Congratulations to Trina, our winner as chosen my random.org.
I want to start our review by saying that I absolutely LOVE Gummy Lump. Besides having a wonderful story behind their silly name, they are a delightfully well-organized store, with fair prices and one of the biggest selections I have ever seen of Melissa and Doug products. All of their Great Toys are geared towards learning and creative play- none of those awful "Push a single button and this toy will play for you!" things. While I obviously haven't played with EVERYTHING they have (But wouldn't that be fun!) from what I have seen, I think I would feel confident buying anything they have to offer. They have an exceptional selection of wooden toys that are built to be played with and last. Kudos to whoever selects their merchandise! So many places just sell everything, or only the "hottest new thing". Bah, foolish them, I say. Don't they know that those are the toys that get played with once, then tucked in a corner?
One of the best things about the web site is how they have everything organized. You can look by what kind of toy you want, sure, but you can also look based on who you want to give it to- including a category where things are sorted for special needs kids, by what "need" they have. Blind, deaf, gifted, emotional disturbance, no matter who you are looking for, they will have recommendations so that you can be certain you are giving a wonderful gift. They also have a great list of toys for under $10 and toys that would make good stocking stuffers. (Unlike many stocking lists I've seen, these all actually FIT in a stocking!) While you are there, make sure to check out their gift wizard to make sure you get the perfect thing for the special child in your life.
The toy we received from them was the Melissa and Doug Folding Medieval Castle- I must say, it is beyond awesome! I can not WAIT for Boy to see it under the tree! And yes, it is so amazing, I am going to have it splayed open under the tree so that it is the first thing he will see. We will get a few figurines to go in it (they have a nice little selection, but it seems the right size for some other figurine-style toys he sometimes gets, which I will admit, the others will "grow" with him longer than the Melissa and Doug ones would, especially Toothless and Hiccup that he and mom play all the time- but the castle has nothing childish about it and will last just fine! Also, the figurines I want have dragons, which as everyone knows are his favorite) and I assume he will barely care about his other presents.
One of my favorite parts about this castle- it unfolds! Even closed up, it is still "open" so that your child can easily reach his hand in to play, but sprawl it open and I can easily see four or so kids playing without having to fight over space- more if they are polite and share well. So with my Boy we will still say four, for now. It is three stories tall, and one of the turrets can be moved around wherever you like- it fits on top of the other towers, or down on the side, and doesn't seem out of place no matter where I put it. Well, except on the drawbridge, but that was just me being silly.
The drawbridge is fully functional, with an easy to turn knob to lift it up and down for inviting neighboring nobility, or thwarting a goblin siege! The only problem is that the knob is on the outside, so, well, I guess there is nothing besides "it is against the rules" stopping the goblins from coming back in, or keeping you trapped. Of course, when I play castle, things tend to randomly sprout wings or the ability to jump really REALLY SUPER HIGH! so I suppose, either way, the drawbridge is more of an awesome accessory than a practical barrier to invasion.
Another awesome feature is the trap door. You are just walking along la-di-da and all of a sudden, you slide in! Great for slipping away to escape a pursuer (remember those goblins we mentioned before?) or for setting traps "Yes, Mr.Goblin, follow me, come closer...Boom right into a vat of sticky glue tar chocolate! You are stuck! Mwahaha! It is also the right size and angle slant for his favorite hotwheels to slide down, because everyone knows they had hotwheels in EVERY medieval castle. ;-)
Overall, this is a wonderful, high quality wooden toy, which is what I am coming to expect from Gummy Lump every time. This will be sturdy enough even for MY destructo boy, and, yes, I have had a playing with it- er.. testing it out, even without him to play with me yet.
We are beyond excited that Gummy Lump has generously offered one of our fantabulous readers a Melissa and Doug folding castle of their own- winners choice of the Medieval Castle we received or the Princess Castle. I know, I know, you are SQUEEing with joy, right? We're excited for you.
The Medieval Castle measures 19 x 19 x 14 inches and the Princess Castle measures 14.6 x 17.3 x 20.2 inches.
If you are as crazy for Melissa and Doug toys as we are (they are on sale at Gummy Lump right now!) we know you will want to maximize your chances so we're offering every extra entry we can think of and making it a daily entry for 2 weeks. And remember, each entry into our other giveaways is an extra chance to win- and some are extremely low so your chances are excellent.
THE GIVEAWAY: 1 winner will win their choice of the Melissa and Doug Folding Medieval Castle or the Melissa and Doug Folding Princess Castle. US Residents 18+ ends 12/17 11:59pm CST
Main Entry: Can be done daily. Head on over to Gummy Lump and tell me an item you would love to give as a gift OR something you learned. (Must be something different each day.)
Optional Entries: the main entry is all you need to do but if you want to up your chances you can do any or all of the following: (You can find any links and buttons that aren't in the post on the sidebar or bottom of page.)
*Sign up for the Gummy Lump Newsletter (bottom of page)
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*Tweet the giveaway. Can be done once daily. You can use the following tweet if desired:
#Win a Melissa and Doug Folding Medieval or Princess Castle from @gummylump @dddiva Our Loonyverse http://tinyurl.com/2693g96
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*Boost the giveaway up on Prizey
Best of luck to you.