Tag Archives: Moshi Monsters

Lollibop – The Festival Just For Kids

27 Aug

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The Lollibop Festival is a magnificent 3-day event that is the only one of its kind!

What’s different about this festival from all others, is that it’s solely dedicated to the the little boppers of today (AKA the kids)! This basically means that if you’re between the ages of 0-10 years, then you’re gonna love it! Lollibop is Located within “Regents Park” one of London’s Royal Parks that also plays host to the Famous London Zoo! Lollibop is a child’s paradise, it’s been filled with magic, the type that creates long lasting magical memories for kids big and small

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We decided to check it out on the Saturday which is day 2 of this exciting 3 day event. I took the toddler and my daughter Alice-Sara wheres Little man enjoyed a days gardening with his dad instead. His that bit to old for Lollibop and given he knows this and likes to stick to the “Rules” he protested from the onset.

My sister also came along with my 2-year-old niece Amy. It’s nice when Harley gets to spend time with his cousin as they are both so close in age with just a mere 10 weeks between them. They’re great company for one another even if they do get into a little mischief every now and then!

The days plan basically consisted of leaving early to ensure our arrival at the Lollibop festival for when it opened! However, this simple plan was shattered when I was left running around like a headless chicken looking for odds and ends that I needed to take with me all while the toddler indulged in huge paddy thrashing around on the floor by my feet.

Then just when I thought nothing else could possibly go wrong Little man starts having a meltdown over his brother touching his things. I couldn’t just leave his dad dealing with it all, So in the end I didn’t actually get going till the afternoon! Thankfully South east London isn’t Wales so travelling didn’t prove to be much of a problem, even if we did have pushchairs on the not so child friendly London Underground!

This was our second year attending this festival which was now in its third year. Last year myself and sister just took the toddlers and despite there being one or two little things that needed a little ironing out, it was fantastic, which explains the reason why we were looking forward to discovering just what they had planed this time around.

It was over 90 degree heat that hit London that Saturday and the walk from the station to The Lollibop itself was anything but jolly! Last year the festival was set up in an area of the park that was much closer to the Regents Park entrance.This year however, it was being held much further within the parks grounds.This meant that regardless of the station you arrived at, you were still in for one hell of a walk as the nearest station to the Lollibop is at least 15 minutes walk away. At a guess I’d say that the move may have had something to do with the Olympics because when walking past last years plot I noticed it was occupied by a couple of Olympic mascots alongside hundreds of tourist snapping away at their cameras.

After a long walk through the park in what can only be described as deadly uncomfortable heat, we finally reached destination Lollibop! As expected there was no queuing to be done, what with it being the afternoon we strolled in no problem. Once inside I noticed how this years event was much larger than that of the previous one. Everywhere you turned something magical was taking place! There was clean toilets stocked with tissue at every corner of the park, plus dedicated areas to park up and leave your buggy. The area had been well decorated transforming this park space into a brightly coloured magical children’s kingdom. Large coloured flags hung from tall white beams that had been hoisted up high into the blue skies above, while pretty Bunton was draped around pretty tents, stalls and stands. All around us were hundreds of bubbles big and small floating through the air, it was magical!

As we arrived it was the sounds of the ZingZillas singing that greeted us as it roared out from the live stage that was located right in the centre of everything else making it easily accessible for all.The rest of the festival was divided into numerous different areas each hosting different shows, workshops and more. This therefore made things much easier to find.

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One of the great things about Lollibop is that once you have brought your ticket all the days activities are free (with the exception of food, drink and gifts).This includes all those important little things that kids just love, such as face painting and the opportunity to get themselves a child friendly air sprayed tattoo… Plus loads more besides.

Note: Queues for things such as face painting can become quite lengthy due to it’s popularity so be warned and get inline as early as you possibly can!

Lollibop, had organised some magical entertainment this year. Roald Dahl story telling, Horrible Histories, The science museum and that of the Skylanders area were particularly great for the older children and these seemed to be popular for the duration of the day.

