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All rates greatly appreciated. aiming to catch up on received/given asap, thanks for the rates on my Diamond review!

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since 27/02/2011


Lego Duplo 10803 Artic 23/05/2017

Lego Duplo - Arctic

Lego Duplo 10803 Artic First impressions I am sure many parents will have enjoyed playing with Lego as a child. I remember my teenage years when I spent time putting together Lego sets before moving on to Meccano, but what comes before this stage? Well, you can always look at the Lego Duplo range. This is a range of significantly easier challenges, and the larger pieces reward a child much quicker than the tiny Lego building blocks. They are also much safer as a child is not likely to swallow or attempt to swallow a Duplo block, though supervision is always advised. What we have here is a Lego Duplo set and this one is called ‘Arctic’. As the name suggests, this one has an arctic theme to it. We have the kinds of things you may expect to see in an arctic environment. The hostel conditions are the reason for the eskimo wrapping up warm, and it is a case of killing to survive in a climate like this. The animals may look friendly, but they are all to be hunted, though this set seems to be happy with catching a fish on a rod and line! My experience This is a small set in terms of pieces. There are just 40 pieces in the entire set, which may seem small, but it is perfectly acceptable for the Duplo range because they are aimed at younger children. The age guide of 2 to 5 years is typical of this type of set, and Duplo has to be seen as an early introduction into Lego, which a child should grow into over time. The glossy instructions are highly likely to be left to one side, but the build ...

Lego Super Heroes 4529 Iron Man 22/05/2017

Lego Super Heroes - Iron Man

Lego Super Heroes 4529 Iron Man First impressions The Lego range is full of very interesting sets. Their core ranges are popular, but when they team up with other brands they have a lot of success, too. One example would have to be Lego and the Star Wars franchise. This is a very popular series as there is an overlap with lots of Lego fans being the right age to enjoy the Star Wars movies. Similarly, with the Marvel Super Heroes range we have many characters that are going to be popular with both the Lego fans and those that like these films. What we have here is Iron Man in Lego form. Kids that like Lego will love these Super Hero sets, and I am sure a lot of them will have seen some of the Marvel films. Iron Man is a very popular figure, and any child with an interest in this subject instantly recognizes the distinct gold and red suit. My experience There are a number of Marvel Super Hero figures available in the Lego range, though children will generally have a favourite. I think one of the most popular figures has to be Iron Man, and the vibrant gold and red colours ensure this one will stand out. This set is designed for children from the age of 6 years right up to 12 years of age. I do think that the Lego age guides are broad to attract a wider audience, but I suppose you could also say that children develop at different rates, and somewhere between these ages a child will show an interest in this toy. There are just 44 pieces in this set, but Iron Man certainly looks impressive enough. ...

Epson Data cable (2048495) 22/05/2017

Epson Data Cable

Epson Data cable (2048495) First impressions So you have gone out and bought all the latest equipment, but you need a USB data cable to transfer images from your latest camera to your laptop. Do you opt for a cheap and cheerful thing or buy a cable from the same brand that produced your digital camera? I don’t think I need to answer this question. It is worth noting that different digital cameras will accept different connections, and not all of them will allow you to connect this particular cable to it. Finding the right cable for your needs is important, and this is a data cable that fits SOME digital cameras that may be a little dated, but that I use as a data cable for a thermal printer. Different cameras have different USB type connections, and this is well worth establishing before committing to any such purchase. My experience This USB cable is 3 metres in length. This allows me enough of a length to be able to connect a laptop to the thermal printer, and if you have a digital camera I am pretty sure this length would be more than enough, especially as it is just being used for data transfer. The cable is well made, but I suppose you could say that it looks and feels like any other USB cable. The connectors are obviously the most important parts to the cable, and getting the right cable for your needs is very important. This cable was not released recently, but it does stand up well as far as data transfer is concerned. I cannot give details on file transfer rates as I do not ...

