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Wicked Uncle Review… Wicked gifts for kids

We were so excited to be able to work with Wicked Uncle recently.

We first heard of Wicked Uncle when a box of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents arrived for us two years ago from my Uncle with a Wicked Uncle label on the box. Even though he doesn’t have children and we don’t see him very often he had somehow managed to get the presents exactly right for all of us- and he has managed to choose perfectly every Christmas and birthday since then… we know his secret now though!

The Wicked Uncle website is brilliant to help you pick the perfect birthday present for any child. You enter their age and whether you are shopping for a boy or girl and then you get a choice of great gifts for them. When you buy the gift it gets sent straight to the person it is for and you can even pay a bit extra and have it wrapped up in wrapping paper (nice paper that you actually get to choose!) and with a personalised card. They truly have thought of everything as the person receiving the gift even gets a funny little thank you card they can fill in and send back!

We spent ages looking through the website and there was so much choice it was really hard to decide what we would like to test, we eventually narrowed it down and I went with the #Stikbots Zanimation Studio, Lottie picked the Chocolate lolly making set and Sam decided on a basketball set for the bath.

The toys arrived quickly and safely and after we had fun popping the packing material we got down to having a look at the presents we had picked.

Sam loved his basketball set and wanted to have a bath straight away to play with it! The basketballs feel really nice and they double up as water squirters too! The basketball hoop actually manages to stay stuck to the tiles which is good because often this type of toy doesn’t stick well enough and spends all the time falling off but this has been up for two weeks now with no problems. Sam loves it and wants to go in the bath even more than before!

Lottie made her chocolate lollies the very same day and they were DELICIOUS. The chocolate that you got to make them with was really tasty and she found it very easy to do and even let Sam help a bit with the mixing- she just needed help melting the chocolate and then she poured it into the moulds and put the sticks in the right position.

 

It was really good because they didn’t take long to set so we didn’t have to wait too long to enjoy them! They actually came out looking clearly like the animals so the moulds worked properly and Lottie was really pleased with them. My Mum liked the fact that the moulds and lolly sticks were reusable and you can even order more melting chocolate so it wasn’t just a one time activity.

I am having  loads of fun with the Stikbots, I have been wanting to try them for ages and they are really good.  You get figures, some prop boxes, a tripod and a green screen and then you download the Stikbot app.  You can pose your figure and take a photo before using the app to choose your background and you can even make a video once you get good with them.

There are loads of backgrounds to choose from and you can even add other things in to make the scene more interesting. I like the fact that the tripod helps you keep the camera steady. I am looking forward to making some videos when I get a bit more time. I think you could do loads of different things with this set and it is definitely the perfect gift for a ten year old who enjoys technology. I am hoping to get my own phone in the Summer so I will be able to use the Stikbots a lot more then as I won’t have to borrow my Dad’s!

We really loved working with Wicked Uncle, the choice of presents was awesome, so many different things we could have happily chosen and they really do think of everything. We will be doing lots of gift shopping with them from now on!

We're going on an adventure
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Lexicon-Go Review

We have been enjoying playing Lexicon-Go the past few weeks. If you haven’t seen it then it’s a word game where you start with ten letter tiles each and then have a pile to swap one from. Everyone creates a word either using their tiles or swapping one of the tiles from the swap pile, (you have to shout SWAP as you do it) or by attacking another players word by either adding to it or swapping a letter. You can’t actually change the order of the letters but you can add it new ones or add an ending, so adding ‘er’ or ‘ing’ can work well for this, but if you swap letters out you need to take the letter out from the ones you have swapped back into your pile so it counts as part of your score.

 

If you manage to get rid of all your letters first then you shout LEX-GO and win that round if all your words are correct. The first player to win 5 rounds in total is the winner. There is a longer version of the game you can also play where  at the end of each round the other players add their score on the leftover tiles together, if it is over 100 then they are out straight away and the others carry on until only one person who is left and then the last person left in is the winner but we have been playing the quick Lexicon-Go version as that works really well for us.

We like that Lexicon-Go is a fast and noisy game, we liked shouting out and racing each other. We have enjoyed that it doesn’t take ages and ages to play and that it makes you think. Sometimes it is the luck of which letters you get to start with but mostly it’s about how quickly you can see what you have and think about how or where you can use it. This game also makes you think about how words work and the best way to change them and make them into something else.

