Toy filled Advent Calendar’s – Lego, Playmobil, Moshi Monsters and More

Last year we as a family had the pleasure of reviewing the Lego Star Wars advent calendar. It was our first foray into the world of the filled advent calendar, before that we’d always gone with the traditional chocolate ones. After the excitement of getting a new Lego Star Wars toy everyday I think the days of the chocolate calendars are over for us, It was just too much fun.

The main plus point of them is that instead of a small insignificant piece of chocolate every morning, you now get a really cool toy which your youngster will obviously get x100 more play out of. The Santa Yoda we had out of the Lego Star Wars advent calendar last year has been played with most days for the last year.

The downside is they do tend to be rather expensive. However if you have a young Lego Star Wars, Playmobil or Moshi Monsters fan than they act as an early christmas present every morning leading up until the big day.

The big 2 brands that everyone instantly thinks of are the Lego and Playmobil calendars. However I was surprised by how many of these toy filled advent calendar there are available right now. The Moshi Monsters Moshlings Advent Calendar is a new one for this year, and I can imagine it being very in demand.

Here’s a round-up of all the toy filled advent calendars on the market right now:

Lego Advent Calendar’s

Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar 2012  – Fans of last years Father Christmas Yoda will love this years calendar featuring Santa Darth Maul and Snowman R2-D2.
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Lego City Advent Calendar 2012 – It’s Christmas time but Santa’s sleigh is stuck in the snow. Open the 24 doors of your calendar and collect all the minifigs, tools and vehicles needed to rescue Santa in time.
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Lego Friends Advent Calendar 2012 Celebrate Christmas Heartlake City style with the Lego Friends advent Calendar. 
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Playmobil Advent Calendar’s 2012 

 Playmobil Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar  
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Playmobil Pirates Treasure Cave Advent Calendar 
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Playmobil Princess Wedding Advent Calendar 
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Playmobil Christmas Post Office Advent Calendar 
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 Various other Character filled Advent Calendars I found

Moshi Monster Moshling Advent Calendar 2012 
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Barbie Advent Calendar 
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Zhu zhu pets Advent Calendar 
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Littlest Pet Shop Advent Calendar 
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Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Advent Calendar 
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Hello Kitty Advent Calendar 
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Wii-U – Preorder Now

If you’re a parent like me, and are a video game loving family like mine, Your probably mulling up whether to get Nintendos latest console the Wii-U for Christmas.

I decided to write-up this post all about the Wii-U, what the console does differently to the Wii, and what games we can expect, and the best package deals available at launch, to help us all decide whether to go ahead and pre-order ready for delivery on 30th November.

What is the Wii-U

The Wii-U is Nintendo’s latest home console video game system, and the follow-up to the unbelievably successful Wii.

One of the biggest criticisms of the Wii was its graphical capabilities. To be honest, it’s never looked the best, but it never’s really bothered us before. Most of the time it’s only used by the kids playing Super Smash Bros brawl or Super Mario Bros Wii, so it’s not a problem.

It was only when we started playing Legend Of Zelda:Skyward Sword that we realised how much better this already beautiful game would look on a more powerful console. It does look amazing in places, but in others it’s just not good enough.

The Wii-U is going to change all that, finally Full HD graphics! That’s not the best bit however, the biggest difference is arguably going to be the GamePad.

The Wii-U GamePad is a brand new controller that is going to act as your controller, TV screen, remote control, video chat camera, all in one.

The GamePad is a tablet style controller. It has all the normal control sticks and buttons, but also contains a 6.2 inch touchscreen.

Use the touchscreen either with the stylus or simply your finger, the GamePad will be getting a lot of use, even when you’re not playing an actual game.

Nintendo’s new Miiverse a type of family friendly social network will use the GamePad’s screen capabilities. So you can chat to friends (either video or text), send and receive messages, receive updates, all through the GamePad screen. Negating having to load up the Wii-U and hog the TV screen.

With some games you will also be able to play with your family all around the TV, then if dad wants to switch over and watch the TV he can go ahead. You can continue playing your game on the GamePad – How cool is that! This feature definitely sold my son on the Wii-U, he thinks that is amazing.

The GamePad also has NFC technology. Which means it can recognise objects also with NFC. Like the way the Skylanders portal can recognise which Skylander your using. Raising the possibility that in future you will be using your GamePad in the same way, with Mario figurines or trading cards.

In the US you will also be able to watch tv content through your Wii-U, using your GamePad as a remote control. Although this wont be available in the UK at launch, it’s predicted to come to us eventually.



Basic or Premium Pack?

First main difference between the two packs – All the Basic models are white and the premium ones are Black. I’m not sure why, but I suppose it makes it easier to differentiate between the packages quickly.

A few years ago I would probably have been more annoyed as I would have wanted the Premium pack in White. However now I have a black XBox 360 and the PS3 is black, it’s not an issue for me as I would want a black one to complement the others in the AV cabinet.

