School holidays are upon us and each year its the same challenge keeping my pair entertained. While I do allow screen time it is very much in moderation. I prefer to let them use their own imaginations through play. I have written about this before – imaginative play is always high on the agenda in The Mamma Fairy house. We were very fortunate to receive a fabulous bundle of treats from Casdon for my crazy pair to try out. As I mentioned before my youngest is affectionately knows as Mr Destruction possessing the unique ability to destroy even the best made toys!
We received three products to review:
- Toy Play Food Set
- Toy Shopping Trolley
- Henry Mop and Bucket
First a little bit about the brand. Casdon have been making replicas of real products for over 65 years. You will see names like Hetty and Henry and the renowned Dyson brand. When you have a look at their website you will want to be a child again. Huge selection of products available.
I’m going to review this in order of preference as determined by kids ages almost 6 and 3. A First up is….
Casdon Play Food Set
Toy Play Food Set
I tried to get a picture before they tore the packing apart but had little success. They were immediately drawn to the food set. There are 44 realistic items in it. They are a great size, realistic details and the size is just perfect for little hands. I’ve been pretend eating all sorts of strange concoctions since this arrived! They are looking for an oven next. Hopefully some real life skills being learned here too! This is a great gift idea as I can see how it would provide lots of varied play for kids.
Henry Mop and Bucket
Shopping Trolley and Henry Mop
This is utterly adorable. My youngest in particular loved this one. We have a real Henry in this house so he loved following me around with his mop and bucket. Priced around €8 this is a a great little gift idea. Probably aimed more for the younger of the age bracket. Nonetheless a well made toys with lots of potential
Toy Shopping Trolley
Pic Credit: Casdon
I’m DIY challenged so I delegated the making of this one to the Dada Fairy! He is much better
(more patience) than me for these kinds of tasks! It did take him a little bit of time which either means its a bit fiddly or else he was distracted by the world cup! Once assembled again its a sturdy toy which comes with a selection food. When coupled with the Toy Play Food set above the boys had a huge amount of pretend food in their supermarket. Again probably aimed at the lower end of the age bracket as they handle isnt very tall. However both of mine enjoyed this one and I can see lots of play from this one too.
I am a fan of real life simulated play and Casdon not only with the above but across their entire range deliver that in spades. With the durability, selection and playabilty I will definitly but coming back to Casdon for future products. Already on my list for my nieces upcoming birthday.
Note: We were sent the above for review, however all opinion are mine or the boys where appropriate.
When this gem came through our letter box, the paper torn off it queue squeals of delight. My pair are at the age now where toilet humour is sure to be a big hit!!
If you thought the name Poopy head generated excitement how about head bands with poo (!!) and a whoopie cushion well now…….we were at needing ear plugs excitement here.
The game comes with 5 headbands with a poo (!! – yes i know!) on it, a whoopie coushin and some playing cards.
What we thought
Despite going through the rule multiple times with my pair, I think they found them a little hard to grasp. Its a game of speed you need to put down the cards as quickly as possible and in the right sequence: Toilet, poo, Toilet Paper, Washing Hands and then when a player has no more cards left to play you then must hit the whoopie cushion. The winning player is the player with the most cards left who then get a poo head band ( i cant believe I am writing this!!) and then a new round starts.
Despite my pair showing a blatant disregard for the rules of the game they thoroughly enjoyed this one and to be fair as did I. The sheer idea of Mama with a poo on her head was just too much for them!! I would give this one a big thumbs up as a party game, guaranteed to get the kids laughing.
Note: We were sent the game to review however all view are mine or the boys where appropriate.
I have written about these guys before – known as Stikbots my pair have been fans of these poseable figures for some time. The Stikbots have suction cups on their hands and feet and can be positioned in many ways. We were sent the farm set to try out recently and my pair didn’t hesitate to get stuck in!
This is a build-your-own farm themed movie set made up of a farm house, a farm truck, picnic table, wheelbarrow, tractor and vegetable patch. In addition you get one StikBot with a sheet of farm clothes stickers and 12 farm accessories – spade, saw and watering can etc. The purpose of the toy is to get imaginations in full swing to build a short movie around the theme of the farm with the props, movie set etc. You simply download the app which is free on Apple and Android and your creations can then be shared online using the hashtag #StikBot. There is a large community of #Stikbot fans sharing their creations on line and on You Tube.
What we thought?
As you can see from our previous review, we have been long time fans of Stikbots so this was always going to be a hit. If I had to be critical, I think another Stikbot in the set would really add value. It was ok for us as we had many of them as the kids were already fans thus making movie scenes easy and fun. In terms of building the movie set itself this was really easy as the elements were pre numbered making it very straight forward for even the creatively challenged like myself.
My pair have been enjoying using the set with their other toys as well as its surprising durable, even surviving my Mr Destruction’s notoriously rough play!! Its no secret I am a huge fan of imaginative play and this certainly lives up to that. Like the other Stikbot’s in our house I can see this being played with for some time to come in the Mamma Fairy house.
Note: We were sent the Stikbot Farm set for review however all view are mine of the boys where appropriate.
