Sunday, 17 February 2019

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - Plush Toys #SentforReview

To celebrate the release of the third movie in the How to Train Your Dragon series, we have been sent a selection of the new plush toys available from Posh Paws to review. This post also contains affiliate links.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  - Plush Toys #SentforReview

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World sees the return of our favourite dragons and dragon riders and introduces a few new ones too including my daughter's new favourite, the Light Fury! Posh Paws have brought out a range of super cute toys to accompany the release of the Dreamworks movie at the beginning of this month and we were excited to see some of them up close.

The new range includes Bag Clips, Night Lights, Medium plush toys and Large plush toys with prices starting at just £5.99.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  - Toothless and Hookfang plush toys

Both my children have been fans of the franchise based on the How to Train Your Dragon Books by Cressida Cowell for a number of years now and own all the books as well as a number of toys and novelties that they have collected over that time. They eagerly awaited the release of The Hidden World and we all went to see it on opening weekend, they both gave it rave reviews! Although my eldest is now probably at the upper end of the age range now, he has certainly passed his affection for it on to his younger sister who was thrilled to receive these Posh Paws goodies to play with!

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  - Toothless plush bag tag

Toothless Bag Clip

The bag clips are available in a variety of dragons including Toothless, Light Fury, Hookfang, Barf and Belch, Stormfly and Meatlug. They are approximately 10cms in height, are suitable for ages 3 years + and are available at an RRP of just £5.99 from your Clintons and Hamleys stores.

These adorable mini soft toys may be small but they are full of detail! The soft black 'fur' is textured to give the effect of scales, the tail features Toothless' unique red tail fin as made by hiccup and the face includes his distinctive green eyes in high quality embroidery. The large plastic clip is ideal to clip on to school bags or luggage so your child can take their new friend with them to school or along on their travels and the price is great pocket money value.

Hookfang from HTTYD toy - Review

HookFang Medium Plush Toy

As any How to Train Your Dragon fan will know, Hookfang is the Monstrous Nightmare dragon ridden by Snotlout. Both warriors at heart, they are a fearsome duo but Hookfang has been known to ignite first and think second, not always doing what Snotlout asks! This plush version won't be breathing fire but does come with rather funky glow in the dark wings which makes him an ideal bedtime companion. Great quality and attention to detail, this medium plush also features embroidered facial features, with 3D eyes and a cheeky toothy smile.

Girl stroking night fury dragon - toothless

Toothless Medium Plush Toy

Toothless is the last known specimen of the Night Fury Species, once thought of as the unholy offsping of lightening and death itself, but now proven to be a playful, inquisitive and intelligent, loyal dragon and of course Hiccup's best friend.  He is the Alpha, the king of the dragons and plays a significant role in The Hidden World movie (but we won't spoil that for you if you have yet to see it!)

Toothless from HTTYD toy - Review

The Toothless plush from Posh Paws is slightly larger that Hookfang but shares the high quality and attention to detail, as well as a soft but sturdy cuddly body. Just like the smaller bag clip, Toothless bears the distinctive red tail fin crafted by Hiccup and soft textured scale like fur. When the light go out he has an extra surprise in store, as well as glow in the dark wings and badge, his beautiful big green eyes glow also!

glow in the dark dragon wings - hookfang and toothless

These 32cm medium plush toys are also available in Light Fury, Barf and Belch, Stormfly and Meatlug, each feature the glow in the dark wings and bear a shiney glow in the dark badge. They have an RRP of £16.99 and can be purchased at Amazon, Zoom, Harrods, Hamleys and Clintons.

Hookfang and Hiccup plush toys HTTYD

Dragon night lights are also in the range at just £8.99 RRP and large 61cm Plush Dragons are available for £29.99 RRP.

girl kissing toothless the dragon HTTYD

What we thought of the new HTTYD range from Posh Paws

Elizabeth adores her new Posh Paws friends, the mini Toothless is attached to her favourite backpack ready to join us on our next adventure and the medium Toothless and Hookfag have joined her Hiccup and Astrid soft toys on her bed, she loves how their wings and badges glow once the lights go off! They all get a big thumbs up from us and would make perfect gifts for any HTTYD fan.

Posh Paws How to Train Your Dragon soft toys

Girl with How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Toys

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  - Plush Hookfang and Toothless Toys from Posh Paws

If you have a How to Train your Dragon fan, you won't want to miss our review of the latest Spinmaster toys released with the How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World movie (Including fire breathing dragons!)...  COMING SOON.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World  - Plush Toys #SentforReview

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald - Nifflers and Niffler Babies

We are big fans of the world of Harry Potter in our house and we all loved the first Fantastic Beasts film, especially being introduced to all of the magical beasts that lived inside Newt's suitcase! In fact, after watching the movie for the first time my daughter declared she wanted her own Niffler!

