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April 12th, 2009 by Stinkhead

[singlepic id=22 w=150 h=113 float=right]We really got a kick out of Cadaco’s Enviroblox at Toy Fair. Now we got the chance to play with some. We gave a set to a 3 year old and his dad to play with, and I attempted some horror movie special effects with another. We’ve got a lot of pics and a cool video of a melting face!

You’re no doubt familiar with cornstarch packing peanuts, the environmentally safe material dissolves in your fingers when you run them under the sink. Cadaco adds a bit of color and some fun, safe tools, and bam, you have a fun new toy. Unique to these “building blocks” are that you don’t need glue or pegs to connect them, simply moisten an edge of one block and attach it to another. You can cut and shave down blocks to fit your specific needs, and of course, they dissolve in water.

[singlepic id=14 w=150 h=113 float=right]Being unique, they do take a little different thinking than Play-Doh or Legos. With Play-doh you can smush and rebuild (even mid-project) and Legos are very firm and can build large blocky structures quickly. Our three year old tester (well, his dad) got a little frustrated that once you started putting together Enviroblox, you can’t pull them apart and start over (as 3 year olds are prone to ask you to do). The whole moisten and connect thing was easy enough for the three year old to pick up on however. So the recommendation is to kind of plot what you want to build and go forward with it.

[singlepic id=18 w=150 h=113 float=right]They’re stable enough you can make a horse for your playmobil people to ride, or build a hat you can wear (they’re very light weight). You can add together as many as you want. I found a 400 piece set on line for $11. This particular set is only peanuts, the set we reviewed came with some hard plastic tools and a sponge. There are some sets with some crazy new tools coming out later this year.

[singlepic id=17 w=150 h=113 float=right]Because they dissolve in water, we think of these builds as temporary (like a play-doh sculpture) rather than lasting indefinately (like a Lego building). With that in mind, these are perfect for slumber parties, rainy afternoons, grandma’s house. I particularly like that you can cut the blocks to fit whatever shape you need, and the dissolving feature that is so unique to these blocks. You can build a monster or alien, and then dissolve it with a squirt bottle…. or you could do what I do, and put the blocks on a resin skull like flesh, and then melt it off… check out my video above.

[singlepic id=13 w=150 h=113 float=right]We had fun playing with these… they’re easy enough to play with for a 3 year old to grasp, but we think the 5-6 year old (and up) would take to it a little better, being able to come up with shapes. The sets we played with (monsters, and pets) came with some safe plastic tools for cutting the peanuts, and for stamping in textures. There are also fun cardboard facial features (eyes, mouths, faces) that you can stick onto your creations for even more fun.

[singlepic id=24 w=113 h=240 float=right]And from the yeah, it’s a little late department we found it would be a cool idea to use Enviroblox in lieu of plastic Easter grass in the kids’ Easter basket. It’s environmentally safe, and they can play with it too.

Check out Cadaco’s Web site for more info and places to buy.

Check out these pics that our tester and his dad put together, and watch the video I did to replicate flesh melting off of someone’s face. Fun!

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Posted in 3&up, 5&up, Boys, crafts, gifts, Girls, kids, podcast, review, toys, video | Comments Off on Enviroblox by Cadaco

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