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The organisers behind Lollibop had done a great job to ensure there was enough activities and workshops to keep everyone entertained. There was so much on offer and we felt quite honestly spoilt for choice. One of the first things we did was check out the Halfords riding tent where children were invited to jump on a bike or grab themselves a micro scooter to try. Next up we headed of to see Mister Maker which provided us with the perfect excuse to sit in the shade and cool down for a bit. Mister Maker did an awesome job at entertaining the children. The show last around 20 minutes and within this time he did some quick and easy crafting demonstrations while getting the kids up on their feet and participating in the fun by encouraging them to make various miming actions like pretending to paint, mixing a pot of glue or cutting out shapes. In all honesty, I think the toddlers were quite star struck as their expressions went from that of wide eyed and open mouth to twinkling eyes and giant smiles as they were overcome with excitement.

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Other guest that had Harley jumping up and down for joy was that of the Moshi Monsters who at one point he refused to leave. The Moshlings had also brought along their huge double decker tour bus that doubles up as a Moshi Monsters Discount shop therefore selling everything Moshi monster at cheaper prices. Nonetheless, this did pose a problem for some, especially when kids both big and small could be seen throwing themselves to the ground howling the words “I want, I want!” as their helpless parents stood red faced and close to a mental breakdown.

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This year there was an endless array of crafts and activities on offer. The 3ft and under area was particularly good for little ones with its extra security and fenced of location. WOW toys (one of Harley’s favourite brand of toy) had a great tent that was full of WOW toys for the children to play with while parents were offered the opportunity to grab a beanbag in the shade. I don’t doubt Harley recognised the WOW area from last year when I had no choice but to carry him out kicking and screaming when it was time to move on. This year both Harley and Amy had loads of fun getting to grips with the many different WOW toys on offer and thankfully didn’t do a repeat of last year when it was time to leave.

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This years Lollibop was home to many different children’s tv characters and Harley loved getting to see them all. We even run into the super cute Haribo teddy as he walked around the area handing out sweets to anyone who came his way. We then meet the one and only Titan the Robot and this for me has to be the highlight of the day. This clever futuristic robot was everything you would expect from a robot and more. There was never anything this brilliant when I was a kid! All we got was my dad dressed head to toe in cardboard boxes with bottle tops stuck all over him. Titan was absolutely massive and would have made my 6ft odd brother look a midget. He was also kinda humorous as he let out some very comical one liners. As for my my daughter, she couldn’t get enough of him and therefore ended up chasing him around the park taking numerous pictures for her very own blog

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The live stage offered a wealth of entertainment With a number of great acts such as Mr men and ZingZillas taking to the stage. It was having CBeebies presenter Alex alongside the lovely Katie from the CBeebies show” I can Cook” that really worked up the crowd resulting in a sea of families smiling and dancing till the end.

Alice-Sara was also pleased to see Dick and Dom do their thing up on the main stage, and eagerly participated with all the games that were played.

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Of course We were never going to fit everything in given we had missed out on the mornings goings on, but we still manage to squeeze in a reasonable amount. We finished a great afternoon by way of chilling out on a couple of toadstools over at the enchanted forest where we all enjoyed story time with the loveable Waybloo.

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So, there you have it! The Lollibop was a success. It was bigger and better than the last, a day that I’m sure both myself and the children will remember forever more. With this do you really need to ask the question… “would you recommend the lollibop festival to others ?” My answer… Hell Yer!

If you missed out on the Lollibop this summer then check out the Lollibop Mini Disco due to kick off this October half term (2012) at Ministry of Sound London. You can grab Earlybird tickets for just a tenner per person. Check the Lollibop website that has all the information you need.

Lastly I’ve made a little list of tips you may want to consider if attending the Lollibop Festival in 2013. I’ve also included information relating to the Lollibop’s Disability Access Policy and how these services were provided this year (2012).

Things to consider if visiting the Lollibop:

Arrive early to avoid long queues at the face painting stand.

Check the whether forecast and ensure you pack appropriate supplies for the day. The Lollibop is a festival that takes place during the summer month of August so you stand a good chance of sunshine. Bottled water, plenty of sun protection and sun hats for all are therefore essential. I’d personally advise that you also pop in your bag a suitable lightweight waterproof jacket & some wellies! After all this is London we’re talking about.

Food isn’t cheap but is reasonably priced in comparison to other festivals.

