Category Archives: Toys

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

AD/Gifted. Over the weekend we were looking back at pictures of my son as a toddler and there were a few pictures of him playing with some of the dinosaur figures we’d got him. He’s still playing with them now and every few months we add another dinosaur or two to his collection. Over Easter we’ve added the new 2019 Schleich Dinosaur Figurines to his dino box and he’s thrilled!

The new collection of Schleich Dinosaur Figurines includes the Spinosaurus (£19.99), Giganotosaurus (£19.99), Dimetrodon (£9.99), Dimorphodon (£7.99) and Animantarx (£7.99).

What I really like about the new dinosaurs in the range is that they’re not just the usual, popular dinosaurs. I really like that they’re slightly more unusual, and that’s really great for dinosaur enthusiasts to explore and play with.

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

The Spinosaurus was one of the most dangerous dinosaurs. It is considered the biggest carnivore because it was even bigger than the T-rex and the Giganotosaurus! It can be easily distinguished from the other two dinosaurs by the spiny sail on its back and its crocodile-like snout. It’s a bigger figurine, really detailed and has a movable lower jaw for extra ferociousness!

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

The Giganotosaurus is quite similar to the T-rex. Both were hunters with short arms, walked on two legs and had a large skull. However, the Giganotosaurus lived much earlier and was from North America, whereas the Tyrannosaurus rex lived in South America. This large sized figure had a movable lower jaw and is a fearsome as his T-rex cousin!

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

The Dimetrodon is often referred to as a dinosaur. However, it is a primeval reptile, a so-called Pelycosaurus. It has a sail on its back was made of skin and bones, helping it to warm itself quicker in the sun. If it wanted to cool down, it positioned the sail parallel to the sun’s rays. This colourful reptile also has a movable lower jaw and makes a colourful addition to any dino collection.

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

The Animantarx was an approximately 3-metre-long dinosaur with bone plate armour. Only one skeleton of the dinosaur has ever been found, so scientists don’t really know much about it. It lived during the Upper Cretaceous period, at the time of Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus, and fed on plants. It has a squat body and looks like it would be a dangerous enemy to have!

My favourite dino from the collection is the Dimorphodon. It was a small flying dinosaur with a large skull and a long beak. It hunted fish, insects, lizards and other vertebrates, which it held with its claws and then ripped apart with its fangs. With its short wings it could probably only fly short distances, for example from tree to tree. They styling of the figure is really sweet and I can really picture it swooping down to hunt.

Review: New Schleich Dinosaur Figurines for 2019

The new Schleich Dinosaur Figurines are aimed at children and collectors aged 5+, though the figures are suitable for ages 3+. The new collection also includes a newly re-styled Plesiosaurus, a Dracorex and a Diabloceratops.

As with anything made by Schleich, everything has been beautifully hand-painted and the modelling and attention to detail is excellent. They are really great collectors pieces and the quality is fantastic. The Schleich Dinosaurs my son has been playing with since he was three are still in perfect condition and still played with on a very regular basis. I’ve decided to keep them once he (if he) grows out of them to pass on to any grandchildren I might have.

If you’re building a dino collection of your own, or if you’re starting a collection, these Schleich dinosaur figures are a great place to start. The full range of dinosaurs is extensive, so whatever dino is your favourite, it’s bound to be available.

You can buy Schleich dinosaurs from a wide range of retailers including Smyths Toys and directly from Schleich.

Disclosure: We were sent some of the Schleich Dinosaurs range for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: New Eldrador Creatures from Schleich

AD/Gifted. My son is blessed with a brilliant imagination. He creates whole new worlds with a pencil and a piece of paper and the stories he writes are real flights of fancy. This week his imagination has been fuelled by the new Eldrador Creatures range from Schleich.

Eldrador Creatures are new fantastical creatures who come from the worlds of lava, ice, stone and water. Aimed at 7-12 year olds, these creatures are great for collecting or for playing Dungeons and Dragons style games with. My son has been busy duelling with the Eldrador Creatures for the last few days and he loves them.

Toy Review: New Eldrador Creatures from Schleich

Schleich are one of the leading makers of figurines and are one of the most well-known brands around. Schleich figurines are designed with great attention to detail and are painted and finished by hand. This means they’re not cheap, but they do last.