Enough about the colour, down to the nitty-gritty of what you get for your money.

 The basic pack contains:  

  • white Wii-U console with 8GB of memory
  • One White Gamepad (the one with the screen)
  • AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
  • HDMI cable
  • Doesn’t include the Sensor Bar which you will need (If you have a Wii already you are OK)
  • Doesn’t come with Cradle or stand
  • Doesn’t come with any game

The Premium Pack Contains:

  •   Black Wii-U Console with 32GB of memory
  • One Black Gamepad (the one with the screen)
  • AC adapters for the Console and Gamepad
  • HDMI cable
  • Sensor Bar
  • Wii -U Gamepad Cradle (For charging) and Gamepad Stand
  • Copy Of Nintendo Land Game

In my opinion the additional memory, plus the included game make it a simple choice. The premium bundle is definitely better value. Nintendo Land might not be the number one game your after, but it’s much more than a simple throwaway bundle title. Luigi’s Ghost Mansion, Animal Crossing, and Donkey Kong’s crash course – These all look like great little games.

Pre-order the Wii-U now for delivery 30th November

The Best Package deals available:


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Games available at Launch

Probably the majority of Toybuzz readers will be looking for the more family friendly games. So the games to lookout for at launch are:

New Super Mario Bros U – Loved Super Mario Bros Wii – More of the same Please! New gameplay via the GamePad looks so much fun

Nintendo Land – Collection of mini games all featuring famous Nintendo characters and games. Mix of multi and single player.

Sonic and All Stars Racing Transformed – Family friendly racing fun – Think Mario Kart but with Sonic

Ben 10 Omniverse – Game based on the brand new soon to be released Cartoon Series – My kids love all the Ben 10 games, so this will be a must for us

Rise of the Guardians – Game based on the new Dreamworks film – Play as either Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Sandman or Jack Frost.



For older gamers (much older gamers) Nintendo have finally realised that you may want to play on their console too, so now have you covered in the FPS department. Nintendo haven’t specified firm release dates for most of these games, but they are thought to be being released around launch or just after.

Assassins Creed 3 – The game fans of the series have been waiting for

Batman: Arkham City Armoured Edition – The amazing Arkham City but with special GamePad features. Gamepad screen acts as a Batcomputer throughout the game

Call of Duty : Black Ops 2 – Do I need to explain?

Darksiders 2 –

Madden NFL 13 – Selecting teams and working out your plays will be amazing on the touchscreen Gamepad

Mass Effect 3 Special Edition

ZombiU – Poster boy for the GamePad, makes use of all of the touchscreen and accelerometer tricks. Looks scary, but I really can’t wait for this one

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2013



Games to look forward to in hopefully late 2012 /early 2013 are:

Skylanders Giants

Lego City Undercover – Looks like Grand Theft Auto for Kids. Another must buy for the children

Rayman Legends – The family and I have had so much fun playing Rayman Origins on the Xbox 360 – I can’t wait to try out the new Rayman on the Wii-U

Rabbids Land

Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth 

Scribblenauts Unlimited

Just Dance 4

Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge

Aliens:Colonial Marines

Transformer Prime – Again more for the teens, 10+

I think you’ll agree that’s quite an impressive rosta of games currently on the table, and the list is set to grow and grow. It’s almost certainly a much stronger lineup than that of the Wii, especially with regards to so-called hardcore gamers.

There is a much higher amount of more mature content games, for dad and mum to play once the younglings have gone to bed. Which can only be a good thing.

I’m never going to be one for a game of Call of Duty, I’d rather play Skylanders. However dad would appreciate it and Zombie-U, and if it means that we all get more use out of the Wii-U then that’s brilliant.

 

So after all that what do you think? Will you and your family be getting a Wii-U this year?



 

Top 10 Boys Toys for Christmas 2012

Well it’s that time of year again. Time for me to get rubbing at my crystal ball and start predicting what your little darlings would love to see Santa to leave for them underneath the Christmas Tree.

So this year I’m starting off with the boys list, and will be adding the other lists over the next few days.

Check out the other lists here:

Top Ten Girls Toys for Christmas 2012

Top Ten Toddler Toys for Christmas 2012

Top Ten Baby Toys for Christmas 2012

As always the lists aren’t in any sort of order of importance, it’s just the top 10 things that I think most boys will be after this year.

Trash Pack Scum Drum Playset

Ok I’ll admit this now, When I first saw the Trash Pack I was vehemently against the whole concept. They look smelly, Putrid, Mucky, Messy, and everything in-between. They even have flock covered ones which represent mould!

However it looks like Trash Pack are here to stay and who am I to argue, they are for the kids I suppose. Plus I’m a sucker for these little collections and their fun playsets so I’m starting to warm to them slightly.

I’m still not a huge fan, but the boys do seem to be going for Trash Pack in a big way so I thought it deserved to be on the Top Ten of most wanted boys toys.