Gifts are reasonably priced with Helium balloons costing around £5.

If the Festival remains in the same area of the park next year you will need to remember that this is a fair walk from the nearest tube station which is Camden town.

Toilet facilities are good so please, there is no need to bring your own
loo roll.

You can check out all the latest updates over on the Lollibop Facebook Page or if twitter is more your thing you can also find them there too!

Autism & Disability Friendly?

Little man didn’t come along but I did check out the Website earlier on in the year on what accommodations would be made for those with disabilities. I also tried my best to follow this up on the day.

Gaining Access To Disabled Facilities: In-order to fully access the disabled facilities a form had to be downloaded, completed and emailed back to the lollibop team. A photocopy of DLA letter or similar must be forwarded to the the Lollibop team with application. This is a good idea in many respects as it allows organisers a way of ensuring disabled peoples needs are fully met. This system also stops people abusing the facilities provided. However this also means you need your forms submitted pretty quickly normally within a few weeks of purchasing your tickets. The final date for submitting a form this year was the 6th of August meaning those with disabilities, would not be able to enjoy spontaneity and would not be able to access the disabled facilities if turning up and buying a ticket on the day.

The Facilities on offer:
LolliBop provides facilities to those with disabilities within that of its own dedicated area “The Arena” A free carer/PA ticket where required can also be provided to ensure the day is both enjoyable and comfortable for those with disabilities. Note: Carer/PA tickets need to be applied for using the form discussed above.

A viewing platform is available at the LolliBop Live Stage so all can enjoy the performances on offer. As great as this seems Lollibop do have a strict one plus one policy (disabled customer + their carer/PA) and its noted that Carer/PA’s may be asked to leave the platform when it is busy to avoid overcrowding. Note the above isn’t great for the single mum with an autistic child and 2 siblings in tow. The parent/carer would struggle if they were unable to leave the two smaller children to be of assistance to the child on the spectrum. A child like mine would be overly anxious to leave their mothers side. However, I do understand why the Lollibop are imposing these rule and I’m unsure If accommodations can be made in these situations as they may well have been this year.

General Notes: All disabled customers are welcome at Regent’s Park, but as it is a greenfield site there are sections of the arena that have uneven ground meaning that sometimes, access is difficult. Lollibop do note that stewards however, will be around to assist those having any difficulties.

I’ve been advised by a mother of a child with disabilities, that the toilet facilities were of a great standard.

Disabled Parking is allocated to the Blue badge holder on a first come first serve basis.

Lollibop Say… We will provide access to the viewing platform for all customers that need use of this facility. This includes, though not exclusively, wheelchair users, customers who are unable to stand for long periods, customers unable to be in large crowds and customers with invisible disabilities.

The music was quite loud as one would expect. However we discovered that ear defenders were on Sale at the official merchandise stall and these were really fairly priced. Despite Little man not attending we brought some ear defenders for Harley as his quite sensitive to loud noise/music.

Upcoming Competition

What’s more I decided to buy an extra set of children’s ear defenders to offer on my blog as a prize. These are great for any child attending a festival but are used a great deal on a daily basis for the child with SPD or ASD. The ear defenders along with a few other pieces will ran as a competition tomorrow.

#Win Family Tickets For The Fabulous Lollibop Festival

10 Jul

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It’s almost that time again for this years Big Bash For Little People… The amazing Lollibop.

I’ve seriously been looking forward to next months Lollibop Festival, so much so, there is a danger that I’m more excited about it than the children.

Myself and sister attended last years event along with our toddlers. I have stored away in my mind, the wonderful memory that was the look on my little Harley’s face when he came face to face with all his idols such as Bob the Builder, George Pig and Raster Mouse to name just a few.

Last week I posted an update on this years line up and if you’ve already checked it out then you will know where I’m coming from when I declare it be… Totally Fabulous and worth getting extremely excited about.

Last year, I found that despite the festival heaving with little partygoers everyone got well looked after. The festival is totally accessible for those with disabilities, it even has a raised platform with wheelchair access. which has been directed towards the main stage. This therefore means everyone gets to see their favourite children’s characters over the sea of heads which is formed the crowd. This doesn’t just apply to those in wheelchairs but also those children with autism or sensory processing disorder who cant do the whole crowd thing (normally resulting in meltdowns). Despite the fact little man didn’t attend last year I was confident that the lollibop was ensuring all children and families the time of their lives.

