Recently we received these new Matchbox cars from Mattel to review, and they are real beauties. Ones’ for the collectors definitely.
Released to commemorate Matchbox’s 60th Anniversary, these 24 die-cast cars all come in their own retro Matchbox sized box just like in the old days.
With their gorgeous packaging, and classic vehicles, these Matchbox vehicles would make a perfect Fathers day gift.
Everyday will have played with cars during their youth, and whether a collector or not are bound to flushed with nostalgia by these beautiful cars.
As part of the birthday activities Matchbox have released a short film on Youtube and their own Matchbox Heroes website, celebrating the love of Matchbox cars between children and their parents.
There are 24 vehicles in the collection in total, ranging from classics such as the The Austin FX4 London Taxi and The Routemaster Bus to cool new models like the Mitsubishi Evo10 Police car.
The boys and I were sent the Evo10 police car, Volkswagen T2 bus and the Jeep Wrangler Superlift to take a look at.
I thought that the Evo10 being a Police car would be the runaway hit, but it turns out that Jacob prefers style to substance and fell in love with the cool stylings of the Volkswagen T2. He’s all about the gold bling underneath
Both of the boys loved the old style packaging, and were fascinated when I told them all about Matchbox cars coming in Matchboxes. They thought that was awesome, and both asked why the didn’t still come in the boxes.
Jacob is saving his favourite Volkswagen to give to his dad for father’s day, he’s been hiding it underneath his bed so daddy doesn’t find it. I think daddy is going to love it as he’s always been a Matchbox man, no Hot Wheels for him.
The Matchbox 60th Anniversary die-cast collection cars are available from Tesco for £3.49. Suitable for ages 3+.
We recently got sent some goodies from Mattel to review, including the new Hot Wheels Ballistiks Rapid Fire Blaster.
Jacob has been dying to try these cool little vehicles out ever since the advert starting running on TV. So boy was he happy when the postman brought these for him!
Hot Wheels Ballistiks are Hot Wheels cars like you’ve never seen before. The magic is that the ends both fold up, allowing the cars to roll in and form a ball.
The Ballistiks in ball form will pop back out into cars when the button release is pressed. You can do this by simply dropping it on the button, or by it being hit during play.
Using the Ballistiks Rapid Fire Blaster you can launch you Ballistiks at high-speed, and watch them open up on impact.
The Ballistiks cars do not pop open every time however. It depends on whether the button gets hit. However we did find the balls to pop open on over half the ballistiks we launched.
There are 24 different Ballistiks to collect. Each one with a different funky design. Jacob really loves the way the way the cars look, and spends lots of time just studying his Ballistiks, the paintwork and how they work and fold.
The Rapid Fire Blaster comes with one Balistiks car, but you can load up to 7 into the blaster if you have them. We were sent an additional one for the review, and Jacob is already saving up for some more so he can make real use of that rapid fire action.
Another feature of the Rapid Fire Blaster is the targeting LED light. You hold down the trigger as you launch, so your shoots can be fired with greater accuracy. It’s not the brightest of LED’s, and doesn’t shine incredibly far. But it’s a little extra fun that Jacob really loves.
The Ballistiks in general have been a big hit with Jacob. However with regards to the popping of the balls into cars, I don’t think it works quite as well as the advert would have you believe. They do definitely pop from balls into cars, but not every time. In our experience only on a hard impact.
My Jacob isn’t bothered by the fact they don’t pop into cars every single time as it makes it more of a game, wondering whether they are going to transform or not.
We’ve had a lot of fun with the Ballistiks Rapid Fire Blaster, and now have another collection in the making.
This is the penultimate game review from our Mattel Fun Times Board Games box – Uno Roboto
I feel a bit silly to be honest, as the kids have been wanting to play this from day one, but I’ve been putting it off until the end. I’ve always had in my head that Uno was a really complicated game to play, and envisaged that we would be endlessly picking up and putting down cards.
