Category Archives: Toys

Toy Review: Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader Set

Kinetic sand has been incredibly popular for a few years now. It’s great stuff, kinetic sand is 98% sand and 2% silica oil and behaves a bit like playdough but without the sticky horror if it gets walked into your carpet. We play with our box of kinetic sand regularly, it’s really tactile and great for building and moulding. But what about the newly released kinetic rock? We got our hands on the new Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader set to see what it was like.

Toy Review: Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader Set

Kinetic Sand is the leading sand brand in the UK. It’s a perennial favourite and kids and adults love the feel and texture of the magical mouldable sand and rock. You just can’t stop playing with it!

The Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader set is suitable for children aged 3+. When I gave it my 7 year old he went completely nuts for it. The set comes with a loader with three changeable attachments (a bucket loader, a jackhammer and a drill), it also comes with a poseable construction figure and shovel, pick, wrench, lunchbox and a bag of the gold kinetic rock too.

The set itself is great, really well thought out with lots of tools included. The way you can change the attachments by clipping them on and off the front of the loader is very clever and really simple for children to do. The construction figure is about the same size as a Lego minifigure and slots together easily.

Toy Review: Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader Set

Kinetic rock and kinetic sand are great for hands-on, imaginative play. My son has played with it very happily every day since we opened the box. He creates all kinds on construction scenarios and plays them out. He’s got a lot of construction toys, so sometimes extra diggers come along and join in the fun!

The kinetic rock is made from natural rock and it somehow, magically stick together. It’s really tactile and mouldable, so great for this construction site. We use a plastic tray with a deep lip to keep everything together, it helps to stop accidental rock spillages. Though even though the rocks will stick together, they won’t stick to your carpets, you can pick them up or vacuum them if you need to.

If I were to criticise anything, the bag of kinetic rock included is a little on the small side. If I were buying this again I would buy an extra bag of the kinetic rock to go with it, especially if more than one child will be playing with the set.

The Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader is a great play set with the potential for lots of creative, imaginative play. My son really enjoys playing with the set and I actually prefer it to the kinetic sand, I think I prefer the slight chunkiness of the rocks. The small boy thinks it’s brilliant!

The Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader Set costs £16.99 and is available at all good retailers nationwide. For more information, visit their website.

Toy Review: Kinetic Rock 3-in-1 Loader Set

Disclosure: We were sent this kinetic rock set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Meegos Series 1 – New Cuddly Crochet Collectibles

Collectibles are always popular with children, but the things they want to collect might not always delight parents too. This month sees the launch of Meegos – handmade cuddly crochet dogs and puppies which are suitable from birth and are very sweet indeed.

Meegos are handmade in Bangladesh through a workers co-operative. The first order alone created jobs for over 4000 women! These cute crochet characters are fairtrade and they have brought flexible, sustainable employment to over 200 villages. They’re a cute collectible with a real feel-good factor!

Meegos Series 1 - Cuddly Crochet Collectibles

Meegos come in two sizes. There are Meegos Dogs which are 5 inches tall, cost £12.99 and take five hours to make, there are nine of these dogs to collect. There are 18 Mini Meegos crochet characters to collect. The Mini Meegos take 1.2 hours to make by hand, stand at 2 inches tall and cost £6.99 each. The Mini Meegos come in “Blind Boxes” so there’s the element of surprise when you buy them.

The Meegos are beautifully made. They’re handcrafted so although they’re made to a pattern, each one will be slightly different, something which I really like. They’re made from 100% cotton and filled with polyester and can be thrown in the washing machine on a cool wash.

Meegos Series 1 - Cuddly Crochet Collectibles

I really like handmade gifts and these are really lovely. They would make a nice little Christening gift, they’re also the perfect stocking filler size (if I’m allowed to say that in April).

One thing which does let them down slightly is the packaging. The flimsy box just doesn’t do this really lovely, premium product justice. However, if I were giving them as a gift, I would probably take them out of the boxes, wrap them nicely in tissue paper and present them nicely.

