Rubik’s Speed Cuber Challenge and UK Championships

 

You may remember last year I became a ‘Cuber in Training’ and was challenged by Rubik’s to complete the cube in the fastest time possible.

Everything went quite well, and I think i finished with a pretty respectable time.

Well since my time in training, I’ll admit that I haven’t really kept up my new skill, and now seem to be back to square one again.

So when Rubik’s got back in touch with another ‘Cuber in training’ challenge, I thought it’d be a good idea to get back into it. Plus this time around I have a secret weapon to help me finish my cube even quicker, The Speed Cube!

The Speed Cube is the Rubik’s cube that professional cubers use to attain their amazingly fast completion times, and it’s also the cube that will be used weekend at the Rubik’s UK Championships this weekend.

The event takes place on 1st – 2nd November 2014 at The O2 Academy, Leicester, and current UK Champion Thom Barlow will be defending his cubing title.  The 2013 Rubik’s Cube Champion from Manchester last year completed the iconic 3×3 cube in a mind blowing 10.64 seconds average.  Thom has a battle on his hands though, as current UK record holder and new European Champion, 16 year old Alexander Lau will be competing and ready to take on the challenge, as well as previous champ Breandan Vallance.

The Speed Cube pack comes with the cube, some extra springs, some cube lubricant, and instructions on how to disassemble your cube to change the springs and lube it up for maximum speed and precision.

As a novice cuber, for me the speed cube has its advantages and disadvantages.

It’s definitely quicker to move the blocks around, and every block moves smoothly around with no sticking. I sometimes find that I get stuck mid move with the original cube, as it’s stiffer. So I can see how much of an advantage the Speed Cube would be for getting the fastest times possible.

However that also comes with the disadvantage that it can sometimes be too easy to move the blocks, and i end up moving too many at the same time.

At the moment I wouldn’t say the Speed Cube has made me complete the puzzle any quicker as I’m just getting used to it again. However I think with some practice I would see an improvement over my original fastest time with this new cube. I’m going to keep going over this week and see how I do.

The 2014 UK Rubik’s Cube Championships is taking place on 1st – 2nd November 2014 at The 02 Academy, Leicester.  For additional details about the event, visit www.worldcubeassociation.org. For more information about the Rubik’s Cube, including fun facts, visit www.Rubiks.com or visit the official Rubik’s Facebook page.

 

 

VTech Short Story Competition

VTech have launched a short story competition to celebrate the launch of their newest gadget – InnoTab MAX

VTech are challenging children from 4-8 to write a short story of 500 words or less about absolutely anything. The winning story will be published as an InnoTab E-Book.

The competition is open for entry from Monday 6th October 2014, and closes on Wednesday 22nd October 2014. Entrants can enter as many stories as they like.

The stories will be judged by Best Selling Children’s author Terry Deary, known for his gruesome ‘Horrible Histories’ series.

The writer of the winning story will see their story turned into a downloadable InnoTab E-Book, and receive a brand new InnoTab MAX to read it on. Six Runners up will also receive an InnoTab MAX.

To be in with your chance of winning, simply send your entries to InnoTabMAX@grayling.com by Wednesday 22nd October 2014. Winners will be announced later in November.

For more information on InnoTab MAX and the full VTech range, visit www.vtech.co.uk

Skylanders Trap Team Launch Party

On Sunday we had a brilliant time attending the launch party of the brand new Skylanders game ‘Skylanders Trap Team’ at Royal Festival Hall in London.

Officially released today October 10th, we had the chance to test it out a few days early and can report that the boys both agreed that it is an awesome game.

In the latest instalment of the Skylanders franchise the new innovation is the trap concept. You get the ability to trap enemies into the newly designed portal of power, and then can temporarily play as your captured enemy through the level.

It’s a brilliant idea, and the kids absolutely loved it. It was such an exciting concept, and was exactly what the boys were hoping for. I think they’ve always harboured dreams of dreams of playing as Kaos, so it’s so cool that you finally can. Well if you purchase the special trap team keys that is.

You need a trap key for the element of each enemy you wish to play as, The starter pack helpfully comes with 2 for you to start with, and 2 new Skylanders. Including Jacob’s favourite  new character ‘Food Fight’.

Food Fight is a cool new character, which shoots tomatoes out of his gun. He’s so much fun to play as.

 

Whilst we were having fun playing Trap Team and enjoying all the other activities like the free sweetshop and ice cream bar, Kaos balloon modelling and Kaos caricatures. We also bumped into some celebrities having fun with their children, and Thomas had to stop and get a few photos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As well as the new game, Activision have also announced a host of new licensing deals for Skylanders.

H&M will be expanding their Skylanders apparel and accessories for the holiday season.

An official Trap Team case is being launched to hold 46 Traptanium crystals.

Plus great news that The official Skylanders Universe Magazine will launch in the UK on 25th October,  and will be produced and distributed monthly by Immediate Media. The magazine will give fans the latest news and updates on all things Skylanders.

And Penguin will be releasing The Official Skylanders Universe™ Annual, which will be perfect for my boys for christmas. I always get them both an annual, so I know which one I’ll be getting Jacob this year.

It was a really great day, and we had a wonderful time. We can’t wait to check out Skylanders Trap Team more in-depth in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Crocs Jibbitz gets Zappar treatment

Jibbitz – those fun little charm accessories you can use to customise your crocs, have just got even more interactive.

Jibbitz have added Zappar technology to four new packs, enabling you to zappar your pack and use your new charms virtually as well as physically wearing them.

