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Paul B "-pb-" (UK)
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BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster
BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster
Price: £37.49

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a bruiser., 21 Aug 2014
This review is from: BOOMco Rapid Madness Blaster (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
With the rise of Nerf guns it was clear that other companies would create their own way to petrify household pets and owners of expensive vases and BoomCo have certainly managed that here.

The Rapid Madness Blaster lives up to its name in both size and effort. The gun itself is made from shiny red and grey plastic and is simply huge. It wouldn't look out of place on a kids Sci-fi show such as Wizards vs Aliens, and it's also made to look very macho. Just looking at one of these being pointed at you is enough to scare the pants of you. Despite the size, it's not really all that heavy and my 8 year old daughter (and product tester in this case) could wield it with ease.

A cartridge comes with the device to hold a whole heap of plastic bullets with sticky rubber ends. Just push each bullet down in to each hole, then slot the whole cartridge into the gun. Giving the front pump about 18 full pumps and it's good to go. Pressing the trigger sharply once will fire off a single bullet, but holding it down will tear through your complete set of bullets in a matter of seconds. It's truly terrifying.

To deflect any incoming bullets, the gun has two pop-up shields either side of the barrel at the front. These are made from a material that the bullets stick to, which could be useful when you run out of ammunition, which is pretty fast if you use the rapid fire option.

Also included in the box is a target which is made of the same stuff as the shields and allows the bullets to be stuck to it. My youngest had a knack of missing it every time, though, while trying this out indoors and hit other objects instead. The bullets didn't stick to those and it took a good few minutes to locate them. Luckily no furniture was hurt in the processed, though we didn't see the dog for a while.

This really is an outdoor toy, the bullets travel fast and far. It's a little concerning how hard the impact is, though, so I'd recommend some goggles and protective clothing (I'll be looking up riot suits on ebay soon). It's a really well made gun and works a treat, but just don't cross its path when wielded by an angry child. Highly recommended as long as you don't mind bruises.


Philips SC2006/11 Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System for Face and Body
Philips SC2006/11 Lumea Precision Plus IPL Hair Removal System for Face and Body
Price: £450.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light work of hair, 12 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The latest Philips Lumea model has a pretty big boast, 140,000 flashes from the single bulb inside the IPL device. That's the largest so far for a rechargable handheld.

With no replacement bulbs, this is actually a very important point, especially when paying so much money for these devices. We've used Philips IPL devices for years now and they've been improving the life quite rapidly recently.

Back to basics, though. The device is small and light and comes with a charger and 2 different heads, as well as a storage pouch. It's easy to recharge and has buttons with lights to select the intensity of the flash, allowing it to be used on sensitive areas (face) on lower settings and legs and arms on higher settings.

Results are mostly instant, you can see the hair actually burning off and, if done correctly, it won't grow back all that quickly. Testing this on my usual test subject, my wife, the results are very impressive, almost as good as the last main powered device we tried and with the benefits of being wireless and having an attachment for the face which is smaller that usual, allowing it to be used with more accuracy.

Obviously, better results will come with time, but as we could easily see the device working to remove hairs instantly, it's easy to see that this will work in the long term.


Philips GC6611/30 SpeedCare Iron Steam Generator with 120 g Steam Boost and 1.2 Litre Water Tank, 1200 ml, 2400 Watt, 4.2 Bar, Purple
Philips GC6611/30 SpeedCare Iron Steam Generator with 120 g Steam Boost and 1.2 Litre Water Tank, 1200 ml, 2400 Watt, 4.2 Bar, Purple
Price: £99.95

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steam Boost your clothes, 12 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For a steam generator, this iron is actually fairly light and small, taking up only slightly more space than a standard iron.

Usage is fairly easy, just fill the water holder up to the line and turn on, wait for the blue light to stop flashing and you're good to go. On the hotter settings the steam is automatically generated to help remove those creases and generally does, especially with shirts that are often a problem with normal irpns.

