Profile for M.D. Smart > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by M.D. Smart
Top Reviewer Ranking: 885
Helpful Votes: 3101

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
M.D. Smart (London, UK)
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-19
pixel
Inside Out [DVD]
Inside Out [DVD]
Price: £14.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Pixar back to their best, 28 July 2015
This review is from: Inside Out [DVD] (DVD)
After a couple of ho-hum sequels, Pixar are back on form with their latest, Inside Out. The setting of 11-year-old Riley's mind, controlled by her five primary Emotions, is brilliantly and gorgeously realised; the inventiveness is dazzling, full of clever touches. There's some great humour too, but overall the film is actually a fairly serious, complex and moving tale about growing up and leaving childhood behind. I imagine most of the ideas will go sailing over children's heads, but for older kids and adults this is a real treat. Make sure you stay for the credits, when there are a series of peeks inside the heads of a teacher, bus driver, dog and cat amongst others!


Philips HR1875/21 Avance Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2.5 Litre, 1000 Watt - Brushed Stainless Steel
Philips HR1875/21 Avance Collection Quick Clean Juicer, 2.5 Litre, 1000 Watt - Brushed Stainless Steel
Price: £120.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Smart, easy to use juicer, 6 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I've always wanted a juicer but this is the first I've ever owned. It's quite a large heavy machine, but still less bulky than other juicers I've looked at, and is rather smart with its silver and black trim. Having unpacked the box, I discovered the only real negative point about this product: the 'instructions' consist of a tiny few diagrams and are wholly inadequate. Not that it's too difficult to work out what to do for yourself, but surely the manufacturers could afford to supply something a little more useful? I've had the same experience with a couple of other Philips products recently; I don't know if it's a general trend or not, but I imagine most people would appreciate a more detailed explanation of all the features.

Having said that, the machine is actually pretty easy to use. Fruit requires a little preparation depending on the type you're using - stones, stalks and leaves all need to be removed, though small pips (e.g. apple cores) can be left. With regards to the skin, the general rule seems to be you should remove any inedible peel; oranges need the peel removed for instance, whereas pears do not. The machine also cannot cope with thick fruits like bananas, which I imagine would clog up the spout.

Much is made of the 'quick clean' function, but don't imagine you won't have to wash the machine properly to keep it in good order. The Quick Clean is really more of a 'quick rinse' - it clears the insides so you can carry on juicing a new fruit without risk of getting the remains of the previous fruit mixed in, but it is not a thorough clean by any means; you'll still need to dismantle and wash the various parts, which are at least dishwasher safe.

I've really enjoyed experimenting with different combinations and the results have been delicious - I haven't tried any vegetables yet but I plan to. Overall a great kitchen gadget if you enjoy fresh juice...but please, Philips, hire someone new to write proper instruction manuals!


LEGO 41105 Friends Pop Star Show Stage
LEGO 41105 Friends Pop Star Show Stage
Price: £29.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Friends hit the stage, 4 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This set is one of the larger models in the new Lego Friends pop star theme, depicting the stage on which singer Livi is giving a performance. It's a pretty impressive recreation of a modern music concert too, full of the clever and effective little details that are Lego's trademark. Livi appears before her audience from behind a revolving blue curved screen; there's a small handle to the side of the set which turns Livi's platform plus the four large neon displays that surround the stage in unison, enabling her to make a spectacular entrance. The stage area itself is split into three catwalks, connected to the main part by pegs so they can be repositioned as desired. The central area is lined by coloured 'lights' while the two side areas house Livi's backing group, with keyboards to one side and drums to the other. The set comes Livi herself plus one regular Friend character, Andrea; it's a slight pity there isn't a third isn't included so the band could be complete straight out of the box.

The set is suitable for about ages 8 or above I'd say; some adult assistance may be required, particularly for building and connecting the lever system beneath the stage which turns the platform and displays. It's all very colourful and looks the part although I must admit, considering it's one of the more expensive sets, there didn't seem a lot more to it than, say, the Dressing Room set, which is ten pounds cheaper. However, there's no question that my daughter is thrilled with it, so I suppose that makes it worth the asking price.


