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Crayola Marker Maker Review ~ #CrayolaBloggers

As Crayola Bloggers we have the not so difficult task of trying out their latest, exciting products.  This time it was time to try our hand at making our very own marker pens with Crayola’s Marker Maker.

Crayola Marker Maker

 

The Marker Maker kit contains everything needed to make 16 markers of your own colour choice including three bottles of ink (red, blue and yellow), barrels, tips, plugs and caps for the markers, cores to fill with ink as well and stickers to label your markers and two boxes to decorate and store your markers.  The Marker Maker station looks a lot like a chemistry lab with test tubes to mix ink and tweezers to move ink filled cores and Imogen loved this making her feel like a proper alchemist.

Crayola Marker Maker

To make your own marker you’ll first need to pop the tip into the barrel of your marker and place into the centre of the station.  Then choose a colour from the colour mixing guide, this will tell you how much of each colour you’ll need to mix, next carefully squeeze the required ink into the test tube.

Crayola Marker Maker

When your ink is ready carefully and slowly, using the tweezers, place one of the marker cores into the test tube and wait for it to soak up all of the ink.  This doesn’t take too long and there are two test tubes so you have get a proper little production line going.

Crayola Marker Maker

With all the ink soaked into the core you’ll then need to use to tweezers again to place it into the marker barrel, then pop on the plug and press down on the lever and listen for it to click twice.  You need quite a lot of strength to do this so it was quite literally a case of all hands on deck!

Crayola Marker Maker

When your marker is ready all you need to do is label it!

Crayola Marker Maker

Imogen loved mixing the colours, watching the ink being soaked up and assembling her own markers.  She made a huge variety of different coloured markers and took great pride in colouring in her box to safely store them away.  Joseph joined in too and learnt an awful lot about colour mixing which he proudly shared with his nursery teachers and gained himself extra brownie points for!

Crayola Marker Maker

The Crayola Marker Maker is available from Amazon and other toy retailers priced at £19.99 and would make an awesome Christmas present for the any crafty, creative child.

Club Chic Fashion Dolls Review

Lucky Imogen had an awesome delivery from Vivid recently, the entire range of the Club Chic dolls!

Club Chic Dolls

Based in Bear Valley Hills, the Club Chic girls are totes the trendiest, coolest bears around! Each Club Chic doll has their own individual style and comes complete with personalised fabric outfits and a super-styling hand bag that you can use too! So who are these VIBs (Very Important Bears)?

Left to right they are:

Crystal a super famous movie actress, she loves shopping with her Club Chic friends for new clothes and accessories to add to her vast collection!  Crystal loves being glamorous and thinks that diamonds really are a bear’s best friend!

Violet likes to stand out in a crowd and her cool alternative fashion choices make this clear.  An amazing artist celebrated for her spooktacular art, she’s never shy of experimenting with edgy colours in both her art and her fashions!

Lil’ B has been a legendary hip hop dancer since her early teens! When she’s not down at the skate park you’ll most likely find her dancing to her favourite beats! It’s all about the music for this funky bear!

Candy is a bear who just loves to party!  As an international supermodel Candy travels around the world on a regular basis!  Her favourite colour is pink (duh…) and she loves having her photo taken.

Pippa is the youngest and the super-sweetest of the bunch! Her look is seriously cute, but behind those bashful pig-tails is a girl with some serious smarts! When she’s not playing with her latest gadget she’ll be most likely putting up the latest goss on the Club Chic girls on her blog! Making geek look totally chic!

The dolls are really well made with beautifully painted faces and each one comes with their own accessories as well as a handbag which closes with velcro and can be used as a purse.  They have hair just like any doll that can be brushed and styled and as they’re all the same shape they can all swap outfits.

Club Chic Dolls

Despite their oversized heads the Club Chic dolls can stand unaided and they have articulated arms and legs so that they can be positioned during play.

Club Chic Dolls

Although Imogen could identify with the personality traits and careers of all of the dolls her favourite is Candy, mainly because they both share a love of anything pink and love having their photograph taken.

Club Chic Candy

The Club Chic dolls are reasonably priced at around £16.99 and available from a number of toy retailers as well as larger supermarkets. For more information on them check out their very website www.clubchicdolls.com

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet Review

Joseph has a steadily growing collection of Peppa Pig toys and they’re some of his favourite so he was really pleased with his new addition the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

Like most children his age he’s obbessed with any form of transport so the Jumbo Jet instantly appealed to him.  The yellow and red colours are bright, bold and very gender neutral.  The playset comes with the jumbo jet as well an exclusive Peppa Pig figure with a jumbo jet on her dress and two red suitcases.

