Little Live Pets were one of Imogen’s most wanted toys of 2013 and subsequently became one of her most played with toys from Father Christmas. They have recently released series 2 of the Little Live Pets and there are some very cute additions to the hugely popular range.
As well as new butterflies and birds there are three Owl Mum and Baby duos, the Heartwing, Nightstar and Graceling families. Imogen was overjoyed to receive the Heartwing family from Character to review and named hers Betty and Barney.
They are a gorgeous looking pair with big eyes, beautifully decorated wings and soft, felt like bodies. Both come with batteries installed ready to play and are easily operated with an on/off switch on their chests.
There are lots of different ways to play with them, firstly the Mother Owl (Betty) will feed her baby (Barney) when they are placed with their beaks together. Barney will feed and burp when he’s full and then then hoot a happy song, Mum will then join in.
Placed together the two will also sing and hoot along together. Apparently there are 55 songs, owl and baby bird calls but Baa Baa Black Sheep does seem to be a favourite of Betty’s and Barney’s Rock a Bye Baby. Betty will sing more when she is stroked and Barney will respond to being cradled in the palm of your hand.
Betty, the Mummy Owl, has the added benefit of a record button on her chest and can record about 10 seconds of voice which can be played back by pressing the button again. Imogen found this highly amusing especially and still using it to request drinks and snacks or demand that her brother leaves her room.
Imogen is a massive Zelfs fan and spends most of her pocket money on the crazy haired, Zelftastic collectibles. Father Christmas did a great job on finding the few that she wanted from the series 3 collection and now 2015 has seen the release of series 4 and they’re cuter than ever!
Our friends at Character have kindly started Imogen’s collection off nicely and sent her Cyril the Squirrel!
Just like the Zelfs from the other series Cyril comes with his own comb and hair accessories as well as a collectors leaflet. Imogen loves Cyril’s hair which is slightly different to her others as it has a very slight kink to it, very 80’s!
Other Zelfs in series 4 include Cindy-Moo the cow Zelf, Polly Roger the pirate Zelf Sheldon the mermaid Zelf and Imogen most lusted after Hightail the winged unicorn Zelf.
Series 4 also sees a small number of scented Zelicious Zelfs as well as a limited edition Zelf, Cleocat the Pharaoh Zelf!
Details of how you can claim your very own Cleocat Zelf can be found here and the entire 4th series can be viewed and purchased on www.character-online.com.
It’s now the beginning of March and Spring and Easter are officially just around the corner. The shelves of the supermarkets may be filled with brightly coloured chocolate eggs but why not take a look at these gorgeous little Easter gift eggs from Playmobil instead?
There are four different eggs in the collection, Pirate with Rowboat, Fun at the Beach and the two that Imogen and Joseph were lucky enough to receive Boy with Children’s Tractor and Princess with Vanity unit.
Both of the kiddywinks are crazy about PLaymobil so they were obviously thrilled with their eggs. Joseph, who has just turned four, needed very little help assembling his 33 Playmobil pieces to create his toy tractor which comes complete with scoop, trailer and carrots!
Imogen needed no help at all with her Playmobil egg and quickly had her princess primping herself at her vanity unit in no time at all. She loves her princess’s dress and tiara as well as her beautiful vanity unit and fabulous flowers.
Priced at £6.99 each the Playmobil Easter Gift eggs are roughly the same price as a large chocolate Easter egg but the contents are a lot more fun and they’re guaranteed to last an awful lot longer!
Thanks to YouTube Imogen was a Shopkins fan long before their release here in the UK. Last year she was lucky enough to review the Shopkins Supermarket playset as well as some figures from the first series. Since then we’ve collected a whole host of the much sort after collectibles and she was delighted to see the arrival of the second series in their bright pink baskets earlier this month. Recently she was sent the new Shopkins So Cool Fridge playset by Flair to review, which was met with many squeals of excitement!
The Shopkins So Cool Fridge comes with two exclusive characters, 6 mini egg Shopkins, 2 sticker sheets containing over 35 stickers, an ice bucket and two shopping bags in “series 2 purple”.
The fridge is a American style fridge freezer with an ice dispenser and small bottom drawer on the left and two removable shelves and large drawer on the right hand side. Inside the door there’s a see-saw egg tray, where the mini egg Shopkins live and an additional shelf.
