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Apollo 11 (UK)

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Kid Galaxy Soft and Squeezable Light and Sound Vehicle Fire Truck
Kid Galaxy Soft and Squeezable Light and Sound Vehicle Fire Truck
Price: £14.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Big and squidgy and... noises!, 16 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Big, colourful, makes great siren noises - and it's squidgy. I did wonder, 'Why a squidgy firetruck', but then it became obvious. The 2 year old lad who got this loves to bash things together, or into furniture. So having something that's not entirely solid makes sense.

It's a lovely, colourful toy; and the two programmed sounds went down a treat (but not with his parents). I think it's a little on the expensive side.

But the lad loves it, so that's what counts.

Cannibal [DVD]
Cannibal [DVD]
Dvd ~ Antonio de la Torre
Price: £9.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Good taste!, 11 Nov 2014
This review is from: Cannibal [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Okay, it's a well worn road, but don't let that put you off Cannibal. Visually, it's gorgeous; and de la Torre is brilliant in the lead, as a tailor with a taste for human flesh. We're not in Hollywood anymore, Toto, so pace-wise, this is slower than your average mainstream flick. But if you're after a foreign language movie about a cannibal tailor, I'm guessing that's not going to be a problem.

Story-wise, this is smart. Something of a love triangle - a former victim's sister comes looking for her, and love blossoms. There's more to it than that, but if I said too much more, there'd be no point in you watching this. After Hannibal (the TV series), I thought the genre was pretty much tied up; but Cannibal proved me wrong. Just as sumptuous to look at, and no less of a punch in the violence stakes, Cannibal is grisly but only in moderate bursts.

Highly recommended.

Case Logic CRIE2136K Rotating Slim Folio Cover for iPad Air - Black
Case Logic CRIE2136K Rotating Slim Folio Cover for iPad Air - Black
Price: £34.38

2.0 out of 5 stars Seriously overpriced, 11 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Sorry, doesn't get my vote. For the price, I was expecting a much better quality product than this - and my overriding feeling about this is, it's tacky.

Overall: the design function has this like a standard book-style cover. The material - which is non-slip rubber -- is fine. But the catch is plastic... and who in their right mind decided it would look great in pale yellow? Straight out of the packet, it looks faded. However, colour would be fine if it wasn't clumsy to open - and each time I prised it open, I was convinced something was going to break.

However, inside, this case is a bit of a hybrid. Your iPad clamps into a plastic frame; and because the frame is beveled, it can rotate - and, like foldout-style covers, enables your iPad to be stood up. Cleverly, this can be done in either landscape or portrait. But less appealing is the way its all a bit trial and error, and... well, a bit tacky, to be honest. Getting your iPad to stand up in either format requires some messing around; and when it's there, it doesn't look half as good as the standard, foldable covers.

Having spent £400 on an iPad, putting this cover around it, with its plastic frames and sticky dull yellow plastic catches and clunky swiveling actions, felt like it was a downgrade.

Seriously overpriced, and a bit bargain-bin to be honest.

Amazon Basics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (9 ft / 2.7m)
Amazon Basics USB 3.0 A to B Cable (9 ft / 2.7m)
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent value, 11 Nov 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Now that's how you do leads. Personally, I rate the Amazon Basics range; I've a few items on my desk (mouse and pad included), and they're very good quality, minimalist in design, and have weathered extremely well. But in terms of this product - perfect. The connectors are gold-plated, and therefore great for conducting signal - and at 9ft, as opposed to the usual six, using them around the desk area is soooo much easier.

Excellent value.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Offered by Lovefilm UK Limited
Price: £0.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Spidey movie yet, 28 Oct 2014
This review is from: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (DVD)
Ignore the lack of hoopla around this, admittedly hasty, reboot - The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is arguably the best Spidey so far. As someone who grew up reading Spider-Man comics in the Seventies, this is pretty darn close to the strip. Okay, the tendency for comic book movies is to overload them with too many villains; however, I reckon this got it just about right.

Highly recommended.

No Title Available

2.0 out of 5 stars Feels cheap, 7 Oct 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
For me, this Pinzon Basics Shower Curtain seems more like a rubber sheet. In other words, cheap. Out of the packet, it's brilliant white, and to the touch is exactly the same as swimming cap material. I suspect it would show dirt quickly - certainly wouldn't stand for a run through the washing machine. And wet, I suspect it would stick unpleasantly to wet walls and/or people.

