Tag Archives: toy review

A DOUBLE WOW!

11 Sep

 In August Harley shared some WOW toys with everybody as part of the, ‘Santa’s little helpers’ feature that’s now in full swing and is in it’s third month. Little H had so much fun playing with these fabulous toys, that I wanted to share some more of their products with you all.

 For those who didn’t see our last WOW toy review back in August,here’s a little more about them.

 WOW toys are designed for children aged between 18 months to 5 years old.

 The guys at WOW know a lot  about toys, all are designed and made from scratch each going through a series of strict safety checks before finally being delivered to the shops.

 Developmental benefits

 WOW toys are packed with developmental benefits! These toys are great  for pre-schoolers as-well as children on the autism spectrum, not only do they help feed a child’s imagination but help develop basic motor skills to advanced social interactive role play.

 WOW toys don’t require any batteries and this is a feature I’m sure many parents will love!

 WOW toys grow with your child, offering great value for money, making them the perfect gift for your little ones.

 This time Harley reviewed Mario’s Pizzeria & Roll it Riley.

 Lets start with Mario’s Pizzeria. 

What you get: This is an 8 piece set, consisting of

 1x Pizzeria 

1x Magic oven

 1x push-along trike 

3x removable pizzas

 2x figures

Special features:

 Magic oven with push to bake button

Spin Mario on  the chimney to choose your topping

 Harley had a lot of fun playing with the pizzeria. His daddy is Italian so it made the perfect toy. Like all WOW toys, all pieces are well made, there are no little pieces all pieces are chunky and ideal for the little hands of a pre-schooler. I don’t know if Little H is advanced but he will already use two toy figures to act out a scene, pretending the figures are communicating with one another, and this is what he did with Mario and the delivery boy contained in this set. His older sister plays this way all the time and I think it’s because he regularly observes her in action. What ever the reason it’s very cute and I sit watching him enjoy himself with a smile. He had fun popping the pizzas in the oven and discovering the magic features (the oven button and spinning roof) As expected H was overly happy with the push along trike and took a number of his other WOW figures for a ride:)When I asked H if he liked his pizzeria, he clapped, and said yes before kissing all the pieces (something he seems to do a lot lately) on this response it gets ***** stars

 As a parent I think it’s a fabulous set, that hosts a great set of features for your child to discover and learn, keeping their little minds busy. The full five stars is given to this toy as it really does give off the WOW factor.

 Next up is… Roll it Riley.

 What you get: This is a 3 piece set, consisting of 

1x Steam roller called Riley

 1x driver called Kev

 1x road sign

Special features

Realistic engine sounds and rattling roller

 motorised toy

Roll and Spin sorter/ face changer

 Harley loved this one as he associated it with Bob the builder. Though  the supplied figure went by the name of Kev, H insisted on calling him  Bob and I gave up on telling him, “Not Bob, that’s Kev” So Bob it was. The face changer was enjoyed by H and as well as pushing it around the living room he sat spinning the roller and copying the expression,  which was so cute but funny at the same time. He played with Riley  alongside his pizzeria and at one stage he swapped roles between Kev  (aka Bob) and Mario:) Lots of fun was had and Riley kept him very busy and fully entertained. ****  stars is again given to, ‘Roll it Riley’!

 As a parent I loved the spin and sort face changing feature (when Riley moved his face expression changed) This made me think about the potential benefits of such a toy for a child on the autism spectrum who has difficulty understanding facial expressions as Riley could prove  a great resource, offering the children a fun way to learn and understand these expressions better. I really laughed on discovering the name of Riley’s driver, “Kev” it’s sad but true, that yes, many blocks in construction are called John or indeed Kev (well, at least it seems this way, as I know of a few, *giggle*) I’m finding it really easy to again give the product the full five stars.

  I highly recommend WOW toys for your toddler/pre-schooler. This is a very honest opinion, otherwise why would this mum have WOW toys hidden in the button of her cupboard ready for Little Harley’s 2nd Birthday which is on the 11th December. We are also planning to add to the collection at Christmas (yes, just two short weeks after his birthday, meaning a very expensive December for this mum).

