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since 27/02/2011


Mega Bloks CNF54 Minions Shark Bait 20/07/2017

Who knew Mega Bloks could be so Despicable? Me!

Mega Bloks CNF54 Minions Shark Bait First impressions Although I do remember seeing the Mega Bloks range many years ago, I didn’t give it a second thought when compared to Lego. I know I didn’t have any Mega Bloks products when I was a child, but the range these days is very competitive with Lego and other similar building and construction sets. The many pieces appeals to children of all ages, and their building instincts kick in and in a short space of time they will have a great white shark. The Minions brand is very well recognized with children, and they will have seen the adverts on TV and probably the films, too. The Minions brand is obviously a very successful one as they have produced a number of Despicable Me films. I think these little yellow characters have a lot of appeal to children due to their mischief, but also because each character is as individual as a child is. The range of sets we have here is ever growing, and Mega Bloks were always onto a winner when they introduced this range because of the appeal the Minions brand already had with children. My experience The Mega Bloks Minions range is designed for children from the age of 5 years due to the small parts, and each set I have seen in this range has a 5+ guide on it. I do think that a younger child could put the pieces together, but as each piece is so small it is wise not to ignore this age guide because a smaller child could choke on a small piece. There are a total of 72 pieces in this set, and this is indicated on the box. ...

Lego Friends 41103 Pop Star Recording Studio 19/07/2017

Lego Friends 'Pop Star Recording Studio'

Lego Friends 41103 Pop Star Recording Studio First impressions The Lego ranges seem to be constantly expanding, though for every one that they introduce, another one will be discontinued. They are always changing and evolving their ranges, bringing fresh new ideas to the table, and what we have here is the Lego Friends range. This is not a new range by a long chalk, but the idea of having a range aimed at girls was a bold move for them, as it would be for any company. They must have done their research, especially with so many of the Lego sets aimed (or at least appealing mainly) to young males. They knew there would be a demand for such a range, and the pink and purple colour scheme we have here is of no surprise, either. The set we have here is called “Pop Star Recording Studio”, and this is pretty self-explanatory. As I have mentioned already, the colour scheme is a big indication that the Friends range is aimed at girls, though some of the themes will also appeal to boys, too. My experience In the past I have reviewed the Lego Friends range and not given them very positive ratings. This could be because they seem so heavily aimed at girls. I suppose if I was a woman then I would find the general sets are heavily focused on boys, so it works both ways and I understand my opinion is going to be somewhat biased. This set consists of 172 pieces, and this does seem like a reasonable number, especially when you take a look at the RRP and current pricing later on in the review. It is safe to say that this is an ...

EKS 8709 17/07/2017

EKS 8709

EKS 8709 First impressions I imagine not that many people own a set of bathroom scales. I know a lot of people that don’t, and I wouldn’t have access to a pair of bathroom scales if it weren’t for other people in the house wanting to use them from time to time. Bathroom scales have changed a lot over the years, with the early sets made from cast iron and weighing a tonne! These days you see mainly plastic scales, often with metalwork underneath for the main body of the scales. Plastic construction keeps costs down and reduces weight, but it can also make them less durable to some extent, too. What we have here is a set of EKS scales, and these are of a traditional style in my opinion. You find a lot of sets of toughened glass scales, but these are reasonably light scales whilst remaining robust and able to take the odd knock. Dropping a set of scales on a bathroom floor is unlikely to cause damage if on floorboards and carpet, but modern bathrooms have tiled floors, and so a less durable plastic set of scales will appeal, with people unwilling to damage their floor for the sake of a cheap set of scales. My experience The traditional style is a nice addition to out bathroom, though I wouldn’t say they fit in as such. This is a modern take on the traditional style, and the mainly plastic body is a giveaway of this. We have a large platform to stand on, and my size 11-12’s are fine on these scales. The area could be larger, admittedly, but my feet are large, and unless you ...

Lego Duplo 10510: Ripslinger's Air Race 17/07/2017

Lego Duplo - Ripslinger's Air Race

Lego Duplo 10510: Ripslinger's Air Race First impressions I cannot be sure that everyone will have heard of the Red Bull Air race, but the Disney Pixar Air Race may be more familiar, with Ripslinger competing in this Red Bull Air Race inspired set. The Disney Planes are popular with kids, and although they may not have seen or heard of them, they will love this set due to the aviation link. I know that my nephew is into trains and cars mainly, but he does often look into the sky and say “what is that noise?!’. Kids are fascinated by anything and everything, providing it is new to them. I suppose this is an important point to note, as after a while they can easily become bored of things, and so buying affordable toys that can be swopped or passed on to others is an important consideration. The Lego and Duplo ranges are very popular, and the second hand market is strong for such sets. What we have here is the Air Race, and the brightly coloured planes and scenery are likely to capture the imagination of any child, especially with the eyes on the planes giving them personalities. Your child can pit the planes against one another, performing a series of maneuvres in order to win points and a high score to lift that golden trophy! My experience The Duplo sets are almost always brightly coloured. This one is no different, and the plane theme will appeal to young minds. There are a total of 40 pieces in this set. This may not seem a lot, but you must remember this set is designed for children from the age of 2 ...

