Archive for the ‘Toy Trains & Cars’ Category

What do you think of Manhattan Toy?

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

This was the question we asked some lucky bloggers recently, sending them some toys to try out from the lovely range on offer from Manhattan Toy. Manhattan have an amazing portfolio  which includes Baby Stella, Boysterous Boys and a variety of developmental toys including Whoozit and Wimmer Ferguson.

The first review in was of lovely Nursing Nina from Mamacrow. I adored this review and you absolutely have to read it just for the fun of seeing the ‘extreme cat breastfeeding’ picture. I laughed and laughed!

This review from Susan K Mann got lots of attention on Twitter. These lovely sporty boy dolls deserve to do well because they really are a lot of fun. Take a look at her blog to see the shot of one of the boys out for a life size bike ride!

Little Sam tried out a Boyterous Boys set as well as a wooden toy tool kit from the Parents range at Manhattan Toy. Both things went down really well with him and his mum; I love the look of concentration from this little chap!

Boysterous Boys and Toolkit review from Mrs McGregor makes a great read and another ToolKit review from Madhouse Family Reviews awards it a whopping 4.5/5 which is pretty good because they are a very discerning family! They loved the quality and realism of the kit and how much scope it offered for free play. I loved that it ended up doubling as a medical kit! (The mind boggles!)

Baby Stella reviews from HollyBobb and StressyMummy both summed up what I already know about Baby Stella, who has been a firm favourite with our now 7 year old daughter for 5 years or so. Both recipients fell totally in love with their new ‘babies’ and the mums were impressed with the quality and the range of accessories available. She really is a very popular doll indeed.

Automoblox reviews came from 2 Stars and a Swirl and Mummy Mummy Mum. These are incredibly innovative and collectible wooden toy cars and in one house plenty of mix it up games got played while in another it was all about taking it apart!

The Finger Puppet review from Here Come the Girls made me smile. I love the theatre they built (instructions for how to on their blog too) and thought the mini-vlog they did to show off a performance was brilliant. I have signed the preservation petition for the theatre as word on the street is it is due to be rationalised to make was for a car park!

A Fabric Animal Puppet Review from Trouble Doubled and another great Chopper Chums review from AlysonsBlog focused again on the quality of these soft fabric hand puppets and the play value in toys that encourage role play and interaction from kids. The picture with the two figures above charmed me as we’ve had these little people in our home for a long, long time…. and tI’m thrilled with Alyson’s assessment of how well the puppets can work in education.

The Wimmer Ferguson Baby Toy range were reviewed at This is Life with some Orbit beads taking a test run too. We are big fans of Wimmer Ferguson in our house and can’t wait to bring some home for our new little baby boy. They fcus on black, white and primary colours, stimulating vision with simple shapes and designs and are a long standing popular product at our shop.

Finally, Words with Wine reviewed the Dress Up Pirate a cheeky chap with a pet parrot and a shiny silver sword. He’s packed full of design features to learn dresing skills but I’m not sure whether to applaud his new owner or commiserate with mum that Chops now knows how to get naked in no time! been there, done that!

Many thanks to all our reviewers. If you have a blog and would like to review toys for us, get in touch via the Facebook page  or follow us on Twitter at @playmerrily for the shop or @merrilyme for more random daily ramblings!

(Apologies to my bloggers for the round up being short and sweet; I accidentally deleted it once!)

BigJigs Toys hit the spot for families.

Friday, April 6th, 2012

One of the top wooden toy brands of the century is BigJigs Toys, lovely people who have brought together and designed a perfect range of wooden toys that cross into every possible corner of the traditional toy market. From wooden toy food to their own wooden railway system, baby toys, the signature jigsaws they were originally known for and beautiful playsets, they’ve now started to move into other toys and distribute new brands too. What I love about BigJigs is that the family behind the business is so evident and takes such care over design and decisions to bring new ranges on board. They are a brand I truly love working with and so I was delighted to have the chance to get some bloggers to review their toys too.

Anne-Marie is one of our top reviewers on our websites and regularly takes a look at new toys for us to test them out (frankly, she’s a loyal enough customer to keep our family in baked beans forever if required!) and they tried out the new BigJigs Roadway Zebra Crossing Set. They liked what they saw and hopefully Anne-Marie will use her special ‘friends’ account on PlayMerrily to add to their collection!

Over at Freckles Family a little boy with a train driver daddy sniffed out a toy parcel and got to work becoming a train man himself. He pronounced himself very satisfied with the BigJigs Figure of 8 Train Set and the photos are gorgeous – it looks like he was in heaven with his trains :)

Over at Smiling Like Sunshine there is another review of the same set. They also liked the set and, having had occasion to try out our customer service after a fault in another toy, pronounced themselves pleased with us!

