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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
We were sent these Flush Force collectibles for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.This 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.
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.
Interactive toys are starting to become really popular these days. We were sent the new Cognitoys Dino Interactive Dinosaur to try out. Given that the boy loves dinosaurs in all forms, we thought we’d be onto a winner. But what did we really think?
First of all, if you’ve ordered one of these from Father Christmas I suggest you carefully open the box, put the batteries in (you’ll need a small screwdriver) and then have a read of the instructions. You’ll need to download a free app to get your dino up and running. It’s probably better to do all this before you’re sat in a room with an impatient child who wants to play with their toy now, this instant, immediately!
The Cognitoys Dino is really easy to set up. The batteries (4AA’s if you need spares) just slot into the battery compartment underneath. You download the app and connect the dino to your Wi-Fi and then he’s good to go.
The mouth of your Cognitoys Dino will change colour to indicate what he is doing. If it’s blue he’s talking, if it’s yellow he’s listening etc. You press down the button on his tummy to talk to him and let go of the button when you’ve finished.
The Cognitoys Dino is meant to be an educational toy which helps to develop and improve problem solving skills; creative reasoning, social interaction and active play. He’s fun and funny; so when he asks you a question or asks you to solve a problem, it doesn’t feel overtly educational. The dino is aimed at children aged 5+. It’s designed to adapt to your child’s development and educationally ‘grow’ with your child.
My son who has recently turned 7 was pretty excited to be playing with the Cognitoys Dino. Style wise it’s quite a soft and cartoony looking dinosaur and I did wonder if he’d reject it for being too babyish, but he didn’t. He liked the look of it and gave it lots of cuddles.
The Cognitoys Dino is easy to activate, just press its button and say “hello”. The dino then randomly starts playing games with you, or tells you a story you have to interact with, and tells jokes or answers questions. He’s really quite good fun. I did like the storytelling, he stops every few minutes to ask you questions and check you understand tricky words. It’s all good age-appropriate stuff.
The app which you download to set it up and activate it also acts as a parent portal, meaning you can keep an eye on what your child has been doing with the dino.
I thought the Cognitoys Dino was an excellent tool to help a child’s development. I do have a couple of slight niggles I want to talk about. You may have noticed I’ve referred to the dino as a he, that’s because he speaks with a gruff male dino voice. I think it would be good to have different voice options to choose from. Helpfully, there are three volume settings underneath, so if your dino is a bit loud you can always turn him down a little.
My other slight concern is that many children have speech issues and I wonder how well the dino is able to process what the child is saying. It didn’t always pick up on what my son was saying. He tends to speak quite fast and sometimes blurs his words into each other. This did force him to speak a bit clearer, which is probably no bad thing.
I’m not that keen that it uses batteries, I think in this day and age it should probably have a USB charging option or a charging stand you can put it on to power it up. Batteries seem such an analogue way to power this interactive toy.
The other thing is manners; something we’ve relentlessly drummed into my son. When the Cognitoys Dino asked him if he wanted to play a game Ben replied “Yes please”, but the dino didn’t really understand what he’d said. I know this is a personal niggle, but manners are everything and it would be nice if the dino could recognise and reward good manners to help reinforce what we do at home.
The Cognitoys Dino currently costs around £104 from Amazon UK. It’s a clever piece of kit. We found it really simple to set up and my son found it easy and really enjoyable to use. It’s not perfect, but it is very clever, engaging and hopefully a tool we can use to encourage some good developmental activity at home.
Power Rippers are a fusion of vehicles, battle tops and action figures in one. These brand new, no batteries required racing and battling toys can race up to 500 scale MPH. They can battle each other and do crazy stunts, jumping up to 10 feet high. Each of these new collectible Power Rippers can transform and each is armed with either teeth, stingers, a battering ram or saw blades.
We were sent the Power Rippers 2 in 1 Competition Set (RRP £29.99) and the Power Rippers 2-Pack (RRP £9.99) to put to the test. The competition set comes with its own carrying case and includes a 2 lane track set and a Power Ripper and ripcord. The Power Rippers 2-Pack contains two collectible Power Rippers and their ripcords. Power Rippers are suitable for ages 8+.
Each Power Ripper is a little vehicle which is powered by a ripcord you pull in and out rapidly to fire up the engine. You can release it onto the track and it can race and loop the loop. You can race them against each other. There are no batteries needed so they’re really easy to set up and go.
The competition set comes in a bright green carry case which is packed full of track. There are lots of ways to play with the Power Rippers, you can design your own track if you want, but we followed the design in the instructions. The track is pretty easy to connect together and there are so many different configurations you can try, just use your imagination. Just power up your Power Ripper and watch it loop the loop and race along your track.
