Thursday, March 17, 2011

Play Eats: Garden Fresh Fruits and Veggies play food review

We bought this set (brand uncertain) because they are called "peel-able." We really liked the idea of being able to learn about how the fruits and veggies have layers and the peas seemed cool. While the pea pod certainly is one of the best parts of this set, the veggies aren't "peel-able." You can pull apart the pieces but the plastic is hard, and peeling implies some flexibility.

So this set was not used for the first year we had it because it was just a hot mess for chubby hands. Now that Z is almost 3, it's getting a lot of use. The only odd thing is that the scale of these pieces, while play scale, is not relative to the other pieces in the same set. They are otherwise very realistic: the peach has a pit (painted), and the orange has sections.

The verdict: We paid almost $20 for this set. It's now down to just over $15 at Amazon and eligible for free prime shipping so an excellent deal. It comes with a knife and an adorable little canvas bag. In a year of heavy use, nothing has broken and everything is still looking quite new.

Play Eats: Haba play food review

Overall, I'm impressed with the quality of Haba play foods.  I bought these "dog dogs" for Z for Christmas. I also bought a cute set of biscuits for my niece (also ten bucks).  Both sets are very nice and the tins are a nice bonus. I've also seen Haba foods at fancypants toy stores in the bigger cities that we visit and they are well made, some of felt, some of wood.

But seriously? These sets were ten bucks.  Each. 10 bucks? I photographed these with the quarter so you can see how small they are. Amazon sells a potato for 5 dollars. One potato. That's just not in my budget.

The fault isn't entirely on Haba, however. The website I bought them from (a site that has a bunch of similarly overpriced kids stuff) did not include the size. But I've never seen play foods this small so in my mind, they were much larger. (Note: The Haba foods not in tins seem to be more realistic to a play food scale).

The verdict: I feel that there are a lot of companies making play foods that are at much much better price points with similar quality and better scale. But if you are looking for quality over price or any other factor, go for Haba.