Both of my boys have put this on their lists to Santa even though I’ve always said no to everything Trash Pack before, so I’m either softening in my old age or the nagging has finally worked.

Jacob also wants the Trash Pack Garbage Truck Playset, so that’s another option to consider.


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Lego Hero Factory

If your already a reader of my blog you’ll know that my boys are massive fans of all things Lego, as are most young children especially boys.

However the Lego Hero Factory heroes are definitely a departure from the familiar bricks and mini-figures. Theres nothing mini about these guys!

Following on from the tremendously popular Lego Bionicle line of toys, The Lego Hero Factory range seems to be getting better and better with each new set. The latest story arc Lego Hero Factory:Breakout is by far the best yet.

There are six Hero Factory figures to collect (seven if you count the larger Stormer XL), and a fair few rather menacing villains to complete the range. In my opinion they are great value for money, won’t break being Lego they go back together easily, and will keep youngsters entertained for hours upon hours.The figures are the ideal Christmas present for inquisitive, creative young boys.

Just think about it, at least this is one present you won’t have to struggle to put together, just leave them to it and put your feet up with a little Christmas Tipple.

 
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Nerf N Strike Elite Hail-Fire

This is one for the really big boys, recommended for ages 8 and over.

It’s Nerf’s latest and greatest Dart Blaster, and this one is an absolute beast.

Capable of shooting targets 75ft away, the Hail-Fire can hold up to 144 Elite Darts.

It’s semi automatic, so you can quickly unleash an almighty barrage of Nerf darts in seconds.

Obviously this one is not for Nerf Newbies, but if your already an aficionado then you just wont be able to get enough of this baby.

Jacob would go crazy for a Nerf blaster like this, but at the moment he will have to make do with his Nite-Finder and Whistler Darts. Although he does look so cute in his tactical vest :)

 
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Hexbug Nano Hive Set

Boys love their bugs and creepy crawlies don’t they, but unfortunately us mums and dads are usually less enthusiastic.

Well the Hexbug Nano Hive is the perfect compromise. The kids get to watch their creepy crawlies, expect to mum and dads approval as the bugs are not real and are mere mini robotic versions.

The great thing about these little robotic critters is that they are not only very cool but also educational to boot. They behave exactly like a real bug would, they flip over, they scuttle around, they are truly amazing to watch.

With the Nano Habitat set you get 1 extremely rare mutation of Hexbug, 16 Flags which send the Hexbugs in different directions, 2 merry go rounds, a see-saw, and a ramp to take your Hexbugs up to the top floor.

With these you can create tons of different mazes for your Hexbugs to explore when used with the Hexbug Nano Habitat. Close the doors, open the doors, watch as your Hexbugs run around and guess where they are going to go next. My boys even enjoy racing theirs.

 
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Skylanders Giants

Skylanders was undoubtedly the big winner of Christmas 2011. It was absolutely huge.

So huge in fact that Activision have a hard act with the follow-up of Spyro’s adventure – So they decided to make it literally Giant! Skylanders Giants that is

Skylanders Giants sees the return of the evil Kaos who after being banished to Earth manages to return to Skylands via a Portal of Power he finds in a toy shop.

All the figures from the original Skylanders are compatible with Skylanders Giants as well. While I’m in not sure how thats possible I think it’s awesome, I’m not prepared to give up my level 10 Trigger Happy just yet.

The new Skylanders Giants are bigger and more powerful than their smaller counterparts, plus they have Lightcore powers which mean they also look very cool standing on the Portal of Power.

Skylanders Giants is available for the Wii,3DS, PS3, Xbox360 and PC on the 19th October 2012.


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Kurio

App games toys and accessories are totally in at the moment but do you really want to be handing over your precious iPad or Android to your kids every minute? Didn’t think so!

This is where the new category of kiddie Tablet’s comes in, a touch screen tablet device specifically made with the kids in mind.

Theres a whole rash of these new devices coming onto the market this Christmas like the  Meep, Childpad, Lexibook, Kidzstar  and many others, but my absolute pick of the bunch is most definitely the Inspiration Works Kurio

Coming preloaded with loads of kid friendly app favorites like Angry Birds, World of Goo, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja and many more.

Theres also an Ebook reader complete with Ebooks, MP3 Player, Camera and Video recorder, Movie Player. Basically it does everything your Android Tablet does, but with a nice kid friendly bumper around the outside.


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Hot Wheels Sets

Ok a bit of a cheat but I couldn’t decide between the Team Hot Wheels Double Dare Snare set and the Hot Wheels Mega Loop Mayhem set, so I just had to include them both.

Every top ten boys toys lists needs some Hot Wheels action on it, so just think of it as a bonus that this year you have 2 sets to choose from.

The Double Dare snare is very long when fully set up and looks really impressive as a present.

It’s great fun and I can see all the family getting involved on Christmas Day with this one.