Imogen loves the egg see-saw and has taken great pleasure in wobbling the eggs around in their tray before they ultimately all fall out! She also adores the ice dispenser and thoroughly enjoys pushing the lever and watching Cool Cube fall into the waiting ice bucket.
As well as being a fun playset the So Cool Fridge is great for storage and display of your beloved Shopkins. The information on the box claims that it’ll store up to 25 Shopkins characters but I’m sure we’ve had many, many more than that inside!
Imogen is absolutely thrilled with the addition of the So Cool Fridge to her ever expanding collection of Shopkins and it’s a definite must have for any Shopkins fan. It’s available from Amazon as well as other retailers priced at £14.99.
Just before Christmas Imogen was very lucky to receive the Teksta Robotic Kitty from Character to review, it quickly became one of her favorite toys and is still a very firm favourite. Joseph was incredibly jealous of Imogen’s new toy often smuggling it out of her room when she was at school trying to play with it in secret. The thing is that he simply couldn’t operate it by himself and Imogen certainly wasn’t going to be the one to show him how!
Character have recently expanded the Teksta family to include two arrivals the Newborn Kitty and the Newborn Puppy. These palm sized robotic pets have been designed for the younger audience and are far simpler to control.
Joseph was overjoyed at the arrival of “Dave” his very own Teskta Kitty and very quickly had worked out how to operate it himself, hurrah!
The Newborn Teskta Kitty has three functions walk, sit and beg and with it looking identical to the larger version in Joseph’s eyes Dave is simply smaller than Imogen’s Teskta Kitty Katy. Sadly the original Teskta and the Newborn Teksta don’t interact which is something I’d have liked to have seen for the £20 price tag but the kiddywinks certainly haven’t noticed this and have really enjoyed looking after their new arrival. Here is “Dave” in action.
The Teksta Newborn is available as a Puppy in Blue or a Kitty in Pink at £19.99 and available from Character.
Joseph, like many four year old little boys, is obsessive about trains and dinosaurs, given this I just knew he’d love the latest Thomas and Friends DVD he was sent for review – Thomas & Friends Dinos & Discoveries!
“All aboard for a roaring good time with Thomas and his friends! The engines are filled with wonder at the fantastical new sights and sounds on Sodor. Volcanoes sizzle and dinosaurs roar as the engines help the Earl with a special surprise. Marion experiences some dino daydreams, as Bill and Ben send Timothy on an expedition for a rainbow-coloured truck. Samson discovers his slip-ups cause confusion and delay, while Emily marvels at her giant and worldly special. It’s time for big adventure and dino-sized fun with Thomas and Friends!”
The DVD was released earlier this year and contains a full 70 minutes of Thomas action. There are 6 episodes from the 18th series including:
Marion & The Dinosaurs
Millie & The Volcano
Timothy & The Rainbow Truck
Samson At Your Service
Emily Saves the World
Samson Sent For Scrap
There are also five awesome bonus features which include ” Who’s that Engine”, “The Earl’s Quiz” and “Mr Perkin’s Postcard”. These are all really interactive and Joseph really enjoyed joining in and shouting his answers at the screen.
Personally I loved the fact that there are brand new, never seen before, episodes on the DVD as I’ve watched an awful lot of them an increasing number of times. Joseph loved seeing the newer characters such as Marion and he was of course thrilled to see new engine Samson introduced. It’s an awesome DVD that Joseph has watched time and time again and will definitely continue to do so for some time.
Dinos and Discoveries is available on DVD now priced at around £9 and is available from Amazon as well as other retailers.
Imogen has been avidly collecting Palace Pets since she was introduced to them last year, she’s since built up a vast collection of Pets and playsets and her favourite present from father Christmas was the much coveted Sultan, Jasmine’s Tiger.
Character has released four new Palace Pets into the popular range, the Glitzy Glitter Friends and as the name suggests these friends of the Disney Princesses have a glittery finish. Imogen received Petit – Belle’s Pony but there is also Aurora’s Kitty Beauty, Treasure Ariel’s Kitty and Pumpkin Cinderella’s Puppy available.
Just like the other Palace Pets, the Glitzy Glitter Friends come with their own brush, removable tiara and story booklet but also have the added bonus of a glittery skirt!
The skirt is fastened around the Palace Pet’s waist with Velcro which makes it easy to take on and off and because these pets are the same size as the regular ones it can easily become a sparkly accessory for any pet!
