Customer Reviews: Melissa & Doug Deluxe 10-Piece Magnetic Fishing Game
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on October 13, 2009
I have a 28 month old grandson. I wanted some new toys for him to play with at my house. I wanted something that would challenge him. He has several other things that I have seen him progress with skills while playing with them. I thought this one would be the same. First, he would learn to remove the pieces and eventually progress to putting the pieces back in. He came over and I got this puzzle out. It started out the way I thought it would. He figured out that he needed to put the magnet on the metal spots, which he did. As he took them out, we talked about the picture on the piece. He wasn't ready to replace the pieces, which was okay. That could come later. What I was not anticipating, but probably should have, was him draping the string around his neck. Talk about choking hazard. We stopped that activity and then he started waving the pole back and forth. We managed to take it away from him before he hit himself or someone else with the magnet on the end. The puzzle is now in the closet and we will wait until he is closer to or past 3 before getting it out again. I want to challenge him, but not at the risk of injuring him.
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on May 16, 2008
The kids love using the magnet fishing pole and discussing their "catch". The only problem I have encountered is how much the 3 yr old loves to twirl the fishing pole causing much potential for disaster.
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on November 26, 2011
Format: Toy|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Although this is rated for ages 3 and above, I tested it out on my 18 month old before wrapping for Christmas presents for the older toddlers. She was a HUGE fan of the bright colors, and since she has other Melissa & Doug puzzles, she first tried to pull the puzzles out by hand without any success. Once we showed her how to use the magnetic fishing pole she became very studious and was able to work them all out on her own, giving them to Daddy to put back in, and started all over again. I was really surprised that she was able to do this, and it held her attention for a good two hours before I had to pack it up because it was bedtime. The shiny metal "buttons" on the puzzle pieces made it easy for her to know where to stick the magnet, that was VERY well thought out by the makers. Knowing my two older "toddlers", it's going to be a huge hit with them as well and there will probably be a bit of fighting over them since I have three little ones and only two puzzles! :D

Really, my only concern with these is that my older boy toddler may swing around the pole and with lots of littles in the house, we may have a whack or two. Thankfully the magnetic plastic part and string is actually VERY lightweight so it won't do any serious, if any, damage... obviously they put some thought into that. So I think all will be well in spite of this, although I still wish the string was a tad bit shorter to discourage this.

REALLY bright, cute puzzle pieces; well thought out concept; solid wood construction; quality puzzle... what else could you ask for? I HIGHLY recommend this one, absolutely perfect for Christmas presents!
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on November 23, 2008
My son is 18 months old. His grandparents got this puzzle for him about two months ago. I thought he wouldn't understand how to do it, since the age recommendation was 3 years and up, and you have to have pretty good fine motor skills and control to swing and hold the fishing pole magnetic just right over the pieces in order to pick them up.

After about a week, he was a pro with it, picking up the pieces patiently. I was impressed and started teaching him the names of the sea creatures. So now I will tell him, "Pick up the squid," and he'll 'fish' it out and give it to me. He will do that correctly for each animal I name. He also tries to say "Octopus" "Jellyfish" "Dolphin" "Whale" and "SHARK!" (that one is yelled).

He loves this toy and it is teaching him patience and fine motor skills. It is well made and not noisy!! We love it.
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on August 9, 2012
My son is 3 and got this for Christmas when he was a little under 2.5 years old. This is an awesome idea, fun, BUT I/he really wish the pictures were underneath the puzzle pieces. I know on our other M&D puzzles - they offer the picture under the puzzle to match. I also understand just trying to match the puzzle pieces by shape and memory - but, my son wants to use the magnet parts and catch his bugs/sea life and I looses interest when it takes him a while to put them back together. I would buy this again, but every time he uses it, I also think how I wish the pictures were matching......
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on June 29, 2008
I bought this for my almost-2 year old niece. She and her 4 year old sister both enjoy playing with it and, according to my sister, it provides some welcome QUIET play time (so many toys lately come complete with loud, electronic NOISE).

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on November 12, 2009
I got this for my daugther and although she likes it I was a little disappointed. I know its a fishing game but it is also a puzzle and unlike the other Melissa and Doug puzzles (which I love)this game does not have a picture underneath the puzzle piece which is a bit tricky for my little one plus its not so colourful as it is just the wood underneath. Another point is it would be nice if the fishing rod attached to the puzzle to store it and then I would not have to go looking for it before we can play it again.
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on March 1, 2012
We bought this magnetic fishing puzzle when my daughter was just 14 months old. She's now 22 months old and she still loves it! She enjoys using the fishing pole to take the pieces out and deliver them to people. (She also picks the pieces out with her fingernails.) As of a couple weeks ago, she can even put all the pieces back in!

One reviewer commented that the fishing pole is not well finished (splintery), but ours is completely smooth. Others have said the pieces are not durable... Well, we got our puzzle 2nd hand and our kid plays with it daily and it still looks great.

The biggest concern among reviewers critical of this puzzle seems to be safety. Though the puzzle is recommended for ages 3 and up, our daughter has run into absolutely no problems with the safety of her favorite puzzle. That said, we don't let her run around with the fishing pole and we're probably just lucky that she's more interested in fishing with it than swinging it around. She does have friends who like to thwack each other with the magnet, but that has tended to result in hurt feelings more than actual physical pain. So the safety of this puzzle, like that of many toys, kind of depends on the temperament of your child and the amount of supervision you're willing to provide.

We love this puzzle!
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on August 25, 2008
My 1 1/2 year old son loved this toy at a friend's house. I enjoyed helping him work on it as well. But when I ordered this newer version with more cartoon-like fish we are both disappointed. I think the fish and sea creatures look silly, and I can no longer name them. I definitely prefer the more realistic looking sea creatures on the older version and my son seemed more attracted to them as well.

Also with this newer version the puzzle pieces are more difficult to put back because it isn't immediately clear which way is up. I'm sure when he is older it will be easier for him. (I realize he is younger than the recommended age).

He does still enjoy "fishing" out the pieces. It's still a good toy, but we are going back to the older version.
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VINE VOICEon July 24, 2012
Format: Toy|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
...and not give these games the lavish praise that other reviews have.

They are IMO, very much in the "Just OK" category (3 stars), no more no less. I really don't get the gushing.

I think Melissa and Doug make decent wooden toys (we own quite a bit of their stuff), but they aren't the highest quality by a long shot (and I am sure they would admit as such), in terms of craftmanship or materials used (quality of wood, finish, etc).

These particular games are interesting for about 5 minutes *(typical attention span for this age I guess) for my almost 2 year old. I showed him how to use the magnet (after searching for the wand for an hour), and he tried and tried, finally getting it. Sometimes he would use his hand, which is ok of course, as they are honing/learning motor skills.

- good tool for teaching a specific motor skill, and probably teaches patience, and carefulness as well
- colorful, interesting shapes

- would be nice if wand could attach to board somehow...can easily get lost
- seems spendy for average quality wood and finish
- finish not that, lightweight wood, rough-ish edges

Overall, I can recommend this, but personally, we have an overabundance of toys in our house (our fault), so I am VERY picky now about what gets to stay and what doesn't (or ideally, what gets bought and what doesn't). A one time, 5 minute toy does not cut it anymore, to be thrown in the toybag, taking up space and causing toy overload in the kiddos.

New toys need staying power if you know what I mean, but that is likely a specific scenario that you may not be in (but let it be a friendly warning to new parents! This is an easy trap to fall into). Not sure it will be a toy that they keep coming back to, but again, I seem to be the contrarian voice here, so YMMV.
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