Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Day 4 – Review

Well I’m not doing very well here am I. It’s day 4 and once again I’m a bit stumped as to what we have found behind the window. I think it’s possibly one of the spider droid’s, but am not 100% sure.

The kids are still loving having new Lego to play with every morning, and are getting more and more excited everyday about finding the Santa Yoda!

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Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Day 3 – Review

Up to day three already!

Well today is a bit of a weird one as I think Thomas has overdone himself with all the heat and excitement of his birthday weekend, and he is now lying on the sofa sick and off school. Still we had the pleasure of opening another window on the calendar to cheer him up a bit.

Not sure quite what the figure we got today is, but Thomas thinks its from  it’s from Star Wars Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith.

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Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar Day 2 – Review

This morning the house was a hub of excitement, as today is Thomas 6th Birthday!

Still however before all of the cards and presents were opened, he wanted to open day 2 of his Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar.

Behind the window today was Viceroy of the Trade Federation Nute Gunray.

Getting the figure today was fortuitous for us, as being Thomas’ birthday things are a bit hectic and we have lots to do. So we were lucky that Nute Gunray only needed his head and hat to be put on. Saying that though the spaceship yesterday only took 5 minutes, but in-between the excitement of presents and cards those smaller pieces could have got lost.

Were all really excited to see what awaits us behind door number 3 tomorrow. Plus Thomas is especially eager to get back to school, as he gets to tell all of his classmates he’s opening his advent calendar early!

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Star Wars Clone Wars Light Up Scooter – Review

For the past few weeks we’ve been testing out the Star Wars Clone Wars Light Up Scooter from Ozbozz.

As you’ll already know Thomas is already a massive Star Wars geek, and Jacob is quickly catching him up (hence the T-shirt!)

From being a household without a scooter, we’ve gone to having 3 now in a matter of months. Jacob mostly uses the younger Mini Micro Scooter , but Thomas thinks he’s a bit big for that at nearly 6 so we bought him a cheap 2 wheel scooter to get along with. Now we’ve added the new Light Up Clone Wars scooter to our collection, I’m afraid the other 2 wheeler doesn’t get a look in, even Jacob can’t resist taking it for a quick ride whilst Thomas isn’t looking.

For starters it looks amazing, the graphics going all the way down the handle all the way to the footplate are incredibly vibrant and illustrate the Clone Wars universe beautifully.

However the staring feature is the Bright Red Light Up LED strip along the side of the footplate, It really makes this scooter stand out and get noticed. Obviously in very sunny conditions the lights don’t really do much, but in most light conditions and especially the dark they look very cool!

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The lights can easily be turned off and on via a button underneath the scooter, but be warned that if your kids are anything like mine they will soon find it and be turning it on again as soon as it gets turned off. The Lights were certainly the Highlight of the scooter in my boys eyes, and they weren’t ever being turned off.

Apart from the graphics and flashing LED’s, it’s operates just like any other normal scooter. It folds and locks into place for easy transportation, you can adjust the handlebar height quickly and simply, and the brake is applied by pushing down over the back wheel.

We’ve been using the scooter for around 3 weeks now and haven’t had any problems as yet. Despite wanting the flashing LED’s on at all times whilst scooting along, the 4 AA batteries which I installed when it arrived are still going strong. The only slight problem I’m having is referring the fights my boys are having over whose turn it is.

If just looking for a scooter there are so many different types and styles out there to choose from, however if you’re looking for a scooter for a Star Wars or Clone Wars fan this has to be the one to go for! My son said he feel’s like Darth Vader and Darth Maul rolled together riding it, and that’s the kind of praise money just can’t buy.

SES Creative Observation Dome and Survival Sticks – Review

Our next assignment from the John Crane Craniacs has arrived, it’s a bug observation dome and some survival glow sticks from their SES Creative Explore range.

Now creepy crawlies are not my thing at all! However we have had a lot of fun with the observation dome, although admittedly not with any actual live insects yet.

