Category Archives: Toys

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.

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.