I should have remembered that all the Fun Times games are designed to be played in around 20 minutes. If I’d have thought about that we would have been playing this for ages, it’s such a great great game. So much fun!
Firstly for those who haven’t played Uno before I’ll quickly explain the rules. Everyone starts with being dealt 7 cards. The cards have coloured numbers on them, or there are a few other special cards which change the game as you play.
To play you need to match either the colour or number of the last card played with one from your pack. If you can’t do that you need to pick up another card from the pile. The winner is the first player to use up all of their cards.
Along the way some of your special cards will come into play, such as switching the game play direction, next player misses a turn, or next player picks up cards.
This however is just how to play regular old Uno, Uno Roboto is a whole new game!
Roboto is a very cool robot, and the kids loved that he was speaking to them, and that he looks like he is really talking, as a red light flashes as he speaks.
At the start of the game Uno Roboto asks you to record your names. All the names come out as squeaky and high-pitched, so there’s no worrying about hearing your own voice as it doesn’t really sound like you anyway.
You can also record a house rule at this point if you wish. A house rule is a fun silly challenge that all the players must participate in, with the slowest player to finish having to draw 2 cards as punishment. You get 4 cards with some example house rules you can use if you need some inspiration with challenges like ‘Snort like a Pig’ or ‘Balance a card on your head’, but we decided as it’s the thing to do at the moment we’d have ‘Do the Gangnam Style dance’ as our house rule.
You don’t have to choose a house rule, but don’t think you’ll get out of doing silly things as Roboto will randomly pick players throughout the game to do a duel challenge, which is the same idea as the House Rule only it’s just between 2 players.
Roboto will also interrupt the game as you play just to shake things up a bit. For some reason he kept picking on Thomas, telling him to “Pick up cards until you find a Green One”. He eventually found one about 7 cards later, but at least he was still laughing. He often chips in telling someone to pick up some cards, or deciding it’s someone elses turn. You never know what Roboto is going to say, and he really does mix things up, and it definitely makes for a unique game every play.
I would undoubtedly recommend Uno Roboto as perhaps the perfect child friendly party game for Christmas time. My advice is if you have time to nip out and get one, go and do it. You won’t regret it!
The next review from our Mattel Fun Times board game box is Chameleon Crunch.
As with all the games featured in the Fun Times campaign, It’s fun, simple to set up and play, and takes under 20 minutes to play.
Again as this game is so easy to set up and play, I left the boys to this one whilst I made the tea after school. From all the giggles and laughter I could hear from the Kitchen, it went down well.
The main attraction of the game is the walking, talking blue Chameleon. The aim being to throw in the colourful bugs when he stops walking and opens his mouth.
He doesn’t actually leave his mouth open for long, so you’ve got to be quick. Also if it doesn’t quite go in properly, next time he opens up your bug will fall out.
The game is suitable for 2-4 players, so there are 4 different types and colours of bug. For younger players it’s easier to all choose a colour to feed the Chameleon. Older children can all choose a different bug type to feed him.
As it was only my boys playing, they both had 2 different colours to collect. Ensuring that all the bugs would get picked up.
To begin the game the instructions say to lay all the bugs out in a 5ft diameter circle, and the Chameleon is supposed to travel around the circle and you throw the bugs in as he passes. However we found that the Chameleon deviated from his circular path quite often, and even when he does stop you’ve got to be so quick to get the bugs inside his mouth. So for us we divided the bugs onto piles, rather than place them in a circle around the floor. It may not be exactly as the instructions suggest, but we found it made for a better game for our family.
The only very slight negative I have is that the Chameleon comes without a tail, and you have to attach that before you start. The only problem is that once attached it does not come back off. And once on the Chameleon will not fit back into the box properly again. Only a niggle, nothing too serious I know. But annoying when you want to store the game. Parts can easily go missing as the box is not closed securely.
