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The Bigjigs Toys Blog

With over 35 years experience in making award-winning toys, we know quite a bit about what children (and parents) love.

Explore our collection of toy and parenting blogs, written by our toy experts for you and your family.

Fairy Figure of Eight Review

Fairy Figure of Eight Review

Good Morrow. After all the hype of our Guinness World Record Attempt we are delighted to see that reviews of our toys are still coming in. We received a wonderful review from One Dad 3 Girls about our Fairy Figure of Eight Train Set. Definitely worth a read!
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It's OFFICIAL!

It's OFFICIAL!

After months of agonising waiting... Yesterday it was confirmed to us that Bigjigs Toys had broken the record for the Longest Wooden Toy Train Track!!

It is now official - Bigjigs Toys have joined the very select club of Guinness World Record title holders for the Longest Wooden Toy Train Track. We managed to reach 2,196.5 metres - beating the previous record by over 500 metres back in July. The event saw us also raise £1047 for Demelza House and The Locomotive Restoration Fund. We would like to thank everyone that supported us before, during and after the event!!

BIGJIGS TOYS ARE OFFICIALLY AMAZING!!

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We

We

Our Marketing and PR man George is 25 today!! When we came and saw him this afternoon this is what greeted us...

We think this image optimises Bigjigs Toys: cake, toys and paperwork!! This leads us to ask the question, "With all this going on, when does George find the time to actually get some work done?"

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Bigjigs Has The Nostalgia Factor!

Bigjigs Has The Nostalgia Factor!

Did you see us in the first edition of Progressive Preschool? It would appear that one of our retailers, Moda in Folkestone, receive a fair amount of the 'older' crowd visiting their wonderful boutique. Here is what co-owener John Parry had to say: "Grandparents are our best customers (after parents) for preschool toys. They particularly like wooden and vintage toys, and we also do well with Bigjigs' rattles, pram accessories and puzzles. We find that grandparents are particularly attracted to the sort of things that they played with as young children, so there is a big nostalgia factor in what we buy to attract their business. We're seen as a destination shop on the high street for products that remind them of their own childhoods and they come to us because they know that we stock traditional items." He says that an average spend by grandparents is somewhere between £15-20. "Grandparents are always generous - there's been no real change in buying habits since the recession - although I think that the run up to Christmas, there might be a bit more of a squeeze." To see the article scroll down:

Have you had similar dealings with the older generation? Share your comments with us, we would love to here them!
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MORE Awards!!

MORE Awards!!

We sent George off to attend the Right Start Best Toy Awards 2012 yesterday and were delighted with the outcome (and so was George - he got free champagne, wine and dinner at The Globe!) First award we entered was for the 'Mini World' category whereby Fairview Manor received Spandeau Ballets biggest hit... GOLD!!

This delightful dolls house is perfect for little ones who love roleplay and makes an ideal birthday or xmas gift. (Please do not be put off by the price tag as it does vary dependent upon where your purchase from!) Our second award of the day went to our ever popular Bigjigs Rail Carry Set which received a respectable Highly Commended award for the Mini Movers category!

The Bigjigs Rail Carry Set has been hugely popular since its launch at the start of this year and has already won 3 top toy awards in the UK and 1 in the US - a great testament to a great train set. This 40 piece play set comes complete with station, train, track and accessories to make the perfect gift for rail enthusiasts. PLUS all the pieces fit into the station for easy storage = NO MORE MESS!!

Obviously we are delighted to be even nominated for these prestigious awards - let alone be at the forefront of them, it just go to show all the hard work we put in does pay off (plus George got a day out of the office so he was delighted too!)

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Our Main Line Coast Bid

Our Main Line Coast Bid

We have submitted our bid for the West Cost Main Line to the Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin. We would be much better than these overpriced, busy and often delayed services we already have, right? It would be much more exciting to travel on one of these than the overcrowded, stinky and slow trains we have the moment:

What do you think? Would you travel on our Bigjigs Rail services?
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Practical Pre-School Award SUCCESS!!

Practical Pre-School Award SUCCESS!!

The Practical Pre-School Awards are one of the most prestigious in the industry! This year the reach of the annual awards continued to include products aimed at professional childcare and educational settings, and has expanded further to include products that were aimed at all of primary education including key stage 1 and 2. First up was our already award winning Rail Carry Set:

Designed and finished to the highest quality, this wonderful Bigjigs Rail Carry Set comprises of 40 play pieces including a brightly coloured train engine and carriages, wooden track which is compatible with other leading wooden railway systems, a pull out park scene and a unique roof carry handle. The testers gave the set a score of 89.3% and awarded it Silver in the Toys & Games 3-5 category. They said "The Rail Carry Set is sturdy, well made and easy to put together. The children loved this new addition to the setting and immediately wanted to play with it. The track pieces are chunky and carriages bright and good quality. There are lots of add-ons and we are already intending to buy more!" The Rail Carry Set is reasonably priced at £44.99 and is an ideal focal point for any train enthusiasts set! Second up was our beautiful Blossom Cottage:

This delightful cottage with a detailed exterior opens out to reveal a family home with four fully furnished rooms, a unique garden and patio. Blossom Cottage encourages children's imaginative play where they can design their own home, with 18 pieces of furniture, for the delightful four-piece doll family.

