Meccano 25 Model Set 4×4 Off Road Truck

The Meccano 25 Model Set 4×4 Off Road Truck is a fabulous set for confident builders of construction sets.  It is aimed at ages 9+, but my soon to be 9yr old was keen to get stuck in and give it a try along with the help of her Meccano loving granddad!


The set comes with 443 durable metal parts, off-road wheels, real tools and instructions.  There are 25 models to choose from or of course you can always build your own, but we started off with a big chunky looking 4×4 motorised truck.  There are lots of pieces, that come in various bags, but we found that putting some of the tiny bolts and screws in small pots helped us with staying organised during the build and stopped them rolling across the table.

meccano-2It was lovely seeing both my dad and daughter working together with an almost 60 year age gap.  My dad’s favourite childhood toy was his Meccano sets so this brought back great memories and is a type of toy he really enjoys.  For Miss M this was a challenging build but something she really wanted to try out and put her all into attempting to build and of course her little fingers helped to manipulate some parts in rather small gaps that were difficult to get into. meccano-3 I loved Miss M’s determination as she constructed the Meccano, it wasn’t easy and she did require some assistance but throroughly enjoyed it and learnt a lot from following the instructions and finding the correct pieces.  The build was definitely fiddly in places but I think the results are worth it when you see the finished creation.meccano-4I didn’t time how long it took, but it definitely requires a good few hours to put a large set together like this but that adds value to it and is something you can attempt in one day or spread over several sessions. meccano-5 Here we are with the finished truck.  It looks really study and tough although you do have to be careful with pieces working loose so it’s good to go over it as you construct it to tighten each of the nuts.  I will say also that with this model you use every single one of the tiny nuts included.  It would have been nice if they had included a couple of spares as if you do lose one, you wouldn’t be able to complete the build.meccano-6Some fun features on the truck are the opening doors and the pull out winch at the front which can be rolled back in as desired.  There are also a couple of wing mirrors on each side of the vehicle which is a nice touch. meccano-7

The vehicle is motorised and with batteries will move along the floor itself.  We did have some initial issues with the drive shaft working loose, but after Granddad looked over it, we now have a working model.  The switch is a little fiddly to reach to switch it on but once it’s on it’s fine.  The children loved watching it move back and forth across the kitchen floor and we have a lovely build from Meccano which we’ll keep on a shelf when not being played with.

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




Monster High Ghoul-To-Bat Draculaura Doll

Monster High dolls are ever popular with their grown up looks and quirky features.  Draculaura is perfect for this time of year with Halloween on it’s way and she has a special lever on the front of her dress that allows her to transform her skirt into bat wings.

draculauraShe has a pretty pink dress that she wears when being a normal ghoul with a full, fancy skirt covered in hearts and  bat wings.  Her hair is black with pink highlights and comes in a high ponytail.  I like the pink heart detail on her cheek.  She also has pink high heeled shoes which are removable although stay on quite firmly during play.

draculaura-2The centerpiece of her bodice is in fact a plastic lever that can be simply pulled down to reveal a more vampy looking dress as well as lifting her outer skirt to create bat wings.  This feature works really well and is easy to do.  The wings feel sturdy once in place and gives her a new feature, being able to fly which allows children to further their imaginative play and hold her up, pretending she is flying through the sky. draculaura-3I think this doll is well made, she has limbs that can be bent and moved during play aswell as her transforming feature.  The clothes also look good and the whole doll appears durable and of a good quality.

Both my children have enjoyed playing with Draculaura from Monster High and have had fun integrating her alongside other dolls and toys we already have.  They have created a lot of fun play scenes and particularly love using her to fly through the air to move around so her dress has had a lot of conversions to bat wings which has kept them entertained!draculaura-4

This is just one of many of the fabulous Monster High dolls and they are well worth checking out if your children are fans, as they are well made, durable and have lots of fun, quirky features and endless play value.

