Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mastermind toy review and GIVEAWAY! WINNER!!!!

Mastermind is a privately owned retailer of high quality toys for all ages based in Toronto. They have eleven stores as well as an online store. I was delighted when I was contacted and asked to do a review, because so many toys seem to be cheap plastic (ahem my daughter's entire Christmas list) or be low-quality workmanship. I've been looking for well-made, fun toys that teach things as well as hold their interest for my kids this Christmas, and I'm pretty sure I've found a new website for my favorites.

They sent a toy for each of my children. Rosey was so excited about her Wobble Deck that she played with it for fifteen minutes before I even turned it on.
Highly scenic batteries not included.
It reminded me of that electronic game Simon (anyone else as old as me and remember this?) where you would push colored lights in sequence - but this you did standing up. By throwing your weight in a direction, you tip the board down so that the colored edge touches the ground. It was challenging and fun! Add to that three different games (match-the-color, speed play, and freestyle) a variety of sounds, and a high-low volume switch (such a nice and often overlooked toy feature!) and we were sold. Rosey can take it outdoors on the porch or on a hard flat surface, or it's small and inside-friendly enough to play with indoors. It stores easily and takes up very little room.

Cass's choice was a Rubic's 360, an update of the familiar Rubic's Cube from my childhood.
Picture from the Mastermind site.

This is a sphere, (inside a sphere, inside a sphere) with colored balls that have to be maneuvered into their proper place. And just like the original Rubic's Cube, this one sounds like it should be easy - and it's not. Cass's Sphere lives in his bookbag, where it travels back and forth to school, play dates, appointments, and errands. He usually brings it out when we're in the car, and flicks and twists it, trying to get those balls into their small cubbies. (So far, he's got two. It's a really challenging toy!)

And now, for the really good stuff -

Mastermind is allowing me to give away a toy! Yes, the winner can pick either the Rubic's Sphere or the Wobble Deck, and they will ship it to either the United States and Canada. Let's say leave a comment here before midnight, 10 December, and on the eleventh, I'll break out a random number drawer (or get Rosey to take one out of a hat) and the lucky person will get to have one of these toys for their very own!

(I would love to be able to guarantee that you'll get it for Christmas. But I can't, really. Presents in January are wonderful things too!)

Leave me your email address, please, or make sure I can find it if I have to go to your blog and look for it.

Full disclosure: I was sent two toys, one Wobble Deck and a Rubic's 360 Sphere. I was given these things with the clear expectation that I would blog about my experience, good or bad. I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The winner of the giveaway will receive from Mastermind either the Wobble Deck or the Sphere, your choice. Mastermind will pay for shipping. You must be willing to give me your name and your actual address to pass on to Mastermind so they can ship your prize out to you.

....And the winner is:

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2009-12-11 20:54:22 UTC

Number 4, witchypoo! Congratulations! I'm going over to your blog now to leave you a note!

Thanks for playing, everyone!