Didn't like it at all.

Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
Scandinavian Baking: Loving Baking at Home
by Trine Hahnemann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential - and gorgeous!, 26 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This has got to be a contender for most gorgeous cookbook of the year. Yes, it's beautifully put together, from its feel to photos, paper quality and layout - but, oh my golly, this book made me want to move into a flat above a Scandinavian bakers.

Front-loaded with cakes and pastries, before moving onto breads and savouries, if you're thinking 'what do I need a book on Scandinavian baking for?', I'd beg you to think again, because Scandi baking is just British baking nudged left-field. The flavours are bold (spelt orange cake? yes please!) but the concoctions are quite basic and seasonally inspired - and yet there's something deeply appealing about how they pimp them for the table. (Autumn apple and hazelnut layer cake? Go on, then...)

Section-wise, first there's 'cream cakes and layer cakes', which kicks off with a one-two of Walnut Macaroon Layer Cake followed by some chocolate covered choux pastries (called, solely for their shape, 'potato cakes') that had me hooked. Yes, there's plenty of cream and choux in here; but that's only because they're so gosh-darn gorgeous. (Raspberry eclairs? How could you not?)

Inevitably there's a section called 'danish pastries' - but here you begin to see the similarities between our two national tastes. Spiced or cinnamon buns are the kind of simple pleasures that make stopping for tea or coffee something beyond - and throw in some redcurrants, maybe a honey glaze or, as the book shifts across into breads, get with some rye or sprinkles of poppy seeds, and everyday foods suddenly transcend.

The latter sections cover bread, then dips into festive treats. (Almond cookies? Yum... Little spiced apple pies, which are like mince pies, but done with apple and, well, spices... Can I have another?) And if (like me) you've toyed with idea of getting into baking bread, but worried (like me) that it might be a complicated affair, then I promise you, these Scandinavian breads (rye rolls...or spelt and anise crispbreads) will have you abandon all fear.

I can't recall a time when I've read every word of a cookbook so slavishly - or felt my heart beat quite so ecstatically, as I flicked through the pages. Moreover (and to me, this is the sign of a good and valuable cookbook) never have I been so motivated to get off the couch and into the kitchen. Quadrille are, to me, the dons of the cookbook world, and design-wise they can't be beat. But this, for packed flavours, has to be one of their best. (And no, I don't work for them - I'm just a book junkie, and can't say no to a beautifully made tome.)

Whether you're a doer, a trier or simply a Bake-off fan with pending aspirations, this book is essential.

Delicious. Love to Cook: 140 Irresistible Recipes to Revitalise Your Cooking
Delicious. Love to Cook: 140 Irresistible Recipes to Revitalise Your Cooking
by Valli Little
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.19

3.0 out of 5 stars Broad collection of recipes / good not groundbreaking..., 26 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Breaking from the convention for single-theme or celebrity cookbooks, Delicious: Love To Cook is essentially a book full of, to quote the cover, "delicious recipes to share". So, if you're just looking for some new ideas to pep up your general repertoire, this would be great. If there's any kind of theme, it's of an Eastern tinge (but only mildly - and only where the mains and meat dishes are concerned; the bakes and desserts are closer to British mainstream). But if you're up for something a little different (think: spice), then it's a great all-in-one.

Delicious, as you'll probably know, is a mainstream magazine - so this does have the feeling of a compendium about it. And what it lacks in focus it makes up for in scope; which you'll either like or you won't.

That said, it's the kind of book that a busy young family would get a lot out of - because it really is something that can be dipped into time and again, for inspiration and new ideas.

There's plenty of scope, with suggestions for amongst others, side-dishes, soups, pasta and noodle and rice dishes, vegetables, salads, desserts, cake and bakes and festive servings. The page layouts are large and spacious, making for ease of reading - and with a single page photo to every recipe, you'll know exactly what you're aiming for.

Peppered between the key sections, there are one-offs - like how to make the perfect meringue, or the ultimate chips -- so there's life-long tips going on too. But not all of the ingredients are common - so Love To Cook will either tempt your adventurous streak or might leave you cold.

All in, if you're up for a swerve away from the mainstream trend for celebrity cookbooks along a theme, then you'd get a lot of out of this.

