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Su (England)
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Philips GC4511/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 180 g Steam Boost, 300 ml, 2400 Watt, Blue
Philips GC4511/20 Azur Performer Steam Iron with 180 g Steam Boost, 300 ml, 2400 Watt, Blue
Price: £65.00

5.0 out of 5 stars a great easy to use iron, 29 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Several years ago I got a gold, silver and black coloured Philips Azur and it became my favourite iron, so when I saw this Azur Performer Plus (GC4511/20) I thought it might be a good replacement for my older one. It isn't that my gold Azur is failing but it is getting a little "older" and seemed to be taking longer to heat up, so I thought this one might help with the heavy loads and the gold one with the lighter washes.

The first thing I noticed is that there are 5 stickers to remove before use: one large one on the base; 2 small round ones on the right side by the nose and 2 small round ones on the left side by the nose.

The iron controls are easy to use: the temperature control is on a dial on the base underneath the handle. It is notched so you will know that you have selected the temperature you want. I much prefer this type of dial to the digital ones where you have to try to count all the beeps. The main temperatures available are: synthetics; silks, wool, cotton, and linen.

There is a spray facility on top of the handle at the front so you can dampen the creases before the iron touches them.

You also have a steam boost trigger beneath the handle towards the front. This is quite a powerful boost too.

The only real differences I can see between this iron and the old one are the "eco" button for the steam - you can now choose "no steam", "economy steam" or "full steam" - and the "calc" removal system.

The booklet states that you should use the "calc" removal system at least once a month. You use the "calc" should be easy but reading through all those instructions in micro print was a bit of a chore.

The first thing is to unplug iron and set the controls to "dry ironing"; then fill the tank to the maximum level, plug it and turn it on.

When temperature light goes out you need to unplug the iron and hold it over the kitchen sink; press the steam control to "calc clean" and hold it. Shake the iron "gently" until all the water has gone ... BUT be careful of the steam as it can cause some "boiling" of the arm - in my case it was reddening of the skin on the underneath of my right arm from base of palm to elbow and a couple of blisters. It happened so quickly that it was only after the burning happened I felt the pain - it was a matter of a second or 2 at the most - the steam just came up so rapidly it was unavoidable. Next time I will cover my arm with a loose fitting sleeve.

Once done then leave the iron to cool (at least an hour) before releasing the calc tray at the back and cleaning that out.

I like the fact that the tank is see through so I can see the decreasing water level, this is a great change from the old give-it-a-shake-and-see-if-it-sloshes type.

The iron heats up quite quickly. To be honest I'm not sure that there is any real difference between this one and my gold Azur.

I love being in control of the temperature of the iron and I am extremely grateful that the operating the iron is easy to use.

This is a great iron.


Lego City Space Center - 494pcs.
Lego City Space Center - 494pcs.
Offered by M and N Media US
Price: £93.21

5.0 out of 5 stars great for the space lover in the family, 24 July 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is one of several Lego builds which has been designed in conjunction with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and that cooperation shows in the detailing. It appears to be based on the Cape Canaveral launch site in Florida, USA.

The build consists of 494 pieces and includes 4 mini figures.

The mini figures are:

- 2 astronauts (but only one space helmet)
- 1 operations manager
- 1 ground crew member

The build is in 4 bags and come with building instruction booklets. I would recommend that you only open one bag at a time and that you use a high sided tray so you are less likely to lose any of your important pieces.

The build comes with several sections which are (not in any particular order):

CONTROL ROOM with satellite dish

One of the smallest builds in the box; the control centre has a moveable satellite dish on the top; a "video" screen showing the launch pad; a computer terminal showing the launch information; a large red telephone for those emergencies that may cancel the launch at the last minute; and, of course, a chair for the operations manager to sit in. The control room is 12 cm wide and 5 cm high.

2 VEHICLES and a SPACE SATELLITE

There is a flat bead for moving the rocket into place; a small jeep/buggy type vehicle that can be turned into a lunar buggy. There is a satellite for the crew to launch into space. These three items have the least amount of building, but they are, nevertheless, great additions to the launch pad experience.

