Saturday, 14 July 2012

The Best Playmobil Ever. I mean EVER!

                Cuthberts love this review of the Playmobil 5100 Stone Age Man with Cave by Brilliant Blogger and Playmobil Ambassador Being a Mummy. 

                         You can follow her blogs at Being A Mummy   

           The Best Playmobil Ever. I mean EVER!

The other day Playmobil sent us a box, as part of their ambassador scheme I thought it might contain something for the children which they would love. Little did I know that I would find myself secretly envious of Boy, hoping that he didn't like his brilliant new toy and hoping that he would give it to me. Of course, he loves it and girl (although technically too young) equally loves it. Curses, I wonder if it can 'go missing'...
What am I talking about? Only the best Playmobil in the whole world ever without fail invented by a Playmobil design genius. A set of Playmobil that is an essential purchase for all archaeologists the world over. Playmobil set 5100 Stone Age Cave with Mammoth!For archaeologists it needs no interpretation, you can re-enact Clan of the Cave bear type scenarios in your living room. I actually feel more inspired than when I read Paul Bahns Journey Through the Ice Age and that is saying something. When I was setting this up with the boy you needed to stick little stickers of cave art on the cave. I kept wondering if I could squirrel them away and stick them onto my archaeology toolbox instead. There's a gap in the market if ever I spotted one!

So anyway, you get a working mammoth, lots of palaeolithic hunters with associated flint spears and a ritual deer skull headdress! A cave, some fish, a wolf and a wolfskin. What more could you want? I've genuinely had hours of fun playing with this with the kids, it's great because I can tell them about stuff and show them things in my books as they come up during role playing.

Review: It's the best toy in our house.
If you want to get one, and if you are an archaeologist reading this I know you will, you'll find this (and lots more sets in the range)

Cuthberts sell a great range of Playmobil on our website

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Cuthberts - keeping it local...

Cuthberts Toys were born in St Albans on 28th September 2009, We are an independent retailer who believe that a local community should get great value and service from retailers like us. Shopping locally and the current retail climate seem to be in the news a lot recently, as its the first day of Independent Retailer month we thought a few words about us and how we use local companies may be of interest. Its a little like a wheel, what goes around comes around...

The Collective Design

The Collective Design in Spicer Street were briefed to design a new brand identity and temporary hoarding for the Galleria Hatfield store. Matt and his team have also worked with us to design a new logo, develop web concepts, social media advice, and much more.

Herts Signs - Hatfield

 Herts Signs arranged for the design work to be converted into a hoarding and then applied to our new shop front at the Galleria Hatfield. The company also worked with The Collective Design to produce and install an illuminated store sign and internal signage.

CPS Electrics managed the install of the signage and lighting at all of our sites.

CPS - Hatfield

Letchworth based IT Store configured and installed the EPOS and back office computers for the new Hatfield Galleria. Our daily IT support is also provided by the team based in Letchworth.

Sendall Fire Protection provide site fire risk assessments for all our stores. Fire extinguisher, and alarm installs were also contracted to Stevenage based Sendall Fire for the new store. 

Nabco - St Albans
Cuthberts shop design and layout was provided by St Albans based Nabco, they also supplied the bespoke fixtures and install contacts. 

Albans Locksmiths on Hatfield Road installed new locks on all doors in the new store. 

Flooring was repaired and reinstated by a cleaner based in St Albans, this will develop into a long term contract and work for Richard. 
Our Cleaner on his day off.

SA Law - St Albans
SA Law of London Road, St Albans completed all the legal aspects of the store opening. They advised on the lease and on the commercial aspects of concluding a retail property contract. SA Law have provided all of our legal needs from guidance on our first store to the opening of the third store in Hatfield.

Cuthberts Unifoms are printed and supplied by Verulam Road based Printed Clothing.

St Albans based Red Knight Security provided and installed CCTV with security advice and ongoing support. They have provided an integrated system across all the stores and our remote and mobile systems.

Our window cleaners are Brandon Brothers 
of Hatfield, that's not them on the right.
it's me on the ladder

Team members for the new store were recruited from Hatfield and the surrounding areas. In total four full time and six part time jobs have been filled. 
Cuthberts Toys at The Galleria Hatfield
 We think shopping local works, you decide...

Saturday, 19 May 2012

HISTORY HEROES - How well do you know your monarchs?

History Heroes by Cuthberts Toys of Hertfordshire


How well do you know your monarchs?

This is a super game which comes in the form of forty two playing cards and one of instruction, about British monarchs. It's presented in a pack like a regular pack of playing cards but each card inside is devoted to one British or English monarch.  The cards all have a jolly cartoon picture of each monarch and below that, are six facts of decreasing complexity.  At the bottom of each card are clues designed to help befuddled players to achieve the correct answer. There are six games to play which are described on the instruction card and these are fun and competitive. It would also be possible to set further challenges to players such as putting the monarchs in chronological order, or using them as a starting point for further discoveries.  

I can well imagine that anyone playing one of these games would quickly increase their store of knowledge about those who have wielded power over the English, or the British, as they were after James 1 of Britain and VI of Scotland. 

Even those who consider themselves well informed will learn some surprising facts.  Did you know that Henry VIII was the first to be called Your Majesty, or that William IV had an affair with an actress and had ten children with her? And that Oliver Cromwell died of malaria after a huge thunderstorm hit London in 1649?

This is a game which is guaranteed to provide a lot of fun for children and their grown ups.  Inquisitive children of eight upwards will love this and so will their grannies and grandpas.  Granny might also pose the question 'can a man who beheaded two wives or one who went mad or one who abdicated the throne be properly called a 'hero'?  But that's another profitable way to use this very attractive game. It would make a lovely present and keep the family occupied for hours. And you'll all be better informed at the end.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Forbidden Island by Matt Leacock ( Gamewright )

Forbidden Island by Matt Leacock ( Gamewright )

Normally I am not very good at reading instructions sheets for games and this time was no exception,  big mistake! I should have read them and had a “test” play as the game instructions are very well written and worth the 15 minutes read before game play.

The four of us played,  2 adults and an 8 and 11 year old. The game is very well made and consists of Islands which are small thick well made cards that form the board upon which the game is played. No actual board is supplied and the island format of the play is great fun and very well thought out.

The objective to this game and the key to winning is that you all must play together to collect the four treasures, The Earth Stone, The Statue of the Wind, The Crystal of Fire, and The Oceans Chalice. The aim is to collect all the treasure and leave the Forbidden Island before it vanishes into the sea.

Each team member is an Adventurer with a unique special power, as each person plays and move are decided the team get to together to discuss strategies and futures moves. The concept is brilliant as the youngsters got drawn into the debate and the challenge to  work together. The more we played the game I realised that as in most games you have a winner and everyone else loses, in Forbidden Island you all win or lose!

Another aspect of the game is that the play time can be relatively quick based on the skill level ( or water level ) you set at the beginning. Forbidden Island is  also quite addictive as the youngsters have now played about 10 times in the last day or so.

The kids are back in my office today and I can't recall how times I have heard them say "lets just play Forbidden Island" - thats a true test, when the office is full of other toys and the shop is downstairs ...

Forbidden Island Retails at £16.99
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