LEGO 41104 Friends Pop Star Dressing Room
LEGO 41104 Friends Pop Star Dressing Room
Price: £20.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Friends in the Star's Dressing Room, 29 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is another set from the new Lego Friends pop star range; the star dressing room belonging to pop singer Livi who this time has regular character Emma as her assistant. There's also a puppy included who has his own quarters backstage.

The dressing room is constructed on hinges, connecting three main sections and two smaller ones. This means it can be rearranged in a number of ways, from closed together (with door and a letterbox for fan mail) to wide open in a long stretch, providing access to every area. The central part features the star's dressing table complete with lots of great details - mirror, perfume, flowers from a well-wisher and even a spare wig. The right section is an area for relaxing, with sofa, fridge, fruit snack and magazine to read. The left section contains Livi's spare costumes on a rail plus a mirror and shoeboxes. The two small areas feature another sofa plus the puppy's basket and food bowl.

The build is fairly straightforward although some grown up assistance may be needed for fiddly bits such as applying the stickers and fitting the spare costumes on the hangers (they are quite delicate), but otherwise children of 7 and up should have no problems. Our daughter was certainly thrilled with the set, which has become the scene of many backstage dramas already. That's what I love about Lego, the way it fires children's imaginations. Another excellent kit, highly recommended.


LEGO 41107 Friends Pop Star Limo
LEGO 41107 Friends Pop Star Limo
Offered by ToyWarehouseUK
Price: £24.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Friends travel in style, 26 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This set is part of the new Lego Friends Pop Star range, and features singer Livi arriving at some kind of Music Awards ceremony in her limousine, where regular character Olivia is ready to interview her. As always, the level of detail is impressive. The white stretch limousine certainly looks like a celebrity ride, with its sleek interior featuring seats for four characters, a TV with speakers, cocktail glasses and fruit bowl for snacking, plus there's even a SatNav on the dashboard. Once Livi arrives at the Event, there's a red carpet waiting, plus Olivia with microphone and camera to hand. There's also a podium with two seats to conduct the interview in comfort.

This has proved to be our daughter's favourite set in the new range; it also seems decent value with the car, accessories and scenery. As usual, there are a fair number of small pieces and some parts (including applying the stickers) may require a bit of grown-up assistance, but any child of around 7 or above is likely to enjoy this set, especially if they're a music fan - it really does look the part.


LEGO 41103 Friends Pop Star Recording Studio
LEGO 41103 Friends Pop Star Recording Studio
Price: £10.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego Friends enter the music business, 19 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the smallest set in a new offshoot from the Lego Friends range, which is based around the adventures of pop star Livi (although Livi herself doesn't feature in this particular set). This is the Recording Studio, and despite its small size it comes packed with all the little details you'd expect to find. The studio is open plan, consisting of a windowed series of control panels for recording music. There's the producer's chair, speakers plus a sofa to relax on. For inside the recording booth there's a microphone and sheet music stand plus a video camera to capture the process. The set comes with one Friend, Olivia, suitably equipped with headphones.

The build is straightforward although there are a number of small parts, so children under 7 may require a little assistance completing the model. For the relatively low price, it packs a lot in - the only problem for parents is children will undoubtedly want to collect all the other new Pop Star sets after this one!


LEGO Friends 41093: Heartlake Hair Salon
LEGO Friends 41093: Heartlake Hair Salon
Price: £20.98

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Lego Friends Salon, 19 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The new Heartlake Hair Salon from the Lego Friends range isn't a huge building, but comes packed with great little details. There are two reclining chairs, one backing onto a sink for hair washing and the other in front of the mirror for cutting and styling, with scissors, brushes and dryer all to hand. There's the stylist's equipment trolley, a till to pay at, a revolving display - there's even a drinks machine and selection of magazines to read while you wait! The set comes with regular character Emma plus the hairdresser Natasha. The build is fairly straightforward for children of around 7 and above; younger ones will probably need help as there are a lot of small pieces and a few fiddly bits.