LAUNCH PAD

There is so much going on with the launch pad. It is 25 cm long by 25 cm wide by 27 cm high.

There is a moveable lift to take the astronauts (or the satellite cargo) to the nose cone of the rocket. There is a refuelling facility so your rocket should be fully refuelled for take off and return to earth, and a small tool station so that it is in good working order. At the bottom of the launch tower are two pins to keep the rolling platform with the rocket on locked into place for safe launching.

There is also count down board with flip down numbers, so all those lucky enough to be invited to watch the launch can see how much time is left.

There are even flood lights at the top of the launch tower and around the base, just in case you need to launch during the night, or in overcast conditions.

THE ROCKET

It is (so I have learned) a 4 stage rocket and stands 35 cm high. The cockpit of the rocket can be opened to allow an astronaut to sit inside (with a special cockpit control insert) or to be used as a cargo bay for the satellite.

It took us a leisurely 2 days to build but we also included breaks to look up things about space rocket launches and to watch some of the documentaries on TV about the space race. So it became a great learning event. I would say that it would take about half a day to a day to build the entire launch centre and rocket without the learning interventions.

This Lego set comes with a poster of a mini figure astronaut space-walking. It has everything you need for the space loving child (or adult) in the family.


Philips Sonicare HX6511/44 EasyClean Sensitive Rechargeable Toothbrush
Philips Sonicare HX6511/44 EasyClean Sensitive Rechargeable Toothbrush
Price: £45.00

5.0 out of 5 stars lovely smooth clean feeling, 20 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The toothbrush included is the basic model - charging base, brush handle and brush head - and it leaves you with a lovely clean feeling.

Philips have produced another design of toothbrush head and I have to admit I like this one better than some of the previous ones which were far too bulky for my mouth and uncomfortable to use.

The company used to put a couple of spare heads in the box when you purchased one of their electric toothbrushes - sadly no more. It is a shame that they have decided to go cheap and cut out these little bonuses that made Philips the brand to get.

I like to charge my toothbrush in my bedroom rather than the bathroom (that way no-one can decided to use my brush because they can't find their own), but if you are going to do this you will need an adaptor as the toothbrush comes with the standard 2-pin plug.

As someone who has the misfortune to go into hospital quite a lot a travel bag (even a cheap plastic one) would have been nice but sadly one is not included. I have discovered that you can get a cheap plastic zip-up pencil case from a large supermarket chain which will hold the handle and separate brush head.

In conclusion after using this brush I can say that it left my teeth with that lovely smooth clean feeling.


LEGO CITY FIRE MOTORCYCLE 60000
LEGO CITY FIRE MOTORCYCLE 60000
Offered by The Brick Loft
Price: £7.94

4.0 out of 5 stars they call him "fireman lego", 15 July 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
At the RRP of 4.99 it works out at 12 pence per piece for a 40 piece Lego build; but it is a nice little red emergency services motor cycle and you get a black bodied fireman with orange and yellow printing on the torso, front of legs and the back of the torso.

The mini figure is a single faced and has a visor that can be worn over the face or raised on top of his helmet. Our rapid response fireman carries with him a yellow fire extinguisher. Sadly there are no markings on the extinguisher, not even a sticker, it is just a blank yellow extinguisher.

The red motor bike is more unusual (at least for me). Why? Simply because it is red - they are usually white. The motor bike is a much better shape than some of the older ones, and "Fireman Lego" can ride his motor bike ... well he can stand up on his motorbike which looks a little strange from the side but looks fine head on. You will always be able to identify the set that you bike came from if you use the enclosed stickers as it's identification code is the same as the Lego build number.

You also build a green recycling bin. To this you can add flames (you receive one large and 2 small) for your fireman friend to put out.

In my box I received a number of spare pieces: grey exhaust pipe, yellow light brick, blue light brick, yellow and black radio antenna, visor, flame and top for extinguisher.

