Monday 29 June 2020

Family Fun with Funko! (Ad - Review)

Disclosure: We were sent the items mentioned in exchange for this post - This post contains affiliate links
Funko are known for being the brand that covers all of your fandom needs and with licenced pop culture products from almost every fictional world you can think of of, including Batman, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, DC Comics and Hello Kitty to name just a few, they have helped to keep the MyMummysPennies household entertained during lockdown!

The lovely folks from Funko sent us a box full of fun for the whole family to enjoy at home. I've been a fan of Funko! Pops for a number of years but have always seen them as more of a grown up collectable than toys to play with. I have certainly changed my mind after receiving this box of Funko fun suitable for the whole family to enjoy. 

A selection of Funko products including Harry Potter, Harley Quinn, Hello, Kitty, Batman and Jurassic Park

The arrival of our box of Funko goodies couldn't have been timed better, being stuck at home and looking for things to entertain us. We were sent a selection of products including the Pop! Vinyls, Mystery Minis, SuperCute Plushies, FunkoVerse game and more! Read on to find out about each of the products we received.

Funko Pop! Classic and Pop! Heroes

3 Funko Pop Vinyl figures - Hello Kitty, Harley Quinn, Batman

If you've heard of Funko they you will have heard of Funko Pop! Vinyl figures, I think pretty much everyone I know has a few of these on a shelf at home representing a movie series or character they love.  As Funko themselves say, 'Everyone is a fan of something', and displaying these distinctive  'chibi' style collectables are the perfect way to take home a little version of something you love! While some of the rarer Comic Con exclusive and limited edition Pop! Vinyls may be safer kept in their boxes, the smooth, robust vinyl and bright, detailed decoration of these funky figures mean that they can be played with safely and are ideal for imaginative play for older children and tweens!

Hello Kitty Classic Funko Pop! Classic figure in blue dress with red bow

This Hello Kitty Pop! (Classic) takes me back to when I was the same age as my daughter in the nineties and this little Japanese cartoon kitten with the big red bow was all the craze with my friends, still popular now with all ages, this one has been sitting on my daughter's desk supervising her stationery and her school work since she arrived!

Harley Quinn Funko Pop! Vinyl figure with glass in hand

Harley Quinn Funko Pop! Heroes figure next to box with other birds of prey characters

Fans of DC Comics will of course recognise Harley Quinn. This is a character more for the grown ups but oozing with bad girl vibes, and more recently in the Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn,  a strong dose of feminism she is certainly iconic and this Black Mask Club fugure forms part of the Heroes collection released to go alongside the aforementioned movie, also offering characters  such as Black Canary and Huntress as well as other versions of Quinn.

Batman 1989 Funko Pop! Heroes Vinyl figure with reflection

Batman. We can't really talk about iconic pop culture without mentioning the caped crusader now can we? My other half is a huge fan of the Dark Knight, especially the cheesier early incarnations. In fact, one of our last days out earlier in the year was to a race track day where he got to drive the original Batmobile! This 1989 version of Batman takes him back to his eighties childhood and was a welcomed father's day gift. This Pop! Heroes  was released to celebrate Batman turning 80  and comes complete with a batarang!

Funko Vinyl SODA!

Batman Funko soda  can limited edition collectable figure with can and token

A new and limited edition to the Funko family for 2020, only 10,000 pieces of this figure was released. Presented in a plastic soda can with a pop off lid this figure is very different to the Pop! style Funko figures but is still distinctive and collectable especially dressed in the retro blue and grey outfit. As an extra treat inside the soda can there is a round POG shaped collectable token too!

Batman Funko soda  can limited edition collectable figure and Pop! Heroes Vinyl figure

Funko and Harry Potter

If I had to name one fictional universe that is loved above all others by members of our household it would definitely have to be the The World of Harry Potter. The nine year old is a fully fledged Gryffindor and loves the original trio of Harry, Hermione and Ron while still enjoying the early books in the series, the almost teen sees himself as a Hufflepuff through and through and is a huge fan of Newt Scamander and the Fantastic Beasts movies series, and both the adults in the house are Potterheads too. We all thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida last year and are hoping that our planned trip to Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London goes ahead later this year! So as you can imagine when we found some Harry Potter licenced goodies in our box of Funko fun they were very popular.