We were sent four of the seventeen creatures in the collection; the Armoured Turtle (£14.99), Battle Crab (£14.99), Fire Bull (£9.99) and the Ice Spider (£9.99).

Toy Review: New Eldrador Creatures from Schleich

The Armoured Turtle defends the stone world. His opponents think that he is slow, old and cumbersome. But he suddenly spins on his own axis at lightning speed and crashes his massive double club at its enemies. The turtle is beautifully detailed and characterful and a real favourite.

Defending the water world, the Battle Crab is a fighting crab with a slashing claw like weapon. He has a completely turnable upper body. On his six legs, this grim sea-dweller can move lightning fast and catch up with even nimble opponents super quickly.

The fire bull impales his opponents on his pointed glowing horns. The fire bull has a tail of flame, and a single hit will knock out even the most stubborn attacker. Lastly, the Ice Spider has eight eyes so she can keep an eye on several opponents at the same time and fend them off with her fearsome frozen spiders legs.

Toy Review: New Eldrador Creatures from Schleich

What did we think of the new Eldrador Creatures from Schleich? In short, the boy loved them. They’re ideal for people who like fantasy figures and they’re great for fantasy play. They’re well made, with great attention to detail and the movable parts on the turtle and crab make them extra fun to play fight with.

Eldrador Creatures have opened up a whole new world of imaginative play for my son. He’s already asked for all of the other figures in the range for his birthday, which is a sure sign of appreciation.

The Eldrador Creatures range is available from a wide range of retailers including Smyths Toys.

Disclosure: We were sent these Eldrador Creatures for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Schleich Pony Agility Training Set

AD/Gifted. This week we have been playing with the Schleich Pony Agility Training Set, part of the Schleich Farm World collection. Schleich figurines are designed with lots of attention to detail and are painted and finished by hand. They’re known for being fantastic quality, my son has an awful lot of Schleich figures of various kinds in his toy box, mostly dinosaurs, but it’s good to expand your horizons every so often.

Toy Review: Schleich Pony Agility Training Set

The Schleich Pony Agility Training Set is suitable for ages 3-8, and my 8 year old and his friends had a lot of fun playing with it. My son really loves going pony riding. There is a stables near us where he goes in the holidays for a pony walk, he loves ponies, so he was really excited to play with this set.

With this Schleich Pony Agility Training Set, you can put your pony through its paces. The set is launched in April and it contains everything you need to train and have fun with your ponies; including paddock fencing, small jump obstacles that can be adjusted, a see-saw and more; an articulated child figure is included to help lead the horses.

Toy Review: Schleich Pony Agility Training Set

When you unpack your box, there are lots of pieces which need slotting together and a few stickers to decorate some of the larger pieces. Thankfully there’s a very simple to follow instruction booklet included. The set is fun to put together, older children will have no problem at all; younger children may need a little bit of help.

Once it’s all set up, it’s up to you and your imagination to direct play. The figures are well made with lots of detail. The girl figurine has movable limbs, the ponies don’t but they are wonderfully detailed; you can imagine them galloping along a windswept beach.

Toy Review: Schleich Pony Agility Training Set

The set has a lot of parts, so it’s got a lot of play value. It costs £24.99 and is a really good introduction to ponies for younger children. The Schleich Pony Agility Training Set would fit really well among the rest of the Farm World collection from Schleich, if you’ve got any already, or are starting up a collection.

What I really like about Schleich is that the quality is so good; the figures are virtually heirloom pieces, I can totally see me passing the Schleich figures down through the generations.

The Schleich Pony Agility Training Set is available from Smyths Toys and costs £24.99.

Disclosure: We were sent the Schleich Pony Agility Training Set for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Nerf Review: Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8

AD/Gifted. If there’s one thing guaranteed to make an 8 year old happy, it’s a Nerf gun. If you want to (at least) double that joy; arrange a Nerf battle in the park with some of his Nerf loving friends. We were sent the new Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 to try out, so we took it into battle to see how it fared.

Nerf Review: Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 features an 8-dart clip. The cartridge stays attached to the blaster, making it fast and easy to reload. You load 8 darts into the front of the cartridge, pump the gun to prime, and pull the trigger to fire.

We arrived at our chosen battleground; pockets full of Nerf darts (including the 8 that the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 came with). We met up with Nerf enthusiast Jenny from TheBrickCastle and her family. It was cold and a bit wet, but there was a nearby cafe we could retreat to after battle; so all was well with the world.

