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One of my favourite shops for the last few years has got to be Home Bargains. Like anywhere, I tend to check prices for different products before I buy them, but in regards to brand name toys they offer phenomenal prices at times. Due to this, I buy a lot from there for both of my children. Ive bought Peppa Pig items, In the Night Garden, Spiderman and so much more. On this occasion I went for this toy from the series Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom for just under £5.00.
Why did I buy this?
My daughter loves the show. Anything connected with it I know she would enjoy the product. I felt the price was very good and although I wouldn't classify this as an educational toy, it looked like a lot of fun and a touch unusual.
What is it?
On the show ( which is a childrens animated series made by the people from Peppa Pig ) the character Holly is a fairy Princess and she has a wand, that she affectionately calls ' Wandie '. The wand on the show helps Holly perform magic, but unfortunately Hollys magic spells always go wrong because Holly magic never goes right!
This toy depicts Hollys wand from the show. Its 11 inches in length, 4 inches in width ( the top section of the wand ) and the stick part of the wand is ¾ inch wide. The handle of the wand is purple in colour, the edge of the ' face 'of the wand is dark pink and the area around the middle of the face of the wand is pale purple in colour.
The top of the wand has two sides to it. On one side is the actual face of the wand-white in colour with cartoon looking smile, big eyes and eyelashes. These are drawn on. Around the face are 6 triangle shapes framing the face. Turn the wand around and on the opposite side where you can see Wandies face, the circular area is a mirror.
Move down to the handle of the wand and there is a small on and off switch right at the top on one side, and on the opposite side is a love heart shaped button. Directly underneath that is the ' Ben and Hollys Little Kingdom ' logo.
Batteries included, takes 3 AAAs.
Suitable for children ages 3 plus.
What does it do?
When you press the love heart shaped button, the circular area where the mirror section is on the top of the wand magically shows Hollys face light up and she speaks different phrases such as ' Hello, Im Princess Holly ', ' Now wand-what shall we do today? '. 5 phrases in total. When she talks, the image appears to move, not vigorously but more like a vibrating action.
Also, when you ' flick ' the wand, it makes makes a magical tinkle sound.
What do we think?
Anyone that has watched the show and familiar with it would automatically recognise this toy. Despite my daughter being only 2, I feel this toy is absolutely fine for her age. No small parts, nothing sharp, no choking hazards. The only thing she would need help with is the on/off button as its so small and to turn it on/off its more a slide movement rather than a push movement. Other than that-no issues with age.
It's a great size, quite chunky so great for small hands to hold and not too heavy. Fun to look at due to its colouring and overall design. Very cartoon like so very appealing to young children.
What the toy actual does is simple and basic. But any fan of the show would appreciate the phrases and the sound of Hollys voice and the image, so this is a very character based toy rather than something that has hundreds of functions to it. The voice is just at the right level-easy to hear but not too loud where a child could damage their hearing. When Hollys face appears, the brightness is just right. The tinkle side effect is cute, and reminds me of when the wand makes that noise on the show. And the shape of the wand is tactile.
When not in use, and the button isn't pressed for Hollys image to appear, the mirror section is perfect for wannabe fairies to have a quick check on their appearance.
What does my daughter think? She really enjoys this toy. She runs around performing ' magic ' with it, talking to Holly when her face pops up on it and in general performs a lot of pretend play. Flip side is my daughter can be abit rough, and she likes to use this wand as a bat and likes whacking doors, walls, her brother...... Considering the price of this toy and the fact its made out of plastic, its very resilient ( it has to be with my kids ).No scratches, no marks and its also easy to clean. Great size and shape so can be flung away in a drawer or toy box.
Would I buy this again? Yes I would. Fantastic price and perfect for any young wannabe fairy! Its simple in functions, easy to use but alot of fun. Great design, quite hardwearing and perfect size. This isn't for educational purposes in the traditional sense nor does it do loads of things. So if that's what your after it may not be for you. I also think this toy has a decent shelf life with my daughter. However long she will continue to love the show, I think she will like this. Saying that-any little girl out there ( and possibly boy too! ) who likes the idea of magic, fairies etc would like this also. May last for at least another year til madam gets bored.