The box recommends it’s for players aged 4 upwards, but I think a bit younger would be fine too. Little ones will love running after Mr Chameleon.
The game needs 3 AA batteries which are not included, so be sure to have some ready for Christmas Day!
Another game from our Fun Times Board Game Hamper from Mattel – This time we choose to play Junior Scrabble.
Suitable for children from around aged 5 and up, this is the perfect way to introduce your younger children to the wonderful world of Scrabble.
It’s actually 2 games in one, One easier picture based version to get children used to using the board and tiles. Then a more simplified version of the more familiar Scrabble board, with some helpful hint words dotted around the outside.
Firstly Thomas(7), Jacob(5) and I (?) sat down to play the beginner picture side of the board, before me and Thomas were going to turn over and progress onto the real thing.
Words and Pictures
The words and pictures game is a lovely board, scattered with colourful pictures of simple words, and part of those words letters printed onto the board. To play the game each player gets 5 tiles, and firstly you simply match the tiles with the printed letters on the board.
This is such a simple way to get even the youngest of players used using the board, and seeing how when words are placed they can run into other words.
It also negates the pressure of thinking of the words, and the embarrassment of spelling a word wrongly.
Once all the printed letters have started to be filled up, looking at the pictures and letters already down your youngster should by now feel confident enough to start putting down some of the missing letters to complete the word. Of course it’s all dependant on age, Jacob was quite happy to simply tile up the printed letters at first, but once he’d added the N for ant, he was really enthused and suddenly got very interested.
Jacob did need a bit help at the end once all of the printed letters had been filled, and it was left to complete some of the longer words, but Thomas did it all on his own and ended up winning.
This game was brilliant for us, both the boys enjoyed playing, and it was obviously great for helping them both with their spelling and reading skills. A big thumbs up from all of us.
Colours and Counters
This game is played on the other side of the game board, which is more like a normal scrabble board, just slightly simplified.
I’m not sure why this game is called Colours and Counters, as the counters are not used for this game. Unless its counters as in counting points, which you earn for placing down your words. Anyway, no matter, it’s still fun.
This game is essentially a normal Scrabble game. You place the tiles down in the same way, however the scoring is different. There are no number values on the letter tiles in this game, each tile is worth 1. That is unless you place your tile on one of the coloured squares – for each blue square used you add 2 points to the word, and 3 points if your word is placed over a red square.
The only other difference is that each player only has 5 letter tiles to work with, rather than the usual 7.
Me and Thomas played this together straight after the easier version, and even though he said he preferred the other game, I think that was only because this one required him to use his brain a bit more. Once he gets a bit more practice, and as he gets a bit older I can see this becoming one of our favourite games.
It wasn’t the making of words so much that he had a problem with, as he is very good at spelling. It was the general scrabble placement of words that he had a bit of trouble getting his head around. The fact that even though you can put a word down, you have to watch for the nearby tiles making up nonsense words. I’m sure after a few games he will get it, but initially I suppose it’s a hard concept to understand.
Scrabble Junior is a fun inviting way to introduce younger children to the simple joys of Scrabble, and as there are two games to play it will grow with your child and give you years of play.
We were amazingly lucky last week to receive a bumper box of wonderful family board games from Mattel for review.
It’s all part of their Fun Times initiative, which aims to get families together to play games more often. All the games we received for review can be played in a maximum of 20 minutes, so there really is no excuse not to be able to find the time to play.
The first game we played out of the box was Molehill Mania, mainly because they boys opened the box after school and I still had the tea to cook. So they needed to find a simple game they could play together before eating, whilst the food was cooking.
Whac-A-Mole Molehill Mania is the perfect game for such a scenario.
It’s game for 2 players, for players aged 4 and up. Absolutely perfect for my two 5 and 7-year-old boys.
The game is based around the idea of the Whack A Mole machines that you get in arcades. Although this game is quite different to those, the feel is much the same.