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The Hot Wheels Mega Loop Mayhem set is full of multi car mayhem as you race up to 4 cars at once through huge loops, multiple crash zones and 10 feet of track

You can control the speed of the cars around the track by using the two levers to decide when to release your cars and when to use your boosters

.Have hours of fun racing your mates and waiting to see who gets caught in the crash zone and who survives to race another day.

Looks like it’s going to be another classic Hot Wheels Set


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Razor E90 Electric Scooter

The new Razor E90 Electric Scooter is the latest model of Razor’s amazingly successful range of Elecrtirc scooters.

Capable of speeds up to 9MPH, this baby is a serious cool ride when your 8 years old!  So much infact I want one too

A quick twist of the throttle and your on your way. The Razor E90 is quick, quiet and one smooth ride.

Obviously safety gear will be needed, and it’s not for use in Traffic. This machine is purely for adrenaline junkie kids looking for some high-octane fun rather than a road worthy vehicle.

It has a running time of 50 minutes on a full charge, which isn’t bad considering. Plus the quiet motor should prevent any run ins with the neighbours about the noise.

If Santa leaves your youngsters this machine under the Christmas tree, you’ll have no problems getting them off their games consoles and outside in the fresh air. You’ll probably have more trouble getting them back in!


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Ben 10 Omniverse Toys

Another Year, Another Ben 10!

This Time Ben is now 16 years old and doesn’t have his cousin Gwen or Kevin to rely on, so in comes newcomer Rook to give Ben a hand. Along with Grandpa Max of course.

As well as the obligatory new Omnitrix, which every Ben 10 simply must have, I really like the look of the new aliens, they make some great figures.

Gravattack, Feedback, Bloxx, they’re all good. However Shocksquatch is definitely my favorite already just from the figure. I have no idea of his special moves, or what he sounds like, but I love him already.

As for the Playsets Rook’s Truck seems like it’s going to be doing big business. Already having won Best Action Figures/Accessories at the 2012 London Toy Fair it looks set to be very in demand.


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Lego Monster Fighters Vampyre Castle

Monster Fighters is Lego’s brand new product range based around the theme of the classic horror films and books like Frankenstein and Dracula.

Dr Rodney Rathbone is the leader of the Monster Fighters, and whose sole aim is to take down the creatures of the monster realm.

To help him along the way he’s banded together a group of 4 like-minded Minifigs, Major Quinton Steele, Jack Mchammer, Frank Rock and Ann Lee

The Monster Realm consists of 14 of the most gruesome and vile creatures you could ever wish to come across. Lord Vampyre, Manbat and the Zombies probably being the most prominent of the group.

The story revolves around Lord Vampyres plan to Use 6 moon stones to permanently turn day into night. Obviously this is the last thing the Monster Fighters want, and they are going to need all of their courage and skills to stop him.

I Love the fact that this is an original Lego idea, and not just another licensed set. Don’t get me wrong, I love the licensed stuff, but it’s nice to have something brand new too.

I think Monster Fighters will do really well for Lego this Christmas time, and that the Vampyre Castle will be the big seller.


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Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Ultimate Spidermonkey – Review

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien is the next chapter in the saga that is Ben 10, we’ve had plain old Ben 10, Ben 1o Alien Force and now comes Ultimate Alien.

Unlike the massive 5 year gap in the story between original Ben 10 and Alien Force, Ultimate Alien picks up only a few weeks after that epic final with Vilgax where Ben swapped the Omnitrix for the Ultimatrix and thus started his Ultimate Alien journey. To be honest the jump from young Ben to the Alien Force series was a big one for Thomas and he took a bit of getting used to it, so I’m glad that apart from the new aliens and new Omintrix things haven’t changed as much this time around.

Obviously a slew of new aliens means another deluge of alien action figures, although you wont find the boys complaining the more the merrier! So when an Ultimate SpiderMonkey popped through our letterbox for review, Thomas was thrilled. There was one condition to helping mummy with this review however, he had to clear up the toyroom first (all those older Ben 10 toys don’t tidy themselves you know).

We were sent the 10cm version Ultimate SpiderMonkey and I have to say I have been impressed with it. The main reasons are that for one it stands upright as default, no messing around with the limbs trying to get them at the right angle. You’ll know that this is one of my biggest tests for action figures, as I seem to deal with major meltdowns every day with Thomas trying to stand up his collection for games. He’s getting better at it now he’s older, but it’s still an major issue for me, so I’m really glad that Ultimate SpiderMonkey has no problems in that department.

Also there are no parts to come off or break every two seconds. Along with his two gorilla arms and 2 Spider legs, he comes with 2 additional Spiderlegs which you have to insert yourself. This set off alarm bells with me as I had visions of these extra legs coming off at every opportunity, but amazingly once put in they are well and truly stuck there. I’ve had a look at the other Ultimate alien figures and they all seem very sturdy and all seem to be in one piece, which for a parent is a godsend. I hate toys which have so many additional pieces that something vital always goes missing immediately after opening the box, so big thumbs up for the Ultimate Alien range so far!