Nerf Review: Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8

We loaded up our Nerf guns with darts and battle commenced. The cartridge doesn’t come out of the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus, so you have to slide it up and down to fill it, which is a little bit of a faff.

There was a bit of stop-starting as the boys got used to how you fire it. The mechanism is a bit sticky; we found we had to stop pretty often to figure out why it wasn’t firing. It was usually that the pump hadn’t been properly primed, or that the cartridge hadn’t clicked along enough for the dart to fire. Despite this, you can fire the dart pretty far and with a good degree of accuracy.

Nerf Review: Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 is made for people aged 8+. My son is 8 and really enjoyed this Nerf, it was just about the right size for him. He did get a little frustrated when the mechanism got stuck and we had to help him sort it out. It operates in a different way to his other Nerf guns. I think it’ll take him a few goes to really get the hang of it and be able to troubleshoot effectively.

We’re not sure who won the Nerf battle, but an awful lot of fun was had by all. We did like the Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8; despite its sometimes tricky to fire flaws, it’s a fun Nerf and a great one to take into battle.

The Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 from Hasbro costs £19.99 and is widely available in lots of toy shops and online

Disclosure: We were sent a Nerf N-Strike Elite Rukkus ICS-8 for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Guess How Much I Love You Big Nutbrown Hare

#AD/Gifted. On 14th February 2011 I bought my three month old son a book; that book was Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney. Since then I have read the story of the big nutbrown hare and the little nutbrown hair to him regularly; and now he’s reading it to me. I confess, it’s virtually impossible for me to read it out loud without a lump appearing in my throat; I’m a big, big softie.

Guess How Much I Love You has grown and become part of the fabric of parenthood. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t told their children that they love them to the moon and back. It’s part of our bedtimes and our goodbyes and I’ll be sad when he stops sleepily whispering it to me.

Review: Guess How Much I Love You Big Nutbrown Hare

For the last THREE YEARS I’ve asked for a Guess How Much I Love You Big Nutbrown Hare for Mother’s Day. I thought it would be a lovely gift; one which really meant something to both me and my son and a reminder of our ‘love you to the moon and back’ thing. But no, my endless hinting, sharing of links and asking outright has come to nothing. So I’ve gone rogue and got my own. I will wrap it beautifully, give it to my son the night before Mother’s Day and ask him to gift it to me first thing on Mothering Sunday.

The Big Nutbrown Hare is beautiful. It’s as beautiful and as soft and snuggly as I’d hoped. Big Nutbrown Hare is made from super soft plush with an adorable  embroidered “I Love You” on his foot. His bottom is full of beans so he can sit perfectly on any surface. He’s suitable from birth, and also suitable for 42 year old women who have been asking for a Big Nutbrown Hare for THREE YEARS.

Review: Guess How Much I Love You Big Nutbrown Hare

Big Nutbrown Hare is keenly priced at £14.99 and part of a wider range of nursery products. Apparently the Guess How Much I Love You range is great for a baby’s nursery, or for giving to the people you love for Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day for example.

Big Nutbrown Hare is made by Rainbow Designs and is available from a wide range of retailers. 

Disclosure: We were sent a Guess How Much I Love You Big Nutbrown Hare from Rainbow Designs for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Card Game Review: Super Happy Families

Generations of children have grown up playing the card game Happy Families. It’s a real family classic, it’s easy to learn and play; very easily transported and fun too. This week we were sent a new version to play – Super Happy Families, but what did we think about it?

Super Happy Families is based on the traditional Happy Families card game, aimed squarely at families (who don’t need to be super to play). There are 44 cards in the pack, eight families to collect and four cards in each family group. Whoever gets the most groups first wins.

Card Game Review: Super Happy Families

To play, deal five cards to each player and put the rest of the cards face down in a pile the middle. As ever, the youngest player starts by asking another player if they have a member of a family they are holding in their deck. If they have a card or cards from that family, they hand them over and the player asks again until you ask and you draw a blank. When this happens it’s the next player takes their turn requesting cards. When a player has a full family they must put the 4 cards face down on the table in front of themselves. The player who collects the most sets is the winner!

Super Happy Families is illustrated by Kirsti Davidson, an illustrator and surface pattern designer based in Brighton. The illustrations bring this classic game right up to date. My son, a big superhero fan loved them. He thought they were “awesome” and he really loved that they were so out of this world.

