Farmers starting bringing these in and they have quite a good selection of both the music boxes and the DIY houses which also really interest me.
We unpacked the boxes, and, of course – the first thing you do is wind up the music box to listen to the tune.
The melody was familiar – very familiar. The missus popped online and quickly identified the track as the main theme tune from ‘Castle in the Sky’ written by Joe Hisaishi.
It’s a beautiful and haunting track, the the music box rendition is extremely fitting.
So, the main kit is essentially a pile of pre-painted die-cut balsa wood that you assemble and glue. The fit is so tight that most of it holds together without needing glue at all – and I assume it’s designed that way – as the instructions stipulate only a few parts which need to be glued together.
It’s intricate – though not fiddly – I quickly found that it was a little beyond the 4 and 5-year-old. Much like Lego Sets, I was quickly left to my own devices to assemble the kit. Which, to be honest, I don’t have a problem with. The kids went back to Lego, and I kept on building this kit with them checking in on my progress from time to time.
I am not sure how long it took me to complete as I didn’t pay attention to the time. However, the end result was very satisfying and currently lives on the top shelf of my older girls ‘curiosity’ bookcase.
The RoboTime site has a recommended age of 14+ and, if you want them to assemble it themselves, that’s likely accurate. However, for a project to do ‘with’ them – any age is fine.
I am sure, if you wanted, you could spend hours upon hours sanding down all the punch marks and ‘spigots’* or spurs when you punch out the pieces, you could also glue each part, but I don’t really see that as necessary anyhow, and I enjoyed observing how the parts locked together to not require glue anyhow.
You can pick these kits up online at Farmers now – and for the price – I think they are well worth the money. It’s not another cheap plastic toy that gets played with for a while and then discarded.
- *My background is injection molding, so that’s how I understand these things.