It is a nice build and would make a great addition to the Lego "City" fire service; however the price per piece may make you think twice.


LEGO® Friends Olivia's Newborn Foal Playset - 41003 with accompanying Storage Bag for yourLlego
LEGO® Friends Olivia's Newborn Foal Playset - 41003 with accompanying Storage Bag for yourLlego
Offered by Bargains R Us
Price: £24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars nice add-on build with a cute foal, 15 July 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a 70 piece build with a RRP of 9.99 making it 14.3 pence per piece.

Mini-doll Olivia is wearing a deep pink top with a pony pattern on it, a blue skirt and some white shoes.

There is a flowering tree, wheel barrow, a water pump and a grooming stand and water trough.

Included in the mini-extras are decorative bows and ribbons, a carrot for your foal, a bucket, brushes, a bar of soap, and so on.

It's quite a nice build and makes a good addition to the Friends veterinary set or the house set. It is even a good edition to the tree house set.


LEGO Friends - Emma's Karate Class - 41002 41002 (Emma's dojo is a piece of the Far East, right here in Heartlake City... )
LEGO Friends - Emma's Karate Class - 41002 41002 (Emma's dojo is a piece of the Far East, right here in Heartlake City... )

4.0 out of 5 stars good addition to the Friends series, 15 July 2014
This is a good small build which adds to the living quarters of the Friends.

Green eyed mini-doll Emma has black hair with a removable purple bow. She is wearing a white karate outfit: the torso has navy blue decoration and highlighting at the front. She has white and navy blue shoes which match the karate outfit.

There is a decorated screen which is quite attractive (and which is the only "wall" type piece) and can either be used as a screen door or a screen for Emma to change behind. The decoration is printed on rather than being a sticker. To the side of the screen is a blue bottle with a white top.

The room comes with protective helmet (you have to remove her hair to put the helmet on) and a sword for Emma's practice sessions, and a board/brick breaking platform to take her frustrations out on if she's had a bad day - or to show her skills off to her friends.

There is a small (bonsai) tree to add some greenery into the room.

Then there is the shelf display unit which has the holder for the sword when Emma isn't using it and on the cupboard top is the stand (a blank black headpiece on a clear base) for the protective helmet. The display unit has a join in the centre so you can fold it up to reduce storage if you want to out it away.

On the shelves are a golden trophy, a make-up pot and her purple carry bag.

The build contains 99 pieces and at a RRP of 9.99 it works out at 10 pence per piece.

If you are trying to build a "dolls house" for your Friends mini-dolls then these builds will fit nicely into a room to give the house a lived in feel. We've been building a bungalow for the mini dolls to live in using general bricks and adding the Friends sets like this one to the inside to make it more homely and a better playing experience for children.


LEGO Monster Fighters The Werewolf - 9463
LEGO Monster Fighters The Werewolf - 9463
Offered by Ormand
Price: £27.00

5.0 out of 5 stars watch out Wolfie they are after your moonstone, 15 July 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Poor old Wolfie is forced to live in a tired old tree in the middle of an ancient forest, while trying desperately to defend his one and only possession from those who would take it for their own - those like Major Quinton Steele.

Major Quinton Steele with his sniper rifle (or is it an RPG) and flash jeep-type car (and his team of henchmen and women back at base or behind a rock to come when called) has an unfair advantage on the alone and unarmed Wolfie.

Major Steele's only real problem could be keeping his hat on. It seems that the Major "big head" may have ordered a size too small as it flies off his head with little or no reason.

The self-proclaimed "Monster Fighters" have decided that they, not only want the "moonstones" that have been passed down from "monster" to "monster", but he hopes to use stories of their evil doings to turn the public against them.

The Major and his mates know that the moonstones have great power, but why is he so anxious to control them? What is he planning to use all that power for? It can't be to protect the world from the "monsters" because they have been in the "monsters" keeping for centuries without any of them making a grab for power.