Inside the box you get 2 mallets, 11 Moles (5 green,5 blue, 1 red) and a molehill for the moles to jump out of. The best part is the realisation that no batteries are required. Hurrah!
You can play the games in 3 different ways, each needing a bit more skill. Good for as your children get older.
Each game starts the same. Firstly you place all the moles in the molehill. Next both players grab a mallet. When your both ready you simply shout “Go” and start whacking the planks down on the side of the molehill as fast as you can. As you whack the moles will flip out of the molehill onto the floor. Once all the Moles are out then you move onto the next part depending which level of game your playing.
The basic game sees you simply collect 6 moles as fast as you can by whacking down on them with your mallet. Once you have 6 in your mallet, a yellow plastic mole will pop out of the top to indicate you have a full mallet and have won.
In level 2 each player choses to be either blue or green, and you have to whack all of your chosen colour moles as quick as possible. When all your moles are in your mallet then you can whack the red mole to win the game.
In the last level you bring points into the equation, with green moles being 1 point, blue 3, and the red 5. Tallying up your 6 moles at the end of the game to see which player has the most points to win. This way of playing was actually my boys favourite. Although all 3 ways of playing were great fun.
As a parent the things I liked the most about the game was:
It was very easy for my sons to set up themselves
They both fully understood the rules immediately as it was so simple to explain. So everyone knew what to do.
Each game only lasts about 2 minutes, so in the 15 minutes I was busy doing dinner they played about 10 rounds and were happy they’d had a good amount of playing time.
So as you’ve guessed I’m a big kid at heart. I’d still rather be at home playing with my Barbie Ferrari than actually driving one.
Well if you feel the same, have I got news for you. The Toy Trust have put together an amazing opportunity to grab some money can’t buy style Toy related experiences, whilst helping to raise much-needed funds for children’s charities.
All of these once in a lifetime products and experiences have been donated by the toy companies, and 100% of the money raised will go directly to the Toy Trust and the children’s charities it supports.
Heres a list of the amazing things on offer in this truly awesome auction:
Signed set of ‘One Direction’ dolls
A ‘Moshi Day’ with Moshi Founder Michael Acton Smith at Moshi Towers
A Disney Store Private Shopping Spree with £200 to spend and a personal shopper
The first ever solid sterling silver ‘Lalaloopsy Jewels Sparkles’
A magical Barbie® visit to your home or school
Two Limited Edition sets of Character Building Super Rare Doctor Who Figures (Series 1&2)
Disney Pocahontas “Just Around the River Bend” Limited Edition print
A fantastic family day out at the brand new Thomas Land – The World of Thomas & Friends
A limited edition Barbie® Collector William & Catherine Royal Wedding™ gift set
Signed Set of ‘JLS’ dolls
Your chance to win a LEGO® mosaic of you and your family
Signed Set of ‘Little Mix’ dolls
A Plasticine model making workshop with an Aardman model maker.
Furby – THE Toy for Christmas – Six Furbys (1 in every colour)
Transformers Optimus Prime Truck – Yours for a Day!
The ultimate personalised ‘My Monopoly’ Game
An exclusive Nerf Sports Firevision Range (Item currently not available in the UK)
I’m sure you’ll agree that some of the things on offer are just out of this world. I mean – Optimus Prime coming to your house! That would be the ultimate for me. Or going to Moshi Towers, that would be amazing. Plus it’s all for a very good cause.
I’ve spoken before here on Toybuzz about my love of the new craze for smaller mini toy figures like the Marvel Super Hero Squad, Toy Story Mini Buddy’s and Star Wars Galactic Hero ranges.
The new entrant to this market are the WWE Wrestlers in miniature form, WWE Rumblers from Mattel.
Having a son who loves collecting all the toys you can get, the more compact, storable, and transportable mini sized figures make things so much easier for me. So the new WWE Rumblers Money In The Bank Case Playset is amazing, as it’s playtime ring plus Storage case in one.
