Author Archives: Faye

Tonka Diecast Emergency Vehicles Review

Our latest offering from Tonka as one of their “Tonka Tough Mothers” was an awesome set of three diecast emergency vehicles.  There’s a police car, ambulance and Joseph’s favourite a fire engine.

Tonka Diecast Emergency Vehicles

Also included in the set are two plastic cones which are great for added enjoyment during fun, imaginative play.  Joseph’s has always had a lot of enjoyment from cars  and other vehicles especially fire engines so these were right up his street.

Tonka Diecast

As you would expect with Tonka toys they’re tough and built to last even the toughest play.  Did you know that in the 1970’s Tonka had an elephant stand on top of one of their toys just to prove how tough they are!!  They’re so confident in this that they offer a lifetime guarantee on all of their toys.

Tonka    Tonka

Joseph’s had lots of fun with this Tonka set acting out some great emergency scenes and I’m sure that will continue for a long time to come too.

The Tonka Diecast Emergency Vehicle 3 pack is available at Argos where it currently has 25% off and is priced at £8.99.

My First Tonka Flashlight Force Review

As a Tonka Tough Mother blogger I’m really excited to tell you all about the My First Tonka range and especially the Flashlight Force vehicles that Joseph has recently put to the test.

The My First Tonka collection is a chunky range of vehicles made for smaller hands and includes the Mini Wobble Wheels, Strong Arm vehicles, Soft Walkin’ Wheels as well as the Flashlight Force.   There are two versions of the Flashlight Force, a Tow Truck and a Fire Rescue Truck, and lucky Joseph received both of them!

My First Tonka Flashlight Force

The Flashlight Force are dual purpose functioning as both a push toy and a fully working LED torch with the handy carry handle housing an easy to use on/off button.  Joseph loved using his as a torch most of all, taking it to bed with him each and every night.

My First Tonka Flashlight Force

As with all Tonka toys the Flashlight Force are tough, built to last and come with a life time guarantee, both of ours have bashed and dropped and are still going strong.  We have had to change batteries on numerous occasions however but I think this is simply down to Joseph’s excessive use of the torch!

My First Tonka Flashlight Force

The My First Tonka Range is available from Argos with prices starting at just £6.99.

Schleich Large Farm Review

Regular readers will already know what huge fans we are of Schleich, so it will come as no surprise that the kiddywinks were overjoyed when Schleich asked if they’d like to review the new Large Farm set!

Schleich Large Farm

Upon opening the box it became very clear that the farm set would need quite some assembly.  A booklet of full colour instructions is included and I’d fully recommend looking through it and sorting through parts for five minutes before attempting to put anything together as there are lots of pieces that look very similar, especially the barriers.

Schleich Farm Large

I put the farm together with the “help” of Imogen and Joseph, it was very straightforward and took just slightly over half an hour.  If you have gifting this set for Christmas though I would highly recommend assembling it before Christmas morning.

Schleich Large Farm

Once assembled the farm is mightily impressive in both it’s size and appearance.  It has lots of lovely features which include a large sliding door, plenty of opening doors and windows and a large roof section which can be removed for ease of play.

Schleich Large Farm

There are four figures included (farmer, pig, cow and calf) and lots of accessories including a wheelbarrow, fork, milk churn, crate, animal feed, straw and hale bales and something we can’t decide whether it’s potatoes or manure!

Schleich Large Farm

Inside the farm there are three different areas which are sectioned off with barriers, a grooming area with rubber flooring and a pen with straw bedding.  There are also two outdoor enclosures on one side and a large one on the other sectioned off with a wooden fence.

Schleich Large Farm   Schleich Large Farm

Schleich Large Farm

Joseph absolutely loves the moving parts on the set, in particular the “cow wash” the massage brush for the cow and calf.

Schleich Large Farm Schleich Large Farm

The winch was another favourite and Joseph loved moving up and down and around the whole farm to feed the animals.  It reaches everywhere even outside and into the hayloft!

Schleich Large Farm

Both Imogen and Joseph have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the farm, they love all of the play features, accessories and adapting the farm for different animals.  Personally I love the imaginative play that it has encouraged as well as the attention to detail and quality of it that we always get from Schleich.

Schleich Large Farm

The Large Farm set is priced at £99.99 and would make any Schleich collector extremely happy. I think it’s great value for money as it’s extended the play value of the farm figures that we already had and it’s been played with non stop for a month now.  You can view the Schleich collection on full at www.schleich-s.co.uk.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set and BRIO Play Table Review

We have been extremely lucky of the past couple of months to be able review some lovely BRIO sets and earlier this month we were given the amazing opportunity to review the BRIO Deluxe Railway Set and BRIO Play Table.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set BRIO Play Table

One of the things that Joseph always plays with at school is the trains on the train table so I knew he’d simply adore it.  Tony and I decided to set it all up for him whilst he was at school so that he’d have a lovely surprise to come to.  Firstly we set up the Play Table.  I was expecting this to take some time and prepared myself with a coffee before I started out but in reality it was all set up before I’d had the chance to even have a sip!  There are only five parts to the table, two sides, two ends and the top.  These all screw together very easily and all of the tools are provided.

