Top critical review
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Like hoping for a steak dinner and getting a cold McDonalds burger instead.
on 23 March 2014
UPDATE April 2016: This Sand Pit is dead. It can't withstand the weather, the lid (brought separately) doesn't keep water out. Whether filled or unfilled, the Sand Pit itself is a nightmare to move. Don't bother.
2014: Bought for 4yo's birthday. He LOVES it. But he's not the most discerning of toddlers and I'm less easily impressed.
The facts are:
It's a sandpit, it fits together well enough, it's easy to construct and the instructions are clear. All the necessary parts were included (you'll need a phillips screwdriver), it was packaged well and there was no stress in building this; two sets of hands managed it in 15 minutes. When constructed, it's a reasonable size and requires about 150-180kg of sand to adequately fill it.
Still, however functional it is, for the price this is not an impressive product. I would say that this is a £40 max purchase. Why?
- The wood is of a very basic quality. Not damaged or sub-standard, just utterly basic. It has rough edges, is not precisely cut and has many knots, meaning a couple of the screws don't catch.
- The horizontal rows have slats, slotting together well enough but with no secure fix. The ledge is the only part of the item that is firmly attached (you screw it into the top slats). This may be practically helpful in terms of taking the pit apart quickly and storing it easily but if your children are rough or overly curious I imagine it won't take much force to pull apart.
The problem is exacerbated because there is no solid base, just a thin porous fabric to allow water to drain. Again, this is not necessarily a problem in itself, but it also means that once the sand is in you won't be re-locating the pit easily. I anticipate this fabric getting pretty grim underneath and needing replacing.
The biggest disappointment (although not a surprise based on other reviews) is that it comes with a pretty basic tarpaulin cover which is ill fitting and does not adequately protect from the rain. A lid can be purchased separately http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sand-Box-Lid-wooden-hexagonal/dp/B0013HCGAG/ref=pd_bxgy_k_h_b_cs_img_y but knowing what I know now about the quality of this sandpit's wood, and given the 1* reviews, £65 seems a little disingenuous (not least because it's the same price as the pit itself).
I'm not saying it's terrible - it does what it's meant to do, but don't set your expectations too high. I expected a little more in terms of quality considering the price tag. As my subject suggests, I can't argue that it's not a functional product, it just isn't a very impressive or satisfying one.