I have written before - at length - about my aversion to slime. It's sticky, it's icky, and it gets absolutely everywhere! Marianna, on the other hand, is a big fan of the stuff. The upshot is that a while back I was super psyched to get an email proposing a solution to the problem.
Mess Free! Squeeze a little drop of dye into the drum through the well designed openings.
Slime washing machines.
The idea is simple but genius. You put your slime and your dye into the drum of a little play washing machine, watch as the drum turns and mixes the colour in, then you take the slime out and it's ready to use - without staining your skin bright green / pink / blue / delete as appropriate.
These are produced by Canal Toys as part of their So Slime DIY brand. We reviewed one of their regular Slimelicious kits (RRP £9.99) back in March. It was fun and Marianna enjoyed it, but the slime consistency was difficult to get right which is all too likely to mean sticky grossness smeared across your furniture.
This set is more expensive at a RRP of £17.99 but, in my opinion, you get more bang for your buck. You get the washing machine, two packets of ready mixed slime, a washing basket, a detergent bottle for storing your slime, three little bottles of colour and scent, and a pack of stickers to decorate the pieces. Not included are the inevitable three AA batteries - and the screwdriver to get the battery compartment open.
The machine itself is good quality and we had no problems getting the drum to spin, although the instructions on how to place the slime were a little confusing. The diagram suggested stretching it across the sections of the drum but, in the end, I just chucked it in, closed the door, and hoped for the best. This, coincidentally, is my approach to most laundry related quandaries. Luckily for me, this time at least, it worked out just fine.
I was super impressed with the end result. The pre-mixed slime is a lovely consistency, and the turning over in the washing machine only improves it. Even better, the tie dye effect was perfect. Look at how pretty that slime is in the picture above! Marianna, of course, wanted to put more dye in it. Then more again. Until the slime had been through the machine four or five times and resembled green sludge. M insisted it was now truly beautiful...
What I really love though is that even when the initial - secondary, even tertiary - slime mania is over it's a toy that still has a lot of life left in it. As an occasionally active eco type worried about the barriers to toy recycling this pleases me. And as a doll collector I am always excited at the prospect of scale models, even more so when they are both operational and affordable. As you can see below, the washing machine is a bit oversized for 1/6 'Barbie' scale but not horrendously so. (If you need something more true to scale, I've got a post for that.)
1/4 scale is a better fit, so your MSD ball-jointed dolls, American Girl and other 18 inch play dolls, etc, etc. This is good news if you're outfitting a bigger doll house as the available 1/4 sale models on the market tend to be expensive and / or hard to come by. Eg. The Our Generation Washer and Dryer set is super cute and does come with an ironing board, etc. But it will also set you back almost £80. The American Girl set is an eye watering $150. So this one is a great alternative, especially as the drum turns and it makes a washing machine noise.
For more information, and to check out the other products in the So Slime range, take a look at the Canal Toys website.
*We were sent the washing machine to review, but all thoughts and opinions are our own!*