Super Happy Families is a simple game, but simple is often the best. It’s packaged in a sturdy box which is just the right size to slip into a pocket or a bag. It’s a great game. If you love Happy Families, but want to mix things up a bit, Super Happy Families is well worth a try.

Super Happy Families is available from good toy shops and online and costs £9.99. For more information, visit the Laurence King website.

Disclosure: We were sent Super Happy Families for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Giveaway & Review: Oi Frog Memory Card Game #AD

AD/Gifted When my son was starting to learn to read, one of the books which really (really, really) got him excited about reading was Oi Frog (swiftly followed by Oi Dog). Oi Frog is the award-winning storybook written by Kes Gray and it has been brought to life in this new and easy to play memory card game; the Oi Frog Memory Card Game.

Although the game is designed for pre-schoolers, improving my son’s memory is something the school have asked us to focus on at home. Memory games are ideal for giving all of our brains a bit of a workout.

Review: Oi Frog Memory Card Game

The Oi Frog Memory Card Game comes in a lovely illustrated tin. There are a number of sheets of cards which you pop out, as well as a card with the rules of the game on. There are 56 picture cards in the set. Each card has an Oi Frog illustration on and there are two of each one; so two frogs, two logs, two puffins and two muffins etc. Each card features the familiar illustrations from Oi Frog from illustrator Jim Field.

The game is incredibly simple to play; turn all the cards picture side down, then take it in turns to find a matching, or rhyming pair. By rhyming pair I mean a frog and a log, or a puffin and a muffin. The person with the most pairs at the end of the game wins. The trick is remembering which cards are where, so you can find a matching or rhyming pair when it’s your turn.

Review: Oi Frog Memory Card Game

The Oi Frog Memory Card Game is ideal for boosting memory skills (for people of all ages); and can help little ones learn about co-operation and taking turns. My son is 8 now and although this game is suitable for ages 3+, we all had a lot of fun playing it. It really flexed my aging memory muscles and we all really enjoyed it. It’s absolutely the kind of game we will play again and again.

The Oi Frog Memory Card Game costs around £10.95 and is available online and in good toy shops.

WIN An Oi Frog Memory Card Game

To be in with a chance to win an Oi Frog Memory Card Game, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Check out our other giveaways over on our competitions page.

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 be sent an Oi Frog Memory Card Game.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 31st March 2019.
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
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11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Disclosure: We were sent an Oi Frog Memory Card Game for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: I Saw It First! Jungle – A Family Spotting Game

This week we’ve been playing a new game – I Saw It First! Jungle – A Family Spotting Game. It’s a puzzle game for people who love spotting animals, like a ginormous Dobble but a bit harder and just as much fun!

Review: I Saw It First! Jungle - A Family Spotting Game

In I Saw It First! Jungle there are 300 jungle animals all over the double-sided board. Each of the pieces is printed on both sides, so no two games are the same because you can put the board together in many different ways.

The board is covered with all kinds of creatures, some are familiar, like the leopard or the hippopotamus, others less so, like the eyelash viper or the giraffe weevil.

Review: I Saw It First! Jungle - A Family Spotting Game

The game comes with a box to assemble and 300 hexagonal counters each with an animal on one side and the name of the animal on the other. To play you take a counter from the box and show it to the other players. When they say “go” everyone must look for that animal on the board. The first one to spot it shouts “I saw it first” and keeps the counter. You can play for as long as you like. The person with the most counters at the end of the game is the winner. It’s simple but brilliant.

Like I said, the games go on as long as you want. It’s really fun to try to spot the creatures on the board. There’s a good variety of different animals and lots to talk about. Ben knew a lot about some of the animals, birds and insects already and happily chatted about where some of them lived and what they ate as we searched the board for them.

Review: I Saw It First! Jungle - A Family Spotting Game

I Saw It First! Jungle comes in and eye-catching triangular box and features illustrations by Caroline Selmes. It’s easy to understand but addictive to play, and great fun for adults and children alike.

I Saw It First! Jungle costs £19.99 and it is available from high street shops, direct from Laurence King and online retailers such as Amazon.

Note: We were sent I Saw It First! Jungle for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

When I was a little girl, all I wanted for Christmas was a Mr Frosty. Times haven’t changed much and high on my son’s wish list was a Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker. Mr Frosty didn’t arrive for Christmas, but as a birthday present. This meant only one thing – making choc ice treats for the weekend!

Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

Like all Mr Frosty products the Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is a simple idea; easy to follow instructions and solidly made, simple equipment. All you need is some ingredients – your favourite yoghurt, some chocolate for melting and some sprinkles if you’re feeling fancy.

The Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker comes with all the equipment you need, though you might want to also use some kind of board to keep your table tidy from any drips or dribbles and a spoon for stirring and spooning the melted chocolate. In the box there are some silicon molds to create your own Mr Frosty & Penguin frozen chocolate figures; plastic lolly sticks and an igloo which you melt the chocolate in. The roof of the igloo is also where you stick your lolly sticks while you chocolate sets. There is also a set of very simple, easy to follow instructions.

Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

To make your choc ices, slot your lolly sticks in the mold. Spoon in the yoghurt, I tapped the mold a few times so the yoghurt would settle. Then put this in the freezer for a minimum of three hours. We spent our three hours at his birthday party, which was nice.

When we got home I checked that they were frozen, which they were. I left them in the freezer until I was ready for them as they melt quite quickly. Following the instructions, melt the chocolate in the igloo in the microwave and once it’s melted take your lollies out of the freezer, remove them from the mold and quickly spoon the chocolate over.

Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

The chocolate does set very quickly, so if you are planning on sprinkling them with anything, do it quickly. Set them in the igloo roof to set and then eat them or put them in a box back in the freezer if you’re saving them for later.

The Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is well made, simple and easy to use. Our choc ices were really tasty (we used a good quality vanilla yoghurt) and it was really fun to use. It’s a pretty tidy kit too, other than a smear of yoghurt and a dribble of chocolate, there was no mess.

Now we understand the process, the world is our lobster. We could cover them in nuts, change the yoghurt flavour, swirl through peanut butter, anything. I can see us playing around with this again and again. It’s such a simple kit to use. It’s brilliant.

Review: Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker

The Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker kit costs around £12.99 which I think makes it a nicely priced Christmas present idea. Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker is available in most toy shops and supermarkets such as ASDA and Smyths Toys.

We were sent Mr Frosty Choc Ice Maker for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Toy Review: BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel

A wooden train track is something most children play with at some point and BRIO is one of the biggest makers of wooden train tracks and accessories (we have almost all of their range already). This week we’ve been putting the BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel to the test, but what did the boy think of this new addition to his train set?

Toy Review: BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel

This month my son turns 8 and all he really wants for his birthday is BRIO. He has always loved his wooden train set and gets it out every so often to play with it. Over the summer something really clicked with him and a combination of  BRIO YouTube videos and having some extra time on his hands made him fall properly back in love with his BRIO.

BRIO is very safe to play with, it’s well designed, sturdy and great for little fingers to slot together. My son is definitely at the older end of the target age range, but he really adores his wooden train track and plays with it every day. This BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel is suitable for ages 3+.

Toy Review: BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel

The BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel set includes a mountain with crane; a cargo engine, a BRIO mini figure, a wagon, a load and 2 pieces of wooden track.

The BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel is easy to connect up to any exiting wooden track you’ve got. It comes with two pieces of track which slot together through the mountain to make the tunnel bridge. To play with this set fully you will need more track and trains. We’ve got lots of track, so that wasn’t a problem.

You will need 2 LR44 batteries which aren’t included. The batteries power the sound, so when your train passes through the tunnel it makes one of four train noises. Though you can do without the sound if you like and just make your own choo-choo noises if you prefer.

Toy Review: BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel

The boy was absolutely delighted with the BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel set. He had some similar pieces already which he added to the track he laid down and he really enjoyed playing with all of the elements. The tunnel bridge which goes through the mountain is an especially good feature; though it is a little tricky to set up. You need to connect the two pieces of track which come with the set through the tunnel.

The crane piece sits on top of the mountain and swings around. There is a magnet on the crane so you can lift the cargo in and out of the wagons. There’s also a mini figure who operates the crane. It’s well thought out and a really good size if you’re looking to add a bit of height and interest to your existing train set.

Toy Review: BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel

We can’t fault it, it’s exactly the kind of thing the boy has been asking for since summer. The BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel costs £49.99 and would make a good present for a wooden train enthusiast like my son!

For more information, visit the BRIO website.

We were sent the BRIO Crane and Mountain Tunnel for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.