Tester gave this a score of 86.9% where it received Silver for the Classic Toys & Games Category. The testers said "A lovely toy which is extremely well made. It encourages group play as well as individual play. Great value for money as the family and furniture come with the cottage, so no extra costs to add on. Children of all ages found this toy appealing. It is suitable for working with SEN children." Priced at £64.99 this wonderful is dolls house is affordable, long lasting and great for children who love roleplay!

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Sam Ireland - Operations Manager of Bigjigs Toys

"Naturally we are delighted that two of our favourite products received such great awards and feedback! Of course it is always nice to be recognised in the industry awards for our wonderful toys. I am delighted that we managed to receive silver for both the Rail Carry Set and Blossom Cottage; winning awards such as these, really motivate us to design and create even more amazing toys for children to enjoy!"

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A 5* Rating

A 5* Rating

We are often quite boastful about our own products for obvious reasons, and we often get complimented on our product and how much our Bigjiggers love them... BUT this review posted by 'Woman, Wife and Mum' is on another level.

Full of descriptions and images of Oliver playing with our Bigjigs Rail can be found here!

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Moooooooove Over Old McDonald...

Moooooooove Over Old McDonald...

Old McDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.... Old McDonald had a farm.... Hang on... Bigjigs have a far superior one (well that's what the reviews below say!)

We have always loved our Play Farm - we even gave one of them away last month as part of a competition on our Bigjigs Toys Facebook page, but there seems to have been an upsurge in reviews on it:

  • "Bought this farm for a very active grandson. He loves it. It isn't always a farm but then my grandson isn't always a little boy! He's a knight or a vet or a tractor engineer (Yep...his words) It's durable, colourful and allows a child to make their own stories! I have had to add to the number of animals and farm machinery but that's the way of farming today!!!" - Dee of Hants
  • "Lovely little toy. I was surprised by how much you got for your money. I've seen other less well stocked farms for double the price. If I wanted to be really picky, some of the sheds are made of Balsa wood, so maybe not as durable as 'thicker' wood, but it really is not an issue. Nicely made wooden animals. Recommended!" - Sgt Hills
  • "This wooden farm set is even better than I expected.Bought it for my grandson whose imagination is just emerging & he spends a lot of time arranging the animals,buildings & the layout of his farm.He has given the animals different voices,bless him. Its well made & attractively coloured, a good buy that gives hours of fun while being educational too." - JackieWack

Have you written any reviews of our products? We would love to see them - get in touch with us: george@bigjigstoys.com

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Bigjigs Olympics!

Bigjigs Olympics!

We want to wish TeamGB and ParalympicGB the best of luck at the London 2012 games! We have had a mini Bigjigs Olympics to mark the beginning of the games... including a shot put World Record by Billy Bigjigs (not as long as our Wooden Toy Train Track) and a diving world record by Tom Littlejigs! [caption id="attachment_372" align="aligncenter" width="843"] World Record Shotput Thrower - Billy Bigjigs[/caption] [caption id="attachment_373" align="aligncenter" width="590"] SPLASH!![/caption] We have also received an Olympic Rings special...made out of Bigjigs Rail from theprincessandthepickle! How cool is that! [caption id="attachment_374" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Olympic Rings made out of Bigjigs Rail Track![/caption]
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Inspiring a Generation!

Inspiring a Generation!

During our Guinness World Record Attempt we were lucky enough to meet one of our mummy bloggers - Mrs C and Miss C! Despite being nearly 7 1/2 months pregnant and with a toddler in toe, Mrs C made the huge effort to come down and see our record attempt...and write about it! Some great photo's and a superb write up - worth a read! [caption id="attachment_357" align="aligncenter" width="320"] Inspiring a generation![/caption]
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THE RECORD BREAKING DAY!

THE RECORD BREAKING DAY!

