Category Archives: Toys

Review: Orchard Toys What a Performance Game

This week we’ve been playing a new board game from Orchard Toys – What a Performance! It’s kind of like charades, but with a lot more going on. We properly laughed when we played this game and it would be a great game for small-ish groups of people or families.

Review: Orchard Toys What a Performance Game

What a Performance is great to get the whole family laughing and playing together. Race your way around the performance board to be the first player or team to reach the finish. Along the way you’ll have to act out a scene, make lots of fun noises, do funny actions and activities along the way. Can you pretend to be a monkey, make a noise like a firework or wiggle your ears? If you can’t, use the magic decoder and reveal your hidden forfeit on the back of the cards!

There are over 300 fun challenges to perform, so there’s never a dull moment.

Review: Orchard Toys What a Performance Game

The box contains a jigsaw game board, 100 activity cards, a spinner, a sand timer; a card holder, a performance star, four character stands; four playing pieces, a magic decoder, a dice and an instruction leaflet.

The game is fairly simple to set up. You put the jigsaw board together, this comes in four pieces and takes seconds to do. You choose which colour you will be, red, green, yellow or blue and take your playing pieces and put them at the start.

The youngest player starts by rolling the dice and moving along the board accordingly. When you land on a square Say/Act/Do you take a card and read the corresponding instruction. If the instructions has “Guess” written on it, the other players have to set the timer and guess what you’re doing within the time. There are other squares, Spin means you spin the spinner which will choose your challenge. Landing on the ? square means you take a card and using the magic decoder, you follow the hidden instructions on the back of the card.

Review: Orchard Toys What a Performance Game

It’s all very simple and really lots of fun. The game had us doing monkey and dinosaur impressions, sit ups, touching our toes, it had us wiggling our ears and talking in silly voices. It was tremendous fun and just the kind of thing to bring out the silly in anyone.

As with all Orchard Toys games, What a Performance does have some educational benefits. It promotes imaginative play, encourages personal and social skills and can encourage group play. I think one of the biggest things we noticed with it, was it was really great for getting him to think about how to follow the instructions. This gave him more confidence to stand up and be silly, which is an essential life skill, or it is in my book.

What a Performance is a properly fun game. It’s just the thing for building a bit of confidence whilst having a whole lot of fun!

What a Performance is suitable for ages 5 to adult and for 2 or more players. It costs £16.50 and is widely available.

Review: Orchard Toys What a Performance Game

Disclosure: We were sent the What a Performance game for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

StikBots were launched a couple of years ago now. They’re little plastic figures with sticky suction cups on their hands and feet which you can animate. There’s even a free app you can use to animate them. If you don’t fancy animating them, you can just play with them normally. I’ve heard they make good fidget toys. We were sent some of the new StikBot Dinos range to have a look at, so what did we think?

Toy Review: Meet the New Stikbot Dinos

We were sent two StikBot Dinos to play with. The StikBot Mega Dino Brontosaurus and a StikBot Dinos Egg. The StikBot Dinos Egg is one of 24 StikBot Dinos to collect. There are Seven different Dinos in nine different colours and some rare ones too. The egg comes with a collectors leaflet, so you can see what you’ve got and how rare it might be. When we opened ours up we discovered that we’d got a rare one.

Toy Review: Meet the New Stikbot Dinos

These StikBot Dino eggs really tap into the trend for blind-bags and collectibles. They cost around £6.50 each and are available online and in some toy shops.

The Stikbot Dinos have a really unique design, with suction-cup hands and feet, so you can position them on any flat surface. Their legs, body, mouth, tail and neck can be positioned in all kinds of different angles which makes them great to make stop-frame animations with.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

The StikBot Mega Dino Brontosaurus is bigger than the egg and they cost around £9. You can choose from Stik T rex, Stik Carnotaurus or Stik Brontosaurus, each is available in three different colours.