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







Star Monsters Series 2 Pocket Friends Collectibles

Star Monsters have recently released Series 2, a new set of mini collectible monsters that have fallen from the sky as triangular shaped stars and turned into quirky, funny monster characters.  I knew my little boy would enjoy these so couldn’t wait to let him view them them and share his thoughts.

star-monstersThe Star Monsters come in various sized packs, all at low pocket money prices such as £1, £2 and £3 which is really good value.  What I really like is that each bag contains two monsters not just one little character which makes them better value than other blind bag toys.  Also you get two stickers in each bag which really adds to the value.  The bigger packs contain mini capsules and the £3 option contains a giant capsule which is brilliant for keeping multiple monsters inside.  The mini capsules are also a lovely way to display your monsters and can be joined up and stacked in various ways which added to the fun.

star-monsters-2The Star Monsters sticker album has proved a huge success!  Not only can you add your stickers to the correct monster throughout the album but there is a fold out game sheet that kept my two children entertained for hours – even I was persuaded to play a few battles against them flicking star monsters across the board!

star-monsters-3The game sheet has been a big hit with my little boy, he is always getting it out, either matching his monsters against the sheet or playing a game with his sister.  I’m surprised something so simple has created so much fun and entertainment for them. star-monsters-4The Star Monsters overall have been a big success with my children, they love them and can be found playing with them all the time.  Being small they are often used with other toys and can be found in the back of toy trucks, visiting Scooby Doo’s house and much more.  Every time we visit the supermarket my little boy spies the Star Monster stands asking if he can have another packet to add to his collection (only when he’s been good though!).

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








U Hugs Customisable Dolls Series 2

U Hugs are customisable dolls each with their own character and accessories, although these can easily be mixed and matched between dolls to create your own character.  From Flair, a second series of these dolls has been released with some fun themes and designs.  We’ve been checking out a couple of them below – take a look!


There are six dolls to choose from in the second season.  These are:

  • Thorny Flower
  • Lazy Hero
  • Cheeky Kitten
  • Sweety Robot
  • Snowy Girl
  • Time-Off Elf

The first one we looked at is Cheeky Kitten who was both mine and my daughters favourite.  She is really cute and has some fun features such as a pin on tail to put on the back.  The unique part of these dolls are the pins, which are basically the accessories, which all have a simple push in pin like action to push into any of the 16 holes that can be found across the doll.  The dolls all have a soft rubbery body, there are no sharp bits and these are so easy to change around almost instantly.  Being a cat, she has cute accessories like a fish, bird and mouse as well as a cute collar with a bell.

u-hugs-2Time-Off Elf is also really cute and perfect for this time of year.  As you can see each doll comes with a selection of small accessories, but also their hair, jackets and skirts are all removable and can be swapped around.  There is a diamond style pin for the top of the head which has a hole through it so the dolls can be used for hanging up or carrying with the loop included.u-hugs-3My daughter enjoys these and has a collection on her bedroom shelf already, she often shows me her new creations where she has mixed and matched them with each other. u-hugs-4 A huge plus with these dolls is that they are hollow and there is a removable patch on the back of them, that is easily opened and closed with a pin.  This means that inside you can store all the little accessories that the doll isn’t currently wearing – a brilliant idea which helps to keep things all together so less chance of them getting lost.u-hugs-5Here is one of the creations my daughter made substituting the eyes for some other fun elements! u-hugs-6

These are fun toys that both my children have enjoyed playing with.  Even my younger boy has fun customising them in various ways and showing me how he got on.  For something different, then these are a bit of fun, and if your child likes playing with accessories on dolls then these could be the toy for them.  A fun, durable doll with fun features, available from all major toys shops now.

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





Disney The Lion Guard Toys – Review

Disney’s The Lion Guard is an appealing tv series for young children, that has now been turned into an exciting range of fun and high quality toys that provide plenty of play value and encourage imaginative and adventurous play.  We were lucky to hold a Lion Guard party last week with a few friends to celebrate the release of the new toy range.


The Lion Guard follows Kion, leader of the Lion Guard who along with his friends helps protect the Pride Lands.  The largest toy in the range is the Defend the Pride Lands playset which really is quite impressive.  At first glass it doesn’t look much, but when you have a closer look, there are eight interactive play features, such as traps, a motorised vine lift, boulder launcher, waterfall, hidden tunnel, collapsing rock.  It really is good fun for an adventure and my little boy loved it.  The set comes with a Kion figure to play with.  Further figures are available in smaller sets or a figure set which features each of the main characters.