Although the boys try to make out that they’re not afraid of anything, Neither of them have plucked up the courage to pick up anything living yet to put in, but we have had a lot of fun watching the pretend spider that comes with the dome. The boys have also had a good time running around the house, and digging out everything small enough to go into the dome to investigate them more closely.

We’ve had Lego, Lego men, Army Men, Keys, Stones, Crayons, Fingers, food, everything that’s small enough to be slotted through the hatch has been.

I’m trying to convince Jacob to try picking up a worm to give it a go, but as yet he’s still a bit weary. Whether we will progress onto living insects I’m not sure, but we are having a good time anyway!

Now as you know both the boys are obsessed with Star Wars, so when I say that the other product we received for review was a set of survival Glow Sticks, you can probably imagine what’s coming next.

Yes, Totally disregarding their intended purpose yet again, they both decided that the best use of the glow sticks would be as makeshift light sabres.

Once activated by a quick snap the sticks will glow for around 24 hours before they die down. Plenty of time for Thomas and Jacob to fit in a few epic light sabre battles. One of which I filmed for your entertainment below.

I’m not sure how much surviving they would do if the boys really were stranded in a dark forest or something, as they would probably be too busy having a laugh and running around attacking each other.

I was surprised by how bright they were, definitely considering that this video was taken in the middle of the day. When it got properly dark later on they looked amazing!

Both products are very cool, and would be a great gift for your kids first sleepover night in a tent or similar.

[john_crane]

Lego Star Wars Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship – Review

As I’ve mentioned before Thomas is world famous for his phases of being fanatical about something and then forgetting about it for a while, before starting up all over again.

At the moment he is into Lego Star wars again, in a big way! Probably thanks to the new Clone Wars game that came out at the start of the month. All he’s done recently is swap between playing Lego Star Wars on the PS3, and when I’ve told him that’s enough computer time then switching to playing with the real Lego Star Wars figures and sets he has.

Considering how his life seems to revolve around Lego Star Wars 24/7 at the moment (yes he’s told me he dreams about it) this new set really couldn’t have come at a better time for us.

Initially Thomas was a bit miffed that this set didn’t come with his favourite character Boba Fett, being called the Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship I think the thought that it would definitely include him. He did however quickly get over this disappointment, and has found a new bounty hunter hero in the form of Embo, one of the 4 mini-figures included. The other 3 figures are Sugi, Aurra Sing and IG-86 assassin droid.  As far as Thomas is concerned Embo is the coolest figure he has in his whole collection, but I think the Aurra Sing mini-figure is the best from this set, I love her hair.

The build for this set was relatively easy, well for me anyway (I think i’m getting quite good at this Lego lark). The set is 389 pieces, and took me about 1hr 30 minutes to complete. I was really impressed by how easy the instructions were to follow, as the way the engines move is quite intricate so I thought it would be a much harder build.

Once built the Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship looks very very cool indeed, the colour scheme looks stunning, the glossy green and vibrant yellow complement each other wonderfully and come as a nice change from the normal grey. The rotating engines are outstretched in flying mode, and then drop down for landing.

As this is a bounty hunter’s ship there must be some bounty on it right! We’ll yes there is a special secret compartment which when in flying mode is cleverly concealed as a part slides over the top as the engines monouvre, but becomes visible when the engines move back into landing mode. The secret chest contains a precious Jedi Holocron, which obviously the Jedi will be keen to get back. Apparently the writing ontop of the compartment says “lock” so now we know.

Thomas had a bit of a panic with the Holocron as he put in back into the box sideways and got it stuck. Fortunately the lovely people at Lego had thought this might happen and have kindly placed a hole at the bottom of the box, I was able to push a thin Lego piece up and lucikly dislodge the Holocron which Thomas was very happy about.

Another nice feature is the compartment underneath the drivers cockpit, which is a neat little jail cell. It’s small, dark and so cramped you have to put your captive in sideways but what do you expect? If you look round the back of the cockpit you can see your prisoner looking through the metal grills. Thomas has definitely been putting this feature to good use, he just loves being the baddie!

