Our second TRU Toyologist box was full of all sorts of surprises, one being the “My Moshi Home“.
I won’t lie, both little man nor Alice have an interest in Moshi Monsters. They both feel that at 12 and 9 they are both that bit to old for it. Nonetheless, my almost 3 year old is a big fan. He loves everything and anything Moshi so I knew there would at least be someone happy to play with it.
The idea behind this toy is to allow moshi fans the opportunity to recreate their online Moshi home!
The set contents are however a tad disappointing. The packaging makes you think your not only going to get the Moshi Home but some Moshlings to live in it. sadly this is not the case (you do however get one posable poppet figure). The set also comes complete with 20 different accessories featuring Telegroan, Pop-Up Bin, Friends Tree and Wheel of Fortune. You also get a secret code for a Limited Edition Moshling Online.
Many of the parts within the Moshi Home are interchangeable. This means children can change the set up of their Moshi home whenever they get bored. Items that can be changed are the window frames, doors and floors. Children are also provided with a number of stickers to customise their Moshi Home as they wish.
As mentioned Alice wasn’t really into it but made an effort to have a play and share her thoughts! She states its not really “her thing” but she is sure it would provide lots of fun for Moshi Monster fans. The toddler proves this to be the case when he refuses to play with anything else for the first week we received it.
The toddler plays with it really well. His not that interested in changing all the pieces, mainly because his quite young! He does however love pushing his Moshi monsters through the doors located on the Moshi house. Luckily Harley already owns a number of moshlings and was happy to add these to the play experience.
Setting up the toy wasn’t that difficult, however, it should be noted that there are images shown on the packaging that don’t tie in with the product. An example being… The box image shows the ceiling covered in a plastic yellow shell therefore allowing stickers to be displayed on it! However, the product itself doesn’t reflect this. I spent ages thinking I must be missing pieces but looking online at other decorated Moshi homes this doesn’t seem to be the case. There is no plastic ceiling covering making the box that bit more misleading.
I also found that the chimney would not slot into place accordingly and once I managed it, it kept dropping back off. The floors are also made of card which in my opinion doesn’t make them very durable.
The great thing about this toy is its easy storage. The house has a catch that locks it and its contents shut whenever it isn’t in play.
Moshi monster fans will love this little house (including the toddler) but it was my honest opinion that for £32.99 you really are not getting a lot of Moshi for your money.
The Moshi Monster My Moshi House is Available from Toys R us.
Waggle tagz was one of the items in our third and final toys r us.
Alice was most excited to discover this toy and couldn’t wait to give it a try.
The toy created by John Adams is a creative tag studio that has been designed to allow children to create their very own 3D motion and morphing image tagz. Tagz can be added to books, bags, lunch boxes, zips and more. It also comes with birthday tags allowing children to make them as gifts for their friends.
The contents of the set are as followed… Waggle tagz workstation, 15 printed cards and lenses (2 sizes ) 5 holders for small cards, 15 tagz, sticker sheet, and instructions.
Alice loves the Waggle Tagz and we honestly haven’t a bad word to say about it. Its fun and creative and Alice was able to use this without any adult help. The only slightly negative point was that she found it a little difficult to turn the handle on the laminator and found she had to put some force into it. However, once she had done it a few times it became much easier.
Waggle Tagz comes with some really funky stickers allowing children to customise each tag as they wish. The cards are really cute with images of cute bunnies and puppy dogs. Each card also has space on the back to add name and details or a message to a friend.
Alice loved how the tagz were converted into magical 3D motion tagz once laminated. The set kept her busy for a good hour or so.
Alice had almost created all the Tagz available and did panic. However, we ordered a refill pack online directly from John Adams with no problems whatsoever. The bonus and refill packs will make excellent stocking fillers and can be brought and delivered for under a fiver.
Alice gives this creative kit a huge thumbs up.
We would recommend this to friends and family as a Christmas present for creative girls. Please John Adams lets have one for the boys now!
Waggle Tagz is available from Toys R Us now and is currently priced at £16.99 on sale from £19.99 which we feel is great value.
The John Adams Chocolate Lolly Maker was in our 3rd and final Toyologist box and the kids couldn’t have been more excited.
