Tag Archives: toy

Who is The Pretender plus giveaway?

We love playing games together as a family, so were delighted to be offered the chance to review a new game The Pretender for free. This is manufactured by Gamely who also came up with Randomise that we reviewed a couple of years ago.

The Pretender game

Just like Randomise, this is a nice compact size, which always gets the thumbs up for me. The boys possessions are overflowing the storage space in our house, which is not helped by most games coming in half empty, huge boxes.

This is a game of mini charades, bluffing and suspicion. Basically one player is the Pretender and the aim of the game is for the other players to discover who the Pretender is, whilst the Pretender must fake their way through the game, escaping detection and trying to work out what on earth everyone else is miming!

The Pretender

The rules suggest that it is for 4-6 players and suitable for age 12+, but son2 at a younger age was in his element playing this, even if he didn’t quite know what a word meant. And we found that you definitely do need at least 4 players, 3 wouldn’t really be enough, particularly as we soon twigged  that whoever chose the item number for a round wasn’t the Pretender.

The Pretender

After the charades, come the accusations. I seemed to get accused a lot more times than when I actually was the Pretender, so looks like I need to brush up on my charades skills. Most embarrassingly, when I was miming knitting, as I’m the only one of us who actually knows how to knit. And jaws dropped when at least a couple of times, they thought they had caught me out, but I escaped by successfully identifying the item.

There are 10 items in each category and 36 different categories in total, 2 categories per card so it will continue to feel fresh and new after many games have been played. Scoring is optional, so we didn’t bother.

The Pretender game currently retails at £11.99 on Amazon and John Lewis. Very good value in my opinion for all the fun we had. I can highly recommend this game. We’ve now got our eye out for the other new game from Gamely, which is Soundiculous.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway The Pretender game to one lucky winner. What a fun prize.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your idea for a new game.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Having fun playing Randomise game plus giveaway

Now as I’m sure you can imagine, in a household with two young children, we enjoy playing games a great deal. So I was very pleased to be offered the chance to review newly launched game Randomise for free.

Randomise game

I was delighted to see when it arrived that it was a nice compact size. We are running out of shelf space for the boys, as some games come in huge boxes which are half empty, mainly due to board size. But Randomise is just cards, no board.

I had a quick read of the rules and found it nice and straight-forward. Basically before you get your cards, you declare whether you want an easy or a hard challenge and whether you will describe, act or draw it. You are permitted 30 seconds for describing, 60 for acting or 90 for drawing. The opposing players select three random numbers for you from 1 to 3. You then take a card from each pile – A (the descriptive cards e.g. Happy, Hairy, Vain), B (who you are e.g. Octopus, Astronaut, Lion) and C (what you are doing e.g. Eating spaghetti, Playing football, Baking a cake). So if the opposing players had selected 1,1,2 you would be a Happy octopus playing football in this example.

Playing Randomise

We then had great fun playing it with lots of laughs. We managed to get some right, but the title of the game Randomise is spot on. The very random nature of the game made it difficult to guess the correct answer, but some of our wild guesses just added to the hilarity.

greedy jellyfish chopping onions

This is my favourite drawing although I didn’t manage to guess it. Son2 had drawn a greedy jellyfish chopping onions. I especially love how he has conveyed greedy with the cup cake and doughnut.

We also adapted the game to make it easier for son2 to join in, as it is really targeted at those age 8+ but by letting him choose the options from his cards and how he wanted to present it, permitting props too, made it fun for him.

You can watch him having fun acting one out here.

The Randomise game currently retails at £9.99 on Amazon. Great value in my opinion for all the fun it gives. I highly recommend this game. It would also work well for playing as large teams.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Randomise game to one lucky winner. A fabulously fun prize.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear your idea of a Randomise suggestion e.g. “fragile flea shelling peas”.

You can find Randomise on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Skinny Sketchers review & giveaway

Last month I told you the exciting news about the Inventors Workshop which is being held on September 22nd. And today I want to talk about the Skinny Sketcher which has been invented by Gillian Logan, one of the speakers at the workshop. I received two free Skinny Sketcher drawing kits to review, which have now been road-tested by the boys.

Skinny Sketcher drawing kits

Son1 opted for London Flavour whilst son2 chose The Fast and The Curious.