.
You receive 2 mini figures:

- Werewolf - good printing on torso and legs - excellent "wolf" face/head - glow in the dark claws.

- Quinton Steele - single face - good printing on torso, legs and face - hat keeps falling off and can be easily lost.

The orange/red moonstone has a glow in the dark aspect to it which is nice.

The vehicle is very nice item. It is a good build and easy on the eye.

The tree has that battered swampy feeling to it and is built in such a way that there is a platform for Wolfie to stand on but it can also be triggered to fling Wolfie out of his home.

This is a nice build which fits in perfectly with the others in the Monster Fighter series and looks perfect with the Monster Fighters Vampyre Castle.


LEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit Shelob Attacks (9470) by LEGO Lord of the Rings TOY
LEGO The Lord of the Rings Hobbit Shelob Attacks (9470) by LEGO Lord of the Rings TOY
Offered by Bricks England
Price: £79.95

4.0 out of 5 stars multi-jointed but incredibly creepy spider build, 15 July 2014
= Durability:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This build is 227 pieces and comes with 3 mini-figures.

- Frodo - 2 faced - great torso printing, green/grey elf cape, sting the sword and the "one" ring;

- Samwise Gamgee - 2 faced - great torso printing, green/grey cape, sword and elf-star;

- Gollum - snarling face (rather than the cutesy Gollum and that you get in the films).

Also included is a silver fish for Gollum's lunch.

There is a small build - a cave entrance with a spring board to flip Gollum at Frodo, or Sam at the spider. This includes some green vine decorations. I have to admit that this is a disappointing mini built.

The spider, however, is incredibly impressive. It is really is a multi-jointed wonder.

The legs don't just move where they are attached to the body but in 3 more places down the leg (a total of 4 moveable joints on each leg). The rear of the body moves up and down and from side to side. Even the mouth pieces move.

The head piece has printed eyes on it rather than stickers which is a very nice addition.

The only disappointing aspect of Shelob the spider is the hook on the tail rather than a stinger. Attached to the hook is a threat which you can wrap round Frodo once Shelob has stung him. Which leads me to the thread system in the tail of the spider: it is this aspect which young people may need some help with. There are cogs which need to be lined up and of course the thread which needs to be wound onto a spindle - you get quite a lot of thread to practice with. The thread system is operated by a wheel underneath the spider's body.

I admit that there isn't much playability with this set, but as a Tolkien fan it is a must have ... even though it gives me the creeps.

The RRP is 19.99 (on the Lego site) which makes it 8.8 pence per piece (for the 227 piece build) so it is not an expensive build. The only question you have to ask is do you really want the big spider looking down on you with a hungry look on its face.


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars universal horror movie fan heaven, 15 July 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
As an AFOL I have to say that this Monster Fighters series really rocks my socks.

I can vividly remember being a child and sitting up late on a Friday night to watch the old black and white Universal Studios monster movies. In fact I was so enamoured by them that I have bought the Blu-ray boxset.

This 949 piece build contains 6 mini figures:

- Vampyre - 2 faced - wonderful printing on face, torso, and legs - come with a great cape and a sword

- Vampyre Bride - 2 faced - nice hair piece - wonderful printing in face, torso and skirt - this is my favourite mini-figure of the year - comes with a potions vial

- Manbat - you get 2 of these - single face - good torso printing front and back, interesting wing-arms and a great "hair" piece with bat ears. I love he look of this character

- Rodney Rathbone - single face - fantastic torso printing front and back - comes with bowler hat, sword and gun

- Jack McHammer - single grumpy face - nice torso printing front and back and good denim jean printing on front of legs and has "Thor's Hammer" - it is exactly the same piece as appears in the "Avengers" builds

There are 2 builds - a car and the castle.

THE CAR - this is a nice looking green and grey speedster with a cord net launcher to catch one of the many creatures hiding near the castle.

THE VAMPYRE CASTLE - this is incredible. It has A LOT of stickers to place.

