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Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Musical Dancing Palace 22/11/2017

A Palace Fit For My Toddler Princess

Fisher-Price Little People Disney Princess Musical Dancing Palace My daughter received this Little People Disney Princess Castle by Fisher Price as a gift for Christmas last year, when she had just turned one. Fast forward almost a year later, and it is still a very much loved and played with toy in our house. It cost us around £40 from Smyths then. Currently, it is much harder to get hold of but is available for £49.95 on Amazon (Nov 2017). It is recommended for children aged 18 months plus. THE CASTLE The castle is from the 'Little People' range from Fisher Price and we have previously owned garages and 'city' toys from the range. I would say that the nearest comparable product is the Happyland range from the Early Learning Centre. This castle is made of pink, purple and golden yellow plastic and measures approximately 54 x 15. x 41 cm. It requires 3 x AA batteries for the sounds functions, these are not provided. The front of the castle has a purple door which is hinged on the left side as you look at it and it can be opened and closed. One side has a large pink turret with cut out windows in and a golden roof and flag on top, which can be removed. The other side has a smaller purple turret which also has windows cut out but has a pink, fixed roof. The middle section is pink plastic with two cut out windows, the door and a golden archway at the top. If you spin the castle around so that you are 'inside' there is the main play base. The floor is a dark pink plastic with two purple turning circles in the centre - the dance floor. These ...

Lego Batman Movie 70906 The Joker Notorious Lowrider 16/11/2017

Notorious J.K.R

Lego Batman Movie 70906 The Joker Notorious Lowrider My six year old son is a big Lego fan and has built up quite a collection of sets now. These super hero sets are particularly interesting to him because they combine his Lego obsession with his superhero interests. We purchased him this 'The Joker Notorious Lowrider' set for his sixth birthday which was not long after the release of the Batman Lego Movie with which the set is associated. It currently sells at between £39 (Argos) and £50 (The Hut) (November 2017). It is recommended for children in the age range 8-14 years. THE SET The story behind this set is given as follows 'Help Batgirl pursue the Notorious Lowrider with bouncing suspension and shooters, and put an end The Joker and Harley Quinn's crime spree'. There are three mini figures included with the set - Batgirl, Harley Quinn and The Joker. The build is the Joker's iconic purple and green vehicle which measures 7cm high, 24cm long and 8cm wide. The set contains 433 individual pieces. The car, once built has various features - a bouncing suspension (achieved with the use of particularly strong rubber bands), a boot that lifts up to reveal two double spring-loaded shooters, golden detailing such as side bars and a cockerel model on the front of the car. The car is open topped and feature two black and white striped zebra print seats on which the mini figures can be sat. There are three bright green plastic rods that are used to load in to the shooters and can be fired. The set comes in a fairly large cardboard ...

Zapf Baby Annabell Stroller 11/11/2017

Excellent Lightweight Play Buggy

Zapf Baby Annabell Stroller My daughter loves playing with dolls and had a plastic pram that she would push them around in practically as soon as she could walk. By the time she reached her second birthday this was quite small for her and pretty bulky for her increasingly imaginative play so we decided to get her a lightweight buggy to push around instead. After a bit of research, we opted for this stroller from the Baby Annabel range. We have a couple of dolls from the range and this was a really good price - £11.99 in Argos but, even better value as part of their two for £15 promotion. It is recommended for children aged 3 years plus. THE STROLLER The stroller has a handle height of 59cm, a width of 28cm,and depth of 51.5cm. When we bought it, it came bundled together wrapped in plastic with very simple instructions for assembly. These were relatively easy to understand and simple to follow and it took around 5-10 minutes to build. The stroller has a pale blue metal frame with four pink plastic wheels and two pink plastic hooked handles. You are provided with four stickers to place on the outside of the wheels with a picture of the Baby Annabell sheep on (the trademark of the range). The seat part is fabric with the top third being pale blue with a sleeping pink sheep on and the remaining section a pale pink with lots of small sheep and flowers on. There is a safety strap provided to keep the doll in position too. This has a plastic Baby Annabell oval button that can be pushed on and pulled off. ...