Meegos Series 1 - Cuddly Crochet Collectibles

Series 2 is going to be launched later on in 2018 and will feature Wild Animals. I genuinely can’t wait to see what they’ll look like.

This first series of crochet collectibles are available now at selected Sainsbury’s and Debenhams stores. For more information, visit their website.

Disclaimer: We were sent these Meegos for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

Last year, probably very high on most Christmas lists you’d find Fingerlings. They were cute little monkeys who would cling to your finger and be adorable. This is all very sweet; but for my son who favours a fearsome dinosaur over almost anything else, the thing he’s most been looking forward to this spring was the launch of UNTAMED Raptors – fearsome dinosaur fingerlings which roar, snap and snarl at you.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

The UNTAMED Raptors which have just been launched in the UK are available in four different characters; each with its own name and unique personality. Choose from Stealth, Blaze, Fury and Razor. Each raptor has snapping jaws, gripping claws and they react to touch, motion and noise. They have over 40 different sounds and reactions. The UNTAMED Raptors are based on Velociraptors, so would tick some boxes for young dinosaur fans like my son.

We welcomed Blaze the Raptor into our home. We weren’t really sure what to make of him, until I spotted the on/off button on the back of his head. He immediately sprung to life, snarling and chomping.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

I was a little worried that Blaze (our Raptor) would have pretty limited appeal; but he’s been a roaring, hissing part of our lives for a few days now. I asked my son what he thought of it, and he said he liked all the noises and the way it moves. He’s figured out more or less where to tap the Raptor to get it to react to him. Although he left it alone when he left the room and it lay there thrashing and roaring to itself for a minute or two which was quite funny.

It’s a sturdy figure, made of plastic and colourfully painted. It has moving parts such as its eyes, mouth and head and its legs are positioned so they wrap around your finger. The space where you put your finger is quite small, it is absolutely the right size for my son’s fingers, but a little too tight for my dainty digits.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

It fits in really well with my son’s extensive dinosaur collection. What sets it apart is that it is so animated compared to the rest of his figures. It has a slightly cartoonish appearance, but with all the snarling, roaring and chomping, it makes it a little bit adorable, in a fearsome way.

The Verdict: Really cool dino figures who respond and react to you. They seem to be really good quality, they’re certainly lots of fun and they’re very appealing, especially to dinosaur fans. We think they’re roarsome!

The UNTAMED Raptors Fingerlings are suitable for ages 5+ and cost £16.99 each. They are available to buy from The Toy Shop, Smyths Toys and Argos now.

Toy Review: UNTAMED Raptors by Fingerlings

We have been sent the UNTAMED Raptor for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Blogger Board Game Club: Codenames Pictures

I am part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club run by Playtime PR. Each month 50 bloggers are sent a board game to play and put to the test. This month we were sent Codenames Pictures card game to play.

Blogger Board Game Club: Codenames Pictures

Last month we struck Blogger Board Game Club gold with the Timeline British History Card Game. It was easy to set up, the rules were simple, everything fit into a little tin so you could take it anywhere easily. This month we were sent the much more complicated Codenames Pictures game which comes with a 12 page set of rules and instructions.

Ideally you need a minimum of four people to play this game, we tried with just two and it wasn’t as exciting as we suspect it could be. In teams of at least two people, one of you plays the role of Spy Master, the others, are Field Operatives. The spy master has to give cryptic clues and the field operatives have to guess the answer correctly. Innocent bystanders can get hurt or your rival spy team could get the upper hand. Either way, it’s complicated.

Blogger Board Game Club: Codenames Pictures

Codenames Pictures is described as a simple guessing game, but it’s harder than that. The spy master has to give the field operatives a codeword relating to one of more of the picture cards on the board. For example there might be a fish in a glass of water. The spy master might give the clue “gills”; the field operatives then have to touch the card or cards they think they relate to. If this is guessed correctly then the picture card is covered with a red or blue spy card. This depends on what the pattern on the key card is, see, it’s complicated.