Now her and many other children's wishes can come true as you can buy them (or yourselves!) their very own soft and cuddly Niffler plush toys to cuddle and take care of!

What is a Niffler?

Nifflers are British creatures, and are fluffy with a long snout. They are burrowing  animals with a liking for anything shiny! Although gentle and affectionate, they can be very destructive and rather mischievous.
The second movie in the series, Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald, is out at cinenas now and not only brought back the lovable yet mischievous Nifflers, but also introduced us to the super adorable Niffler Babies!

Kids At Play (KAP) Toys have brought out a full range of Niffler plush toys to accompany the movie.

These soft and cute teddies are great quality and have lots of lovely details, the 'adult' Niffler even has it's own pouch to keep all the shiny things he finds! The small Niffler babies also fit snugly in there too!

Perfect gifts and stocking fillers for any fans of the Fantastic Beasts series young or old Niffler and Niffler babies are available in a variety of independent retailers now and you can follow Kids at Play Twitter to find out more.

How adorable are these plush Niffler Babies? Do you have a Fantastic Beasts fan who would love to cuddle up with these?

If you'd like to find out about more gift ideas from the wizarding worlds then pop over and read this review of New Look's Harry Potter Sleepwear range and these top gift ideas for Harry Potter fans!

These products were sent to us for the purpose of this review, all opinions and images are our own.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Harry Potter Sleep Wear for Grown Ups!

I love the Harry Potter books and movies and I'm delighted that it is a fandom that everyone can enjoy no matter their age! You may have read my Top Stocking Fillers for Harry Potter Fans gift guide where I brought together some great gift ideas for Hogwarts wannabes, well I'm now thrilled to discover that New Look have brought out a fabulous range of sleepwear and loungewear for big kids just like me who love J.K.Rowling's stories of witchcraft and wizardry.

Harry Potter Hogwarts PJs from New Look

Released just in time for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, out this week, these PJs and dressing gown would be perfect for snuggling up and re-watching the Harry Potter movies on a cold winter evening!

Harry Potter Gifts for Grown Ups

I've been sent a couple of items from the new range that would make perfect gifts this festive season. 

Ladies Harry Potter Hogwarts Shortie Pjs

Harry Potter Ladies PJs

The Harry Potter Hogwarts Pyjama set  would be perfect for packing in your trunk to Hogwarts or maybe for a festive break away. This two part PJ set consists of a short sleeved stretchy t-shirt with the Hogwarts crest on the front and a pair of toasty green tartan brushed cotton shorts, with a matching tartan drawstring bag to keep them together. Available in sizes S, M and L with an RRP of £19.99 these would make an ideal gift for Mums, Sisters, Aunties or teen children who are big Harry Potter fans!

Harry Potter Gifts for Adults - Book, Pjs and wand

Harry Potter Men's Robe

If you're buying for a guy who who's a big Potterhead then don't despair, as New Look have something for the men too! This fabulous men's Hooded Dressing Gown can be found on the New Look website here, and I've been sent one for a sneak peek and I can't get over just how soft and snuggly it is! An ideal gift for your husband or boyfriend so that you can steal it back again when you're feeling chilly, maybe? This robe may be super warm and fluffy but it's not too girly for the man in your life! In black velour, it has two burgundy pockets and is trimmed in the Hogwarts tie colours of burgundy and gold with a matching belt. The chest has an embroidered Hogwarts crest and the back has the word Hogwarts embroidered in bold white text. The details are exquisite and the quality is high, making its RRP of £27.99 very good value!

Men's Hogwarts Robe

Do you have any Adult Harry Potter Fans to buy for this Christmas? I would highly recommend checking out the sleep wear range from New Look if so!

Harry Potter Gifts for Men - Dressing Gown, Wand and book

Join in with the #HarryPotterPJParty on Twitter

Join me tonight for a chat over on twitter all about getting cozy in your Jammies and watching the Harry Potter movies! There may even be some prizes to be won! Join myself @mymummyspennies and the lovely @DanielleGParker who will be hosting the twitter party from 8pm-9pm tonight (Monday 12th November 2018) Down forget to follow #HarryPotterPJParty!

We were sent the Harry Potter Sleepwear items from New Look in exchange for this post and the twitter party. All opinions are our own.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room from Smyths Toys - Review #ad

Spy Code Operation Escape Room board game

Escape rooms seem to be all the rage at the moment, they are a fun group activity that challenge your minds and encourage you to work together with others. Most of the ones I've seen around tend to be for grown ups and my puzzle mad 11 year old has been quite disappointed that he's not been able to experience the concept for himself yet. He was absolutely thrilled to to find that Yulu games have created an escape room in a board game that you can play at home!

