Category Archives: Reviews

Crystal Zelfs Review

Just a couple of weeks ago I told you all about the new fifth series of Imogen’s favourite friends the Zelfs.  You may recall that this exciting series also includes a limited number of Crystal Zelfs, Zelfs with added bling!  Thanks to Character Imogen added to her expanding collection with Moona the Crystal Zelf.

Moona Crystal Zelf

There are six to collect Angelala, So-Anne, Moonicorn, Starkle, Sugar-Bunny and Moona.  They are slightly more expensive that their similarly sized counterparts but come with a cute magical crystal accessory.  Moona, who is a Snadman Zelf, comes with her own MoonBeam bench as well as her very own comb and hair accessories.

Moona The Crystal Zelf

The Crystal Zelfs help create wonderful dreams using their Crystal Powers so Imogen takes Moona to bed with her every night and can confirm that they do indeed aid a restful and dream filled night!

The Crystal Zelfs are available now from Character-online.com and are just a small part of a huge Zelf range that starts from as little as £1.99.

 

The Furchester Hotel Magazine Review

Today sees the launch of the first ever CBeebies Furchester Hotel magazine, based around the popular CBeebies series you’ll see all of your favourite Furchester characters inside including Elmo, Cookie Monster and new friends Phoebe, Funella and Furgus. The kiddywinks were very lucky to get an early sneak peek of the magazine so they could share their thoughts on it.

Furchester Hotel Magazine

As with most children’s magazine The Furchester Hotel magazine comes with a free gift, this issue has a portrait kit and contains everything needed to make your own portraits of the characters from the show.  There is furry fabric, googly eyes, an assortments of backgrounds and frames as well as accessories.  Joseph really enjoyed this mixing and matching to create his own fun, brightly coloured characters.

The Furchester Hotel Magazine

Inside the magazine there are stories, plenty of colouring pages, puzzles and lots and lots of stickers that need placing on pretty much every page.  Joseph most enjoyed the stickers, solving problems and answering questions with them particularly in Cookie Monster’s 6 page activity book which is found in the middle of the magazine.

The Furchester Hotel MagazineThere are lots of opportunities to practice a little bit of writing and pencil control as well with mazes, answers to circle and lines to trace.  Joseph needs a little help controlling his pencil so we found these very useful as rather than copying letters from a book he was following the trail across the magazine and helping his Furchester friends.

The Furchester Hotel Magazine

The Furchester Hotel magazine is a four weekly magazine priced at £2.75 and the first issue is available now.

 

Easy Nails Nail Spa Review

Imogen loves nothing more than a little pamper and so was thrilled to be asked to review the Easy Nails Nail Spa from Character.

Easy Nails Nail Spa

Suitable for children aged 5 and over the Nail Spa comes with two pots of peel off nail polish in pink and purple, three interchangeable brush heads, gem stones and glitter.  The Nail Spa does need 3AAA batteries and these aren’t included.

Easy Nails Nail Spa

The Nail Spa is essentially a robotic arm that will dip it’s brush into the polish and then paint your nails for you which is fabulous as Imogen and I are both quite uncoordinated and as a result our nails are always a mess!

It’s really easy to use simply set it up by switching it to set up mode at the back and fully lower the nail polish bottle holder by turning the dial.  Then place an open bottle of polish into the bottle holder and press the pink button on the side of the nail spa.  If the brush doesn’t dip into the bottle simply raise the height of it by turning the dial.  Switch the Nail Spa back into Play mode and you’re ready to go.

To paint your nails with the Easy Nails Nail Spa firstly place your finger on the rest and press the pink button, this will dip the brush into the polish.  Then press the purple button and this will move the brush above your nail.  Pivot your finger on the adjustable nail rest until your nail is painted pressing the purple button again if need be.

East Nails Nail Spa

Find the right position is tricky but once Imogen and finished one hand she had the hang of it and her left hand was beautifully painted, far better than she could have done herself.

Easy Nails Nail Spa

Imogen adores the Easy Nails Nail Spa and has used it time and time again either with friends, by herself or with her brother!  It’s really easy for her to use with the dip and paint buttons being positioned on both sides of the Nail Spa and the size adjustable bottle holder means that it will accommodate pretty much any pot of polish.  It’s fairly compact so easy to store but I’d love to have seen a little drawer somewhere to stash the extra brushes and other small accessories.

The Easy Nails Nail Spa is available now from Character priced at £29.99.

