Wednesday 14 November 2012

Tidlo FSC Natural Toy Box from John Crane - Review

I have always had a love of wooden toys.

Plastic is all well and good but there is nothing like the feel, look and lifespan of a wooden toy. We have several in our house; amongst them are a wooden easel for the girls to paint & draw with, a mini cooker for them to cook up delicious delights, building blocks to develop into whatever takes their fancy and more recently, a wooden teether ring for Jess to use to relieve those sore gums.

I have looked lovingly at quite a few of the wooden toys that John Crane have in their collection and recently made contact with them about the possibility of reviewing one of their products. They agreed and sent me one of their Natural Toy Boxes from the Tidlo collection. However, this is no ordinary toy box, oh no, it’s a little more special than that. It is one of the items from their Eco furniture range which is made from European Beech grown in FSC certified forests. FSC is Eco-friendly wood and is guaranteed to come from sustainable sources which are environmentally friendly, socially beneficial and economically viable.

When the toy box arrived it was in a slimmer box than I had anticipated. I am not your average DIYer – that’s Hubby’s job (particularly as he’s a carpenter and builder by trade) – so the fact that it was in a slim box meant some assembly would be involved ! Now, the easy option would have been to pass the buck and ask Hubby to put it together, however, I decided that if I was going to do this review justice I had to put it together myself :0)

Once we had Jess safely tucked up in bed (having a toddler as a helper is not my idea of fun when DIY is involved!), I set about opening the box and laying out the contents ready for assembly. My eldest, Sophia, was determined that she wasn’t going to bed until Mummy had made the toy box and she was to be my helper where needed. Mmm, this could go one of two ways I feel ;0) Better get to it or we could be here all night with a very tired daughter on our hands if this took me longer than anticipated.

Everything was supplied; instructions (vitally important), screws, allen key, screw head covers, extra anti-scuff protectors; so we were all set. One pointer though, you will need a decent Philips screwdriver as well, which is not supplied, to fix the hinge damper (Hubby’s terminology!) on the soft close lid.

As you can see from the pictures I managed well considering DIY is not my thing! It was pretty simple to assemble and if I can do it, believe me, anyone can ! The only bit I had to have a helping hand with was when putting the soft close hinge damper in place. A bit fiddly and needed an extra hand or two to help fix it in place. Sophia helped to keep things steady whilst I tightened everything up and was great at putting the screw head covers in place.

The box itself is sturdy, well made and has a beautiful sheen to the wood. The soft close lid is fab. We have another wooden wicker box (no where near as lovely as this one) which we currently use for the girl’s dress up bits. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I hear a yell as little fingers get trapped as the lid crashes down. But with this toy box there is no fear of that happening. The soft close mechanism is a great addition and doesn’t impinge on the ability of the box to open up to full capacity either. With small people around sharp, pointy corners are a nightmare. Not a problem here; the corners are all rounded off and Jess has had no problems knocking herself on them – fabulous :0)

Another advantage of this toy box is it’s appearance. If you are looking for a toy box which resembles a toy; like a red fire engine, then this may not be for you. But, if you are looking for a natural wood toy box, which you can lob the kids toys into at the end of the day and can sit happily amongst your other furniture and not look out of place, then this is a great addition. The fact that it is also made from FSC wood is also a major plus. You can’t go wrong really. And if you wanted to jazz it up and had the skills, you could paint your own design on it using Eco-friendly, solvent free paints.

The box itself is 35cm high, 67cm long and 35cm wide. It is a good size and fits a decent amount of toys. For us it will make a great toy box to house the ever growing “dress up” costumes that the girls now have without trapping those little fingers inside.

If you are looking for a natural wood toy box which is going to last and house all those toys you plan on buying your little one this Christmas, then I think you would be well placed in taking a look at this one.


If you wish to find out more about the Tidlo range of Eco Furniture and wooden toys by John Crane then take a look at their website: You will also find them on Facebook:


Disclaimer: As mentioned before, I have always had a love of wooden toys and approached John Crane about reviewing their toys. They agreed and sent me this Tidlo FSC Natural Wooden Toy Box free of charge to review for the blog. The opinions and views expressed in this post are my own and no one else's.


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