Settings on the dial of the iron are easy to understand and there's even a quick start guide that does what it sets out to do for anyone new to using a steam iron. There is also a small tray to clean the iron out and prevent hard water, which I've never seen before. The Steam Boost feature really does work, too, and makes this feel like the equivalent of a much larger and more powerful steam iron.

However, there are a few issues;
Firstly the iron seemed to suffer from a certain stickiness on the plate from time to time, usually when ironing thinner items.
Secondly, despite the various methods to prevent it, hard water seemed to build up on this iron. This is in spite of using water from a water filter, which is usually recommended for steam irons, anyway.

The issues aren't serious, though, and it's a good mix of the power of a steam iron with the weight of a standard iron and really does seem to pack a bit of a punch on tough creases too. It's something that we'll use during the summer months on lighter clothes and then go back to our bigger steam iron for the winter.


Oral-B Pro 6000 Smart Series With Bluetooth Technology Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Oral-B Pro 6000 Smart Series With Bluetooth Technology Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush Powered by Braun
Offered by STOCKEXPRESS
Price: £88.50

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a good package and the screen looks impressive, 6 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We've used Braun Oral B toothbrushes in the house for years and only recently changed to the latest model before this 6000 version came out.

The 6000 CrossAction model features 5 different brush modes (despite the 6 in Amazon's heading), which I was surprised to find were exactly the same as the much lower priced model. Why the extra, then? Well this model has a new Bluetooth function which allows you to connect it to tablets and smartphones.

Firstly, the box comes with an LCD monitor screen that shows a smiley face with a circle split into 4, 4 different brush heads, a stand for the brush and heads and a carry case. It's a good package and the screen looks impressive, though it's exactly the same as the last 2 models.

The screen is mainly for giving you a visual indication of which area of the teeth you need to brush, from top right through to top left in a circular motion. The segments appear every 30 seconds and a timer shows how long you have left in each segment. It also shows whether your battery is about to run out and need a recharge and will give you an indication if you are brushing too hard, with the face changing to an unhappy one if you do.

The brush is also designed to be used with a companion App that emulates the tool you get in the box, though it allows for either the classic circle look or a visual representation of your teeth. You can also choose to show news, weather and other items, which seems a bit pointless as it would be best to concentrate on proper brushing.

The other thing the app does, and does well, is to monitor your brush time, so you can check how long you've brushed for in a given week or month, and the brushes/modes you've used, with a handy reminder to change brush heads.

After using for a week, I'd say that the App is really a bit pointless when you already have the LCD screen in the box, unless you really need to keep track of brushing times. For the extra money needed to get this brush over the next model down, it's not really worth the cost. That's not to say the brush isn't good, it's well made and well thought out with plenty of features, just that some seem un-necessary.


Logitech Turnaround for iPad Mini/Mini Retina - Intense Black
Logitech Turnaround for iPad Mini/Mini Retina - Intense Black
Price: £41.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Turning iPad cases on their head, 6 Aug 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are certainly enough tablet sleeves and cases around to boggle the mind while searching online, but Logitech seems to provide a good choice in quality items, so I was glad to take the new Turnaround case for a spin (quite literally).

The selling point of this model is that it allows the iPad Mini to turn in the case without taking it out. There's a little plastic thing at the back which doesn't add any significant width to the case but allows the ipad to turn sideways, letting you stand it in portrait or landscape. It's pretty useful if you like to stand the iPad up for reading or viewing things in portrait, though it wasn't really an essential function to me.

Otherwise, the case is made of good quality materials and looks smart enough when closed to be taken to business meetings. The blurb seems to suggest it looks more like a woman's clutch bag and there are similarities, but it's still obviously a tablet case and would look fine for either gender, really.

The magnetic closing clasp is strong enough to do a good job of keeping the case closed and also helps to fold the small flap up underneath the case when open, making it look neat and tidy. The device is held firmly in place when open with little risk of it falling flat if the screen is touched and viewing angles were perfect for browsing or watching video.