Peppa PIg Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

The side of the jumbo jet opens and there’s seats for three characters and the Peppa figure included is just like the others in the Peppa Pig series, with articulated arms and legs, so that she can fit nice and comfortably in the seat.  Joseph likes to sit Peppa in the front seat so that he can pretend she’s Pilot Peppa and is flying her friends off somewhere exciting, asked where he’ll normally reply Toys R Us!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

At the back of the jumbo jet is the luggage hold which is opened by squeezing both sides together, at first Joseph found this really tricky but slowly he’s got the hang of it.  The hold is large enough to carry to two suitcases as well a stow away if there isn’t enough room up front.  The cabin and hold are separated so there’s no chance of luggage flying around the cabin no matter how bumpy the flight and believe me there’ve been some bumpy ones!  The jumbo jet free-wheeling wheels underneath as well as a pivoting front wheels enabling it go around corners with ease.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo JetJoseph loves the jumbo jet and it’s been a really welcome addition to the rest of his Peppa Pig collection.  As with the rest of the range it’s well built and sturdy and designed for small hands to play with with ease.  Ideally I think he’d like to see it with a few more seats but I think that would make it far too big for him to handle and George seems more than happy to travel in the hold on the odd occasion when Air Peppa finds itself overbooked!

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo JetPeppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet

 

The Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet is just one of the new range of Peppa Pig toys available from Character and is priced at £19.99.

 

 

Xeno – The Interactive Monster Review

This is Xeno, he’s an interactive baby monster who loves to play!

Xeno

Xeno has been hotly tipped by popular toy store Hamley’s as one of the top ten toys for Christmas 2014 and we were sent our very own for review.

Xeno Interactive Toy

Xeno comes in three different colourways, (all of which have the same play functions) Pacific Blue, Burnt Orange and Ultra Violet which is the one we were sent.  Quickly named by Joseph as “Dave” Xeno was welcomed into our family with open arms.  He’s made from a soft rubber, the kind that you find on sensory balls and has long floppy ears, big eyes and a little pot belly.

He has over ten different emotions (happy, moody, grumpy, upset, hungry, playful, unwell, thoughtful, disappointed, annoyed, bored and sleepy), forty plus different eye expressions with his clever LCD graphic eyes and will make over eighty different sounds.

Xeno has eight different sensors located around his body (head, mouth, tummy, right hand, left hand, left pawfoot, tail and snot) He has extremely ticklish feet, he likes to be fed, he’ll dance to music but only if he likes it and he also like to burp and trump a lot which the kiddywinks think is hysterical!

Xeno

If you hold both of his hands Xeno will ask if you “wanna play?” and he’ll play 5 games with you.  These include Beat-a-Burp where Xeno will burp a rhythm and you have to copy it by pressing one of his hands.  In Catcha-Catcha you simply have to try and put your finger into Xeno’s mouth before he closes it and the kiddywinks favourite Quikk-a-burp where you have to guess when Xeno is going to burp and press his hand at the same time he does, it’s not an easy one!

Just like most interactive toys Xeno has his own free App (available on iTunes and Google Play) which will let you bathe and cook for Xeno.  The app is great just by itself as is Xeno but put the two together and you have hours upon hours of fun.

Xeno

 

XenoXeno

Having had the pleasure of Xeno’s company for a couple of weeks I can see why he’s made it to the top ten Christmas toys list, he’s awesome.  Imogen and Joseph have played with him every day since he’s arrived with Imogen running home from school to make sure he’s OK and isn’t hungry.  My only advise would be to stock up on good quality batteries (Pound shop ones don’t last long) and a couple of rechargeable sets would probably be best.

There is more information on Xeno on his dedicated website www.xenotoy.co.uk and he’s available from Amazon priced at approximately £79.99.

Frozen Elsa Fancy Dress Review

Just like most girls her age Imogen is Frozen crazy, she’s slowly building up quite a collection of the dolls by saving her pocket money like crazy and her most of her Christmas list is based around the highly popular Disney film.  One of the most coveted items on her ever increasing list is an Elsa dress so she was elated when the very same arrived for her from the kind fellows at Otley Run Fancy Dress.

Elsa Dress

Imogen’s Elsa dress arrived very promptly a couple of days later and she was, of course, thrilled with it.  It has a beautifully sequined bodice in the trademark Elsa turquoise which is trimmed with silver and has a lovely little Elsa and Anna badge at the centre which can be removed if you should wish.  The sleeves of the dress are a very delicate see-through, sparkly tulle which comes to a point at the wrist, just like Queen Elsa’s infamous gown.