Lion guard toys 2

Smaller sets available include a figure and accessory such as Bunga’s Coconut Blaster.  All of the accessories have a moving part and all of the children found these fun and enjoying using them as part of their adventure play.

After checking out the toys we had lots of The Lion Guard related party games including eating cake which went down well.

Lion guard toys 3

The favourite game had to be Pin the tail on Kion!  We had a lion headpiece and fluffy tail to use which the children just loved.

Lion guard toys 4

The party was a great success and the children all went away with a goodie bag which included the new The Lion Guard magazine and also a blind bag containing a mini figure.

Overall I’m really impressed with the toy range, it is all made to a high quality that will be durable in play and withstand little fingers and a few knocks.  The toys look lovely as well and have been well thought out.  They lend themselves to imaginative minds of little ones which is perfect for my little boy and he has taken the animals on many adventures.

Lion guard toys

The Lion Guard toys are available now in most major toys shops now such as Smyths, so why not check them out now!

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




The Lion Guard Twitter Party #LionGuardToys

Disney’s The Lion Guard is a fun, animated tv show based on The Lion King film from 1994, and is based around Kion, son of Simba and Nala.  Kion leads the Lion Guard, a team of animals who protect the Pride Lands and defend the Circle of Life.  Just released is a fabulous range of toys to go alongside the programme,  enabling little ones to play with their favourite characters and have lots of imaginative play with fun accessories such as coconut blasters and boulder catapults.


The main toy in the range is The Lion Guard Defend the Pride Lands playset.  This is packed full of fun features for the ultimate adventure to take your character figures on.  Included is one Kion figure, and a whole host of fun traps and moveable elements that my five year old is eager to explore.


  • Capture bad guys on the collapsing rock ledge
  • Features bone trap and leaf trap floor
  • Defend Pride Rock with the boulder launcher
  • Have Kion ride the motorised vine and jump on the tree top perch
  • Whooshing waterfall and hidden passage to explore

We’ve been lucky to have an early look at the toys and they look fabulous, perfect for imaginative fun that both girls and boys will enjoy.

To celebrate the release of the new The Lion Guard toys, there will be a Twitter party this Wednesday 6th July from 1-3pm.

Join us for fun and games using the hashtag #LionGuardToys

Be sure to follow @UKMumstv and myself @star100x as well as others for a fun packed afternoon and see more about the toys.

lionguard image

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



Monster High Great Scarrier Reef Peri and Pearl Serpentine Doll

The new Monster High film Great Scarrier Reef has a fabulous new range of dolls to go alongside it.  We have been lucky to try out the rather interesting Peri and Pearl Serpentine doll.  With two heads and a fish tail body she really is very different from your usual doll but adds lots of interest and fun to play with.

monster high scarrier reef

Included with the doll is a small paper diary which includes some facts about the girls, such as their age, style, pets, favourite activities, best school subjects etc.  There are also a couple of diary entries to introduce you into their world and set the scene for imaginative play.

monster high scarrier reef 2

Peri and Pearl are beautiful creatures and love to wear lots of gems.  Another unique things about this doll, other than having two heads, is the fact that it can stand up on it’s own!  The tail moves around and if you fold it to 90 degrees, it will balance the doll upright.  This means that it is perfect to pose on a shelf in Miss M’s bedroom when not being played with.  Also the fins at the side of the doll are luminous and have a slight glow at night, which also helps the Monster High girls swim about in the deep, dark ocean!


The Peri and Pearl doll although different, is well made and will withstand play, it’s definitely caught the interest of Miss M’s friends who are always intrigued when they see it.  Don’t forget to also check out the movie which is now out on DVD, Great Scarrier Reef is the latest adventures in the world of Monster High and one that fans won’t want to miss.  There are also other dolls available from the film, each with their unique looks and qualities, certainly worth checking out!