It’s a lovely size measuring 120cm x 80cm and is high enough for Joseph to sit on either a small chair or bean bag at or stand without stooping.  The top of the table is reversible and can either be fully green or have one corner blue for use as a lake or other water.  It also has raised sidewalls to ensure that all of your toys stay on the table.  It’s solidly made with nice rounded corners and finished with 6 coats of non-toxic gloss lacquer paint making it pretty chip resistant.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set and Play Table

Once the table was set up I though I’d wait for Joseph’s return from school before I opened up the Deluxe Railway Set and set it all up, after all half of the fun with train sets is building it!  There are a massive 87 play pieces to this set which all comes neatly packed away in a handy storage box which also unfolds into a handy playmat.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set

Once this is all put together an amazing BRIO world is created which contains 3 stations, 3 suspension bridges, an underground tunnel, 2 level crossings and a crane among many, many others.

BRIO Deluxe Railway SetThis all fits on the train table perfectly with the harbour in just the right place.  There are lots of vehicles included with this set as well and it’s not just trains.  There are 2 Road Vehicles, 2 Container Wagons, 1 Freight Train, 3 Metro Train Carriages, 3 Travel Train Carriages and a ferry. One of the metro carriages has lights and will make realistic sounds when pushed along the track.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set  BRIO Deluxe Railway Set

There are lots of features to this railway set some of Joseph’s favourites are the crane which will lift the cargo off of the ferry and straight onto a waiting truck for freight train.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Station BRIO Deluxe Railway Station

He also love the two storey train station with a lift that is operated with a easy to use handle.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set BRIO Deluxe Railway Set

Obviously Joseph is understandably really, really pleased with both the railway set and play table and runs home from school and goes straight up into his bedroom to play with them.  He’s quite simply had hours upon hours of pleasure from them already and it’s wonderful to see him playing with something that uses his imagination rather that the wifi!  It’s also great for helping him develop his hand-eye coordination.

BRIO Deluxe Railway Set BRIO Deluxe Railway Set

The great thing about BRIO is that all of the sets are fully compatible with each other and you get the quality that only over 130 years of knowledge in the market will bring.  Also all BRIO wooden toys are made from FSC certified wood which means its traceable and originates from responsible Forestry.

The RRP of the Play Table and Deluxe Railway Set is £159.99 and £199.99 respectively which some may see as being a little on the expensive side but I can assure that it’s certainly worth it and you’re bound to get your money’s worth of playtime and enjoyment from it and more!   You can view the entire BRIO range at www.brio.net

Teksta Toucan Review

We’re huge fans of the Teksta Robotic toy range with Imogen and Joseph building up a lovely collection between them.  So as you can imagine they were thrilled to be asked to check out the newest addition to the Teksta family, the Teksta Toucan.

Teksta Toucan

The Teksta Robotic Toucan takes 4 AA batteries and these aren’t included, so if you’re giving it as a gift please be prepared.  He has two modes of play which are controlled with a switch on the base.  With the first, low power or LP, the Teksta Toucan is ready to play straight away but you’ll need to download the free Teksta Toucan app on your smartdevice to unlock his full potential.  To connect your Toucan to the app turn the switch to BT as well as turning on the Bluetooth on your device.

Teksta Toucan

Through the app you can play games with the toucan, Imogen has spent a lot of time playing darts with him, ask him questions, get him to tell you a joke or answer a question.  He’ll also do impressions and dance along to music.  One of the features that Imogen loves is using him as a speaker, playing her music through him as he dances along.

Joseph loves having conversations with him whilst he’s in pirate mode and getting him to do impressions and make random “windy” noises!  He also uses him as a room guard to stop Imogen from waking him up too early.

Teksta Toucan

Both are in agreement though that by far the best thing that he can do is magic, just take a look at this video!

 

The kiddywinks have really enjoyed the Teksta Toucan and I can see why, his movement are very life like, he’s got a wicked sense of humour and he has some great interactive features. Personally I’d like to see a couple more games released on the app as there are only so many games of darts you can play but saying that there are so many things to do with him that my pair haven’t tired of him yet!

The Teksta Toucan is available from Character priced at £59.99 and is bound to be finding it’s way onto lots of Christmas lists this year.

