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392 Reviews
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, but interesting
My daughter has warmed to this toy over time. It's not a huge favorite, but she finds it challenging and interesting, and she's learned a *lot* more from it than she did from the simple plastic shape sorter she got bored with.
One of the things I really like about this toy is that it's not just about the One Right Answer. My daughter (now 2-1/2) experiments with...
Published on November 3, 2003 by Richard L. Nelson

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126 of 132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Shape Sorter, Great Toy, Manage the Frustration!
My 22 month old daughter plays with this toy, but there are 2 major sources of frustration.
1) The lid doesn't stay on well - whenever you try to put a shape into the side with the lid, the lid flips over. An older child could probably figure out that you have to hold the lid (or just drop the shape neatly into the hole without touching the lid) - but a younger...
Published on January 23, 2004 by Colorado reader & parent


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126 of 132 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Challenging Shape Sorter, Great Toy, Manage the Frustration!, January 23, 2004
By 
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
My 22 month old daughter plays with this toy, but there are 2 major sources of frustration.
1) The lid doesn't stay on well - whenever you try to put a shape into the side with the lid, the lid flips over. An older child could probably figure out that you have to hold the lid (or just drop the shape neatly into the hole without touching the lid) - but a younger toddler just isn't going to get that. It is very frustrating. Other people have pointed it out as well - perhaps the designers will respond in version 2. It's needlessly frustrating.
2) Some of the shapes are very similar /complicated - it is frustrating for a young toddler. BUT!!!! my daughter is slightly younger than the recommended age, and, it is a learning toy - it isn't supposed to be immediately easy. Just know that for younger toddlers, you should play with them and help them select the right hole.
A bit of guided play is called for while they are learning and it will increase fun/decrease frustration. My daughter has learned some of the shapes on her own, and is getting 'closer' on some of the others, but I frequently play with her and talk to her about the shapes and help her find where they go.
All in all, it is a good toy. We have several Melissa & Doug toys, and have been pleased with them all. They are safe, high quality, and nice looking. And you can never have too many small, brightly colored pieces of wood underfoot. :)
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110 of 116 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, but poor design, March 8, 2005
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
We bought this shape sorter for my older son when he was about 18 months old. He'd already been playing with a lightweight plastic one for months, but we liked that this one was wood and had more shapes -- in addition to the basic oval, circle, rectangle, triangle, square, etc., this one has a flower shape, a heart, an octagon, a couple of different triangles, a wedge, parallelogram, etc.

Unfortunately, the shapes fit through any hole in the sorter, so the child isn't really learning much of anything. Plus, the lid is impossible for a small child to keep on while they're playing with it -- even my older son (now 4) has trouble with it!