Overall, this is a well made and nice looking case with a unique selling point that not everyone will find essential, but is nice to have, all the same.


Mustard Seed Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 5/5S
Mustard Seed Screen Protector for Apple iPhone 5/5S
Offered by Accessory-Shop
Price: £8.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Air bubbles are a thing of the past, 30 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Screen Protectors are difficult little things to put on. You need an airtight room with absolutely no dust and some very good hand-eye co-ordination to even have a hope of putting the things on your phone properly.

The Mustard Seed protector aims to make things a little easier. It comes in a large plastic surround with the screen protector stuck inside and a flap to pull off the initial sticky layer.

The surround is to level the protector on the phone exactly, getting around the issue of matching the top and bottom and the home button to the screen protector. Holding the plastic with the screen protector flap upside down, you pull the flap carefully (the idea is that no dust will get on it if the holder is upside down) and gently lower it all on to the phone.

The surround actually goes right over the outside of the phone and downwards, breaking away from the screen protector and leaving it perfectly lined up. Finally, you carefully pull off the top layer and the protector is on.

While the idea of having no dust left under the protector is a nice one, in practice most rooms have enough dust particles flying around to land on the screen during the process leaving air bubbles, but Mustard Seed have thought of that. In the box you get a sticky plastic square and a small sticky tab. Using the tab, you carefully lift any corners of the protector that have dust under them and then use the plastic to take the dust off (it sticks to the plastic instead of the phone or the protector), then place the screen protector back.

I was skeptical before using this, but the result is a perfectly placed screen protector with no air bubbles at all. It may seem expensive, but hopefully this will last a long time and look as good on your phone as it does on mine.


Beurer IPL 10000 SalonPro System with Lifetime Flashes - Permanent Hair Removal System
Beurer IPL 10000 SalonPro System with Lifetime Flashes - Permanent Hair Removal System
Price: £354.18

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for body, not so much for face, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Beurer IPL 10000 is another in a line of IPL hair removers that are supposed to make going to have laser hair removal at a salon a thing of the past.

Unlike other large mains powered IPLs that we've tried, this is fairly simple to set up, has no 'safety' codes to type in and was up and running out of the box in a matter of minutes.

After carefully reading the instructions (you need to select the correct setting for your skin type) and testing on a piece of skin, my wife tried this out on her legs and her face. The large handled area is big enough to provide a good grip and was easy to move around the leg, but when it came to doing the face, the area of this handle was a little large to be anywhere near as precise as needed. It can be used on the face and would probably suit hair on the side, but it's a little fiddly for around the mouth.

Results after a few weeks were more impressive than many of the devices we've tried so far and the promise of '150,000 flashes', enough to last 20 to 40 years, certainly puts it well ahead of the Philips range we've already used.

As long as you have a separate routine for your face (hard wax is probably the best) then I can certainly recommend the Beurer IPL 10000 SalonPro as one of the best IPLs we've seen so far.


CoverTop LCBLACK156 Universal Shock Protection Pure Silicone Cover Jacket 15.6 inch Laptop
CoverTop LCBLACK156 Universal Shock Protection Pure Silicone Cover Jacket 15.6 inch Laptop
Price: £19.18

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No 'One-size-fits-all' here., 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
CoverTop's jacket for 15.6" laptops is a good idea; a silicone cover that will protect your device from scratches and drops while still making it look nice. Well, that's the theory.

In practice there's one big issue here. All laptops are made with different shells of different sizes. One 15.6" laptop will be thicker, bigger or rounder than another and while this jacket stretches, it doesn't really fit nicely around corners without bunching up on some devices.