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There is just so much to do and see while attending Lollibop that if I went through everything this post would simply never end.

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So… Below I have posted a mini update highlighting some of the exciting surprises in store for this years little festival goers.

If You like what you read and I can’t see why you wouldn’t then make sure you enter our awesome competition to win some very sought after family tickets to this amazing event!

ZINGZILLAS & DICK AND DOM TO ROCK REGENT’S PARK
Lollibop, Billed as The Big Bash for Little People, will take place between August 17 and 19 and is aimed at children up to the age of 10.

Festival highlights, include The ‘LolliBop Live’ stage which plays host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment with performances from the likes of the ZingZilla’s, Jassa Aluwahlia (Art Attack) and The Mr Men & Little Miss Party Roadshow. TV favourites Dick and Dom will also take to the stage to entertain crowds with their unique blend of music and games.

Celebrating its first year in the West End, Shrek the Musical will also make a special appearance with a performance from the award-winning show (Sunday 19 only).

Global phenomenon Moshi Monsters will also be on site, bringing the UK’s first Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament to Lollibop. Taking place each day, children are challenged to put their Mash Up skills to the test. All players will also receive a free pack of Mash Up cards, so everyone can join in. Fans are encouraged to bring their own collections with them, as there has never been a better chance to trade with other Moshi Card collectors. Head over to the Moshi tent for lots of other fun and games including character appearances, monster quizzes and more!

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Halfords are creating a bespoke Bike City, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5’s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids bikes. For older kids, highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.

In the Lollipaladium, see the story of The Gruffalo brought to life on the stage with plenty of audience interaction and CBeebies favourite, Mister Maker will be on hand to demonstrate his unique arts and crafts skills.

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The brand new life-size Transformers Optimus Prime Truck will also be at the three day event, giving fans the chance to get up and personal with this movie legend.
Other headline attractions include yoga sessions with Waybuloo, workshops by Horrible Histories, Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre, performances by 8ft Titan the Robot, an Alice In Wonderland tea party and a chance to meet ‘Tiny’, a 125 million years young dinosaur.

Check out the official video (it sure does get you in the party mood)

All of the activities, stages and events are included in the entry ticket price, which start at £22 per person. For more information, including a full programme of events, visit www.lollibopfestival.com

Lollibop have kindly offered me a family pass (consisting of 4 tickets) to give away to one lucky “A Boy With Aspergers” reader. This is a brilliant prize, one worth over a £100 so if your wanting to attend its really worth entering.

All you have to do is complete the mandatory question below leaving the answer in a comment which includes some form of contact details (twitter handle or email is fine).

Question… What will the Moshi Monsters bring to the Lollibop for the first time?

Extra entries (one comment to be added for each additional action please)!

Tweet: “I want to win a family ticket to the #Lollibop with @clairelouise82 & @loillbopuk”

Follow me on twitter

Follow the Lollibop on twitter

Like the Loillbop Facebook page

Pin this Competition on pinterest and include the following hash tag #Lollibop use the button located on the sidebar or if you have one in your tool bar that’s even better.

Lastly: Google + 1 this Competition.

T&Cs
Standard publication T&Cs
• A family pass is 4 tickets to the event and can be used on either Friday 17 August or Sunday 19 August.
• The prize is non refundable and non exchangeable
• No cash alternative will be offered
• Travel is not included
• Closing date is 20th July 23rd July 2012 at 5pm

Competition open to those in the UK only, please leave a contact with your comment so I can contact you in the event you win. Winners are given 72 hours to respond to winning notification. Drawn at random.

 

 

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions

Loquax Competitions

The 2012 Lollibop festival for little ones

4 Jul

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So I went last year with the toddler and it was an absolute blast… Now it’s almost that time again… Time for the Lollibop, the kids festival that has it all.

I blogged earlier in the year to alert all readers that the early bird tickets went on sale, now I can’t quite believe that it’s almost here already!