My only small issue I had with the set was when the engines are rotated into flying mode, and the secret compartment is covered, the weight of the engines cause them to slowly rotate back round into landing mode on their own. The only way to solve this is to either fit another bit of lego underneath the sliding part to stop it the engines from rotating altogether, or you can just hold the slidey bit in whilst you pretend it’s flying and it wont slide back then. I’ve taught Thomas to hold it in place whilst playing with it and now he’s got the hang of it we haven’t found it a problem.

Thomas has only had the gunship a few days and it’s already his favourite Lego Star Wars set, even more loved than his General Grievous StarFighter which I didn’t think would be possible. He loved the minifigs especially Embo, and thinks that the Ship is very very cool. We would give the Lego Star Wars Bounty Hunter Assault Gunship a big Toybuzz 5 out of 5!

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Happy New Year!

Welcome back toy fans! Trust we all had a good Christmas and New Year holiday, well to be honest mine could have been better. Everyone was ill all over Christmas time, we all seemed to be taking it in turns like some sort of illness relay team.

However it wasn’t all bad, even though they both weren’t 100% the boys both loved their Christmas presents. It was great watching them both open all of their gifts from under the tree on Christmas morning.

Both Thomas and Jacob had some most wanted toys which they sent off on a letter to Santa, and of course he delivered, but some of the best presents were the ones that we bought and that they knew nothing about and had never even seen before.

I’ve decided to write up a list of Christmas Highlights and Lowpoint to give you an insight into what our Christmas was really like, and also give idea of which toys I will be reviewing over the coming month.

Christmas Highlights:

The Massive Hasbro Star Wars At-At which Thomas knew nothing about but is absolutely amazing

Probably the Cheapest present of the day, a tub of Toy Story Army Men which has kept Jacob and Thomas entertained ever since

Lego Toy Story Woodys RoundUp was another present which took Jacob totally by surprise but he loved it. It was really easy and quick to put together too, which was a big bonus.

The Chuggington Interactive Railway Train Set – Really easy to put together and not only did the boys enjoy playing with Brewster and co,  it also doubled as a pretty cool Mighty Beanz track as well.

The Snow! Amazing snow day on the last day of school for the kids

Christmas Low Points:

Harry Potter Book of Monsters – The Most pointless thing ever to an adult, but the one present that Thomas just had to have or Christmas would have been ruined, and it was his best present apparently.

Lego Battle of Endor – Ok so not really a low point as Thomas loved it, mostly because it comes with 12 minifigs. The only problem with buying a huge Lego set for a 5 year old is that they expect you to put it together right away, All 890 pieces.

Marvins Magic Box Of Tricks – This set is supposed to be for young magicians, well even me and my husband can’t work out how to do 3/4 of the tricks in the book. There are about 4 painfully simple ones that we did manage, and armed with these Thomas thinks he’s Paul Daniels, but to be honest I was disappointed with this.

Being ill over Christmas sucks big time

The Snow! Got a bit much in the end and meant no postman for 2 weeks, so we missed out on some Christmas Presents we’d ordered

So that’s Christmas over with for another year. I hope you all got what you wanted from Father Christmas :) Back to the grindstone now eh!

Lego Star Wars Death Star

A few months ago I joined Thomas up to the Lego Club, it’s worth while doing if your kids are into Lego as they run lots of competitions, you get a cool magazine every so often, oh and best of all it’s free.

Anyway as part of signing up to the Lego club we are now obviously on the mailing list as last week we received our first ever Lego Catalogue through the post.

Thomas and Jacob both spent a good 30 minutes looking at every page and deciding what sets they wanted Santa to bring them (all of them I think), and then Thomas got to the very last page as was left totally awestruck by the Lego Star Wars Death Star.

Of course I shot down the idea of Santa leaving this under the tree straight away, this set is definitely one for the older Lego enthusiast. Although I know how much he would love to have his very own Lego Death Star, at £275.00 it’s just not gonna happen.