Then there's the ports. Some laptops have ports on the back, others on the sides and all in different places. Having tried this with both a Dell and an HP laptop, the Dell had a VGA port covered and the HP had an SD card slot covered. CoverTop have tried to find a solution for this by creating pop-out holes in the case, but they never lined up with either device and in the case of the HP weren't there at all for the SD Card slot.

The bottom of the case is designed to let air out and in the HP this seems to work, with enough air circulating to prevent it getting too hot. The Dell seemed to heat up a little more than usual, though, but I put this down to having fan holes in different places.

Looks-wise, the cover falls down a little, too. There are jagged edges where the silicone doesn't seem to have been cut properly and on both laptops the edges were too big and sagged a little. Despite these niggles, the jacket looks ok with the laptops closed.

Overall, though, there are just too many faults for me to recommend this unless you get a chance to try it out before you buy on your own laptop.


AmazonBasics 8-Inch Black Sleeve for iPad Mini / Samsung Galaxy Tablet
AmazonBasics 8-Inch Black Sleeve for iPad Mini / Samsung Galaxy Tablet
Price: £6.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice sleeve but a bit snug, 14 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Amazon's Basics range seems to produce some excellent products for the price and this sleeve is no exception.

Designed for 7" tablets like the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini (both tested) it has a good padded interior and looks fairly smart on the outside, with just an Amazon Basics logo on the front to expose its origins.

The zip opens at the longest edge, though stops short of half way down the sides, making it slightly more difficult to get a tablet out. Despite being billed as an 8" sleeve, it doesn't allow for any room for tablets with covers on. The iPad Mini with a foldable front cover can't fit in here, though the Nexus does have a little more wiggle room. It's probably the padding that means devices are a little tighter than expected. Still, if you like to keep your devices 'naked' and just want a sleeve to carry them around then this Amazon Basics one is perfect.


Knack (PS4)
Knack (PS4)
Price: £18.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite got the knack of it, 9 July 2014
This review is from: Knack (PS4) (Video Game)
Some games just seem to set themselves up to fail. Take Knack, a game created for the Playstation 4 by one of the heroes of the original Playstation, Mark Cerney; creator of Marble Madness and producer of Crash Bandicoot. How could that possibly go wrong?

Knack feels a lot like Crash, it’s a platformer with no pretence of being anything else and it’s all about jumping, hitting enemies, avoiding things and collecting power ups. The gameplay is pretty much as old school as you can get. So why was it a flagship launch title for PS4?

The main focus here is on the titular character himself and his ability to grow big or small using ‘relics’ found throughout the game. In the initial previews this looked like a cool idea, controlling the size of your playable character and using some neat particle effects to show off the power of the console. In practice, Knack grows bigger and smaller only when scripted to do so and usually without any help from the player.

So that leaves us with the platforming element, which is pretty much old school platforming by numbers; path from A to B with a few creatures to kill, then a locked area that needs to be cleared before being opened. It’s not bad by any means and there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s certainly not anything new or exciting.

Throughout each level there are yellow crystals to collect that give you a sort of solar power. This allows you to fire pieces of your relic-based body at enemies or turn into a whirlwind. These powers are essential for clearing some of the more pesky enemies, but use it too early and you’ll run out of power to use it again when you most needed.

Being defeated at this stage will then lead you back to some rather harsh restore points, forcing you to go through all those sections again, but at least it lets you keep the power you’ve already harvested. This leads to repeating levels a few times until you have enough of the sunspark power to get through (and know where to use it), which does get tiring at times.

Knack is a good looking game, too, but hardly a poster boy for the next generation. The bright, colourful levels and the main character himself are used to good effect and some of the enemies are huge. The issue is that, as with the gameplay, the graphics are nothing new and easily ignored as you play through another level set in ice/rocks/tunnels.

While all of the above makes it sound as if Knack isn’t worth picking up, this isn’t entirely true. The game is a fun little platformer that will appeal to younger players and those looking for a simple old-fashioned game for their next gen console, but with no complicated next gen setups or over-blown multiplayer modes.


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