Schleich Horse Club Pick Up with Horse Box Review

Back in the Summer Imogen was very lucky to be asked to review the Schleich Horse Club Riding Centre.  It’s still very much a well played with favourite of hers so she was obviously thrilled when she received the Pick Up with Horse Box also from the Schleich Horse Club range.

Schleich Pick Up with Horse Box

Inside the box you’ll find the pick up and horse box which does need a little assembly but it’s fairly straightforward and there’s a colour booklet with clear instructions.  There are also stickers to decorate the horse box which are plastic, great not only as they wear less but also if they need repositioning.

Schleich Pick Up with Horse Box

There is one horse included as well as a groom and driver figures and a whole host of accessories such as a saddle, brindle, a bay of hay and a bunch of carrots.

Schleich Pick Up and Horse Box

The roof of the horse box is fully removable for ease of play and has space for two horses as well as handy storage for saddles and other accessories, there’s even a space for food and water for the horses.

Schleich Pick Up and Horse Box

The pick up has doors that open with the driver fitting easily inside, there’s plenty of room in the back and the tail drops down to make it easy to off load.

Schleich Pick Up and Horse Box

There are lots of lovely moving parts and play features on this set and Imogen really loves that.  It’s made a great addition to her Schleich collection and extended her play possibilities with both the horse club figures and riding centre.  The quality is as you would expect from Schleich as is the attention to detail and it’s most certainly value for money.

Schleich Pick Up and Horse Box

The Horse Club Pick and Horse Box is priced at £39.99 and is available from Schleich, you can see the full collection at www.schleich-s.co.uk

Ravensburger 3D Puzzle Review

Imogen has always loved puzzles so was over the moon when she received  a wonderful set of three 3D puzzles from Ravensburger.

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

All of the puzzles have a very beautiful and on trend unicorn theme and have some very practical uses for any little girl’s bedroom.  There’s a vase, a vanity box for clever storage and a jewellery tree.

Imogen decided to start on the vanity box first as she thought this looked the easiest.  It has 216 jigsaw pieces as well as a plastic base and rim to go around the top, there’s even unicorn decorated cardboard to line it and, of course, instructions.

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

Imogen made good progress quite quickly with the jigsaw, following the numbers and directional arrows on the pieces to make sure they were in the right place.  The only thing she did find a little tricky was bending the hinged pieces for the corners of the box but after a little bit of help she me she was well on her way.

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

Once the rectangular shape is complete you need to slot it into the base and fit the rim around the top.  You’ll need two pairs of hands for this as the jigsaw will need to gently pushed in from all sides.  Once finished, the result is highly impressive as well as useful.

Ravensburger 3D Puzzle

Pleased with her vanity box Imogen moved onto the jewellery tree.

img_6842

This was actually the easiest of the three puzzles as it comprises of small, flat panels of jigsaw which clip together and then with other accessories added becomes a stunning, double sided jewellery tree with places to hang rings, bracelets and necklaces as well as a large base for other girly bits and bobs.

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

Imogen’s favourite puzzle was the vase and it’s easy to see why.  It’s not only a very impressive size at nearly 30 cm tall but it’s very beautiful and even has a waterproof liner so that it can be used with real flowers!

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

Imogen really enjoyed making these puzzles and whilst she most definitely doesn’t want to break them up to do them again they have a far more practical uses and look stunning on her dressing table.  They’ve provided additional storage and tidied up her bedroom a treat!

Ravensburger 3D Puzzles

Ravensburger have a huge selection of 3D puzzles available with everything from puzzle balls to famous landmarks and they’re perfect for any puzzle enthusiast.  You can see the range in full here.

 

Tonka Climbovers Review

Tonka have been around for absolutely ages, almost 70 years, but did you know that Tonka was started originally as just a slideline of a Mound Metalcraft, a company making garden implements?  Because of the huge success to the toys the company changed it’s name to Tonka and toys began their sole focus.  Their notion has always been that “a toy shouldn’t break just because a child plays with it” and their toys have always been built to last, in fact they’re so sure of this that they guarantee them for life!

Last month I was excited to be asked to become a Tonka Tough Mother and Joseph was thrilled to bits, especially when his first Tonka delivery arrived to be put to the test!  He received the Boulder Escape from the Climb-Overs range and couldn’t wait to open it.

Tonka Climb-Overs Boulder Escape

The Boulder Escape set comes with lots of pieces of track, straight, curved and a ramp, a boulder and a climb-overs jeep.  There are also clear instructions on how to set up the track.

Tonka Climb-overs Boulder Escape

The jeep comes with batteries already installed but there’s a small piece of plastic that needs to be removed so that it will work.  You’ll need to remove the cover of the jeep but instructions are very clear on how to do this.  The track was also easy to put together and Joseph was ready to play in next to no time.

