Friday, 20 May 2011

Hasbro Preschool Games - Monkey Dunk and Pop Goes Froggio (review)

Sometimes it is hard to keep up with the demands of my energetic 3 year old so having a few games designed for her age group tucked away in the toy cupboard can provide some much needed structured entertainment.

I was pleased to be given two such games from Hasbro to review.

Monkey Dunk is a game for 2-4 players aged 4+. It is described as The Monkey Flippin' Game with the Elefun Surprise.

The game is based on the idea of Tiddlywinks but instead of flipping counters, you have specially designed plastic flippin' monkeys. Instead of an ordinary target pot into which to flip, you have four 'swimming holes' that by utilising the box and a jungle decorated cardboard back drop, creates a lagoon. The final touch that separates this game from the traditional  and relatively sedate game of Tiddlywinks is the 'Elefun popper'. The rubber ring wearing elephant character is placed into one of the swimming holes where it remains quietly until the moment that it pops up signalling the end of the round and maybe knocking your less successfully flipped monkeys into point scoring swimming holes. (I say 'point scoring' - what you actually score is banana tokens!- what else??)

The game is colourful with lots of attention to detail and I loved the plastic monkeys. It is recommended for 4+ which maybe explains why my 3 year old completely failed to master the monkey flipping technique. She tried very hard but even with the patient encouragement of the other players, she could not manage it. Despite her disappointment at not being able to participate fully, she did enjoy being on the sidelines of the manic flipping of the older participants and occasionally threw a monkey into a swimming hole with an accompanying, satisfied " I DID it!!"

This is definitely a game to go back to once her fingers are a little stronger and her manual dexterity a little more developed.

Pop Goes Froggio  is a game for 2-4 players aged 3+ and is described as The Fast-Matching Frog-Catching Game.

'Froggio' is a cute foam frog character that my 3 year old took an instant liking to (although I have to admit, it made my baby son cry for some unknown reason!). He sits on a lily pad contraption that has a 'butterfly spinner' and is attached to a foot pump. Twelve good sized 'lily pad cards' have illustrations of six different animal characters.

The idea of the game is to spin the butterfly spinner to select a character. You must then search for the character on the lily pad cards that will have been scattered about the room. Upon finding the correct card you must then run to the foot pump and stomp on it to launch Froggio into the air. If you can catch Froggio before he hits the ground, you win the lily pad card.

All the components had a lovely robust feel to them.

For younger players, it is possible to have the lily pad cards face up so it is a simple matching activity rather than memory and matching and the rules about catching can be relaxed.

My daughter loved handling the lily cards and was quickly making up her own matching games with them. She also loved trying to catch Froggio when he was launched but with limited success! Sadly, she could not quite manage to stomp hard enough to achieve anything other than a tiny movement of Froggio and an unfortunate "escaping air" sound that she found highly amusing. 'Stomping' is a technique we will have to work on!

Although we were not able to play the game exactly as intended, we still had a lot of fun and I loved that she made up her own games using the equipment too.

My daughter took great delight in showing Pop goes Froggio to her older sister's boyfriend (when she was supposed to be getting ready for bed). The foot pump was given a good test of how robust it is when he obliged her by launching  Froggio higher than we had ever managed with his size 10 policeman's foot,  rewarded with the squeals of pleasure you would expect!


  1. That looked like great fun. You can never have enough games on hand I think.

  2. Although I am a Nana, I have to confess to having a lot of fun yesterday playing "Pop goes Froggio" with my daughter and granddaughter. I actually managed to win the game - not bad for an oldie.


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