Tag Archives: toys

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

One of the most fun things about Mummy’s iPad is the Facetime app. The boy loves to Facetime his dad, or his cousin, or anyone really. I remember walking to the phone box at the end of our road to make a phone call, so all of the communication technology available today is almost a thing of wonder to me. Even now there’s something a bit extra special about being able to video chat with someone. The video chat loving boy and I put a set of Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies to test. What did we think of this latest accessory for junior spies?

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

The Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies from Spinmaster are compact and easy to use. The set comes with two walkie talkies which just need batteries adding before use.

They have a long range (up to 160 feet) and allow you to communicate with video and audio without using Wi-Fi or data. The walkie talkies are simple to use and quick to set up. Each handset uses 3 AAA batteries and they’re suitable for children aged 6+. 

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

The Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies are really easy to set up, just get them out of their packaging, put the batteries in and switch on. To sync the two walkie talkies, when you switch them on press the bottom of the three buttons on each walkie talkie at the same time. The video should show a full screen of the person you are talking to, and in the top left should be your picture – just like on Facetime!

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

They come with detailed instructions, but they’re really straight forward to set up and use. Just don’t forget to sync them when you switch them on and make sure to turn them off when you’re done.

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

Once they are synced you can start your spy adventure – we tested them all over the house and down the street. The picture was crisp and the sound was pretty good too. The small boy really loved the Spy Video Walkie Talkies, he’s had normal walkie talkies before and has liked them, but these are next level spy fun.

Toy Review: Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies

These Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies are around £59.99 and are available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon. They are well made and good quality, small enough for my six year old to comfortably use and without too many confusing buttons.

I can see my boy having a lot of fun with these and his friends. These walkie talkies would be great for siblings to play with and should keep them occupied with serious spy business for quite some time. 

Disclosure: We received the Spy Gear Spy Video Walkie Talkies for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Toy Review: Silly Sausage – the funniest game this Christmas

The first time I saw a Silly Sausage was when one of my friends spotted one in a toy shop and Instragrammed it in a tongue in cheek style. It is a bit of an eyebrow raiser and I did scoff a little at first glance. Then I got to try one and that bright orange plastic sausage quickly became a bit of an obsession. 

Silly Sausage is the new super speedy reaction game from John Adams. The sausage is really easy to use, switch him on and wait for his instructions, but you will need to be fast. The aim of the game is to twist, shake, dip, stretch and poke him and to keep up with the sausage as he shouts out his commands.

Silly Sausage

Featuring ten fast paced reaction games, and three play modes – single, party and turbo, Silly Sausage is suitable for solo or competitive play. Silly Sausage made its debut at a family dinner for the small boy’s birthday over the weekend and everyone wanted a go. 

As you can see from our video, Silly Sausage is fun to play with solo…

 

The higher the level, the faster the sausage goes, so your reactions have to be super-fast in order for you to keep up with him.

There are three different games to play –

  • Chipolata – a speed and reaction game
  • Banger – a pass and play reactions game
  • Jumbo – Memory and reaction game

And there are three modes – single, multi play (party) and super fast play (turbo). I liked the “Chipolata” game, which suited me, a solo speed and reaction game.

I’d be naive if I didn’t acknowledge that a lot of people are a bit nudge-nudge-wink-wink about it, but it is completely innocent, and any Carry On style connotations go completely over the kid’s heads and it’s just the adults who sit quietly smirking.

There will be the minority of people who find the sausage too noisy for them, especially as the music speeds up, but bah-humbug to them. You can’t adjust the volume, which may be a problem for hearing impaired people, and I had to be careful not to cover the speaker with my hand or I’d miss the instruction. 

Silly Sausage will power down if he’s not been played with for a while. If you need to wake him up you just poke the button on his belly. He needs 2 AA batteries and they seem to last a good amount of time (we’ve played with him for days and he’s still going strong).

Silly Sausage

Silly Sausage costs around £19.99 and is available from all good toy shops and in online stores such as Amazon. The game is suitable for ages 7+ but my boy who has just turned six had no trouble at all with it, though smaller children with smaller hands might struggle a little.