Minion Madness with Crayola and Top Trumps

With this Summer’s hottest movie now in cinemas Minion madness has most definitely taken over in our house with the happy yellow fellas appearing all over our house including in the form of yogurt in our fridge!  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve also been sent some awesome new Minion themed products from Crayola and Top Trumps in order to share our thoughts.

First up is Minion Colour ALive from Crayola.  Imogen and Joseph were lucky enough to review the first wave of Colour Alive products and still play with them to this day so they were thrilled when this arrived.

Minion Colour Alive

 

Crayola seem to have made some changes to make the process more user friendly and there is no need to scan in your special effects markers and there are more effects available on the app but we did have trouble scanning in a couple of pages despite several attempts.

Crayola Colour Alive Crayola Colur Alive

That said they’ve still had an enormous amount of fun with it and it’s bound to keep them amused during the rainy days we’re bound to have over the Summer holidays.

Crayola Colour Alive Crayola Colour Alive

 

The Kiddywinks also received Minion Top Trumps, 60 glossy, good quality thick cards which feature their favourite Minions as well as other characters and missions from the movie.

Minions Top Trumps

There are five different scoring categories to choice from including cleverness, bravery, leadership, mischievous and the classic Top Trump rating.  Imogen is a Top Trumps pro and has really enjoyed teaching her little brother how to play although normally beating him hands down!

Minion Top Trumps

They were a god send during a family trip to the optician’s for our annual eye tests and I’m sure they’ll save the day on long journeys for plenty of time to come.

Little Live Pets Lil’ Mouse House Trail Review

The kiddywinks have been hankering after a new pet for ages, trying to convince me that the summer holidays would be an ideal time to introduce a new furry friend into our home because they’d have more time to get to know it.  They knew I was having none of it but it didn’t stop the nagging and constant requests to visit the pet shop, obviously hoping that we’d all fall hopelessly in love with something there and bring it back with us.  So imagine their surprise when I told them to hurry home from school because they had something small and furry waiting for them!

However, what was waiting for them was a delivery from Character, the latest from their Little Live Pets range the Lil’ Mouse House Trail complete with Crumbs a little brown mouse.  I was wrong in thinking they’d be slightly miffed with the trick I’d played, they were thrilled with their new “pet”.

Little Live Pets Lil' Mouse House Trail

The Lil’ Mouse House Trail doesn’t include a mouse but that’s reflected in it’s price of £14.99.  There are currently six mice available to buy separately at £9.99 or you can purchase the Mouse House as addition to the playset for £19.99 and this comes one of two exclusive mice, Snippy or Blossom.

ChatterSmooch Crumbs

The little mice are very cute with soft, bodies, felt ears and come with the batteries they need already installed.  They make over 25 different noises, most of which are realistic squeaks but they also have an infectious giggle!

The Lil’ Mouse House Trail does need assembly but it’s simply a case of clipping together parts of the trail and takes less than five minutes but does need a little force so is best done by an adult.  

Little Live Pets Lil' Mouse House Trail

It has some cool features including a see-saw, two scamper domes, bubble track and plenty of twists and turns for your mouse to explore.  There is the option of putting ramps or stoppers on the sides of the scamper domes which will allow your pet to run free or not, whichever you decide.

Little Live Pets Lil' Mouse House Trail

Once let loose inside the trail our mouse Scamp scurried all around, exploring the whole track and turning back on herself when she hit an obstacle.  Occasionally she will get a little over excited and turn onto her back but as soon as she’s back on her wheels she’ll scoot off again, usually giggling in delight!

Little Live Pets Lil' Mouse House Trail

Both Imogen and Joseph have had no end of fun with Scamp and the Lil’ Mouse House Trail and there are plans to expand the mouse family and add a Mouse House very, very soon.

The entire range of Little Live Pets Mice can be seen here.

Zelfs Series 5 Review

Imogen is still a massive Zelfs fan and so was delighted to hear of the release of the eagerly awaited series 5 of her crazy-haired friends and even more excited when Character asked her to take a look at them.

Series 5 Zelfs

Lucky Imogen received two Series 5 Zelfs Daisy-May the Daisy Zelf and Koolah the Koala Zelf.  Just like the other Zelfs from previous series each Zelf comes with it’s own comb, hair accessories and collectors leaflet.

Series 5 Zelfs

As always Imogen loves her little bios on the back on the box, learning all about her new friends and marking their birthdays on her calendar.

Series 5 Zelfs

Imogen’s favourite is Daisy-May as she has glorious patterned hair, which is new to the latest series.