Tonka Climb-Overs Boulder Escape

Tonka Climb-Overs Boulder Escape

You press the yellow button on the jeep and it will zoom along the track and through the tunnel where it triggers the boulder.  The boulder will either end up in front or behind the jeep, if it lands in front the jeep will push it around the track and if it lands behind it will chase it for until it’s momentum runs out.  Sometimes the boulder will come off the tracks and occasionally the jeep will do too but this only adds to the fun as Joseph loves to chase them around.

Tonka Climb-Overs Boulder Escape     Tonka Climb-Overs Boulder Escape

Joseph loves the set and has loads of fun with it, he’s also had hours of enjoyment with the jeep on it’s own as it will, as the name suggests, climb-over anything!

The Tonka Climb-Overs range will be available at Argos soon with prices starting at just £6.99.

BRIO Firefighter Set and Rescue Boat Review

I’ve mentioned before about Joseph’s love of BRIO and he’s had some great opportunities to review great BRIO sets out with me in the past but the latest he’s been tasked with putting to the test has to be his favourite to date.  His was lucky enough to receive the Firefighter Set (33815) and the Rescue Boat (33859) from his friends at BRIO.

BRIO Firefighter Set

The Firefighter Set has a total of 18 pieces including 10 pieces of track, a fire engine, a two piece fire train, gas station, one figure, a level crossing and other accessories.

BRIO Firefighter Set

I think it’s great how the set includes enough track to make a full circuit of track, and instructions of how to do so, as it makes a perfect first train set or a wonderful addition to an existing one.  There’s no assembly required at all and you’re ready to play in no time at all!

BRIO Firefighter Set

Joseph’s favourite thing was the fire train with it’s roll out hose and lift up ladder although the fire engine with lights and sounds came a very close second.

BRIO Firefighter Set BRIO Firefighter Set

BRIO Firefighter Set

The Rescue Boat was a very welcome addition to the Firefighter set, as it would be to any BRIO playset, it includes a car with a trailer that the rescue boat can be easily launched from in the case of an emergency as well as a figure.

BRIO Rescue Boat

As with all BRIO vehicles the trailer and car connect with magnets, are fully interchangeable and fit on the tracks.  All BRIO toys are also made to the highest of standards from only the best high quality plastic and sustainable beech wood and this really shows in just how robust they are.

BRIO

Joseph had a great time making up some fabulous combinations and taking them around the tracks, putting out fires and making daring rescues.  It’s been wonderful to see him having so much fun and putting his imagination to good use.

The Firefighter Set and Rescue Boat are both available from www.brio.co.uk and are priced at £39.99 and £14.99 respectively.

Cutting the Back to School Cost with Poundland

I recently read a shocking news article that claims the average cost of sending a 4-16 year old back to school each September is costing on average of £186.  That’s almost £200 on uniform, shoes, sports kit, lunch bags and stationary.  WOW!  Obviously I try and do what I can to keep these costs down as much as I can.  Using discount supermarkets for the uniform basics has saved a lot as has our local Poundland which was our one stop shop for all of the kiddywinks stationery this year.

Back to School with Poundland

As ever, Poundland has a great range suitable for everyone from primary school pupils right up to university students.  There are some lovely co-ordinating ranges which include the brightly coloured Neon, Craft and Nu as well as some favourite characters such as Spiderman, The Lion Guard, The Secret Life of Pets and Finding Dory.  Imogen loves the Neon range with its’ brightly coloured lipstick highlighters, lego shaped erasers and highly addictive maze pens.

Back to School with Poundland

We also found some great value branded stationery items on our recent trip to Poundland as well which included a 4 pack of Papermate Inkjoy ball pens which come in 4 different variations Black, Blue, Office or Fashion.  I use these for work and they usually cost me £3 for 8, so these were a great find.  Another bargain we found was the Helix Value Maths Set which contains a compass, 2 set squares, protractor, ruler, eraser, pencil and sharpener all for £1.  The cheapest I can find this elsewhere is double the price!

Back to School with Poundland

As every parent knows planning is a massive part of the academic year and diaries and wall planners play a massive part in making sure I don’t forget which friend I’m picking up from school, who has after school clubs and the next wretched cake sale!  Poundland have a great selection of these as well from pocket sized to A4, ones you can hang on the wall and weekly planners that you can stick on your fridge.  I love this photo calendar that I’m going to fill with pictures of the children and hang in the hall and this mint green diary that will live in my overstuffed handbag.

Back to School with Poundland Back to School with Poundland Poundland also have a great range of backpacks, lunchbags and drinks bottles featuring Avengers, Disney Princesses, Shopkins and Paw Patrol starting from as little as £2.  Cracking value and definitely worth checking out.  You can find your nearest Poundland here or you can now browse from the comfort of your own sofa at www.poundland.co.uk

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