Lego City 60144 Race Plane 14/07/2017

Lego City - Race Plane

Lego City 60144 Race Plane First impressions There are many ranges under the Lego brand, and the main one is the Lego City range. This comprises of all the vehicles and scenes you would expect to find in the city environment, but also many others that you wouldn’t! The set we have here is titled ‘Race Plane’, and is obviously based on the idea of the Red Bull Air Race. This is a fast growing sport, and the idea is for these stunt planes to perform a series of maneuvres and complete courses in set time limits in order to score points and win the race. I do like the idea of this set, and this is why we bought it. It is a little different from a normal plane, and it stood out on the shelves, with an action shot on the front of the box. The Lego City range may be large, but many of the sets are road vehicles, and if a child enjoys planes they could love this single seater race plane. My experience The aircraft themed set is quite interesting, though it is clear that this is a small set, and there is no hiding this from the fact the box is so small. We have a grand total of just 89 pieces in the box, and this could be a little disappointing for some that may have hoped for a more substantial challenge. It is worth remembering that this is a pocket money purchase, and these smaller sets are ideal for kids to be able to buy with under £10 in their hand. These small sets are great for collecting, but they do still contain the instructions required in order for them to be built. This is just a simple ...

Lego City 60080 Space Port 12/07/2017

Lego City Space Shuttle

Lego City 60080 Space Port First impressions Many of you will be aware by now that the Lego range is vast. Not only do we have so many sets to choose from – both current and past, but we have a huge variety of themes to pick our way through. The Lego City range is arguably the most inclusive, with many different sub-ranges within the City umbrella. Here we have the City Space set 60080, and this is the Spaceport. This particular set is obviously all about the launch of the space shuttle. We have a launch pad, various satellites and accessories, along with minifigures of astronauts and even a countdown display. This theme is going to be popular with young children, and from a young age I remember wondering what could be out there in the sky. Kids either want to be a Doctor, a Fire Fighter or an Astronaut, don’t they?! My experience I would say that this is a medium to large sized set. We have a grand total of 586 pieces in the set, and although I have experienced some sets with over 2,000 pieces in them, this one is large considering it is part of the City range, and the inclusion of the imposing space shuttle standing at over 12cm in height, this is a set that will capture the imagination of any aspiring astronaut. Everything is present for your child to recreate the scene as the space shuttle is launched into orbit. We have a vehicle to maneuver the mobile Launchpad into position for liftoff, and the countdown begins with a mobile countdown board. Your child will recreate the sounds of the ...

Vango Mess Tins 07/07/2017

Don't make a Mess whilst eating!

Vango Mess Tins First impressions Although there is a new breed of camper called the ‘glamper’, this type of luxury camping experience will not welcome one of the most basic of camping essentials in the mess tins. These tins are often recognized as army issue containers for eating your rations out of, but if you were ever in the Boy Scouts (possibly even the Girl Guides) you will have seen a mess tin, that’s for sure! These aluminium tins are designed in the most basic way imaginable, but this is the beauty of them. Keeping things simple and durable is what camping equipment is all about, and they are certainly designed for practical use as opposed for show. My experience The mess tins we have here are from the Vango brand. I first heard of this brand when buying either a tent or sleeping bag, so it would be safe to say that they are known for camping equipment in general. This is reassuring, and they obviously have a good reputation otherwise they wouldn’t last in this market. The beauty of the aluminium tin is that they are very lightweight, but also robust. They are durable, and built very simply with a handle that flips over to reduce the amount of space it takes up in your rucksack. These mess tins come in pairs, and they can be stacked. We have one tin that is slightly smaller than the other, but this is to enable them to stack easily. The large mess tin is a little over 18cm in length, with the smaller tin measuring under 17cm, so there isn’t a great deal in it. The basic ...

Harrows Rainbow Darts Shaft 06/07/2017

Harrows Rainbow Stems

Harrows Rainbow Darts Shaft First impressions Not many people will see darts as a serious sport. If you don’t play the game then you are just likely to see it as fun, and this is exactly what I see it as, even though I enjoy the odd game at home and in the local pub. One part of the game that a lot of serious players spend time on is perfecting their technique, but also their equipment. Finding the right weight and length of darts for your technique can be a lengthy process, and once you start playing about with different stems and flights etc. you are unlikely to want to stop. What we have here are the Harrows Rainbow Dart Stems. They are just like regular stems in that they come in various lengths. The difference here is that they are predominantly white in colour, with various rainbow colours at the business end of the stems. There are various colours to choose from, though it depends on your flights as to which ones you opt for. My experience You will find that stems are made from nylon. This gives them a good balance of weight, and they are often also plain in colour. These rainbow stems are not, and this is their point of difference. They are available in pink, black, blue, yellow and green, though there are probably other colours available in the range aswell. This wide range of colour choices means that you will be able to find a colour to suit your needs, and the whole point of the rainbow stems is that you can colour co-ordinate your stems with your flights. The fact that you can ...

