My Little Pony Twilight Sparkles Rainbow Kingdom Toy Review

This was a Christmas present last year – a not very successful present, it has been put in the cupboard and it has not seen the light of day since.


It takes ages to put together. I mean ages. There are small numbers on the pieces that you need to match up to make the slide, and the different levels of the palace. Snapping them together is quite fiddly which is what takes the time.

But, once you have put it together it is pretty flimsy. My daughter kept knocking bits off or breaking the slide off, or the pony got stuck sliding down the slide in the little car where I hadn’t quite snapped it together right. She isn’t a particularly rough child, but like most children she isn’t particularly careful with things either. Princess Twilight Sparkle still gets played with regularly although she no longer has four shoes!

It does come with some nice play features. The swing, the cloud car for the slide, the lockable treasure box and the throne. These weren’t enough to keep our little girls attention.

We paid £25 for it last year, and I think that is expensive. I have seen it currently on sale for £49.99 in some retailers. It is currently selling for £32 on Amazon UK. It is suitable for children over the age of 3 and due to the small parts like the removable shoes it is a toy you will have to keep an eye on if younger children are near it.

I’d love to say it was a brilliant toy because it looks so great but it hasn’t been for us. I would still buy a My Little Pony play set in the future but make sure it is one that needs less putting together. But for this toy, it is in the charity shop pile and hopefully someone else’s child will enjoy it more.

A Memory Jar – New Year’s Eve Tradition

I started this in 2014 after sitting with a glass of Prosecco with my husband and realising how much of the year we have forgotten. I wanted some way of keeping the small memories alive so that we could all remember them.

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All you need is a clean jam jar or some other jar with a lid, some paper to write your memories on and a pen.

It is lovely to look back at the good things, but I did forget I also put the less wonderful things in the jar. Picking out the memory of saying goodbye to my lovely Gran did reduce me to tears. Picking out the ‘three is the magic number’ memory when I miscarried that much wanted little one, as the next memory, nearly finished me off.

I’m looking forward to reading this years memories. Both of my children have had big firsts – starting juniors and reception, new clubs, new sports, new achievements. I have started this blog and that features in there. As for the rest; thank goodness I wrote it all down – my memory is dreadful!

The Pramshed

 

Rogue One New Star Wars Toys Released Today September 30th

Today saw the release of the Rogue One Star Wars toys before the general film release towards the end of the year.

There are a good range of toys from vehicles and ships to the main characters in the story, covering a good price range from less than £10 to over £50 for the bigger deluxe toy ranges, like the Rogue One Rebel U-wing Fighter Vehicle  pictured above.

I particularly like the Hot Wheels character cars – they remind me of the Disney film Cars and should appeal to the younger Star Wars fan even if they aren’t old enough to see the film. At £5.99 or some double packs from £8.99 they are an affordable gift too.

 


For fans of action figures there are a range of character figures from £7.99, to scaled models over £20. You might not want any play fighting with those though! For fans of interactive figures there is an interactech Imperial Stormtrooper figure that is 12″ in height. It features 65 sounds, and costs around £39.99.

 

If you want to see more toys from the Star Wars Rogue One range have a look at http://www.toysrus.co.uk and http://www.amazon.co.uk searching for Rogue One in the toy departments.

Toy Infinity will keep you updated as more new releases are confirmed. As always it is worth keeping an eye on prices as we enter the more competitive Christmas retailing period there may be a few offers available.

May The Force Be With You!

 

 

Thunderbirds Are Go! Tracey Island Toy Review


For a while Thunderbirds was an obsession in this house. Everything was counted down from five, even putting on shoes to go to school. Father Christmas kindly brought Tracey Island last year. The ITV new cartoon series was a regular on our Sky Planner.

So what is the Tracey Island play set like? First thing to bear in mind you have to put it together! It took my husband about an hour and a half to do it, not including the extra time it took him to tell my son it would be a lot quicker if he left him to it. It is quite fiddly and at the time of writing this Tracey Island is in three pieces after being “played with” by a destructive visitor, so once it’s together it is quite easy to break.