Th sticky pads make these StikBots perfect for making stop-frame animation films using the free to download mobile Animation App. The app is easy to use and helps you create a professional animation, with built-in music and sound effects.

Toy Review: Meet the New StikBot Dinos

I wasn’t sure what my 7 year old would think of the StikBot Dinos but he really enjoyed playing with them. We haven’t tried making an animation yet, but he’s played with them all weekend, making a Jurassic story of his own. I can see us putting together a StikBot animation in the future as he’s very keen to try them out, so watch this space for the next dino blockbuster movie!

Disclaimer – We were sent these StikBot Dinos for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

Recently I’ve started joking to friends that I’m thinking of renaming my blog Dinosaur Days. It sometimes feels like a good percentage of my blog posts are about dinosaurs. When I started out blogging, my blog was there to document our lives; the things we did and the things we liked. Right now, dinosaurs are a pretty big part of our lives because the boy just loves them. Apologies if you’re not as enthusiastic as us about these pre-historic creatures, but there’s usually cake on Friday; so do pop back then if that’s more your thing. Today I want to take a look at some of the new range of Schleich Dinosaur figurines.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

Schleich are one of the leading makers of dinosaur figurines. If you’re into dinosaurs, Schleich is the most well-known, quality brands around. Cheaper dino figurines are usually made in China and the bigger ones are often made in two pieces and glued together; which I think looks terrible. We have quite a lot of the Schleich dinosaurs and you can easily spot the difference between them and the made in China figures.

The Schleich figurines are designed with great attention to detail and are painted by hand. Dinosaur figurines help children to explore the fascination of the prehistoric era and its creatures through play.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

The new Schleich Dinosaurs for 2018 include a large T-Rex (£15.99), a Dinogorgon (£7.99) and a Psittacosaurus (£7.99). These dinos come in new poses and are really realistic. The quality of these hand painted figurines is superb. They look fabulous fighting to the death in the patch of long grass in my garden.

The T-Rex is fierce looking and impressive, he stands at just under six inches tall and has lots of detail. He’s pretty steady on his feet and coped well on my uneven garden cobbles. He had a hinged jaw which opens and closes, which means you can make him bite any other dinos he catches. It’s pleasing to have some movable parts as this really helps bring them to life in my son’s imagination.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

The Dinogorgon lived in South Africa and it’s name translates as terrible gorgon; which probably indicates he wasn’t that friendly.‭ ‬The Dinogorgon was about ‬two meters long and ate smaller lizards. This is the first Dinogorgon in the Schleich range.

The Psittacosaurus was quite a strange looking dinosaur. It was small, dinosaur which had a toothless beak a bit like a parrot. Its tail was covered in long and thin spines as a porcupine. Again, this is the first Psittacosaurus made by Schleich, which makes it quite special.

Review: New range of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2018

The boy is understandably thrilled. Adding these new for 2018 dinosaur figurines to his collection just a few days before the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom at the cinema is a real thrill for him.

These Schleich Dinosaur figurines are available at www.schleich-s.co.uk or from other toy retailers.

If you liked the look of these Schleich figurines, you might like this Dinosaur Skull Trap also from Schleich which we reviewed last year.

Disclosure: We were sent these Schleich Dinosaur figurines for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

The eagerly awaited film Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is released in the UK on 7th June. This is a real treat for dino fans and not to give too much away, but Jurassic World Two follows what happens when the dinosaurs escape the island – scary stuff! Posh Paws International the official soft toy partner for the 2018 summer’s blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. To celebrate the launch of the film, they have launched their Posh Paws Jurassic World Two range. I got my hands on a few of the dinos.

Fans can collect 8 inch, 10 inch and HUGE 21 inch variations of their favourite dinos. Or even Accessorise backpacks with Posh Paws Jurassic World bag clips! We got our hands on the 10 inch Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Triceratops cuddly toys as well as an Stygimoloch bag clip.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

The cuddly Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Triceratops are incredibly cute, they have lovely squishy features and are perfect for cuddling and snuggling. They appear to be well made with good stitching and each had a Jurassic World badge on their hind leg.

