Mine It Diamond & Gold from Character Toys

Mine It is the latest craze from Character Toys that kids will love.  Available in either a block of gold or diamond shape, the substance requires chipping away using the included tools, a shovel, mallet and also a magnifying glass to help search for your gems.  It’s a fun and novel way at doing a bit of mini archaeology play that keeps kids entertained and excited about finding a precious gem.

Each Mine It set contains a 1 in 24 chance of finding either a real piece of gold or a real diamond.  If you don’t find one of these then you will find another type of rock or gem such as Red Onyx, Picture Jasper, Black Line Jasper, Tiger Eye, Volcano Rock or Rose Crystal.

My two children were quite excited at the idea of these and couldn’t wait to get started.  They found it fun bashing away at the sand like substance and couldn’t wait to get a peek of what they would find inside. My 7yr old particularly liked peering through his magnifying glass from time to time to see if he could spy a glimpse of his precious stone.

They both really enjoyed this activity and it kept them going for a fair while without being too quick or equally not too long that they got bored and gave up.  As you can see below they both ended up with a lump of Volcano rock from their Mine It sets and although would have liked to find the diamond or gold, were quite happy with their discoveries.

To see Mine It in action and a bit more about how the children found it then do check out this video below which shows them both engaging in this activity.  I think you can see from their expressions that they are both happy, excited and thoroughly enjoying themselves throughout!

All reviews are my own and my honest opinions and I received the products in order to write the review.

Magic Dip Design Art Centre

The Magic Dip Design Studio from Character Toys is aimed at ages 8+ and allows children to be creative and cleverly marbleise any object or material of their choosing.  The set allows children to choose their own colours and create a unique design every time before easily clearing the ink away and starting again.

wp_20161119_10_54_11_proThe set contains:

  • 1 Design Art Station
  • 6 colour paint bottles
  • 1 large bowl
  • 1 small bowl
  • Glossy spray
  • Glitter
  • Stirrers
  • A pair of tweezers
  • A glove
  • A7 greeting cards
  • A5 greetings cards
  • Gems
  • Glitter
  • String

It’s quite a simple concept although is quite tricky to get right and you have to work quickly hence the age guide.  The art station is simple to assemble and set up and makes a nice working area to keep your tools on and work from .  To start you need to fill one of the bowls with water.  It is then as simple as squirting drops of coloured ink onto the water, we found 2 or 3 colours worked best and then using the stirrer to swirl the inks together to make a pattern.


We started by dipping large simple items such as the bracelet and headband.  My 8yr old daughter enjoyed this and soon got the hang of it.  The dyes sit on the surface of the water so as you dip an item in, the dye lifts like a skin and wraps itself around the object.  Any surplus dye left on the water can easily be removed with the stirrer tool afterwards and the water is ready to add another set of coloured dyes to.


Miss M then tried some trickier smaller beads which she had to be careful holding with the tweezers.  These actually worked really well and she made a really pretty bracelet when they were dry using the string included in the set.

Miss M tried various combinations of colours and dipped different objects included in the set such as a picture frame and some birthday cards and gift labels.  Although these were essentially cardboard, they did have a shiny surface and were completely able to be dipped briefly into the water to get a coating of the coloured dyes.magic-dip-dye-5

One thing you do have to do is make sure you work quite quickly as the dyes dry so you need to know what colours and item you are dipping before you start.  Also when you dip the object you need to give it one dip and out otherwise you will ruin the pattern.  It is quite simple though and once you’ve had a couple of goes, you’ll know exactly what you are doing.magic-dip-dye-6 I think the finished results look really effective, better than we expected when we first started. The set includes some gems and glitter to jazz up your items and make them even prettier.magic-dip-dye-7 We were quite impressed with the results we got on some of the gift labels above, particularly the brightly coloured one.wp_20161120_13_02_33_pro A great selection of handmade goodies that you can keep yourself or give away as gifts.  You can also use any objects of your own to dip and make other tie dyed items.  There is plenty of dye included in the set and we only used a small amount to do the above objects so the craft set can be used several times over with other objects. wp_20161120_13_54_39_pro

Here is Miss M showing off her headband and bangle.  She really enjoyed the Magic Dip Design Studio and was definitely the right age for it.   For any young craft fans out there, this is fun and a little different – a great one for Christmas lists!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.





