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Posted on Nov 21, 2012

Villa Carton – Cardboard toys you colour in yourself

Villa Carton – Cardboard toys you colour in yourself

I would never have bought a toy like this myself. I have seen cardboard colour-it-yourself playhouses, castles and similar on chic toy websites, and spread all over Pinterest. But I’ve never been the sort of person to part with £20-£30 for what I thought would be a one-day wonder.

Then the people from Villa Carton contacted me asking if I would review and toy for them, a now I have had a rapid change in attitude.

Son#1 diving into the castle the moment construction was complete.

They sent me two huge castles which we put up this weekend. And while sons #1 and #2 set to work decorating their new homes, I started thinking about the potential these toys have to offer.

The really huge kits, like the castle, would make a fun project for kids to complete during a birthday party.

Son#1 is working on his as a long term project, concentrating on colouring in one small area at a time, and he’s finding it really relaxing.

I am itching to pick up the felt tips myself, as it looks really therapeutic, but I know my creative efforts would not be appreciated, so I am considering buying one of the city scape kits instead, and using it to create a Christmas scene.

Here’s some photos of how we got on and some of the other products you can buy from Villa Carton.

Son#2 went for a quick dash of colour before retreating inside the castle for most of the day.
Whereas Son#1 is taking the rennovations far more seriously, and applying a little more colour each day – this could take some time.
Three different sets available, each with a scene to colour on each side – this is the Western / Farm set. This shows it coloured-in but it is supplied as white cardboard with black outline printed on it.
There’s also a range of costumes you can colour yourself.

So what made me change my mind about these types of ‘disposable’ toys.

Well firstly, I can see how much potential the product has – an opportunity to unleash some creativity, work as a team on a project, and stand back and truly admire something they have worked hard on.

But I also realised, in the run up to Christmas one of my favourite activities is clearing out old toys we don’t use anymore. Lots of those toys are in a similar price range to the Villa Carton structures, and they see maybe an hour or two of play-time per month (if that), while adding to my never-ending storage issues, until they are eventually declared redundant and moved on to a charity shop. On the other hand, these castles are a more intense experience, occupying most of my living room, but providing hours of entertainment, for a short period of time (I should imagine weeks rather than months, but I will report back in the New Year) before becoming worn out and getting recycled.

About Villa Carton This innovative toy company was established by a couple of Dutch artists.

The toys are not yet widely available in the UK, but will be soon.

Stay in touch with them through Facebook and Twitter.

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