After months of form filling, weeks of organising, and days of preparing - the day was upon us! Tom had started the day off in spectacular fashion by getting the record attempt on the Chris Moyles Show on Radio 1....though it was not as straight forward as that! Tom thought it was a sensible idea to pull over rather than drive and talk on his mobile, so he he duly did.... however, what he didnt realise, was that the traffic police were about 100 yards behind him! Tom's phone rang just as the policeman knocked on his window, when Tom quickly explained and the officer got into the back of his car. Chris Moyles couldn't believe what had happened and wanted to speak to the officer! A hilarious episode! The building of the track started at 9 AM sharp by a team of builders (of all whom work in our warehouse back at Bigjigs HQ) in order to complete it by 4 PM! [caption id="attachment_330" align="aligncenter" width="590"] We had a few helpers to get us started :-)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_331" align="aligncenter" width="590"] More helpers!![/caption] What we were essentially asking the guys from the warehouse to do, is to crawl on their hands and knees for over 2km's (though we did provide kneed-pads - which were largely left unused)... So they came up with new methods of transporting and laying the track... The reasons for doing this record attempt was to help raise awareness about the Bigjigs Toys/Rail brand but also to raise money for two very worthy causes: Demelza House and the Locomotive Restoration Fund. If you haven't heard of either, here is a snippet about them both: Demelza House - Children's hospices that support children and young people (0-19_ who are not expected to reach adulthood, and offers support to their families. The majority of children and young people are suffering from degenerative in nature and progress over many years. This means that children's hospices have the opportunity to offer children, young people and families the chance to build memories as a family unit, undertake a range of activities that are age and needs specific that they may not ordinarily be able to access. We chose Demelza Houseas it is a local charity and we felt it was a great cause to help out, given the financial hardships lots of charities currently face. We invited some of the children and carers from Demelza House to come and see our track being built and to enjoy The Dockyard itself. [caption id="attachment_335" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Liz Ireland (company director), Cameron and David (both from Demelza House)[/caption] Locomotive Restoration Fund- exactly what it says on the tin, a fund which helps towards the restoration of locomotives. As trains are one of our passions we thought it would be a great idea to help towards the restoration of one of the Chatham Dockyard Locomotives. We were lucky enough to have one of the locomotives parked outside the entrance to the record attempt - in which the poor Chatham guys had to dig the points out (taking two days) because they hadn't been used in 12 years!!!! During the day we were lucky enough to have lots of distinguished guests throughout the day, helping to verify the record attempt (oh...and help clear the mountain of cupcakes Sharon and Carol bought!): [caption id="attachment_339" align="aligncenter" width="590"] George, Roger West (deputy mayor of Folkestone) and Liz[/caption] Throughout the day we had various other things going on including our Bigjigs play area - filled with many wonderful toys including train sets, heritage playsets, baby bigjigs and much more! We also had a colouring competition - where children could colour in a Bigjigs Train and be in with the chance of winning a Bigjigs Rail Set! We had over 75 entries - some of which can be seen here: [caption id="attachment_340" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Our Play Area being well used![/caption] [caption id="attachment_342" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Some of the amazing entries we had![/caption] At around 3 pm we were nearing the finish line - with plenty of people cheering us on. I must say that the crowds that came and saw us were fantastic, cheering us on and being really supportive! We couldn't have done it without you.... well we could have but it would have been much more boring!! [caption id="attachment_343" align="aligncenter" width="590"] A small snippet of the amazing people that came to support us on the day![/caption] [caption id="attachment_344" align="aligncenter" width="590"] So the track is nearly complete - 20 minutes to go![/caption] We had built so much track that we had pretty much run out of the straight pieces (plus we had reached the end of the carpet)...! So after 7 hours of continuous building ... 14 shattered Bigjiggers, 8 carpet burned knees (builders), 8 unused knee pads...., a superb amount of donations, lots of TV, Radio and Press Coverage, copious amounts of eaten cup cakes...oh, and over 10,000 pieces of track - we had completed our record attempt for the Longest Wooden Toy Train Track! [caption id="attachment_345" align="aligncenter" width="590"] 7 hours later and we found that we had built this![/caption] NOW... for the all important measurement - using a 'disto' laser and surveyors wheel: We had two surveyors measuring the track - at about 500 metres they had to stop and start again...due to a large discrepancy. However after restarting again, the measurements were barely millimetres apart, and it wasnt long (well about 40 minutes) till we overtook the current record: [caption id="attachment_347" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Overtaking the current record!!![/caption] add another 10 minutes and we had reached our target of 2012 metres!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO! [caption id="attachment_348" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Liz pushing the surveyors wheel over the 2012 metre mark! :-) (nice socks Liz!!)[/caption] But wait... it didnt stop there! As we had used all of the pieces we had bought with us there was still more track to measure... [caption id="attachment_349" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Peter pushing us over the line![/caption] Not only had we reached and obliterated the current record of 1650.14 metres... we had also reached and smashed our target of 2012 metres... reaching a grand total of 2196.5 metres!!! Naturally we were delighted to reach such a feat - after an exhausting day it was all worth it in the end! The only task left was to push one of our trains from one end of the track to the other... this may take a while (actually I think Tom is still there pushing it around!) [caption id="attachment_350" align="aligncenter" width="590"] any volunteers want to push the train around?[/caption] All in all, the day was a HUGE success and we would like to thank everyone that supported Bigjigs Rail before, during and after the record attempt! To get a sense of scale of the task we achieved - have a look at this! [caption id="attachment_351" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Our completed track![/caption] [caption id="attachment_352" align="aligncenter" width="590"] Rail Name on our Record Attempt ![/caption]
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