For the uninitiated Money in the Bank is one of WWE’s many highly popular wrestling events. The object of the game is easy, just get to the hanging briefcase before your competitors. Obviously not so easy in reality. In the briefcase is a contract which gives the winner the shot at a world championship match.
The Money in the Bank case comes with almost everything you’ll need for the ultimate ladder match :
One Rumbler figure of The Miz
Easy to put up Ring, with springy cord perfect for bouncing opponents off of.
Steel overhanging rig to attach Briefcase to
Flip board for launching wrestlers into the ring
Plus Flip out stage for those all important theatrical entrances
All you’ll need to add are some extra Rumblers.
When it’s time to pack up for the day everything handily fits inside the case. You can store all the included parts, plus up to 15 Rumblers inside.
My boys aren’t massive WWE fans by any means, we didn’t know any wrestlers names or anything, although they do enjoy watching it when we’ve seen it. They have thoroughly enjoyed this toy, and are really starting to get into it. They have already chosen their favorite Wrestlers, Jacob likes to use The Miz and Thomas prefers Big Show and Kofi Kingston.
They had never seen any Money in the Bank matches before but as soon as I got it out they understood the concept immediately, so don’t worry if your youngster isn’t really into WWE it’s a brilliantly fun toy that boys just seem to instantly love.
Since playing with the toy they have definitely become more interested in WWE, and are asking to watch clips on Youtube and things. I’ve been surprised by how much like their real life wrestlers the Rumblers look, Wade Barrett looks exactly like him.
The boys have also had good fun playing around on the WWE Toys website. Theres some fun games and quizzes to play on there, plus it’s given the boys the chance to learn more about all of the WWE wrestlers.
For me as a mum it’s a great toy, It takes up little space, Easy to quickly set up, the boys can pack it up and take to grans easily on the weekend and everything fits inside the case so it doesn’t get lost. In my opinion a great buy.
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I’m so pleased to say that thanks to Mattel I have the opportunity to dig out some amazing prize packs to some of our lucky readers.
I have 3 sets of WWE Rumblers Money In The Bank case with 2 additional wrestlers to give away.
All you need to do to enter is leave me a comment below letting me know who your favourite WWE Wrestler is, it really is that simple.
Red Rover is a brand new game from Fisher Price, and would make an excellent gift for preschoolers this Christmas.
It features an adorable red talking dog who wears a backpack on his back containing his stash of special bones.
The aim of the game is to scatter the bones all around the room and listen out for which bones Red Rover wants you to bring back to him.
There are 12 bones in all, all with different shapes, colours and letters printed on them. The end of each bone is shaped in such a way that Red Rover will recognise which bone you are placing in his mouth, so will be able to let you know whether you have brought him back the correct bone that he asked for or not.
Depending on your players age and level of ability you can play the game on 2 different difficulty levels. You either go for the younger “puppy dog game” version in which Red Rover will only ask you to bring back different coloured bones, or you can go for the full on “Big Dog Challenge” in which Red Rover will ask for all of the different options of bones (shapes, colours and letters).
My son Jacob who is 3 absolutely loves this game (as you can see from the video below) He goes mad for it, and since we received it last week he has played it at least 4 times a day, either on his own, with me or with his big brother.
It’s great that it’s a game that doesn’t need much setting up, you simply open up Rover’s backpack, spread out the bones and your on your way. Jacob get’s it out several times a day and just sets it all up and starts playing on his own.
It’s also great that there are lots of different ways that you can enjoy the game. When it’s just me and Jacob playing on our own we usually just spread the bones out and play it as more of a memory game than a game of speed. It’s a brilliant way for him to gain confidence with his colours and letters especially.
However when he plays with his big brother Thomas who obviously being that bit older has the advantage over him. I make it more of a hunt by really spreading the bones out and hiding them all around the room. Trying to level the playing field a bit by making it more about the luck of finding rather than knowing the answer, trying to give Jacob a bit more of a chance so Thomas doesn’t win the bone every time.