Elsa Dress

The dress also has a heavily netted underskirt which gives a lovely princessy flare to it and apparently making it great for spinning in too!

Elsa Dress

By far Imogen’s favourite feature of the dress is full the cape which is attached to the back of the dress.  It is made from a very pale tulle and covered in a multitude of glittery snowflakes.

Elsa Dress

At six and a half Imogen is probably just above average height at 125c m so I decided to order her the size 7-8 which is recommended for a child of 130 cm and the fit was perfect, it comes about mid calf on her which is great as it means she won’t trip over when dancing and prancing about in it.

The quality of the dress rivals those that we have brought Imogen from the Disney store but comes without the price tag.  This Elsa dress is a steal at just £18.99 with P&P of £3.75, there’s also a very pretty Anna coronation dress at the same price and both are available in sizes 2-3 right up to 8-9 years.  Have a look at the pair on their website here.

The Adventures of Abney & Teal Magazine Review

On Thursday a brand new pre-school magazine hits the shelves featuring none other than the CBeebies favourites Abney & Teal and we were given an exclusive sneak preview!

Abney & Teal Magazine

There are 35 full colour pages to the magazine which is choc-a-bloc with activities to help develop early years learning.  Joseph, who desperately needs to practice his pencil control and learn his numbers had lots of fun with the Abney & Teal’s Counting Workbook which takes over 8 pages of the magazine.  He loved counting and then tracing over the numbers with great care and attention and took great pride in sticking on his “well done” sticker once he’d completed each page.

Abney & Teal Magazine

Other activities included are coloring pages, puzzles, mazes and there are also Abney, Teal & Neep puppets to cut out and create.  The centre of the magazine pulls out to revel a lovely four week reward chart with a sticker scene to complete with the large sticker sheet included.  The reward chart has a daily task to be achieved which as well as including small easy to do chores, such as making my bed look tidy, include fun activities to be done together.  Today’s task was to learn a new song so we’ve all been singing Five Little Ducks!

Abney & Teal Magazine

Imogen has thoroughly enjoyed reading the Abney & Teal magazine to Joseph, especially the story “A sleepless night” which she read without any help at all, well done Imogen!

Abney & Teal Magazine

Just like many children’s magazines the front cover features a free gift and this, the first issue, features a musical set comprising of a small guitar and recorder.  There are also competitions to enter and a page for you to do your own drawing to send in and possibly be featured in the next issue.

The Adventures of Abney & Teal is available from Thursday 23rd October priced at £2.99 and can be found in most newsagents and supermarkets UKMums.tv are also running a competition to win a six months subscription here.

 

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage & Fashion Tails Review

Earlier this year Imogen reviewed the Palace Pets Pamper & Beauty Salon from Character, it’s still a very much loved and played with toy and was lucky enough to accompany Imogen to school on the last day of the school year.  Imogen has since built up an impressive collection of the furry tailed Disney Princess companions and was delighted when the latest Palace Pets playset arrived for her to review, the Royal Carriage.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage

The Royal Carriage comes with Furry Tail Friend Teacup, Cinderella’s Puppy who is ready to make an entrance at the royal ball with her sunglasses and petticoat accessories.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage The carriage is very beautiful with some lovely attention to detail, Imogen loves the tiny bluebirds on the front.  It has some lovely features which include a flip down table with tea pot and tea cup for refreshments on the go but flip it up and it’s a mirror!

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage There is also a roll out carpet for your Palace Pets to make a grand entrance, however this is fairly flimsy and can be very difficult for little hands to slide in and out.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Royal Carriage

 

Imogen was also sent a “Beauty” Palace Pets Fashion Tails.  Beauty is Aurora’s kitten and she comes with three interchangeable tails which she can decide to wear depending on her mood.

Disney Princess Palace Pets Fashion TailsImogen loves playing with Beauty with the Pamper & Beauty Salon playset, arriving by carriage of course, for a full makeover, brushing her chosen tail and getting her ready for parties.

Disney Princess Palace Pets

Both of the playsets have been a huge hit with Imogen who has played with them non stop since they arrived.  The Palace Pets Royal Carriage is priced at £17.99 and the Fashion Tails (Beauty or Teacup) are priced at £9.99 and I think they’re great value for money, IMogen has certainly has her money’s worth of play with them already.

There’s a growing range of Palace Pets available from Character on their website www.character-online.com with prices starting from as little as £5.99.  IMogen is very keen to complete her collection at Christmas with Treasure (Ariel’s Kitten) and the much coveted and apparently impossible to get hold of Sultan (Jasmine’s tiger).

