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Su (England)
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Konstsmide Lightsets Outdoor 3612-110 19.04 m 120 Micro LED Fairy Lights, Warm White
Konstsmide Lightsets Outdoor 3612-110 19.04 m 120 Micro LED Fairy Lights, Warm White
Price: 24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars very bright outdoor lights, 16 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The significant other finished decorating the large holly bush near the garden gate last night.

We have several events coming up including Halloween, 2 birthdays, and, of course, Christmas so early preparation is a necessity.

The lights look like they have a lovely golden glow in the pictures, but when they are lit ... well I recommend that you don't look directly at them when they first go on or you will have those horrible light burn spots in your vision - they are incredibly bright.

One benefit of this is that (as the other half said) we won't have to put the external lights on too as they light the path from the drive to the front door (approximately 25 feet) and beyond to the living room window.

They are specifically made for the outdoors but once blown they must be thrown away as the bulbs cannot be replaced unlike our other external lights.

The amount of lights is massive, about 19 meters in lights (not including blank cable to plug), so it is a good afternoon's work to put them up and you will need a large bush, tree or length of guttering to take the full amount of lights.

They do look stunning when they are up, I just hope that they will last a long time.


BETA Adult Spaniels with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
BETA Adult Spaniels with Chicken, 2 kg (Pack of 4)
Price: 23.36

4.0 out of 5 stars the dog doesn't mind the content, 16 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Purina is regarded as one of the better animal food makers and I will admit that the dog does quite like it. I on the other hand am not too sure.

This kibble is supposedly specifically designed and produced for spaniels and contains "8% meat and animal derivatives" with a "minimum 4% chicken"; and this is my problem.

What is the "meat"? What is the "animal"? What parts are the "derivatives" from?

It also states that there is 4% chicken, but not chicken meat; so does this mean that the chicken is claws and beaks? Also is the 4% chicken actually 4% of the whole bag or 4% of the 8% meat and animal deviates? If it is the latter it would mean that the amount of chicken is tiny. Of course, I maybe over thinking things.

I did some brief calculations and it would work out cheaper to buy a small chicken at the supermarket, cook it with some vegetables, debone it and split it between you and the dog - that way you both get a good meal and at least you know exactly what your dog is eating.

Having said all that the dog still ate them so obviously he's not bothered about the content - mind you he will also wolf a bowl full of cooked chicken too.


Vax Performance Floor-2-Floor Total Home Eco Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Vax Performance Floor-2-Floor Total Home Eco Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Price: 149.99

5.0 out of 5 stars superb, 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I like this Vax cleaner it does the job I need it to, and that is to clean up after me.

It was easy to put together - I have problems with my grip, bending, etc, so ease of build was important to me.

The first thing I tried it on was the hall and it sucked up the dirt and dog hair from the carpet with ease. I was surprised as I had only just cleaned through with my (2 year) old upright cleaner and the amount of muck that it sucked up was surprising.

I emptied the barrel and decided to give it a real test - my bedroom (aka the sick room). Not only do I sleep in there when I am ill but so does the dog, and to top that off the medications which I am taking cause my hair to fall out in big wads. A lot of the hair ends up on the floor and with the dog hair, my hair, the soil that the pup brings in when he's been digging, along with the normal dust and detritus that living in the house produced it would cause a strain to any cleaner.

This one didn't even splutter but sucked the whole lot up in one sitting. I will admit that the old one (which was a pets one) would pick up the top hair but there would always be hair still visible in the pile. With this cleaner the carpet looks clean for the first time in years.

The suction on it is so powerful that it lifted the fitted carpet when I used the crevice tool.

I can't say how impressed I am with this cleaner it has cleaned areas I thought would never be clean again.


My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rarity
My Little Pony Equestria Girls Rarity
Price: 12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars an interesting take on a dolly, 14 Sep 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I remember the days when My Little Pony used to be about cute little plastic ponies, now I discover that there are dollies too.

I have to admit that Rarity is lovelier in the plastic than she is in the picture on the Amazon page.

Rarity is a little smaller than a Barbie but she is still quite tall at approximately 24 cm tall - close to the same size as the teenage sister.

