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[Review] CitiBlocs: Building Blocks with Unexpected Precision

Update (16/1): As of 11.59pm, We’ve closed up submissions for the Citiblocs giveaway!

Here’s a list of the happy participants (in no particular order. And those are colour preferences indicated with the names, and not necessarily indicators of whether these participants are very good looking or nice to hang out with. Submissions without colour preferences are indicated — rather tongue-in-cheek, so please eskew hor — with the phrase “chin cai”):

  • Amie Chen (hot)
  • Ian Cornelius Lai (chin cai lah)
  • Eddie Yii (hot)
  • Jingxian Liang (hot)
  • Viola Tan (hot)
  • Bena Chan (can be hot, can be cool)
  • Isaiah Kuan (also chin cai)
  • Cheryl Siew (hot)
  • Syafiq Samsudin (hot brudder, cool boyfriend)
  • Elsie Thng (I would like a plate of chin cai please)
  • Chuyan Kwek (hot)
  • Winnie Lam (chin cai with scallops and abalone sauce)
  • Hillary Chan (chin cai for many hours)
  • The Wacky Duo (cool)
  • Sheron Moey (chin cai: the movie)
  • Boon Hean Low (hot)
  • Regina Soejanto-Moo (okay, this one is self-proclaimed hot in every sense)

Thanks to everyone for participating, and keep an eye out for a Winner’s post coming very very shortly (as soon as the guest of honour wakes up and before he goes to school).

Let’s start the first post of the year with a bang. Read on to the end for a little surprise.

Over the Christmas season, I visited fellow friend and blogger Pamela of Tan Family Chronicles and owner of board game retailer My First Games, primarily to fix up an IKEA table I sold her whilst spring cleaning my house.

As I finished setting up the table with the man of the house (her husband Mr Tan), Pam very nicely offered me a bag filled with children’s books and 2 boxes of CitiBlocs, to thank me for making the trip. I’ve heard of the wooden building blocks from a number of other mom bloggers, and being the modest, humble Blogfather I am, I politely handed back the 2 plain sets of CitiBlocs Pam offered me, then looked at her with much gratitude and said to her:

“Can I have the coloured ones instead?”

A few days after Christmas, after Xander and his mother had gone through the plethora of toys Xander had received as Xmas/birthday presents (the Mother of Xander was primarily involved in building all the LEGO sets and polybags we received so Xan could admire them, and is now a newly-converted LEGO fan), we finally got round to trying out the CitiBlocs.

At first, I was skeptical. They looked exactly like Jenga blocks. I wondered how a bunch of wooden blocks, all the same length, width and height, would provide hours of healthy architectural entertainment to my boy.

The package came with an illustrated instruction booklet, and as my wife and I started flipping through the various creations that could be fashioned from each 50-block set, our eyes started to blur.

And then came the actual building. Xander took some of the sticks and started off on his own little building project, while his mother and I dabbled with duplicating what was presented in the instruction manual.

We found out what made these blocks so special: , they were all the EXACT same length, width and height, cut to such precision that once one block was in place, it is near impossible to remove without dismantling the entire creation.

Our little afternoon of trialing a product eventually lasted a good 2 1/2 hours of precision building, hand-eye co-ordination training for child and adults alike (once I start, it’s hard to put down) and a much greater appreciation of the quality woodwork and dedication that can and should go into making early learning toys such as this.

Pamela also mentions that these CitiBlocs are great for gatherings with friends with children in tow; while the adults mingle, the children will build. But it takes quite a bit of engagement before you can get a group of kids suitably hooked, so the trick here is to master one of the more visually stimulating builds to show he kids first, and then tell them, “Now you guys try.”

There’s more to this story, though. Courtesy of My First Games, The Blogfather now has a 100-piece set of CitiBlocs to give away (your choice of hot or cool colours)!

All I am asking for is 4 Facebook likes (if you haven’t already; seriously, you’ll really like all of them, too): one for me, one for Dear Xander, one for Mother of Xander, and of course, My First Games as well. Then come back to this blog post, drop a comment below with the Facebook account you used to like all them pages and we’ll pick out a winner right here! (You need to have a Singapore mailing address though.) Closing date for the contest is Wednesday, 16 January 2013, and we’ll announce the winner here and on FB the next day!

This will be my first ever giveaway contest, so do have a go! It’ll be fun! You have The Blogfather’s word on that.

My First Games is also giving The Blogfather readers an exclusive 10% off your purchase of their CitiBlocs range! To redeem, just use the discount code “BLGFTHRS” when you check out your purchase!


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