Thursday 29 November 2012

12 Days of Christmas Toy Reviews - Part 2.

Now, if you've been following closely, you'll know that yesterday I posted part one of my toy reviews for Christmas.

Today, guess what? Yep, you guessed it, time for part 2! Yippeeeee!

Two of the main toys we received were rather more 'boy' orientated (not that I'm sexist or anything, but Tamsin is most definitely a 'girlie' girl...!). So we found two willing helpers who jumped at the chance of trying them out for us, and here are their thoughts:

A) The Trash Pack Garbage Truck (retails for around £20, if you can get hold of it - seems to have been v popular for Christmas already!)

  • Dante was very excited to receive the toy and had already seen and heard of Trashies from TV advertising;
  • The box included a rubbish truck and two Trashie characters in their own trash bins;
  • Initially, Dante was unsure how to open the top compartment of the truck - when he finally managed, his reaction was, "Cooooool". He opened and closed the clasp several times after - it was a bit tricky but he didn't get frustrated. The truck opens out into a large area for your Trashie bins and characters to be stored in. From here you can access the driving cab, where characters can be placed to 'ride' in the cab - Dante did this for a little while;
  • Dante loved the 'shooting' feature, whereby you place a Trashie character on the wheelie bin and flip it, to shoot your character at a pile of bins. At first he wanted to see how far he could shoot the 'rubbish creatures'. He found this easy to use and this, I assume this is one of the compelling reasons they would continue to play with it and want to collect more of the Trashies to knock over. One minor, but annoying point was that one of the two trash bins included kept popping open - which means you can't balance another bin on top;
  • Dante also liked the fact that you can place a Trashie in the wheelie bin and then empty the bin into the back of the truck;
  • Dante (and Lola) immediately started talking about buying more bins and creatures (ie, collecting them - and spending Lola's pocket money on them!). They wanted to look on the internet to see how much they cost. We found some packs for £2.97 (for 5 characters) which we thought was reasonable;
  • After a short time, Dante realised that all over the truck, there are several (what I can only describe as) 'knobs' which allow you to attach the Trashie characters to the truck.
Overall it's quite a fun toy and after receiving the extra Trashie characters, it became more fun to use as there were more bins to knock over! 

B) Doctor Who QLA app gear device (again, retails for around £20 but you'll have to be quick!)

The toy is a large blaster gun, which uses the camera from an iPhone or iPod Touch as its viewfinder. You download an app which overlays a game on the camera's view of your real surroundings and you connect a lead from the gun to the camera's headphone socket. The game involves blasting away (using the gun's trigger) at Doctor Who's enemies who appear onscreen, in your real environment, with sound effects, lights and voices.  In a nutshell it's virtual reality Daleks in the kitchen.

You can choose to move through 5 difficulty levels or play each level separately. You meet lots of Doctor Who's famous enemies along the way, including the Daleks, Cybermen, and Weeping Angels. 

It was fairly easy to set up - once we found the app. The website link given in the instructions didn't work so it took a bit of searching. Thankfully the cradle which holds the phone or iPod in position was well-designed and secure! It proved very popular in our house. The only downside for me was giving up my iPhone, resulting in some major negotiation to get it back. So might be best suited to children who have their own iPod Touch!

Feedback from Elliott (8):
"It's a very cool toy. Great that the enemies don't move with the screen, they stay in one place in the room so it feels like they are really there. My favourites were the Weeping Angels as this level was more challenging".

Our final review is of the wonderful ScatterBrainz.

 These are described as seriously sticky deranged darts, and I'd say that was a pretty good description!! 
They are little hand held darts, with a sticky end which looks like brains, and pictures of characters underneath. Ours are things like a vampire, werewolf, axeman and bodybuilder, although I think there may be different ones to collect. Tamsin was thrilled with these, and after a little bit of practise was able to throw them quite well at the target included. This pack retails at around £9.99 and would make a great stocking filler or birthday party gift item.

We were also sent a Ben 10 Lego pack, a Science Rocket and a Bananas in Pyjamas soft toy:

We have passed these on to other friends to be reviewed, so do watch out for more info on those in the following weeks.

The final item which I really can't wait to try with my eldest daughter, as I'm sure she'll love it, is a myStyle Deluxe Charm Bracelets pack (RRP £19.99).

With this you can actually design your own beads with the clay, foil and glitter provided, and after a little bit of baking they are home-made and professional looking! The kit, which is aimed at ages 8+, includes two bracelets and charms, and enough materials for 40 beads. We've just not had enough quiet time around here for this activity lately, so I'm saving it for a special time. Having had a couple of these packs before, I know it is going to be a hit, and I'd definitely recommend it as a Christmas or party gift!

So I hope I've given you some ideas of what's 'cool' out there for Christmas this year - go forth and purchase at your own discretion!!

We were sent the above toys for the purpose of this review, but have not received payment. All the views expressed here are our own.


  1. oooh Trash pack and scatter brainz would be favourites for my boys. x

    1. yes, was surprised Tamsin liked the scatter brainz, not her usual girlie stuff!!


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