First I must state how the packaging and its contents are very “Pink” to my 12 year old sons dislike. However, we managed to get past this and he eventually agreed to at least eat a lolly.
Alice, however, was very please and in all honesty the toddler didn’t care what colour it was… It was chocolate and that’s all that mattered (a boy after my own heart).
Included in this kit you will find
4 fun chocolate lolly moulds (flower, heart, horse, rabbit) a number of lolly sticks, secret message stamps, melting pot/bottle, wrapping foil, ribbon, lolly wrapper and instruction sheet.
First you will need to fill the pot/bottle with warm water. Screw on the lid and then place the chocolate on top to melt. Once melted pour chocolate into moulds. Secure sticks in place and add secret message. Now place in the freezer for around 30 minutes.
Once the chocolate has Solidified pop out the moulds and use the lolly wrapper to wrap your lollies in foil. Lastly tie with pretty ribbon to complete.
The kit is this simple to use. I do like the idea of using warm water inside the water bottle as this allows children to make their lollies independently. However, this does seem to make the whole process a lot longer and I was tempted to just melt it over a pan of boiling water (though I didn’t)!
The lollies came out the moulds very easy and there was not one broken lolly in sight which I was most pleased with.
Note: The chocolate is not include. We used a big bar of dairy milk which made a good 8 lollies. The moulds are nice and deep making the lollies most enjoyable.
The John Adams Chocolate Lolly Maker is a great kit that the children really enjoyed using.
We give this creative kit a massive 5/5
You can buy the John Adams Chocolate Lolly Maker from Toys R Us
I always get a bit overexcited when I hear an auction is coming to town, especially one with big lots of toys.
Last week I attend a jumble sale and auction. Both running via the same organisers on the same site, just different rooms.
Boy, did I have my eye on a lot of treasure… Some I won, others… Sadly not!
I bagged a fantastic lot of toys. These were in one lot and included…
Two limited edition bears ( one called Hayley and the other named Bailey). These are in mint condition and I’ve seen them fetch a few quid on eBay recently.
A very cute but cool Noddy that speaks a few words when his tummy is pressed.
A large Upsy Daisy from “In The Night Garden”
A soft bodied “Bob The Builder” rucksack.
As mentioned all the toys came together as one single lot. However, during the course of the auction, there was some mix up with the toys located next to those up above. The guy had announced the two separate lots as one. I actually won the biding at £6 and it was only following my win did a buyer point out the mistake. I was asked what lot I thought I was bidding on and I explained that I thought that I was bidding on both as one.
Because of the mix up I was asked if it would be ok to sell the other lot and I could keep the above for FREE… Yes, FREE!
What a result that was.
The other items were not really of interest and I would have only passed them on and kept these anyhow.
Nonetheless, I did spend a little money as I also brought a beautiful bike for the toddler which I won for £7, a whole box full of lamps and shades (including vintage and crystal) for just £1, and lastly, a stunning shabby chic vintage tea set, that I’m in love with.
I’ll be sure to share some pictures of those over the coming weeks.
Today I’m here to share with you all our latest review as blue group trutoyologists. The review is for the fun family game Hedbanz by Spin Master.
Have you ever played that game when you write something random on a post-it note and stick it to a friends head. They have something like 30 seconds to guess who or what it is that they are and they do this by asking a series of questions? Maybe you’ve played it as a youngster or even at a drunken family Christmas get together?
Well, this is basically what the game of Hedbanz is… Only better presented and for children. Long gone are the days of having to have a post-it note stuck to your forehead!
Hedbanz has been designed for all the family and is a great game to get the brain working. This game is designed for a minimum of 2 players and a maximum of 6. It comes complete with 74 cartoon cards, 24 scoring chips, 6 headbands, 1 sand timer and of course a rule sheet.
This is a really simple but fun game to play. There is no board or dice so it takes virtually seconds to set up.
Before starting each players head is measured for one of the extendable headbands. Once all players have their allocated headgear, without them seeing, a card from the top of the pack is taken and then slotted into the headband. So basically players can fit each others card to their headband if they ensure the person wearing the card cannot see it.
Now, one at a time, each player has to guess whats on their head within a 30 second period by asking a set of questions that may help them guess what they are. This is timed with the use of a sand timer which has been supplied in with the game. Whenever a player guesses what they are correctly they are allocated a winning chip. The one with the most chips come the end of the game is declared the winner!