Matrix Total Results Colour Obsessed Miracle Treat 04/11/2017

Working miracles with my hair

Matrix Total Results Colour Obsessed Miracle Treat I colour my hair fairly regularly with a home dye kit. This is predominantly to cover the tell tale greys that give away my age, so I use a dye an natural to my hair colour as possible rather than any harsh bleaches etc. However, the colour still takes it's toll on my hair and it can look and feel weak and broken. I decided to look at products from the Matrix range upon the advice of a hairdresser friend. I opted to give this 'Total Results Colour Obsessed Miracle Treat' a try and I purchased it from AllBeauty for £7.20. THE TREATMENT The treatment comes in spray form and in a purple spray bottle of 125ml. Purple is the signature colour for the colour obsessed range from Matrix. The bottle is a lightweight plastic with a push pump at the top. The lotion is said to 'help colour protection for up to 32 washes'. It is also said to 'provide 12 essential benefits to colour-treated hair: Conditions for instant silkiness, detangles, helps soften, helps protect the hair from damage, provides moisture, helps prevent breakage, increases manageability, helps preserve natural body, helps tame frizz, helps smooth and tame hair, helps restore shine'. To use, you apply to towel-dried hair by spraying liberally and combing through. You leave in and style as usual, rather than rinsing off. MY OPINION The spray is easy to use and the bottle administers it well too - it gives a spray with a suitable force despite not being an aerosol and there is no leaking. It is easy to direct too. As ...

Zapf Baby Born Dummy 31/10/2017

A Dummy for the Dolly

Zapf Baby Born Dummy My two year old daughter loves playing with dolls and we have accumulated various accessories to aid her play. She has a Baby Born doll which she inherited from her cousin and we have bought a couple of the dummies from the range for that doll specifically. There are various different types available - interactive, those with dummy clips and just plain dummies. The dummies sell at £3.99 at Smyths Toy Store and are also available online at Amazon etc. We have two of these dummies and they are approximately 5cm in length and 3cm in width. Both of ours are a light pink transparent plastic. The main dummy shape I would describe as a curved kidney bean shape. There are lots of circular holes of differing sizes around the edge. In the centre, there is a circular raised plastic section with a semi circular ring attached to grab the dummy by. In the centre of the circular section, there is a picture. One of ours has a rabbit on and the other a star. On the reverse of the dummy, there is a teat which is just a small plastic ball - very similar to a bead in shape and size. This fits inside Baby Born's mouth and holds the dummy in place neatly. However it isn't compatible with any of our other dolls. The dummy is a nice accessory for the Baby Born doll. Putting it into the doll's mouth is great for my daughter's hand-eye co-ordination as well as her manipulative skills. She will use it a prop for her imaginative play, placing the doll into a crib, saying 'night night', pushing the ...

Lego Super Heroes 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash 26/10/2017

Smash-ing Set

Lego Super Heroes 76031 The Hulk Buster Smash My six year old son received this Hulk Buster Smash Lego set as a gift last Christmas (then aged 5). He was then, and remains so now, a big fan of Lego and Superheroes so anything from this particular range makes an ideal gift for him. It was purchased then for £18.99. Fast forward a year and it is now a retired set, so attracts prices of £30 upwards wherever it is still available. The set is recommended for children in the age range of 7-14 years. THE SET This set is probably a small to medium sized set, with 248 pieces. It comes in a rectangular cardboard box with a picture on the front of the set 'in action'. Inside the box, the pieces come in clear numbered plastic bags and there is a glossy instruction manual detailing how to build the set, step by step. The story behind this set is 'Topple Scarlet Witch with super-jumping Iron Man and free the mighty Hulk!'. As such, there are three mini figures contained - Iron Man, Ultron Prime and Scarlet Witch. There is also a large Hulk figure, which is around 7cm in height. There is a Hulkbuster suit with a cockpit for Iron Man to sit in, moveable arms and legs and stud shooters. This has approximate dimensions of 13cm height x 7cm depth x 16cm width. There is also a prison section for imprisoning the giant Hulk figure and this measures 14cm height x 8cm depth x 11cm width. There is also a 'super jumper' piece to launch Iron Man into the air. BUILD AND PLAY The step by step instructions are a series of easy to follow ...