I've also found that it gets so crowded in there that the shapes don't always fit well when you're fitting in the last few. You need to shake the sorter so that the shapes settle to the bottom. Another issue that I have with this product is, several of the pieces are small enough to fit INTO a small child's mouth -- our younger son, 18 mos, has proven that on several occasions! The plastic ones we have from the other shape sorter are all a bit larger than these pieces, and I think safer. We keep this shape sorter up on a high shelf, to be played with on a rainy day with supervision. It's not a toy I'd leave out for everyday play.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, but poor design for actual use, August 31, 2004
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
I commend Melissa and Doug for the nice variety of shapes this cube offers as well as its classic wooden toy appearance, but that being said, actual use of this cube is cumbersome and faulty. A bit too heavy for tiny hands to turn and look for the appropriate hole, it also becomes frustrating when the lid falls off (no latch or hinge to keep it on) or it is almost full with blocks and you are trying to push in one of the shapes in the lower portion of the cube and it won't go in because there are blocks inside sitting on the bottom. If the lid latched, you could turn the sides facing up and easily insert the shapes, but not so. I sold my daughter's on ebay and got her the classic plastic Playskool one that has a snap lid and that is lighter weight so she can turn and tumble, looking for the right hole for the shape she has.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Well Designed, May 11, 2004
By 
educator "Ruth" (Chula Vista, CA United States) - See all my reviews
= Durability:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
I bought this toy because my daughter is really into sorting shapes right now. She has several shape sorters that work really well. This one, however, is not well designed. First of all, the lid cannot be fastened to stay down. When your child needs to turn it over to put in the different shapes they all fall out. Secondly, once you have a couple of shapes in the box they block the way for the others to go in. I have always loved Melissa and Doug toys up to this point but I would love to get my money back for this one.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect, but interesting, November 3, 2003
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
My daughter has warmed to this toy over time. It's not a huge favorite, but she finds it challenging and interesting, and she's learned a *lot* more from it than she did from the simple plastic shape sorter she got bored with.
One of the things I really like about this toy is that it's not just about the One Right Answer. My daughter (now 2-1/2) experiments with different ways to insert the same shape, and learns something about generic versus specific solutions. There is much value in the notion that only the star can go through the star-shaped hole, but the star and many other blocks can pass through the rectangular one.
Similarly, the fact that the lid can fall off used to annoy her. But it also taught her to adapt to it, and now she either holds the lid on or turns the box in such a way as to not drop it off.
I admit she found this toy frustrating early on. But it is one of those toys that she revisits every few months, and she plays with it differently over time. Her "plain" shape sorter was a good first lesson for her, but it doesn't have anything new to offer once she figured out how to get the three different shapes into the three different holes. This toy has a lot more to offer over time.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Toy recalled in Canada for unsafe levels of barium, January 5, 2010
By 
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
I've had this toy for a while and my 10 month old daughter has chewed on the blocks (which the paint does chip off pretty easily). Now I found that this toy was actually recalled in Canada due to unsafe levels of barium! I'm staying away from all Melissa & Doug toys as some of their other products have also been recalled. Why doesn't US have stricter laws concerning childrens toys!!

From Consumer product safety Canada

Slice and Bake Cookie set, Shape Sorting Cube, and Pound a Peg by Melissa & Doug

Testing by Health Canada has revealed that the surface paint on the toys contains barium in excess of the allowable limit.

Some forms of barium are safely used in medical and commercial applications, while other forms of barium can be toxic, causing adverse health effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps as well as more severe symptoms. Children's toys coated with paint containing barium in excess of the allowable limit are strictly prohibited in Canada.

Health Canada has not received any reports of incidents or illnesses related to the use of this product.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money!, February 28, 2006
By 
M. Peruzzi "Enzio'sMommy" (CLINTON TWP., MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
I agree with the last reviewer...the lid does not lock down-I have it collecting dust on the shelf- I like the idea that it was wood and it is made to last but they should have put a locking lid to keep the shapes in all one piece and so the child can pick up the box with out having the lid fall off.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The way toys aught to be made, December 8, 2003
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
This is a well made, sturdy toy. The shapes are brightly coloured and attractive to children.
I was nearly put off by the bad reviews regarding the lid. But my nearly two-and-a-half year old has no problem with it. He fits in the shapes on the sides first and finally searches for the ones on the lid.
He enjoys the easy opening and closing and likes to tip out all the blocks when he has finished.
Guest's children have also enjoyed this toy.
Thank God there are still companies willing to make good quality products.
A parent tired of poorly made, cheap toys.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars what a mess, December 3, 2002
By 
Kitara (Tokyo, Japan) - See all my reviews
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
My son is 2 1/2 years old and we bought this for him last Christmas (2001). We were looking for something along this line and being from Imaginarium I thought it would be good. There's a major error in the design of the toy. The blocks fit in numerous different holes so there's no reason to find the correct hole to put the correct shape in. The rectangle turned sideways fits in at least 3 or 4 different holes.
So, as a learning toy there are other sorting blocks that are much better. My son has more fun throwing the blocks around. He loves to put the blocks in the holes and he does enjoy the toy. It is well made and sturdy, but as an educational toy it is lacking.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just not what a two year old looks for, August 21, 2005
This review is from: Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube (Toy)
My son got this for his second birthday. He loves to sort shapes. He doesn't like this toy - because the lid falls off! He plays endlessly with the Tupperware shape sorter blue and red ball at a friend's house - he can pick it up and look all around for the right spot for his piece. You can't do that with this box, so we'll be getting him the Tupperware one for Christmas!
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Melissa & Doug Shape Sorting Cube
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