I liked the tiles as they seem like they will last well, we did think the instructions seemed quite complicated to start with but we soon got into it once we started playing and it made much more sense as we were going along. Because it is a word game you need to be quite good at spelling and coming up with ideas so I would say it is probably best for children age 8 plus but it does help you learn so children age 6 plus would also enjoy it against children of the same age.

It’s a good game because it is very portable- it’s quite a small case and all zips away nicely and we have taken it with us to play on our trip to the Isle of Wight and our stay in France. It’s good because you don’t need to take lots of extra things with you to be able to play- although if you are like us you might need a dictionary to avoid arguments about whether the random letters someone tried to put down are real words!

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Lottie Loves… Rubik’s Junior Animals

By Lottie age 6 with help from Mum!

My big brother, Luke, has a Rubik’s cube, it’s really hard to do and I get very cross with it when I can’t make the colours match up- although I do like to mess it up when he has been trying to do it!

I have been having lots of fun playing with the new John Adams Rubik’s Junior toys. They are all shaped like animals and are really cute! They are the same bright colours as the cubes but they are just right for younger children to play with.  You just twist them up to make it as difficult as possible and then you solve the puzzle and get the animal back to it’s normal shape.

We were sent one of each of the toys from the John Adams Rubik’s Junior range– a bunny, a puppy, a kitten and a bear. They were all really sweet and my little brother Sam decided he would really like the blue puppy (well it was all blue until we twisted it!). I picked the bunny and we decided to give the bear and the kitten to my best friend and her little sister.

It’s National Pet Month so while we have just been enjoying playing with our Rubik’s pets, my friend and her sister have been showing theirs off to their lovely dog, Poppy. They have been enjoying cuddling up with Poppy while they solve the puzzle, it’s a great toy to sit and play with when everyone else is busy and you want something fun to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have all loved playing with our Rubik’s Junior toys– they are really hard to put down and I have shown mine to lots of other friends who all had fun solving the puzzle. It is much less frustrating for children my age than trying to do a cube but it is still interesting enough to keep you busy. My little brother is very nearly three and he loves playing with his puppy version, it’s a bit tricky for him if we twist it too much but he has lots of fun twisting and turning it and just playing with it in his games, I think he will be able to do it really well soon. I think the Rubik’s Junior toys are perfect for children between about 4 and 9, although Luke keeps taking it to play with too and he is 10!

We are very excited to be able to give away one of these fantastic Rubik’s Junior pets to two lucky winners worth £9.99 each thanks to John Adams and Playtime PR

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note prizes will be sent out directly within 28 days of the winners providing us their delivery address.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Rubik’s Juniors range in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions remain our own.

Please be aware this post contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through this this would enable Luke and Lottie to earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to yourself.

 

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MiniMaster Football Game Review

I went to an exhibition about a year ago and was playing with a golf toy that was really cool- I had never seen anything like it and my Dad and me both really liked it, so I was really excited to find out the same company had now made a football version of the game.

The MiniMaster Football Game is the perfect game for a rainy day. It comes with everything you need for an indoor football game. In the box you get a net, a target, a spinner, marker tape and position marker, a defensive wall, a footballer, a lever, a display stand and plenty of balls. The footballer is very detailed and looks great, it arrives with you in  a plain white kit so you can decorate him for your team or even make up your own kit, you can play with it and then use the display stand to show off your custom painting.

I like the way this game can be played in many different ways. You can either attach the lever to the player and use the spinner to work out how far away you need to shoot from, use the markers and tape, and then aim against the defensive wall or you can  put up the target screen and aim for the different targets which let you get points. The smaller, more difficult holes get you the most points. If you just want to have a bit of a practice you could even just aim at the empty goal and see how far you can score from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you get the hang of making the footballer kick it is really easy to get into this game. You just have to attach the lever to the player and pull it up to move his kicking leg- there is  bit you can look through to help line up the shot before you take it and then you are ready to go.