Zapf Baby Born Train Andy 23/10/2017

Train Andy...Or Not

Zapf Baby Born Train Andy We bought my daughter this Train Andy Dog toy from the Baby Born Range for her second birthday. We had already fallen in love with the dolls and accessories in the range and my daughter has a love of cats and dogs so we thought this would be very well received by her. It cost us £24.99 from a seller on Amazon. It currently sells at £29.94 on here (October 2017) or £27.99 at The Entertainer. It is recommended for children aged 3 years plus. THE DOG The dog, Andy, is a hard plastic with a soft fur coating 'walking' dog. He is approximately 27cm (l) x 24cm (h) and is a light brown colour. He has two black button eyes, a large soft black nose and two big floppy ears. Around his neck, he has a pink collar with a shiny silver hanging pendant with a picture of a dog on it. On the underside of the belly, there is an on-off switch and at the back a hole. This is for the small pink plastic bone, which is provided, to be removed from the dog after it has been 'swallowed'. There is also a small purple plastic remote control with a pink push button on. On one end of the button, there is a picture of a dog sitting and on the other, a dog walking. The remote control requires 3 LR44 (button) batteries and the dog requires 3 AA batteries. These are all supplied. PLAY TIME The dog can be controlled using the remote - it can be made to sit and 'beg' and walk. When walking it barks and whines and, if fed the bone when sitting, it can 'poop' out the bone. In order to control the dog in ...

Melissa & Doug Juice Bottle and Bib Set 20/10/2017

Feeding Time For Baby

Melissa & Doug Juice Bottle and Bib Set My two year old daughter loves playing with her dolls and we bought her one or two different accessories for her birthday to encourage her imaginative play in this area. One of the items we purchased was this juice bottle by Melissa and Doug and an accompanying bib, which we got as part of a wider set for around £14 - although I think you are able to purchase individually too. The bottle is approximately 10cm in height and 4 cm in width. It is made of a clear plastic with a pink plastic top with feeding teat. This has six raised flowers around its circumference. The bottle is cylindrical in shape and made of a transparent plastic. Through this you can see a bright orange liquid. This is located between the outer plastic and an inner plastic core (the bottle is not actually fully filled with liquid). As the bottle is tipped upside down, the liquid disappears from sight - as if it has been drunk. The bib is a small (approximately 10cm x 8cm). Ours is pale pink in colour with an embroidered picture on the front - a butterfly flying between three flower heads. The bib seals at the top around the doll's neck with a Velcro fastening. My daughter really loves the bottle and loves 'feeding' her dolls with this and watching the liquid disappear as it is 'drunk'. This makes her imaginative play more realistic and it is something that she will repeat over and over again. The bottle is a nice size for her to grasp and manipulate in her hand and it is not too heavy either. The plastic ...

Zapf Baby Annabell Potty 18/10/2017

A Wee Lamb for Baby Annabell

Zapf Baby Annabell Potty My daughter loves playing with her dolls and received quite a few accessories for them for her second birthday. One of these accessories was this potty from the Baby Annabell range (from whuch she owns several dolls). This currently sells at around £18-19 on Amazon but is available at Argos for £11.99 (October 2017). It is recommended for children aged 3 years plus. THE POTTY The potty is made of plastic and measures approximately W 20cm x L 20cm x H 20cm. The main part of the potty is a pale pink colour and there is a lamb's face on the front which is white with pink features - hair, eyes, nose etc. The lamb is the trademark character of the Baby Annabell range. There is also a white seat on the potty and four white 'feet' at the base and a tail on the rear side. The potty requires 3 AAA batteries, which come supplied, to operate the sounds functions and there is a switch on the base to turn these on and off. PLAY TIME The potty is the right size for a Baby Annabell doll to sit on independently but my daughter uses this with all her dolls and they all seem to fit on there quite well. When switched on and a doll placed on the seat, the potty makes an array of sounds. These include a sheep 'baaing', the tinkling noise of baby going for a wee, then it says 'Bravo Baby Annabell' and some chime music plays. My daughter loves the noises this makes and enjoys sitting her dolls on here to activate the sounds. It is great for encouraging her imaginative play and role play. It ...