I will just add In Bandai’s defence I had a problem last year where we’d lost 2 integral parts to one of the Ben 10 Alien Force Alien Creature Vehicles, so I called up Bandai customer services and they were extremely helpful and sent the two pieces to me delivered next day for free. Credit where credit’s due it’s the first time I’ve been really impressed with a customer service department.


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The Ultimate Alien 10cm figures do come with one added extra, they all come with an alien mini disc of the alien which you can use in the new Omnitrix the Ultimatrix.

We’ve had all the previous incarnations of Omnitrix including all the viewers and projectors too, must have had around 6 or 7 through the years. The latest Ultimatrix we don’t have yet, although it’s already on both the Christmas and Birthday lists so I don’t think it’ll be long until you see a review of that one!

The Omnitrix’s have definitely got much better with each new version, so I wasn’t surprised to see that the Ultimatrix looks like the best yet.

When you slip the alien discs inside the Ultimatrix the disc will pop up in a 3d effect, and say the name of your chosen hero in dramatic fashion complete with flashing lights.

Ever since we received our SpiderMonkey Thomas has been playing with it non stop, and is now eyeing up which Ultimate Alien he wants to collect next. My moneys on Ultimate Humungosaur as Thomas has always liked him, but if mummy’s paying it’ll probably end up being Rath as he’s my favourite.


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Dream Toys 2010

Yesterday saw the Toy Retailers Association announce it’s annual list of Dream Toys.

The TRA complied their predictions of the Top 12 toys in 7 different categories, and then the best from all the list were combined to create the Dream Dozen.

I was pleased to see plenty of my favourite products making it onto the Dream Dozen, like the Lego City Airport, Kidizoom Videocam, Moon Dough and the Paper Jamz Guitar.

Here’s the full list of all the winners:

The Dream Dozen

Lego City Airport

Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station

FurReal Go Go Walking Pup

Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear

Kidizoom VideoCam

Monopoly Revolution

Moon Dough Barn

Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS

Paper Jamz Guitar

Pumpaloons

Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Sidecar

ZhuZhu Grooming Salon

Girls Top 12 Toys for Christmas

AniMagic Tender Care Twins

Baby Alive Bouncing Babbles

Baby Born Magic Feeding Doll

Barbie A Fashion Fairytale Doll

Barbie Puppy Swim School

Bratz Party Dolls

FurReal Go Go Walking Pup

JLS Collector Dolls

Moxie Girls Art-titude Dolls

Ocean In My Pocket Coral Reef

Sylvanian Families Motorcycle and Side Car

ZhuZhu Grooming Salon

Boys Top 12 Toys for Christmas

Armouron Action Set

Bakugan Maxus Dragonoid 7 -in- 1

Ben’s Mark 10 Car

Beyblade Super Vortex Battle Set

Doctor Who Eleventh Doctor Sonic Screwdriver

Hot Wheels Dr Bones Colour Lab

Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear

Kung Zhu Battle Arena

Star Wars: Clone Wars General Grievous Lightsaber

Star Wars: Hoth Wampa Cave

Toy Story Collection Sheriff Woody

UNSC Arctic Rocket Warthog

Pre-School Top 12 Toys for Christmas

All Around Chuggington Train Set

Duplo Toy Story The Great Train Chase

Playmobil Fire Engine

Fireman Sam Deluxe Fire Station Playset

Thomas Zip, Zoom & Logging Adventure

Kidizoom VideoCam

My Pal Scout

Peppa Pig Lullaby Peppa

Play To Learn Mr Colour Maker

Play To Learn Pic ‘n’ Pop

Storio

Toy Story Collection Lots ‘o’ Huggin Bear

Games Top 12 Toys for Christmas

‘Best of British’ Board Game

Boogle Flash

Cuponk

Elefun

Gator Golf

Harry Potter Hogwarts Lego Game

Jolly Octopus

Monopoly Revolution

Pig Goes Pop

Pumpaloons

Scrabble Trickster

Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It

Creative Play Top 12 Toys For Christmas

Bendaroos Creativity Centre

Lego City Airport

Lego City Cargo Truck

Crayola Color Explosion Glow Dome

Crayola Color Wonder Magic Light Brush

Disney Princess Snow Globe Maker

Harumika Designer Dress Form Set

Moon Dough Barn

Noteez

Play-Doh Puppies Playset

Toy Story 3 Woody & Buzz to the Rescue

Zubber Jewellery Maker

Cool Toyz Top 12 Toys For Christmas

Air Hogs Lazer Zero Gravity

Air Hogs Vectron Wave

Animatazz

Barbie Video Girl

Battle Machines

Bladez Micro Helicopter

Bop It!

Loopz

Nerf N Strike Stampede ECS

Paper Jamz Guitar

Technic Buggy

Zibits

I had a great time at the show, and as you can imagine was in my element playing with all the new toys and gadgets, I also got loads of new ideas for toys to cover in the future. So be prepared for a Toybuzz deluge, as it’s look like Dream Toys is going to keep me busy all the way up until the big day itself!