It was just myself and 9-year old daughter Alice-Sara who put Hedbanz through its paces. We loved how the game worked well to encourage social interaction and found ourselves giggling with frustration as we raced against the timer in a bid to guess what card we were displaying on our headbands.
HedBanz is a fun family game that’s competitive but easy to follow. It also comes with question cards designed to help you on your way. The cards display questions like, “Do I have legs” or “Am I a Pet” you can ask as many questions as you like to help you guess who or what you are as long as the sand timer hasn’t yet run out. Every player who guesses right receives a counter. A new card Is attached to the headband with every turn. The one with the most counters come the end is declared the winner of HedBanz.
Here’s Alice-Sara having a guess at what’s displayed on her head.
This is a game recommended for players 7-9 years old though I think depending on the child’s ability, those a little younger may enjoy the game too!
Its fun, entertaining and not too long so doesn’t become boring.
We’ve decided to give this one a 4 stars out of a possible 5!
HedBanz will by available at UK Toys R Us in time for Christmas 2012.
The 3rd item we’ve chosen to review is that of the Darth Maul Lightsaber.
Firstly here’s the product information:
“Become a master of lightsaber combat with this incredible double-bladed replica, just like the one wielded by Darth Maul. Mesmerize your opponent as you spin your lightsaber – then stun him with the press of a button as you extend one or both blades for a reach of five feet!”
Ok, yes it’s Star Wars, it’s huge, it’s double bladed but quite honestly it’s nothing more.
Firstly I spent what seemed like a good half hour looking to see where the batteries went only to discover it doesn’t require any at all! Why would I think it did you may ask? Well for £19.99 and outer packaging that displays pictures of Darth Maul holding a lighted Lightsaber you can’t blame me for being mistaken.
The information on the box is vague and I was left to google it.
So what does this toy do? Basically by pressing a couple of buttons the blades shoot out off each end of the Lightsaber.These can be extended together or one at a time! There is no sound effects or lights and despite the many buttons only two can be actually pressed. Sadly the blades didn’t always extend at speed nor did they always stay up. We often found that both or one of the blades slipped down back into the body of the Lightsaber.
Demonstrating this to my youngest he sat staring at me blankly before shouting “Come on mum do it” I explained I had and he said in a grumpy voice “No…. Mummy… please… do it”
When Little man returned from school that same day he told me I was being silly and to let him sort it out. He returned some minutes later shaking his head and out loud stating “I don’t believe that’s all it does, surly not!”
This is a lot of plastic for £19.99 it’s a product that sadly offers no features other than the shooting blades that don’t always do what you’d like them to.
The packaging to me seems a little misleading. I’d see this in a shop and the box design would make me think it was electronic. Admittedly it doesn’t state it is but actually it doesn’t state much at all. I now know this is because it doesn’t do much!
For me the name ‘Lightsaber’ alone makes me think its at least going to light up! I know this is the actual name in the thing in the movie but still I felt it to be misleading. If your not a star wars fan as I am not, you avoid the movie and therefore have no idea what it’s called.
I’m actually trying my hand at constructive criticism here but am seriously struggling to find anything appalling about the Lightsaber.
However there was someone who could. Alfie is the children’s cousin he came over today after school and as a Star Wars fan I asked him what he thought of the Lightsaber.
Alfie like little man is on the autism spectrum and is therefore very detailed about things his passionate about. He was very happy to have a play with the Lightsaber and although he also felt a little disappointed the Lightsaber wasn’t electronic he did actually like it.
Of course when he went home this evening he went home a happy lad with his new Lightsaber in hand and huge smile on his face.
So, there you have it! Maybe true Star Wars fans can see past the fact it isn’t an electronic toy.The fact it hasn’t got any batteries does encourage imagination and role-play which is always a good thing. Alfie could be heard making his own sound effects as he played.
As a parent I wouldn’t recommend this to a friend. I felt it was far to expensive for what it offered. Once in the hands of a true Star Wars fan I still couldn’t help but feel somewhat disappointed with the product regardless of the smile it brought to little Alfie’s face.
Star Wars Darth Maul Lightsaber is available at Toys R Us store.