Each kit contains 6 drawing designs and sheets of tracing paper, plus a propelling pencil in a visually attractive container which looks like a takeaway coffee cup. I can imagine these standing out on the shop shelf.

Son1 chose to draw the London Eye from his kit.

Skinny Sketchers drawing

Skinny Sketchers drawing

Meanwhile son2 did all the drawings in his kit in about the same time as son1 spent on one drawing, although not nearly as carefully. However they both enjoyed doing their drawings and I was pleased to see them absorbed in what they were doing rather than their usual request for more screen time.

Skinny Sketchers Drawing

Skinny Sketchers Drawing

Skinny Sketchers Drawing

The designs are built up step-by-step, a great way to help you learn to draw freehand. There are six kits in the range. The other four are Architecture, Butterflies & Blossoms, Capture The Castle and Dinosaurs.

These kits currently retail on Amazon for £6.99 each compared to an RRP of £7.99, excellent value in my opinion. They would make great stocking fillers or use them for party bags. I always try to avoid the standard party bag fare and usually opt for books, so these would be nice instead.

Gillian Logan with Skinny Sketcher

Mumpreneur, Gillian Logan, inventor of Skinny Sketcher

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway the full range of Skinny Sketcher drawing kits to two lucky winners. That is 6 kits each, so loads of fun.

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear what you would like to draw.

And don’t forget that my blog special offer of £99 for the Inventors Workshop is still valid. Just call Georgia on 01992 535646 and quote the code Charlie99 to book your discounted ticket.

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Disclosure. This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Get ready to ROAR! Go Go Power Rangers!

My boys were very excited when I started opening an unexpected parcel and saw the following message under the lid.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

It was another free box of goodies to review from Bandai. This time a total surprise. Inside the parcel, we found the following:-

Power Rangers Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher
Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger Action Hero
Two extra Dino Chargers
Two Power Rangers Super Megaforce comics with toys

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Now Power Rangers are not something that I had come across previously. However I now know the toys are based on a TV series which has been going for about 20 years. Where have I been hiding? And let me tell you Power Rangers fans out there that there is a new series heading your way this summer. The first episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge premieres on POP on Monday 31st August at 7:30am. Not a channel we have, so we’ll miss out on seeing the new team of Power Rangers use their dinosaur energy spirit to charge up an arsenal of dino-fueled swords, blasters, Zords and Megazords to save the world.

However we’ve been catching up on our viewing on YouTube and the boys have had fun with the toys.

Son2 playing with Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger Action Hero

Son1 playing with Power Rangers Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher

I also downloaded the free Dino Charger app onto my phone and the boys enjoyed scanning the chargers and Morphing into the various Power Rangers.

Here is a video of son1 morphing.

Wow this takes play to a totally different level. In my day Morph was a little plasticine character on TV.

I think the Power Rangers Dino Charge Morpher is going to be on plenty of Christmas wishlists this year. It has lights and a range of 25 different sounds and came with two Dino chargers. When you insert a Dino Charger into the Morpher, it recognises which Dino has been inserted as it powers up, which is very cool. It is suitable for age 4+ and currently retails on Amazon for £29.99.

And the Power Rangers Dino Charge Red Ranger is a 12.5cm action figure with two battle gear items. Again suitable for age 4+ and currently retails on Amazon for £9.99.

Both great toys in my opinion. And the boys definitely agree.

Want a chance to join in with the fun. Power Rangers Dino Charge will be at CarFest South in Laverstoke from 28th – 30th August.

And I subsequently found pictures on my phone like the one below, which the boys must have downloaded from the app.

Power Rangers Dino Charge

Although the boys enjoyed reading the comics, we weren’t so impressed with the free toys attached to them. We couldn’t get the pocket blaster to fire and one of the fins fell off a bullet within minutes. The wrist blaster was only a little better in performance. Not a patch on the proper Power Rangers toys.

Son1 reading a Power Rangers comic magazine

Finally you can see the Morpher TV commercial here.

I’d love to hear your memories of Power Rangers.

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

What would you invent?

Do you have a creative germ of an idea buzzing around in your head waiting to be set free? Do you watch Dragons Den thinking my idea is as good as theirs? I believe most of us have an invention inside us waiting to be made, but whether it will happen is another question.

My children spend hours drawing characters and cutting them out, then playing games with them. And I can remember doing the same as a child myself. This is probably similar to the first step from those people who went on to invent all our favourite top-selling board games.