The doll is capable of styling in both clothes and hair. The teen Barbie clothes are baggy on her so it looks like she will have to have a new wardrobe for Christmas.

Rarity is said to be for 5+; I would just point out that her crown/headband/microphone has sharp points on the top so I would supervise any young child with her.

She is obviously the singer in the group and has currently been assigned to backing singer for my old 1990s Barbie and friends band.

Overall much nicer than I thought she would be.


Bop It! Beats
Bop It! Beats
Offered by Toysafari Worldwide
Price: 25.99

4.0 out of 5 stars highly addictive, 14 Sep 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Bop It! Beats (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I have memories of a Simpsons episode where Bart and Lisa are playing with a Bop It and Homer does everything he can to shut it up including throwing it out of the car window because it's so annoying.

This is an upgrade on one of those games.

The premise is that you must follow the shouted instructions from the machine.

It is based on a turntable and your correct answer will result in another shouted command and the continuation of some music.

We hit a couple of problems:

- understanding the instructions - some of the instructions were not clear - the "flip it" one caused some consternation as it sounds like he shouts something rude;

- the spin and reverse turntable actions were a problem for those who are left handed.

It comes with batteries included but you are really going to need more as ours got a lot of use when it arrived and has done in the time since.

The objective is to score as high as you can by getting the moves right on command.

Hasbro has made an incredibly addictive game that will be a great help on rainy days or at parties, but could become annoying to those of us who can't get it right (or are trying to work).


Transformers Age of Extinction Stomp and Chomp Grimlock Figure
Transformers Age of Extinction Stomp and Chomp Grimlock Figure
Price: 83.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I think I'm in love, 14 Sep 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I really do like this, but then I have a thing for Transformers.

This beautiful (to me at least) Dinosaur Grimlock which turns into a giant Transformer.

It comes with a tiny Optimus Prime which is really cute and can stand on Grimlock's back.

My Dad would be appalled as he always considered Transformers to be some sort of witchcraft - strange because he wasn't a religious man - and anything that might be a bit witchy was incinerated on a specially build garden bonfire - Dennis Wheatley books, Hammer Horror films, Transformers ... I'd hate to think what he'd have done to Harry Potter.

I wasn't born when Transformers first came out but I have always loved them and, until now, Soundwave and Bumble Bee were my favourites, but Grimlock is wonderful and (to be honest) I smile every time I look at it.

You will need 2 AAA batteries to make the lights and sound, but he's wonderful with or without flashing his eyes and roaring.

The transformation is a one-step move which is one of the best developments in the transformer toy. Prior to this there would be multiple steps (even with instructions sometimes they were almost impossible to transform from car/van/dinosaur/etc to Transformer and back. Now you literally make one move and click into place and you have your Transformer and then the reverse move and you have your dinosaur back.

It's a wonderful piece of engineering, well thought out and feels strong (some of the previous ones - especially those that you had to build first - always felt that they would fall apart of you moved it in the wrong way).

For me this Grimlock is absolutely stunning. I think I might be in love.


Play-Doh DohVinci Style and Store Vanity Complete Design Kit
Play-Doh DohVinci Style and Store Vanity Complete Design Kit
Price: 19.99

1.0 out of 5 stars play D'Oh!, 14 Sep 2014
= Durability:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Oh dear me, I really hoped this would be a nice thing for the little girl in the house. I didn't expect a polished oak dressing table with fully silvered crystal glass mirror, but what comes in the box is more in the tragic plastic line.

The drawer must be fitted separately and it recommends after the decoration has dried - I can understand that but ... fitting that drawer into the hole was a pain - literally. Getting drawer into the hole was truly difficult - there are 2 studs that require forcing into the gap and this led to the vanity base flying across the room on one occasion and when I finally forced the studs the momentum trapped my finger as the drawer shut to.

Decorating requires the use of a glue gun type implement and learning to control the flow of colour paste stuff was a problem for the user. Several times the goop had to be wiped off the backing which left smudges no matter how it was removed.