 WOW toys can be brought from a number of stores both on and off line. Amazon have a great range and Argos stock them too (they are currently including a small number of their Wow toys in the offer, “2 toys for £15″.

Tescos direct are currently stocking, ‘Roll it Riley’ for a steal of a price, at just £10.99. To buy or for more information, Click HERE

Mario’s Pizzeria can be brought from Amazon for another fantastic price of just £16.99. To buy or for more information, Click HERE

Alice gets creative with fab effex

4 Sep

My daughter Alice-Sara had a lovely surprise this morning, let me explain!

Well, nine days ago I arrived home from shopping to discover a card sat on my mat from Royal Mail. Not expecting a parcel I had no idea what my lovely postmen had tried to fit through my letter box with little joy. The parcel had therefore been taken back to the sorting office for arranged collection. Having no idea what it was and having been madly busy, I didn’t have time to collect it till yesterday morning. 

Well, to Alice-Sara’s delight the package that awaited us at the shorting office, was from Spinmaster. 

Spinmaster are the makers of Air hogs, aqua sand, Zoobles and much more.

A few weeks back Alice-Sara reviewed one of Spinmasters  Zoobles and loved it so much, that she’s now acquired five more.

This time Alice-Sara would be reviewing FAB Effex a new craft material that is highly tactile and mouldable. The self sticking reusable material can be moulded into a number of different shapes, and can even be wrapped around pencils to create a twisted . effect 

There are a number of kits in the range, Alice received the FAB effex fashion kit. 

What you get!

150 FAB Effex pre-cut pieces

2 FAB Effex sheets

1 sticky square

3 Paper dolls with stands

I instruction guide

What we thought

Alice couldn’t wait to start, she got all the pieces out of the box and sorted them in to little piles. The pre-cut pieces were nice and bright, though they were a bit random and didn’t have all the correct colours/shapes to match the ones showed on the instructions.

If this was little mans review he would have been quite upset about this, what with his rigid thinking he would have insisted it was done the same as that displayed in the instruction booklet, thankful it wasn’t!

Alice got to work on her first doll. The instructions were not much help so, she followed what she could and used the power of her wonderful imagination to create some awesome designs.

The material is really great stuff to work with. It has a wax type backing that isn’t very sticky to the touch but sticks well to a number of different surfaces, really holding it’s shapes.

You can wrap the strips of FAB Effex around a pencil as to create a ringlet type curly effects, which Alice did for the hair on a few of her dolls. I was pretty impressed with how some hours later the effect had remained in place.

Alice-Sara loves to design outfits and then dress up dolls/models. She has a number of fashion design creations made from paper and card craft sets. Fab Effex was therefore a welcomed change as it gave Alice-Sara opportunities to try something new and a tad different from what she’s used too (Kinda taking her out her comfort zone)

Alice-Sara used the two additional sheets of material to cut out dresses and tops for the remaining two dolls opting to use these instead of the pre-cuts. What’s FAB about FAB Effex is that it’s reusable meaning you can undo and redo if any mistakes are made! This was a welcomed bonus as it saved us from a few diva moments I’m sure!

On the whole Spinmaster have come up with yet another fantastic idea, however the instruction’s supplied were a little disappointing (though the Fab effex website have much clearer and easier to follow instructions).

What Spinmaster now need to remember is, “Not everybody will have the internet available to them” despite the fact we are in the year 2011. We did found that the instructions were also laid out in a confusing fashion, what with the languages being all displayed to together, made it hard to read, and this would not work for a six year old, Alice-Sara is eight and struggled.

However, there are many positives! We loved how the pieces stuck and how they were easily moulded to shape. The colours and patterns were nice too.

It’s a great toy to help stimulate a child’s imagination. All pieces can be used to create a number of different craft projects and can be stuck to a range of different accessories such as, CD and DVD cases, twinklet boxes and more.

This Fab Effex kit can be brought for around £9.99

FAB Effex can  be brought from Amazon, Argos and beyond!

Check out other reviews from fabulous bloggers HERE

We thank blog-match and Spinmaster for sending us a FAB Effex fashion kit in return for an honest review.

