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The 21st Century Cardboard

Bilibo - the 21st Century Cardboard. Features include "stimulates imaginative play", "almost indestructible", and "open-ended toy provides hours of fun play".

From: http://www.amazon.com/review/REX873G3JTYB6/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm

Well, it's intimidating to write a bad review for the Bilibo. First, you need a thick skin, because it seems that a sure way to get "unhelpful" votes on Amazon is to utter disrespect for the sacred Bilibo. Second, even anonymously, a bad review can't help but come off as perhaps some sort of indication that your child is just lacking in the "imagination" department. Who wants to be perceived as having an unimaginative child? 

Well, my flame suit firmly in place, I respectfully dissent. When the Bilibo arrived in our house as a surprise present for our 3.5 year old, my wife looked at me as though I were a bit off. "No no no," I protested. "You don't understand! This is the most talked about toy on the Internet. What looks like a simple oddly shaped upside down German World War II helmet is really the key to unlocking our child's innermost happiness." Despite several skeptical glances, I pleaded: "Please trust me. Apparently, kids just love them, even if adults cannot completely understand it." "It is," I declared triumphantly, "the cardboard box of the 21st century." "But," my wife replied, "we already have cardboard boxes. Some of which date from the 21st century." Shaking my head knowingly and with a sad looking glance, firmly secure in the knowledge that 100 five-star reviews can't be wrong, I thought, "you'll just have to wait and see." My biggest concern was that my wife would feel somehow she was not in touch with our child when she saw the glee on our child's face when the Bilibo was gloriously displayed and our child's imagination fully engaged and unlocked! 

On the appointed day, the gift was delivered. Ready for the magic that was sure to unfold, we placed it in the middle of the room. "What is it?" "Why, it's a Bilibo." "What does it do?" "Whatever you like, Sweetheart. Whatever you want it to be, it can be." "Can I put my books in it?" "Yes! Of course. You can put your books in it!" 

Well, the books are still there. In the Bilibo. In the corner of the room. We took them out briefly for some spinning attempts and some other guided Bilibo activities that were received more as a chore than as playtime. So we put the books back in. They don't fit so well. The books are square and rectangular. The Bilibo is round. As a book holder, I would only rate it as average or maybe slightly below. 

A cardboard box would hold more books, I think.

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