Pros: Wiggles merchandise in the US! can play it as a game, or just with stick-ons!
Cons: game cards are small, only qty of 20, Wiggles themselves not colorforms
My 2 year old and I are big-time fans of The Wiggles, children's entertainers out of Australia. If you are curious to learn a bit more about The Wiggles, you can check out this Wiggles Primer that explains more about who The Wiggles are, and why we love them so much.
Up until now, Wiggles fans could only purchase Wiggles merchandise via ebay, at the live shows (we've gone to 2 of them), or via The Wiggles Online Store. Merchandise at the 2 shows that I attended was limited and at concession stand prices Ouch!. If you want the latest and greatest Wiggles merchandise THE place to purchase it is their online store. You can find just about anything Wiggles related there. I recommend checking there before going to Ebay auctions. Both ebay sellers and The Wiggles Online Store ship directly from Australia,Ouch!, again. Shipping can not only be costly but it also takes up quite a bit of time. Anyone who knows a 2 year old, knows that patience is really not one of their strong points. So, imagine how excited I was when browsing the toy section at a local Target store when I came across Colorforms - The Wiggles It's a Wiggly Party! Stick-Ons Game for only $7.99.
There it was, clear as day on the shelf alongside the board games and another Colorforms product, Strawberry Shortcake, if you must know. Seeing as it was with the board games I was a bit discouraged thinking that it would be too complicated for my toddler. But, the age recommendation for this particular game was ages 3-8. Enthusiastically I grabbed for it, and checked over the packaging. My doubts quickly went the way side as I saw clear as day on the box No Reading Required.
Honestly, I'd forgotten all about Colorforms until I saw these. I didn't even think Colorforms were even still around, nor did I recall the name of these plastic reusable stickers. As a child, I enjoyed playing with Colorforms dress-up sets that were sort of like paper dolls that could be dressed over and over again by layering the plastic reusable stickers on a glossy cardboard cling board. I looked colorforms up here on Epinions and I'm thrilled to find out that my "paper-dolls" set, or one similar is still made. Our Target only carried this Wiggles one and the Strawberry Shortcake version of the game, but I will be keeping my eyes open for a set similar to the one that I grew up on.
Knowing that I enjoyed Colorforms, I thought that for $7.99, the Wiggles Colorforms were worth trying out. Even if my little guy couldn't play the game as intended he could enjoy playing with the colorforms pieces of his favorite Wiggles characters. Plus, this was Wiggles merchandise available locally.. how could I pass it up?
Colorforms - The Wiggles It's a Wiggly Party! Stick-Ons Game comes with a single sheet of 20 Colorforms reusable stickers, 4 Wiggles character cards (clingboards) each with one Wiggle on them (Jeff, Murray, Anthony, or Greg), a spinner, and instructions. The game requires minor preparation which includes punching out the 4 gamecards, inserting the arrow onto the spinner, and peeling off a layer of plastic from the Stick Ons sheet. I did manage to get the arrow on backwards the first time (oops!). I quickly set the game up as my son started peeling off the colorforms pieces while I read the instructions.
Gameplay consists of the youngest player going first with up to 4 players at a time. This would make a nice game to play at a Wiggles Birthday Party. Too bad we didn't have this game last month for our Wiggly party!. Spin the spinner and watch it land on one of 6 sections: a Wiggles friend (Henry, dorothy, Wags, or Captain Feathersword), Food Items, Balloons, Presents, Musical Instruments, or a snoozing Jeff. If you land on food, you select one of the colorforms of a food item (fruit for fruit salad, of course) and add it to your clingboard. Likewise with the Wiggles friends, Balloons, Presents or musical instrument. If you land on a section that you already have, you don't collect a second item - you forfeit your turn. If you land on Jeff, then its nap time for you this round, and you skip your turn. Whoever collects one of each element on their card first and is ready to go to the Wiggly Party is the winner!
Right off the bat I think my son and I were both a bit let down that there are no actual colorforms of the Wiggles themselves. The Wiggles are on the game-cards, but it would have been more fun if they'd been made into the reusable stickers too. There are colorforms of Wags, Henry, Dorothy and the Captain, though.
My son, who loves to sort, managed to classify almost all the colorforms correctly into piles before we started to play. He honestly was mostly just interested in playing with the Wiggles pieces instead of playing the game. His reaction was pretty much as I expected. I think he will most likely grow into actually playing this game over the next few months to a year. For now, we enjoy playing with the actual colorforms pieces as well as spinning the spinner. From observing him, it would appear that he has made his own sort of game which involves spinning the spinner and then looking for a match. Instead of using one card, he plays with all four cards and sticks the colorforms till all the cards are filled up.
It doesn't take much at all for the cards to fill up. Each of the clingboard cards is only about 4"x4" in diameter. This may seem ample but being as each card is meant to hold 5 colorforms stickers, it really isn't. The Wiggle on each card takes up half of it and when you add a Wiggly friend that pretty much fills up the other half. A completed card means that the colorforms need to be layered, which is tricky for little ones to grasp. Without overlapping, the cards are very cluttered. I find it frustrating, though my son doesn't seem to bothered by this.
Other wishlist items for this game would be for more colorforms pieces. The game includes a single sheet of 20 stick-ons, it would have been nice to have an additional 20 as inevitably some of the pieces will get lost or destroyed over time. Also, the small pieces are rather fragile and I was a bit fearful my son might rip them accidentally. Luckily, my son has decided to handle his Wiggles stickers quite meticulously and hasn't gotten rough with them, yet. If they should get destroyed we could always get another set of them. It is too bad they don't sell just the colorforms sheets.
Storage presents a bit of an issue once you are done playing. I was surprised that after a single use the colorforms would not adhere easily to peel-off sheet. This means that you will have small pieces of plastic floating around loose in a box - a recipe for disaster. Some of the colorforms are very small, for example the grapes are about a size of a nickel and the balloons aren't much larger. Plan on using a ziplock baggie or some other portable storage container for your 20 pieces. It might have even been better for them to package this Colorforms game in some sort of plastic case instead of a cardboard box. It certainly would have been much more toddler friendly.
As with any Colorforms product, you'll find that over time they will lose their stickiness. This is caused by dust, dirt, kids sticky fingers, and any animal hair which might be in your play environment. To get them sticky again, just wipe them off with a little soap and water and do the same to the spinner platform and the clingboard cards. Don't get the spinner and cards too wet though, as they are just made of cardboard.
Overall, we are quite happy with the Colorforms - The Wiggles It's a Wiggly Party! Stick-Ons Game Here's to hoping that this is just the beginning of increased availability of Wiggles merchandise in US stores. If your toddler or preschooler enjoys The Wiggles and would like to play a simple game which involves taking turns, simple sorting and no reading this will be a big hit. Even if your little Wiggles fan is not quite ready to enjoy playing the game by the rules, they will probably enjoy sticking and unsticking these reusable stickers of their favorite Wiggles characters.
*Colorforms are made by University Games