Harry Potter Bellatrix Lestrange Funko mystery minis vinyl figure with box

The nine year old is all about the blind bags and the mystery box toys so naturally she claimed the Harry Potter Mystery Mini and even decided to do a YouTube unboxing video for it! 
The Mystery Minis have an RRP of £5.99 and come with one of 14 exciting Harry Potter themed characters. Which one will you find?!
Despite being full of sweetness and light, she does have a soft spot for a stylish bad girl with attitude so was very pleased to find a mini vinyl figure of Bellatrix Lestrange inside! As with all the Funko figures Bellatrix is well made and the attention to detail on her outfit is exquisite. She is a smaller figure than the usual pop range at just under 4 inches tall but still stands sturdy on her feet so would be perfect for displaying in a collection or also ideal for imaginative play as Elizabeth chose to do.

Harry Potter Funko Super cute Plushies soft toy with glasses and sorting hat

This Harry Potter SuperCute Plushies soft toy with glasses and Sorting Hat was a lovey surprise as I had no idea that Funko sold a range of soft toys to complement their other licenced products! This pint sized wizard in training is just adorable! He is just under 11 inches tall and super soft and cuddly but also has a flat base so can be displayed in pride of place alongside your other Potter collectables after you've finished playing with him. Again no detail has been missed as he is wearing very smart silky robes with hood, and even a tie with the Hogwarts emblem displayed on it. (Note he's not in house colours yet as he's still being sorted!) Harry is wearing his distinctive glasses which are made from moulded plastic to give a fantastic 3D effect and his head is topped with the famous Sorting Hat which you can lift up the brim of to see his lightening shaped scar embroidered on his forehead. The Harry Potter SuperCute Plushies are available in a range of your favourite Harry Potter characters. I managed to nab this one myself and have already added some of his pals to my wishlist!

Pop! FunkoVerse Strategy game - Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Funkoverse Strategy game expandalone in box

If your family is anything like ours, then you will have become quite familiar with a fair few boardgames during the last few months of lockdown. Playing a boardgame is an ideal activity to get the family engaged in something together and away from screens, not to mention the fact that many of them have an educational aspect as well as being fun!

We were thrilled to find the Jurassic Park expandalone edition of the Funkoverse Strategy game in our box of Fun(ko). I'd heard of this strategy game that is available in a number of different editions, but had never played it before. We've recently re-watched the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies so this was the perfect edition for us to play! The playing pieces are mini POP! Vinyl figures of Dr Malcolm and the T-Rex - they even have base plates to stop them falling over!

Tyrannosaurus figure with amber

Perfect for those of us who like to be a bit more hands on with our fandom collectables, there are a number of different editions of this tabletop strategy game available depending on which movie series you are into and one of the best things about it is that you can build up your collection and mix and match your characters! Each game can be played on it's own though so you can still get started with just one edition.  The full base games come with four characters but we were sent the Jurassic Park expandalone edition which can be played on its own or used to expand the main game pack.

boardgame with Tyrannosaurus and Dr Malcolm figures

The Jurassic Park expandalone Funkoverse game is suitable for 2 players (or teams) and comes with two game boards or maps and two Pop! Vinyl figures as well as other counters and accessories. It's advised for ages 10+ which I'd say is about right due to the strategic thinking required, we played in teams so my 9 year old had some help from a grown up. If you're not used to strategy games it does take some practise but there are some great tips and instructions on gameplay as well as a video on the Funkoverse website which are great to get you started.

Tyrannosaurus and Dr Malcolm figures on playing board

Thanks so much to Funko for sharing their goodies with us and introducing our family to a different and much more interactive side of the Funko product range that I was previously unaware of. Here's to lots more Funko family fun in the future!

