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on June 24, 2014
I am torn in reviewing this toy. Here's why: The toy is definitely well-made, will not come apart, will not break unless subjected to massive violence. It definitely builds motor skills, hand-eye-coordination, and even thinking skills--as deciding which colors should be up or down or evenly matched in height requires some intricate choice and physical application. So, the toy is a great toy!

But . . .

You are basically giving your child a miniature of Thor's hammer. Not a hollow plastic hammer, mind you. No, no. This is a toddler weapon the great god of thunder would approve of. Two solid wooden pieces held together very well. The head of the hammer is sculpted to allow attacks from many interesting angles. Great for the toy. Not so great if your little one might decide to go "a-viking" during a playgroup, family get-together, or school function.

Like the mighty Mjolner, this hammer throws well, flies fast and far, and can kill the mightiest of trolls. Or televisions. Or PC's. Or Grandma.

So . . . the only reason I take a star off is because of the deadly weapon that comes with this awesome toy. Maybe it should have been fastened by a cable to the toy, Melissa & Doug? It's not cool that parents have to do this thinking for you. But we love Grandma. Having our toddler turned Thor send her to the hospital is not our idea of fun.

If your child is meek and kind and dependably non-violent, go for it. GREAT TOY! If your little one may just be a conqueror of lands reincarnated into this tiny body, please beware the hammer!
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on December 14, 2014
I was excited to buy this for my 9 month old boy, should have realised something was wrong when I saw fine sawdust in the package. Was beyond shocked when I opened it up and saw holes drilled all over by wood-borers/wood-worms or whatever creepy-crawlies. And they were alive! Peeping out of the holes now and then to take in their new neighbourhood. Trashed them almost immediately but still can't get over it, and to think my boy loves chomping on almost anything he gets his hand on.

I'm usually empathetic towards the typical difficulties companies have putting out products in the marketplace and getting everything right, competing isn't easy. But this is unacceptable and should never have happened. Just poor, poor, quality controls.
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on September 18, 2017
I was pleasantly surprised with this. I had looked at several other types of pounding bench in the stores, but ordered this on instead because it had better reviews. This one has pegs that cannot be removed, are nice and larged and spaced out. When you pound down one row of pegs, the other row pops up in its place so you never have to replace the pegs. Continuous fun. My only wish was that it was just a tiny bit easier to hammer down and that the hammer itself was rounded more.
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on January 23, 2017
A great classic wooden toy. Well made. Hammer down on one side and it lifts the other post up. Once you have them all down on one side just turn it around and start hammering away again. All the parts stay together except the wooden hammer which is designed for small hands.No more searching for pieces scatter over the floor and trying to hold the "nail" straight in the hole while hammering. Great hand to eye coordination. Keeps them amused for hours. Definitely, recommend. My 3-year old loves it.
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on June 17, 2016
My 1 year old loves to beat these down constantly. HOWEVER they are an OCD persons worst nightmare. They never all go down and it drives this mom nuts. You can get them to balance at the same height then here come mister smash and hit and bam they're all crooked again. But I will survive and occasional try not to look at this toy because it brings my child so much joy to beat it relentlessly. We have had no problems with paint chipping even though my one year old is dead set on chewing on everything (thank you teething). There are a few tiny dents from missed hits but that is to be expected out of soft wood and a strong one year old. The mallet also doubles great as a projecticle in the case of temper tantrums. So take heed of that.
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on December 27, 2016
I would have given this toy 5 stars except there is one flaw that has knocked it down to a 3 star review. I am a nanny for a 12 month old and she really likes this toy. She's at the age where she's putting everything in her mouth, including the blue handle on the little hammer. After a few seconds, she had blue all over her mouth from the paint on the toy. I know it's child safe paint but still... very disappointed with that aspect. Otherwise, the toy is easy and fun to use.
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on August 24, 2017
I think this toy is kind of limiting. I thought it would be nice because one pops up as you hammer another down, and my son wouldn't stay with a toy for very long. I thought that might help, but as soon as he figured out how it worked he was fine with it. There's not a lot of opportunity for independence for little ones who need to be busy constantly and want to be a part of adult life. I think for my child this was not the right toy. I think he probably would have spent more time with the other version where the pegs are removable and you have to flip the toy over to repeat the task.
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on September 20, 2015
Big disappointment. The toy that we're received is either damaged, or has been stored somewhere for a couple of years. The protective wrap on the mallet itself is covered in glue - either that, or the wrap is so old that it has become an integral part of the toy.

Unless you want your baby to lick the glue, I would not recommend this.

That being said - I'm still hoping that we've just received a defective product.
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on September 4, 2016
Well constructed. I purchased for a first birthday gift. He is a bit young for the toy but plays with it while supervised. He likes to push the pegs down with his fingers and it keeps him occupied. He can hit the pegs with the hammer but holds the hammer by the head and hits them with the handle. He will grow into using the hammer. All the young children I have known loved pounding pegs down on a similar type toy. I also wanted a toy that required no batteries and the parents appreciated this.
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on December 31, 2015
My 2 year old girl isn't the type to play with dolls or play kitchens. She loves anything physical and visual so I really wanted to get her something that she would love for Christmas. This was a hit!!! She played with it for a good 45 minutes the first time she saw it. This is a very smartly designed little toy. When you hit one peg, another one pops up. It is well made and she loved the loud clinking sound of the hammer hitting the wood. I purchased this on Black Friday for an amazing price. Melissa and Doug toys are the best!
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