As well as the T-Rex and Triceratops, there are lots of other dinosaurs in the range, so whichever your favourite is, there’s bound to be one of your favourites to choose from. Other dinos in the range include; Mososaurus, Stygimoloch, Blue Raptor, Grey Triceratops, Indominus Rex and of course the velociraptor.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

These Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys are suitable for ages 2+. I gave them to my 7 year old who really, really loves dinosaurs and he was blown away by the detail. The “skin” looks scaly, but is smooth and soft to the touch. They have lovely squishy feet and more detail than I’ve seen in other dino cuddly toys. The bag clip immediately found its way onto his school bag, so that’ll be proudly shown off to his classmates tomorrow.

Do we love these Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys? Yes. Would we buy the whole range? Almost certainly. Priced at around £15 I know the boy will want them all to help guard his bed at night. We think they’re roarsome!

The Posh Paws Jurassic World Two range is available on amazon or in Sainsburys now.

Toy Review: Posh Paws Jurassic World Two Range

Disclosure: We were sent these Posh Paws Jurassic World Two cuddly toys for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Blogger Board Game Club: Stuffed Fables

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 the Stuffed Fables game to play.

Stuffed Fables is a Story based board game from Plaid Hat Games. It’s a role play game which fans of Pixar films will probably really enjoy.  All of the action takes place in the spiral-bound storybook which contains all the rules, a story guide, and game board.

Blogger Board Game Club: Stuffed Fables

In the box you will find –

1 Rulebook; 1 Storybook; 40 Card Discovery Deck; 1 Sideboard; 6 Stuffy Figures; 17 Minion Figures; 35 Dice; 1 Dice Bag; 15 Buttons; 6 Character Cards; 29 Lost Cards; 10 Sleep Cards; 46 Item Cards; 12 Minion Cards; 8 Environment Cards; 34 Status Cards; 4 Reference Cards; 30 Stuffing Tokens; 15 Heart Tokens; 4 Objective Tokens; 4 Lost Tokens; 1 Bookmark Token; a Red Wagon Token; 1 Train Token and 1 Door Token.

Blogger Board Game Club: Stuffed Fables

As you can see, there are a lot of elements to this game and if you like quick fire games with simple rules, this game is not for you. To play it properly I think someone needs to sit down for an evening, read the rules and fully understand them so they can lead the rest of the group. We played a couple of chapters. It took a long time and there was a lot of reading and re-reading of the rules which probably made it feel like harder work than it was.

The story follows a group of stuffed toys who are sworn to protect the little girl who owns them and loves them. The stuffed toys awake to defend the little girl from all the monsters who creep out at night. Each player plays the role of one of the heroic stuffed toys; so throughout the game you must fight to defend the little girl and keep her safe. Stuffed Fables is suitable for people aged 7+.

Blogger Board Game Club: Stuffed Fables

To play, you assign and roll colour-coded dice to perform a variety of actions, from melee attacks, to leaping across conveyor belts, or steering a racing wagon down a hill. The chapters are one page long and the action should be quicker than we managed. Some of the characters really reminded us of the Toy Story films. You don’t have to play it all in one sitting, you can play a chapter or two at a time and got back to it later. This makes is fairly easy to dip in and out of, but it’d probably best if you can play for an hour or two in one sitting.

I’ve spoken to several friends over the last few days about Stuffed Fables, half of them didn’t like it, the other half really loved it. I think if you’re into Dragon Crawler type role play, then you will most likely love this. If you’ve never tried role play before, then this will take some getting used to. I quite liked it and suspect if I was playing with people who also enjoyed it then I would love it. I think I need to find different people to play this with. My husband just didn’t like it and that made it feel like hard work.

