I stumbled upon Skallops while I was at PAX Prime 2012 this month and ended up taking a set home. Skallops are laser cut, top-quality, hand-finished birch plywood that are used with playing cards to create any type of structure your mind can imagine. As long as you have enough Skallops and something to connect them to be it cards, postcards, business cards, or whatever you create, you can make absolutely anything.
As soon as I shook off my jet lag from PAX Prime I whipped out my Junior Set of Skallops, which has 52 wooden Skallops and one deck of cards. My children, ages ten and thirteen quickly started creating…things. I had to employ some creative mothering when my son brought me his creation and asked if I liked it. If you’re a Mom, you know exactly what I was going through as I gazed up on this oddly formed jumble of playing cards and Skallops. As he watched me analyze his art work I thought quickly and said the best thing I could think of, “It looks awesome!”. Thankfully that was enough for him and he replied with, “I know, totally looks like fireworks in the sky right?”.
It didn’t take long for the kitchen countertops to completely disappear under a sea of confusing creations. Our Junior Set was quickly depleted so we may be upgrading in the future to the Starter Set with 104 Skallops and two decks of cards, or just go completely crazy and get the Builder Set with 208 Skallops and four decks of cards. My only hesitation would be the fact that while the kids really love building with Skallops, they always seem to disappear when it’s time for them to be broken down and put away.
Skallops are very light-weight, but incredibly sturdy. Getting the cards in the slots can be a little difficult at times, but they are made to grip ordinary playing cards firmly, so that your creations hold up really well. I think these would be great for anyone who has kids to just leave out on a rainy day and let the kids imaginations go crazy. Skallops are recommended for children ages three and up, but based on the zero interest level my toddler showed in them I’d say this is probably better for more of the elementary age and older range. Of course grown-ups who like to build can have fun with this as well.