Monday, 22 December 2008

where's the driver?

Play Box
from Redstone Press

Before the Xbox, before X Factor, there was a thing called human interaction. Now don't worry, I'm not going to go off on a rant about popular culture, the death of the family or the golden age before the arrival of television; I love TV and computer games and the internet. Maybe it's having a baby and watching him play contentedly for hours with a plastic cup whilst studiously ignoring the expensive stroller/entertainment system right next to him but we do sometimes seem to miss out on the spirit of play. This year, whilst everyone is worrying about the credit crunch and perhaps not rushing out to buy the latest console or gadget, Redstone Press may well have come up with the perfect antidote to a blue Christmas.

The Play Box contains a cornucopia of visual and mental delights. Flick books, word games, nonsense verse and stories, puzzles, trick images and a collection of images from 1928 for a Russian children's book never published before. We went through the box the other day and it was charming and delightful. There are simple things, like sticking your fingers through a postcard to become a bathing belles' legs (or in a saucier version using the pads of your fingers to be the buttocks of another lady), cards that reveal something hidden when held to the light and optical illusions that'll mess with your mind. One of the Russian children's illustrations completely bamboozled my mother-in-law, leading to calls of 'where's the driver?' throughout the afternoon (you'll have to look for him yourself). And the book of Wordplay isn't just fun but educational too. For example:

We don't tend to use our brains like this anymore so it makes for a stimulating experience. I realise it's a bit late now, but if the pinch is preventing you from purchasing the latest gizmo and you can't bear another game of Monopoly then the Play Box might be just what you're after.

Redstone Press can be found here.


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