Lego Lamborghini: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 8169 21/05/2017

Lego - Lamborghini

Lego Lamborghini: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 8169 First impressions The Lego range is vast, though there are some sets that stand out from the others. Many of these do so for a variety of reasons. There are a lot of sets that are not really designed for children, which might seem odd due to the brand we are speaking about. There are many of the buildings ranges that I have put together and wondered whether a child would actually be interested in it, and the same goes for a number of other sets in their range. Although a child will be very interested in this car, the age range of 9-14 years is a bit low for me, though it should most definitely be extended North of 14 years! The attention to detail with some of the Lego sets is truly stunning, but they maintain that building block look, and this is what makes them stand out. The set I am speaking of is the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4. This is a supercar/hypercar, and it is truly breathtaking to admire once complete. I actually spotted this model in a toy store, and I had to look closer at the detail and the range that Lego have put together of these beautiful performance cars. The Lamborghini is finished in yellow, though I am sure it will be called ‘sunburst yellow’ or something similar, officially. This is an eye-catching Lego set if there were to be just one, and this will get the juices flowing of any mid-aged man, particular if they are reaching midlife crisis age! My experience This 1:17 scale model is incredible, but half of the enjoyment is in the build ...

Lego Star Wars 75138 Hoth Attack 19/05/2017

Lego Star Wars - Hoth Attack!

Lego Star Wars 75138 Hoth Attack First impressions When we see the Lego and Star Wars brands teaming up we know that we are in for a treat. Some of the smaller sets can be frustratingly simple, but anything else in the range is worth considering, from both a collectors’ and traders’ point of view. Those that collect toys purely for their potential worth in the future will always look to the Lego Star wars ranges, though although pretty pennies are often asked for online, this doesn’t mean they are achieved. The most fun is in the construction of these sets, and not having to think about future values etc. adds to the enjoyment for me. The set we have here is the Hoth Attack, and this was featured in the Star Wars ‘Episode V’. It is quite a modern set, but this doesn’t mean it isn’t common, and it is an interesting set because it doesn’t contain moving spacecraft as such. This is still a battle scene, and with plenty of characters involved it is going to be popular with kids that enjoy these types of scenes. My experience The Hoth Attack is a memorable scene from the movie, and Han Solo makes an appearance in this particular set. We have a Snowtrooper, a Hoth Rebel and an Imperial Probe Droid in the set. The first three I mentioned are much more ‘minifigure-like’ than the droid, but this is still described as such by Lego. This set consists of a number of minifigures that I have described, in addition to the Hoth Rebel Base. The tower can be turned away from any impending attack, with the hatch ...

Lowepro Nova 140 AW Shoulder Bag 18/05/2017

Lowepro Nova 140 AW

Lowepro Nova 140 AW Shoulder Bag First impressions When you are looking out for a new shoulder bag for your camera equipment you will want to make sure it has the capacity to hold the equipment you require it to. You might want to carry all your equipment at once, though this isn’t always necessary, and this is why we often have at least a couple of different carrying cases or shoulder bags to transport our equipment in. The Lowepro brand is well-known when it comes to camera storage solutions, and the product from their range we have here is the Lowepro Nova 140 AW Shoulder Bag. This is a very compact bag, and it is therefore not designed with a large capacity to enable you to carry all your equipment with you. Perhaps you are going for a walk in the park or space is at a premium. You might want to carry just 1 lens and DSLR. The Lowepro range has a number of models in it, and this one is the smallest in this range. My experience As I have mentioned, if you are just wishing to carry a single DSLR body and lens then this could be a good starter shoulder bag for you. The 140 AW can hold a DSLR body, a single lens, with storage for memory cards and a flash unit. This is a very minimalist case, and it is not going to allow you to carry around lots of equipment. The top flap of the case is where memory cards etc can be stored, and these pockets are very basic. The soft interior lining will protect your equipment, but I would always advise putting the lens cap on your lens because this ‘fluffy’ ...

