Hama Hama Gift Box Pony Club
Contents:Approx. 3000 beads1 large square pegboard12 bead supportsColour printed design sheetInstructions and ironing paper 5 Years +
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Review of "Hama Hama Gift Box Pony Club"
Many thanks for all the reads & rates
In the weeks before my daughters break up from school for the holidays I begin picking up a few toys and activities so that they have some fun things to do and play, especially on those rainy days. Whilst having a mooch around a local toy shop I spotted some Hama sets reduced to clear, I'd not heard of the brand before but taking a quicker look I felt confident that this was an activity my eight year old daughter would enjoy. I chose the Hama Pony Club set.
What is Hama?Hama is a Danish company, specialising in craft activities for children. They are most famous for Hama beads, which can be purchased in tubs to freestyle your own creations or in sets such as this Pony Club set I am reviewing today. The beads are to be used on specific plastic boards to create a picture or design, this can then be covered with ironing paper and ironed to set the beads. The creation can then be completely removed from the plastic board. The finished item can be used as a display or you can buy add ons to turn them into key rings or fridge magnets.
Much like Lego sets, each Hama set had a product number, making finding the set you require quick and easy. The product number for the Pony set is 3217.
What does it look like?The product comes presented in a strong box which we have found durable enough to keep the contents in when not in use. Although, should my daughter wish to extend her Hama collection I think we will need to upgrade to a larger storage container. The box shows the different designs which can be made with the set, this is all pony themed for example we have a pony, a female jockey and a jumper, all clearly made using the Hama beads. The product logo is displayed in the corner, so you know that you are getting a genuine Hama item here. The cover is very bright and it drew my attention right away, however I wouldn't' say it looked very modern - in fact it looks a bit 80's to me perhaps something I would have owned when I was a little girl.
Plenty of information is given on the reverse, but its a cluttered affair with lots of different languages competing for space. The English part is rather small and you will need a keen eye to spot it. There are some basic instructions on how to use the kit and this comes with a 3 picture guide too.
Whats in the box?* 3000 x assorted midi beads
* 1 x square board
* 12 x stands
* Ironing paper
Age & Gender recommendations
Hama give an age recommendation of 5+ for this set, which I believe to be fair and appropriate. The set contains a number of small beads which could pose a choking hazard to smaller children. I also have a toddler and therefore we have to be careful when playing with these beads that he doesn't get hold of any, this is something I have to discuss often with my daughter as she does have a tendency to leave bits and pieces lying around. Apart from the small parts issue, I do think that children under 5 may not have the concentration and hand coordination to actually sit down and use the set appropriately, it may result in the child becoming frustrated or they may simply tire easily. Of course, all children are different and it is up to the parent to make the correct judgements in relation to their child and their abilities.Craft items are usually thought of as girls toys and with the added pony theme thrown in here I can certainly see why this product would be thought of to appeal more to the female market. However, this one isn't overly girlie, in fact I find the cover to be rather unisex with its style and colours, there's no bright pinks or pastels here. It is true that my daughter enjoys craft items, we find it fun to sit down and create together, but I will be encouraging my son to take part in such activities when he is a little older too and I would have no problems with him playing with a set such as this.
My daughter and I have never come across Hama before, but we found it very similar to another brand called 'Aquabeads' and the premise is fairly similar, in that you are using special beads to create a picture. The main difference is that the Hama beads are set using an iron, whilst the Aquabeads required a spritz of water. My daughter has a number of Aquabeads sets, so the process of using this Hama set was easy for her to understand.I decided to give this set to my daughter on a rather dreary day during the summer holidays, she had been complaining that she was bored and I wanted to give her something constructive to do with her time. The set was well received and my daughter was very excited to get started. I wouldn't really say she had any real interest in ponies or horse riding, but she was still intrigued by the theme and its nice to choose something a little different to expand a child's knowledge every so often. We sat down at the dining table to do this one together but to be honest my daughter was able to complete the activity independently, at least after I explained the general premise to her. Unlike most craft activities, this one did not require any forward thinking - there was no need to protect the table with a plastic table mat or pop on an apron - in theory this one was going to be pretty mess free. To begin with it was simply a case of opening up the box and getting out the contents. All 3000 of the beads came in one clear plastic baggy, which unfortunately was not resealable.
