Having fun as a Detective with the The Master Detective Toolkit by Thames & Kosmos – our review

[AD|Gifted. We were sent The Master Detective Toolkit for free in exchange for our honest review.]

When I was a kid I had this notion that it would be fun to become a professional mystery solver. Maybe a spy even! I was a natural seeing that I was the oldest and very good at hiding away from, or telling tales on my younger siblings.

My brother and sister and I went through a stage where we loved inventing and solving secret codes, and dragging friends on long adventures (provided I was in the lead). Inspired by the Famous Five we would trek from one side of the garden to the other in search of elusive clues or long lost treasure.

Not long after that I swapped Enid Blyton for Agatha Cristie and Hercule Poirot. I couldn’t get enough of them and exchanged my siblings and friends for a fantasy world of murders and mysteries solved.

It’s fun being a kid isn’t it? I think I would have loved this Master Detective Kit by Thames and Kosmos, in fact, although it’s meant for the children, would they notice if I secretly took it off to the corner of the garden and had a little play with it I wonder?

The toolkit comes in a very handy and robust black briefcase which opens to reveal a host of tools and equipment, all housed in a pop-up detective’s office. We were pleasantly surprised by how much is inside the kit.

We explore the contents of the Master detective Toolkit
Becca constructs the secret code deciphering wheels.

Inside the Master Detective Toolkit

The toolkit impressively contains over 24 separate items. All the equipment in the kit is designed to challenge kids while honing their observation skills.  There are tools to help them learn how to secure a crime scene to gather evidence and then analyse it.

This is the case after we’ve used the plaster and chalks as well as popped out all the pieces in the die cuts housed in the TOP SECRET folder

There are also cards and devices for deciphering codes, a special invisible ink pen and a UV torch to read secret messages.

The enclosed manual is an comprehensive 32-page full-colour illustrated experiment book to help guide any investigations with step-by-step instructions. The manual also contains scenarios for kids to read and solve.

We put the Master Detective Toolkit to the test in the ‘Mysterious Carrigmannon Afternoon Incident’

Do not cross barriers.
The scene of the ‘Mysterious Carrigmannon Afternoon Incident!

Something mysterious was afoot in our garden here in Carrigmannon! First a footprint was discovered so a cast had to be made using the plaster, and the scene had to be secured. Not long afterwards, a couple of bodies were found on the other side of the garden, so the sniffer dogs were sent out in full force and chalk lines were drawn around the bodies.

Outline of Dad with sniffer dog

Back inside, a few finger prints were gathered as further evidence and logged onto profile cards. A crime scene report was filed while waiting for the plaster to dry.

Detective writes her notes on the Crime Scene report pad
A detective hard at work

Once the plaster had dried, it was removed from the scene, carefully cleaned and investigated. After examining all the shoes, it was determined that it was mum’s pink running shoe that had made the incriminating print.

The plastercast is cleaned
Cleaning off the underside of the plastercast

However, one of the body outlines on the driveway also belonged to her – what could have happened? As the other outline belonged to Dad, he couldn’t have been the criminal this time.

One of the conclusions reached was that Mum died on the way to collecting the laundry off the washing line, the other was that she was so tired she lay down to have a nap on the driveway. Dad must have fainted when he thought mum had died from working too hard.

However, the detectives are still working on the crime and the fingerprints need to be investigated further so the results are currently inconclusive.

We need to read up some more tips to be able to solve the crime.

What we love about the Master Detective Toolkit

  • The kit has so much to do in it, it will keep the kids busy for hours.
  • The invisible ink and UV torch work brilliantly together – these were the first items my kids reached for.
  • The detailed manual contains heaps of interesting information on how a crime scene is investigated, pro-tips on solving cases, on working with secret codes, how to use a crypography wheel, as well as an introduction to forensics and becoming a detective.
  • The plaster cast experiment worked really well.
  • The case is strong and well constructed and will be handy to play with over and over again.
  • Drawing the chalk outlines was really funny, we had fun together!
  • The kids learned some basic science lessons while enjoying themselves.
  • The magnifying glass is handy for Mum too who can’t read small writing anymore!
magnifying glass and fingerprint collection on profile cards
Mum will find the maginfying glass super handy for reading teeny-tiny writing on labels.

Pricing and links to buying the toolkit:

The Master Detective Toolkit is priced RRP £/€36 and is available now at Smythstoys.com/uk or Smythstoys.com/ie and Smyths stores nationwide. However, it is available for a short time only at the special introductory offer price of £/€29.99. Master Detective Toolkit: Smyths Ireland OR Smyths UK.

The toolkit is just part of the Three Detectives range, available now at Thamesandkosmos.co.uk. RRP £/€9.99 and suitable for ages 8+. With five kits to choose from there is a host of inventive and engaging accessories to enable children aged 8+ learn real science through role-playing in imaginary adventures. To view the full range click here: Three Detectives Range from Thames & Kosmos.

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