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Prof Dr Robert Vale from the School of Architecture at Wellington University is also a specialist on children's construction sets and has published a book on this topic in 2013.

He has kindly agreed on evaluating Matador:

Matador is one of the few construction toys with a long heritage. It was invented in Austria in 1903 and is still manufactured there. Unlike all modern construction toys, Matador has a unique feature, a Matador set does not build only one model. A Matador set offers a new construction opportunity every day. When you have completed building an articulated truck you can take it apart and use the same set of parts to build a pirate ship the next day, a piano for the doll’s house or a railway locomotive the day after. The box of Matador parts provides a universal construction system with which you can make almost anything you can imagine. 

Matador also offers a progressive system. You can start with a small basic set and learn to build very simple models and gradually expand it with expansion sets and packs of accessories to make larger and more complex models. The instruction manuals show a wide range of models to get you started and then when you have become familiar with the parts and how to use them you can design and build your own inventions. This is much better than most construction sets which build only one particular model. 

Matador is also unique in that it is made of wood. In spite of this it can be used to build complex mechanical models using gears and pulleys, also made of wood. Matador can be described as the only truly sustainable construction toy available. It is also strong and long-lasting and because it is made of wood it is very pleasurable to touch and to use. Given its quality and its potential, Matador is also surprisingly affordable. It offers possibilities that are not available in any other contemporary construction set.

Apart from Matador sets bought for home use, there is an increasing demand for Matador Ki sets in pre-school centres, kindergartens and daycares.

The Matador Classic series is being more and more utilised in schools, both as a teaching aid as well as an after-school activity. A Classic #5 set is currently being trialed by the Society for Gifted Children.

In January 2013 MOTAT (the Museum of Transport and Technology) here in Auckland has bought two of the large Ki and Classic school sets. Visiting children from schools and kindergartens have the opportinity to actively learn by constructing real working models.
Six months later we got an email from Anna James (facilitator at MOTAT): "We would like to order some more Matador from you. The kits that we originally got from you have been an absolute hit with the children ..."

Here is some of the feedback we have received from a few pre-school centres:


Nicole Ellwood, manager of 4woods Early Learning Centre in Te Puke:
     " ... What a fantastic, sturdy and stable resource that extends children's imagination and fine motor skills ..."

Raewyn Farrell, manager of Kidicorp ABC Sunset in Rotorua:
     " ... children love it! ..."

Stephanie Brough, manager of Curious Keas in Piopio:
     " fantastic, ... teachers are impressed, ... the children don't want us to put it away"

Joy Jordan, manager of Montessori Small Steps Preschool in Matakana:
     " ... children love it!"