Saying that you do get an amazing amount of Lego for your money. 24 Minifigures including all of the main players Han, Chewy, Leia, Luke, C3P0 and R2D2, plus you even get the Dianoga Trash Compactor Monster!

The Death Star has three levels and features all of the most important places from the movie so you can recreate all of your favourite scenes.

Deactivate the Tractor Beam, Escape from the Trash Compactor, Battle Darth Vader in the Emperors Throne Room, you can relieve all of these great scenes in Lego with your Death Star and Minifigs.

The detail that has gone into this set really is incredible. All of the doors open, the guns fire, even the walls of the Trash Compactor really do close in and crush you!

I dread to think about how long it would take me to put a set of this size together, my biggest Lego project to date was the General Grievous StarFighter at 454 pieces and that took me about 3 hours, the Death Star is 3803!

A truly amazing Lego set for the most hardcore of Lego Star Wars fans! Just a bit too fancy for my 5 year old at the moment, no matter how much he tries to win me over.

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Star Wars Mighty Beanz – Review

As soon as I found out that Spinmaster were releasing a new set of Mighty Beanz based around Star Wars I just knew that this was set to be Thomas’ latest collecting obsession, and boy was I right. So when we were kindly sent some to review I was thrilled, but also slightly apprehensive about what was about to get started.

It was his 5th birthday last Saturday so I added the brand new Mighty Beanz Star Wars Collectors Case to his already huge haul of birthday gifts. It turns out that amongst everything he received his Darth Vadar styled Mighty Beanz tin was his bestest present (his words not mine).

This set of tin and beanz has been such a hit with him that he’s taken it to the school playground to show all of his pals (twice), and he even takes it to bed with him!

They have also worked really well for bribe purposes (probably too well!!). My mother promised him a pack of the Star Wars Mighty Beanz for every good boy sticker he brought home from school (as a background he hadn’t had any up to this point). This week he’s got 5 already, and he’s hoping to get more today. I think my mother is seriously going to regret this deal!

The Tin holds 40 Mighty Beanz across the two sides, Thomas has divided it into a goodies side and a baddies side. The only problem is that there is over 80 Beanz to collect so eventually he’s going to need 2 tins.

The Collectors tin comes with two limited Editon Beanz, we got Darth Vadar (80)  and Luke Skywalker  (81) The higher up in numbers they are the more limited they are I think. I do think that the tin is a little pricy at £20 for just the tin and the 2 beanz, I feel there should probably have been 6 beanz included. However my son who doesn’t yet recognise the value of money would probably have been just as overjoyed with the  tin on it’s own.

To build up your collection you’ll need to buy the special packs of Star Wars Mighty Beanz, which contain 4 beanz and cost £5. These I think are good value for money, 4 for £5 is just right I think. Luckily Thomas had a few pounds birthday money which he is going to put towards getting a few more packets, saving Mum’s pocket for a bit.

All in all the collectors tin has been a huge birthday success, and even though there’s a lot more collecting to be done until we get the full set, I’ve no doubts that he’ll get there in the end and love every minute along the way.

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Lego General Grievous StarFighter 8095 – Review

Thomas still being a massive Star Wars and Lego fan was ecstatic when this Lego General Grievous StarFighter was brought by the postman for me to review (see Mummy does have some good uses sometimes..)

The most important thing for Thomas to find out was whether General Grievous came with 4 Lightsabers, he was delighted when he saw from the front of the box that he does. This is the main reason that he is one of Thomas’ favourite Star Wars characters, is just because he has 4 Lightsabers!

So this set is obviously right up Thomas’ street. Lightsabers, Flying Projectiles, Evil villain complete with Goodie to battle, it has all the hallmarks of a triple-T – a Thomas Top Toy!

I opened the box with trepidation as to what it would hold inside, this set is 454 pieces which is the by far the biggest I’ve attempted so far. The manual didn’t help calm my nerves, it was more like a novel than an instruction guide. I dread to think what the some of the bigger sets manuals look like.