Son1's Total Wipeout Game

Son1’s Total Wipeout Game

But there are so any things to consider, like funding, marketing and pitch. So for those of you who have a great idea for a toy or game, but can’t visualise how to get it onto the toyshop shelves, then let me tell you about the Inventors Workshop.

inventors workshop

This is being held on 22nd September at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire. It helps anyone with an idea for a new toy or game to get the advice they need from the big toy companies like Lego and Hasbro to make their idea a success. The price for the workshop is £129 for the day including lunch and refreshments, but I have a special offer for my readers of £99.

Just call Georgia on 01992 535646 and quote the code Charlie99 to book your discounted ticket.

Last year a mumpreneur called Gillian Logan got her idea signed up on the spot and is now selling her Skinny Sketcher drawing kit on Amazon and in gift shops all over the country.

Gillian Logan with Skinny Sketcher

Mumpreneur, Gillian Logan, inventor of Skinny Sketcher

So i’d love to hear about your invention ideas. And watch out for a Skinny Sketcher giveaway next month!

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Disclosure.  I will be receiving a Skinny Sketcher to review shortly.  All opinions are my own.

Magformers toy review and giveaway

The boys love reviewing toys, so of course I said yes when Magformers approached me to ask if I would like to review their magnetic construction set. They have now sent us one of their Magformers WOW sets for free.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

The WOW set contains 16 various magnetic pieces which can be assembled in a multitude of different ways. There is also a pack of designs for various 2D shapes and 3D models. The boys tried a few of these first before experimenting with their own designs.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

I was very impressed how many different things you can make with just 16 pieces. And it is a great idea to include the pack of designs. Although I must say that son2 would only try making the models. He wouldn’t attempt the 2D shapes because the colours of the pieces didn’t match. That is his OCD streak coming through. I assembled the shape below for him, but he still insisted it was wrong.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Son1 gives his thoughts on Magformers in the video below.

The WOW set retails at £29.99 and is suitable from age 3. The children and I loved this toy but I did feel that it is a little pricey in my opinion. You can purchase it online from Magformers own webshop. And  Magformers will be available in Hamleys later this summer and are already sold in many smaller shops through the country.

A great toy that will appeal to both boys and girls in my opinion. And educational too. The magnetic shapes allow children to naturally understand the underlying geometry of 2D and 3D shapes. Through fun and innovative play, children can develop their mathematics and creativity while building whatever they can imagine.

Magformers magnetic construction toy

Magformers magnetic construction toy

I’d love to hear what your child would create with Magformers?

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a WOW set courtesy of Magformers to one lucky winner.
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a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

You can find Magformers UK on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Visit Yet Another Blogging Mummy on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Heroes aren’t born, they’re made – more Sprükits

What makes a hero? You do.

Regular readers of my blog may remember how excited the boys were when we received four free Sprükits from Bandai last month for them to construct. I already blogged about the fun they both had constructing the level 1 kits.

Sprukits by Bandai

They have now moved up from level 1. Son2 got the level 2 Batman Dark Knight Rises whilst son1 got the level 3 Halo Master Chief.

Bearing in mind that son2 is below the target age 8+, he did really well. He assembled it in phases over the course of a few days. There were some bits where he asked me to help to put the pieces together and sometimes when I had to assist to undo pieces that were back-to-front. But I expect that may have possibly been my fault in the first place.

Batman Dark Knight Rises Sprükit toy from Bandai

Batman Dark Knight Rises Sprükit toy from Bandai

Son1 also took a few days, but he needed no help at all, even though this was the most complex kit of all.

Halo Master Chief Sprükit toy from Bandai

Halo Master Chief Sprükit toy from Bandai

They both had no trouble twisting the pieces off the Sprü this time, having learnt how to do that a few weeks ago with the level 1 kits.

We found that both kits had several spare hands in different positions, open and closed. These didn’t appear to be mentioned, but I think it is so they can be swapped, as currently the assembled models are holding guns.

These construction toys are recommended for age 8+ and they retail at amazon, argos, the entertainer, smyths, tesco and toymaster. Level 1 kits have over 30 pieces with an RRP of £8.99. Whilst the larger level 2 kits with 20+ moveable joints have an RRP of £15.99. And finally the most challenging level 3 kits have over 150 pieces with an RRP of £49.99. So something to suit all budgets. The full list of Sprükits is displayed in their catalogue. No cutting, painting or glue is required.

