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Reviews Written by
J. Ritchie (Sheffield, UK)

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Schmidt Jigsaws Historical Map of the World (2000 Pieces)
Schmidt Jigsaws Historical Map of the World (2000 Pieces)
Price: 16.86

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent World View, 31 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I find that, when it comes to jigsaws, I really like large ones, and ones that feature maps - especially of areas that I know.

So when it came time to choose a new jigsaw, a 2000 piece map of the world seemed the ideal choice.

When I first opened the box and looked at the pieces I was a little disappointed. The pieces seemed quite thin and I wasn't sure about the quality. I needn't have worried. Although the pieces seem thin, they are more than sturdy enough and the fit is excellent.

Initially the many pieces seem to be the same colour, or covered in confusing lines. However, once you start, you'll soon find that you can isolate small groups and pieces and fit them together. It may take a good few hours, but the jigsaw will come together. One of things I really hate with jigsaws is randomly trying to fit two pieces together. Luckily, with this jigsaw, there is very little random fitting involved - perhaps two or three groups of 20 pieces during the entire process.

Overall I'm very pleased with the purchase. The image is very sharp. The quality is excellent. The hours taken to put the jigsaw together were a joy.

Ravensburger Portrait Of The Earth Puzzle (1000 Pieces)
Ravensburger Portrait Of The Earth Puzzle (1000 Pieces)
Price: 9.94

3.0 out of 5 stars The Earth And This Jigsaw Aren't Flat, 17 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Ravensburger have a long, established history selling jigsaws, so it was a big disappointment when I finished putting this one together.

The pieces didn't fit together very tightly, so I had to constantly move it around to get the pieces to fit together, just a millimetre here and there but it was for almost every piece from about half way.

Added to that, the grooves caused by the cutting are quite large and too much of the image disappears at the edges of the pieces, so it's not particularly beautiful as a finished jigsaw.

But the worst problem is that the pieces didn't want to lie flat. None of the pieces appear bent, but when put together there were little humps and bumps and the lifting of several pieces all over the jigsaw. It's probably related to the poor fitting as the final jigsaw, once smoothed by hand does lie flat. But, if you're spending several hours putting a jigsaw together that won't lie flat, then it's a nuisance that detracts greatly from experience.

I expected better from Ravensburger.

Thunderbirds TB2 Haynes Manual 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle
Thunderbirds TB2 Haynes Manual 1000pc Jigsaw Puzzle
Offered by scificollectorshop
Price: 9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars FAB!, 10 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent product and a perfect present for any man over the age of 45, and nearly every male under that age too. you have the attraction of a Haynes manual image - and anyone who has ever done their own car maintenance will be familiar with the usefulness of a Haynes manual, and have fond memories of lying under a car and following the instructions.

Then there is the fact that this jigsaw is an image of Thunderbird 2 - big, fat, green and cut-away. FAB, Mr Tracey.


The jigsaw is well made, with the pieces fitting together well nearly 99% of the time. There are a few times when the pieces don't quite fit, but these are very rare and the problem was always resolved when another piece was fitted next to it.

The image is clearly printed and constructing the jigsaw is hard, but not impossible. There are enough different sections so that you always have something to work on. The issue I have with modern jigsaws is that too many of them reduce to trying to fit random pieces together. This does happen with this jigsaw, but for less than 150 pieces, and most times you can work with only about 20 pieces at a time to find a match. So, overall, this is a jigsaw where you work with the image rather than just randomly put two pieces together.

The image on the front of the box does not represent to image on the jigsaw, but the image on the back is accurate, and there's an insert with a copy of the image as an aide to putting the jigsaw together. (The image on the front of the box is close to the actual image, so don't be put off by that.)


Yes, definitely.

The jigsaw is hard, but not impossible, and engages the attention for the several hours it takes to put together. If you have any interest in Haynes, and particularly Thunderbirds, then this jigsaw is a must have.

When I buy a jigsaw it's always a risk that the jigsaw doesn't suit me. In this case, I had a ton of fun putting it together, enjoy the final image and consider this one of the best jigsaws I've ever bought. I might even hang it on the wall for a while.

5 out of 5.

MY 1000 Building Bricks
MY 1000 Building Bricks
Offered by Bargin Billies
Price: 12.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth The Money, 19 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: MY 1000 Building Bricks (Toy)
I bought this box of bricks for 15, which is 1.5p per piece, and that's less than half the price of Lego bricks. Sure, these bricks are not of the same quality as Lego; they're made of a harder plastic, so they have sharper edges and don't fit together quite as nicely, but for half the price of Lego, who am I to complain.

