If you are a regular reader of my blog, you’ll know I love wooden toys. It’ll come as no surprise then that I was excited to accept when I was asked to review some wooden toys from Jaques London. Read on to find out how we got on.
Reviewing Wooden Toys From Jaques London
Jaques London is the oldest sports and games manufacturer in the world. They have been trading since 1795, and are famous for inventing Croquet! They are also the company behind many other traditional games, including: Tiddley Winks, Snap, Ping Pong, Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, The Staunton Chess Set, and even Happy Families!
Hand Wrapped Wooden Toys From Jaques London
The first thing which struck me when I opened the parcel from Jaques London was the beautiful packaging. Each cardboard box has Jaques London print on it, as well as a beautiful branded ribbon. This by itself was beautiful, but when I opened the packaging and found the card saying who had hand wrapped the toy, I knew Jaques London were unlike any other toy maker I’ve ever purchased from (or reviewed for).
The toy inside the box was wrapped in branded paper, which told some interesting facts about Jaques London’s history and heritage. So history geeks like me will appreciate this attention to detail. The two items we received were the Let’s Play wooden stacker and the Four in a row game. Read on to find out what we thought of them.
The Let’s Play Wooden Stacker is priced at £9.99 and is suitable for toddlers. My son is 9 and has profound learning disabilities. This kind of toy is one of his favourites, so I knew he’d enjoy it. I wasn’t prepared for how well made it would be. I’ve spent double this on similar toys, and found the quality to be far lower than the Jaques London stacker.
As you can see from Sam’s face, he’s definitely a fan of this set. I liked the added challenge of learning some of the square stack needed to be one way up, while the other half had to be facing downwards.
Each of the pieces was smooth, with no splinters, knots of wood or chipped paint. I liked that the corners of the pieces were slightly rounded, to avoid sharp edges. Additionally, the dowels were firmly secured, so I’m sure this toy will last for years to come. It’s definitely worth £10 of anyone’s money.
Four in a row is one of Syd’s favourite games. She has a plastic version at her Dad’s and frequently mentions it. So when I saw the Jaques London set for £9.99, I knew it was something she would love. I’ve not played in years, but really enjoyed our games evening. Syd is almost 9 and beat me several times.
I loved the branding on the board, (shown below), and the fact even the tokens were made from wood. There are 42 holes on the board, so you get 21 red and 21 black pieces. The board lifts up and tips sideways to release the pieces once the game is over.
The pieces did get stuck once or twice, so while this version of 4 in a row is good… Being able to lift the board another 5mm would have made this version of the game perfect. The game feels sturdy and well made. The box it comes in also feels strong, so I’m sure this game too will last for many years.
All told, I’d highly recommend both of the items we were sent to review. If you’re looking for great value wooden or battery free toys, you should definitely check out Jaques London.
Once our garden is finished, I’ll definitely be buying their Intermediate Croquet Set! PS: Fun fact: I once played the Queen of Hearts in a local theatre production of Alice in Wonderland, so am fairly well – versed in Croquet.