Tuesday 24 December 2019

Our Favourite Family Christmas Movies (AD - GIFTED)

Favourite Family Christmas Movies

The lead up to the festive period can get rather manic for our family, the children both have extra activities with school and clubs, (our 9-year-old was in FOUR different shows this year!), my husband and I are really busy in work getting ready to take some time off and then of course there is the shopping and prep to do! I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

This means that when we get to Christmas eve we love nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa together with a box of chocolates and a good old Christmas movie. However, we can't always agree which is the best one so sometimes we have to watch a few! The lovely folks at Fox have sent us a selection of festive movies to get us in the festive spirit and you could win a bundle too in a super simple twitter giveaway - read to the end to find out more...

Home Alone - Family Fun Edition

Home Alone is a 1980 classic family Christmas movie that I remember watching throughout my childhood. Full of belly laughs and hold your breath moments, both my children love watching Kevin Macallister as he is left home alone and has to defend his house from a pair of bumbling thieves at Christmas! Their favourite scene is when one of the dastardly would be burglars climbs through the window and steps onto the baubles Kevin has laid out! Ouch!

Deck The Halls

Another comedy classic, this one is my husband and son's favourite, they love the hilarious rivalry between Steve and his new neighbour Buddy, especially in the ice-skating race but their favourite scene is when the rogue firework goes down Steve's chimney and destroys the tree!

Miracle on 34th Street

Now we're on to my favourite, I have fond memories of going to the cinema to watch this back in 1994, and I had my very own 'I believe' badge. This is the first Christmas movie I watched with my children and it gives me tingles inside every time I see it. Richard Attenborough embodies the spirit of Father Christmas and watching him use sign language to talk to that little girl brings a tear to my eye without fail. Six-year-old Susan Walker walking through the courtroom and melting the Judge's heart with the Christmas card and the one-dollar note just makes Christmas for me. It's all about believing in the magic!

A Christmas Carol

There are so many adaptations of this classic Charles Dickens tale, but whichever one you choose it is must-watch Christmas viewing and enough to convert anyone feeling a little Scrooge-like to a festive feeling. We don't want to be haunted by the ghosts of Christmas, do we?

Jingle All The Way

This nineties Christmas offering starring Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't everyone's cup of tea but we've all had that dreaded feeling that the one toy our child wants will sell out and here's what could happen when you go to every length possible to get it! The children always laugh their hearts out at the parade scene but there's plenty of giggles to be had throughout.

What's your favourite festive film? If I've missed it out please do share in the comments.

Now pop over to Twitter - Follow and RT the below tweet for your chance to win all of these DVDs!

Sunday 9 June 2019

Throwback to the Nineties with The Spice Girls #AD

Disclaimer: I have been compensated for this post.

If I had to choose a decade that defined my formative years it would without a doubt be the Nineties. Platform shoes, 'Rachel from friends' hair, boob tubes with combat pants and of course Girl Power!

This decade spanned my childhood from ages six to sixteen and shaped me in to the person that I am in so many ways.

Of course you can't really talk about nineties nostalgia without mentioning The Spice Girls, they were the iconic band of the decade. Their album, Spice, was the first CD I bought when I got my very own boombox for my tenth birthday, I went to see Spice World at our local cinema for a friends birthday and I cherished my platform shoes that I hobbled around in!

For a young girl like me, the characters the girls 'played' gave me something to connect with, something I'd never really had with pop stars in the past. For me, Mel C's Sporty Spice showed me a celebrity with an accent just like mine from my home town and I really related to that, it gave me confidence at an important time in my childhood.

The concept of Girl Power was also something that I connected with, I had a hard time as a child in many ways, I was bullied at school, I was the only child of a single parent and I felt very lonely at times. This 'Girl Power' that The Spice Girls shouted and sang about was something I aspired to. It gave me confidence and in many ways and believing in this helped to turn me from the shy and timid child I was, in to a more confident and outgoing teen. Girl Power Indeed!