The Friends range was launched to primarily appeal to girls (although there's no reason boys can't combine it with their Lego City sets) and has faced some criticism for being too stereotypically "girly"; I'm sure this hair salon will do little to reassure the doubters. However, in fairness the range covers a wide variety of activities including exploration, inventing, piloting, soccer and much more. And girls really do find it appealing; certainly our daughter does. She mixes it with other Lego sets, so she has the Friends characters driving fire engines, bulldozers and chasing criminals. I'm not sure a girls range was entirely necessary - I've always considered Lego a unisex toy - but it's a valuable tool for sparking children's imaginations and creativity, so if the Friends range encourages more girls to get involved, I'm all for it.


LEGO Elves 41075: The Elves' Treetop Hideaway
LEGO Elves 41075: The Elves' Treetop Hideaway
Price: £33.57

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego's Elves in their treetop home, 16 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the largest set in the first wave of the new Lego Elves collection, a fantasy theme primarily aimed at girls but perfectly suitable for boys too. In the Elves story, a young human girl named Emily Jones has fallen through a magic portal into the Elves world, and needs to find five elemental keys to return home.

This set depicts Emily's arrival through the portal, and contains Emily herself plus two of her new Elves friends, Azari and Farran (both of whom also appear in other sets, but Emily is unique to this one). The finished model is quite large, featuring the magic portal Emily arrives through and two treetop buildings connected by a walkway. As with the other Elves sets, the colours are bright and appealing, with pretty foliage in purple, lilac and pink, and some lovely details such as a cute grey cat (or is it a tiger cub?), a crystal ball lantern, a hidden postbox inside one of the tree trunks, a winch and basket loaded with fruit and a small seating area under the trees. Inside the treetop hideaway there's a lookout post with telescope and a living area with balcony to admire the view.

There's lots for children to enjoy here and to spark ideas for their own Elves stories. The build has a lot of small pieces and a few fiddly bits, making it suitable for ages 8 and above - younger children will probably require assistance to complete it. An excellent addition to this charming new range.


LEGO Elves 41073: Naida's Epic Adventure Ship
LEGO Elves 41073: Naida's Epic Adventure Ship
Price: £20.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Lego's Elves take to the high seas, 16 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Another excellent set in Lego's new fantasy themed range, Elves. Each of the sets is based around the elements - in this particular case the element is Water as the model is a sailing boat, complete with two Elves, Naida and Aira. The back story has the characters searching for magical keys to help send a lost girl back to our world; here the Water Key is found in a large seashell which opens to reveal its hidden treasure.

All the Elves sets are brilliantly colourful and this boat is no exception, decorated in light blues and purples, with gold fittings and a big fabric sail. The finished model is actually larger than I expected; there's a deck area complete with ship's wheel which turns the direction of the sail when spun, plus an upper deck with telescope to keep a look-out. This upper deck can be removed to allow access to the cabin, where there's room to sit and enjoy a meal cooked on the tiny range (frying pan included!).

This is a wonderful set for either girls or boys from about 7 up - younger ones may need some assistance with the build, as there are a lot of small parts and the occasional fiddly bit. A great addition to a really charming range.


LEGO Elves 41076: Farran and the Crystal Hollow
LEGO Elves 41076: Farran and the Crystal Hollow
Price: £9.97

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another charming set in Lego's new Elves range, 16 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is the second smallest set in Lego's new fantasy / fairy themed collection, Elves. As with the other sets in the range, it's based around a particular element, in this case Earth; it comes with a male elf, Farran, and a very cute squirrel. The scenery consists of a tree stump which opens up to reveal the magic Earth key Farran is searching for, plus a rocky outcrop complete with catapult and 'acorns', which the squirrel uses to defend its home from Farran's prying.

The build is simple enough for most children to manage alone, although there are a lot of tiny parts and the younger ones may need some parental assistance. What's particularly appealing about this range is the variety of bright colours used - lots of green and yellow here. The final model is fairly small, but of course the value in Lego is its infinite possibilities for rebuilding.

Although seemingly aimed at girls, there's no reason boys wouldn't enjoy these Elves sets too. This is another charming set which is ideal for any child of 5 and over, especially those with an interest in fantasy and / or nature.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-19