Blogger Board Game Club: Stuffed Fables

There are a lot of bits and pieces in the box, it’s a complex game with lots of elements. It costs around £55 which is a lot of money to spend on a board game; but with all the elements and figures included and the amount of game play in there, I think it’s probably worth it. It’s very beautifully illustrated and put together, which makes it really feel like a premium product. It’s quite a niche game, but role play fans will almost certainly enjoy playing it.

Stuffed Fables is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon.

We were sent the Stuffed Fables 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.

Star Wars Toys: Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

This month sees the much anticipated release of the latest Star Wars installment – Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film tells the story of how a young Han Solo met his future co-pilot Chewbacca. Fans can celebrate the release of the movie with Posh Paw’s collection of Chewbacca (and other) Star Wars soft toys. I’ve been lucky enough to get my paws on some of the new collection ahead of their release to the general public. Meet the Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection.

Star Wars Toys: Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

Chewbacca is one of my favourite characters, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this larger than life Wookie. The 1o inch tall Chewbacca soft toy is super-fluffy and would make the perfect present for any Jedi fan. His facial hair is a little unruly, but some grooming would get him looking as well-kempt as in the films. He costs around £14.99 and is available in toy shops and on Amazon.

I loved the 8 inch Chewbacca and Yoda figures, Chewy is just as fluffy as he should be and Yoda has a real attitude which is as it should be. These 8 inch Star Wars soft toys cost £9.99 each and are really collectible. I could definitely see a shelf of these heroic cuties in my son’s bedroom!

Star Wars Toys: Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

Lastly there is the range of Star Wars soft and squishy bag clips to collect. We got our paws on Chewbacca and R2:D2 and they’re just the thing to help personalise my son’s school bag.

Each of these soft toys is also available as other Star Wars characters including; Stormtroopers, Yoda, Porgs and Darth Vader. They’re all suitable for ages 2+, but I’m going to have a hard time sharing them with any children. I think I’ll be keeping the 10 inch Chewy and the 8 inch Yoda for myself. That’s fair isn’t it?

Star Wars Toys: Posh Paws Chewbacca Collection

Disclosure: We were sent this selection of Posh Paws Star Wars soft toys for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

STEM Toys: Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Range

Living next door to a nature reserve we often find we have unexpected visitors in our garden. We try to do our bit to encourage and support wildlife and we’re always on the lookout for interesting birds or insects to learn more about. Brainstorm Toys have recently launched an Outdoor Adventure range designed especially for junior explorers. We put a few of them to the test.

Toy Review: Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Range

The Outdoor Adventure Magnifier is a handheld 2x-3x-4x magnifier which is ideal for on-the-go explorations, field trips and outdoor adventures. We put it to the test in our garden, taking a closer look at some plants and flowers and having a good look at some tiny aphids we found feasting on my rose bush. The magnifying glass is a pretty essential bit of kit and has so many uses. It costs around £12.99 and although that may seem a little pricey, it’s much better quality than cheaper kids magnifying glasses.

STEM Toys: Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Range

The Outdoor Adventure Binoculars were a real hit. They are pocket-sized and light weight and have 4x magnification; 30mm glass lenses and they have a break-away lanyard for safety. We especially liked the built-in compass on the top, which helped us to talk in greater depth about navigation skills and North – South – East – West (or Never Eat Shredded Wheat as we’ve been teaching him).

He sat for some time in the garden listening out for birds and looking to see them in the trees. We will definitely be taking these on holiday with us, he will really enjoy nature hunts in the woods! These Outdoor Adventure Binoculars are an ideal first pair of binoculars for children and cost around £9.99. A solid investment for nature loving kids!

STEM Toys: Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Range

Lastly we tried the Outdoor Adventure Night Vision Torch. The night vision torch has a bright red LED light which works with your natural adapted night vision to help you see more easily in the dark. It’s perfect for night hikes and map reading and would be great for taking on camping trips.