Scooby-Scooby-Doo

26 Aug
The Scooby-Doo Show

Image via Wikipedia

Exciting news for all you Scooby-Doo fans (Yes, including this 29 year old mum and her brood).

 For all the latest Scooby-Doo news, including details of new television shows and all the latest Scooby products, (Video games, DVDs, toys, books and more) then get yourselves over to Facebook where you can now discover and be part of the first ever UK official ‘Scooby-Doo fan page’ 

Here, you can find all the above, plus loads of fun scooby-Doo facts, games & art work. Look out for, ‘Monster Mondays’  and ‘Fun Fridays’ when games & fun content is shared, ensuring hours of Scooby-tastic fun!

Click HERE to become a Scooby-Doo fan on Facebook.

As part of the launch the Scooby gang have invited me and the children to become part of the team by reviewing Scooby-Doo’s latest products.

Wow, how could we refuse, after all Scooby happens to be one of my oldest childhood friends, (as I write this the Scooby-Scooby-Doo tune is making it’s way around my head and out my month. What will the neighbours think)!

We received our package last week, from a very smiley delivery man. It was kinda like Christmas, in the fact I had no idea what was being sent out, (well, apart from the fact it was Scooby-Doo related that is).

 We were not to be disappointed when we finally got the box open, for we had been sent the awesome, ‘Hide & Seek Scooby’ Little man too deep in his bus route planning, failed to even look up. However, an extremely excited 8yr old, accompanied by a bouncing 20m old toddler resembling, ‘Tigger’ who was shouting, “See, see” were very keen to get Scooby out of his box.

I have to confess… I was now acting the big kid by declaring, “Mum needs to have a proper look first in order to establish how it works and its suitability, much to the children’s horror!

What you get:

Hide and seek Scooby is a soft interactive toy, that comes together with a remote control which acts as a locator. 

How to play:

The idea of the game is to get someone to hide the Scooby soft toy (be sure to switch him on first) then those with the interactive remote can try to track down Scooby. The locator interacts with Scooby giving the children spoken clues as they go, (a few being, “Your colder than a snowman, and “Your on the right path” etc.) The remote has a light system which also helps the children establish just how close they are to finding him. The light goes blue for cold, yellow indicates you’re getting nearer, and Red means your red-hot (very close to finding him).

Note!

Warning… This toy requires 7  AAA batteries between both Scooby and the remote. This toy is aimed at children 5 years and over.

Putting it to the test:

It was so sweet watching my toddler of 21ms hugging and kissing Scooby. Although the whole concept of the game, is a little much for Harley to understand,the toy itself makes a great cuddle buddy. Harley also had fun finding Scooby alongside his sister. I tried my up-most best to find the most sinister of hiding places, *Evil laugh* Alice loved the clues and the lights which indicate just how close you are to finding Scooby. After about ten minutes she successful found Scooby in the airing cupboard (where the children never visit due to spiders, ha-ha-ha what an evil mummy). 🙂

Verdict:

We all really like the hide & Seek Scooby, even little man had a little go with his sister which makes a pleasant and welcome change from arguing. 

Rating: *****

Hide & Seek Scooby is featured in our Santa’s Little helpers and can be brought from all good toy stores including Argos & Toys R us for £29.99 (price does very)


Limited Edition Lime Green Maxi Micro Scooter

22 Aug

Little man had one hell of a surprise ready and waiting to greet him  when he returned home from his cousins at the end of last week. A stunning Limited edition lime green maxi micro scooter for him to review.

Little man isn’t really the kind of child that wants all the latest  stuff though his pretty good at asking for stuff in general! However, this largely consists of anything from train sets, bus models, xbox games, to the more unusual request, such as working shop tills, torches, fly catchers, pens or even padlocks. So I was full of delight when he told me he had seen a pretty sick scooter (his words, certainly not mine).

How overjoyed was I when the lovely Hayley (Mini micro PR) sent me an  email asking me what micro scooter we would be interested in reviewing as part of our Santa’s little helpers’ I knew it would plant a massive smile on his chops, and boy I wasn’t wrong. What makes Maxi micro scooters stand out from the crowd.

