Reviews - toys page 3

 

We have reviewed a selection of toys which have been sent to us, as well as recommending some that have been a particular success at home. These will help you and your children to have fun together while they are learning.

Power Rangers Ninja Steel: Deluxe Ninja Megazord

Megazord 8

Power Rangers Ninja Steel is the twenty-fourth season of the long-running children's television show Power Rangers. Galvanax is the reigning champion of the most popular game show in the universe and he sends his warrior contestants to Earth to steal the Ninja Power Stars. The Power Rangers must master their arsenal of Ninja Power Stars, Zords and Megazords to stop this evil threat and save Earth from destruction!

Megazord

The Ninja Steel Megazord is the main Megazord for the Ninja Steel Rangers. It is created when the core 5 Rangers' Zords merge. This impressive action figure combines all 5 Zords, which are all separate figures, and once they are all clicked together they create the Megazord. The 5 separate Zords are:

Zoom Zord (the Pink Rangers's Zord)

Megazord 7

Kodiak Zord (the White Ranger's Zord)

Megazord 4

Dragon Zord (the Blue Ranger's Zord)

Megazord 5

Nitro Zord (the Yellow Ranger's Zord)

Megazord 6

Robo Red Zord (the Red Ranger's Zord)

Megazord 3

The separate figures can be played with by themselves, or combined to make the Megazord. The Megazord stands at 25cm tall and it is compatible with the 12.5cm Power Rangers figures (sold separately) which can take a ride inside the cockpit and take control! This is a great feature for Power Rangers fans who will enjoy being able to use current figures they may have already. The Megazord can also be built upon with the purchase of additional accessories (not included), such as the Mega Morph Vehicles. The Megazord figure will provide hours of imaginative play as well as thinking skills and fine motor skills when combining all of the figures.

Megazord 2

The Ninja Steel Deluxe Megazord is a well constructed toy, it feels sturdy and robust and all of the pieces are easy enough for a child to put together. Its bold use of colour makes it really stand out and we love the fact that you can add parts to it from other Power Rangers products. The Ninja Steel Deluxe Megazord is aimed at ages 4 and over and retails at £42.99. It is available from all good toy stores.

Hape Wooden Beetle Walker

Hape Logo

We were really looking forward to receiving this walker for review as one of my mini testers is very close to walking. The walker needs minimal assembly and just requires 2 nuts and bolts (included) to fix the handlebar in place. There are 2 different angles at which this can be placed and the instructions advise that for babies who are just learning to walk that it is fixed in to the more vertical position.

    Walker 2 Walker 3 Walker 3

The wheels have a very clever speed reducer which can be adjusted to slower speeds for babies learning to walk, a quick tweak allows them to spin faster for toddlers who are confident pushing the walker around. I think this aspect is great and I have not come across it from a baby walker before, sometimes the speed at which they move can take your child by surprise so you can see that this is a well thought out feature. Your child can use the walker to push their favourite toys around in, but however your child uses it, it just looks great!

Walker 1

As with all Hape wooden products, this walker is excellent quality and the design of the Volkswagen Beetle is just gorgeous. There is so much detail, the headlights look very realistic and it even shows all the chrome detailing on the bodywork. The wheels have the 'VW' logo moulded in to them and the handlebar is metal so you can be sure that the walker is strong and sturdy.

Walker

The Hape Beetle Walker is also available in red and you can read all about it on the Hape website.