To get the 50 sounds and animations to work it needs 3 x AAA and 3 x LR44 batteries which don’t come included. So make sure you have some to avoid disappointment on the day.

So what’s it like? It’s a great toy! Every Thunderbird rocket does something different. It takes a while to learn what to press and who goes where but the movements and sound effects are fabulous.

It would be better if it came with a couple of figures, but you can buy them separately. No rockets are included either, so don’t forget to buy those or you can’t do a lot with the play set.

The communicator was lost pretty quickly, so that part of the play set hasn’t been a great success for us. If your seven year old is more careful than mine then it will add to the fun.

My biggest complaint are the trees that line the path Thunderbird 2 takes. They always fall off. It’s a miracle we haven’t lost any yet, and if you don’t put them on the right way Thunderbird 2 gets stuck.

So would Toy Infinity ask Father Christmas to bring this again? Yes we would. It has been played with a lot, the sounds are exciting and it appeals to my son and daughter. It is pretty expensive though around £70 in most retailers, so worth keeping an eye out in the sales for one and if you see a bargain buy it before the price goes up! Currently Tracey Island is available on Amazon it is £42 with free delivery! The super vehicle set is £22 on Amazon UK.

Crayola Washable Paints No More Scrubbing Tables and Hands!

We all know messy play is good for child development. Like most things what we know and what we actually do are two different things. I used to dread the words “can I do some painting?” Too many bad experiences with paint that stained hands, the wipe clean tablecloth was tinged with red that wouldn’t come off and it took more effort clearing up than they spent actually doing any painting.

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By chance I bought a set of Crayola washable paints. I don’t think I really believed that they would be any better than the pound shop finger paints I had been using. Oh my word they are.

Paint can be wiped off with baby wipes. No scrubbing endlessly at green and orange fingers so they don’t spend the next day looking like a halloween experiment. Kitchen roll and a bit of water cleans the PVC tablecloth. I don’t cry anymore and wonder what the hell I was thinking.

I find them slightly less vibrant than some paint brands, but they do exactly the same job. Any kind of printing, painting, canvas painting or master piece looks as good. You can still mix the colours either properly or into one big sludgy brown looking mess depending on the child and what mood they’re in.

They are more expensive than normal paint, and maybe you’re not as lazy as me, but I like an easy life. And for £3 more these give me that. You can find them here (affiliate) on Amazon.

What are Conkers?


That is what my 7 year old said to me when I told him I’d collected some Conkers for him and his sister. What are Conkers? I’ve failed as a parent haven’t I? 

I know it’s not the same now as when I was a child and you aren’t allowed to take them into school with you anymore for endless Conkers battles. And it looks like it’s a part of childhood I haven’t thought about passing on to them.

I will be now…. Once I work out how I’m going to drill a hole, keep all my fingers and thread the string through it. I might need to google the old how to make your Conkers harder tricks because all I can remember is something about vinegar.

Roald Dahl City of the Unexpected Celebrations

Cardiff transformed last weekend into a Roald Dahl paradise full of his beloved characters. We couldn’t make it on the Saturday, but we weren’t going to miss the Unexpected Picnic in Bute Park.

It was a lovely, chilled out day. We took enough food to make us feel sick for hours, by wandering down away from the crowds we ended up with a nice spot, with no-one sat right on top of us.

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The whole thing inspired me to remember why Roald Dahl wrote some of my favourite books when I was a child. So, as part of my celebration of his 100th birthday, here are my favourite Roald Dahl quotes from some of my favourite books.

“It’s impossible to make your eyes twinkle if you aren’t feeling twinkly yourself.” from Danny Champion of the World.

“Two rights don’t equal a left.” From The BFG.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or what you like so long as somebody loves you” From The Witches.

“Anyone can ask questions,” said Mr. Wonka. “It’s the answers that count.” From Charlie and the Great  Glass Elevator.

“Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous…” From Matilda.

 

It takes so long to learn iMovie!