Disney Princess Belle Tea Party Cart 12/10/2017

Beautiful But Over Priced

Disney Princess Belle Tea Party Cart We bought my daughter this Disney Princess Belle Tea Party Cart for her second birthday. She has a play kitchen and lots of play food which she loves playing with so I thought a Tea Trolley would be a nice addition to her play. As soon as I saw this one, I fell in love with it and knew it would be ideal. I picked it up for £45 with a voucher deal from Smyths - it currently sells at around £60 full price. It is recommended for children aged 3 years plus. THE TEA TROLLEY The trolley comes flat-packed in a large cardboard box and requires some self-assembly. Once assembled, it is approximately 50cm x 50cm x 35cm. It requires 3 AAA batteries, which come supplied. The cart is made of yellow and pink plastic, with purple plastic wheels which have pink rose details on. The wheels are attached to a square piece of yellow plastic with embossed pattern detailing all over. From this there are two pink plastic pieces, one on each side, standing vertically. These each have a heart shape in the centre with a picture of Mrs Potts, the teapot from The Beauty and The Beast, on. These lead up to the top of the table, a yellow plastic rectangle with raised edges with pink patterns on. There are also pictures of Princess Belle on the side. At one end there is a pink plastic handle for pushing the trolley with. On the top surface of the trolley is a pink circular turning table. There is a rose detailed push button the side that spins this and plays 'Be Our Guest'. On top of the turntable there ...

VTech Cosy Kitten Carrier 07/10/2017

Little Pink Kitten

VTech Cosy Kitten Carrier My daughter loves cats so when I saw this toy on Amazon I knew that it was definitely something that would appeal to her. We purchased it for her for her second birthday and she has played with it pretty much every day since. We purchased from Amazon for around £16 in their Prime Day deals. It usually retails at around £20, with an RRP of £24.99 so this seemed a good deal. It has a recommended age range of 9 months to 3 years. It requires 2 AAA batteries, which come provided. THE TOY The toy is designed as a plastic pet carrier with a small soft pink cat to place inside. The carrier is made of a hard plastic and measures approximately 25cm x 15cm x 15cm. The top half is a pink plastic, with a purple carry handle on top, and the lower half is a white plastic. On one end is a hinged door which opens down to allow the cat to be placed inside. There are holes in the pink plastic part and paw prints on the white. On one side of the carrier, there are various coloured buttons. In the centre is an oval yellow push button with a pink cat's face in the centre. There are also two sliding switches - purple and green - one turns the lights and sounds functions on (and selects volume) and the other selects between play type - fun mode or learning mode. There is also a yellow and purple cylinder that can be rotated and a large green plastic sliding switch with a paw print on that slides over a picture of two kittens. On the white section, there are three round coloured sliding buttons - ...

Chicco Oh La La 30/09/2017

Oh La La...Lightweight and Practical

Chicco Oh La La Once my daughter reached about 18 months she started looking rather big and uncomfortable in her first travel system and we decided to move her to a stroller which we thought would be more practical for the school runs. After a bit of research, we opted for this Oh La La stroller by Chicco which we purchased from Amazon for around £80. We purchased it in black, as pictured here, but it is also available in silver. PRODUCT FEATURES The stroller is forward facing and has four small plastic wheels on which it moves. There is a handle bar at the rear to push it by as opposed to separate handles and this has a cushioned, foam covering. Product dimensions are given as 46 x 81 x 101 cm and it does feel relatively compact, especially once folded. It is very lightweight, at 3.8kg. There is a buggybar across the front, which is detachable and a shopping basket underneath. There is a five point harness, with cushions on the shoulders and crotch The seat reclines flat and a plastic raincover Is provided. It is suitable from birth to a weight of 15kg. OUR EXPERIENCE I was immediately struck by how lightweight this buggy is - it really can be lifted with one finger. This makes it really easy to handle - it collapses and unfolds easily by sliding a button on the handle and this can be done easily with one hand so is very practical when supervising a toddler! It folds flat as opposed to an 'umbrella' stroller so isn't as easy to store in tight spaces but it lies in our car boot no ...

