Tuesday, November 25th, 2008
Review: Biofino Play Sandwiches from Haba
Pretend food and kitchen supplies are one of the best toy investments. Memory fails me, but I know my daughter was punching the keypad on her pretend microwave by 16 months and at 4.5-years-old she’s still cooking up a storm.
Now with an 8-month-old son, I’m finally banishing plastic and restocking the kitchen with wood and fabric food that will be enjoyed for years. And that brings us to these two wonderful items…
Biofino Sandwich by Haba. It’s the one on the left in the photo above. It’s fabric! Polyester to be exact. No more stacking slabs of plastic together and holding your sandwich like a vice grip so the contents don’t go flying out en masse. [Note: the sandwich is temporarily out of stock. Oompa Toys expects more on Monday or Tuesday, Dec. 1-2.]
This sandwich holds together and can be clenched like the real thing. Inside you get:
- 2 slices of deli meat (could pass as turkey or chicken, but is probably liverwurst)
- 2 slices of salami (or pepperoni)
- 2 slices of American cheese
- 2 slices of Swiss cheese
- 1 tomato slice (imprinted on one side)
- 1 leaf of crinkly-sounding lettuce.
It’s all bound together by 2 slices of pillowy thick white bread that contain magnets sewn inside. The magnets will hold the bread together, but won’t hold the sandwich together once you add all of your sandwich ingredients. It’s good for pretend slicing though.
The real power with this sandwich is how it differs from most play food.
First, the Swiss cheese slices are thinner than the deli meat slices, and both are thinner than the tomato slice. In other words, realistic. Try that with plastic food and you get an unwieldy tall, difficult to handle sandwich because all the slabs are thicker than what can be accomplished with fabric.
Second, ask my daughter to make a cake or lasagna or another complex dish and you’ll see a tremendous overlap in ingredients because she doesn’t know most of what goes into a recipe. But with this sandwich she can build a main course without any form of guidance.
If you buy this sandwich, be prepared for many pretend restaurant sessions.
Biofino Doner Kebab by Haba. Or gyro. Or as we say in California, a pita sandwich. Heck, it could even pass as a soft taco with very unusual contents. Find it on the right in the photo above. It’s polyester too, but the wrap has the feel of a plush cotton towel.
Inside you’ll find:
- 4 pieces of lamb meat (chicken strips or whatever you want to call the brown ingredients)
- 4 onion slices
- 2 tomato slices
- 3 pepperoncini (which I assumed were snap peas)
- 19 strands of cabbage (lettuce strips, maybe the precise number varies per package).
This gyro looks and holds together nicely like the real thing.
Three magnets sewn inside the fabric hold one end of the clam shell bread together, allowing your sandwich to remain enticingly visible on the other side.
Both sandwiches are rated for 3-years-old. Apparently the concern is a younger toddler trying to eat the food, which I could see being an issue with the smallest pieces such as sliced onions, or a toddler who still mouths everything. Looking around, I’m surprised to learn that virtually all play food is rated for 3-year-olds. I’m such a bad parent.
Find both of these toys at Wisconsin-based web store Oompa Toys. Wear a bib because there’s plenty to drool over. Oompa is where I’m restocking our kitchen for Christmas. Skip the usual food kits most stores sell because they never have everything you’d like and you certainly pay for things you don’t want.
Oompa has food kits, of course, but you can also buy individual food items, and dare to dream, several of the same item if you wish. And you may very well find things simply not available elsewhere, such as cherries or sliced pineapple.
I’ll review several more food items later this week…
Yeah, I let her play with the food for a day, then it went into exile until the big unveil at Christmas… just one of the little oddities of having a blogger dad. Most of our kitchen makeover will be completely new to her. I’m sharing some of the especially unusual items, such as the Haba sandwiches, with you a little early.