Last years festival was amazing, I went along with my sister and we both took along out toddlers. Seriously, it was a toddlers paradise. I had to drag Harley kicking and screaming when it was time to leave… He loved it.

If you haven’t got your tickets to this years Lollibop at Regents park then you just may want to after reading the updated line up below.

LolliBop, in partnership with John Lewis, is returning to Regent’s Park this summer, with a line up designed to delight mini festival goers. Billed as The Big Bash for Little People, the event takes place between August 17 and 19 and is aimed at children up to the age of 10.

The ‘LolliBop Live’ stage will play host to some of the hottest names in kids entertainment with musical performances from the likes of the ZingZilla’s, Jassa Aluwahlia (Art Attack) and The Mr Men & Little Miss Party Roadshow. TV favourites Dick and Dom will also take to the stage to entertain crowds with their unique blend of music and games.

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Celebrating its first year in the West End, Shrek the Musical will also make a special appearance with a performance from the award-winning show (Sunday 19 only).

Global phenomenon Moshi Monsters will also be on site, bringing the UK’s first Moshi Monsters Mash Up Tournament to Lollibop. Taking place each day, children are challenged to put their Mash Up skills to the test. All players will also receive a free pack of Mash Up cards, so everyone can join in. Fans are encouraged to bring their own collections with them, as there has never been a better chance to trade with other Moshi Card collectors. Head over to the Moshi tent for lots of other fun and games including character appearances, monster quizzes and more!

In the Lollipaladium, see the story of The Gruffalo brought to life on the stage with plenty of audience interaction. CBeebies favourite, Mister Maker will be on hand to demonstrate his unique arts and crafts skills. Mister Maker is a real life character who gets inspiration to make art from everything around him. Packed full of stimulating ideas, set in his own fantasy art world, prepare to expect the unexpected!

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The brand new life-size Transformers Optimus Prime Truck will also be at the three day event, giving fans the chance to get up and personal with this movie legend.

Other headline attractions include yoga sessions with Waybuloo, workshops by Horrible Histories, Roald Dahl Museum and Storytelling Centre, performances by 8ft Titan the Robot, an Alice In Wonderland tea party and a chance to meet ‘Tiny’, a 125 million years young dinosaur.

Pint sized guests (and grown ups) will notice a few more additions to the 2012 event.

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The ‘LolliBop Kitchen‘ is an exciting new area, where LolliBoppers will have the chance to learn new skills from live demonstrations and interactive workshops, featuring popular blogger My Daddy Cooks.

A new ’Tween Town‘ area will feature a number of activities for older kids including street dance, hula-hooping, magic and beat-boxing workshops, plus an older arts and crafts tent and a brand new laser room!

Halfords will create a bespoke Bike City at LolliBop, which will include a Wacky Races obstacle course for under 5’s, where children can be the first to try out a brand new range of Balance and Apollo kids bikes. For older kids, highlights include a BMX stunt display and demo area.

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Other new areas include: ‘LolliBop Animal Curiosities’, which features animals including a polar bear, a dinosaur and gorillas! ‘The Disco Shed‘ which will have mini boppers (and parents!) dancing the day away and ‘The Village Green‘ – the perfect spot to chill out and enjoy some street theatre.

Back by popular demand, the Science Museum are preparing for a triumphant return to Regent’s Park with an expanded area and dedicated Science Zone.

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For pre-schoolers, the ‘3ft & Under’ area is also back. Confirmed activities include a mini disco, tiny play, little arts, baby ballet, yoga, teddy bears picnic and sing and sign. There will be two boob and botty boudoirs this year, and covered buggy parks and lollishade areas are also being created.

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Old favourites, including ‘LolliSports‘, ‘Imagination Stations‘, ‘Itsy Bitsy Strictly‘ and ‘The Enchanted Forest‘ will all also return for 2012.

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And if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of arts and craft activities, face painting and workshops, including circus skills.

A wide selection of food and drink stalls are on offer to provide a welcome rest.

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All of the activities, stages and events are included in the entry ticket price, which starts at £22 per person. For more information, including a full programme of events, visit www.lollibopfestival.com

Great discoveries at London’s 2012 Toy fair

30 Jan

I recently attended toy paradise (known to most as “Toy fair 2012”) which was located at London’s Olympia’s Grand Hall!