Mightymast Leisure Plain Dartboard Mat 05/07/2017

MightyMast Rubber darts mat at a Mighty price!

Mightymast Leisure Plain Dartboard Mat First Impressions If you are at home playing darts in your garage or games room you might just like to practice casually. You will probably mark a line or stand at a certain distance based on your ability, but standing at the correct distance is the only way you are going to get consistency, both with your practice and when translating this to competition or the pub dartboard environment. The humble darts mat may seem like a basic accessory to a good darts board, but it is often forgotten. You could still measure out the correct distance for your ability, but the darts mat can be moved and rolled up and away when it isn’t needed, giving you the perfect distance when you decide to practice. Here we have the MightyMast Rubber Darts Mat. This is a high quality darts mat, and the humble rubber mat is very durable, as you probably already know from rubber door mats. The classic black and white colour does not distract the player when they are throwing, and only the basic information that is necessary is included on the mat. My Experience We have 4 different distances measured out, and these are 7ft 6in, 7ft 9 ¼ in, 8ft and 8ft 6 in. You typically stand with your foot sideways to the line, but as long as you are behind the line you are okay, and the flexibility of the mat means that it can be stored so easily away when not in use. I must say, this mat may roll up easily, but it is a heavy old lump, and we often just roll ours up and leave it up against the skirting ...

Gelert Xpedition Self Inflating Mattress 29/06/2017

Gelert Xpedition Self Inflating Mattress

Gelert Xpedition Self Inflating Mattress First impressions If you go camping regularly then there may be a few home comforts that you feel are worth lugging around with you. You don’t have to go backpacking to go camping, and if you are taking a vehicle with you then the chances are you will have a few more home comforts than some. One item that can be essential is a good night of sleep. This can be hard to get when you are laid on hard ground in a tent, but this can be eased with a good quality sleeping bag and a ground mat. One step further would be the Gelert Xpedition Self Inflating Mattress. For many this would be a step too far as far as luxury is concerned, and it could be argued that you might aswell go glamping and be done with it. My experience The Gelert Xpedition Self Inflating Mattress will allow you to get a good night of sleep on hard ground, especially if the conditions are adverse, and the ground is extremely cold. You can wrap up warm in your sleeping bag, but you need a comfortable surface to lay on, otherwise your spine will seem to rest on every single stone in the field! This mattress does give you the extra padding, but it isn’t like a foam mat that you may have seen in the past. These inflatable mattresses are very durable, but they add extra comfort and are actually lighter to carry than you may think. Okay, so not as lightweight as a foam mat, but certainly much more comfortable. It is worth noting the dimensions of this mattress, as this will give you an idea of whether it ...

Lego Nexo Knights 70311 Chaos Catapult 27/06/2017

Nexo Knights - Chaos Catapult

Lego Nexo Knights 70311 Chaos Catapult First impressions I would be very surprised if there are people reading this review that have not heard of the Lego brand. Their ranges are vast, and their sets are designed to appeal to tastes of any and every child. Whether a child likes big trucks, farms, the emergency services or even superheroes and TV characters, the Lego brand will probably accommodate their needs. Here we have a small set from the Nexo Knights range. Nexo Knights is an animated TV series that first appeared on our screens back in 2015, so it is a relatively new concept. The TV series was based on the Lego range we have here. The set we are talking about here is called Chaos Catapult, and upon closer inspection of the finished product we can see why. The monsters’ teeth on the Chaos Catapult add to the terror, and this is an eye-catching set in the Nexo Knights’ range. My experience The first thing you may notice with this set are the bright colours. The minifigures of the Royal Soldier and Crust Smasher couldn’t be more different. The Royal Soldier is in a baby blue that is quite bright, and Crust Smasher has a fierce looking outfit that is bright red and gives you a sense of the terror he could cause. The name of the game is for the Chaos Catapult to be built, and once added to other Lego sets from this range it is designed to be used to attack the Royal Guard. The set consists of the Chaos Catapult and 2 minifigures, and other than a few accessories there isn’t a great deal else to ...