LEGO Star Wars 75030: Millennium Falcon 17/05/2017

Lego Star Wars Microfighter - Millenium Falcon

LEGO Star Wars 75030: Millennium Falcon First impressions When 2 huge brands come together the chances are they are going to produce a hit product. One prime example is the teaming up of Lego with the Star Wars franchise, and whether you are a Lego fan or a Star Wars fan (or even a bit of both!) you are likely to collect ‘some’ of the sets in the Lego range with the Star Wars theme. The Star Wars themed Lego sets are definitely very popular, both with children and the collectors. Collectors know that their value will grow, with 2 groups of people looking to buy the sets in years to come. This ensures that prices stay buoyant, especially with the older sets in the range. This set should not really be described as ‘a set’. It is rather small, and falls into the ‘pocket money buys’ category. I am pretty certain no child receives enough pocket money in order to buy a large-scale Millenium Falcon, but in this ‘Microfighters’ range there is a very affordably priced gem to be had. My experience I think the Microfighters range was introduced to allow young children to be able to buy a little toy to play with from their own money. These Microfighters are compact sets, and although they are very small, they are still a lot of fun. This set comprises of Han Solo and the Millenium Falcon. Now, although Han Solo doesn’t really look anything like this minifigure, it would be a fair assumption that it is him, at least by process of elimination. The Millenium Falcon is obviously a huge space craft, but in this ...

Lego City 7726 Coast Guard Truck with Speed Boat 17/05/2017

Lego City - Coast Guard and Speedboat

Lego City 7726 Coast Guard Truck with Speed Boat First impressions When you think about the kind of vehicles you would expect to see in a city environment you might not think about the coastguard. What we have here is a Lego City set of the coast guard, complete with 4 x 4 vehicle to launch the speedboat from. Children interested in the emergency service vehicles or sea-going craft will find this a set worth having. Taking a look at the packaging will catch the eye, and with a bright orange speedboat and 4 x 4 will give away what type of boat this is. This is a boat designed for action, with its nimble design and a crew that are there to save lives. Whether or not this set will live up to your expectations is unknown just yet, but we discovered what our thoughts were on it when we picked up the set a few years ago. My experience For a child interested in the Lego brand, they are likely to want to collect similarly themed sets in order to create scenes. For example, they may want to buy lots of emergency service vehicles. The coastguard is seen as an emergency service, and it is. This set has a total of 361 pieces, and I would describe it as a small to medium sized set. It does come with 2 glossy instruction booklets, with one covering the 4 x 4 and trailer, and the other covering the speedboat and land control station. The instructions are easy to understand, and construction only takes a short time. The set is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 12 years. I think this is very broad, even by Lego’s ...

Lego Friends 3186 Emma's Horse Trailer 16/05/2017

Lego Friends - Emma's Horse Trailer

Lego Friends 3186 Emma's Horse Trailer First impressions I am aware that I have reviewed a number of these Lego ‘Friends’ sets, and my reviews have hardly been glowing. I must say that my view of this range is that Lego have just come up with ‘girly’ colours and themes and are trying to introduce young girls to the brand by producing something exclusively for them. The problem is, the Lego range as a whole could be seen to appeal to both sexes, though I can understand some saying that the Star Wars and Superhero sets may not appeal so much to girls as they do to boys. However, it is worth remembering that Lego didn’t used to have this ‘girly’ range. What we have here is a set called ‘Emma’s Horse Trailer’. As you will be able to tell from the name of this set, we have a trailer on the back of a buggy, presumably belonging to Emma! A horse and various accessories, along with a tack area and trough, accompany the set. This is an odd one, and so I have stated immediately that my experience of this range is negative to begin with. My experience This set was bought for a family member upon request, and it would be fair to ay that this would not have been a personal choice of mine. The theme is interesting enough, and I cannot say you see many equestrian themed sets in the Lego range in general. The buggy and trailer make up the majority of the set, and these require the most construction. The tack area is interesting, along with various hurdles and accessories to help Emma keep her horse in top competition ...