 Zomling3

Zomling2

 

Zomlings series 6

Zomlings are a highly collectable range of colourful and unique zombie-based characters, all at pocket-money prices which make them great for children to collect - and a good incentive to accompany Mum and Dad to the shops! Zomlings have shifted forward in time for Series 6, called Zomlings in the Future giving a lovely new aspect to this highly collectable series. It includes hi-tech new vehicles and a futuristic new world, with over 100 brand new characters for children to collect. These new Zomlings live in special capsules that can fly across the skies and they have new types of Zom-Mobiles with advanced Zom-tastic technology for extra speed! We received a fabulous boxful of goodies to review, which contained a starter pack (£4) - I really recommend that you get this to start off with as it contains a guide map, a Zom-mobile, a shiny metal capsule and 3 Zomlings to get the collection off to a great start. We also received 10 blind bags which each contain a single Zomling (50p), 3 capsules (with 2 Zomlings) (£1.50), a blister pack which includes Zomlings and Zom-mobiles (£8) and, finally, 3 blind bags with a Zomling plus Zom-mobile in each. Series 6 includes 6 Ultra Rare (silver) and 3 Limited Edition (gold) Zomlings. Also look out for limited edition Gold Zom-Mobiles! Zomlings are suitable for 4 - 7 year olds. I like the fact that these new toys include some larger packs which are good to treat children to as gifts. These include the Magic Trick School (RRP £5), Pirate and Race Blister Packs (RRP £12 each) and the Crazy School Bus (RRP £25). Zomlings are a great way to encourage imaginative and collaborative play (good for swaps too!), as with so many different items to play with, the variations are endless. These cute creatures look super on a display shelf too. Readily available, they can be bought from Co-op, One Stop, Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda and a variety of other newsagents and toy stores across the UK. Follow Zomlings on Twitter.   You can find out all about Series 6, and watch a video, here.

Zomlings 
 Zomling4

Figure Eight Railway Set from Hape

This is a lovely wooden railway set. The figure of eight layout is ideal as a first railway set, as it is easy for even young children to set up the track - it's recommended for age 3+. The Hape Figure Eight Railway Set includes three brightly coloured wooden train carriages which really capture children's attention; they couple together magnetically. There are 12 pieces of curved track, plus ramped pieces to take the train up and over the bright red bridge - this feature really adds a good dimension to the set. There are also two trees to decorate the track; there are 27 pieces in all. The pieces are all really well made with no rough edges, with a commitment to sustainability; compliant with international safety and quality standards. Railways are a constant favourite with children and while they are playing, they will be developing hand-eye coordination, creativity and imaginative play. The possibilities are endless, with the many expansion packs available, just a few of which are reviewed below. See the Hape website for the whole fantastic range. This makes an excellent starter railway set, and there are lots more sets on the Hape website, so your child can gradually build up their collection - you need never be stuck for present ideas again! See the whole HAPE railway range on their website.

Hape rail 2Hape rail 2

Hape Extended Double Suspension Bridge Set

Perfect for giving a train set a city feel, and of really impressive proportions, this is the perfect add on for any railway - children can take their trains right into the heart of the city. The extended double railway bridge has 17 pieces in all, including track. Many railway sets seem to have a country feel, so this is great to bring a more urban feel to children's play, giving yet more scope for imaginative play - how about drawing a road or river to go underneath, then bringing in vehicles and boats from other play sets? This is a really stylish addition to a model rail set and will immediately transform any set. It's well made, with wooden tracks and plastic parts for the bridge. A great addition to any rail set.

Hape bridgehape bridge 2

HAPE Triple Tunnel

Now you see it, now you don't! Children will love to see their train and carriages appear and disappear through the three separate tunnel parts; one is a double size and two are single. The tunnels come without track, so they can be p;aced anywhere children want on their rail layout, thus extending play value. They fit neatly over the track and there's plenty of room for the carriages to pass underneath - but there is just a little extra dexterity needed which is great to develop those all-important manipulative skills. The tunnels are wooden, attractively decorated. A super addition to any wooden train set.