You can see the TV commercial here.

I have been very impressed with all the kits. The boys have had great fun building them and then playing with them afterwards. I consider that Level 1 and Level 2 kits are very good value for money, but in my opinion, the Level 3 is a bit over-priced.

And last time I hosted a giveaway courtesy of Bandai for a Batman Dark Knight Rises Sprükit, just like the one son2 has made. This has now closed and the lucky winner is Michelle P.

I’d love to hear what you or your family have ever made from a kit?

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

From a drawing to a custom doll review and giveaway – open worldwide

Would you like to turn your child’s drawing into a real doll they can hug & love? Then read on.

When Yaela of Dolls ‘n’ All contacted me to ask if I would like to do a review for her, I wondered how I was going to get the boys to sign on to the idea. The word “doll” is a big no no to them. So I cunningly showed them some of the photos on the Dolls ‘n’ All website which as well as girly dolls included boys with monsters, superheros and even a sheriff doll. And I explained that they would draw pictures and Yaela would make them. Reminding them how it would be like when they did the design for Daddy’s cushion.

They were sold on the idea. Son2 immediately told me he was going to draw a penguin. So one wet day during the Easter holiday, I gave them some paper and pencils, so they could do their designs. And here are the results.

Rockhopper by son1

Rockhopper by son1

Penguin by son2

Penguin by son2

I then emailed their pictures to Yaela to work her magic. Yaela was great at communicating progress on the project and the boys were very excited when I told them that the toys were on the way. And even more excited when the parcel arrived. We opened it to find a personalised letter along with their two special toys, which were very well packed.

Parcel from Dolls 'n' All

Handmade toys from Dolls 'n' All

Handmade toys from Dolls 'n' All

The boys absolutely loved their gorgeous toys giving them loads of cuddles. But son1 was not satisfied with the letter though. He was about to cross out the word HER, pointing to Rockhopper’s beard, as proof that Rockhopper is male. So I would suggest that the experience for the children may be enhanced with the ability to also choose the letter from several templates instead, with wording appropriate to girl or boy dolls. Also our letter referred to singular drawing and singular doll, whilst addressed to both son1 and son2. So either a separate letter for each child or a template with plural wording would have resolved this.

DollsnAll personalised letter

Also son2 mentioned that the beak and feet of his penguin should be orange, but on looking at my scan of his original drawing, I can see that it already looked beige at that point, so this was my fault. I showed this to son2 which satisfied him, so I would suggest you always compare the scan to the original before submitting an order, because you can easily add a note regarding colour variations.

A lovely touch was that the toys were labelled on the back with the year, child’s name and age.

Prices currently start at £32, depending on level of detail in the design, plus shipping and you can choose between a regular or extra large toy. The boys’ toys would both have cost about £40 each. You would receive an exact pricing quote after you submit the child’s drawing. Alternatively you can order a gift certificate.

Look at these two happy boys with their toys. I thoroughly recommend Dolls ‘n’ All for coming up with such a great business idea. Such a lovely keepsake. Son2 has already told me that he is going to do two more drawings, so I told him he had better start saving his pocket money.

Son1 with  his own designed toy from Dolls 'n' All

Son2 with  his own designed toy from Dolls 'n' AllI even sneaked some photos when they were both asleep.

Son1 asleep with his Rockhopper Penguin

Son2 asleep with his Penguin

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a doll of your child’s design courtesy of Dolls ‘n’ All to one lucky winner. What a fab prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

Plus I have a special offer to share with my readers of 10% discount off your order. Please quote the code CLAIRE15 when you place your order.

I’d love to hear what toy you or your child would choose to have made?

ps. Don’t tell my boys that their toys are dolls!

You can find Dolls ‘n’ All on social media as follows:-
Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Heroes aren’t born, they’re made – Sprükits review and giveaway

What makes a hero? You do.

The boys were really excited when I opened the big parcel that has just arrived and saw it was packed full of toys. We had received four free Sprükits from Bandai for them to construct.

Sprukits by Bandai

There were two level 1 toys, one level 2 and one level 3 toy. They are all targetted at age 8+ but son2 didn’t want to be left out of the fun, so they each started with a level 1 toy. Son1 got The Joker and son2 got Batman.