My oldest is moving away from the Paw Patrol and Peppa Pig toys now and is looking for more grown up toys which to be honest can be a challenge as he is only 6!
We were sent some Tech Deck toys to review a couple of weeks back and my oldest and the Dadda Fairy enjoyed some father son bonding time over these!!
What are they?
Tech Deck are 96mm fingerboards from real skate companies. Ill be the first to admit I know zero about skateboaring but my more knowledgeable brother was very impressed! You make them up yourself and customise them with stickers/ graphics provided. Be warned the part are teeny and my oldest found them a little fiddly and hard to do himself but he quite happily let the Dada Fairy do the work. I would definitely recommend if you have younger kids that might be prone to putting things in their mouths to keep these well away.
The point of them I think is that kids get used to the miniature versions before tackling the real thing.
While he enjoyed the skate boards the real excitement was when the ramps arrived. Now these are super impressive and when you get your head around how to use them it really is cool.
Prices start from £2.99 and upwards with the ramps etc being at the higher price points. I do think the ramps really do add to the excitement as they can practice their skills on them. The great thing is too you can actually build a much bigger skate park as the ramps all work together.
What we thought?
For imaginative play this gets a thumbs up from us. My oldest and his pals have spent many hours challenging each other on the ramps. I do think you need the ramps to keep the interest up. As mentioned above do be aware the parts are very small and younger kids may need assistance to assemble them initially.
See the Tech Deck website here for lots of videos of them in action!
Note: We were sent a Tech Deck bundle to review however as always all opinions are mine or the boys where appropriate.
My kids like most kids their age love collectable items. They will collect pretty much anything from cards, to pencil toppers to their latest TV favourites and everything in between. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind buying them for my kids of course they want to join in the fun at the school yard. However perhaps its the Accountant in me or something but im always searching for that added value. I realise im fortunate enough to be sent lots of bits and pieces to review some we love some we don’t but these little guys really got my attention and thats not just because they are super adorable.
What are Meegos?
Our collection of Meegos
Meegos are crochet dogs handmade in Bangladesh (yes you read that correctly), each one is handmade. That is so impressive. Behind these adorable pups is a co op of workers in over 200 villages creating an incredible 4,000 jobs for women. The organisation is non profit fair trade organisation adding a superb ethical dimension to any purchase. I really love this.
The Meegos come in two sizes a 5inch Meego and a mini Meego which is 2inches. They take five and 1.2 hours respectively to make. When you actually hold them you can really see the quality of the workmaship.
All the Mini Meegos to collect
The collection is made up of 6 different Meego dogs and 12 mini Meegos. The mini Meegos are blind boxed – making it fun to find which one you have got. There is an associated website – http://mymeegos.com where you can find out lots more about these guys from personality traits to favourite food. The website link is a nice touch and definitely engaged my oldest.
You can see from the picture of the box opposite all the different characters to collect. Our Meego is called Duke and we happened to get mini Meego Duke also however the Nana Fairy seems to have taken possession of him! I cant blame her, he is pretty adorable!
This current rage is quite literally just hitting the shelves and will be followed later in the year by series two featuring Wild Animals. You can purchase these little cuties in selected Sainsburys and Debenhams stores.
Note: We were sent a selection of the above to review however all opinions as always remain mine or the boys where appropriate.
My oldest loves Star Wars and with all the hype surrounding the latest in the series and being that bit older now he is really into it. We were sent two adorable Star Wars characters for the boys to review. The owl like guys are known as Porgs and they first appeared in the new Star Wars Movie: The Force Awakens so very topical.
Just look at those eyes!!! Pic: The Mamma Fairy Blog
I had to ask my better informed brother in law about these cute and cuddly Porg creatures! I am reliably informed that the Porg characters in the film have become somewhat of an internet sensation due to how cute and cuddly they are. He reckons commentators were saying they were the real stars of the film! I also believe they were inspired by the puffins that live on Skellig Michael in Kerry, where the final scenes of The Forces Awakens were shot. How cool is that.
We were sent two of them the 10 inch tall version and the keyring sized one. My oldest immediately nabbed the bigger and the little guy took the keyring one and utterly adorably they claim they represent each other the big and small one.
If you have a Jedi in your house we can definitely recommend these guys. The fur is so soft and the character very true to life as they are in the film. My oldest has him sitting on his bed every night since they joined the Mamma Fairy house.
The lovable character is made of super soft fur and is 10″ tall, making him a real collectable item for any little Jedi Masters like my pair! The little guy is about 7cm and ideal to clip on school or sports bag.
Note: We were sent the Porgs to review however all views are mine or my boys were appropriate.
Zak Storm Toy Review
It impossible to keep up with my pair and the cartoons they like. Zak Storm is the newest dude on their radar. I thought he was a superhero however I am reliably informed by an almost 6 year old that he most certainly is not! Rather he is a really cool pirate who ended up with sucked into the Berumda Triangle after taking his fathers necklace. From here he captains a ship called “The Chaos” (how very appropriate for my house :-)) and goes on many adventures in an attempt to find his way home.
The are lots of different toys in the collection available however for the purpose of this review we were sent the hover vehicle and figure together with the coins which are available to buy separately.