I am not underplaying it when I say I really love Silly Sausage, I think it’s hilarious and I’ve always enjoyed playing fast reaction games. For my money, Silly Sausage is the best and funniest game this Christmas!

Disclosure: We received the Silly Sausage Game for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Review: National Geographic Animal Jam Toys

A brand new range of toys from the makers of the popular kids app – Animal Jam has recently been launched, you might have seen the adverts for Animal Jam on TV already. If you’ve not heard of Animal Jam yet, then be prepared to know everything about it by Christmas!

Animal Jam is the number one online social game for kids and it was created in association with National Geographic. The app is free to play and has over 45 million registered users around the world – three million of them  in the UK.

Created in partnership with National Geographic, Animal Jam combines role playing and anthropology to make an exciting educational game for kids. Players can collect fun facts in their journey books, learn about animal conservation and talk to real scientists.

Animal Jam

These toys will be instantly recognisable for fans of the app.  Animal Jam has been brought to life with this brand new collection of toys. They are collectable and all come with exclusive codes to unlock  content and other special  features  inside the online game.

We were sent a selection of the collectable toys to try out, here’s a little run down of what we tried and what we liked…

The Animal Jam Adopt a Pet (Series 1)

These are little pets which come with their own kennel (or dens as they are known in Animal Jam). Each kennel is home to a collectable pet and two accessories. You can customize your pet with accessories and stack the kennels to display your pets. There are 96 of these to collect and they cost just £2.49 which makes it a great pocket money treat. The boy really loved his kennel and out of everything he enjoyed playing with this tiny toy the most. A hit!

Animal Jam

ANIMAL JAM – Friends with Pet

The Friends with Pet costs £4.99, you get a 3 inch figure, a 1 inch friend and three interchangeable accessories. I think this is a great value set, it looks like it should cost more than it does and it would make a great party present for a little Animal Jam fan. We got the Posh Raccoon and Pet Kitty and they are very sweet.

ANIMAL JAM – Light Up Friends with Ring

Another great party present is the Light Up Friends with Ring. These are collectable 3” animal figures and have secret patterns, two interchangeable accessories and a light-up ring. These sets cost £7.99, we were sent the Lucky Lynx and the real hit for the small boy was the light up ring. 

ANIMAL JAM Plush characters

These cute plushes cost £7.99 and are 7 inches tall. There are several plush characters to choose from – Panda, Koala, Bunny & Monkey. We were sent the purple Koala and he is  super-soft and very huggable.

Animal Jam

Since we received these toys the small boy has suddenly seen Animal jam everywhere, we’ve downloaded the app and used the codes which came with the toys to unlock parts of the app. It’s fair to say that this had opened up a new line of interest for him, which is great.

The app is free and the accompanying toys are nicely priced, not too expensive and great for either pocket money (or stocking filler) treats, as well as being good options for birthday party presents for classmates etc. They are suitable for ages 5+ and would be a great little gift for any Animal Jam fan this Christmas.

We were sent these toys for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toys: Meet the new Furby Connect

I was a bit old for a Furby the first time around, I was too cool for school and didn’t really get the attraction. But now I have a small boy of my own I see things through his eyes and the new, all singing, all dancing, all action Furby Connect is possibly the most exciting thing he’s clapped eyes on for a while. 

He’s never seen anything quite like it, and neither have we. It’s like one of the Gremlins has come to life! We will try our best not to get him wet – who knows what would happen if we did!

Furby Connect

The Furby was launched this autumn in time for Christmas and although he costs around £80 (though as ever there are deals and discounts widely available online), he would make a good “big present” for someone.

The Furby Connect is Bluetooth enabled, and apparently this means it knows what day it is. I imagine it will have a thing or two to say on Christmas Day morning. 

Furby Connect

He is easy to unbox, though you will need to unscrew his base from the cardboard and insert 4 AA batteries. Once he wakes up his eyes open and the talking, singing and giggling begin. We’d never quite seen anything like it and we were all in stitches within minutes.

Each Furby has 150 expressive animations which he conveys using his big LCD eyes, wiggling ears and light-up antenna. He is also the softest, fluffiest toy I’ve ever cuddled.