I have found the MiniMaster Football Game fun to play on my own but also with other people, my sister, my friends, my Dad and my Grandad have all enjoyed playing it with me. It’s quite addictive and even if you aren’t playing a proper game it’s good to just have a couple of shots every so often- I think everyone who has come into out house over the last few weeks has had a go!

The player is very well made and fits well into the display stand. It is 22cm high and can kick a really long way! I am really looking forward to getting some paints and decorating my footballer. I think it would be quite good if you could buy either some stencils or stickers from MiniMaster to help with customising your player.

I think the MiniMaster Football Game will get played with a lot over the summer, both inside and out and it could easily become a kids against adults challenge!

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the MiniMaster Football Game for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links, which mean that if you order through them we would earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to you.

 

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Lottie Loves… Lumo Stars!

Review by Lottie age 6 with help from Mum and photos by Luke

I LOVE teddies and I love collecting things so the new range of Lumo Stars collectable soft toys by Tactic Games are brilliant!

Sam and I each received a soft toy from the range and a keyring mini toy. They are awesome. I love them because they are so soft, they are really cute and they have big shiny eyes.

All the Lumo Stars are different animals and they come with a label telling you their name. Sam’s teddy is called Camo and mine is called Uggla.

 

If you download the Lumo Stars app you scan your toys’ label and add them to be able to play games with them. You can find lots of things out about them like their birthday and their favourite things and then you can play games with them. The app is really good because it has something for older children and easier things for younger children. Sam really likes to borrow Daddy’s phone to feed Camo and to put him to bed and I like to play the games with mine.

The keyrings are really nice, they are just as soft as the actual teddies and they fit perfectly on book bags and my ballet bags, I can clip them off and play with them at playtime too!

I like the way you can play with the Lumo Stars on the app as well as playing with them in real life. I would like to collect more of them, they are so cuddly and there are lots of really cute ones.

We both really love our teddies, Uggla lives in my bed and is perfect to cuddle at night and Sam takes Camo EVERYWHERE with him- he won’t go to sleep at night unless Camo is back in his bed though!

A note from Mum

The Lumo Stars plushes are really very sweet, they are well made and withstanding a lot of love (and a bit of being dragged around by a toddler!) The children love the crossover between a traditional toy and the technology that comes with the app but I like the fact that you can put a stop to the screen time fairly quickly by telling them it’s time to put the toy to bed. Even the music on the app is designed to be quite peaceful so it is very age appropriate.

I can see these being very popular with children from 3 upwards and there are so many choices so I am sure there will be something for everyone. They come is keyring size which is 8.5cm , classic size 15cm and big 24cm and prices start from just £3.99.

 

Disclaimer: We were lucky enough to receive our much loved Lumo Stars plushes in exchange for our review but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

 

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Lottie’s trip into town with the New Sylvanian Families Town Series

Written by Lottie (age 6) with some help from Mummy!

I was really excited to be going to the Sylvanian Families Fan Club event. I started collecting Sylvanian’s last year after I reviewed the Cosy Cottage and I really like them and I now have quite a good collection.

We got to the hotel (Mercure Leicester The Grand Hotel) and it was very nice, we went upstairs and were given our passes, a catalogue and a competition sheet and we got to go in and see the new range.

The new Sylvanian Families Town Series is brilliant, it  is where the Sylvanian’s go for a fun day out. The Town has some fantastic buildings, like the Grand Department Store, the Delicious Restaurant, the Creamy Geleto Shop and the Designer Studio which can all join together or you can use on their own. My favourite was the Grand Department Store which has a revolving door and an actual working lift.

 

I really liked the new furniture and clothes that go with the Town Series but my favourite was the light up street lamps which can actually light up and even flicker. I would really like to get some of those.

My absolute favourite, favourite thing though was the tram- it is red and gold and really beautiful and you can play with it properly because the wheels move and the doors open and close. I would love this but I know my little brother would like it too so if I get it I might have to hide it from him!

I liked the new characters too, my favourites were Stella who is a fashion designer in the Town and Mr Maple who drives the Tram.

Once we had had a good look at the new range it was time for to watch some shows and meet the characters. We saw Freya, Ralph,  Stella and Theodore Maple who did a dance and then we could get our photo taken with them.  There was chance to go and hunt for Freya in the Town and to be a fashion designer with lots of different fabrics and sparkles and then we got to watch two new film premieres, The Town Movie and the Village Movie which were both really good. My favourite was the Town Movie where Freya and her friends got to visit the Town and see her sister Stella’s fashion show- Freya saved the day!