Unfortunately once we’d set it up and put batteries in it, it got dropped and we can’t get it to work again. So it remains untested, which is a shame because my son was super-excited to take it camping with us in a few weeks.

Despite dropping the night vision torch, we’ve had lots of fun with the Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure range. We will definitely be packing the magnifier and binoculars to take camping in the woods with us later this year. If you’ve got nature loving little ones, these Outdoor Adventure products are well worth a try.

For more information about the Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure range, visit their website.

Disclosure: We were sent some items from the Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Range for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own. This post contains affiliate links.

Review: Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear

With the recent release of the Marvel Avengers Infinity War film, everyone including my son is once again talking about the Avengers. Like previous Marvel films, they have released lots of products to tie in with the film. My son already has two Marvel Avengers Nerf blasters – the Marvel Avengers Iron Man Slide Armour and the Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield and we’ve just added the Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear to his collection. But what do we think of this new style Nerf blaster?

Review: Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear

The  Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear is part of a collection of sets which you can collect and combine, then build customisable blasters. There are over 100 combinations of blasters with multiple sets. Nerf blasters to collect in the series are – Star-Lord, Hulk, Captain America, Iron-Man and Spiderman (Iron-Spider) blaster.

Each Assembler Gear set features different blaster combinations and can be combined with other Assembler Gear sets. The Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear set is unmistakably an Iron Man design and includes a gauntlet, two connectors, three darts and a set of instructions.

Because there are three pieces of blaster in the set, you can slot them together in several different combinations. If you want to mix and match your Nerf blaster with another one in the Infinity War range, this is easily done, but you will have to buy more blasters to do this.

Review: Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear

The Nerf blaster comes with 3 darts, which is never really enough. Plus, there’s a slightly different mechanism for loading the dart. The blaster is both single shot and front-loading and you can only prime the blaster after the dart has been inserted. This is really different to the other Nerf blasters we’ve had, and for a little while my son thought he had broken it. You do need to make sure you insert the dart before you prime it and pull the trigger.

It’s solidly built and easy to slot together. I don’t think it’s quite as fun on its own as the other Marvel Nerf blasters we already have. Though I think it might come into its own if you have a few different blasters from the Infinity War range.

The Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear is sutable for ages 5+, costs around £23.99 and is available from good toy shops and online.

Review: Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear

Disclosure: We were sent the Marvel Avengers: Infinity War Nerf Iron Man Assembler Gear for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Blogger Board Game Club: My First Bananagrams

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 the My First Bananagrams game to play.

My First Bananagrams is suitable for children aged 4+ and for 1-4 players. The banana shaped bag contains 80 single tiles, 13 combo-letter tiles and a set of instructions. The game is really simple to play. You tip the tiles out and turn them face down, each player picks 15 tiles at random and when someone shouts “split!” everyone turns their tiles over.

Blogger Board Game Club: My First Bananagrams

Each player individually races to arrange their letters in their own word grid. At any time during the game you can say “Swap” and put one tile back face down and take a new one. You can rearrange your grid at any time and as many times as you like, there are no limits to the number of times you can swap tiles. The first person to use all of their tiles, or failing that, the most tiles wins.

Each game is quite short, probably between 10 – 15 minutes and it’s probably about the right level for my son. He can find words without too much of a struggle, so it’s still lots of fun and does stretch him a little bit. I think it’s a nice fun game to help build confidence around finding words from a collection of letters.

It’s a lot of fun to play and really great for helping him to think more creatively about words. He started off with three letter words, but was soon confidently finding five letter words. It’s a bit like Scrabble, but with fewer rules and therefore easier to play.

Blogger Board Game Club: My First Bananagrams

My First Bananagrams is a real winner for us. It’s nice and compact, so you can throw it in your bag and play it anywhere with a flat surface. This will be hugely popular on holiday, I know it!

My First Bananagrams costs around £15.99 and is widely available in toy shops and online.

We were sent the My First Bananagrams 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: 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.