I’m more than a little in love with the small boy in the special demonstration vlog over at Something Blue. He’s ready to show you just how easy it is to use the cutting fruit set which is a permanent best seller from BigJigs. Way to go small boy :) All the BigJigs wooden play food is brilliant but the cutting sets are just the best of all I think.

Being Mrs C and co took a look at the BigJigs Rail Farmyard Crossing set and train. Already a traditional toy lover and an owner of BigJigs Rail items, they loved these additions and Mrs C waxed lyrical about the thoughtful design of all the products we sent them :)

It wasn’t until I saw a Sam’s Steel Works out of the box that I really understood what a clever and sophisticated toy it is. The Cheetah Keeper describes it perfectly so pop over and hear what she has to say. This particular toy always makes me smile though and illustrates the family nature of BigJigs perfectly. I speak weekly to Sam who now deals with the day to day running of the company (and who a friend of mine knew in nappies in the days when the jigsaws were made in their garage!) and the Tom from the Timber Yard toy is his little brother – I’ve met him too!

I love the post from MummyBird about playing with the BigJigs Wooden Cash Register. There have been a lot of similar games in this house over the years and it always makes me smile to see toys being used mixed in with real money and household items. A perfect blend of pretend and reality I think and a brilliant way for children to learn!

Twinsboys and their dad fell on a BigJigs Roadway set over at Tales of a Twin Mum and devoured it whole by the look of things. Sounds like it was a huge hit and had lots of play value to keep the boys entertained. (Who had most fun I wonder!)

Bloggomy took possession of a Roadway Roundabout and had plenty of fun. It was pronounced an ideal starter set for a young man just getting into things with wheels!

We’re incredibly grateful to all our bloggers. If you have a blog and would like to review for us, join our Facebook Page or get in touch via Twitter.

New Roads! Great new range of Wooden Roadway from Bigjigs

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Bigjigs range of Wooden Railway have been hugely popular, and it’s easy to see why. The wide range of buildings, accessories and trains that are compatible with leading train track brands, mean that a train set can easily and affordably be updated and expanded to create unique and imaginative routes.

So we are very excited that this design has now extended to a wooden roadway system that can either link up to a railway using a level crossing, or be used alone to build towns and cities.

BigJigs Wooden City Road & Railway Set

BigJigs Wooden City Road & Railway Set

The superb attention to daily life that we have come to love from Bigjigs is evident in the smaller accessories such as the parking spaces set and the zebra crossing set, which not only make the roadway realistic, but also provide a great role play opportunity to talk about road safety with children.

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Parking Spaces Set

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Parking Spaces Set

A roadway set can be started fairly simply with the most basic set, My First Roadway which is a fantastic toy for a toddler, who will love the chance to slot together the road pieces to create a transport system for the small wooden cars to be pushed along. The Figure of Eight Roadway Set includes people, wooden houses and the all important bridge for wizzing the cars down!

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Figure of Eight Roadway Set

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Figure of Eight Roadway Set

As well as roadway sets, this range also includes roadway pieces in a variety of sizes, for extending existing sets and a selection of bridges and tunnels. The Countryside Bridge is particularly fantastic for running a railway under which can later meet the road at a level crossing for a really large and imaginative road and rail track, the design of which will stretch and encourage a child’s (and parent’s!) imagination.

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Countryside Bridge

Bigjigs Wooden Roadway - Countryside Bridge

BigJigs Rail – full range now in stock!

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

We’re delighted to be stocking the full current range of BigJigs Rail Wooden Toy Train Sets & Accessories at PlayMerrily Toys.

BigJigs Rail has been an absolute phenomenon over the last couple of years and has quickly become an affordable and highly regarded wooden train track system. With really great designs and excellent prices, BigJigs Railway items are compatible with most other leading wooden toy railways and has a wonderful assortment of different buildings, track pieces and wooden train engines.

The runaway success of the range in terms of all in one wooden train sets is the great value 101 Piece Town & Country train Set. At under £45, this set has something of everything; track, trains, buildings and lots of trackside accessories to add people based play to any game.

In the railway buildings section, one of our most popular items is the beautiful Five Way Engine Shed. At only £29.95, this is fantastic value for money and a real delight to play with; lots of working part and a huge credit to the BigJigs Rail range.

Other great accessories include the BigJigs 25 Piece Train Track Set, a perfect way to bump up your assortment of wooden train track, the bestselling Red Stone Tunnel and any of the beautifully painted rolling stock which can be bought in sets or separately.

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