I was definitely a big fan and in many ways still am, but am I their biggest fan? Probably not...

Are you?

The Spice Girls and Walkers Crisps have reunited 22 years after they first worked together to find the girls' best ever fan!  Watch the hilarious new ad in the video below and join in with the discussion online using  #MustBeWalkers

Whoever is actually crowned Spice Girls best ever fan will be incredibly lucky with the first prize being VIP tickets to watch them live including a meet and greet  with the ladies as well as 5* accommodation and travel! Wow!

Would you share your Walkers crisps with the girls? I certainly would!

Wednesday 8 May 2019

Planning our first trip to Walt Disney World, Florida

Girl dressed as Rey meeting Donald Duck at Disney

Planning a holiday is always exciting, but when it's a holiday of a lifetime it can be pretty overwhelming as well. This summer, we will be taking our children on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. Long term readers of this site will know that we are a family of huge Disney fans, so this really is the ultimate dream for us all. My husband has been three times before as a child but for myself and our two children, it will be not only our first visit to Disney World but also our first time in the United States!

We did take the children to Disneyland in Paris a few years ago and although they had a fabulous time and made some cherished memories, I found it a very stressful trip. Therefore I want to do as much forward planning as possible this time, to make sure I share the magic with them!

We have already booked our advanced dining reservations for the meals we will be having on site, booked our eight year old a princess makeover slot at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique in Magic Kingdom and of course linked up our tickets in the My Disney Experience App.

Top Tips for your first Disney World Trip from UK Family Travel Bloggers

Having just passed our double digit day I feel like I can really get into geeky planning mode now, we've started to buy bits and pieces ready to pack and we have our 30 day Fastpass+ day marked on the calendar! To help me get prepared I thought I would pick the brains of some fellow bloggers and WDW fans. I've pulled together some of the top tips that they have shared with me below:

Angela who writes a fabulous family travel blog filled with Disney themed content - Life of Spicers - says we should enjoy everything that you are doing and don't worry about what you're not doing, as it's impossible to do everything!

Amy from Livvy Bird Adventures advises her top tip is to get everyone in the travel party to choose one MUST for each park. Then treat everything else as extra. Whether you go for one or three weeks you still won’t get everything done. Do check out her Instagram for lots of Disney memories!

Karen from That Lancashire Lass took her family to WDW in 2017 and she tells me that fast passes are brilliant for minimising queuing time when you have young children.

Louise from A Strong Coffee to Go suggests that if you don’t get a fast pass for one of the really popular rides such as Flight of Passage, either go for rope drop on a day without early magic hours or get in the queue just before closing. Once the fast passes have stopped going in, the queue will go down much faster than the time that was shown. Thanks Louise, I shall remember that one!

Emma Read has written a great post sharing what she learnt from being first timers at Disney World, it's full of great advice and I would recommend popping over and reading it, but one tip I will definitely be taking on board is to take our own food and drinks into the park. As a vegetarian I am expecting that the choice will be limited and I know that eating on park will be expensive too. We have a couple of character meals booked but other than that we fully intend to take packed lunches and water bottles to refill with the free iced water available!

Steph from Steph's Two Girls wrote a great tongue in cheek post sharing her Top Ten Tips for a Florida Disney Holiday following her last visit in 2015. In this she says, 'Stress over planning your days out meticulously if you want to, but be prepared to scrap all those plans and go with the flow every day as soon as your first FastPass+ ride breaks down.'

I think that is the perfect piece of advice to leave this on, we really can plan everything down to the last detail but sometimes things don't go to as we expect, rides may break down, storms may happen or little ones may just get too tired. If you do plan, you also have to allow for things to change and be prepared to just go with the flow!

I'd love to hear your top tips!

Have you been on a holiday to Disney World in Florida? Do you have any tips to share with us as first timers? If so please do leave me a comment as I would love to read them!