Top 10 Boys Toys for Christmas 2010

Here are my predictions for whats going to be the most requested toys from Santa in the Christmas of 2010.

This is what I think most young boys will be hounding you for this year, Check out the other lists here:

Top Ten Girls Toys for Christmas 2010

Top Ten Toddler Toys for Christmas 2010

Top Ten Baby Toys for Christmas 2010

Imaginext Batcave and Imaginext Toy Story Tri County Landfil Playset

Ok so technically my first choice is really two choices, but I couldn’t bring myself to choose between these two great Imaginext Playsets.

Both are full of amazing features like trap doors, Grappling hooks and lots of hidey holes for your little heroes.

With their chunky parts and action figures ideal for smaller fingers, all of the Imaginext playsets are simply some of the best Christmas presents your little could ever ask for and guaranteed to entertain your youngster for long after Boxing Day!

Fisher Price Imaginext BigFoot the Monster

BigFoot the Monster is the newest creation from the guys at Fisher Price, and is part of their  immensely popular Imaginext range.

BigFoot is all set to become your child’s brand new best friend. Using the large chunky child friendly remote control your youngster can make BigFoot say and do an impressive over 80 actions and phrases.

Whether he’s Angry, Sleepy, Hungry, Exercising, Eating or even throwing a toddler style temper tantrum, BigFoot will enthrall and amaze little ones in equal measure.

Imagine how much fun you and your toddler will have Christmas day playing ball with this big guy!


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Lego Toy Story and Lego Star Wars

You can’t really go wrong with Lego for Christmas can you? and Lego fans have really been spoiled for choice this year, with tons of amazing sets being released throughout 2009.

So once again i’m stumped as to which way to go, so have decided to add both Lego Star Wars and Lego Toy Story sets onto my 2010 best toy Christmas list for consideration.

Being obsessed with the baddies of the movies as I have mentioned before, Thomas has pleaded with me to get him the Emperor Palpatine’s Shuttle set.

Jacob however is still loving playing with the Construct-A-Buzz we have, so I’m thinking for maybe getting a Woody one to keep him company.

SpyNet Video Watch

Calling all secret agents! Looking like something that M dishes out to James Bond on a daily basis, this is your very own secret mission video watch.

During their covert missions your amateur spies can record over 20 minutes of video, 4 hours of audio, or over 2000 photos.

With the help of the all of SpyNetHQ.com website, young recruits can upload and review their evidence using lie detector and video analysis.

Download missions from the website direct to your phone, so you can feel like a real spy having missions beamed over to you by the boss.


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Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Disc Ultimatrix

If you are the parents to a young boy chances are you have some Ben 10 toys in your household.

Well be prepared to welcome another load of cartoon monsters to your vocabulary with the arrival of the all new Ben 10 Ultimate Alien series.

There’s going to be a few different styles of the new Ultimatrix out for Christmas, but the Ultimte Alien Disk Ultimatrix is set to be the most popular.

Unlike the Ultimate Omnitrix the disks go inside flat, and the alien then pops out 3d.

Having seen a sneaky peek of the new Ultimate Alien series online, Rath is already my favourite because he reminds me of Tony the Frosties Tiger.


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Stinky the Garbage Truck

Following the amazing success of Rocky the Robot Dump Truck, Matchbox and the Big Rig Buddies are back with another predicted big seller Stinky the Garbage Truck.

This big guy will keep the little un’s amused by telling jokes, dumping cars out of his back, singing, dancing and generally being a fun toy!

This clever garbage truck has hidden sensors inside, so knows when he’s full and will stand up and tip himself out.


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Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear

Hot on the heels of the biggest blockbuster movie of the summer Toy Story 3, comes Jet Pack Buzz Lightyear.

Press the buttons on his front to hear some of his most famous quotes from the movies.

Start up his jetpack and get ready for action. Watch as the engines light up and pretend flames come out. Hear the roar of the jet pack as he blasts off to Infinity and beyond!

Just be sure to set his lasers to stun, just in case you bump into Zurg along the way.


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Tomica HyperCity Mega Station Station

Part of the new and rapidly expanding Tomica Hyper City range, The mega station is probably the showpiece.

With pieces like the Police HQ, Fire Station and Petrol Station HyperCity is shaping up nicely, but what’s a town without a train station. That’s where the Mega Station fits in.

Although not just a train station, there’s also an on site shop for those pre- train journey munchies. Pavement, and Parking spaces for the commuters.

Full of flashing lights, sounds and impressive automation , this is a train set set to impress.


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Star Wars Bobba Fett Electronic Helmet

Dressing up like their favourite tv and movie heroes is always a fun thing for your kids to do, although sounding like them can sometimes be a bit harder to reproduce.

Don this electronic helmet and transform into every one’s favourite Bounty Hunter Boba fett.