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I have never done any form of computer animation or film production in my life. I have always considered myself fairly computer literate, and logical to work things out. Reality is without google I would not have a clue with iMovie. So this blog post features the probably very obvious things I have learnt about video making in iMovie that had me scratching my head and losing my temper at.

1. You can’t import video you took with another program like QuickTime without choosing import media. Don’t waste your time looking for it in iPhoto’s.

2. For a long time I was adjusting each photo one by one from Ken Burns to fit to frame by using the edit function. Don’t waste your time like I did. In the view screen highlight them all by clicking the last one and pressing shift before you click your first frame. Go up to the top right hand corner and any changes you make will be applied to them all. Don’t forget to hit the blue tick to save the changes. You can edit the length of the clip by pressing the ‘i’ icon.

3. Don’t panic (like I did) when you choose iPhoto’s from the left hand side of the screen and instead of appearing they all vanish. You haven’t done anything awful just check you have photos and not videos selected, or the other way round.

4. To film from your iPad, connect it to your Mac and use QuickTime. By mirroring the device (flick up from the bottom of your iPad to select this) everything you do will be recorded. Just be sure to tick the microphone box too if you want sound. This creates a clip that you can import to iMovie. You can’t film directly into iMovie itself. It took me a long time to figure this out.

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5. It takes a lifetime to upload videos to YouTube bear this in mind and try and keep them as short as possible. Sometimes I think I will collect my pension before they get finished. Pick your time for uploads to the quieter periods of broadband usage it does speed it up a bit.

6. Finally, Google, Apple help forum and YouTube help videos are essential! Thank you to everyone who knows what they are doing for putting it out there to help people like me who haven’t got a clue.

Have fun! If you make videos put a link to one of yours in the comments so I can see it (family friendly only before the p*rn spammers get involved!)

Personal Gift Ideas from Your Children to Each Other

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Unless the Argos catalogue is out, it’s so difficult getting sensible present ideas out of my two for each other. Everything ridiculous from a kitten, to a trip to Disney is mentioned.

This Christmas I’m going to head this off a bit. I will have the pain of choosing one present out of the Argos catalogue, but they’re also going to put some effort in and make something for each other.

My children are very lucky, they have been bought a lot of stuff by grandparents, parties they’ve had and us. So sometimes it’s nice to remind them that giving is the most important part and that giving your time is more precious than giving stuff.

So. Here’s the list of ideas I have come up with. I’m trying to make this as painless on me as possible and some ideas have a small cost to them.

Personalised calendar: letting my kids loose with my phone and telling them to take 12 pictures of things they really like. I’ll print the pictures and some calendar sheets and they can assemble it.

Baking: a special cake, a favourite cake, some sweets or truffles? What ever they fancy doing.

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Gift tokens: Not from a shop, gift tokens from them. So this voucher gives you 15 minutes of colouring time with me, activities like that. I must admit I can’t see this one working with my two, my youngest has too many tantrums over controlling everything, so I might gloss over this one!

Making a colouring book: there are loads of free printable colouring pages online. Get them to choose some, print them and stick them in a folder. They can pick all their favourite characters, or animals.

Making a lucky dip surprise box: a lot of Kinder eggs have passed through this house. A lot! Get your child to wrap up loads of the small plastic toys and put them into a box full of paper or bubble wrap or whatever you have to hand. The recipient won’t remember they have seen them before and unwrapping is the best part!

Making a surprise egg: we have two massive plastic egg shells, you might have several small ones left over from Easter. Use what ever you have in the house. Get your child to pick toys, sweets, make bracelets or pictures, anything to fill them up. Wrap them in paper (or if you’re really brave play-doh like they do on You Tube) and you have a one of a kind gift.

Poundshop stationary: Pick your store carefully, give them £5 and tell them they are buying and filling a pencil case. A practical present, with a bit of Supermarket Sweep thrown in.

I hope you like these ideas, I’d love to hear yours if you can come up with some brilliant suggestions.

Mummascribbles