Not Much Moshi For Your Money

Our second TRU Toyologist box was full of all sorts of surprises, one being the “My Moshi Home“.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Creative Fun With Waggle Tagz

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Chocolate Lolly Making With The John Adams Kit

The John Adams Chocolate Lolly Maker was in our 3rd and final Toyologist box and the kids couldn’t have been more excited.

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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.

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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.

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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

Pass The Bomb Junior TRU Toyologist Review

Today’s TRU Toyologist review is for the game “Pass The Bomb Junior

This is a family game for players 5 years and above. The game requires a minimum of two players and there is no maximum number for the number of people able to play. This means that the whole family can enjoy the game together.

Saying this, it was just myself and little man who played Pass the Bomb. I decided to get the game out while the toddler was having an afternoon nap and little sister was at school. Little man was on half day and I was in need of something other then the PS3 to keep him entertained.

The box that holds the game is small and compact making it very easy to store. We found the rules and instruction sheet inside the box and all was simple enough to read.

There isn’t much needed to play the game. The box just holds a ticking bomb ( that requires two AAA batteries, not included) and a packet of cards.

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There are no little bits that may find themselves sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. No dice, counters, not even a board is required for this one.

It’s very simple to set up and play. Shuffle the cards taking ten and placing them in a pile face down in the middle. The youngest player goes first. They hold the bomb in one hand starting the ticking by pressing the button and with the other hand they take the first card from the top of the pile laying it picture side down in the middle so all players can see. They then must come up with a word that fits in with the scene displayed on the card (example Beach – sea, sand, etc…). With each word given the bomb is passed to the person on their left who must give another word (but not one already given)! The answers and passing continue till the bomb blows and whoever is left holding it at that time must take the card in play.

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This continues till all 10 cards have been played. The player with the most cards is in this case is the loser.

The bomb ticks for anything between 10-60 seconds so you never know when it’s going to go off which has you slightly panicking. The suspense is what makes this game extremely fun. What seems really simple in concept can become a little difficult as you find yourself with brain block as you struggle to find a word not already given. The ticking sound really adds to the pressure of it all.

We highly recommend this game. It’s great for social interaction and gets children used to competition. It’s also a great way to get children to process their thoughts at speed. It encourages good language skills and helps kids to think outside the box.

Admittedly, Little man almost had a tantrum when the bomb blew up on him three times in a row but the ticking sound of the bomb quickly snapped him out of it and sorted that one out a treat.

Little man has Aspergers Syndrome and as a parent I think this is a great game for all children including those with special needs.

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Pass the Bomb Junior is available from Toys R Us

Check out the Toys R Us Toybox Blog for all TRU Toyologist Reviews

HedBanz Review For Toys R Us

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.

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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.

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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.

Design Flair With Harumika

The Harumika Bridal Collection Set by Bandai came in our second trutoyologist box. Alice-Sara couldn’t wait to get this out of its box in-order to start designing her very own Bridal Collection.

I’d seen these at the 2012 London Toy Show and was keen to discover more about them.

This is not the first set that Bandai has launched, however it was the first Harumika set we had tried.

The packaging is a very girly pink with design images and a 123 step instruction diagram located at the back of the box.

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The box has a clear window at the front allowing you to see all the contents inside. For me this is a great selling featuring as its good to know what your actually getting for your money before leaving the store.

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Sadly, what I did find strange is the fact there are no instructions inside the box. I gave it a good shake in the hope the instruction booklet would fall out from the bottom but it didn’t.

In all honesty the set is dead simple to use and takes no time at all to get to grips with it. For us the 123 mini demonstration at the back of the box was more than enough. However I can’t speak for everybody and some may feel a tad let down at the fact there isn’t more detailed instructions or a design booklet for inspiration.

Not that Alice needed one. Her creative flair was taking over and she was having a great time experimenting with her new Harumika set.

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A great selling point for Harumika is the fact you can make stunning designs with out the need to cut, glue or sew. There really is no mess with this set and for me this made it seem very attractive.

The Harumika Bridal Collection comes complete with 2 design tools which are basically a small stick that you use to push the material into the silicone slot located at the back of each of the two Mannequins. This works well to snugly hold your designs in place.

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At first glance, many will feel £39.99 is a lot of money for what it is they are getting. Admittedly, I felt the same way! But, and this is a big But! I soon changed my mind when watching how much Alice could create with the materials supplied in the kit and how long it kept her occupied for.

Below are images that shows all the contents when removed from the packaging.

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Included are 2 Mannequins (one already dressed) 2 styling tools, lots of material, transfers (gems and stones) and a number of trimmings such a ribbon. Also in this set you will find a fold out dressing room with mirror which creates a lovely backdrop to display your finished designs.

Another great feature to this set is that you can keep on reusing it. As there is no sticking or sewing! Material just goes back into his normal sharpe and form. It is easily removed for reuse once released from the silicone slot on the Mannequins back. This means you can go on designing and no additional materials need purchasing.

In this video below Alice-Sara demonstrates just how easy Harumika really is. (Sorry the video is a little dark, every time I turned the camera light on she resembled the daughter of the devil.)

For those reading this, I take it you have access to a computer? Harumika has its very own website where wannabe fashion designers can come together and share their design inspiration. Regular creative competitions and fashion shows are hosted on the site and its packed with tips and ideas to help you create perfect collections every time.

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Alice-Sara really enjoyed this activity and has requested another set for Christmas. As a parent I feel that its one of those toys you either love or hate. I love that the child isn’t required to follow a step by step guide to copy Pre-designed dresses. Instead This is a set that requires the use of your child’s imagination which is sure to produce more unique and magical creations. For me its a brilliant fit for Alice’s creative flair and the fact its mess free is just a massive added bonus.

Look… Even the cat wanted in on the action…

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Ok… Maybe Not! I think he just wanted someone to give him his dinner!

The Harumika Bridal Collection is available to buy from Toys R Us stores and will bring a smile to the face of any little fashion designer.

Check out more reviews from my mini trutoyologist and many others on the Toys R Us Toybox blog.

Darth Maul Lightsaber Review

Evening all, Claire here from A boy with Aspergers and Mummy of many talents here with review number 3.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Star Wars Darth Maul Lightsaber is available at Toys R Us store.

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