Apparently each Furby is different and acts and reacts differently to how you treat them. Our Furby liked to sit on my knee while I gently massaged him, I knew he liked it because he kept crooning “Oooo deep tissue” and making a happy face.

Furby Connect

We downloaded the app onto my son’s iPad and between the Furby and the app he’s already had hours and hours of fun with it all. With the app you can feed him, play games or take him to the toilet. The Furby Connect World app keeps your Furby updated and apparently brings in new Furby phrases, music, and videos every week that your Furby can interact with.

When the antenna glows on your Furby Connect, it means it is getting an update from the Furby Connect World app and there is something new to discover next time you open the app.

One of the things my son had enjoyed most with the app is hatching and raising Furblings from egg. Another big hit was feeding his Furby who would then let out a large burp – this is not the toy you use to teach table manners, but it is a lot of fun.

I did wonder how I’d ever be able to get our Furby to shut up so we could all get to sleep. Thankfully he comes with his own sleep mask which you attach to his face. After 30 seconds or so of snoring and sleepy noises, he does settle down for the night, only waking when you take his mask off. I really like this feature, I’ve spent the last six years jumping out of my skin when a noisy toy sets itself off in an otherwise silent house at night, so being able to guarantee silence is a big plus for us.

Watch our “Meet our Furby Connect” video here…

I am surprisingly un-irritated by our Furby Connect. I’ve come to look at him as a pet I don’t have to clean up after, and one I can switch off if I need to.

The small boy absolutely adores him. It’s early days but he is enjoying looking after him and making sure he is happy. 

I like that the app keeps him updated and that there are lots of additional play options in the app with the Furby. We also like that he’s really snuggly and adorable. He looks at you with these big eyes, coos gobbledygook at you and you can’t help but be a little bit smitten by him.

The Furby Connect is available for around £80 and you can find them in Purple, Teal, Pink and Blue (ours is the blue one). They are suitable for ages 6+, though younger ones may need some help navigating the app at first. They are widely available in toy shops and through online retailers such as Amazon.

Furby Connect

Disclosure: We received our Furby Connect for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Toys: Transformers Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime

This month we received a Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt to put to the test. Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots and as a result, on every Transformers fan’s wish list. The small boy was no exception, and has long wanted an Optimus Prime of his own. 

The Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt is no ordinary, bog standard Optimus Prime. Yes he transforms like other Optimus Primes (and he does it in 5 pretty quick to learn steps), but this Transformer has a “power surge mode”. More of which later.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime

Optimus is well packaged in a sturdy box and is held in position with strong string. It didn’t take us long to release him so we could start playing with him. He is made from strong plastic, as someone who remembers playing with metal Transformers in the 1980’s, I did inwardly wince slightly when I transformed him, thinking I could easily snap him, but I didn’t and after a couple of weeks of robust play he’s still absolutely fine.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime

Included with the Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime figure are –
     • Mini-Con Weaponizers Aerobot figure
     • Sword accessory
     • Demo battery

It’s great that there is a battery included already (1 AA if you need to replace it), so he’s ready to go as soon as you get him out of the box. Optimus Prime is big, he’s the biggest Transformer toy I’ve ever seen, he’s a statuesque 11 inches tall! The instructions are pretty easy to follow and you can transform him from figure to truck in 5 steps. The truck cab isn’t attached and you have to clip it onto the truck. I do worry that the cab could end up getting lost somewhere in the house.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime comes with an Aerobolt, this is a Mini-Con and you attach him to Optimus and activates the Power Surge mode, helping to convert your Transformer into a weapon. Because the Aerobolt has wings he can help your Transformer battle in the air.

Optimus Prime has pop-out cannons and wings, lights and a selection of sounds. He has four different modes of play: robot mode, vehicle mode, flight mode, and Power Surge mode. Power surge mode is what made my son shout “that’s so cool!” So it must be. In power surge mode his wings open up, the cannons rise up and he makes a whole load of different battle sounds.

There are a few things you need to know when you get your Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime. Firstly, his feet fold out underneath, have a look and just unfold them otherwise he will never stand up by himself. Secondly there is a button behind his head which you can press to make the sounds.

The Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime is for children aged 5+ and my nearly 6 year old LOVED it. He did struggle a bit to transform him, so smaller ones may need a bit of help with that. However once he was shown a couple of times he more or less got the hang of it.

Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime

Optimus is robust and has stood up to some very rough play. He’s been brilliant for his imagination, I’ve often found my son immersed in an imaginary battle between the Autobots and Deceptacons in his bedroom.

He’s not cheap, his rrp is £50 but I actually think he’s worth the money, and as always there are deals and discounts to be had if you shop around. I found him for a little over £37 on Amazon

The Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt is a huge hit. He’d make a fantastic Christmas present and I don’t think you’d be disappointed if you loved Transformers and you were given this for Christmas. I know I have one very happy boy on my hands.

Disclosure: We received the Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aerobolt for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Review: Orchard Toys What’s the Time Mr Wolf?

This month the small boy started Year 1 and his learning has definitely stepped up a level. One thing his class are starting to look at is learning to tell the time. We’ve been talking about the time all year and trying to figure out what the time is on our kitchen clock, but Orchard Toys have just brought out a new game – What’s the Time Mr Wolf? to help 5-9 year olds learn to tell the time. We were sent one to put to the test, so what did the small boy think?

Orchard Toys What's the Time Mr Wolf?

What’s the Time Mr Wolf? is based on the popular playground game and is for 2 – 6 players, aged 5 to 9. It contains a jigsaw game board, character pieces and stands, time cards (with analogue and digital times on them), a slot together wolf and a large clock face with movable hands.

The game has been designed to help children to learn to tell the time and it is also fun and easy to play. Like many of the Orchard Toys games, it can be played at different levels. First play and learn to tell the time on a clock, once that skill has been mastered you can move onto learning to tell the time on a digital clock.

Orchard Toys What's the Time Mr Wolf?

When you open the box and get the game out, there are a lot of different elements, so it might look more complex than it is. The first version of the game (which is what we are playing, as the small boy is only 5) is pretty simple.

Choose a character counter (I was badger, he was hedgehog), go to the start and roll the dice. Move however many squares and if you land on a question mark you pick up a card from the stack of time cards. Then you read out the time, for example “ten minutes past ten” and without looking at the clock face on the back you move the hands on the big clock to that time. If they match then you can add your card to your collection board (with the matching character on it). The first one to fill their board wins.

If you don’t get the time right, then you have to return the card to the pile and the next player has a go. If you land on the wolf you shout “dinner time” and you must take a card from your collection board and feed it to the wolf. The small boy especially liked the shouting part, but I guess shouting is optional.

What's the Time Mr Wolf?

We played after school and the small boy couldn’t wait for his dad to come home from work to play it with him too. It’s great that the What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game is so enjoyable for him, it really helps with his learning. He’s got the game out most days after school which is really encouraging for me. I do have to watch him, I’m not saying he cheats, but I am saying that cheats never prosper!

I can’t really comment on the other version of the game for older players, as we’re not there yet and we’ve not played it, but it does help to teach older kids how to tell the time on a digital clock.

The What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game from Orchard Toys is made with sturdy recycled board and has a wipe-clean finish. All Orchard Toys games and puzzles are really robust and we’ve still got some which are four years old and have been played to death. 

What’s the Time Mr Wolf? is another cracking educational game from Orchard Toys. If you can make learning fun, then it doesn’t feel like learning at all.

To find out more about the What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game, visit the Orchard Toys website.

We were sent the Orchard Toys What’s the Time Mr Wolf? game fore review purposes. All Images and opinions are our own. 

Win a Baby Annabell Newborn doll

With gorgeous new additions for Spring 2016, my first Baby Annabell – part of the Baby Annabell family, the UK’s most popular large doll brand – allows little ones to learn all about nurturing role-play from birth. With dolls and accessories suitable for children aged 0, 1 and 2 years +, your baby can enjoy cuddling, feeding and playing with their very own my first Baby Annabell dolls.