ChillFactor Milkshake Maker – Review

My children just adore milkshakes so were super excited to try out the new ChillFactor Milkshake maker from Character toys. The cup is a well made, solid design and we couldn’t wait to get started trying it out.

chillfactor-milkshakeThe cup comes with a solid straw that has a spoon on the end to get any slushy bits at the end.  The cup has an insulated inner with a solid outside.  The lid has a handle with a special bit that comes down to mix it all up.

chillfactor-milkshake-2As with all ChillFactor cups you need to put them in the freezer first, in my experience overnight is best and you can guarantee you will then get the desired result.  To make your milkshake you simply add flavoured milk into the frozen cup, in our case chocolate for a treat, add the lid and just shake and stir.  In just a couple of minutes your flavoured milk will have turned into a thick, frothy, frozen style milkshake.  My two children were so eager to try this that they worked together in creating their drink.

chillfactor-milkshake-4And this was the result!

chillfactor-milkshake-5The children took turns drinking through the straw which fits through the lid and informed me that it was utterly delicious and tasted like ice cream! chillfactor-milkshake-3 As soon as they’d finished it, they made another one, as fortunately with this cup you can use it twice consecutively before it needs to go back in the freezer.  This time they both wanted to get stuck in, so got an extra straw and very kindly shared it with each other.wp_20160923_16_04_11_pro

I did taste the drink myself and have to say I’d happily drink it as I am a fan of milkshakes myself and it definitely tastes better than just flavoured milk.  The cup is great fun and also gets the children used to making things for themselves.  Why not give it a try?

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.




Pom Pom WOW! Decoration Station – Review

Pom Pom WOW! is the lastest craze in kids crafting and the Decoration Station is a fun filled kit with everything you need to design and colour pom poms as well as create fun pictures and designs.

pom pom wow

The set comes in a handy fold up carry case contains all the decorative equipement along with pom pom holders for a number of the pom poms included.

The contents are:

  • 75 Pom Pom’s
  • 85 Adhesive dots
  • 1 x adhesive roll dispenser
  • 1 x glitter glue pen
  • 2 x markers
  • 1 x paintbrush
  • 4 x watercolours
  • 4 x stamper pads
  • 1 x pipette
  • 1 x blotting cloth
  • removable trays
  • instruction leaflet

It only takes a few minutes to put everything together when you open the set and 8 yr old Miss M was eager to help me set it up ready to use.  We do like that it all folds away for easy storage and is self contained so you don’t loose and bits.

pom pom wow 2

It was then time to try it out and I have to say Miss M became totally engrossed in colouring her pom poms in various ways.  She loved trying out the stamper, glitter, pens but her favourite had to be the pipette which you could add some watercolour too and squeeze drops onto an unopened pom pom to give it a tie dye effect.

pom pom wow 3

Once you’ve decorated your pom poms, it’s time to use the to create a picture or decorate something with them.  Miss M decorated a wooden picture frame and loved the idea of attaching a sticky dot to each pom pom then removing the tube and puffing the pom pom out!  Even 5 yr old Mister B joined in and wanted to create his own pom pom to add to the frame.

pom pom wow 4

Miss M loved both decorating her pom poms in various ways as well as sticking them on to things, it really kept her occupied and she sat down for quite a while playing with the different options.  She certainly enjoyed it and has asked to do it again another day.

Here is her finished picture frame:

pom pom wow 5

You can find out more about Pom Pom WOW! on their pages on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

The Pom Pom Wow! set are available in all large toyshops (The Entertainer, Toys R Us, Smyths)  or online at www.character-online.com.

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the product in order to write an honest review.

Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion Playset – Review

Both my children are huge Scooby Doo fans so I knew the Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion Playset  from Character Toys would be a hit with them.  We also received a set of Scooby Doo figures which really brought their imagination to life as they created scenes they recall from the Scooby Doo tv series that they love to watch!

scoobyThe Mystery Mansion is a double sided playset meaning there was plenty of room for them both to play together.  The set comes with one Scooby Doo figure and we had another from the character set meaning they had one each to play with.  The Mystery Mansion is just like a haunted house the Scooby Doo team would come across in the television series, and is full of all the traps and spooky features you would expect.

scooby 3The traps start as a person enters the mansion, as they stand on the steps the front door blows open with a clatter and bang immediately sending tingles down your spine. Once you step inside, if you stand on the wrong floorboard a trap door springs open and you can see two green ghoulish hands poking out.  Beware of the chandelier as with a press of a button it can come crashing to the ground. As you go upstairs, one of the stairs triggers the understair cupboard to open with an unfriendly character lurking inside.  Upstairs there is a full length mirror, but beware, stand too close and the floor will fall away beneath you and you’ll fall right down below!