Ideal for kids who love puzzles and perfect to play together as a family, Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room is aimed at children aged 6 and above and can be played by between 2 and 6 players. Gameplay includes a test of skill, strategy and luck and offers different levels of difficulty so that it can be played over and over without getting repetitive!

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room -  what's in the box?

Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room - What's in the box?

Ben was very eager to get started and couldn't wait to open the box! Inside the box he found an instruction leaflet with game rules, a Timer strap, a Key Cage, a Quiz Master with 45 coloured puzzle cards, a Lucky Spinner, 2 sticks and 3 keys. There is some assembly required but this was simple to do and just took a few minutes to set up. The timer does require 2 x AAA batteries which are not included with the game so it's worth making sure you have these ready before you want t play. (As with most battery operated toys and games these days  - a small phillips screwdriver is required to install the batteries in their compartment.)

We were soon ready to play!

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room -  locked in

How do you play Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room?

The concept of the game is that one player is trapped and the other players have to work as a team to solve the three puzzles in order to release them! The game is played against the clock and it's all about - Search - Solve - Release!

Each puzzle should be hidden around the room you are playing in and the first task is to find each one, solve it and then use the key that you release to start the next puzzle once you have found that! You must play the puzzles in order and you can't move on to the next one until you have solved the one before and released the key!

The final key lets you stop the timer and release the trapped player!

Firstly, you need to choose which player will be 'trapped' and they wear the timer belt, I have to say that the belt isn't overly generous in sizing so we found that it was best for one of the children to do this. (Don't worry - if you need to release the belt for any reason there is an an emergency release button on the back!).

Once it's in place you set the timer, the instructions suggested that we set this for 180, so we did but you can set it for any time to suit those playing the game. Once it starts it has a rather loud ticking which does help to build up the pressure of the game!

using fine motor skill in the key cage challenge

Puzzle One: Key Cage

This one is all about perfecting fine motor skills! You spin the arrow on the top of the cage and that determines which wall (each has a varying level of difficulty) of the cage you need to use to try and get the key, using the special shaped sticks provided! It's a lot harder than it looks and it great practise for children perfecting their fine motor skills and pen control, especially those like my son who have hypermobile joints and find this a challenge. Despite this, he was determined to  beat the cage and was so pleased with himself when he did!

He did it! Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - the key cage

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - the quiz master cards red

Puzzle Two - The Quiz Master

Once you have release the first key from the cage, it's time to tackle puzzle two which is the Quiz master, this time my daughter took a turn, she often has her head in puzzle books so she was eager to give it a go but being only 7, we did allow her to choose a green card (which are the easiest - yellow are medium and red are the trickiest). These challenges need you to use maths or science skills and knowledge to solve them, so are great for using STEM skills in a fun way. You turn the dial to the card number and then select the corresponding letter to the answer on the large dial - if it's correct, the key is released a third of the way! Three correct answers for three different cards and you have released your second key! 

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - the quiz master cards

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - the quiz master key

Puzzle Three - The Lucky Spinner

Whereas the first two puzzles used skill and knowledge this one is all about luck! Insert your key into the top of the spinner and then spin. Choose up to three doors to open to see if you can locate that final key!, if you don't find the key first time, you may be lucky enough to to get a clue in the form of an arrow telling you in which direction the key lies! You have three goes to find it or you need to start all over again!

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - the lucky spinner

Did you Beat the Clock?

Once you have your final key you can release your trapped team mate and you have 'escaped the room!'.

Play again to try and beat your best time!

What we thought of Spy Code - Operation: Escape Room

We had great fun with this game, there was lots of laughter, a little frustration and a good deal of team work! The children worked together really well and supported each other in each puzzle and they happily used skills and STEM knowledge without realising. 

Each challenge completed gave the children a sense of accomplishment and was a great way to subtly build their confidence. Although each game only lasts about 10 - 15 minutes it's something that can be played over and over again without boredom as they are plenty of different aspects to it and the children loved the idea of trying to beat their previous time!

This would make an ideal gift for any puzzle loving child and would make a great game to play as a family after dinner over the festive season.

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room in box

Where Can you Buy Spy Code Operation: Escape Room?

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room is available exclusively from Smyths Toys and has an RRP of £19.99 but is currently on offer at just £14.99 and as always with Smyths Toys, you can check the stock in your local store and 'Click & Collect' for free! 

We were kindly sent Spy Code Operation: Escape Room and some toy vouchers from Smyths Toys in exchange for writing this review, all opinions and images are our own.

Spy Code Operation: Escape Room - Kid's board game toy review