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

Blaze and the Monster Machines Toys – Review

Blaze and the Monster Machines is a highly successful new programme on Nick Jr that has my little boy gripped and I’m even surprised to say my daughter loves watching it too!  Following on from a successful Twitter party a few days ago with @ukmumstv where the toys were introduced and we did some fabulous STEM activities based around the toys, we’ve now got an opportunity to look at the toys more closely.

First up is the hugely popular Transforming Blaze Jet (from £15).  This is a large, very sturdy plastic toy from Fisher Price.  When you lift it off the ground it’s wings automatically pop out enabling it to fly.  There are also multiple sounds that can be activated by pressing the large button on it’s bonnet.

blaze party 1

The diecast character cars (£4.99) are a really good size, bigger than your usual small car and big chunky wheels to help them get around.  These are perfect for little hands, and great for not losing under the sofa!  These have been highly successful with my little boy who just loves playing with them to create an adventure with Blaze.

blaze party 2

The Blaze Turbo Launcher (£12.99) has proved a really fun toy.  Coming with a diecast Blaze and two accessories, a helicopter and hang glider topper that simply press onto the top of Blaze.  The launcher itself is easy to use and you just slide the car back and press the button and off Blaze goes, in fact any of the diecast cars can be used with this.

blaze party 3

We had great fun at our twitter party incorporating these toys in our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Science) activities, building obstacle courses for Blaze and friends.  We even decorated a biscuit to look like a big monster wheel!  It’s great to incorporate toys into activities as it is something different for the children to do, adds play value and the children learn things without realising.

blaze party 5

As you can see we had a lot of fun with the Blaze and the Monster Machine toys.  They were a big hit with all here and the tv programme continues to be watched regularly.

Be sure to check out Nick Jr and Fisher Price for more fun and info.

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

Blaze and the Monster Machines Twitter Party

On Wednesday 16th March is hosting a Blaze and the Monster Machines Twitter Party to celebrate the launch of the new Fisher-Price toy range.

A two hour Twitter party will take place from 1pm -3pm which we’d love you to join in with, just head over to @ukmumstv on Twitter and follow the #NickJrBlaze hashtag.  Also tune in to an hour long special of Blaze and the Monster Machines at 2pm on Nick Jr and let us know what you think.  Keep your eyes peeled too as there will be giveaways throughout the party!


Fisher-Price have launched a set of toys featured the characters from the programme starting at just £4.99 for the smaller die cast cars.  Also in the range are larger Slam and Go cars, a Blaze Transforming Turbo Launcher and a Transforming Blaze Jet Activity Toy.


The toys are available from Argos and Smyths Toys Superstores.


During the party we will be carrying out lots of STEM  (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) activities with the children to support their learning in a fun way using the Blaze toys as a theme throughout.  Do follow along to see pictures of how we get on.

Dont’ forget to visit Nick Jr to discover more fun Blaze and the Monster Machine activities and games.

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


Win a Barbie Deluxe Styling Head worth £29.99

Barbie is most girls dream doll and the idea of styling her hair and make up is the ultimate fun activity!  This Barbie Deluxe Styling Head is the ultimate toy for young girls to practice hair and make up styles, everything from curls to plaits, nails to eye make up.

barbieThis deluxe version exceeded my expectations in size, the styling head is bigger than I thought, therefore making it easier to use.  Barbie’s arms fold out, which is a great added feature and allows you to decorate Barbie’s nails with the various stickers and fake nails included.  Barbie wear’s a very sparkly pink dress and the whole styling head looks well made and sturdy.

barbie 2The set contains numerous accessories such as a hair brush, clips, hair ties, clip in extensions, curling tong, scissors, nail stickers, fake nails, earrings etc.

barbie 3My daughter is keen to learn how to plait hair and this was her ideal opportunity.  She now wants me to teach her how to do fish plaits.  She’s also had fun sticking nails on Barbie along with the nail stickers.  There is quite a lot to keep a child occupied and if they are into hairstyling and beauty, then this is just the thing for them.  The hair does need brushing a few times when first opened as it has a kind of spray in it to keep it all in place, but once that’s brushed out the hair is soft and manageable.

If you fancy having a go yourself (I did find it tempting to do a few fancy designs to show my daughter), or winning one of these deluxe models for your child to play with, then check out my giveaway below:

Barbie styling