At times we are blinded by ignorance myself very much included! We hear about things in the news that in this day and age we don’t expect to hear. It’s frightening, shocking and worrying, more so when we discover that big name toy manufacturers such as VTech are the centre of such worrying allegations.
If you haven’t already heard from the news then you will be unaware of what I’m talking about. VTech (those who bring smiles to our children with its disruption of electronic learning toys) have been accused of breaching human rights laws by running prison style sweatshops which drive its workers to Suicide!
The US-led probe is centred around the Vtech plant in China. I only discovered the news when reading the SUN newspaper today.
I have done past product reviews for VTech on my other blog, I’ve also brought many of their flashy children’s gadgets such as the Innotab for the children on their birthdays and Christmas. I now feel somewhat strange and slightly freaked out about having done so.
I’ve seen documentaries covering exploitation where workers are forced to work amongst dirt, for long hours, given little food and paid very little money. I’ve even watched some coverage where children are being exploited in such a way.
Yet somehow I do still find myself shocked and extremely saddened when big named brands worth billions come under the spot light, especially when it’s on my trusted list.
The Vtech plant in China have been accused of exploiting its staff by forcing them to slave on production lines for some 15hrs a day, beating those that don’t comply.
Workers are reported to be feed a diet of just rice and rotten spuds, forced to sleep in overcrowded factory dorms on hard wooden bunk beds without mattresses and receive a pay of just 70p an hour.
Workers have to stay at the factory as the wage is not enough to live on and those who do try to flee are reportedly beaten or have their meagre wages confiscated leaving them to starve.
I also came across an article online which states “Every year, 80 percent of employees attempt to leave, but in these cases they would have to forfeit the previous month’s wages. The factory does have a union, in line with Chinese labour laws, however the employees are either unaware of it or do not trust in the system”
The claims have been made by the ‘Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights’. It is said that the institute who lead this investigation is one that is very well respected.
Workers at the Hong Kong factories have been reported to have attempted suicide. The Institute have told how one 20 year old jumped from the 6th floor dorm and how a 24 year old female took an overdose in her dorm. A dossier that has been put together by the institute has exposed the sickening degree of exploitation it’s young workers have been subjected to. It highlights how workers have leapt to their deaths in a desperate attempt to free themselves from life in these Chinese factories. Workers are quite literally trapped, one worker tells watch dogs that working at the plant is like entering a lions den and becoming a shackled piece of livestock.
What saddens me most is the fact that VTech are said to have known about that of the suicide attempts but instead of taking action it’s said to have sworn staff to secrecy.
The factories involved are also the plants who make cordless phones for “Phillips” (and a number of others). However it is said that Phillips bosses have launched a full investigation into the institutes findings.
The Sun newspaper claims that VTech however have rejected such claims stating they are a responsible and caring employer which had harmonious staff relations.
We as parents buy these toys and give them to our children to enjoy. Knowing that some young person on the assembly line at these factories has been expected to fit four or five components to a circuit board every 11.25 seconds and those who fail to do so are then expected to work unpaid until they have, makes me as a person feel some degree of guilt for unintentionally contributing to toy demands.
Moaning at Argos during the crazy run up to Christmas when the stock is low on Innotabs, will certainly be something many parents may think twice about having read this.
I’m just a blogger and a mother writing about something I’ve read! I don’t want it to be true, who does but this shit happens… It’s sad but it does. Having done work to promote the brand, this now obviously leaves me a little sour and disheartened (it’s like being on the other side of the school gate, we never truly know what goes on in till someone points it out).
The human rights laws are their to protect, those in this country sadly protect the bad as well as the good. It seems that those in other parts of the world fail to protect anyone at all.
I know for many this will be a passing story that leaves little inprint in their memory when rushing to toy retailers come the Christmas rush. For others it will leave a mark, a memory that therefore changes the choices we make when Christmas shopping this year.
I look forward to any updates from VTech, a brand that supplies toys that I as a parent I have put my trust in when purchasing educational toys for the children (ones in which they all love to engage with)! A brand I have promoted on my signature blog and recommended to my readers.
Have you read the stories? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Especially those of the parent bloggers who like me, have done their bit to promote them.
Disclaimer: Information within this post has been drawn from recent news reports on and offline on the 1st July 2012.