Series 5 Zelfs

Also new to series 5 are a cute range of Crystal Zelfs and an extremely cool Light Up Zelf, Princess Crystella who is a huge 24cm tall and comes complete with light up wing and hair.

Light Up Zelf

The Series 5 Zelfs will be available shortly from www.character-online.com with prices starting from £1.99.

White Rock Beefeater Review

Last week we were very kindly invited to try out our local Beefeater restaurant to try out their new Spring/Summer menu and admire their new decor.  We decided to start our weekend off in style and visited on Friday night and booked a table at Beefeater White Rock for 6.30pm.

Beefeater White Rock

Upon arrival I was quite surprised to see that the restaurant was already quite full but we were shown to our table and presented with menus very quickly.  Our waitress was soon with us to take our drinks orders and the children were given Mr Men and Little Miss activity books and crayons to keep them amused.

Beefeater White Rock

Browsing through the menu took some time as it’s huge and Tony, who loves a steak, had a very difficult job choosing his preferred choice.  He eventually opted for the 10oz Rump with a side order of Bearnaise sauce.  Being a vegetarian there wasn’t a great deal of choice for me but then Beefeater is a steak restaurant so it’s to be expected, I decided on the Veg-Out burger.  We were asked by our waitress if we wanted to swap any of our sides and given the option of skinny or chunky chips and then to have them plain or spicy.

The children were determined to whole the whole hog and have three courses with Joseph starting with Garlic and Herb Breaded Mushrooms before this 3oz Steak Burger.  Imogen started with Cheesy Nachos and followed with Mr Noisy’s Bangers and Mash.

Beefeater White Rock

The children’s started arrived quickly but afterwards there was a quite substantial delay for our main courses.  Imogen and Joseph were otherwise occupied chatting with us about their week and what they wanted to do that weekend and busy with their activity books so they didn’t notice, Tony and I however began to get very hungry.  When our meals did arrive though they didn’t disappoint, they were nicely presented, hot and very, very tasty!

Beefeater White Rock  Beefeater White Rock

 

Beefeater White Rock

With full tummies and empty plates all round we decided to skip dessert but have booked a table to go back this Friday  and take more of an appetite with us.  Imogen and Joseph are very keen to try out the Mini Chocolate Challenge whilst I’d like to give one of their famous sundaes a go!

Our meal for four including drinks cost us a little over £50 which I think is very reasonable.  The children’s menu at £4.49 for one course, £5.49 for two and £5.99 for three including squash is great value for money and one of the reasons, apart from that missed pudding, that we’ll be returning.

To find your local Beefeater restaurant and check out it’s menu take a look at www.beefeater.co.uk

Ravensburger Minions Movie Jigsaw Puzzle Review

Minions madness has definitely taken over our house and whilst we have yet to see the movie (that’s this weekend’s surprise!) the kiddywinks are most certainly enjoyed seeing the Minions little yellows faces pop up on everything!  Our friends at Ravensburger treated them to one of their impressive selection of Minions puzzles and their were thrilled, of course.

Ravensburger Minion Jigsaw Puzzle

Suitable for children aged 6+ this puzzle has 80 pieces and features Kevin, Bob and Stuart racing through the streets of London on their Minion Invasion.  Imogen, a bit of a jigsaw whiz, got to work quickly turning the pieces over and fishing out all of the edge pieces.

Ravensburger Minion Jigsaw Puzzle

With a little bit of “help” from Joseph, Imogen did very well only needed a little bit of help at the bottom where the Union Jack features on the Minion’s bike.

Ravensburger Minions Jigsaw Puzzle

Impressed with the finished result Imogen and Joseph have both gone back to the jigsaw puzzle to complete it time and time again, it’s even come out to dinner with us and kept Joseph amused during one of Imogen’s ballet classes!

Ravensburger Minions Jigsaw Puzzle

Ravensburger puzzles have always been our favourite because not only do they have a huge range with some great themes but the quality is impeccable and this puzzle is no different.  It’s made from thick, strong cardboard with bright, vivid colours and matte finished to minimize glare.

The Ravensburger Minions Movie Jigsaw Puzzle is priced at £4.99 and available from Amazon priced at £4.99.  The full range of Ravensburger Minion puzzles can be seen in it’s entirety here.

Yummy Nummies Mini Kitchen Magic Review

I’ve mentioned before what huge YouTube fans the kiddywinks are, most of their iPad time is spend watching toy “unboxing” or blind bag opening and it was here that Imogen first discovered Yummy Nummies.