Life Venture Collapsible Bucket 26/06/2017

Collapsible Bucket

Life Venture Collapsible Bucket First impressions If you spend a lot of time camping then you will probably have a whole host of gadgets that you wouldn’t normally use at home. Space is usually at a premium when you are camping, unless you have a large motorhome or caravan, and even then you will not want clutter taking up space. You might not find the need for a bucket to carry water in, but there are a number of not very practical water transportation systems out there, many of which are bulky. What we have here is another LifeVenture product, and this particular brand has a habit of designing a product that is both practical and affordable. The LfeVenture Collapsible Bucket does exactly what it says on the storage sack. It is a bucket that can be rolled up and stored away like a sleeping bag, and it takes up very little space. You might wonder why you would want to carry water in a carrier bag when you can use one of those large barrels that can be rolled over the campsite, but once you get used to using this bucket you will wonder why you ever doubted its practicalities My experience You will find that the bucket comes in a rather humble but durable looking bag. The fabric bucket can be rolled or folded, but once it is filled with water (up to 15 litres of the clear stuff) then it becomes rigid and holds its shape very well for carrying. The waterproof material holds water surprisingly well, and the 2 strong handles are reassuringly robust. The large capacity could have you staggering across ...

Lego Technic 8256: Go-Kart 24/06/2017

Lego Technic - race track meets autograss!

Lego Technic 8256: Go-Kart First impressions The Lego Technic range is a bit more technical (hence the name) than the standard Lego building block sets. The Technic range is designed for slightly older children in their teenage years, and this range has allowed Lego to add a few new features to their range. One of these is that the designs can incorporate more complex moving parts, such as a moving piston when this go-kart moves. As I have mentioned, this particular set allows you to build a go-kart and this is a vehicle that a child will be entertained by. You could buy 2 sets and have races with them! With the growing popularity in Autograss you could also have lawnmower races, too! This is because the go-kart can be rebuilt into a lawnmower! My experience The lime green and grey bodywork is accompanied by a blue seat, and this is for both ‘vehicles’. The ride-on lawnmower is a whole lot of fun, and this is one we enjoyed building because it is a little bit different to the go-kart and not something you will find in many of the Lego Technic sets. This set has just 144 pieces, and this surprised us because the Technic range is usually a little more complex than this, especially with a set designed for children from the ages of 8 to 14. Most children in this age range will be able to comple the models, and with glossy instruction manuals to hand they will be able to follow these until they are confident enough to be able to complete the set without them. The moving piston is a great ...

Lego City 4201 Loader and Tipper 19/06/2017

Lego City 4201

Lego City 4201 Loader and Tipper First impressions I would have to say that the Lego sets are popular regardless of their subject. However, one theme sticks out to me with children, and that is the large trucks and diggers. You find these ‘big rigs’ and machinery are a big draw for children, and this set is called Loader and Tipper because this is what the set contains. The Lego City range is vast, and although it contains some sets that appear a little out of place, this set fits in quite well. You won’t find many (any?!) gold mines in city locations, but this is a set full of action, and it will enjoyed by a child that is in to this sort of thing. My experience This set may not be the largest, but with a long list of accessories and a duo of minifigures and vehicles this is a set that is going to entertain a child for some time. Construction is not the most challenging, but it rarely is with just 139 pieces in the set. The vehicles are easy enough to build, but with many moving parts they are not plain or simple. The miners are wearing different overalls to one another, with a blue and white minifigure and a guy with a black top on we have contrasting guys. They both have their helmets on to ensure they comply with health and safety regulations, and with the accessories included they may well need to be careful. We have dynamite, a hatchet and various other tools for finding gold. We have a bucket for lifting the gold out of the mines, and a large rock containing gold crystals. The loader is ...

Ray Ban RB3379 Sunglasses 16/06/2017

RayBan Sunglasses

Ray Ban RB3379 Sunglasses First impressions If you do not have poor eyesight then you can go out and buy any pair of sunglasses you want. You might want to spend a few pounds and buy a cheap pair, or splash the cash on some RayBan’s like the ones we have here. I am more selective with my eyewear these days, and as I require prescription glasses and sunglasses I am limited by the fact that each pair comes at considerable cost to me. We all have our own preferences as far as style and design are concerned. Some prefer a lightweight frame and others prefer a heavier one. I do like a light frame, and frameless glasses are what I often go for. These sunglasses from RayBan are not frameless, but the frame is very, very subtle. This is due to the narrowness of the frames, but also the fact that the frames are dark and so are the lenses. I think this is a great compromise between design and practicality. Frameless glasses can be less robust. My experience I have always felt that the RayBan brand has some of the most stylish designs in their range. You pay for this, but the consumer knows what they are getting and paying for. The quality is high, and the durability of the frames, arms and the hinges is outstanding. These gunmetal sunglasses are very stylish, though I am not currently wearing them as I have upgraded to prescription sunglasses. I used to wear this model of sunglasses as I just had my prescription glasses and had nothing for days in the sun. When I laid in the sun I didn’t need to see ...
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