My first Baby Annabell Newborn doll is the perfect first doll for newborns and very young children. Her super soft body is made from cuddly material, featuring a cute facial expression. Suitable for children from birth, she even comes with a rattle inside her tummy to soothe your little one. Age 0 months+

Baby Annabell Newborn doll

Win a Baby Annabell Newborn doll 

I have one lovely Baby Annabell Newborn doll to giveaway. To be in with a chance to win one, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Baby Annabell Newborn doll.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 15th August 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: The Baby Annabell Brother Doll

My five year old is a lovely kind boy (he has his moments of being a horror, I’ll not gloss over that). One of the nicest things about him is that he’s brilliant with younger children. He is very caring and likes to “look after” them. He helps them up when they fall over, he will cuddle them if they’re upset and as a result he’s very popular with his friends little brothers and sisters. Alas he is destined to be an only child, but we were sent the Baby Annabell Brother doll to play with and he’s been in his element ever since.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

I don’t think I’ve ever had a doll like this before. The Baby Annabell Brother from Zapf Creation is incredibly lifelike. The doll, which he named “Samuel” gurgles, coos and cries, sucks when he’s drinking or sucking his dummy, he cries real tears, drinks real water and can be soothed by rocking him and patting his back or stroking his face. Not only does he blink but he closes his eyes and snores when he’s asleep. It’s incredibly lifelike.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

My son loves it, he coos over it and tries to soothe it when he cries, feeds it and tucks it up to sleep in his bed. He’s very proud of baby Samuel. The Baby Annabell Brother doll actually responds to whatever is happening around him, rather than just making noises at random. Whatever technology is inside it to make it be like a real baby is very clever.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

The Baby Annabell Brother doll comes with a baby-grow, a hat, a bottle, a dummy, a bib and a heart shaped pendant. You can play with the doll without the batteries in, but without them it won’t interact with you. It takes 4AA batteries and there is an on/off button just below the back of his neck, which is useful for when you need it to stop.

Baby Annabell Brother Doll

The Baby Annabell Brother doll is suitable for children aged two+ and you can buy extra accessories for the baby if you need to. The doll is widely available for around £50 and given how much it gurgles and interacts with you, this is a very special doll indeed.

You can find out more about the Baby Annabell Brother doll on the Zapf Creation website.

Note: We were sent the Baby Annabell Brother doll for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Kinetic Sand Build – Crash ‘Em Cars

Working in a toy shop I’m very aware of the allure of a box of kinetic sand. It’s been one of the biggest sellers since before Christmas and people are fascinated with how it feels and behaves. It’s 98% sand and 2% silica oil and behaves a bit like playdough but without the sticky horror if it gets walked into your carpet. It’s a real winner for me and the small boy can’t keep his hands off it when he visits me in the shop.

kinetic sand

We were sent one of the newer kinetic sand products to try out, the Kinetic Sand Build – Crash ‘Em Cars. The kit comes pretty much ready to go and contains moulds to make the cars and cones, two car bases, a couple of ramps and two packs of coloured sand – red and blue. Always tough colours to choose from in a Mancunian household.

We opened the box, the inside of which is a colourful track and we began to build our vehicles. You press the sand into the plastic moulds and then put them onto the chassis. This takes a little bit of time, but it’s fun to do because you’re playing with the colourful and tactile sand. 

Once you’ve “built” your cars and made your cones then it’s up to your imagination to run wild with it all. The boys raced around the track smashing into the sand cones and crashing into each other. There was lots of giggling and fun being had.

kinetic sand

The kit had them thoroughly engrossed building and racing their cars for a good hour or so, and they’ve gone back to it several times since, though the different colours of sand are all mixed up now. I think kinetic sand is brilliant. It’s nice to have a kit to play with and do something more than build and shape with it. Kinetic sand continues to be incredibly popular and you only have to play with it for a few minutes to understand why.

The Kinetic Sand Build Crash ’Em Cars set is priced around £14.99 and is available in toy shops and online now. To find out more about the Kinetic Sand range, visit the Spin Master Toys website.

kinetic sand

Note: We were sent a set of Kinetic Sand Build – Crash ’Em Cars for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Top Ten Toy Picks from Spring Fair 2016

Over the weekend I went to Spring Fair in the Birmingham NEC, if you’ve never been, it is THE event to attend if you’re a retailer looking for new suppliers and stock. I went with two hats on, as a blogger and as the Marketing and PR person for a toy shop I work for. The Spring Fair was huge, every hall in the NEC was filled with a different category, but we (me and That Lancashire Lass) were primarily interested in the children’s toys. It was a  long and tiring day, but it was incredibly interesting and I’ve got a better idea about what will be under everyone’s Christmas tree this year (too soon?). 