Yummy Nummies

Yummy Nummies Mini Kitchen Magic are food craft kits that include everything needed to create teeny, tiny, tasty creations that are quick, easy and safe to make and require nothing but water and a microwave!  There are a number of different Yummy Nummies kits available in three cagegories Dinner Delights, Candy Shop and Bakery Treats.  Imogen was sent Cookie Creations and Mini Pizza Party from Character to try out for herself.

First up we tested out the Mini Pizza Party.  Inside the box is a plastic mixing/baking tray which will need to be cut in half, a mixing spoon, measuring scoop, three sachets (dough, sauce and cheese), instructions and a mini pizza peel to present your creation!

Yummy Nummies Mini Pizza Party

Firstly you need to measure the right amount of dough mix and water in the larger section of the mixing tray and then spread the mixture evenly into the four compartments of the second tray.  After a few seconds in the microwave you get a spongy pizza base.  Let it cool for a minute and then squish the bases down in the tray.

Yummy Nummies Mini Pizza Party

Next the pizza topping, the sauce will need to measured out and mixed with water and then spread on top before sprinkling the cheese on top to finish it off before presenting it on the cute mini pizza peel.

Yummy Nummies Mini Pizza Party

Yummy Nummies Mini Pizza Party

The texture of the mini pizza is slightly odd but they smell and taste very much of pizza and Imogen and Joseph enjoyed eating them just as much as they did making them!

Yummy Mummies Mini Pizza Party

The Cookie Creations kit works in pretty much the same way and contains both white and milk chocolate chips as well as the cookie dough mix with a miniature paper bag to present your cookies in.

Yummy Nummies Cookie Creations

Again these smell and taste strongly of cookies, even before the cookie dough is microwaved, but they are best enjoyed whilst still warm or they can become chewy.

Yummy Nummies Cookie Creations

Yummy Nummies Cookie Creations

Imogen thoroughly enjoyed making cookies and pizzas with the Yummy Nummies Mini Kitchen Magic kits the main appeal being that she needed little to no assistance from me and when you’re an independent 7 year old this is a huge thing!  Imogen has asked to try other sets and whilst they’re not going to replace a proper baking session in our house it’s a quick, relatively mess free and tasty alternative so we’ll certainly be giving them a go.

The full range of Yummy Nummies Mini Kitchen Magic are available on the Character website here with prices starting from £6.99.

Back to School with Great Gizmos NICI Range

With only a few weeks of the school year left it won’t be long until we start thinking about the dreaded back to school preparations.  With Imogen starting the juniors and Joseph beginning full time school in reception they’ll both be keen to make a good first impression with their teachers and classmates alike.  They were recently sent some awesome goodies from Great Gizmos NICI range so they could do just that!

Their little bundle included a Timmy Time backpack, a tin of coloured pencils, wild friends scissors and pouch roll pencil case.

Great Gizmos NICI Range

Having recently watched the new Shaun the Sheep movie, Joseph was very quick to claim the Timmy Time backpack as his own!  It’s cute and cuddly with adjustable straps and a magnetic closure under Timmy’s head to keep the back pack closed.  It’s the perfect size for the things he needs for nursery and it’s been filled with cars, drinks and snacks on days out too.

Timmy Time Backpack

Imogen was just as eager to get first dibs on the plush pencil case which features a great jungle theme with a gorilla, turtle and colourful parrot.  It has a large compartment with a full length zip and unwraps to reveal 13 elasticated straps the perfect size for pens and pencils that you’ll need easy access to.

Great Gizmos NICI Range  Great Gizmos NICI Range

Both Imogen and Joseph have had a lot of enjoyment from the kangaroo coloured pencil tin as they’re no ordinary coloured pencils!  The 12 pencils are cleverly double ended and therefore contain 24 colours.

Nici Kangaroo Coloured Pencil Set This pleased the budding artists no end and they’re apparently really good for colouring and have just the right colours for everything!

Great Gizmos NICI Range

I’m really impressed with the quality of the range and the kiddywinks love the cute animal designs.  Yes, some of them are a little more pricey than I would personally choose to pay, the pencil case for example is £14.99, but if it lasts a whole school year then it has to be worth paying a little more for.

There is a huge range of NICI stationary available on the Great Gizmos website with prices starting from 75p as well as a tempting 3 for 2 offer and Imogen has requested we complete the Wild Friends collection before September.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...