Here you will discover some truly amazing toys, many yet to launch and hit the shelves of our UK stores.

With some 200+ exhibitors of brands big and small, I have been forced to write this post in not one by two sections, as post two will showcase some of my top toy discoveries that I predict will make big impressions on those children with autism and other additional needs. But first here are some of my exciting discoveries of toys that will impress all (yes, children big & small)!

Toy fair ran for three consecutive days 24-26th January 2012. I visited on the last day which meant it was less crowded, therefore allowing me a better opportunity to get up close to toys and have a good old natter with some of the brands representatives.

Web Interactive toys

One of the first things I noted was the hype centred around toys that boast interaction with online websites. H. Grossman Ltd, the guys who brought us them gooey alien eggs that all our children went crazy for, now bring us the brand new, yet a little bit freaky “Deadstone Valley” (My, daughter of nine, is actually quite excited about the launch). Deadstone valley is all about collecting or creating corpses and then burying them on the interactive website. Collect different characters, each in their own coffin, log onto the online, interactive site which allows users to create their own characters and tombstones, then bury them in their own epitaph! This may sound a little gory, yet Grossman’s state that, judging by market research, kids are going to go barmy for the wacky range (judging by my daughters reaction, I can only guess their right)!

Outdoor play

Last year we saw quite a bit of them Moshi monsters, here on the “A boy with Aspergers” blog, it would seem the phenomenon is set to continue and become even bigger this year! In part two I’ll expand, telling you more about the new pocket-money collectables, however for now, check out the super cool all new Moshi Monsters foldable light up scooter which is again brought to us by them guys over at Grossman LTD & Ozbozz.

Staying on the subject of outdoor play and ride on toys, Re:Creations are set to launch its new Razor Flashrider 360 this coming July. The Flash rider 360 definitely looks the business with its super sleek design. The 360’s awesome features allow kids age from 6+ to spin & spark, unleashing 360 degree turns & drifts on dual inclined wheels. You must agree, it looks pretty impressive doesn’t it?

Other top ride on’s included the awesome brightly coloured balance bikes known as “Tinybike” yes, they have already launched and some of you may have come across them before, however I haven’t and having seen them at the toy fair, I was pretty interested in this super cute addition to the world of balance bikes. The tiny design has a tiny price tag too, as these sell from as little as £45.95 and come in 7 stunning colours. Children from as young as 2 years can enjoy a “Tiny Bike”

Another top contender in the world of balance bikes has to be the wooden kiddimoto, with literally loads of designs to select from I quite like the one below, though there is a whole new design range coming to the “Kurve” range of balance bikes! So, with the addition of some very smart head-gear, these are going to ride through 2012 without a hitch.

Lastly, keep a watchful eye out for one of my all time favourite scooter brand’s “Micro scooter” for the new limited edition. It’s of a white colour design and set to be launched in celebration of the London 2012 games.

Toddler Play

What an exciting year it looks set to be for our toddlers & pre-schoolers, what with a delightful range of beautiful coloured wooden toys forming part of the John Crane Sevi range, consisting of some very pretty and beautifully made pieces, such as the stunning wooden dolls house with additional 78 pieces and a fab pretend play collection, including the stunning little orange kitchen and oven, pre-schoolers will be in toy heaven. Another great addition to the sevi range are the beautifully made play puzzles, that double up as a puzzle play area and tidy little storage case.

Gander kids are also set to impress with new additions to its P’kolino collection. The brand that brings us beautiful yet affordable products are gearing up to launch its wooden 5 piece brightly coloured xylophone that can be nested inside on another for tidy & convenient storage once play has come to an end. I’ve received products from this brand before and was overly impressed by its quality.

WOW Toys, one of mine and the toddlers all time favourite pre-school brands, also have some exciting new launches. A real girlie vision of the “Motorbike Max” we now have “Whiz-around Amy” plus a stunning pale blue addition to the range “Ryan’s road trip” aimed at girls and boys alike.