Press the buttons and hear Boba speak, shoot his blasters, and start up his jetpack. Activate the light up antenna and use it to help you hunt down your targets.

By adjusting the straps inside the helmet can accommodate heads from your 5 year old all the way up to mum and dad.

This is the voice changing Helmet that all true Star Wars fans have been waiting for, so if not for your son buy it for dad!


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Kiddizoom Video Camera

Another Christmas, Another Kidizoom camera!

This latest incarnation is both still photo camera and video camera.

A fun directors mode lets your children have fun creating mini cinematic masterpieces featuring cartoon borders, cinema style openings. Thanks to the face-tracking technology, comical gags like a pie in your face are also on the cards.

I know my son would just love making funny movies with the Kidizoom featuring all of his action figures and toys.

It’s set to be  big on the I want list this Xmas, Just don’t blame me when you end up on You’ve been Framed.


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Ben 10 Alien Force Ultimate Omnitrix Review

Thomas received the Ben 10 Alien Force Ultimate Omnitrix for Christmas last year, and to be honest it’s been pretty much forgotten about until yesterday and that’s why I have neglected to write a review until now.

Yesterday we spent a good hour in the Ben 10 aisle of Toys R Us, whilst Thomas decided which of the Ben 10 Alien Force Figures he wanted to take home the most. His choice was confounded by TRU’s BOGOF offer on the Ben 10 figures. We left eventually with 4 10cm figures, which for £10 was amazing value for money.

3 of the figures he bought came with the mini transparent alien’s that connect onto the Ultimate Omnitrix, and so that’s why it got searched out and played with for the first time in months.

To be honest Thomas has never really liked the new Ben 10 series. He identified much more with Ben 10’s younger incarnation than the older Alien Force version. I think this is the real reason why the new Ultimate Omnitrix has not been played with, not due to the quality of the toy but rather Thomas just didn’t recognise it as Ben 10’s watch.

We actually went to try and get some of the original Ben 10 aliens like Benvicktor and Vilgax, but were told that Bandai have discontinued young Ben 10 and it’s now Alien Force only (well until the next incarnation Ben 10 Ultimate Alien comes out at the end of the year!)

Even though he doesn’t watch Ben 10 Alien Force, Thomas does play the games on his PSP so now knows all of Ben’s new alien forms, so he decided to take the plunge and buy into the new series of figures. When I reminded him he already had the new version Omnitrix he was thrilled, he’d forgotten all about it.

The Ultimate omnitrix looks exactly like the version that Ben wears on Alien Force, it’s been designed really well and will be instantly recognisable to Ben 10 fans.

With Ben’s old Omnitrix you never saw on the watch which alien form he wad choosing, but with the evolved version you get to see ben scroll through holographic images of the aliens which pop up from out the top of the Omnitrix. The transparent mini figures which come with the 10cm alien form action figures do a great job of replicating this new feature.

Pop an alien figure onto the Omnitrix base, and then slam it down just a Ben does in the series. You will get a short transform sound and then a brief soundbite where the alien will say it’s name and usually a short sentence which sums it up nicely. The soundbite is all in the aliens authentic tv show voice, and you also get a snazzy green light which looks especially good in the dark. Echo Echo is my favourite alien that Thomas has bought, his unique computery voice sounds great on the Omnitrix.

We now have 4 of the transparent mini figures, Swampfire which comes included with the Ultimate Omnitrix, My fave Echo Echo, Brainstorm and Alien X.

Now although I think the Omnitrix is a well designed toynfull of great Ben 10 role play opportunities it’s not without it’s faults. As I said I’ve only really used the Omnitrix over the past day but have already found a niggly problems which could have made the toy better.


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For starters there are two push pin buttons, one on either side of the Omnitrix. Apart from mere aesthetic value I don’t know what these are supposed to do. I seem to remember in the instructions that pushing them in should release and pop out the sometimes troublesome to remove mini figures, but this doesn’t work.I have however found a use for them, my son always has trouble inserting the figures without the base activating early before the alien is in properly. however If you hold the two buttons in the base isn’t able to engage, so you can place the figure in correctly without it going off early. I don’t think that’s what they were made for, but this works for us.

However the main problem is the main selling point of the toy, the original alien voices! You just can’t understand what they are saying half the time apart from their names. Swampfire is pretty recognisable and I think that’s why he was included with the watch, for information he says “Swampfire, eww whats that smell?”. Echo Echo is easy to understand as he just says his name in his distinctive electronic voice, but when it comes to the others it gets a bit harder to figure out.

I defy anyone to fathom what on earth Brainstorm says after his name, it’s just a garbled noise. I’ve also managed to hear the other aliens noises too thanks to a couple of cocktail sticks holding down the relevant places inside the base (thanks YouTube), and I have to say that it doesn’t get any easier. It’s a bit of an oversight that the pleasure of having the original alien voices is overshadowed by not being able to tell what there talking about.

