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Rainbow Loom Make Your Own Bracelet Kit - Rubber Bands, Twist, Rainbow, Scoobies
Rainbow Loom Make Your Own Bracelet Kit - Rubber Bands, Twist, Rainbow, Scoobies
Offered by Lowest Price
Price: £8.99

17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great idea with plenty of designs to look for., 2 Jan 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Although this doesn't really look all that great it is possibly one of the best little jewellery making / craft sets that we have had. My daughter loves these type of activities but some end up being absolute rubbish. They are either too fiddly or the equipment doesn't work well enough, (if at all). This loom is brilliant though as there isn't really anything that can break or not work. It's very sturdy and the instructions for a simple bracelet are easy to follow. Further designs can be easily found on the internet and are easy to follow. A little adult supervision will be required to help younger children though.
The finished items look pretty and can be taken apart so you don't even run out of materials very quickly unlike most other craft sets. Extra rubber bands don't cost much either which is even better!

LEGO Friends 3315: Olivia's House
LEGO Friends 3315: Olivia's House
Price: £55.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic set. Hours of fun., 2 Jan 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Lego Friends House is extremely good. There are plenty of little things to let imaginations go wild and my little girl has loved playing with it. Three sections can also be swapped around too. The positions of the bathroom, bedroom and roof terrace can be swapped around to make different layouts. This means you can have two rooms at the bottom and two at the top, or one room at one side and three rooms stacked at the other. It just adds a little extra for the imagination to work with.

The finished set looks great and isn't that big that it gets in the way when not in use. The garden sections are separate too which makes it easier to store out of the way.

There is also a male character included which, although only being a minor thing, seems to make quite a difference to the little make believe scenarios that have been acted out by my daughter. Hopefully more sets will include male Friends in the future.

LEGO Friends 41015: Dolphin Cruiser
LEGO Friends 41015: Dolphin Cruiser
Price: £43.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Lego sets I've seen., 2 Jan 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Lego set is quite possibly the best one my daughter has had so far... and she has quite a lot of Lego which includes a lot of the Lego Friends sets. The problem with a lot of sets is that you end up with loads of little bits that end up falling off, little accessories that get lost amongst other sets, or detachable sections that break when children try to detach them. The dolphin cruiser doesn't seem to suffer any of those problems. The top section lifts off incredibly easily and doesn't end up with bits missing, and the inside of the boat stores everything neatly. It looks great too.

As usual the finished model is not as big as it looks on the box and it is very expensive. But all Lego is expensive so that comes as no surprise. More importantly though, my little girl loves it and I'm sure that all other Lego Friends fans will too.

Children's MAGIC MOVERS Animated Slippers Come Alive When You Walk! 10 Designs (UK Large (2-5) EU (34-36), Poodle)
Children's MAGIC MOVERS Animated Slippers Come Alive When You Walk! 10 Designs (UK Large (2-5) EU (34-36), Poodle)
Offered by Dress to Impress
Price: £12.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Great, (but only at the reduced price), 31 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
At just under a tenner these are great. My daughter loves showing them off to anyone she can. They pop-up ears work perfectly and they seem to be well made.
The original price of £24.99 is far too much though, so don't pay that much.

Offered by It's All Fun & Games
Price: £6.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Fun until you run out of sand for the last bottle, 27 Dec 2013
= Durability:2.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
My 8 year old enjoyed creating her sand art patterns right up to the point when we ran out of sand halfway through the last bottle. It end up only half full even though we had only spilled a negligible amount on the table.

The finished result for the first three bottles looked good, (even if they only took 25 minutes in total), but the half done last bottle means that the enjoyment evaporates very quickly.

Very disappointing. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

Sony MDRZX300R.AE Outdoor Headband Headphones - Red
Sony MDRZX300R.AE Outdoor Headband Headphones - Red
Price: £16.31

4.0 out of 5 stars Great sound for those on a tight budget, 17 Dec 2013
To say that these are only around £13 - £15 the sound quality of these is fantastic. They really do sound brilliant with plenty of bass but not to a point where everything is just drowned out. The sound gets top marks. They also look pretty cool too.

