Reviews - Hape Toys

Hape Logo

Hape Toys is one of the world’s largest producers of toys made from sustainable materials. Hape toys are both creatively designed and eco-friendly. Neither culture, nor language, nor gender inhibits the intuitive process of play. All of the products meet and, more often, exceed the strictest international standards for quality and safety. Hape toys are designed first and foremost for children. Each product is developed to enhance a child’s developmental skills. Neither language, nor culture, nor gender impedes the intuitive play patterns. What children see as fun, parents and educators recognize as age-appropriate learning basics; social, sensory, physical, and emotional skills. Using natural materials, water-based paints, and strict quality and safety standards make every Hape toy an investment kids will love and parents can trust.

Checkout Register

This wooden cash register is a lovely traditional-looking toy, complete with abacus. Cash or credit? No problem - this till accepts either, giving children the opportunity to learn about different types of payment; you can scan a card or accept cash. There is so much in the box -  a cash register with bar code scanner, card reader, 16 pieces of paper money (just take care with this when inserting into the drawer), coins, credit card and membership card. There are 12 bright red buttons, numbered 1 to 10, and plus and minus; these are easy to use for the recommended age of 3+. Rather than being an electronic adding machine, children need to do the adding up themselves, thus developing their number skills and particularly mental arithmetic - a really valuable skill. This is coupled with learning about money, and adding coins and notes to give the correct change. The till neatly includes a clip to attach a notepad to help working out; it's the little touches like this that make all the difference between an average and a good quality toy. Of course, the till enhances imaginative and cooperative play as it is perfect as part of a shop corner. Develop early counting and arithmetic Encourages creativity and role play Like all Hape toys, the till is made with a commitment to sustainability, and it is compliant with international safety and quality standards. The quality is immediately apparent as you unpack the box - there are no rough edges, corners are gently rounded and the paint is vivid and high quality, with lots of different colours to give an attractive appearance. This is a well designed toy that offers a multitude of learning opportunities - numeracy, imagination, cooperative play, role play, fine motor skills are all enhanced in one attractive toy that will get plenty of use; it has all you'd expect from a till and more. Buy from Poppets, price £24.95 (April 2018).

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Hape 101 Wooden Beech Blocks

This big box of bright tactile blocks gives plenty of scope for creativity and imagination with the range of shapes and sheer number. Children from 12 months plus can explore shape, balance and design as they create their own imaginary worlds. As children explore and build. they will gradually learn how to create a stromg structure, and problem solving skills will come into play as they work out how the shapes can be fitted together; as they play fine motor skills will be developed. The clever thing is that the blocks come in a box which doubles as a shape sorter - such a good idea. THis will help develop hand-eye coordination and dexterity. It also has a carry handlle which neatly slots down to allow easy access to the box; the box is perfect for long-term storage as it is sturdy and durable. There are six different shapes in the shape sorter - arch, semicircle, square, rectangle, triangle and cylinder; there are even more shapes to be discovered in the box. The bright colours are very attractive; unusually, pink is included and also natural wood which adds to the appeal; the blocks are painted with water-based paint. Use the blocks to encourage your children to recognise and name colours. The blocks can also be used as a sorting toy - sort by shape or colour and start to teach your little one about grouping and counting. There are so many opportunities for learning while your child is having fun and the generous number of blocks mean that more than one child can play, thereby developing social skills and encouraging sharing, especially as children get older, because this set will have years of use. A lovely selection of bricks and the inclusion of a shape sorter is just brilliant; the attractive packaging meabs this would make a lovely gift. Hape 101 Wooden Beech Blocks are available from Poppets for £14.95 (April 2018).

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Hape Shape Sorter Xylophone

This is a lovely bright toy that will have instant appeal for its target age range of 12+ months, with a clever combination of xylophone, piano and shape sorter. There's plenty to keep toddlers happily occupied as they try out the five note xylophone and learn about colours and shapes. The set includes a beater which neatly and safely attaches to the xylophone with an easy to use strap to save it getting lost. Use the beater to play the metal notes, or press down on the various shapes to make the sounds. The xylophone helps to develop colour, shape and sound recognition, encouraging the beginnings of making music.Just like all Hape Toys, it is made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards. The edges are gently rounded for complete safety and the whole toy is really well made and sturdy. I like the fact that all Hape toys are securely packed, always arrive in perfect condition, but have none of these fiddly ties and other fastenings which can make children really impatient while they wait for Mum or Dad to disentangle them. This lovely colourful and well-made toy really does encourage the natural love for learning and discovering that children have at this age. It's bound to be a big hit!