The design

A seriously stunning piece of equipment, it’s almost neon green colour contrasting with jet black, gives the design a real funky edge.

It has an extending T-bar reaching a maximum height of 93 cms and its lime green base is designed to be low to the ground (yet remains very robust) It has tough PU wheels and lime green handle grips for maximum comfort.

The scooter has a three wheeled design aiding the child’s stability while riding.

A follow on from the Micro mini the Maxi micro is designed for children aged between 6-12 years, taking the maximum weight of up-to 50-kg.

The Maxi itself weighs in at just 2.5 kg and its removable T-bar allows the scooter to be stored away or dismantled for travelling. This was an important feature for us, what with the delivery of the scooter the day before we went away there was absolutely no way he was leaving it behind.

Little man puts it to the test.

Little man loved it and has had fun scooting about since it arrived. His not once had an accident (a rare occurrence for him) and the next door neighbour (his little friend, thinks it’s awesome too). It’s currently his bestest thing in the world after his transport collection that is! When asking him what he rated it out of 10, he answered, “100” I guess that pretty much sums it up, he loves it!

 Parental prospective.

When it first arrived I instantly loved the colour and design, but couldn’t see why it was different from any other scooter! Well, I must be showing my 29 years as Little man firmly put me in my place. It was only when seeing what the Maxi micro scooter could do, did I really,”Get it!” This really isn’t any scooter, it’s so much more! 
The Control your child gains over the steering is brilliant. I just loved the fact it had three wheels. Little man is under an OT as some areas of his gross motor skills are below other children of the same age (a direct result of the Aspergers syndrome). He quite obviously had much more stability riding the Maxi micro as opposed to any other scooter his tried.  Oh and this scooter is somewhat of a,”Mean Machine” as it wasn’t slow either! Don’t panic though, it’s easy for your child to control their speed which is dependent on how much leg power they initially put into it and the type of surface being used (be careful with hills). The scooters braking mechanism is also really good making it a pretty safe scooter.

All Maxi and Micro scooters have an outstanding safety record, they are really well built and designed by micro mobility systems, (a well respected Swiss company).

As a parent I couldn’t give it any less than the full whack when it comes to ranking it. Yes, it will set you back a bit currently priced at £99.95 but this is a scooter designed to last, offers so much more than your standard scooter, plus it has an outstanding safety record (which you just can’t put a price on)! 

Check Maxi & Micro scooters out for yourself by clicking HERE.

Girls can do Meccano too

20 Aug

When we came back from our break away, the children where delighted to  discover they had some rather lovely Meccano sets waiting for them.

Later that day I was chatting with a friend online why the kids got  busy with their reviews (no rest for the wicked) My friend asked me  what my daughter was up to. Well, to say she was a little shocked when  I told her Alice was busy with her own Meccano set, was an  understatement! Honestly, you could hear the gasp from miles. Seriously  people, are we still stuck in the dark age where girls were expected  to play happily with Barbie and only Barbie?

The lovely people at Meccano  sent Alice-Sara, the rather pretty,  ‘Girls tool box construction set’ Wow, take a look at this and tell me  Meccano is not for girls! This is totally chick, very appealing to any  princess, I’m sure! A 60+ piece set all stored inside one very pink  and glittery tool box.

This girlie set is aimed at little ladies aged from 5-8 years. Each  set comes with an instruction booklet which is broken down into easy  to follow steps to enable your child to construct a total of ten  different girlie vehicles (note… only one piece can be built at any  one time).

Alice is 8 years old, and at the, “Higher end of the recommend age range” that has been given for this set. This showed as she had no trouble  following the instructions and constructing a range of different models. She commented that she enjoyed the challenge of constructing  the different models and had lots of fun doing so! Alice has built all  10 models in the instruction booklet. Here favourite is the funky buggy type car, she has dismantled this reconstructing it back together a  number of times. Alice seriously enjoyed the meccano set and rated it a 10

From a parental prospective, the Meccano set for girl’s, is a great  addition to the children’s construction range. It’s my opinion that  Meccano should bring some new girlie additions to this collection in  time for Christmas (here’s hoping they do) I will be honest, I was tad  disappointed that Alice did not require my help! I was kind off  looking forward to showing her how it’s done (though I think she may  have done better than I would have, probably showing me a thing or  two)! It’s great that brands like Meccano and Lego are now marketing their toys at girls as well as boys. When I was a kids I looked to get  my mitts on my brothers Meccano, but he would always tell me, ‘It’s  not meant for girls!’ We live in a world where little girls grow into  woman who choose to become mechanics and train drivers therefore why  shouldn’t we play with toys like Meccano.