Unfortunately, the cheap price comes with a couple of negative points. They do look good but they feel quite cheap with a slightly creaky feel to the plastic casing and pivoting sections. Also, if you want noise cancelling then you will need to move up to the ZX600s instead. I wouldn't want to use these whilst on a noisy bus or train because I would feel the need to turn the volume up, which would mean annoying other passengers with that irritating tinny noise you hear from other peoples headphones.

For the price these headphones are great. If you're on a tight budget the ZX300s are great, but if possible you should try and stretch slightly to the ZX600.

Sony Fashion Over-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Sony Fashion Over-Ear Headphones for iPod, iPhone, MP3 and Smartphone - Black
Offered by eTwist
Price: £57.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent headphones at a fantastic price., 17 Dec 2013
I recently broke a set of Sony ZX300 headphones. This was extremely annoying but I was so impressed with them that I was going to get another set. Instead though I thought I would try a step up from them to see what difference it made. I'm glad I did too because these ZX600 headphones are great.

The sound quality is fantastic surpassing even the ZX300. They also have the extra bonus of blocking out external noise and not having the slightly creaky feel of the plastic ZX300s, (those were the only two problems I had with the ZX300s).

The noise cancelling works well both ways. I can't hear much of the outside world and the outside world can't hear whatever I'm listening to. I hate listening to the annoying tinny beat of someone else's headphones and so don't want to inflict it on anyone else myself.

They are also extremely comfortable. As I said, the ZX300s are a bit creaky and felt quite cheap whereas the ZX600s feel far superior, much more comfortable, and don't creak.

For around £30 I think these headphones are brilliant. If you're on a tight budget the ZX300s are great, but if possible you should try and stretch slightly to these ones instead. If you're not on a tight budget then why waste an extortionate amount of money on a set of headphones with a trendy name, (Dr Dre Beats), that don't actually sound that much different.

Bravely Default (3DS)
Bravely Default (3DS)
Offered by Wowudo
Price: £35.90

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best rpg for ages, 11 Dec 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bravely Default (3DS) (Video Game)
Despite having a pretty stupid title this game is quite possibly one on the best role playing games (rpg) I have played in a long time. Unfortunately, I imagine that the bizarre title may actually put some people off buying it because it just sounds too odd. Anyone that has read any reviews or heard anything about this game will know that it has been getting a lot of positive things said about it. All these comments are justified too.

This game follows a familiar format in that your little group of people travels around the world in an attempt to prevent some sort of cataclysmic disaster. Along the way you meet numerous characters, both good and evil, and have to carry out tasks to advance the story. The story in this game is a good one which I won't spoil for you here. All I will say is that it is worth reading / listening to the dialogue in the little scenes as it is well written, well voice acted, and is interesting, useful, sad, funny... just read it instead of skipping it okay.

Also following a familiar route is the random battle format and experience / skill building system. However, the tried and tested turn based battle system does have a twist that can dramatically affect how things turn out. You can save up your moves whilst defending from the enemy to use all in one go. So you could save up the moves of your healing character whilst the others are in good health in case they have to heal multiple characters at once, or you could save up and hit a foe multiple times when it keeps healing itself regularly. Alternatively, you can gamble and use future turns to get multiple hits / heals. Doing this means that you can't do anything until those future turns have been counted down which can leave you vulnerable. The balance of risk against reward when saving up moves or using them early can be a fine one but it is a system that works incredibly well and adds something fresh to the rpg genre.

Levelling up characters is pretty addictive due to the job system. There a loads of job classes to unlock and each one has its own pros and cons. There are skills that automatically take effect for each class and others that are used in battle and the as you gain experience from battles the level of your character and the level of the job class increases. You can change classes at any time outside of battle but you get better and better abilities at higher job class levels. So, do you go for a balanced character with loads of job abilities that they can switch between or do you concentrate on having fewer, more powerful abilities? Decisions, decisions! It never really gets to the point where there is so much to choose from that things just get confusing and frustrating though.