The flow can be interrupted by air bubbles which are in the mixture and cause splattering and misfiring. When the mixture is suddenly stiff it can cause clogging and, when released, sudden splattering. The varying thickness can cause the user/decorator to have wobbly hand and this means that what should have been straight lines are anything but.

Trust me you will need to put a lot of newspaper down to stop the paste stuff from getting on your carpets, wall paper (when one of those solid pieces finally gives way the goo will fly a long way) and curtains.

There is no way that a child, even one in their teens, could produce a decoration as shown in the picture - not with the paste and dispenser provided.

The other problem is that even when it has dried fully bits of the paste stuff will fall off.

Even complete and in place we discovered that there is nothing that the owner wants to put in the drawer - it is too small having been divided into 2 sections. The little girl in question was initially happy with the drawer part as she thought she would be able to keep her pens and pencils in it when she had done her homework or finished colouring in. This is impossible - it would hold a pencil sharpener and some erasers and that's about it.

There is little freedom of expression involved. The child is supposed to add decoration to the cat and flowers around the mirror and an edging on the drawer.

It comes with only 4 colours:

- pink
- blue
- green
- white/pale cream

Sorry Play Doh but that is a really poor selection.

It would have been nice if there had been some embossing, carving, foiling, anything but the goo-gun; sadly there is nothing.

The decoration was a short lived exercise and now there is little to do but look at it on the bedside table.

Such a shame that there isn't more crafting techniques involved and that the drawer is so small it is almost useless.


Ultrasport 4 Players Badminton Set - Orange
Ultrasport 4 Players Badminton Set - Orange
Price: 28.61

5.0 out of 5 stars a superb game and set, 14 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a superb kit. You get the 4 rackets, shuttlecocks, net, poles, anchors, straps; all in one carry bag which means that it is perfect for days out at the beach, at family and friends, or at home.

Badminton is the perfect game for anyone a little slower as it is more about strategy then who can hit the hardest as the flights on the shuttlecock are designed to slow the incoming flight making returns a little easier.

I loved playing badminton almost as much as I loved field hockey, but as time passed and illness kicked in I found it impossible to go to a court and try to take part (that's peer pressure for you).

We set this set up in the garden several days ago and the result has been some pat-a-cake games between me and the other half, but considering my current medical state anything more would be bad.

The rackets are beautifully weighted and well strung; the pop on the shuttlecock is lovely perfect. It is an absolutely wonderful set, though remember if you haven't played for a while it will make you stiff and sore if you play for too long on your first time.


Fisher-Price Rockin' Tunes Giraffe
Fisher-Price Rockin' Tunes Giraffe
Offered by Justshopin
Price: 42.99

5.0 out of 5 stars gorgeous giraffe, 13 Sep 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This lovely rocking giraffe has been an outright hit since the moment it was put together.

It doesn't take a lot to put it together but you will need 3 AA batteries to make the bells and whistles work. Even without them "she" is a great success.

With the batteries in place it is a complete giggle-fest.

There is an off switch for the sound and light effects, along with 2 volume settings. Even on the highest setting it isn't that loud that it would disturb me when I am working.

The only thing I would recommend is that the younger the child the more you keep hold of them; and for the first few times with older toddler aged children you may want to help them until they get the hang of balancing and rocking.

Other than that this is a great toy ... now if they only make her in adult size.


Twister Dance
Twister Dance
Price: 28.97

4.0 out of 5 stars a fun idea, 13 Sep 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Twister Dance (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
You know when you're getting old when coppers and soldiers look like kids, and you think the music these days sucks!

In my defence it may not be the music that's bad but the speakers on this Twister game. They are exceptionally tinny and poor which is such a shame as it definitely detracted from the whole experience.

I am not sure what it says when the kids haven't heard of the songs included:

- Neon Lights - by Demi Lovato
- Teach me how to Dougie - by Cali Swag District
- Party Rock Anthem - by LMFAO
- Come Over - by Cimorelli

The good thing is that you can hook your own MP3 player to the machine and play them.

The machine requires 4 "C" batteries and they are quite expensive.

The game is, however, fun to take part in and it is fun to watch others trying and is a fun way of encouraging exercise.


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