What Is Eugy?
Eugy is a range of build-it-yourself 3D cardboard models from New Zealand firm Dodoland which are environmentally friendly, easy to put together, and cute as heck. There is a wide range of creatures you can build in the Eugy line including dinosaurs, sea life, jungle animals, and fantasy beings such as mermaids and dragons. The availability of creatures does depend on your location with a more limited range currently available in the US and the UK.
What’s in the Box?
In your Eugy model box, you’ll find:
- Punch Sheets with all Model Parts and Guide Piece
- Tube of Glue
- Eye Beads
- Instruction Sheet
How Do You Build Eugy?
Eugy models are built using a clever method which makes them super easy to fit together. The models are built in two halves by layering each piece onto the larger one before it using a guide piece which fits through the narrow slot on each piece. Non-toxic glue is used to bind each layer to those beside it.
You begin building your Eugy model by punching out the pieces which are numbered and indicate whether they belong to the left or right-hand side. The starter piece L1/R1 is built on a hinge so you will need to glue this together before you add any of the other pieces. Then, you slide the yellow guide piece into the slot so it sticks up perpendicular to L1/R1.
Next, beginning with the largest piece (L2 or R2 depending on which side you’re starting with), you add glue to the back and slide it down the guide to sit on top of L1/R1. You then simply repeat this process working through the numbers on one side of the model. Our stegosaurus was a little different because at one point on each side we needed to fold down his plates and glue them together in addition to sliding that piece onto the guide.
Toward the outer layers of the model, you will find a piece marked with a white oval symbol to indicate that this is the layer where you add the eyes. Each eye is made of a small black bead, and it is these that really make the Eugy models come alive. To add the eye, simply put a dot of glue into the groove and place your black bead into it. The next few layers will have cutouts shaped around the eye that also help to keep the bead securely in place.
The final piece on each side does not have a slot for the guide as this is designed to cover the holes. Remove the guide piece (this might require a strong tug from an adult if any glue has gotten on to it during previous steps) and glue down the final layer to finish off the side. You then repeat the entire process for the opposite side until you have a finished Eugy model.
What Creatures Are in the Range?
There are currently over 40 creatures to collect and build in the Eugy range*. These include dinosaurs, sea creatures, wild animals, imaginary creatures, and a range of animals from New Zealand (where the company behind Eugy was founded) such as a kiwi, tui, and tuatara.
All the models are of a similar size, although some creatures such as the giraffe and llama are a little longer, while others like the narwhal and bald eagle are longer than average. The stegosaurus we were sent fits comfortably into my hand.
*As noted above, the range available in your region may differ.
Who Will Eugy Appeal To?
Eugy is recommended for age six plus, and I can see it being popular with kids right through to adults—I personally have my eye on at least four other Eugy models that I want to build myself! Because they are so easy to build, your kids will probably be able to put the models together without help, which will help the appeal a lot, and thanks to the wide variety of different models available, there’s something for everyone in the sets.
Should I Buy Eugy?
We built our Eugy model over about 45 minutes* one afternoon during a school break, and it is this kind of occasion that these models are perfect for. The models take long enough to build that they can fill up a spare hour during a rainy afternoon, but not so long that even the most screen-addicted kids will become bored whilst putting it together. The glue dries very fast too, which means that your Eugy model can be built in one sitting; we all know how quickly interest fades when something has to be left to dry, so this is a huge plus point for these kits.
*(The box states that building takes 10 to 20 minutes, but we found it took a little longer once you factored in punching out all the pieces and figuring out exactly how to use the guide piece.)
The wide range of creatures available is also another big plus point for Eugy. Got one kid who loves dinosaurs, another obsessed with mermaids, and a one into sharks? No problem, get one model kit each and they can all sit around the table doing the same activity but working on their own model that caters to their interests. Once the models are built, they become adorable ornaments and are even tough enough to withstand gently play.
The solid nature of the finished Eugy models really impressed me. I’ve built a lot of model dinosaurs over the years, and they’ve nearly always been flimsy things that collapsed if you so much as looked at them funny. Our Eugy dino is solid enough that we could play catch with him without risking more than a scratch from his pointy tail club. Naturally, as with any cardboard model, there’s going to come a point where playtime would get rough enough to damage it (and, obviously, I would highly recommend keeping aquatic Eugy models well away from water), but kids will be able to do more than just look at these models if they want to.
I was also very pleased with the environmentally friendly aspects of Eugy. The models come in a very small box designed to neatly fit all the pieces without any wasted space or packaging. All the pieces (and the surrounding board) are made from biodegradable materials and eco-friendly ink, and the only plastic found is the tube for the non-toxic eco glue. I do wish the box didn’t have “collect them all” printed on it because the last thing most parents (and the planet) needs is yet another toy range demanding they keep purchasing more and more just to fulfill a collecting mentality, but that’s pretty much my sole criticism of Eugy—although I would like to see multipacks made available, as I have enough glue left over for several more models but buying more individual kits will mean getting more and more unnecessary glue.
This was a fun and cute way to spend an hour and our resulting Eugy model is so adorable I may need to purchase a friend for them at some point. I would highly recommend Eugy models as fun summer vacation activities and also as stocking fillers later this year.
GeekMom received a Eugy model kit for review purposes.