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S Riaz "S Riaz" (England)
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Sofia the First Magic Amulet Playset
Sofia the First Magic Amulet Playset
Offered by PuPazzi da Legare
Price: £26.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Sofia the First Magic Amulet Playset, 1 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a little micro playset for Sofia fans, which is nicely boxed and presented. It is quite small - rather like a Polly Pocket toy - and everything packs away into the amulet, which is good so you don't lose any pieces (there is a big `but' to this statement, which I will talk about later). The amulet opens to show three levels ; there is a lake, a ballroom and Sofia's bedroom. There are also three little figures which include Sofia herself, Clover and a robin. The toy lights up, plays music and has a dance floor, which you can fix Sofia and Clovis onto so that they can `dance.'

On the plus side, my seven year old daughter, who adores Sofia the First really loved this toy and has been playing with it since she unpacked it. So, in that sense, it is a success. However, there are a few issues with the quality which are disappointing. Firstly, the figures themselves are not very well made and Sofia looks more than a little odd. That is fine though, as my daughter never even commented on the actual look of them and I doubt she would as long as they were recognisable. More of an issue is the fact that this toy would not stand up as it does in the picture, being too top heavy, and had to be propped up on the sofa. Lastly, the toy is really difficult to open and even more difficult to close. My daughter was just about able to open it, but closing it was beyond her, meaning that you have to make sure the pieces are packed away and the toy is closed up yourself - obviously this is not ideal.

This will certainly be an appreciated and loved toy by any little girls who like Sofia, but the design and quality are not great. When toys are being designed for small children, the children should really be able to play with them without needing constant adult help to set them up and pack them away. In other words, adults will probably not be that impressed, but my daughter has certainly played with this a lot and it is residing in pride of place next to her bed, so I suspect that it will be a success despite of the flaws.


Xeno Burnt Orange
Xeno Burnt Orange
Price: £75.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Xeno Burnt Orange, 1 Oct 2014
This review is from: Xeno Ultra (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is another is a wide range of interactive toys which children seem to delight in for a short period, but which are usually discarded within weeks (if it is really good) but most probably days. Oddly, normal cuddly toys which do nothing usually end up being more played with, in my experience. However, I was happy to give this the toy test. When we unpacked Xeno – ours is a neutral burnt orange colour, but the toy also comes in blue and violet – my audience of children were very curious and consisted of my ten year old son, seven year old daughter and five year old niece.

My first impression was that this is a real pain to get out of the packaging, so if you plan on buying this for Christmas or a birthday, you might want to think about struggling with it before wrapping it up . As it was, my audience had wandered off, leaving me to struggle and I had to call them back again once I actually had the toy out. Now, the snot thing… Personally, I find it absolutely revolting. The two girls agreed with me, my son thought it was quite funny. On the plus side (snot apart) he is quite cute and has a great range of reactions and mini games. You can download further games, but the children seemed to prefer just playing with him.

If you hold Xeno’s hands, he will ask the child if they want to play. He also gets hungry, hurt, likes to listen to music, sleeps, snores, etc. At first, the children loved reacting to him, but he did get a little tiresome in the end and was firmly ‘put to bed’ by my daughter. However, in short bursts he is captivating for a young audience, with my little niece being by far the most interested. He has a soft, rubbery feel and his eyes do help make his expressions easy to interpret. Overall, a clever toy, but you might, like me, prefer toys which burp, fart and leak snot to live in another part of the house!


The Mystery at Underwood House (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 2)
The Mystery at Underwood House (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 2)
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Mystery at Underwood House, 1 Oct 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is the second novel featuring Angela Marchmont, and following, “The Murder at Sissingham Hall.” These books were written in the 1920’s by author Clara Benson as a hobby, but never published in her lifetime. Thankfully, this has been rectified now, as this series is a delight for any fans of Golden Age mysteries.

After her success at Sissingham Hall (and a rather exciting past hinted at by her friend at Scotland Yard, Inspector Jameson), Angela Marchmont is approached by an old friend of hers, Louisa Haynes. Louisa lives at Underwood House with her husband John and son Donald. Her father in law, the mischievous and eccentric Philip Haynes, enjoyed nothing better than causing trouble between his family. John Haynes, as the eldest son, should have received his beloved Underwood House in his father’s will. Instead, Philip Haynes split his will between his remaining living children; John, Philippa, Winifred and Edward. Another daughter, the wayward, rebellious Christina, left home when young and died. The family, including Philip Haynes’s children and grandchildren have to meet twice a year in order to meet the instructions of the will and they do so with ill grace and bad humour. What is more, three of the family members have died during these reunions and Louisa Haynes is worried that they are not natural deaths…

This is a wonderful mystery, with family feuds, secrets, financial scandals and the involvement of both Inspector Jameson and the redoubtable Angela Marchmont. This series is fast becoming a delight and I can only thank the family of Clara Benson for making them available to us at last.