Other brands specialising in pre-school toys that brought some magic to the fair, were BANDAI with their Tinga Tinga tales (already launched but continuing to grow) plus a lovely noddy range of toys and figures. Flair are also launching the much-anticipated range of Baby Jake toys (much to my toddlers delight), where’s the famous LeapFrog brought lots of toy magic with its innovative collection, including a host of new apps and software for its Leapad Explorer (aimed at 4-9 yrs) & by way of its “Magic Discovery Board” which allows pre-schoolers, and children that little bit older, the opportunity to make hundreds of learning discoveries as they explore their local community.

Something for the girls

Toy fair 2012 had plenty to impress the girls of the world! HTI Hello Kitty Vellutata collection is creating excitement on a huge scale, what with a number of huge Advertising campaigns due to hit our TV screens and the fact they were crown winners, bagging themselves an award at this years toy fair for the best girls toy 2012 for its Vellutata Mushroom house! Now you can see why I want to share this. This super sweet but cool Mushroom house, 11 piece playset is so simple, yet creates lots of playability. The set features a pretty pink mushroom house shaped carry case, that once opened up, reveals 4 delightful interior rooms set over two levels. The set includes Kitty and Fifi figures plus additional pieces of furnishing for this cute little house. Other pieces in the range include, pushchairs & pram’s, bags on wheels and this innovative “Magic Oven” a little cupcake makers dream oven, that really bakes!

Other exciting launches for girls, include the Victorious collection, based around Nickelodeons hit Children’s television series. This includes craft sets, fashion dolls, and even a stage for tweens to perform. Brands set to bring the range include flair and H. Grossman Ltd amongst others.

Ingo devices also host a great range for girls delights, many of their products are innovative yet included many of your top names such as the ever-growing monsters high! This range included a D. Camera Necklace + Bracelet that concealed a 1.3 MPX 8mp spy cam, though my favourite would have to be the Monster high 15 inch LCD TV, or the portable DVD/MP3 player with innovative 180 degree routable screen. Also check back on the blog for part two of this post to discover what ingo devices can offer the child with autism and additional needs!

If it’s a dolls house you’re after, then I suggest you look no further than the fabulous KidKraft, the brands range of dolls houses blew me away and I’m seriously considering one for my own daughter. They stock all types of doll house from super modern to very traditional. Some of my favourites are the beautifully crafted “Savannah” as well as the fabulous sleek shopping centre. I feel in love with everything KidKraft stocked. Their children’s furnishings are stunning, with their children’s bedroom furnishings certain to put a smile on the faces of both girls and boys a like. The funky vanity & stool boasting a grown up zebra print, looks set to be a winner, I even want one for myself.

Something for the Boys

There was heaps of surprises for the boys (no children over five can attend the fair, though it would seem the guys where having good fun testing out the boys toys)! Here are some of my top spots!

LEGO was one toy for boys we knew would be a hit, however I’ve included this in post two so wont include it here. IMC toys are planing to launch its fabulous new “Toy Story” range this July 2012. The range includes a funky little RC Spaceship complete with removable woody and Buzz, as will as a RC car (RC meaning remote control). Corgi, also have a fab addition to its collection of collectables diecast models, in the way of Olly, Yes, that’s “Olly the Little white van” from Mini Citv (Really looking forward to that one & so is the two boys)! BANDAI are all set to launch a new Ben 10 range as well as a new Power rangers collection (set to hit stores this July) to form part of the Super Samurai collection, and it’s looking like its going to be a big one! Other great contenders were of course Meccano with some great new construction kits including the new Gears of war 3 (yes, as in that video game). The theme construction kits allow a number of vehicles to be constructed and are due to hit stores sometime this August. Lastly lets not forget Hexbug who have a host of creepy surprises in store, from all new bugs to those controlled with a remote control.

Other exciting toys due for release are new educational games from Orchard toys, Doctor who toys, awesome new LEGO ranges and of course the Kurio Tablet.
All will be revealed in part 2 where I’ll reveal my top spots & predictions for children with autism and other additional needs

Review of the New Baby Annabell

29 Oct

We’ve had an awesome time putting together our first Christmas wish list as part of the Santa’s Little helpers feature. We have been extremely fortunate at how well its taken off, giving us great opportunities to work with some fantastic brands & retailers. 