Lego Batman Movie 70911 Penguin Arctic Roller 16/05/2017

Lego Batman - Penguin Arctic Rolller

Lego Batman Movie 70911 Penguin Arctic Roller First impressions The Lego brand is obviously very popular and is instantly recognized by kids as soon as they see a Lego set or build. It would be fair to say that this is an easy toy to buy for a child, you just have to choose the right set for their skill level. The subject matter is also important, but you do want to challenge them without outfacing them. The Lego and Batman brands are obviously very strong, and a child could easily be drawn to this range. The Lego Batman range is vast, and there are dozens of sets in their current range alone, let alone considering the discontinued lines. Here we have the Penguin Arctic Roller, and this is a vehicle that looks extremely well-equipped. My experience The Arctic Roller looks like a cross between an early motor car, a modern luxury car and something you may expect to see James Bond driving. Here, the missile launchers are on display, and the gold, black and white colour scheme works very well. The drivers’ cabin has a removable roof, and the 6 wheels of varying sizes make this vehicle stand out. There is a spring-loaded gun at the front of the vehicle, and the penguin escape pod will come in handy. The minifigures are of Batman and The Penguin, and they look a little better designed than the typical minifigures you would see in most other Lego sets. They have capes and hats etc, and they just look very detailed. With 305 pieces in this set I would describe it as a medium sized challenge. There is very little to ...

Fisher-Price Touch 'N Crawl Tiger 15/05/2017

Fisher Price Touch N' Crawl Tiger

Fisher-Price Touch 'N Crawl Tiger First impressions The Fisher Price brand was founded back in 1930 and is currently owned by American toy manufacturer Mattel. I am sure that most children and adults these days will have heard of the brand from when they were young children, and I certainly do. There area number of toys that stand out to me in their range, and a lot of them are still alive and still in their range today – albeit in revised forms. What we have here is the Fisher Price Touch n’ Crawl Tiger. This is a soft plush toy with a few bells and whistles, and although it may look like a zebra with its black and white body, this is actually a baby tiger. There are many colourful areas on the toy, such as the underbelly, feet and nose. This is certainly not like any baby tiger I have seen before, but this is the Fisher Price baby tiger! My experience This may be a plush toy, but I will also mention the other features that set this baby tiger apart from other similar looking plush items. A gentle push on the back of the tiger will activate the crawling motion. This lasts for a number of seconds, and the child is rewarded with understanding that pressing its back can move the tiger. There are a number of tunes and fun sounds that the baby tiger comes up with, all on the back of pushing the right buttons! In addition to sounds we have a nose that lights up. This reminds me a little of a snowman with the bright orange carrot for a nose. This is a fun addition, and this interactive toy is certainly ...

Fisher-Price Smart Stages Scooter 14/05/2017

Fisher Price scooter

Fisher-Price Smart Stages Scooter First impressions One of the first brands you are likely to turn to for children’s toys is going to be Fisher Price. I remember some of my toys were by this brand when I were a child, and my parents remember buying them for me and my sister. Having a brand that you can buy from that you used to use as a child is a huge bonus, and you are sure to return to such brands after positive childhood memories. This particular toy is the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter. The first thing you will notice is the bright red body and the eye-catching yellow handlebars. This is a plastic scooter, but this makes it both lightweight and durable, and a child will be drawn straight to it. The Fisher Price range is packed to the gills with toys that encourage a child to learn and play, and from a young age toys are in the Fisher Price range that will get children hooked on learning. I suppose you could say that children learn something from all toys. This is a larger toy that is going to take up a fair amount of space, so it is worth finding out if this is the one for your child before committing to it. My experience This is a scooter, but it is also a moving sound machine! Whilst your child rolls along on their scooter they are able to active sounds, phrases and songs. Yes, you will soon become bored of them, but they will be enjoyed by your child. The horn can be pressed, along with a series of buttons on the panel just below the handlebars. The horn is a bright blue ...