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Hape Sushi Selection

There's a really contemporary feel to this unusual addition to children's collection of foods - and a lovely change from the norm. Introduce the delights of sushi plus the skills of manipulating the two pairs of chopsticks included for your little one to enjoy with a friend. Served on a wooden stand with wasabi and soy sauce, this is a playful introduction to new types of food - playing with new foods encourages children to try them, so once your child has had fun with this, do encourage them to try sushi next time you go shopping. The set contains a soy sauce bottle, 2 pairs of chop sticks, 2 dipping bowls, a wooden serving board and 11 wooden and fabric sushi pieces. It's all packed into a take-away style paper bag, which looks great. The set ncourages creativity and fine motor skills, develops the imagination, encouraging children to play alongside friends. Each piece is well made and apart from two felt itmes, from FSC-certified wood. The pieces are attractively painted and the whole set is really effective. Great to use alongside other food sets, this is a lovely and unusual set and will provide plenty of talking points.

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HAPE Train Track Puzzle

There are two elements to this train track puzzle, suitable for children of 18 Months plus. First, connect the train and drive it around the circular track. Then take the train apart and place the engine and two carriages on the right spots in the central puzzle<, thereby encouraging the development of fine motor skills and problem solving. The pretty track is park-themed and helps learning about shapes along with offering fun playtime. This is a well made toy; the pieces slot together easily and stay in place during play. The track is made of plastic with a wooden insert in the centre and a raised section; there are two end pieces to keep the trains on the track. There is a wooden engine with two carriages. This compact set makes a lovely first rail track for young ones and the carriages slot into the centre for neat storage.

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HAPE Friendship Puzzle Blocks

This beautifully made and decorated wooden block puzzle has the option of creating six separate puzzles, giving children of 24 months upwards plenty of puzzle solving fun. Each puzzle creates Pepe or one of his friends, made up of nine sapeare blocks. Each has a distinctive coloured background to help young ones find the pieces. As with all HAPE products, this is made with a commitment to sustainability and is compliant with international safety and quality standards. The animal pictures are gorgeous, really appealing and the blocks are weighty and satisfying to play with. A lovely first jigsaw puzzle.

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Hape Teddy and Duck Bath Mitt Play Set

Help to make bathtime enjoyable for everyone with this fun mitt pair. Children will find it fun to wash themselves by popping soap into the mitt - either use a bar of soap inside it (but remember to take it out!) or pour in a little liquid wash. It helps to make bath time fun and engaging for children from 12 months. There are two parts - the large one is a lovely teddy bear mitt with various textures in the soft cloth; he is big enough for adult hands to use to wash little ones. The second is a cute little duck mitt, just right for small hands. A lovely way to make bathtime even more fun.

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Hape Little Plane

This is a lovely tactile toy, suitable for children of 10+ months. It's just the right size for small hands to hold and it moves smoothly across the floor on its three wheels. The wings move up and down on gentle elasticised hinges for added play and discovery value. This is a really attractive and well manufactured toy which Helps develop hand-eye coordination and stimulates the imagination. Made of wood, it has softly rounded edges for safety. Hape Toys are all safety tested; tests include Sharp Point Test; Bite Force Test; Tensile Test; Small Parts Test; Colour Test and Drop Test, so parents can be assured of complete product safety.

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Hape Mini Van - Red

This bright red simply designed vehicle is perfect for young ones who are beginning to play with push along toys and develop their imaginations and interest in the world around them. The three holes in the toy encourage further tactile exploration in complete safety as they are well sized. The good size wooden wheels spin around and glide easily over floors; the toy is made from birch, maple and rubberwood. As children play, they will develop hand-eye coordination. This is a really attrc-active toy that will look great displayed on a child's shelf. Made with a commitment to sustainability, compliant with international safety and quality standards.

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Hape Wooden Beetle Walker

We were really looking forward to receiving this walker for review as one of my mini testers is very close to walking. The walker needs minimal assembly and just requires 2 nuts and bolts (included) to fix the handlebar in place. There are 2 different angles at which this can be placed and the instructions advise that for babies who are just learning to walk that it is fixed in to the more vertical position.

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The wheels have a very clever speed reducer which can be adjusted to slower speeds for babies learning to walk, a quick tweak allows them to spin faster for toddlers who are confident pushing the walker around. I think this aspect is great and I have not come across it from a baby walker before, sometimes the speed at which they move can take your child by surprise so you can see that this is a well thought out feature. Your child can use the walker to push their favourite toys around in, but however your child uses it, it just looks great!