Soon it was nearly time to go but there was another mascot show before we went home. We were given lovely goody bags with a new Sylvanian outfit and some stickers and things in which was exciting.

I loved the new Sylvanian Town sets, I can’t wait to start saving up for them and I am really pleased I got to see the launch and watch the films, it was a big treat to finish the school holidays!

 

Family Fever
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Scalextric BTCC Touring Car Battle Review

If you haven’t ever raced on a Scalextric track then you are missing out! No matter how old you are you will love it.

I was so excited to be sent the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric set to test. I couldn’t wait to get started! As soon as my little brother went to bed we cleared a space in our dining room and set it up so my Dad and I could have a race (or three!) before bedtime. I soon got the hang of it and was able to find a pace that I could go fast at but that I had stopped crashing the cars off the track at and I was quickly giving my Dad a proper race!

The racing was brilliant, you can start at the amount of laps you want to do and the counter clicks down as you go- I lapped my Dad loads of times! If you want to do a shorter race you can do much less but I like doing long races!

The track comes with two cars and these are amazing copies of Jack Goff and Gordon Shedden’s BTCC cars- you can also buy extra cars to use too which I really like the idea of doing. The cars are really realistic and I enjoyed taking a turn at driving them both.

My friend came round to play with it the other day and we set it up by ourselves- it was easy to do without any grown up help as each piece has a letter printed on the back and it clips together easily. My Mum said it is much easier to build than the one her brother had when they were young.  We liked that is had 4 different race track setups that we could choose from. My friend also took a little while to realise you need to start slow and steady and then build up your speed if you don’t want to go flying off the track but we soon were able to have a good race. We did manage to knock a spoiler off one of the cars during a crash but it clipped back on again easily which was a relief!

I have really enjoyed playing with the BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric and think it is going to get plenty of use. I can’t wait until after my birthday party when my friends are coming back to my house for a tournament!

I think this would make a great Christmas gift for BTCC fans, Scalextric fans or just competitive people! I do think it’s a bit tricky for younger children as they might crash a bit much but think anyone over 6 or 7 would love it, including grown ups!

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted this Scalextric set for review purposes but all thoughts are my own

 

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Lottie Loves… Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage

This review is by Lottie age 5 (with typing help from Mummy and photos by Luke)

I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and the Chocolate Rabbit family to play with and see what I thought of them. I was really surprised and excited and jumped up and down when they arrived. I haven’t had any of the Sylvanian Families things before but I really wanted to play with them.

I couldn’t wait to open the boxes and have a look at it all. I was allowed to stay up a little bit late that night and see what they were like and have a little play.

The house has a kitchen, a table and chairs, a bed and a ladder that moves. You also get some food and cooking things. Cosy Cottage  comes with Freya who is one of the Chocolate Rabbit Sisters. You can take the top floor of the cottage out and open and close the door and you can make Freya’s bed up and cook her dinner. I really like the house and like setting it up. I am going to save up for bunk beds because I also got sent the Chocolate Rabbit family and so Freya’s twin sister needs somewhere to sleep too.

The Chocolate rabbit family have a Daddy Rabbit, Mummy Rabbit, Sister Rabbit and Brother Rabbit, the all have clothes on, which you can take on and off. They came with a little story book which I liked. I have read it lots of times and have a favourite picture in there. The other Freya rabbit isn’t in the story so I think she must have gone to the shops. The Chocolate Rabbit family are really cute. I love playing with them and sending them on adventures before tucking them up in their Cosy Cottage for the night.

I am so lucky to have these Sylvanian Families toys, they are one of my very favourite toys now and I have asked for some others for my birthday which is in two weeks… I hope I get some! My friend came to play with them the other day and she really loved them too, we had lots of fun making up stories and chatting with the Rabbits.

My Mummy is a bit worried that I have started another collection now…I think she is right!

 

 

Family Fever

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and Chocolate Rabbit Family to review but all thoughts are my own.