I’m not even going to try to explain how the game fully works, there’s a 12 page booklet you can read if you want the full rundown.

Blogger Board Game Club: Codenames Pictures

Codenames Pictures is aimed at people aged 10+. I think once you’ve got a small group of players together and everyone has read the rule book several times, then it could be quite fun. But it is quite complicated and the kind of thing you need to absorb yourself in for a few hours. Each game is quite quick really, it should take around 15 minutes per game. But if you’re going to go to the trouble of mastering the rules, then it’s worth playing a few games in one sitting.

I probably sound quite down on Codenames Pictures, but I’m not really. It’s not the kind of game I would normally go for. I like quick to set up games with simple rules. This is fairly quick to set up, but all the rules are a bit much for me.

Would I play Codenames Pictures again? Probably, but only with a group of friends and with a bottle of wine.

Find Codename Pictures on Amazon today, rrp £15.99.

We were sent the Codenames Pictures card game for review for the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. All images and opinions are our own.
Find other board game and toy reviews here.

Board Games: Timeline British History Card Game

I am part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club run by Playtime PR. Each month 50 bloggers are sent a board game to play and put to the test. This month we were sent Timeline British History Card Game to play.

Board Games: Timeline British History Card Game

We took the Timeline British History Card Game on holiday with us over half term. We were staying with some friends in a cottage with no TV; so I packed a few things to help the evenings fly by. We’d not yet played the Timeline British History Card Game, but we are all trivia fans so it felt like it would be a hit with us all.

The card game is pretty simple. It comes in a tin which makes it perfect for taking on holidays. There are 110 cards in the pack, on one side of the card is an historical event, on the other is the date of the event. Each player starts off with four cards. Taking it in turns, each player lays down a card in what they think is the right date order. If you get it wrong then you have to take another card from the pile and keep playing until someone has played all of the cards.

Board Games: Timeline British History Card Game

It can be a really quick game, or it can go on and on, depending on your knowledge of British history. I found I was pretty good with 20th Century history, but a bit wishy-washy before then.

This is absolutely my kind of game. I love a bit of historical geekery and we did get a bit competitive. The Timeline British History Card Game is suitable for ages 8+. Unless younger players have a pretty good knowledge of British history then it’s not going to be much fun for them. For four adults sharing a bottle of wine and a competitive nature, this is excellent fun.

Board Games: Timeline British History Card Game
The Timeline British History Card Game costs around £13.99 and is widely available in toy shops and online.

We were sent the Timeline British History Card Game for review for the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. All images and opinions are our own.
Find other board game and toy reviews here.

Toy Review: Zak Storm – Zak’s Hover Vehicle

Zak Storm seems to be one of my son’s current obsessions. If you’ve not heard of him yet, he’s a “Super Pirate” who goes on lots of amazing adventures. My son loves him and he was so pleased when I downloaded the free Zak Storm app and gave him the new Zak Storm Hover Vehicle to play with.

Toy Review: Zak Storm - Zak's Hover Vehicle

Surfer dude Zak is taking part in a surfing competition when he is suddenly sucked by a giant wave and ends up in the Bermuda Triangle. Zak finds himself as the captain of a ship called The Chaos. Zak and a band of misfits (among them; an Atlantean princess, a Viking, an alien, and a ghost boy) and his talking sword Calabrass; he travels across the Seven Seas, to find his way home. I confess, it took me a little while to get my head around this, but to my son it’s a cool pirate show, which is all I needed to know.

Zak’s Hover Vehicle takes his surfing skills to the next level and features a missile launcher for when he has to do battle. The figure included is the “Blazz Zak” posable figure, which is dressed in his signature pirate gear, he also carries a Calabrass sword for fighting his enemies.

Toy Review: Zak Storm - Zak's Hover Vehicle

Zak’s Hover Vehicle costs around £14.99 and is suitable for ages 5+. It would please most Zak Storm fans. My son enjoyed posing the figure on the vehicle as well as shooting the missile across the room.