Whatever way we play the game it always contains lots of laughs and giggles, and everyone always has a great time playing it. There are not that many games that I can think of really suitable for younger players, but this is definitely one of them. I highly recommend it for anyone with a little one around 3-5 , and it would make a perfect christmas gift for them this year.
You know what I really miss about not having a girly in the house? Playing with Barbie Dolls! So much so that I actually consider having another baby in the hope that I have a girl to play Barbies with (I don’t consider the idea for that long though!)
I remember how much I loved my Barbie Ferrari I got on for Christmas when I was 7, it was the very best present I ever received. So with that perfect Christmas memory still firmly intact, I can only imagine how excited I would have been to receive one of Barbies newest Toys The Glitterizer Wardrobe.
The Glitterizer Wardrobe is just one of the many toys Mattel have come up with to tie in with Barbies latest DVD movie “Barbie : A Fashion Fairytale“. In the movie Barbie travels to Paris with her talking dog Sequin, to go and see her fashion designer aunt Millicent. Inside the attic of Millicents fashion house Barbie discovers the Glitterizer Wardrobe, and three Fashion Fairies (or Flairies as they are called) Glimmer, Shimmer and Shine.
But enough about the movie, I’m more interested in all the amazingly girly glittery pink toys!
My favourite of the Barbie A Fashion Fairytale Toys has to be the Glitterizer Wardrobe. This set has everything, Stickers, Glitter, fashion Designing, and most importantly Barbie. This really has to be every little girls dream toy!
Firstly you apply stickers to one of Barbies two outfits, she comes with A beautiful Pink and silver short dress and then a more casual but still fabulous Off the shoulder top and jeans.
Next you place Barbie in the Glitterizer Wardrobe and close the door. Fill the Draw up with Glitter and then watch as the fans spray glitter everywhere. Picture Barbie in that thing at the end of the crystal maze where all of the tokens flew about and you’ll get the idea.
When the Glitterizer has done it’s magic the stickers you applied will now be lovely and…well glittery.
Clothes are not the only thing you can use the glitterizer for, Barbie comes with a handbag and Knee high boots which can also be glitterized. In fact you can also put your own things in there, Key rings, iPod Covers, Pencil Case, they can also get some of that Barbie Glitter Magic too.
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As well as the Glitterizer Barbie also has a new pad to live it up in, The Fairytale Party Palace! At over 63cm tall this is one big playhouse.
This house sure does put my old Barbie house into the shade (whilst writing this post and looking at photos I’ve just found out it was in fact a Sindy house, oh the shame!)
As this is a party palace you of course need a drawbridge, but not just any old drawbridge this one doubles up as a VIP red ..sorry Pink carpet. Dance the night away on the spinning dance floor, and then take the elevator upstairs to the princess bedroom. Inside you’ll find a bed which when you push it back transforms into a wardrobe.
Of course with Barbie being invited up to the princess palace for a party she couldn’t just arrive in any old mode of transport, she arrives in style in the FashionFairytale Horse and Carriage.
This very up to date Carriage comes complete with Flat Screen TV Inside, presumably so if Ken’s conversation gets too tiresome Barbie can watch a bit of telly on the way to the party.
The carriage also has a convertible top which folds down, so Barbie and Ken can take a romantic trip watching the stars as they travel (that’s if she turns off the TV first)
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Even with all of these new amazing toys coming out, nothing can outshine the star of the show Barbie herself. The new Barbie Fashion Fairytale Transforming doll like the name suggests transforms from couture party dress to Princess gown in seconds.
Press the bow on Barbies dress and the fabric will light up and will also play the song from the finale of the movie.
The dress transforms really easily, just pull the top down and then flick the skirt around the back.
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Now all I need is to find someone to watch the DVD with me, Thomas? Jacob?