Hape tunnelHape tunnel 2

Hape Automatic Train Bell Signal

Ding! Ding! The train is coming! Hurry up and cross the track safely, heeding the warning from this automatic signal. It can be connected to the tracks so that the bell rings as the train approaches the bend, or it can be rung loud and proud as a separate piece. This gives children plenty of scope for imaginative scenarios - and it's also a good excuse for adults to bring in some discussion about road and rail safety. The signal comes ready mounted on its own piece of track and it's a really good size, giving off a very satisfactory ring. We really enjoyed reviewing these train sets and accessories from Hape. They are excellent quality, and they can be combined with all manner of other toys for even greater play value, ensuring that children will get many years of happy play. And, thanks to the high quality, they can be passed down the generations too - good quality wooden toys never date.

Hape signal 1Hape signal
 

Schleich Vet Van - Horse Club

This is a super new addition to the already extensive Schleich Horse Club range, and really extends the play value of children's existing collections, including Horse Club and Farm Life. The Mobile Vet's Van comes complete with Hanoverian Foal, with bridle and leading rein so it can be carefully looked after by the vet. The van lid lifts for easy access and play. In addition, there are loads of other accessories, including a medicine box, heap of apples, a laptop, table and stool, Xray machine and screen, ramp and stickers... plus the vet, of course (this is poseable). Schleich are well known for their high manufacturing standards and their great attention to detail, which ensure that all their models are really true to life for exceptional play value. All Schleich model animals and accessories are beautifully hand painted making them lovely to play with as well as great collectable items for the equestrian enthusiast. All Schleich models comply completely with relevant safety regulations and are CE tested and approved. Tidy-minded parents will like the fact that everything can be put away into the van after use, ensuring that it's easy to keep the set all together - it can be so frustrating when little pieces get lost. The educational advantages of the set include developing hand-eye coordination, stimulating imaginative play and developing role play scenarios - I am sure you can think of more! Another winner from Schleich and one that children will be really keen to add to their collection. See the whole Horse World collection here. Buy direct from Schleich.

Schleich Mobile Vet Van

Schleich Farm Life Tractor with trailer

The Schleich Farm World collection just keeps getting bigger and better, giving children lots of opportunities for imaginative play as they build up their collection - they are great ideas for presents, as every time a new set is added, the play value of existing sets is increased and refreshed. And as Schleich models are so well made, they will last and last without showing any signs of wear. Schleich's attention to detail is well-known - for example, the tractor can drive through the gate of the farm set and under the silo, making the sets perfectly interchangeable. The tractor doors can be opened so the farmer can climb in and out, and the windscreen and windows are made of safe transparent, break-resistant plastic. Even the mirrors are real! The tractor has moving wheels which glide well on a hard surface. As always, the pieces are really true to life, so children will be stimulated to enjoy imaginative play with the trailer, working front loader, baby animal and hay bale - plenty to load and unload! There are even stickers for more play value. The hand painting is done with great attention to detail, which makes the models so realistic. See the whole Farm World collection here. Buy direct from Schleich.

 Schleich farmer  Schleich tractor 3
   

Hape Wooden Crane Lift

Hape are the world's largest producer of wooden toys, they depend on the use of natural materials and any plastic parts they make are designed to be durable enough for generations of use to encourage toys to be passed down, rather than thrown away.

Inside the box you will find the crane mechanism and cab which comes pre-assembled. Along with this is a box which contains 5 accessories (a men at work sign, 2 barriers and 2 cones), a platform and blocks for hooking to the crane and the base of the crane, which needs to be assembled. The base of the crane consists of 2 wooden parts which slot together to form an 'x', on top of this a round plate is placed to keep them in the right place and the long tower section is then placed on top of the plate. 2 screws (supplied) are then used to hold it all in place, an allen key is also supplied for tightening them up. The platform with blocks on can then be hooked on to the crane ready for play. The whole process only took a few minutes and once together it feels very solid and sturdy.

Hape 1

The crane can be moved using 2 dials, the dial at the back of the crane moves the hook backwards and forwards and the dial at the front lowers and raises the hook. It is also a great size, standing at 53cm tall. The crane encourages problem solving and discovery along with improving fine motor skills as children have to put the pieces in the correct place. It also inspires imagination and creativity through play.

