Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Catanimals (Catan Stuffed Animals)

Catanimal Plush Wheat
Recently, Mayfair announced the release of Catanimals (Yes, I know that looks like "Cat Animals" but it's actually (Catan-Animals). It's hardly a fitting name because only one of them is an animal, the sheep. For those not familiar with Settlers of Catan (scoff), there are five primary resources to the core game: Wood, Sheep, Brick, Wheat, and Ore. Each one has been transformed into a stuffed plush toy. Check them out:

First, appearance.

The wood is pretty unique. It looks like wood and I like how the mouth is the crack between the pieces of wood.
The ore looks more like a smiling lump of coal or a grey raincloud. Pass.
The sheep looks really good but who hasn't seen a stuffed sheep before? Not original enough.
The bricks look very orange in the picture, not red. They also look shy for some reason.
The wheat reminds me of a bunch of yellow broccoli for some reason. I expect it to start singing and dancing to inform me about the dangers of poor nutrition. What are those white things on the side? Hands? Ears? Wings?

Catanimal Plush Brick
Now, these may be cute and the extremely die-hard completionist Catan collector may have to have all five. But for Mayfair to offer alternate gaming rules based on the use of Catanimals in-game borders on ludicrous.. Here's how it works: Be the first to have 3 "points" in any one resource and you get to cuddle up to the corresponding Catanimal! You earn one point by building a settlement next to a resource tile and upgrading that settlement to a city adds an additional point. By earning a Catanimal, you get an additional victory point in-game. Using these alternate rules, Mayfair suggests playing to 12 victory points with 3-4 players and 11 victory points with 5-6 players.
Catanimal Plush Ore

The prices on these things range from $4.00 to $8.00 each online... Check out for the lowest price I've seen if you've GOT to have them.

Myself, I would say if you wanted to play with these alternate rules, use a brick, a rock from your back yard, a stick, a ball of wool, and some straw or hay in a baggie. Or, just write the words WOOD, BRICK, WHEAT, SHEEP, and ORE on index cards. There. I just saved you $40.

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