Dyson Small Ball MultiFloor 14/09/2017

Cleaning all the floors in our home

Dyson Small Ball MultiFloor Once my old Dyson had reached the end of it's five year guarantee I began to look at newer models as, once no longer covered by guarantee, I found replacement parts to be quite expensive. I have a combination of flooring types in my home - carpets, laminate flooring and tiles so a vacuum that could cope well with this was ideal. I opted for this Small Ball Multi Floor model, which cost me £189 delivered from PRODUCT INFO The dimensions for the hoover are given as H 1057mm x W 281mm x L 384mm. It has a weight of 6.9kg. The cord has a length of 9.4m which contributes to an overall reach of 13.8mm. Suction power is 90AW in powerful mode and there are two washable filters contained in the unit - one above the bin and one in the ball. There are also two tools provided - a stair tool and a combination tool. It uses 'Radial Root Cyclone™ technology' which means there is optimised airflow which captures dust and allergens in the bin. There is a clear hoover head with a purple and red brush bar contained which has three different settings to 'adjust suction to suit the task in hand – for deep pile carpets, large debris pick up, and MAX mode for that ground in dirt'. This is attached to a grey plastic ball which makes the machine easy to remove. Above this is the clear plastic bin where the debris ends up. This can be detached by simply pressing a button then emptied directly into a bin, also via the press of a button. The handle is extendable and also detaches easily to form ...

Lego Super Heroes 76053 Batman Gotham City Cycle Chase 05/09/2017

Sturdy Cycles to Race

Lego Super Heroes 76053 Batman Gotham City Cycle Chase My son loves to build Lego and is keenly interested in super heroes too. He has therefore amassed several of the 'Lego Super Heroes' building kits. One that he recieved last Christmas was the 76053 Batman Gotham City Cycle Chase. This is recommended for children aged 7-14 years and is currently priced at £15.99 on Amazon (September 2017). THE SET The set comes inside a cardboard box with a picture of the completed set on front. This is essentially two motorcycles with very large wheels. There are three minifigures included in the set - Batman, Harley Quinn and Deadshot. Various weapons are included: Batman's Batarang and grapple-hook gun, Harley Quinn's hammer and Deadshot's stud-shooting bazooka. The set comes with a glossy instruction booklet and the Lego pieces in numbered clear plastic bags. BUILD AND PLAY My son built this set aged 5 years and despite being under the recommended age for the set, he managed to do so with relative ease. The instructions were clear and easy to follow and he could do so completely independently. It is not one of the most 'involved' Lego sets and probably only took him 20-30 minutes to build it total so as far as build value goes, this doesn't offer the greatest amount. However, having said that he did enjoy this build and I think that was partly because of how quickly it did take shape and it's relatively simple steps. Once built, the motorcycles are quite sturdy and relatively robust. He will certainly push them across the floor and ...

Zapf Creation My First Baby Annabell 30/08/2017

Lovely First Doll

Zapf Creation My First Baby Annabell My daughter was interested in dolls from an early age and we bought her this 'My First Baby Annabell' for her first birthday. It is recommended for children aged 12 months plus and it currently sells at £17.99 at Argos (August 2017). THE DOLL Baby Annabell is an extensive range of dolls with various dolls aimed at different ages and lots of clothes and accessories available. As you can tell from the title of the product, this is one of the first in the range, aimed at younger children. The doll is approximately 40cm in length. It has a soft body but it's arms, legs and head are made of plastic. It has an attractive face, with bright blue eyes, rosy cheeks and a mouth which is fixed slightly open. The doll comes with a small plastic milk bottle so this can be inserted in here to 'feed' the baby. The eyes are fixed open, they do not open or close as the doll is moved. The doll is dressed in a pale pink baby grow with a gold picture of a lamb's head on and a small badge sewn on reading 'My first Baby Annabell', again with a sheep on - the symbol of the Baby Annabell range. There is a pink spotty ribbon sewn in to a bow on the front of the romper too. A pale pink hat is also provided and this is sewn onto the back of the romper so that it isn't lost easily. The romper has two Velcro sections on it's back and can be removed from the doll completely. PLAY TIME My daughter loved this doll instantly and was really attracted to it's friendly face. It is lightweight and a nice ...
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