Another disappointment is the distinct lack of features, apart from the lights and sounds of the mini alien figures it doesn’t do anything else. With the original Ben 10 deluxe Omnitrix there was a few different modes like the beat Vilgax game and the leader board, but with the Ultimate Omnitrix it’s just the Mini figures or nothing. A few Ben, Gwen or Kevin soundbites added when you spun the outer wheel round or something would have been an idea.

And my final problem is not with the Ultimate Omnitrix itself but at the sheer abundance of Ben 10 toys currently on the market, to be honest I think that it’s all got a bit much! I’m annoyed because Thomas bought the Alien X defender 10cm figure which also comes with a transparent mini figure identical to the rest of the ones we bought, only to realise that it doesn’t actually work with the Ultimate Omnitrix you need a brand new DNA Searching Omnitrix. Ben 10 hasn’t got a collection of 10 different Omnitrix’s in his draw in the Rustbucket, so why has my son got to have them all?

In conclusion I think that the Ultimate Omnitrix is a great Ben 10 toy, if your prepared to buy all the figures to collect the transparent mini ones to use with it. If you don’t you’ll just have a watch with Swampfire, which really isn’t all that great. Of course it’s not perfect and could be made better, but how many toys out there right now couldn’t be improved in some way. If you would have planned to buy all of the 10cm figures anyway then it’s well worth getting the Ultimate Omnitrix too, however it does depend on which figures you buy as the new DNA range will need the new Omnitrix I mentioned before.


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Lego Ben 10 Alien Force

Looks like Ben 10 is going to dominate the 2010 toy market just as much as 2009. Starting off with the new range of Ben 10 Alien Force Lego sets.

There are six different sets to collect, and each set lets you build one of your Ben 10 Alien Force heros. The packs available are Swampfire, Spidermonkey, ChromaStone, Humungousaur, Jet ray and Big Chill.Each set has an RRP of £12.99, so not to bad really.

If you purchase all six of the Lego sets, which let’s face it is highly probable if you have a Ben 10 mad son, the sets can be joined together to create your own special super alien. The pieces are also fully compatible with the Lego Bionicle series, so you can use any extras you have to help create your mega alien.

My son loves his Lego Duplo that we have, but we haven’t got any sets of Big Boy Lego yet as I call it. These new sets of Ben 10 Lego and possibly the new Toy Story Lego could perhaps be our first foray into the world of grown up Lego.


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Ben 10 Alien Swarm – UK Premiere and Meet the Cast

UK TV Premiere:

Mums and Dads – get ready for a new wave of Ben 10 fever to hit your home!

The UK premiere of the new Ben 10 Live action movie ‘Ben 10 Alien Swarm‘ is coming very soon to a TV screen near you.  Saturday 28th November at 10am to be exact.

Yes just in time for Christmas – your children are going to be going Ben 10 crazy all over again. Well they will if my son’s reaction is anything to go by.

Every time the advert shows on Cartoon Network, he just gets more and more worked up! The Ben 10 toys have come out the box and are now played with in heavy rotation, compared to a few months ago when they were banished to the bottom of the toy box. So now I’ve bought him everything I can find with Spider-man, Super Hero Squad and Marvel on it, he’s suddenly Ben Tennyson’s biggest fan!

Just like the previous live action movie ‘Race Against Time’ it doesn’t follow an exact plot from the cartoon series, rather it takes the characters and writes a new storyline. In Alien Swarm Ben,Gwen and Kevin help Ben’s long time friend Elena find her missing father, although there’s obviously a lot more to it than that. I’m sure they’ll be more than a sprinkling of aliens, dastardly plots and backstabbing in there along the way.


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Meet the cast of Ben 10 Alien Swarm:

If you’re around the Brent Cross area on Saturday 14th November head on over to Toys R Us and you can be lucky enough to meet Humungousaur in person! Plus you can also meet the real cast of the Alien Swarm movie Ben 10 himself, Gwen, Kevin (swoon) and Elena.

The gang will be at the store at 11am and 1pm.

This promises to be a great day out for all Ben 10 fans, plus as an added incentive the first 100 visitors there will receive an exclusive free Ben 10 Alien Force Goody Bag.

I only wish I didn’t live so far away or I’d be there with my son!

If anyone goes and wants to share some photos of your day out send them to contact@toybuzz.co.uk.

Ben 10 Alien Force Bargains!

Got a Ben 10 Alien Force fan who absolutely needs all the new stuff for Christmas, Toys R Us have come to the rescue with some great Xmas Ben 10 offers.

Grab the Kevin Levin Action Cruiser for £18.99, which is a bargain price.

Vilgax Battleship Playset at half price for only £14.99, and a totally awesome reversible Four Arms/Ben 10 dress up costume for £14.99.

They also have a promotion running that if you purchase a Ben 10 Echo voice changer, you can get the Humungousaur hands for half price.

So if you’ve got a Ben 10 fan it’s definitely worth a trip down to Toys R Us, whether that be virtually or actually on the high street.