Friday, 12 October 2012

You can't but like The Entertainer toy shop.

If for nothing other than their stoic insistence that will not be opening their stores' doors on the Sabbath.  Sunday is still a day of rest for staff at The Entertainer, and I can't think of another mainstream retailer that does the same.

And I can admire that kind of commitment against the trend, especially as I do the vast majority of my shopping on-line.

I've always found the Entertainer to have decent prices, we have one nearby, and it is the shop I generally head to first when Max has been invited to a party, and I need to get a gift.

I regularly find stuff heavily discounted, presumably as it's the end of range, but little boys and girls seem to care not if the character you are gifting them is one from a dying series.  More so, the Entertainers end of line stock has made me look much more generous, or affluent, than I am.

Anyway, they asked if we'd be keen to do a review.

And when they sent me a link to the product they wanted us to test drive, which was this:

I feared that if I turned it down, and my boy ever found out, then I'd be walking with a permanent limp.

It's a Mega Bloks Halo Countdown.

I must say I'm not a fan of big building sets, and straying from the Lego stable feels a little like sacrilege.  But I was a little surprised by the quality of this set.

Being in the former employ of a Danish firm, I am well versed in the magic of Lego, but also the facts behind why there are very good reasons their building blocks go together the best.

They patented their design, and not only that they patented lots of other patterns and designs for fixing plastic blocks together. Only ever using the one design in manufacture and practice, but effectively protecting their product from others making copies, and even very near copies.

So I don't know how Mega Bloks have managed it, but they make a product, that while not Lego, it is at least worthy of being compared to it.

There's loads going on in this set, and as expected, my seven-year-old was soon bored of putting it together, and concentrated on role playing with the set's characters.

But that's just my child, I know him well enough that it's pretty much always the characters that he ends up playing with, and the bigger parts get built once, then taken apart, to be used sporadically as bits for his own creations.

Which is fine, I just know that I'm better off spreading my money, or budget, further across smaller sets yielding him the most characters, rather than having huge buildings or vehicles to play with.