Corsair CMFAIR-VA2-1000-EU Voyager Air 2 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Wireless Hard Drive - Black
Corsair CMFAIR-VA2-1000-EU Voyager Air 2 1TB USB 3.0 Portable Wireless Hard Drive - Black
Price: £129.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious - and not in a good way, 19 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As good as the idea is behind this product - (a) wireless storage for the tablet age, provided (b) on a hard-drive that's rechargeable, enabling on-the-go portability -- any device is only as good as its useability. And based on the dreadful instructions given with this hard-drive, I think Corsair has failed not only itself, but consumers.

Personally, I feel like I've ended up with a very expensive paperweight, the inner logic of which reminds me of the monolith in Stanley Kubrick's 2001 movie.

I'm so-so computer literate, and can generally work most things out given time and a few google seaches for info. But this item, well, even now I've no idea as to its full potential. And that's because there are no real instructions. Sure, I could spend hours trawling the internet, reading through chat-room testimonies and working out what people are saying about it. But how effective is that going to be, really? Moreover, how difficult would it be for a company to provide some background info on the item, along with some user instructions?

First problem: I gather UK buyers don't get a mains adapter with this product. Which, given this item is run on a rechargeable battery, is a fundamental issue. Not least because, you'll have to charge it via a USB cable (included). However, what you might not know - and I certainly didn't realise, is that the relay charge on a USB is so low that it takes a very long time to charge a battery of this size. Moreover, rechargeable items like this have to, by law, have an auto-cut off that cuts the power after 6 hours, to avoid overheating or fire. Therefore, if you - like me -- plug this item in once you get it out of the box, but after a day see that it's not even 20% charged, you might - like me -- assume there's a problem with the product and almost send it back.

And I did so very nearly return this to Amazon for being faulty. I'd made numerous attempts to google information up, assuming there was a common fault - but found nothing. So, giving it one last shot before walking down to the post office, I had one last ditch trawl around the internet. And while I didn't find the answer immediately, I did, eventually and by chance, stray across a chat-room comment that clued me in.

So: first hurdle crossed. I've managed to charge this £100+ item. But even now, I have so little understanding of this product's true potential... because, as with the above, Corsair don't include any literature with the product. Nothing. Not even some candyfloss marketing copy on the box, the kind that might just tell you something. Anything.

Instead, I've had to go back around chat-rooms trying to glean knowledge of apps and hard-drive partitions, worrying about whether the fact I'm on a PC is going to penalise me from some of its greater functions - and even now, limited as my tech jargon is, I'm still not entirely sure about this hard-drive.

Which makes me wonder why I even bothered in the first place. Is anything worth this much time-investment, when I'm quite happy with my bog-standard desk-top external hard-drive?

So, all in - this product is only as useful as your technical knowledge is extensive. If you are just a passing tablet user, with little or no understanding of partitioning hard-drives or amps or USBs or EEC consumer electrical regulations, I would say this really isn't for you.

I'd wait a year, until this kind of tech goes mainstream (as I hope it does, because it's otherwise a very good idea), because then, hopefully, for us average computer users, companies like Corsair might deem to share their knowledge with us via instructions and useful copy in manuals.

Melissa & Doug Deluxe Grocery Store/ Lemonade Stand
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Grocery Store/ Lemonade Stand
Price: £81.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Fab, fab, fab..., 5 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Don't know who was the more excited - me, finding this, or the five year old who got it for her birthday. What's not in doubt is how fab this is for any child who loves playing shops. The box says for '3 years +' but in terms of actual height, the grocery store will last for years. (In fact, I'd say the child in the photo is probably about seven or eight.)

As mentioned in another review on here, once built from its flat-pack arrival, the grocery store is very sturdy - and while it's not cheap, for its size and the many years of play it will service, I reckon this is a good investment. I particularly like the little blackboards attached to each bucket on the store front: as kids take to numbers, you'll be able to write prices up and test their adding skills.

There's a fair bit of construction to do. Nothing complicated, just a lot of bolts to slot in and secure. And my only criticism is that some of the drilled holes weren't aligned, and the bolts provided are soft, to the extent that they began to strip as we worked the misaligned holes and bolts together. That said, once its built, it really will survive any amount of rough and tumble.

Note to parents: the store doesn't come with any of the fruit shown in the picture, so be prepared to buy some separates. However, if you shop around there are some cheap wooden groceries, fruit and vegetables to be found online.

All in all, a great plaything. I wish I'd had one of these when I was a kid.

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