Here are my top picks from the toy hall at Spring Fair 2016 (Hall 5).

Hippychick Ltd (stand 5Eo1) – Pl-ug Den Building Kits, retailing from £12.99, it is an innovative den building kit, by using the specially designed hooks, suckers, clamps and pegs you can build your own indoor or outdoor den. All you need is a sheet or blanket and some imagination. 

Bigjigs (stand 5G01) – I’m a big fan of the Bigjigs wooden toys, but their “Green Toys” were new to me. The Green Toys are classic toys constructed from recycled plastic and other environmentally friendly materials. I particularly liked their selection of chunky vehicles which had a nice retro vibe. Suitable for ages 1+ I know my 5 year old would very happily play with these.

Fiesta Crafts Ltd (stand 5L04) – Fiesta Crafts are well worth looking at full stop, but my favourite new thing on their stand were their “Stickabouts”. A bit like modern day fuzzy-felt, the Stickabouts have a scene on a board and a load of “stickers” to place, but these glue-free stickers easily peel off and re-stick anywhere you want. If they stick to the wall then they easily peel off. This is a bit of a welcome sticker revelation to me, all the fun of stickers but without having to spend hours scraping them off the wall. 

Clockwork Soldier (Stand 5M49) – these are a new brand to me, but I loved the look of the products and I want mentally picturing them on the wall in my son’s room and seeing him playing with some of the craft kits. They have a beautiful range which includes space, dinosaurs, robots, superhero and dress up. I’m going to campaign hard to see these in the toy shop, I think they’ll sell incredibly well!

Keel Toys (Stand 5D20) – I can’t resist a cuddly toy, but my eye was drawn to the Christmas Elves, these are soft, cuddly and smiley Elves which would be a great gift for December, they’re reasonably priced and would be a jolly visitor from the North Pole is you were going to do Elf on a Shelf this year.

Brainstorm Ltd (Stand 5L27) – one word, StikBots. I think these are going to be pretty big this year, these are small pose-able plastic robot figures with suckers on their hands and feet which you can use to create stop-frame animations with using a downloadable app. They come in an array of colours and will be great for creative kids.

Orchard Toys Ltd (Stand 5K41)  – this stand is worth visiting just to see the Giant Railway Puzzle linked up to the Giant Road Puzzle, and the village and the airport. The Giant Road Puzzle is a classic, and they’ve recently launched a whole raft of new puzzles to accompany that and I know that these will sell incredibly well in the toy shop and kids will love making their own town and transport system at home. Fantastic.

Marbel Ltd (Stand 5K50) – the Marbel stand was showing off some of their new Hape wooden toys products, I’m not sure what if anything I’m allowed to say, but if I use the words “wooden train”, “xylophone” and “just awesome” you know what to look out for later this year. Hape products are really well made wooden toys at a good price, great for babies and toddlers.

Stepping Stones Marketing (Stand 5L47) – are the UK distributors for Lilliputiens baby and nursery toys, these are quite captivating soft toys, but with hidden surprises designed to stimulate the child’s senses. We were quite taken by the lemur cot and pram toy as well as the adorable fox, we liked the gender neutral colouring and the quality of these products.

Jamm Toys (Stand 5L10) – I’m new to Jamm Toys and I was impressed by their range, in particular the cool retro wooden scooters stood out to me, they look like Vespas but for small children. I’d be surprised if I don’t see a few of these being scooted around our local park come Christmas!

spring fair 2016

Spring Fair was enormous, if you’re going then go with a game plan, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a very long day. 

I’ve picked out just ten things I loved from my day at Spring Fair, but honestly there were hundreds of fantastic toys to go and marvel at. I had a really interesting time and I learned an awful lot about toys and what will be big this year. Fantastic!