idea from Poundland that is mostly well executed. There is no denying that each product offers value when compared to the market leading brands, but, if you’re looking for my advice (and let’s face it, you’re on my site, so you probably are), I would suggest you stick to the simpler, no-frills items like the Urban Blazerz and the Brix Play Building Base, as these are easier to produce at this price point.
Until next time…