Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Bizu Style Studio

I did have some concerns when I was sent the Bizu Style Studio from Spinmaster for review. Firstly, my little girl is rather young for the target market of 6+ although with the help and encouragement from her older sisters, there is little she can't manage. Secondly, it seemed a lot more plastic and gimmicky than the sort of toys that I usually buy for my children. However, with an open mind I got stuck into the review.

The kit contained
  • a selection of beads to create  jewellery, including 4 animal character heads
  • a plastic tower with rotating trays to organise and store your beads and help you to design your creations
  • templates with suggested designs
  • 4 elastics 
  • threading tool
  • 2 key chain attachments.

The kit can be used to make 4 character bracelets that  link together to make a necklace or by using the key chain attachments, turned into charms. You can follow the template designs or create your own unique bead combinations. 

Organising the beads into the tower was quite a challenge for a three year old but she did enjoy it I am sure that the slightly older girls that this product is aimed at would take great delight in the process. Rotating the trays to experiment with different combinations of beads gave you an idea of quite how much variety it was possible to work into the designs (I haven't checked the maths but apparently 40 beads will give you a possible 15,000 combinations!). There was a fun element once you had made your choice - twisting the top of the tower dispenses your beads down a spiral chute into a collecting tray. 

With the aid of the special tool, the beads are threaded onto the elastic manually. I was worried that this might be a bit fiddly but it wasn't at all. Once the tool was removed, the bracelet was ready to wear.

We were not terribly adventurous with our designs, sticking quite closely to the templates provided, but the jewellery can be dismantled fairly easily to make new creations if you should change your mind. 

The really fun thing about this set was that with two little twists (a little bit like making balloon animals but very much simpler) your bracelets transform into cute little collectible characters and back again.

Additional sets of beads are available with 35 different characters to collect in Glam, Funky, Rock and Wild themes.

I am always a little wary of products that encourage 'collecting' because of the potential cost implication of completing collections but they do seem to be increasingly popular. For aspiring jewellery designers and lovers of cute collectibles the Bizu Style Studio could make a great Christmas present. 

Available from Argos, Asda, The Entertainer, Sainsbury's, Smyths, Tesco, Toys R Us (RRP £19.99)

For more information visit www.thebizuworld.com

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