One aspect that could be slightly frustrating for some players is the side game where you rebuild a village. By getting streetpass hits from anyone else with this game you gain extra villagers to rebuild the village quicker. This means that anyone who rarely gets streetpass hits will not reap the benefits from higher levels shops / armouries etc... that can be a big help in the main game. This is only a minor thing though and shouldn't spoil things too much.

Overall, this game is fantastic! It plays well, is challenging, interesting, funny, exciting, gorgeous to look at, awesome to listen to, lengthy, and just brilliant in general. The best rpg for a long time.

Gingerbread Man
Gingerbread Man
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars OK... but predictable, cliched, and a little cheesey., 2 Dec 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Gingerbread Man (Kindle Edition)
My wife downloaded this to my kindle instead of her own by mistake. I gave it a go though after seeing the reviews. I'm not sure whether I should have bothered really.

Kids getting kidnapped and killed / Cop with psychological problems / Small town where nothing bad ever happens / Woman with psychological problems / bizarre coincidences relating to said woman / blossoming relationship between psych problem man and psych problem woman / possible suspect that is too guilty looking to be guilty / twists that are so naff that you can see what's going to happen way in advance / mad rush before the next kid dies / sharp intake of breath (unless you predicted who it was ages before) as the killer is revealed... and so on... it's just sooooo predictable.

It's not a particularly "bad" book, it's actually fairly enjoyable in a cheesey way. I found myself imagining it being played out as a straight to TV movie with bad acting and poor production values. There was no tension, no suspense, no surprise at cleverly placed twists. It was too predictable for any of that to be given a chance.

It's OK, but extremely forgettable.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS)
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (Nintendo 3DS)
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A future classic., 28 Nov 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The Zelda games have always been great. I've played them since Links Awakening was released on the GameBoy in the early nineties and loved them all. Ocarina of Time on the 3DS was a masterpiece so this new adventure has some large shoes to fill.

Firstly, A Link Between Worlds (ALBW) reverts back to the old "view from above" style instead of a rotating fully 3 dimensional world. Some may scoff at this as a step backwards but I think that what matters is whether the game plays well. Fancy 3D graphics do not make a game great. However, even with the top down view ALBW still looks gorgeous. There is still a certain old school look about it but it has been given an update with smooth, clear graphics and plenty of detail and colour. The 3D can be used to make it look a little more solid instead of flat but it is not needed. In fact, I think the developers even modified the game slightly so that certain parts of the game would still work well when played on the recently released 2DS which doesn't have the 3D ability. Personally I think it looks fantastic whether you have the 3D on or not.

The sound is great and is up-to-date with the music being just as brilliant as ever. There's not much more to say other than it's a great game to listen to as well as play.

Now the most important bit... the gameplay. No need to worry at all in this department as it plays beautifully. The controls work incredibly well. I never found myself struggling to get past a certain area due to awkward, fiddly controls. The thumb stick moves link around, the d-pad moves the view to see things that are slightly off screen, the ABXY buttons use items and weapons, the shoulder buttons use shield and dash abilities, and the touch screen is used to select which items to use and view the map and equipment details.
The adventure itself is fun to work through and Links ability to go flat on walls like a painting certainly works. I was worried that it would be a lame idea but it adds a new dimension to puzzles, (literally). The puzzles are mainly the same sort that have proved to be successful through the Zelda series... hit switch to activate platform, find hidden key to open locked door, raise and lower water levels etc... any Zelda fan knows the drill. I found that the puzzles ranged from pretty obvious to slightly frustrating, but were never brain bendingly difficult. There needs to be a certain challenge, but not to the point where you just get annoyed and never play it again.
There are also a few mini games and challenges to find along the way as to be expected from a Zelda game. These are fun and add something a little different to do when you're stuck or between dungeons.

I will say that ALBW doesn't feel anywhere near as BIG as the likes of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (Nintendo 3DS) or Twilight Princess but I think that is purely down to the reverting back to the top down view. You don't get the epic scale feeling as you do in a huge 3D cavern. However, that doesn't mean that this is not a great game. In fact I would go so far as to say that it is one of my favourite Zelda games. Those who NEED fancy graphics to enjoy a game may not agree with me, but looks aren't everything.

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