scooby 4One of my little boy’s favourite features was the cannon which can be flipped around and fires out the middle window of the mansion.  The window is easily removed and the cannon pointed at it’s target.  The cannon really fires which really impressed Mister B and he had great fun aiming and trying to hit things with it.

scooby 5The Scooby Doo Mystery Mansion has sparked lots of imaginative play with my children particularly Mister B who has absolutely loved it.  He plays with it everyday and never ceases to surprise me with his latest adventures.  I love listening to him acting them out.

scooby 6The character pack of figures is a great addition to the mystery mansion especially if your child knows the characters from the tv series which mine did.  The set includes Scooby Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma.  All of them are a good size and very well made.  They all stand up freely and have some moveable joints.  My children had lots of fun with these and loved posing Scooby Doo in all sorts of positions with his very flexible legs!

scooby 2I love these Scooby Doo toys, they are good quality and the figures are built to last.  I think the Mystery Mansion provides lots of entertainment value and is perfect for those that love to use their imagination.  This would make a fantastic Christmas present for any young Scooby Doo fans!

All reviews are my own and my honest opinions and I received the products in order to write the review.

The Zelfs Series 5 Crystal Zelfs So-Anne – Review

The Zelfs Series 5, proved popular with Miss M when we reviewed them a while ago, and now there are some new editions, The Crystal Zelfs from Character Toys.

We received So-anne, a Teddy Bear Zelf with the magical power as a Dream Giver.

ZelfEach crystal Zelf comes with a crystal on their body from which their magical powers come from.  They also come with a glittery accessory to play with alongside the Zelf, in this case, a sparkly rocking chair.  So-anne is a pink and yellow Zelf with hair to match.  I find the Zelf’s well made and sturdy, perfect for everyday play and carrying around.  They are built to last and children just love stroking their hair!

The rocking chair is a cute accessory that the Zelf can easily sit in with bent legs.  I think it looks lovely sat on Miss M’s bedside where she keeps her Zelf collection.  The hair can be played with and the figure can be posed.

crystal zelf

The Zelfs are perfectly priced for party presents, or for children to save up a bit of pocket money to buy, and with lots of others in the collection, there is a great choice to choose from.  With Moonicorn, Angelala, Sugar Bunny and Moona as other Zelf’s in the collection, why not take a look at them and pick out your favourite!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the Zelf in order to write the review.

Cra-Z-Sand Purple Playset – Review

The new Cra-Z-Sand Deluxe Purple Playset from Character Options was bound to be a  hit with my two children as they love sand, they love arts & crafts, they love being creative and they love making mess!!

cra-z-sand xMy children’s eyes lit up when they saw the set and they couldn’t wait to play.  Fortunately with the recent run of good weather, we took the opportunity to play outside.  The set consisted of a pack of purple coloured sand, a sturdy plastic tray to play in (although my children preferred to play on the art mat), a roller and various scrapers to cut and sculpt the sand any way you wish.

cra-z-sandThe sand is a really pliable texture and can be moulded and shaped anyway you wish.  Just as easily as it can be broken up and flows through your fingers, it can be compacted and moulded into a perfect shape.

I have to say my two didn’t need any encouragement with this, they just got on and happily played, loving pressing there fingers into the sand and rolling it into balls etc.  The sand is a really satisfying texture that feels soft and is totally non-sticky!

cra-z-sand 2

We used some sand moulds we already had to make shapes and they really do turn out perfectly formed with a simple tap and wiggle of the mould.  This makes it really satisfying for children to see and feel that they have achieved something quite amazing.

cra-z-sand 3

I really liked Cra-Z-Sand and can confirm that my children loved it!!  They have already asked if I can get them some different colours to play with.  I think this is a fun, enjoyable, tactile play substance that although really isn’t that messy.  It’s dry, non sticky and can be brushed off or hoovered up quite easily.  The tray and accessories are strong and sturdy making this a good quality set.

We give Cra-Z-Sand a big thumbs up as we all enjoyed it, had lots of fun and loved the texture of it!!


All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the Cra-Z-Sand was sent to us in order to write the review.