Brio Battery Powered Engine 14/05/2017

Brio Battery-operated Train

Brio Battery Powered Engine First impressions As far as battery-operated trains go, the Brio train is not exactly at the cutting edge of design or technology. This isn’t a bad thing, with many of the better toys being quite basic. The basic form we have here in this Brio design has proved to be successful, and with the simple design and inexpensive materials used you get an affordable toy that serves its purpose. There is no mistaking that this is a train, and although colours do vary between the similarly designed Brio trains, there is some differentiation between models. This allows a child to own a few of these trains that are all slightly different. The operation is very simple, and the battery operated train has a switch for forward and reverse motions, along with an ‘off’ setting. The light to the front is activated once the train is in motion, and as you will learn from our experience with this brand and train, the simplest toys can be the most fun. My experience The Brio Battery Operated Action Train is designed for use on the wooden Brio tracks, but this isn’t essential kit. You do not have to own the train track to buy this train, and it will run across most surfaces, even shiny ones! Polished tables and laminate flooring are fine, and the slight rubber texture on the rims of the wheels make these shiny surfaces fine to operate on. The wooden track is a basic design, and Brio have continued with this through to the trains themselves. There are a few different colour schemes, but ...

Youngman General Purpose Telescopic Ladder 12/05/2017

Youngman Telescopic Ladder

Youngman General Purpose Telescopic Ladder First impressions Unless you have a garage then you may find you struggle to store a full-sized set of ladders. We do have sets of wooden and also aluminium ladders in our garage, but they are stored in my fathers garage as I do not have the room for them in my garage. With people living in smaller and smaller spaces, storage space is limited. The ideal of the telescopic ladder sounds very appealing, but how are they going to perform? I did wonder when I saw these in operation, and the purchase of them was imminent. What we have here is a set of telescopic ladders from the Youngman brand. I have a small number of tools from this brand already for DIY, so with ‘some’ experience of the brand I had a little confidence in purchasing from them again. Wickes stock their products, though online the Youngman brand can also easily be found. My experience These ladders are made from aluminium. This is a lightweight but very strong material – ideal for making ladders from! You see aluminium ladders in all forms, and these telescopic ones use the same material, so they are equally as strong. There are 10 rungs on the ladders, giving you good spacing between them and allowing you to easily climb the ladder. You can actually extend the ladder rung by rung, giving you the option to just extend it by the correct amount that you require. This is one advantage of this ladder when compared to a standard set of ladders. The rungs lock in place as you extend the ladders, and this is ...

Fisher-Price Mr Men Little Miss Chatterbox 11/05/2017

Fisher Price Little Miss Chatterbox plush

Fisher-Price Mr Men Little Miss Chatterbox First impressions When a child is born they are often bought plush teddies. These are great comfort to them, and they are so simply designed. What we have here is a plush toy, but it does have a few additions. Plush toys come in all shapes and sizes, but a plush toy that is interactive is on a whole new level! The Mr Men and Little Miss books are always going to be popular, and a lot of children will have seen them by the time they reach 3 years of age, which is the age guide for this plush toy. The reason for this minimum age guide will become clear shortly, but it is obvious that the combination of the Fisher Price and Little Miss brands will always be a hit with both kids and adults. Adults trust the Fisher Price quality and value, with the theme appealing to the kids. My experience This particular plush toy is of Little Miss Chatterbox. As we all probably know, Little Miss Chatterbox is always talking. Here, we see her on not 1 but 2 phones! She is chattering away, just like my little nephew always is! She is always having a laugh and a giggle, and you can see her smiling from ear to ear as she chats to her favourite people. The added twist to this plush toy is that you can press on her hand to activate her. Once you have done this she will happily chatter away on the phone. It goes without saying who this is on the phone….Mr Nosey! Mr Nosey wants to know all the gossip! This did humour us all when we first heard Little Miss Chatterbox, and it is rather fun. ...
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