While I can’t profess to know much about the TV series what I can tell you about is the cool add on feature to this toy. You can download the Zak Storm app for iOS or Android for free. From this you can play the game or if you wish you can buy the coins (4pk) which feature a unique QR code that you scan via the camera feature on your tablet to reveal digital rewards, including weapons, powers, and health. This was the biggest selling point for my oldest. While he still loves playing with toys, the ability to add Tech to the mix and he is sold right away. For hims its almost taking it to the next level.
He had no problem scanning the codes nor playing the game. I was impressed by the fact the coins aren’t an essential part of the game rather a bonus add on. They are a little pricey at around €5 but do add value to the game.
All in all its a thumbs up from us. My son claims the app feature is seriously cool so I can see this one sticking around our house for a while.
Note: We were sent the hover vehicle and 2 packets of coins for the purpose of this review however all view are mine and/or the boys where appropriate.
The Rubik’s Cube
The Rubik’s cube is pretty iconic, I suspect there aren’t many people who don’t know what one is. Originally developed in 1974 and its been gracing homes around the world ever since. However in a world so engrossed in all thing technology, old school toys such as the Rubik’s have to jostle that bit harder for their place and to grab the kids attention. Quite excitingly that exactly what Rubik’s have done.
Range of products
Rubix Junior “Bear”
I will admit I always though Rubik’s just sold the stand cube we are all familiar with however that could be further from the truth. They start with Rubik’s Junior which are “cubes” shaped like animals (four different ones to collect).
These are most suitable for ages 3 up wards. My youngest really likes this and it has become my changing bag staple when we are out and about as I prefer during meals out to avoid the phones and tablets if we can.
Admittedly I always thought Rubik’s just came in the well recognised 3×3 version however again there are lots of different combinations from 2×2, 3×3, 4×4 and even 5×5. Added to this is lots of variants of these from the tower to the void to the twist (for more on these see here).
My oldest thought the 2×2 cube would be easier as there are less cubes however there are still 3,674,160 permutations and only one solution!! His personal favourite is the 3×3 cube. He hasn’t solved it yet but its only a matter of time according to himself.
Mamma Fair Verdict
We love these and they have become a birthday present staple for the boys friends. From €10 upwards they aren’t expensive and give hours of play. Ideal for us for travelling with the kids as they are very portable. They are readily available online or in toy shops such as Smyths, my local Tesco even stocks them!
Note: We were sent a selection of Rubik’s products to try however this in no way influences mine or the boys views of the product.
A couple of weeks back we were asked to give Tunetoo clothing a try out on my little men. Anybody who reads our adventures will know we love getting out and about exploring whatever the weather. Always ready for a task we said why not and off we went on line to the Tunetoo website to pick our designs.
About the Brand
By way of background Tunetoo are based in France having launched in 2013. The produce a range of personalised clothing for kids and adults such as hoodies for kids or kids tshirts (and for the grown ups too!). Not only clothing they also produce accessories (hats, bags, towels) and gift items such as personalised mugs and mouse pads.
Pic Credit: TuneToo
So I let the wee men loose to pick exactly what they wanted. It was an easy decision both wanted hoodies. In order to get some inspiration we decided to look at the Art Shop section which is the pre printed designs. Both fell in love with the dancing sheep design in aqua blue (pic opposite).
I am not exaggerating when I say the variety of options and colour combinations is endless from animals to automobile and everything inbetween. I could spend hours browsing the designs.
All designs are also available in male/female and kids…….family hoodies anyone?
Mamma Fairy Verdict
Durability is a mega plus here. They have been worn many times resulting in being thrown in the washing machine many times and they have maintained there shape, colour and the graphic totally intact. This is a huge bug bear for me when you buy printed good and the graphic fades but this really wasnt the case here.
So if you are often a fab personalised or customised product thats hard wearing and reasonable do check out the fab selection from TuneToo.
Note: We were sent the hoodies to review but we were not asked to write this I (and the boys) genuinely love them.
Peronalised Toy Basket Review
As I have mentioned previously on the blog we have been renovating the house of the last number of years. The last big task was the boys play room. When Kiddiewinkles asked if wanted to review a personalised toy basket, I thought it would be an ideal addition to the boys room and hopefully clear away the toys which never seem to make it back to presses!!
Personalised Toy basket from Kiddiewinkles
We personalised the basket with their surnames which they totally loved. We choose the blue gingham design as it complemented the room colour scheme perfectly. Have a look on their site above, there is a huge selection of fabulous colours and patterns.
The personalisation is the big thing for my pair. They adore anything with their names on it!!
What we thought:
- Quality – amazing, its durable, hard wearing and survived being used as a boat by my pair!
- Size – the basket is deceptively large, it holds a huge amount more that a first glance when this neatly folded package landed at my door (see opposite – spot our much used Spider Catcher !!)
- Value – at £25 plus extra for personalisation this product in my view is excellent value and would make an ideal Christmas present and with the huge number of options of patterns there is definitely something for everybody.
Overall its a thumbs up from my pair who just love seeing their name in lights!
Thanks to Kidiewinkles for sending it to us however this in my way influences mine or the boys views.