Clarks Womens Coffee Cake Work Wear - Black - 5
Clarks Womens Coffee Cake Work Wear - Black - 5
Offered by Brantano Footwear
Price: £42.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clarks Womens Coffee Cake Work Wear, 30 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are an extremely comfortable pair of shoes. They are quite plain, but smart, with a small heel, but basically flat. It is risky to buy shoes online, but I have worn Clarks shoes before and so I knew which size would fit. I have worn them directly from taking them out of the box, with no discomfort at all. However, if you are considering buying shoes online, it would probably help if you are familiar with the make. A good, basic work shoe, which looks perfect with black trousers and which can be worn all day with ease.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 1, 2014 7:55 AM BST


Doc Mcstuffins Clinic Playhouse
Doc Mcstuffins Clinic Playhouse
Price: £39.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doc Mcstuffins Clinic Playhouse, 30 Sep 2014
This is a great Doc McStuffins dolls house. There are two rooms – a bedroom upstairs and a clinic downstairs, with the back of the house (as the child plays with it) effectively the back, containing the facade. Doc can take the elevator from her clinic to the bedroom, after a long day fixing her toys. Three figures are included – a Doc, Lambie and Hallie and both Hallie and Lambie talk if you place them on the clinic bed. The phone on the clinic counter rings to alert Doc to her next patient and this really does have a lot of pretend play potential for fans of the show. The house itself is quite large and the figures are nicely made. Best of all, it is not flimsy, but quite chunky and well made, with a good array of fun accessories – including a bed, mirror, clinic bed and receptionist’s area. This toy is suitable for ages 3+ and I think it will be very popular with all children who enjoy Doc McStuffins or who like to play at doctors.


Disney Frozen Annual 2015
Disney Frozen Annual 2015
by No Author
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.66

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disney Frozen Annual 2015, 29 Sep 2014
Frozen has undoubtedly been a merchandising sensation this year and lots of little girls will certainly appreciate a copy of this annual in their Christmas stocking. It has the usual array of puzzles, colouring pages, a fun quiz to see which character your child most resembles, things to make, posters and stories. There are five stories in all: The Story of the Movie, Snow Record (not really a story as it is only one page!), How to Scare a Troll, Winter Surprise (another one page mini story) and Where’s My Head? Although the stories are not as long as I would have liked, this book has a good mix of fun Frozen activities and I am sure that my daughter will adore it.


Bride of Chucky (Scarred) Chucky Doll 10" Living Dead Doll by Mezco
Bride of Chucky (Scarred) Chucky Doll 10" Living Dead Doll by Mezco
Offered by Oyoo-fr
Price: £23.27

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bride of Chucky Living Dead Doll, 29 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I purchased this (very creepy) looking doll for a teenager, who is a huge fan of horror films. Although the doll can sit, he comes nicely packaged and the person I gave this to wants to keep it in the box. It is not a particularly large doll - ironically, about as tall as a Barbie - but has lots of detail. I am assured that he looks just like he does in the film and the box sits comfortably on a shelf. This has a suggested age of 18+, although younger viewers will presumably not have seen the film anyway. However, it really was a huge hit with my student newphew and is well made and nicely boxed.


Casdon 628 Shopping Basket
Casdon 628 Shopping Basket
Price: £5.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shopping Basket, 28 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Casdon 628 Shopping Basket (Toy)
This is a small basket of pretend play groceries, which I purchased for my daughter and her friends to play shop with (and also a sneaky way to help teach her about money and giving change). It is fairly small and the groceries are mostly small pretend cans or little boxes. The boxes are not very robust, which is fine with older children, but they could easily be squashed (and were) by younger playmates. Overall, this is not the best shopping basket on the market, but for the price it is quite acceptable. Just be aware that there is not a great range of different foodstuffs - this is much more teabags and soup than fruit and vegetables, but it is still useful for pretend play.


Yo Girls Plain 40 Denier Microfibre Opaque Tights (Age 7-8 (128-134cm), White)
Yo Girls Plain 40 Denier Microfibre Opaque Tights (Age 7-8 (128-134cm), White)
Offered by paradise4women
Price: £1.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Girls Plain Tights 7-8, 28 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are nice, inexpensive tights for girls. My only criticism is that there is no 'heel' shape to help the fit around the foot, so they did sag a little at the ankle. However, overall they fitted nicely and also washed well. Normally, my daughter complains at wearing tights, but I purchased these for a wedding and she was wearing them for most of the day quite comfortably. For the price these are an excellent buy and come in a good range of colours, so you should be able to find something to match most outfits.


Scalextric Digital 1:32 Scale Racer Race Set
Scalextric Digital 1:32 Scale Racer Race Set
Price: £174.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scalextric Digital Racer, 28 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Aimed at ages 7+, this is a fast moving, traditional Scalextric set. The set gives you a nice, basic track (totally agree with a previous reviewer, they are a bit fiddly to construct, but they do stay together well), two cars and two controllers. You can extend this set, both with extra track and with extra cars – in fact, you can race up to four at a time. However, obviously, this will involve extra cost and this is a fairly large set already and makes an excellent introduction to racing for children who are old enough to control the cars as they take the corners and race the twists and turns of the track.

This was a big hit with the men in my house –both my sons enjoyed racing the cars and even my husband got involved – so it certainly has a wide age appeal. The cars do sometimes fly off the track if you go too fast and my ten year old took a little while to get used to the controls. Under 7’s might find the cars difficult to control, but it is great fun for older children. It is difficult to find toys which hold children’s attention and take them away from their games consoles, but this may well be one which the whole family can enjoy, as well as being good value for money as it give you the ability to change and extend the set to make it more difficult/interesting if you want.


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