We were also sent two bags of Zak Storm Collectible Coins (£4.99 each). Each bag contains four plastic coins, each around the size of a £2 coin, with a pirate motif on the front, and on the back there’s a QR code which you scan into the app.

Toy Review: Zak Storm - Zak's Hover Vehicle

The Zak Storm Super Pirate app is free to download (find it in the iTunes store or on Google Play). You scan the QR codes into the app and each coin awards you gold coins; special powers, weapons, health it or opens up new levels in the game.

He had the most fun with the Zak Storm app. We downloaded it and let him play with a few days before we gave him the Hover Vehicle and coins. The app has great game play and features Zak and his crew battling to reclaim the Seven Seas from Skullivar – the Pirate King. We don’t usually let him play for very long on the iPad; but the app had him engrossed and engaged for quite some time.

Toy Review: Zak Storm - Zak's Hover Vehicle

If I’m honest, I think at £14.99 the Hover Vehicle is a bit expensive for what it is. I’d happily pay £9.99 for it, so if you spot it at that price, grab it. However, if you throw in the app and a few bags of the coins; then I think as a package of sorts it is good value. I’m pretty sure my son would happily play on the app with the coins and the vehicle for hours if we let him.

Zak Storm is a connected play experience, where kids can watch, play and level-up. They’ll enjoy an exciting new kind of mobile gaming experience! I can say that my son really enjoyed playing with the vehicle, coins and the app. Together they would give hours of entertainment for any Zak Storm fan.

The Zak Storm Hover Vehicle and Collectible Coins are available from a range of toy shops, including Smyths.

We were sent these Zak Storm products for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Flush Force Collectibles – Series 1

If you’re of a nervous disposition, or if you dislike toilet talk, please look away now. Generally children like disgusting things. They like to do disgusting things and talk about disgusting things, and as one of those disgusting children who had the misfortune to grow up; secretly I love these disgusting things too. This week my 7 year old son got his hands on some of the new Flush Force Collectibles and our house went toilet mad!

If you’ve not heard of Flush Force before, they are toilet based collectibles. There are 150 characters to collect from the grossest gang around, including rare and super rare Flushies; plus a range of toilet based accessories. I did warn you.

Toy Review: Flush Force Collectibles - Series 1

The Flush Force characters come inside sealed toilets. Lift the lid on the tank, fill them with water and shake, shake, shake. If the water changes colour you’ve found a rare character. The pocket money priced collectible, which is known as Flush Force Number 2 is a small toilet which contains two characters. It costs just £2.99 and is as joyfully gross as you’d imagine.

(Brace yourself).

There are two other packs you can get to give your collection a boost. The Filthy Five Pack (£5.99) which sees five filthy creatures clogging the toilet. To see which mutants you have, fill the toilet’s tank with water and shake. If the water turns green you have a rare clogger, if it turns purple you have found a super-rare unflushable!Toy Review: Flush Force Collectibles - Series 1

If five of these disgusting collectibles isn’t enough, the Bizarre Bathroom 8 Pack (£10.99) contains 8 gross collectibles. Each Flushy belongs to its own group. You might get a Squirmin Vermin, Grimy Grubs or unflushable Putrid Parts! It’s always a surprise to see who is lurking inside. All you do is fill the tank and shake to reveal your which of the 150 collectibles you’ve discovered lurking in the toilet bowl.

Lastly, you need somewhere to keep your collection, the Flush Force Collect-A-Bowl (£14.99) is probably my favourite part of this Flush Force collection. It’s a bigger toilet which when you flush it, it plays a range of different disgusting noises; from your standard flush, to several different kinds of trumps. The toilet bowl is large enough to store your collection and comes with four exclusive Foul Floater Flushies. We’ve had so many laughs playing with this noisy toilet.

Toy Review: Flush Force Collectibles - Series 1

Flush Force is aimed at children aged 4+. It’s perfectly pitched for my 7 year old. It’s pretty gross, the characters look suitably disgusting and have names to match. The “flush to reveal technology” as they call it is very clever, though we are yet to discover a rare figure. There’s also a free Flush Force App you can download which allows you to explore the fictional town of Flushville and play some gross games.