They both love building lego but neither of them had come across this type of toy before. We opened the boxes and put everything on a tray each. I showed them how they would identify each piece by its number and letter and left them to follow the instructions themselves, reminding them to leave the pieces on the Sprü until they were ready to use them. No cutting, painting or glue is required.

The Joker Bandai Sprükit

Son1 immediately got the hang of it and needed no help at all. Son2 was initially a little unsure of how to twist the pieces off the Sprü, but was fine by about piece 3. He also demanded help when some of his pieces didn’t stay together too well. I felt it just needed a little more force to snap them together, but remember he is under the target age for this toy. He also has the same issue with Lego.

Batman Bandai Sprükit toy

I was amazed how quickly son1 finished making The Joker and son2 wasn’t that far behind with Batman. They then had great fun role playing with their models.

Batman and The Joker Bandai Sprükit toys

These construction toys are recommended for age 8+ and they retail at amazon, argos, the entertainer, smyths, tesco and toymaster. Level 1 kits have over 30 pieces with an RRP of £8.99. Whilst the larger level 2 kits with 20+ moveable joints have an RRP of £15.99. And finally the most challenging level 3 kits have over 150 pieces with an RRP of £49.99. So something to suit all budgets. The full list of Sprükits is displayed in their catalogue.

You can see the TV commercial here.

Win a Batman Dark Knight Rises Bandai Sprükit toy

Batman Dark Knight Rises Sprükit

The next project is to move on to building the level 2 and level 3 Sprükits. I’ll do a separate blog post to tell you how the boys get on with those. But I certainly was very impressed with both the level 1 kits, plenty of fun and good value for money in my opinion.

In the meantime, I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a Batman Dark Knight Rises Sprükit (level 2 kit) to one lucky winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear who is your favourite super hero.

Family Fever

Disclosure.  This post is a review of products I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Kinetic Sand Beach Box Set review

We were recruited onto the Toys R Us Toyologist programme a year ago when the boys reviewed the Star Wars Ultimate Anakin to Darth Vader Figure, a toy they are still very much enjoying now. We had been wondering when we might get invited to review a second toy for Toys R Us, so the boys were very pleased to be asked if they would like to review the Kinetic Sand Beach Box Set for free.

Kinetic Sand Beach Box Set

It arrived middle of the week but we waited until the weekend to test it out, as I was’t sure how much mess the boys might make, plus they would be less tired than trying it after school. I put out a mat in the kitchen for them to play on just in case of sand spillage. Then we opened the box to find a sand tray, four seaside theme moulds and a bag of purple sand. I tipped the sand into the tray and the boys got straight down to playing.

Kinetic Sand from ToysRUs

They had a whale of a time if you’ll excuse the pun telling seaside stories as they made and demolished their sand models. It kept them engrossed for ages. They were very pleased how well formed their models were each time compared to traditional sand. And I have to say the boys made very little mess. It was easy for me to clear up the small spillages on the mat back into the tray, due to the kinetic adhering nature of the sand.

Having fun with Kinetic Sand from ToysRUs

Having fun with Kinetic Sand from ToysRUs

Having fun with Kinetic Sand from ToysRUs

Having fun with Kinetic Sand from ToysRUs

Here is a video of the boys doing a sand modelling story.

And now I’ll include some comments from my point of view. In particular I’m comparing it against an existing indoor moon sand toy which son2 received as a present a couple of years ago. Firstly I was very pleased that it only contained one colour of sand, as our existing toy has two colours and they are now very mixed. Secondly I was very surprised to see that the sand tray did not have a lid like our existing toy. I wasn’t confident enough to store an open tray of sand just in it’s cardboard box. Too much risk of spillage, so I bagged the tray and contents in a carrier bag before putting back in the box after playtime.

Also I note that on the reverse of the box it states that you should store Kinetic Sand in a sealed container to keep it clean and dust free. So another reason why a lidded tray would be better.

So in summary a big thumbs up on the fun front, but you’ll need to be careful storing this toy. Please note this is designed as an indoor toy and should be kept dry.

It currently retails at Toys R Us for £19.99, and is recommended for age 3+.  Above pocket money prices but a good price for a present. I don’t know how this price compares to moon sand.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a product I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.