The quality of the pieces are about 80% of Lego pieces, mostly because many of the pieces have a little bit of plastic sprue left on the bottom of the piece. however, a quick scrape of a knife across the base of each piece easily cures the problem. Again, these pieces are half the price of Lego, so you can't expect the same high standards. The most important point though, is that these pieces are fully compatible with Lego - and all the other construction block systems - so you're free to mix and match.

Now we come to a complaint that others have made about this box of bricks - it's mostly made up of small pieces. This is true. In my box the mix of pieces is:

2x4: 35
2x3: 60
2x2: 60
1x4: 60
1x2: 250
1x1: 545

(Yes, I was sad enough to count the pieces)

This box does have a lot of small pieces and few large pieces but, to be fair, this is the same for all the construction brick manufacturers. Plastic is so expensive that, to get the piece count up, they use a lot of small pieces in their offerings. Also, the scale of buildings/vehicles/objects are now much smaller than they used to be - about 1:40 is standard now when it was more like 1:15 30 years ago. However, for me, I wanted lots of bricks, and mostly small ones, so this bucket is just perfect.

Like ALL the brick collections you can buy, you get a large box, filled with bags, but, once you unpack the bricks, you're left with a large box that's mostly filled with air. Really, if you're playing with construction bricks, then you need a sturdy plastic box to store the pieces in, not some cardboard box that won't last a week, so the emptiness of the box shouldn't be a concern.

So, if you're looking for a lot of standard/ordinary/plain/normal construction bricks, then this is the best value box on the market.

Jewelry Mens Vintage Dragon Stainless Steel Leather Bracelet for Men Biker Silver Black Sl2518 (Black)
Jewelry Mens Vintage Dragon Stainless Steel Leather Bracelet for Men Biker Silver Black Sl2518 (Black)
Offered by Original Tribe -uk
Price: 16.89

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Design, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was looking for something else when I came across this bracelet. It looked good so I ordered it, and waited, and waited.

Although the bracelet was bought from Original Tribe -uk, the "-uk" part just indicates that this is on offer to the UK, not that the company is based in the UK. They use China Post, so that gives you an idea of how long it'll take to arrive. Partly the disappointment with the wait is my fault for not doing enough research, but also Amazon's for not making the item's location a required element on the item page.

So, after a long wait the bracelet arrived and it's just about everything I wanted it to be. The images are very good reproductions of the bracelet, which is well made and isn't showing any signs of wear after a few weeks.

It's not perfect though. The stud closures were a disappointment, but that's my fault for not paying enough attention. My wrist is between two of the studs, one is too tight and the other too loose. However, after a couple of weeks of wearing the bracelet has stretched a bit and now fits on the smaller setting without squeezing too hard. The dragon scales stick out a bit from the leather bracelet when worn, but this isn't a problem as the scales are smooth and rounded so they don't catch on clothing or skin.

The other issue is that the dragon is attached to the leather with small rings and I'm not sure that they're strong enough to keep the dragon attached over the years. Also, I'd say that there should be another ring placed where the front feet of the dragon are.

Overall, I'm giving it 4 stars. If it manages to last a year without falling apart, I'd give it 5 stars.

Swan Handheld Vacuum Cleaner SC4010N-MO
Swan Handheld Vacuum Cleaner SC4010N-MO
Offered by Palmer Riley Electrical Distribution
Price: 34.37

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect 2nd Vac, 18 Feb 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already have a battery-powered hand-held vacuum, but it wasn't really cutting it for me, so I decided to take a risk with this machine, and I'm not disappointed.

The two bad points: it's a bit noisy and there's no converter to use all the tools on the end of the hard pipes.

The good points: everything else.

There are lots of tools with this machine; a narrow pipe, a small brush, a medium brush, a large brush, a full-sized head (with switch between carpet and hard floors), flexible extender, shoulder strap, 3 hard pipes that fit together, and a flexible hose converter for the full-sized head (with hole to reduce air pressure). With all these bits you should be able to find the combination that you need, whether for a narrow crevice or to get right under the bed to get all those fluff balls that gather there.

My only complaint is that you can't use the narrow pipe or brushes on the end of the hard pipes, which I'd like to use to clean down the side of the fridge and underneath a large chest of drawers. Still, I can always get down on my hands and knees and poke my arm in as far as it'll go.