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet – Review

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Jumbo Jet from Character Toys is a fabulous new addition to the Peppa Pig toy range that I’m sure any little Peppa Pig fan will love.

peppa pig jumbo Mister B’s eyes lit up when he saw the Peppa Pig Jumbo Jet, he’s never forgiven me for getting rid of Miss M’s Peppa Pig toys earlier this year and is constantly asking when they are coming back as he wants to play with them!  I knew the Jumbo Jet would be perfect for him as he loves planes and doesn’t have anything like this, he has a great imagination for play and I knew this would suit him perfectly.  He enjoyed studying the back of the box to tell me what other Peppa Pig toys he would like!

peppa pig jumbo 2The Peppa Pig Jumbo Jet is a very sturdy, durable toy that will withstand plenty of play.  It comes with one Peppa Pig figure and two plastic suitcases.  The plane has an opening side door with three seats inside, perfect if you have additional figures to fly away with Peppa.  The luggage compartment and the back also opens up to put the suitcases in or any other luggage items you wish to pack.  The only issue I had was that Mister B got a little frustrated trying to get Peppa into the front seat of the plane without her tipping over, I agree it was a little awkward to get her in there but he soon moved on to some imaginative plane play!

peppa pig jumbo 3The wheels are free wheeling underneath to really help with play although Mister B tended to have the plane flying through the sky once his passengers had boarded.  It is the perfect size for lifting, not to big or heavy and he loved making his plane sounds to go along with the flying!

peppa pig jumbo 4The Peppa Pig Jumbo Jet has been a hit with us and provided lots of fun play.  It easily fits in with other toys for extended play value therefore I’d recommend it for any little Peppa Pig fan!

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and we received the toy in order to write the review.

Little Live Pets Butterfly – Review

Little Live Pets is a new range of butterflies and birds from Character Toys, that come alive in your hand to become your pet friend.  The more you feed and play with them, the more they interact.  We received Angelic Wings, one of the six butterflies in the range to collect.

little live pets 1Angelic Wings is a pretty gold and silver butterfly with a pink sparkly flower base.  The base requires 2AA batteries and this is used to feed (charge) the butterfly.  The butterfly is aimed at children aged 5+ due to being slightly delicate.  It has thin wings that flutter at different speeds and length of time depending on how much it has been fed and played with.  It also comes with a press on window holder so that you can display your butterfly on your window if you wish.

little live pets 2You can let the butterfly just rest in your hand and it will flutter away showing you how happy it is, the happier it is the smoother and longer it will flutter for.  If it is not very happy then it only flutters for a short time with fast rapid movements.

Miss M was intrigued by the butterfly and liked the idea that the more she played with it, the happier it became but was also a little disappointed that all it did was flutter it’s wings.  I think she had seen the bird, also from the Little Live Pets range which sings to you and you can record a tune with and had expected something similar with the butterfly.

For £12.99 you get what you pay for although I would have been happier to pay a little more to get some additional features with this.  The children do let the butterfly flutter in their hands each day for a few minutes but there’s not enough to keep them interested long term.  For a child that loves butterflies then they may love this and with six different coloured butterflies in the collection, there is something to suit all tastes.

little live pets 3All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the butterfly was sent to us in order to write the review.


Sky Dancers Starfly Doll – Review

Sky Dancers Starfly from Character Toys is a fairy called Airabella who magically flies and twirls in the sky guided by your hand.  Aimed at ages 5+, Miss M was the perfect age to try one of these out.

StarflyMiss M’s face lit up when she saw the doll and she couldn’t wait to try this out.  You do need plenty of room to fly the doll, so we first tried this at my parents house who have a huge empty room at the moment.  The dolls comes with a base which requires batteries, you then plug the doll in the base to charge her up.  Once charged she will last 10-15 minutes in the air before requiring a recharge.

The Sky Dancer doll does seem quite plasticy and can’t be played with otherwise, but she is quite pretty in design and really appealed to Miss M.  To launch her into the air, you simply place her on the base and press the button.

starfly 1When we tried the Sky Dancer in the air, everyone got quite excited watching her whirl through the air and Miss M was keen to follow her with her hand to guide her around the room. You need to keep you arm straight out to avoid the doll coming near to your face but as you put you hand underneath her she glides higher into the air.

starfly 2The Sky Dancer is a unique toy, very different to other toys that I’ve seen and one that Miss M has absolutely loved playing, kept her active, her younger brother Mister B has been fascinated watching and my parents were impressed with seeing something a little bit different.

She can seem a little delicate when she falls sometimes, but fingers crossed she’s survived any flying into walls.  The doll is a little gimmicky, but on the whole, for the fun, novel value that we’ve had from the doll, I’d say the Sky Dancer is a good interactive toy – it’s nice to try something a bit different.  It certainly get’s a big thumbs up from Miss M who loves playing with the Sky Dancer Starfly doll.

Here’s a little video of the Sky Dancer Starfly in action:

All reviews are my own and my family’s opinions and the Skydancer was sent to us in order to write the review.