As collectibles go, Flush Force is disgusting, but that’s probably why my son loves it.

Flush Force is available at Smyths, TRU, Argos, The Entertainer, Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys, Toymaster and independent toy shops. More information can be found on the Flush Force website.

Toy Review: Flush Force Collectibles - Series 1

We were sent these Flush Force collectibles for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toys: Introducing SuperZings – Rivals of Kaboom Blind Bags

When you’re 7 collectibles are so important. Amassing a collection of characters, swapping with your friends and trying to get the full set is the goal. In the last few years collectible characters have been huge in the UK and the newly launched SuperZings – Rivals of Kaboom (Series 1) are bound to be popular!

Toys: Introducing SuperZings - Rivals of Kaboom Blind Bags

SuperZings are everyday objects (like a tiny hairdryer or cheese grater with a face, a body and a cape) brought to life as heroes vs. villains, all living in Kaboom City. There are so many fun, colourful characters and accessories to collect; each with a matching rival.

There are 80 SuperZings to collect (all have their own superpower). Plus six Silver and two Gold Rare SuperZings to collect and one Enigma Super Rare SuperZing. They use one of the eight collectible Supercars to get around and live in Hideouts (eight to collect) which can also be used to launch the characters into the air.

Toys: Introducing SuperZings - Rivals of Kaboom Blind Bags

The range includes a Starter Pack to get your collection started. There’s also a Blister Pack containing four SuperZings; two Hideouts and an exclusive SuperDisc Blaster.

The SuperZings Series 1 collectible range is very reasonably priced and seems to be priced for pocket money spends rather that parental treats. The blind bags which contain one SuperZing are 80p each. The hideouts bags which also include one SuperZing are £1.50 each and the supercars including one SuperZing are £2.50 each. There is also a Starter Pack (£5) and a Blister Pack (£7) containing four SuperZings; two hideouts and an exclusive SuperDisc Blaster.

Toys: Introducing SuperZings - Rivals of Kaboom Blind Bags

Our verdict on SuperZings

My son thought they were really fun, he liked that they were everyday items turned into crazy superheroes. He also liked playing with the doors on the hideouts and launching the SuperZings across the room with them. We both really liked the Supercars. They are the kind of thing I’d throw into my bag to keep him entertained on a trip to a cafe.

They’re prices firmly in the pocket money zone and are suitable for ages 3+. They are small, so it’s worth keeping them away from younger children and pets (our dog was very interested in them, but that could be the crinkly bags rather than the toy).

The SuperDisc Blasters are lots of fun, but I did have to give the health and safety talk – don’t fire it at humans; don’t fire it at the dog; don’t fire it at my freshly painted walls. The discs are small plastic coin shaped things which are fired out of a blaster. Great fun for my 7 year old, as you can imagine.

The boy absolutely loved them. Blind bags and collectibles are so popular and watching him open them I can see why. It’s the element of mystery, the need to collect the full set and the excitement of being able to swap with his fellow collectors. if my son’s reaction is anything to go by, SuperZings – Rivals of Kaboom are going to be huge!

Watch our video to see us unbox the full SuperZings – Rivals of Kaboom range!

Superzings are sold at The Entertainer, Tesco, Asda, Co-op, Spar and other shops too. For further information visit http://www.magicboxint.com/uk/index.php

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

Board Game Club Review: Ticket to Ride First Journey

I am part of the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club run by Playtime PR. Each month 50 bloggers are sent a board game to play and put to the test. This month we were sent Ticket to Ride First Journey to play.

Board Game Club Review: Ticket to Ride First Journey

Ticket to Ride First Journey is a board game designed for 2-4 players aged 6+. I played it with my 7 year old son. My son loves maps and geography, so we were really excited when we were setting the game up. The rules take a couple of reads throughs to understand, but it’s actually quite simple to play.