Meccano helps the development of hand/eye co-ordination and fine  motor skills, it also helps a child gain independence and teaches them  how to follow basic step by step instructions. The beauty with Meccano  is, the sense of achievement it brings when a child has constructed a  model independently. The accomplishment helps build confidence, a very  important life skill. This is a set that receives a huge thumbs up from mum.

We were sent this product direct via the manufactures. However through  some online research it would seem that the, ‘Meccano girls tool box  construction set’ can be brought from a number of well-known stores and is priced at around £19.99 by most stores including Toys R us (though prices do vary).

Look out for our next Santa’s little helpers review to discover how  the boys found their Meccano sets…Coming Soon!

Are you ready for the next playground craze

19 Aug

 I’ve been seriously excited about sharing this review, but had my  instructions to hold of from posting till nearer the big launch date.

 Bumpeez are set to become the next big pocket money, playground craze  throughout the UK.

 Bumpeez are twin packs of fun collectable, pocket money toys priced at  just £1.99. These exciting new toys are all set to hit newsagents, toy  stores and supermarkets nationwide from the 24th August 2011.

 When I received the email back in the beginning of July, asking if the  children would be interested in giving Bumpeez a try, I knew these  would be an instant hit with Little Man.

 Bumpeez are aimed at both boys and girls between the ages of 5-11  years (though little man is 11 on the 1st of October, I think these  may appeal to those that little bit older too).

 Its fair to say that when it comes to collectable pocket money toys,  many children on the autism spectrum take to them like a duck to  water! Just look at Pokemon, (a game which is said to be created by a  guy with high functioning autism, likely, ‘Aspergers syndrome’) or  that of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, both have  been a hit with children on the  spectrum. This is not only for the appeal of forming a collection but  also the social aspect that surrounds these games,Just like Bumpeez  they offer the opportunities needed to better a child’s social  skills.

 Bumpeez go one step better! These are not cards but instead highly  collectable solid circular chips encased in a highly tactile removal  silicon ring that come in a variety of different shapes, colours and  sizes, (another appealing aspect for children on the autism spectrum  who may require lots of sensory/tactile input during play).

 The idea of the silicon outer ring is to allow the Bumpeez to bounce.  These can then be bounced against different surfaces to play tricks or  games. The different shapes of the ring mean each will require varying  degrees of skill to bounce.

 Bumpeez offer the child versatility in that they can be played both  with or without the silicon ring, either indoors or outdoors. There  are already a total of 25 games created, yet children are encouraged  to make up their own, improving the child’s imagination skills (an  essential tool for those with autism).

 Collectables

 Little man loved his packet of Bumpeez that contained the characters,  ‘Cloud’ & ‘Candy killer’ He loved how there were so many different  characters to collect, 100 in total. Bumpeez also have 10 different  colours to collect.

 The overall goal is for the child to collect all the coloured chips  with matching coloured rings. Each chip has its own character and  trading value. ‘Omar’ is the lead character therefore the rarest with  the highest trading value. Other characters include Omar’s friends,  Robot, Pam and Johnny-Q.

 Little man loves the whole trading concept that surrounds Bumpeez. He  told me that the fact you don’t know what bumpeez you’re getting makes  the collecting aspect more exciting.

 From a parental point of view, I found Bumpeez to be great value for  money. The fact that each pack contains two bumpeez is fantastic. I  have known other products aimed at children labelled as “pocket money  toys” priced at anything but pocket money prices. I can honestly see  little man collecting these from the time they hit the shops next week  till the day they disappear! I can easily vision my 8 year old daughter  following suit much to little mans “delight” (yes, that was good old  fashion English sarcasm)! Since early July when little man first  discovered Bumpeez his continually asked, “Mum, how much longer till I  can get some more Bumpeez?” I’m being driven loopy with anticipation.  He has already taken these into school (an autism special school)  before the end of term and told me his class peers showed a keen  interest his new toy.