Post contains affiliate links

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Aquabeads Cars 3 3D Set Review

My sister, Lottie, has been doing a little bit of a project with our latest Aquabead set.

She is making a 3D Lightning McQueen from the  Aquabeads Cars 3 3D range. It is more complicated than the Aquabead sets we have reviewed previously because it is built up in layers, so you do a layer, spray it with water and leave it to set before taking it off and starting the next one.

 

Lottie has really enjoyed this and has done a layer each day over the last week. You only need to leave it for a short time before you can remove each layer but we have found the longer you can leave them the better they set so doing a layer each day has worked well.

 

Lottie is really pleased with how Lightning McQueen came out- it’s brilliant how ‘real’ it looks when made out of Aquabeads. You can even drive him around because the wheels really turn but Lottie is so pleased with it she is going to put it on display in her bedroom.

We had already been enjoying our Aquabead sets but Lottie enjoyed the challenge of making a more tricky set. She did need some help with stacking the layers to make the final car but otherwise, other than needing Mum to cut up the templates which are on the instructions for her she was able to do it all herself. Her tips are to use loads and loads of water (far more than you think you need), leave them to set slightly longer than you think they need and be really careful to not use the grey beads instead of white! We also found that you need to try and squash the layers together a bit so it’s useful to have a heavy small box to put on top of them to keep it all flat.

We really like the 3D Aquabead sets, and they do some other ones as well as Lightning McQueen, including Cruz in the same range so you could have a pair! They are aimed at children age 4 plus and I think a four year old could make this with some help but we think they are perfect for children age 6-8 and would make great birthday presents for children of this age group.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent this awesome Aquabeads Cars 3D set to review but all views are my own and my sister’s.

 

 

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Awesome New Airfix Quick Build Sets

I have been interested in learning about both World War One and World War Two since I went to Ypres last year and have read a lot of books about history and fighter planes. I am now really looking forward to going to see the new Dunkirk film with my Dad, I have read some really good reviews of it.

I was very excited when Airfix asked if I would be like to try out their new Quick Build Sets ahead of the release of Dunkirk. They sent us a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt in the Quick Build version and the same in the normal Airfix starter model sets.

  

I had tried Airfix a couple of years ago when I was 6 or 7 but had found it quite tricky at that time and so although I love any building toys and activities it hadn’t really been a range I had looked at recently. When the sets arrived both my Dad and sister were keen to get involved. The Airfix Quick Build Sets are aimed at children age 5+ so it seemed like it would be alright for Lottie to try and we set a challenge to see if we could build ours quicker than Dad could. I got started on the Quick Build Spitfire, Lottie on the Quick Build Messerschmitt and Dad on the original sets.

 

I was able to get straight on with the Airfix Quick Build, the instructions were really easy to follow and it went together really well. Lottie found it slightly more complicated but still managed to follow the instructions and build it mostly herself with just a little bit of grown up help- sometimes she wasn’t quite sure what she needed to do next and a couple of times she couldn’t quite clip the pieces together fully . We think it was still very good for the first time she had made something like this and we also think if she was more used to building construction type models she wouldn’t have needed any help so think the guidelines of 5+ are about right- she is 5 and didn’t need too much help really. We were both very pleased with the finished models and Lottie was really proud of her building.

 

 

We easily beat my Dad in the challenge- mainly because we kept stopping him to ask him questions but he and I were able to sit down and build the Airfix Starter Set Spitfire over the next couple of nights. I think I am nearer to the right age to be able to do these now too.  It is still a bit tricky to do the fiddly bits but I was able to follow the instructions easily enough and had enough patience to sit down and do it over time including letting it dry. My Dad also really enjoyed it, he likes doing practical things and making things but hasn’t done any model making since he was a child

 

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Once we finished Dad let me paint this one- I think it came out quite well for our first attempt!

We will definitely be revisiting the Airfix range- I loved the idea of the Airfix Quick Build sets. It was good that we were able to get on with it ourselves and it didn’t need lots of setting up or worrying about paint, glue and making a mess. I also like the fact that it comes with a display stand too so you can play with it and also display it like a proper model. I really loved doing the Airfix starter sets too as although I found bits of it difficult I really enjoyed this as an activity to do with my Dad.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent these Airfix kits to review but all thought are our own