The game consists of a board with a map of Europe on it with key train stations such as Amsterdam, Berlin and Athens. The box contains a set of 72 train cards, 32 ticket cards, 4 coast-to-coast cards and 1 golden ticket. There are also four different sets of coloured trains.

Each player chooses a colour of train to be; I was red, he was green. The aim of the game is to be the first player to complete 6 tickets, or the first person to place all twenty of their trains on the train tracks.

Each player starts with four coloured train cards and two tickets. Each ticket shows two cities, and you need to connect those two cities with your trains in order to complete the ticket. Taking turns, you have a ticket, say from London to Athens and using the coloured train cards you have to plot a route between them using your trains across the coloured paths.

Board Game Club Review: Ticket to Ride First Journey

If you complete a track which crosses the board entirely from east to west, or west to east, then you pick up the East-to-West bonus card, which counts as one completed ticket.

Ticket to Ride seems quite complicated, but it’s really not. Once we had played it once, my 7 year old had really got the hang of it. We’ve played it over and over, which is always a sign he likes playing something. It’s good fun for adults too, I quite enjoyed trying to plot my route from A to B.  It can be quite a quick game to play if you don’t have very long, and it’s great for short attention spans.

Ticket to Ride First Journey is fairly widely available and costs around £28. It’s a well made, quality board game. The board is longer than your standard Monopoly style board. The size of the board is why completing the East-to West route is so coveted. I would say that you get 20 trains of each colour and we have never completed six tickets; we have always run out of trains after two or three tickets worth of travel.

Board Game Club Review: Ticket to Ride First Journey

Overall, we really liked Ticket to Ride First Journey. It’s a really appealing game, especially for train and map enthusiasts. My son really enjoyed playing it, and I really liked that it’s got a nice geography element to it, so you can really start to learn where the major cities of Europe are. It’s a thumbs up from us!

We were sent the Ticket to Ride First Journey game for review for the Asmodee UK Blogger Board Game Club. All images and opinions are our own.
Find other board game and toy reviews here.

Pokemon Christmas Presents – Gotta catch em all!

Pokemon is as popular as ever; with both big kids and little kids collecting cards, chasing down the characters and playing the games. I know the big thing at the moment is collecting and swapping the cards with friends at school. It is a fun, sociable activity for kids to get involved in. If you’ve got a Pokemon fan in the family, I’ve picked out some Pokemon themed presents which would delight any keen collector on Christmas Day!

Snuggle up with your own Pokemon plush toy. Made by Tomy, this officially licensed 8” plush features one of the most popular characters from the series – Popplio. This lovely Popplio plush is about 20cm tall, and is very soft and cuddly and well made. As well as the popular Popplio, you can also collect Jigglypuff, Eevee, Riolu, Banette, Hoopa, Sylveon, Togepi, Pichu, Psyduck, Litten, Rowlet and Zygarde.

Pokemon Christmas presents

Keen collectors need a safe place to store their cards. This Pokemon Tin includes a starter collection of 50 Cards including holograms and rare cards. It’s the perfect gift for anyone starting out or for those who would like a 50 card boost to their collection and a handy tin to keep them in.Pokemon Christmas presentsThis Pokemon Shining Legends Collector Chest Game is a treasure trove of Pokémon goodies! This sturdy metal case contains more than a dozen special treats. The Pokémon Shining Legends Collector Chest includes five Shining Legends booster packs, three foil promo cards featuring Pikachu, Latinas, and Latinos! Plus a cool Pokémon coin, two colourful sticker sheets, a collector’s album to store your favourite cards, a Pokémon notepad and pencils.

Pokemon Christmas Presents - Gotta catch em all!

Whatever you buy for the Pokemon fan in your life, I’m sure they’ll love it. You could stuff a stocking with collectors cards maybe. Or if you’re buying them a soft plush toy from Tomy; a collectors tin or a whole case full of exciting Pokemon themed goodies; they’re bound to have a great day collecting them all.

Pokemon Christmas Presents – Gotta catch em all!

Will you catch em all?