On the other side of the carry case there is a battle arena. You close the flaps on your Power Ripper; power them up with the ripcord and send them down the slope to do battle in the arena. They spin fast, banging into each other. The flaps pop open and bash your opponent in a way that reminded me a little of Robot Wars. The battle mode is great fun and was perhaps our favourite way to play with the Power Rippers.
Once you’ve finished playing, everything gets neatly packed away in the carry case. It’s very neatly designed, which I like.
It can be a little tricky at first to get the hang of powering up your Power Ripper and setting it on the track. Make sure you have quite a few practice runs first. We all enjoyed playing with the Power Rippers. We loved how fast they zoomed along the track and the way they sprung open when they bashed against each other in the battle arena.
I am part of the Blogger Board Game Club run by Playtime PR. Each month 50 bloggers are sent a new (or new-ish, or at least new to them) board game to play and put to the test. This month we were sent Rory’s Story Cubes, a game I am familiar with but have never played.
Rory’s Story Cubes is a simple set of nine dice. Each dice is different and has a different image on each of its six sides. The idea is simple, roll the dice and make up a story based upon the nine images. It’s small, it’s simple and you can play it anywhere.
The game comes in a small magnetic box which contains the nine dice and a set of simple instructions. The only thing you need to supply is your imagination. The instructions are very easy to understand and include suggestions for developing your stories.
I’ve been waiting and waiting for my son (who has just turned seven) to be old enough to enjoy and understand this game. I was a little concerned he would think it was boring, but actually he loved it. He’s an imaginative little soul, so piecing together a story based on the roll of nine dice really floats his boat.
Rory’s Story Cubes are the kind of game that could spark off a whole raft of really lovely developmental activity. The storytelling can help to develop creative ideas and improve communication skills; as well as give their confidence a boost too.
We really loved Rory’s Story Cubes. This is the basic set, but if you really get into it there are a variety of expansion packs to help you grow your stories. This is such a big hit for us, it’s going straight into the activity bag we take with us when we go out.
Rory’s Story Cubes is widely available from a range of retailers and costs around £12.99. It’s suitable for ages 6+ and would make an excellent after dinner game on Christmas Day!
We were sent the Rory’s Story Cube game for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.
My son is addicted to watching those egg opening videos on YouTube, which means he gets pretty excited when he’s given a chocolate egg of his own. Give him a Kinder egg and he is one happy boy. I wondered if his enthusiasm for opening and eating chocolate eggs would translate into enthusiasm for making them. There was only one way to find out, we put a Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker to the test.
The Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker came with everything you need to make your chocolate eggs, except the chocolate, so we used some organic chocolate from Indigo Herbs as I’d been making chocolate that day.
The instructions are long and a bit too complicated for my six year old to process, so I sat down and read them through twice. You get two plastic pods and four egg “shells” which you put your surprise in before you make you egg. The kit also includes some small bags to melt the chocolate in, foil to wrap the finished eggs in as well as the egg maker.
The process is fairly simple, but we found the whole thing quite messy, so be prepared for that. Each plastic pod had a small hole in, presumably to ensure excess chocolate squirts out, but unfortunately when I spun the chocolate maker to make sure the egg was evenly coated, melted chocolate oozed out of the holes and flew across my freshly painted kitchen.
There are many stages to the egg making process and I’d heartily recommend that this should all be done under adult supervision. You put your surprise in the plastic egg, grease your pod, fill the syringe bag with melted chocolate. Clip your pod into the chocolate maker and squirt your chocolate into the pod. Turn the handle on the chocolate maker several times to ensure that the egg has been covered by chocolate and then put the pod in the freezer to set.
I’d heard that the eggs could be tricky to remove from the pods once they’d set, so I sprayed each pod with cooking oil, which did help them pop out. To set them I put the eggs in the freezer for the recommended half an hour, but they still weren’t set so I left them for a couple of hours.
I was disappointed when we removed the eggs from the pods as the eggs weren’t evenly covered with chocolate, which on closer inspection seemed to be because the chocolate had leaked out of the little hole. But we had made some chocolate eggs, so I wrapped them up in the foil and offered them out that evening for pudding.
My son was very excited to be opening his own Chocolate Egg Surprise. Unfortunately (and this could have been because of the chocolate I used but I couldn’t be 100% sure) the chocolate eggs didn’t crack open into two distinct halves and had to be scraped off the plastic egg with a spoon.
The Chocolate Egg Surprise Maker is aimed for children aged 6+. My son enjoyed the process and the thought of making his own eggs, but was ultimately a bit underwhelmed that they weren’t as impressive or as easy to eat as bought chocolate eggs are.
I think if I had lots of time on my hands to experiment with different kinds of chocolate for this, it might have improved the outcome a little. It’s worth remembering that this is a toy and not a piece of kitchen equipment. If you’ve got a patient child who enjoys process heavy activities and likes cleaning up after themselves, then they would probably quite like this.