The New packs with Zappar technology are Battlefield – where you challenge Sarge in a paintball game, Pet Salon – Which lets you preen your lovely kitty charm, Race Benny with the Racing Car pack, and lastly take your picture with your beautiful butterfly charm in the Fairy Land pack.

We tested out the Battlefield pack – Perfect for my two boisterous boys.

After launching the Zappar app on my iPhone and Zapping the code on our pack, suddenly Sarge popped onto the screen out of nowhere barking orders.

The best part obviously though is the paintball mini game. Sarge appears in a tank and proceeds to launch paint at you, you have to dodge the paintballs by correctly clicking where the paint will land. If you don’t you’ll end up covered in paint, and it’s three strikes and your out.

It’s a fun added extra to your pack of Jibbitz, and eveytime Jacob sees the Sarge Jibbit it reminds him of the game and he wants to play it again.

The only problem I have is that the app won’t remember the Zappar code, so make sure you keep the pack if you want to play the game again.

You can press on Sarge’s head and he does a few different animations. Jacob’s favourite is when steam comes out of his ears and he then blows up and emerges covered in paint, he laughs and laughs every time.

The zappable Jibbitz™ charms are available now in both the UK and the US through Crocs stores and Crocs online, priced at £6.99/$7.99.

All new Zappar Powered Jibbitz for Crocs from Zappar on Vimeo.

Disclosure: We were sent a pack of the Battlefield Jibbitz in order to write an honest review.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day 16

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

So here we go it’s the big day.

Launch day is finally here, and by the time you’ve read this doubtless some of you will have already rushed down the shops to get some series 11 Moshlings of your very own.

The last Moshling we have to reveal is Weegul – The Wobbly Dobbly

Wobbly Dobblies are fangtastically cute but goopendously demanding, especially if they don’t get their way.

When they are not asking passers-by to plop glacé gooberries on their wafery horns, they are insisting on having their cushions plumped up and their backs scratched.

Weegul is a lovely cute little moshling. I love the Heart on her tummy, and her horn ice cream coney horn.

So that’s it. The countdowns all done for another Series. We’ve had a great time sharing all the new Moshi’s with you.

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day Fifteen

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

It’s the penultimate day – I can’t believe it as it’s just flown by this time around

So for our nearly last day we have Freddie the Seb-Swaddling Guzzler

Seb-Swaddling Guzzlers are meant to deliver the mail, but they can’t fit many letters in their bulging beaks because they are always finding strange little critters called Sebs to take care of.

If you spot a Guzzler without a Seb in its beak, look under its cap and you’re sure to find one snuggling underneath.

Seb-Swaddling Guzzlers live on the cliffs of the TakiTaki Islands but they often release their Sebs on Clickenham Green.

 

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see who’s the last Moshling to be revealed

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day 14

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

Day 14 and it’s nearly all over – Just 3 more Moshlings to reveal

Today it’s Casey the Croaky Cook

Croaky Cooks spend so much time shouting they can barely speak, let alone croak.

But yelling is essential when you’re in charge of a bustling kitchen, and these masterful Moshlings create some of the finest meals in Monstro City, including the legendary Casserole au Croak, topped with a single strand of the finest Oobla Doobla in the land!

Croaky Cook’s like Moshlings who shout ‘Yes, Chef!’ and egg whisks.

They Dislike Dirty surfaces and frozen food.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see who’s next to be revealed

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day Ten

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

The big launch day is getting ever closer now.

Our new Moshling today being revealed is Lips – The Duck-Billed Brattypus

I love Lips – He’s such a cool Moshling

Never seen without their skateboards, Duck-Billed Brattypuses can travel at incredible speeds using their tails as makeshift propellers.

And that’s just as well because these daring little Moshlings love setting up ramps and performing sick tricks.

Sometimes they even upload videos of themselves hitting the sidewalk beak-first to GooTube. Ouch!

I love what Vivid have done with the Lips Moshling figure. I like his cap especially.

One of my faves from Series 11.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see who’s next to be revealed

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day Nine

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

Day Eight see’s us joined by royalty.

It’s his Moshi highness – King Brian the Dandy Lion

However don’t bother actually as he isn’t royal at all!

He’s just a silly Moshling who likes waving and wearing the crown out of his Twistmas Cracker.

However he is an Ultra Rare Moshling, so well worth seeking out.

King Brian and the other Dandy Lion’s love Shaking paws and tinfoil medals, and hate Press intrusion and commoners.

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see who’s next to be revealed

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown – Day Eight

Moshi Monsters Series 11 Countdown

We are so proud that once again we’ve been asked to host one of the Moshi Monsters Series 11 countdown’s alongside a few other fellow bloggers.

Everyday from now until the Launch day of 29th August we’ll be revealing one new Series 11 Moshling.

Once we get to the end, it’ll be the big day 29th August – The day when you’ll be able to rush into the stores and pick up your own Series 11 Moshi’s.

Meet Plumpty the Proper Pud

Proper Pud’s are very prudish moshlings who look down on anything remotely new or exciting

Which is strange considering that their heads are filled with white icing which tastes like mulled Bongo Colada

Proper Puds live in converted mixing bowls near Knickerbocker Nook

Proper Pud’s love Custard and old-fashioned values, but don’t like paper plates or spoon lickers

Be sure to come back tomorrow to see who’s next to be revealed

Thanks to Vivid Toys and Games and Mind Candy for letting us once again be part of the Moshi Monsters fun.