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As with all Hape wooden products, this walker is excellent quality and the design of the Volkswagen Beetle is just gorgeous. There is so much detail, the headlights look very realistic and it even shows all the chrome detailing on the bodywork. The wheels have the 'VW' logo moulded in to them and the handlebar is metal so you can be sure that the walker is strong and sturdy.

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The Hape Beetle Walker is also available in red and you can read all about it on the Hape website.

Figure Eight Railway Set from Hape

This is a lovely wooden railway set. The figure of eight layout is ideal as a first railway set, as it is easy for even young children to set up the track - it's recommended for age 3+. The Hape Figure Eight Railway Set includes three brightly coloured wooden train carriages which really capture children's attention; they couple together magnetically. There are 12 pieces of curved track, plus ramped pieces to take the train up and over the bright red bridge - this feature really adds a good dimension to the set. There are also two trees to decorate the track; there are 27 pieces in all. The pieces are all really well made with no rough edges, with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards. Railways are a constant favourite with children and while they are playing, they will be developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and imaginative play. The possibilities are endless, with the many expansion packs available, just a few of which are reviewed below. See the Hape website for the whole fantastic range. This makes an excellent starter railway set, and there are lots more sets on the Hape website, so your child can gradually build up their collection - you need never be stuck for present ideas again! See the whole HAPE railway range on their website.

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Hape Extended Double Suspension Bridge Set

Perfect for giving a train set a city feel, and of really impressive proportions, this is the perfect add on for any railway - children can take their trains right into the heart of the city. The extended double railway bridge has 17 pieces in all, including track. Many railway sets seem to have a country feel, so this is great to bring a more urban feel to children's play, giving yet more scope for imaginative play - how about drawing a road or river to go underneath, then bringing in vehicles and boats from other play sets? This is a really stylish addition to a model rail set and will immediately transform any set. It's well made, with wooden tracks and plastic parts for the bridge. A great addition to any rail set.

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HAPE Triple Tunnel

Now you see it, now you don't! Children will love to see their train and carriages appear and disappear through the three separate tunnel parts; one is a double size and two are single. The tunnels come without track, so they can be p;aced anywhere children want on their rail layout, thus extending play value. They fit neatly over the track and there's plenty of room for the carriages to pass underneath - but there is just a little extra dexterity needed which is great to develop those all-important manipulative skills. The tunnels are wooden, attractively decorated. A super addition to any wooden train set.

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Hape Automatic Train Bell Signal

Ding! Ding! The train is coming! Hurry up and cross the track safely, heeding the warning from this automatic signal. It can be connected to the tracks so that the bell rings as the train approaches the bend, or it can be rung loud and proud as a separate piece. This gives children plenty of scope for imaginative scenarios - and it's also a good excuse for adults to bring in some discussion about road and rail safety. The signal comes ready mounted on its own piece of track and it's a really good size, giving off a very satisfactory ring. We really enjoyed reviewing these train sets and accessories from Hape. They are excellent quality, and they can be combined with all manner of other toys for even greater play value, ensuring that children will get many years of happy play. And, thanks to the high quality, they can be passed down the generations too - good quality wooden toys never date.

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Hape Wooden Crane Lift

Hape are the world's largest producer of wooden toys, they depend on the use of natural materials and any plastic parts they make are designed to be durable enough for generations of use to encourage toys to be passed down, rather than thrown away.

Inside the box you will find the crane mechanism and cab which comes pre-assembled. Along with this is a box which contains 5 accessories (a men at work sign, 2 barriers and 2 cones), a platform and blocks for hooking to the crane and the base of the crane, which needs to be assembled. The base of the crane consists of 2 wooden parts which slot together to form an 'x', on top of this a round plate is placed to keep them in the right place and the long tower section is then placed on top of the plate. 2 screws (supplied) are then used to hold it all in place, an allen key is also supplied for tightening them up. The platform with blocks on can then be hooked on to the crane ready for play. The whole process only took a few minutes and once together it feels very solid and sturdy.

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The crane can be moved using 2 dials, the dial at the back of the crane moves the hook backwards and forwards and the dial at the front lowers and raises the hook. It is also a great size, standing at 53cm tall. The crane encourages problem solving and discovery along with improving fine motor skills as children have to put the pieces in the correct place. It also inspires imagination and creativity through play.

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The Hape Crane Lift is aimed at children of ages 3 and over, and is one of those toys that even much older children will enjoy playing with. The set can be added to by purchasing Hape trucks and diggers to create your own construction site. Hape products go through strict quality control so you can be sure that there will be no sharp points, they do a drop test, bite force test and use water based paints on their products. The Crane Lift retails at £37.99, for more information take a look at the Hape website.

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