Several of the pieces have glow in the dark capability - the Vampyre's head, the brides head, a hanging skeleton, the spider on the side of the castle, the rat, the potions bottles, the stickers on the castle, orange and yellow moonstones and the various flame torches.

There is an organ in the top of the tower where the Phantom of the Opera can entertain the creatures of the night.

The RRP for this set is 79.99 make it a wonderful 8.4 pence per piece. The Vampyre Castle makes a great centre piece to this collection.


Lego 4842 Harry Potter Hogwartsª Castle
Lego 4842 Harry Potter Hogwartsª Castle
Offered by Whoopsadaisy Kids
Price: £309.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great Lego with lots going on, 15 July 2014
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a large construction consisting of 1290 pieces (one of the biggest Lego builds currently available) and makes 9 rooms which are in 4 sections of the iconic Hogwarts Castle.

The 4 buildings are:

- Astronomy Tower, Library and the Room of Requirements
- Dumbledore's Office (with sliding staircase) and the Trophy Room
- Great Hall
- Gryffindor and Slytherin common rooms and the owlery.

The 4 sections can be joined together in whatever order the builder wants, and you can change them around if you don't like the order you have them in.

There are 10 mini figures (officially), however there is a bonus mini figure as well as some animal mini figures. You receive:

- 2 dementors
- Harry Potter (with wand and broomstick)
- Hermione Granger (with wand)
- Lord Voldermort (with white wand)
- Professor Dumbledore (with cream wand)
- Professor Snape (with wand)
- Professor McGonagall
- Professor Flitwick (with wand) - first appearance in a Lego
- Argus Filch (with key and lantern) - first appearance in a Lego

- knight in armour (bonus mini figure)

The animal mini figures included are:

- 3 owls (one white, one grey and one brown and grey)
- Mrs Norris the cat
- Scabbers the rat
- frog
- bat
- spider

Mini items include:

- sorting hat
- marauder's map
- Gryffindor sword
- Basilisk fang
- Tom Riddle's book
- telescope (for the astronomy tower)
- plates, food, torches, etc
- Quibbler and Prophet

Astronomy Tower, Library and Room of Requirement - the astronomy room as the telescope for night time classes; the library with clear sliding doors and 3 books; Room of Requirements has a certain magical wardrobe.

Dumbledore's Office (with sliding staircase) and the Trophy Room - there is a treasure chest with a message for Harry inside; trophies (including James Potter's seeker trophy), potion bottles, remembrall, magnifying glass, Sword of Gryffindor and Sorting Hat.

Great Hall - stain "glass" windows, Slytherin and Gryffindor pennants, chandler, battle axes, food (including a Lego turkey) and dishes.

Gryffindors and Slytherin common rooms and the owlery - Gryffindor common room includes a fire with Sirus Black's face in it, a room with Tom Riddle's book and (if you turn the panel around you find the bonus mini figure of the knight in armour); Slytherin common room has decorative snakes on the wall in the back of the room; and the owlery includes owls and white owl poop bricks.

It took us several days to put it all together, but we like to take our time when building our Lego items. I would suggest that you only build from one bag at a time and that you empty your bag onto a tray (preferably a high sided tray so there is less chance of losing any pieces).

When we opened the box and saw all the pieces (and the bags) involved it was somewhat daunting, but if you take it a step at a time then the instructions are easy to follow. It also helps to teach the more impatient people (adult or child) patience and the benefits of taking things a step at a time. We also take photographs regularly during the build so that we can see the progression.

At full price (RRP) it works out as approximately 8 pence per piece (0.0794 per piece), so anything below that RRP tag makes it cheaper per piece and even better value for money. When comparing it at price per piece it isn't too bad and in some cases cheaper than some of the smaller Lego kits available. It is now a retired piece and so the price will go up.

All things taken into consideration this is a great Lego set. We use them as family builds rather than individual builds, and with the complexity of this build I would suggest that younger Lego builders will need that extra help.

This is great Lego and great value for money (taken as price per piece).


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