 It seems that the fun that can be had with Bumpeez is limitless. What  with the chance to acquire special rear addition packs containing,  silver, swirl (Bi-colour) & golden chips resulting in the child  winning a fantastic prize makes the purchase of a packet of Bumpeez  even more exciting.

 “Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!” Bumpeez have an interactive  feature. The online element means kids can access cool game, tips and  tricks, plus lots of new and exciting features at the official website: http://www.bumpeez.com

 So, parents be prepared… in just 5 days from now Bumpeez will hit  the shelves of your local store, how cool will you look when your  child asks, “Mum, what’s these?” and your able to tell them with  confidence!

 Bumpeez will be available to buy at all good newsagents, independent  toy stores, (such as the entertainer) national supermarkets and high  street stores including WHsmiths & Toys R us from 24th August priced at just £1.99

Alice reviews the new Zoobles

16 Aug

My little girl is loving her role as one of the three Santa’s little helpers. She is very keen on toys, the littler the better. She has collected everything over the years, from Polly pocket & puppy in my pocket to the littlest pet shop. Can you imagine her excitement and delight when Blog Match offered her  the chance to review the brand new Toy ‘Zooble’ a funky little ball that springs into a magical creature

We received the Zooble called,’Icetasia’ while Alice was away with her Grandmother getting a much needed break from a very demanding Little man. She was delighted to discover her Zooble on her return back home.


Zoobles by Spin master are one of the latest collectible toys to hit the toy market, they are aimed at little girls aged 4 years and above, and come in at least 250 different designs.

Alice-Sara loved her Zooble Icetasia  so much so, that the following day, having opened her Zooble less than 24hrs before she had decided she needed another Zooble ! This resulted in her roping me into taking her on a trip into town where she brought Zooble number two with her packet money.

 Zoobles come in lots of colours and designs, no two are ever the same meaning you are able to a keep adding to the collection without the disappointment of accruing doubles. Alice described the New Zoobles to be ultra cute, fun little magical creatures. Each Zooble comes with its very own habitat and once you have placed your Zooble on its habitat you will see it spring open converting itself from a coloured ball to a funky, yet magical little character. As if, Alice didn’t find this bit fantastic enough she also told me about her joy at discovering that the Zooble contained a hidden but welcomed surprise, a “mini baby Zooble” that is can be found in the Zoobles tummy when popping open. The mini baby Zooble can be removed, joining its mummy on her habitat. Zoobles also have other cool features such as the ability to wiggle their ears, blink eyes and wag their tails when petted. Icetasia had little moving feet enabling  her to stand alone. Alice gave Zooble a very respectable ranking of 9/10

Parental overview

It’s hard  as a parent to keep up with what your children are into as their interest are forever changing (unless your like little man). It was clear to see from the onset that Alice-Sara would love zoobles , as stated she has since added to her collection by getting another Zooble with her pocket-money  which highlights just how much she likes these. Zoobles are new, yet very affordable starting at around £5.99 The fact that the collection is quite extensive means that I can now buy some other designs for both her birthday and Christmas helping her form a collection. Parental ranking is 9/10

Conclusions

Zoobles are available to buy from a range of toy stores including Argos and are on sale now. Spin Master have brought us a very nice little addition to Alice’s toy collection. All Zoobles are very affordable making it a great stocking filler at christmas. I predict that we are going to witness many little girls becoming Zooble crazy this christmas!

Quick note

Zooble have a cool fun site for kids to visit as well as a Zooble fan page on Facebook. The website is very magical with music and videos, Children can visit the different lands to discover what creatures come from where. Facebook fans can gain all the latest information on Zoobles.

Check out some other Zooble reviews from fellow mum’s…

Me and my Kiddy winks

Mummybird

Seasider in the city 

This review was done as a member of blog match the site that brings both bloggers and brands together. Alice was supplied with a Zooble free of charge for the purpose of the review

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