Imaginext Lion’s Den Castle Review

Joseph’s love affair with Imaginext started earlier this year with DC Super Friends Batcave, it’s one of his most played with toys and he’s been lusting after a lot of the Fisher Price Imaginext range for quite some time.  I’m sure that you can imagine the delight on his face when the Imaginext Lion’s Den Castle arrived for him to review.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

The castle is an impressive size at about 60 cm wide and 40 cm tall and takes the form of a lion with the main door forming it’s mouth and the lion’s paws creating secret dungeons.  The playset comes with:

  • Two knight figures
  • A green lizard figure
  • A lion figure
  • A throne
  • 2 shields
  • 2 helmets
  • 2 axes
  • A king’s crown
  • A crossbow with six disks.

The toy castle needs no assembly and comes with the 2 AA batteries already installed, so it’s ready for play straight away.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There are four levels to the castle and plenty of fun features that come with lights and sound effects.  There are turn disks scattered around the castle that will activate the castle’s “defense mode”, shutting the lion’s mane and jaws and activating the lion’s paws grabbing who or whatever might be in their path!

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There are also three shields on the front of the castle that when hit with one of the disks from the cross bow (or pressed) will collapse the throne room floor or open the lion’s jaw and collapse one of the castle’s tower’s bringing down it’s defenses ready to be stormed!

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Den CastleImaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Den Castle

There is also a jail cell with a secret escape trap door that is also activated with the shields.

Imaginext Lion's Den Castle Imaginext Lion's Dan Castle

 

Joseph loves the castle and has played with it every day since it arrived, most of the time Imogen will join in on the fun with the pair taking it in turns to be the baddie or trying to storm the castle as an evil twosome!

Imaginext Lion's Den CastleAs with the entire Imaginext range, the Lion’s Den Castle is well made, well designed and durable.  The sound effects are great and very realistic and one of Joseph’s favourite things about the castle.  It’s been great for simulating imaginative play and it will certainly be getting an awful lot of play in our house.

Suitable for ages 3+ The Lion’s Den Castle is priced at around £50 and there are plenty of accessories and compatible extras that can be purchased separately.

Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue DVD Review

Joseph is like most three year old little boys and loves anything to do with a fireman, fire engine or any vechile with a light or ladder on top. Fireman Sam is one of his favourite TV characters and he was very pleased when he was recently sent and awesome bundle of Fireman Sam goodies which included the latest Fireman Sam DVD, Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue.

 

Fireman Sam Ocean Rescue

The DVD has a total running time of 65 minutes and contains 6 bite sized Fireman Sam episodes including:

  • All at Sea
  • Whale Watch
  • The Pontypandy Cup
  • Turtle Hunt
  • The Treasure Trap
  • Stage Fright

The first episode, All at Sea, sees the opening of Pontypandy’s new Ocean Rescue Centre and the introduction of new characters Ben the coastguard and the Sparks family.  There are also two awesome new water vehicles introduced in this episode, Titan and Juno the Jet Ski.

In other episodes Pontypandy’s bad boy Norman Price sets off in search of a rare sea turtle and gets himself and Mandy lost and Norman (it’s nearly always him!) and James get lost in fog while looking for buried treasure in The Treasure Trap.

Joseph’s favourite episode has to be Turtle Hunt as it combines everything that he loves, the sea, sea creatures and Fireman Sam although we have watched the entire DVD several times since it arrived and he still enjoys it all!

Fireman Sam: Ocean Rescue is available now with an RRP £12.99.

Panda Soft Drinks Review

Who remembers Panda Pops?  I have lovely memories of my primary school headmaster dishing them out at the school disco and making various Panda Pop mocktails with varying success!

Well, they’re back but this time with a few changes.  The new product range has been expanded and now contains still juice drinks, flavoured still waters and litre bottles of squash.  What’s better is that they’re made with only natural colours and flavourings and contain no added sugar.

The kiddywinks were sent a selection to try out along with some awesome Panda goodies (I just love the retro style lunchbox – why can’t you buy these anymore?)

Panda Drinks

The flavoured still water “Panda Splash” is available in two flavours, Orange and Pineapple and Blackcurrant and the still juice is available in Raspberry or Blackcurrant.  Imogen and Joseph carried out a testing session where Imogen declared the Raspberry as her favourite while Joseph preferred the Panda Splash Blackcurrant.  All are equally refreshing and at 250ml and with re-closeable sports cap lids they’re the perfect size for lunch boxes or picnics.

Panda drinks are available from all major supermarkets nationwide with 6 packs of drinks priced at £1.99 and litre bottles of squash very reasonably priced at 99p.

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