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.
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
After the introduction of the Peppa Pig Wind and Wobble Playhouse Weebles have become hugely popular in our house. Joseph added to his Peppa Pig Weebles collection with some Christmas money spent wisely on the Rockin’ Rocket! Recently he’s been seeing adverts for and lusting after the new Weebledown Farm range from Character and as if by magic he was sent the Wobbily Farm Mill and Barn to review!
The Farm Mill and Barn comes with one Weeble figure, Rusty the Rooster, who is exclusive to this playset and features a windmill with turning sails, a spinning weather vane and mill stone roundabout.
Place Rusty on top of the windmill and push down on the milk churn on the side and he’ll wobble off his perch and weeble all the way down the slide and on to the waiting mill stone roundabout at the bottom. Continue to push and he’ll spin around to his heart’s content, wobbling as he goes.
There are also two small hay bales, one at the front and one at the back where Rusty can sit his wobbly base on and a weather vane on the top of the barn roof.
Joseph loves the set and has played with it non stop since it arrived and carries Rusty around in his pocket everywhere. He loves launching Rusty down the slide and this sends him into fits of giggles.
The playset is suitable for ages 18 months + and the figures are perfectly sized for small hands to get a grips on. The working mechanisms are very easy to operate saving frustration and as you’d expect from Character, the playset is well made and sturdy enough to withstand even the toughest of plays.
There are other Weebledown Farm toys in the range and Joseph is, of course, keen to collect them all especially the Wobbily Tractor and Farmer Barleymow. Other figures are available to purchase separately and these come with a clever meadow and fence base which will connect to the Farm Mill and Barn set.
The entire range is available to purchase from Character with prices ranginf from £4.99 – £29.99.
Peter Rabbit has always been popular in our house but interest was raised when the TV series hit CBeebies. Back at Easter Vivid sent Joseph a gorgeous Peter Rabbit plush toy and it’s still a massive favourite of his. Last week Vivid treated Imogen and Joseph to an early Christmas, a Peter Rabbit Treehouse Playset!
The Treehouse comes with an exclusive Peter Rabbit figure who is carrying his trademark satchel and clutching a book in his paw. The treehouse has lots of lovely features including a working lift, secret slide, telescope and bucket pulley.
There is also a planning table which flips over to reveal a secret map! Joseph loves taking Peter on a whole host of adventures, keeping lookout on the hunt for radishes from the to floor with his telescope, zooming down the slide and fetching and carrying supplies with the bucket.
My favourite thing about the treehouse is that it doesn’t need batteries and therefore doesn’t light up or make a sound, because of this the kiddywinks have had to rely on their imaginations to create their own stories whilst playing with it, awesome!
The treehouse is well made and has already withstood an awful lot of play, the trap door has been opened and closed literally thousands of times! At the moment the Peter Rabbit Treehouse Playset is priced at £19.99 on Amazon which i think is great value for money, however the RR is £29.99 and for that I would really have liked to have seen at least one more figure included. They are available to purchase separately at around £3.99 each.
At six Imogen is starting to get into board games in a big way and loves nothing more than our family Friday nights with a game or two followed by a good film. With Christmas creeping up upon us quickly Ravensburger treated us to Santa’s Rooftop Scramble to full a festive family night. Santa’s Rooftops Scramble is suitable for everyone aged 5 and over and for between 2 and 6 players.
Setting up the game for the first time does take a little time as there are present counters to push out, a spinner to assemble as well as rooftops and cards to put into place. I would also recommend sitting down to read the instructions for a couple of minutes before you sit down to play with your children.
The aim of the game is to have your Santa deliver all of his presents first and the game begins which each player being dealt 5 letter to Santa cards. Each of these cards has a picture and name of the child, their house number and the toy they want for Christmas. Firstly your Santa will need to collect all of the present for the children on his list. This is done with the spinner, if you land on one of the toys you need collect a toy token. Once all of your toys are safely in your Santa’s sack you can head to the board.
Once on the board you need to land on the house number that matches those on your list to be able to deliver your present. There are various obstacles along the way which may hinder your progress but it’s not all bad as some will help you out a lot! Both Imogen and Joseph loves this as it adds a real element of surprise and means that really anyone can get ahead and ultimately win.
On occasion we’ve adapted the game to make it slightly shorter or a easier either by reducing the amount of letters each Santa has or starting with each Santa’s present already in place. We’ve played Santa’s Rooftop Scramble a lot recently and I think it’s safe to say that it’s one of both Imogen and Joseph’s favourites. Imogen has quickly become a true professional Santa and more often than not will win hands down! We’ll definitely be playing the game more in the run up to Christmas as well as introducing the rest of the family to it after a spot of Christmas day lunch.