Although I'm fit and don't need it, the shoulder strap is useful for carrying the machine around if you've got any problems with the strength of your hands or arms.

The machine itself looks good and the colour scheme is grey and black. The two switches are black against grey, so they're easy to see. One switch is on/off and the other opens the machine for emptying, which is a simple process.

If you're looking for suction, then this is the beast for you. Although the machine is a bit noisy, the suction that it produces explains everything - this isn't a noisy mouse, it's a lion that roars.

One of the problems I had with the battery machine was the battery life. The Swan is a mains machine, which could be a problem, except that it comes with a long, long lead, so you're not going to be unplugging it often as you clean a room. Now I can clean under my table/desk from one end to the other without worrying about a loss of power or having to clean one half and then change to another socket to finish the job.

Really, having used this machine I wish I'd never got the battery machine in the first place. Yes, there are lots of accessories, and they need to be stored somewhere, but I've got a few old pillow cases that'll do the job nicely.

If you've got lots of awkward spaces that need cleaning and/or dusting, then this machine should be on your list.

24-Inch Stylish Stainless Steel Double Cable Chain Necklace / Jewellery (LIFETIME WARRANTY)
24-Inch Stylish Stainless Steel Double Cable Chain Necklace / Jewellery (LIFETIME WARRANTY)

5.0 out of 5 stars I Get A Good Feeling, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already have a stainless steel neck chain and I was looking for another that had smaller links but still had a good weight to it. I took a chance on this necklace and it's turned out to be perfect. There's a good heft to it and each link is an oval about 15mm long. Each link is made up of two identical ovals sitting side by side, which gives the necklace a lot of movement.

If you're looking for a chain with a bit of weight but moves gently against your skin then I recommend this chain whole-heartedly.

SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8GB MP3 Player with Radio and Expandable MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black
SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 8GB MP3 Player with Radio and Expandable MicroSD/SDHC Slot - Black
Price: 35.17

5.0 out of 5 stars Clip And Go, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I previously owned a Sansa Clip - a 2BG version - and loved it. A small device with a great sound, easy to use and a battery life that meant I could listen to music all day. Unfortunately I dropped in a cup of tea one day. :-(

When the 8GB version came up on offer on Amazon it was a no-brainer to buy a replacement. The same small size, great sound and long battery life, but a lot more space for MP3 files. If you're not wedded to the mighty Apple, then this is a great piece of kit.

Torchwood - Children of Earth (Series 3) [DVD]
Torchwood - Children of Earth (Series 3) [DVD]
Dvd ~ John Barrowman
Price: 9.28

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There have been 4 series of Torchwood, and it's unlikely that there will ever be a 5th. This DVD contains the entire 3rd series, actually 5 programmes broadcast on consecutive nights originally. It's not a DVD you can watch and understand without knowing what Torchwood is, how it is connected to Dr Who and why Torchwood has been reduced to just 3 people. However, for anyone who's seen Dr Who and not watched Torchwood, or has seen some of the earlier programmes, THIS is the one to watch. There's a single story line, involving powerful aliens, scared politicians, secrets from the past, and great performances from all the cast members.

If this DVD doesn't move you or affect you in any way, then you're probably dead. When aliens can control all of your children, how do you say no when they ask for a 'Gift'? If you're a child, the idea of an alien taking you over will scare you, and if you're a parent the idea of having your children taken away from you is a nightmare. Torchwood 3 handles the concept with more sensitivity than you expect in a sci-fi prfogramme, and the deaths are real, present and moving.

As a bonus, Torchwood 3 has Peter Capaldi in it as a civil servant caught in the middle of the whole mess. His performance is mesmerizing and bodes well for his stint as the 12th Doctor.

If you haven't seen Torchwood 3 then you're in for a treat. Everybody else will relish a chance to see this story again.

Star Trek / Star Trek Into Darkness Double Pack [DVD] [2009]
Star Trek / Star Trek Into Darkness Double Pack [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Chris Pine
Price: 11.00

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag, 8 Jan 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The first film, Star Trek, is a marvelous re-boot of the franchise, but the Into Darkness follow up is a big disappointment. Into Darkness is essentially a rewrite of The Wrath of Khan, but lacks the over the top acting and tension present in The Wrath of Khan. Instead you get a series of crash-bang action scenes with what seems rather pointless 'character development' scenes. Just bring back the style of the original Star Trek with some decent new plots. There's a whole universe out there, can't someone find a new and interesting plot amongst all those stars?

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