To start with, my daughter followed the pattern instructions as she wanted to make a scene just like on the cover of the box, choosing to start with the female jockey. The beads came in an assortment of colours and so she began be sorting out which colours she required into little piles on the table. Thankfully, all the colours for the project were there and my daughter was able to copy the picture on the front of the box exactly using the same colours. My daughter really took her time placing each bead in the correct place, she gave it her full concentration and spent a good 10-15 minutes to create it. Once complete she wanted to set it, initially she wanted to do this herself as she does with her Aquabeads sets, but as Hama requires the use of an iron I told her it was the job of an adult. So, out came the iron and I popped the design on a tea towel to protect my table from any heat (I don't even own an ironing board!), then placed the ironing paper over the design. I proceeded to set the design by applying heat from the iron, taking care not to over do it which would have just resulted in a melted plastic mess. We removed the ironing paper with much trepidation, but thankfully the process had worked well and the heat from the iron had moulded each bead together perfectly. We were then able to lift the whole design off in one go.My daughter had initially wanted to copy the scene exactly from the front of the box, but after finishing he jockey so wanted to make her own creation and so I left her to it. Another 15 minutes later I was called back to iron the finished design and after this my daughter lost interest and went off to do something else with her time.
The set has been brought out again since the first project, but again my daughter seemed more interested in creating her own designs rather than following the pony theme. I think this is fair enough and if my daughter chooses to use her own imagination well that's just fine with me.My daughter thoroughly enjoys using the beads and is able to sit and concentrate for long periods in order to create her own designs, so I would certainly consider purchasing Hama beads again, however I doubt I would buy a set like this one and instead would go for a box of beads so that she could freestyle to her hearts content. That being said, I do think it is a bit of an effort to have to iron the final design and therefore I do prefer the Aquabeads to the Hama beads. With Aquabeads, I am able to let my daughter get on with things herself and she doesn't have to come back to me asking for help to set her designs as she is able to do this herself with a simple squirt of water. Great care needs to be taken whilst using the iron, I was worried about melting my daughters creation should I apply to much heat, I can imagine she would have been pretty upset if this would have happened, especially considering how much time she spent on it. I was also worried about melting the peg board, but thankfully everything worked out fine.
The designs my daughter made are still on display on our fireplace, they haven't really been played with or moved since they were created. So, in terms of the finished item there probably isn't any real further fun or enjoyment to have really - well apart from them just looking nice. Perhaps I will buy some magnets or key rings to attach to the next load to give them a new lease of life - I can imagine these would be well received as gifts for grandparents and friends. So, far, all the beads remain in place and intact on my daughters creations, but of course if they had been played with this might be a different story. Touching them now, I feel they seem secure enough.
Final ThoughtsMy daughter enjoyed playing with this Hama Pony Club set, it kept her occupied for a while during a rainy day. I would certainly consider adding more Hama beads to her collection but would probably just buy one big jar of Hama beads so she could just create her own designs rather than a specifically themed set like this one.
Price, Availability & Alternatives
A quick look on Hama website shows that this set has been discontinued. However, it can still be purchased second hand from places like eBay and from sellers on Amazon. Its full RRP was £12, but I purchased it at half price.There is an alternative Hama Pony Club set (Pony Farm Large Gift Set - 3136) available which has a RRP of £12.95.
Delivery charges may apply.Prices taken from: https://www.hamabeads.com/
Product Information : Hama Hama Gift Box Pony Club
Manufacturer's product descriptionContents:Approx. 3000 beads1 large square pegboard12 bead supportsColour printed design sheetInstructions and ironing paper 5 Years +
Listed on Ciao since: 12/06/2009