Now, I’m dead chuffed to announce, that Argos has become one of them fantastic retailers!

 I was flattered when Argos complemented my blog and wanted to work with me. This is a retailer I have always used and remember my own mother doing so when I was a child. 

 It’s really fabulous working with such a big brand, who started by introducing me to their “Fab fifteen” (top 15 toys this christmas) which you have to admit, is a pretty amazing list.

The Argos Fab Fifteen Toys for Christmas 2011 

Pre-school toys

Dance Star Mickey (age 2 +) £69.99

LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Tablet (age 4 +) £79.99

Sesame Street Let’s Rock Elmo (18 months +) £69.99

Octonauts Octopod Playset (age 3 +) £34.99

VTech Kiddizoom Twist Camera – available in pink and blue (age 3 +) £49.99

Boy’s toys

Nerf Vortex Proton (age 8 +) £14.99

Dr Who Dalek Ride-In (age 3 +) £199.99 (currently limited stock, full stock available from 10 October)

Bop It! XT (age 8 +) £26.99

Disney Pixar Cars 2 Secret Spy Attack Finn McMissile (age 4 +) £30.99

LEGO Star Wars Sith Nightspeeder (age 7 +) £25.99

Girl’s toys

Fijit (age 6 +) £54.99

Moshi Monsters Mosh’n’Chat (age 6 +) £24.99

Barbie Puppy Water Park (age 4 +) £29.99

Chad Valley Designa Friend (age 3 +) £19.99

Baby Annabell (age 3 +) £44.99

 Next, the children got to test some of their toys.

One being the brand new ‘Baby Annabell’ much to my daughters delight. ‘Baby Annabell’ is featured in the ‘fab fifteen’ as one of the top 5 girls toys this Christmas. 

 Baby Annabell is made by ‘Zapf Creations’ and is a delightful interactive baby doll that comes complete with bottle and fluffy plush sheep. 

 This doll has so much more going for her than just looking cute. Her interactive features set her apart from your standard baby doll! Talk to baby Annabell and hear her realistic babble, make her happy and listen to her laugh and giggle. Give baby Annabell her bottle and hear her realistically sucking as she drinks. Once she’s had enough remove her bottle to hear her burp just like a real baby. When its time for Baby Annabell’s nap, gentle rock her back and forth giving her bottom a little tap, this will see her drift of to sleep! If your quite you’ll even hear her breathing.

Baby Annabell will wake in her own time, clam her down by gently talking to her as you cuddle.

If all of the above isn’t exciting enough, Baby Annabell also has realistic movements in both her head and arms. 

Alice’s thoughts

  Alice loves baby dolls and over the years she has collected many dolls. I explained to Alice how lucky she was to be sent a baby Annabell and when I gave her the new doll she agreed to give some of her others to St Christopher’s hospice, which made me very proud as my daughter hates to part with anything! This isn’t her being selfish, she couldn’t if she tried, she just finds it hard to part with things, even those that have only ever been played with a small handful of times. 

Nonetheless, Alice has now filled a black sack full of baby dolls and the odd soft toy, and in exchange, is now happily enjoying her new Baby Annabell. 

 I’m sure I don’t need to explain further in regards to how much she loved it! I think the images included in this post pretty much do the talking for me, wouldn’t you agree?

5 stars *****

 Parental perspective

 From a parents perspective, ‘Annabell’ may seem a tad over priced at £44.99, but I can honestly say I’ve paid double the amount for a doll that isn’t half as nice or has a lot fewer features. 

Even if you don’t agree that’s fine as Argos currently have the New Baby Annabell on sale for £22.49 for a limited time only

 I want my little girl to stay a little girl for as long a possible, that’s why I love seeing her play and interact with her baby dolls. 

 Baby Annabell is a very well made doll, from her outfit all the way down to her plush sheep. She’s interactive and moves her head and arms. She has a lot to offer any little girl who likes playing with a baby doll.

 It’s a 4 **** from me, for the simple fact she’s well played with bring a huge smile to my daughters face, which is priceless. 

 Baby Annabell

£44.99 (Currently on SALE for £22.49)  from all Argos stores nationwide, as well as online. 

 Click HERE for more details 

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