I did however find it surprisingly easy to put together, it only took me around 2 hours to put it all together. You’ll probably be much quicker if your an expert builder, but I do feel that i’m getting better with every build.

Minifigs

The 8095 set comes with 3 Minifigs, A4-d droid, Jedi Knight Nehdar Vebb and of course the man himself General Grievous.

If your familiar with the Clone Wars Cartoon series you’ll know that Vebb and Grievous have previous history, Vebb was lured into a trap and had to have a lightsaber duel with Grievous. Thomas was happy that he’d seen the two previously battle in the show as it gave him some ideas for  his own games. Even though he is quite imaginative with his games, he does enjoy re-enacting things he’s seen in the movies and TV show.

A4-d is a medical droid, and General Grievious’ personal doctor. He’s a very odd looking droid, and quite an odd looking Minifig too. The main problem I have with him is that he has so much medical equipment strapped to his back that he doesn’t stand very easily on his very thin legs.  Thomas finds It very tricky to balance him so he stands up independently without a baseplate or brick, but it can be done.

All the Minifigs from this set are exclusives, and the General Grievous figure is much improved over the previous 2007 version. This time round Grievous has larger feet and redesigned legs to enable him to still stand independently even when holding onto his 4 Lightsabers. You can see from the two pictures above how much better the newer version looks.

His top two arms are attached onto his forearms, and are meant to be easily removable. You will need to remove them each time you want to fit Grievious into his Starfighter cockpit as it wont accommodate all of his arms. This isn’t as much of a hassle as it sounds as the arms come off really easily, I just have to keep drumming it into Thomas to look after them and not to lose the arms.

As well as the Minifigs and actual Starfighter, you also get General Grievious’ Lair complete with his swivelling command chair and Lightsaber Rack (well he’s got to keep all of those Lightsabers organised somewhere)

The chair is very cool, all the parts move and fold down and up and it swivels around. It reminded me of a dentists chair, and that’s when I realised this must be where Grievous lies down and gets all of his repairs done.

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The Starfighter

The ship itself is very sturdy when all put together, and apart from the tail fin at the back they’re are no pieces which will fall off easily. The fin at the back sticks out and bends up and down, this is the only part which has consistently fallen off whilst being played with.

The Starfighter is heavier than I imagined it would be, not heavy as in bulky but more as in well built and sturdy. Thomas can easily lift and zoom it around to pretend it’s flying, and amazingly it all stays in one piece. That I’m really pleased about.

I really like the way that Lego have designed the new cockpit for Grievous. Instead of the whole front of the plane sliding forwards, just the cockpit windshield slides open.  It looks more realistic than the whole front coming off. As mentioned before though you will need to remove two of his arms to fit him in the seat.

As you’d expect from a dastardly villain like Grievous, he has plenty of weapons stowed away on his ship loaded and ready for even the slightest sign of trouble.

Apart from the lines of visible guns which line the outer sides of his ship is a hidden compartment where his keeps the big guns!

Open up the secret doors (one on each side of the ship) and you’ll find 2 missiles primed and ready for launch. Flick them out of their holsters and they will really fire out across the room. Well maybe not that far, but they do fly out.

On the underside of the starfighter you will find one massive missile which doesn’t fire but does make the ship look extra evil.

Summary

My son absolutely adores this set and it’s just perfect for him.

Even though the age range on the box is 8 – 14 and he’s only 5, it’s not so intricate that it falls apart all the time when he plays. Of course he wouldn’t have been able to build it himself, but that’s what mums here for. I do think that an 8 year old could manage it with a little help.

If you have a mini Star Wars fan in your home then this set will be the perfect gift.

The new General Grievous Minifig is so much improved over the last version. It really looks like the Grievous we know from the Clone Wars movies.

In my opinion this is one of those must have sets for your Lego Star Wars collection -a double-thumbs up from Thomas and mum this time!