Imogen, of course, loves the new addition to her collection and Petit’s arrival sparked a full on Palace Pet fashion show. Even Joseph got involved preparing the pets for their moment on the catwalk!
The Palace Pets Glitzy Glitter Friends are available from Character priced at £7.99 and are just a small part of the Disney Princess Palace range.
The boat comes with three figures Peppa, George and of course Grandpa Pig who are all dressed for their holiday’s. Peppa and George are in their swimmers whilst Grandpa Pig is wearing a brightly coloured shirt and his classic sailors cap.
Each of the figures has it’s own circular base making it easier for tiny hands to stand them up. The boat has places aboard for these bases to slot into nicely so that Peppa, George and Grandpa will stay put no matter how choppy the sea!
The boat comes in one piece with a rubber propeller, flag, bell and controls and just like Grandpa’s shirt is brightly coloured. It has also been specially designed to float to water and makes an awesome bath time toy. Joseph loves the water and bath toys are his favourite so this was a complete bonus that really added value to it.
As with all of the toys from Character’s Peppa Pig range it’s sturdy enough to withstand rough play and has been designed for small hands to manage and play with easily. Grandpa Pig’s Holiday Boat is priced at £19.99 which I think it a great price bearing in mind that it can be played with in or out of the water.
There is a whole host of new toys available in the Peppa Pig Holiday Time collection which can be seen here, Joseph quite fancies the Ice Cream Van next!
There was a time (before the kiddywinks) when I’d find time to sit down and actually read a book. We all go to the library fortnightly and Imogen is nearing the end of her Book Quest, I still take books out for myself but they mainly still on my bedside table for the allotted two weeks before heading back unread. There’s quite simply other stuff to do that all seems more important and I swear that the sheer size of some of the novels puts me off.
I was recently asked by Galaxy to take a look at what seemed like the perfect solution, Quick Reads. Quick Reads are just that, a series of six books shorter in length – perfect for those who are less confident with their reading or lack time.
The Quick Reads initiative was founded in 2006 and has now has now distributed over 4.3million books to libraries, workplaces, hospitals, schools, parents, family groups and even prisons. Previous high profile authors who have penned Galaxy Quick Reads titles include Jeffrey Archer, Lynda La Plante and Andy McNab. This year’s participating authors are Roddy Doyle, Jojo Moyes, Sophie Hannah, Fanny Blake, Adèle Geras and James Bowen. Between them, their Quick Reads titles cover a range of different themes from a holiday romance to a true story based on a homeless man and his cat.
Here’s the full list:
Dead Man Talking – Roddy Doyle
Paris for Two One – Jojo Moyes
Red for Revenge -Fanny Blake
Pictures or it Didn’t Happen – Sophie Hannah
Out Of The Dark – Adéle Geras
Street Cat Bob – James Bowen
I was sent Paris for Two One and Dead Man Talking and I finished the first over the weekend and am already a good way into the second. They”re both great books that I’ve been able to pick up and read a page or two on lunch breaks at work, for 10 minutes before bed and if I’ve found myself too early for the school pick up.
Priced very reasonably at £1 the book are available from tomorrow (4th February 2015) at WHSmiths, Waterstones as well as some supermarkets. They are also available to download as eBooks on the major eBooks platforms. There is more information on the initiative at www.quickreads.org.uk
With Christmas sadly now a mere memory the kiddywink and I are busy putting plans together for February half term. This year Tony and I both have the entire week off and we’re really looking forward to spending that time together and visiting friends and family in the South East that we didn’t manage to catch up with last year.
We’ll be skipping along the coast to Portsmouth, stopping in to see my sister in Weymouth en- route, and possibly visiting Peppa Pig World on the way home. We’re are also looking to visit the Blue Reef Aquarium as well as the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. Imogen shares her Dad’s passion about history and I know she’ll love looking around the 1860 HMS Warrior and HMS Victory infamous for it’s role in the Battle of Trafalgar. Joseph has a huge obbession with anything to do with the sea and is looking forward to seeing the new HMS Alliance, a real life submarine! As well as being able to look through a working periscope there’s even the chance to meet a submariner.
As always, we’ll be be looking to save where we can on our mini half term break. We’ve bagged ourselves a bargain budget hotel for a few nights by simply booking early and we’ll save 20% on our Portsmouth Historic Dockyard ticket with Smartsave. I’ve saved up our Tesco Clubcard Vouchers to give us 4 times their value on meals out I now just need to find out how to do Peppa Pig World on a budget!