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When my children were little they played with this Fun Factory Set. When I saw it in the shops last Christmas I couldn't resist buying it for my grandchildren. My own children had always had great fun playing with this and I thought it would be a great present to their own children.
The fun factory is a plastic piece of equipment which works with play-doh. It is a plastic machine in which you put your play doh into the back and then lower the handle down. Lowering this handle then feeds the play doh out through a hole at the front. On this hole you can spin the wheel which has various shaped holes so that the play doh will form a shape on it's way out. These shapes include wavy ones, lots of tiny circles, squares and so forth. When the play doh comes out in a long sausage shape it will pass through these shapes which will determine how it looks.
My grandchildren thought this was amazing when I demonstrated it and I think the fact that the machine itself is bright in colour really drew them to it. However, it isn't as good as I recall and I'm not sure if it's changed in design or it's just my memory failing me!
The hole in which you put the play doh is only small so it's difficult to get a long sausage out of the machine unless you keep adding to it. Then the lever itself is really stiff. I had to apply quite a lot of pressure when I used it and my grandchildren had to put all their body weight on it- both hands and standing over it! This seemed a bit extreme. My five year old granddaughter even had problems with it so I think it is probably best for older children although I'm not sure they would find it quite as fun at an older age...
The machine comes with a knife which is not sharp but cuts through play doh really easily and my grandchildren love this! They love cutting up the play doh into random shapes and pretending that they are cooking.
What I really think that children love about Play doh is the fact that they can really use their imaginations with what they are making. They don't need a machine to work really well or to do fancy things, just the play doh itself is enough to entertain them. They do get frustrated with the machine and so now we just leave it in the cupboard and just use the tubs of play doh and the knife so they can create whatever they like with it!
The only draw back of play doh really is that it can be messy-if it gets trodden into teh carpet then it is very difficult to get out and also the colours can blend together so you end up with just brown if you're not careful! It can dry out if you don't put the lid back on properly too.
Our play doh is still soft and in good working order despite being over a year old so I think putting the lid on properly after using it really helps!
I bought the fun factory for £10 from a toy shop. I wouldn't recommend it, if you are looking at play doh then just get something very basic a few colours and a knife and some cutters is enough to engage my grandchildren! I sometimes do think that these companies are trying too hard to come up with new ideas and sometimes they just don't work and it's the simple things that really will entertain.