Hape

The Hape Crane Lift is aimed at children of ages 3 and over, and is one of those toys that even much older children will enjoy playing with. The set can be added to by purchasing Hape trucks and diggers to create your own construction site. Hape products go through strict quality control so you can be sure that there will be no sharp points, they do a drop test, bite force test and use water based paints on their products. The Crane Lift retails at £37.99, for more information take a look at the Hape website.

 Hape 3

Schleich Pintabian Mare

I am a big fan of Scheich products - their attention to detail is remarkable and the accurate representations of animals make them an excellent way for children to learn exactly what animals look like; once children have played with these high quality animals, nothing else will match up. These elegant and graceful Pintabian horses are new to the Scheiich range, and they are a lovely addition. Pictured alongside is the Pintabian mare, and there are other horses and accessories in the range - a Pintabian Foal, Pintabian Stallion and Foal Care Accessories which includes a horse brush, curry comb and bottle (reviews of these will follow shortly). Just like the real horses, these figures have unique, beautiful coat patterns which make them unmistakable. As with all Schleich figures, these are carefully hand-painted hand-painted with detailed modelling; I love the silver of the horseshoes and the colour even extends to underneath the horse's hoof. We were also sent a cute set of accessories for the horse - this included a blanket, feeding bottle, brushes - and even a pile of apples. All great o extend the play value and to encourage imaginative play. As your child's collection of Scheiich animals grows, so too will their imaginative play, inspired by the high quality which makes play a joy; the animals can also be combined with other toys for even greater play value; they look great displayed on a shelf or windowsill too. You can see the full collection on the Schleich website. For even more enjoyment, sign up for the Horse Club for exclusive monthly competitions and content - perfect for young horse lovers.

horse 1horse 2horse 3horse 4

 

 

 

Casdon Self Service Supermarket

Casdon have been in the toy market for over 65 years and produce some excellent role play toys, we have been reviewing the new Self-Service Supermarket. It was relatively easy to put together and it is a very good size for little ones as it stands at 75cm tall. It comes with an incredible 75 pieces and the food items included are branded, this can help younger ones as they may be able to recognise the products from the packaging before they are able to read. Included is a chip and pin machine, bank notes, coins, receipt paper and a basket for all of your shopping!

Casdon 1

The goods can all be neatly displayed on the shelves around the stand and there is a hook for the basket. On top of the stand is an electronic till which has realistic scanning sounds, lights, spoken instructions and a touch-screen display. You can pay for your shopping with notes or coins and these can be placed in the till, change will also drop out which is a great feature. The till also produces receipts and the product comes with one blank roll of paper for this. The food boxes are well designed and printed, there are also price labels for the shelves that make it look like a real shop.

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The Self-Service Supermarket is a fun way for children to learn basic maths skills such as number recognition and counting, for older children they can start to recognise coin values. Play encourages the development of hand-eye coordination, expands the imagination and increases social skills through role play. It retails at £45.00 and requires 3 x AA batteries (not included) and it is aimed at ages 3-8 years. My 4 and 6 year old testers have played with this endlessly, they have each enjoyed being both the shop-keeper and the customer. That is a bonus of this toy; children can play by themselves, or with siblings and friends and it is still just as much fun. Overall it is a really engaging and educational toy as children love being able to do what they see grown ups doing.

For more information and to see a range of the other toys Casdon offer click here.

Brio

Brio - Ant with Rolling Egg

This is another lovely wooden toy from Brio. Brio have been making toys for children for over 130 years and they say they base their products on four key rules:

  • The toy must be safe to play with
  • The toy must comply with Brio's high quality standards
  • The toy must be intuitively easy for the child to understand
  • The toy must help the child grow though play

Brio 1

The Ant with Rolling Egg is pulled along by its brightly coloured cord and as the ant rolls along, the big yellow egg on its back completely rotates. The Ant has a springy tail, antennae and neck which all bob up and down as it rolls along. It will catch your toddlers attention with its gorgeous bold, block colours and big white eyes. As you would expect of a Brio toy, it is very well made and very durable, it is definitely the kind of toy that is kept and passed on to younger siblings when it has been grown out of.

