Monday, May 25, 2015

Yellow Mountain Imports Royal 48 European Wood Chess Set Review!

In my journey as a new teacher, I've had a lot of successes and failures. From projects to classroom management to keeping a class pet...I've done it all. I'll spare you the details of the ups and downs and just get to it: I can't stand when my fails come at the expense of my budget. Whether it's buying too much of something, or getting supplies that are NOT good quality (I had to throw away 100 pencils one year because they were AWFUL and wouldn't sharpen no matter how we tried!), I hate to fail in that department because at that point, it's about the school's budget and our funding. I know it seems small, but that weighs on me, because I know how hard it can be to get materials!

That being said, when I can REVIEW a product for my classroom, I jump on the opportunity. This way, I can test something, form a solid opinion, and decide if it's best for my classroom/worth our budget money. I've tested pencils, markers, chalk, sketchbooks, and everything else I can get. But today, I'm introducing not only my favorite classroom review item, but my favorite item PERIOD that I've received to test. My Elementary Gifted and Talented students got to test out this set (since they are our school's chess team) and they LOVED it. They were in complete awe at the detail and quality of the chess set.

ToysNGamesEtc on Amazon produces a 48 piece wooden chess set. I didn't know what to expect upon being approved for this set, but I had a suspicion that it would be on the smaller side since wooden chest sets are more expensive to make than the flat, rubber mat ones. When the set arrived and I unboxed it, I literally had my breath taken away. Even at it being made out of wood, I didn't expect it to be NEARLY as nice! I noticed first that the box was about half the size that I expected it to be. Sliding it out of the box revealed that it folded in half and acted as it's own storage for the pieces.

The detail on the board is excellent! Even the outer edges (the side that would face you, not on the surface) are intricately detailed. The latches that hold the board shut in it's storage position are detailed, sturdy, and beautiful.

Upon opening the board, I noticed that the pieces were delightfully unlike any other chess pieces I've seen before. They are very obviously hand carved, from nice, solid wood. They are smooth, without any flaws or splinters. They fit perfectly into the storage spaces and their bottoms are covered in felt. This allows the pieces to glide easily across the board.

My favorite detail (other than the edge of the board) is the fact that the King and Queen pieces have accents of the opposite color on them. This ties the scheme of the board together, as does the burning of the letters and numbers around the perimeter of the board into the white squares.

The pieces are VERY beautiful and I can't believe that this set is so affordable. I love the fact that this set is handmade (in Poland) without using child labor. It seems to be extra messed up that companies would force children to work tirelessly and dangerously over something that another child would carelessly play with. I'm so glad I don't have to worry about that with this set!

 I'd be happy to answer any questions that you may have! Do you have favorite games? If so, have you looked into a handmade version of the set?

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