Brio 2

The Ant with Rolling Egg is aimed at ages 12 months+, it encourages early walking and coordination skills. This toy makes a perfect gift, the RRP is £17.99 and can be purchased directly from Brio.

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Little Tikes

 

 

 

 

 

Little Tikes Fountain Factory Water Table

The Fountain Factory water table is so much more than it looks at first glance. It was very quick to put together by following the included instructions, it all slotted together easily and there was just one screw! There is a central water tower which has a network of 3 fountains with interchangable tubes and taps so you can choose how and when the water flows. Different nozzles give different water patterns and a clever hidden tube fills a funnel at the top to keep the water level high enough to allow the water to flow to the various water outlets. The hidden tube pumps the water in to the funnel via a manual pump attached to the side of the table, you press the plunger button down whenever you need to top the water tower up. My testers loved this part of the play as it makes them work to get the water level they need.

There are water spinners at the top of the central tower and around the edge of the table there is a dump bucket (which fills up and then empties itself back in to the pool of water), the pump which fills the tower and a peek-a-boo character that rises with the water level. The Fountain Factory allows you to connect the different pipes and faucets in countless different ways, it is educational by bringing together science and engineering as you work out how to re-arrange them so that they work correctly.

The Fountain Factory is aimed at ages 24 months to 5+ years. My 2 testers are 4 and 6 years old and have both played with this endlessly in both rain and shine! They have had a water table before but there was little to do aside from pushing boats around and splashing each other but the Fountain Factory has kept their interest for hours. It isn't all for the children though, the easy-drain plug makes cleaning it out a doddle! It comes with 3 play accessories: a funnel, a scoop and of course, a boat! As with all Little Tikes products it is extremely good quality with lots of bright colours which promote sensory play. The table is a great size and can comfortably fit 3 or more children around it for group play.

The Little Tikes Fountain Factory retails at £59.99 and can be purchased directly from Little Tikes online.

 Fountain Factory Water Table   

Fountain Factory

Casdon mixer 4

Casdon Kenwood Mixer

This is another in Casdon's exceptional range of role play toys. They are so well designed, and look just like the real thing, so are brilliant for extending children's role play. Little ones always love to copy Mum and Dad and copy the jobs around the house that they do. Role play offers parents plenty of opportunities for discussion and explanations of what is happening, helping children to develop skills for later life. Casdon's Kenwood Mixer has specially been designed to be true to life, so your little cook will feel like the real deal as they whip up pancakes, cakes and omelettes! This working mixer with its two speed motor with the Kenwood planetary action, is ideal for lightweight mixing tasks such as whisking up omelettes and pancakes helps develop real life skills, including, hand eye coordination, social skills, problem solving and even cause and effect. It also offers the chance to explain about healthy eating and where our food comes from. This replica toy includes a whisk beater and the iconic K beater, spatula, a recipe book and a manual handle as well as the working mixer. Usefully, it can be either hand or battery operated.  The recipe book includes a wide range of recipes, including flapjacks, pizza and cakes. I really like the silver (titanium) of this mixer, which is so realistic - and all the features on it are true to life, so when children move on to using the real thing, they will be familiar with the features. Like all Cason toys, this is sturdily and will withstand plenty of enthusiastic play; the recommended age is 3 - 8 year olds. It is so good for children and parents to work and enjoy toys like this side by side - and then to have something to show and enjoy for the effort! An impressive role play toy that is more than just a toy - it's a proper functioning mixer that children are going to love. You can see all Casdon's role play toys on their website.
Casdon Mixer 1  Casdon Mixer 3  Casdon Mixer

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