Furby Connect – Review

Even I let out a little squeal of delight when I got the email from the Hasbro Toy Tribe that we’d be receiving a brand new Furby Connect to review any day, and now here he is.

His name is Doo-Doh, which translates as Lazy Tummy in Furbish.

I’ve always loved Furby’s ever since I was a little girl, but never got one originally first time around.

I had to wait until Jacob asked me for a Furby Boom last birthday until I got my hands on one in real life. Obviously I let him play with it first.

Even though we did love our Furby Boom, it’s great to upgrade to the Furby Connect as it is so much cooler.

However the biggest advantage has to be that Furby Connect comes with an eye mask for putting it to sleep. No more phantom furbish waking us all up in the middle of the night, thank god.

Furby Boom never did sleep properly. It was a case of taking the batteries out if you needed to keep it quiet, which gets annoying. So the sleep mask is a simple but very welcome solution.

The main change you’ll see in the new Furby connect is the huge LCD eyes, which have a great way of interacting with you. When he’s hungry or your feeding him with the food cannon, you can see the food floating across his eyes. You’ll also see musical notes when he’s singing and other things too. It makes the Furby seem so much more real as the LCD eyes are so expressive as it talks.

As usual Furby has a great personality and sense of humour, but Furby Connect has really been turned up all the way to eleven as he’s so sassy and funny. The boys and I have just laughed and laughed at some of the things Furby has said.

One of the great ways you can interact with Fuby is via the new app Furby Connect Worlds. Here you can hatch little virtual furblings, and clean them, feed them, play with them and level them up as you go along.

In the app you can also do one of our favourite things with Furby Connect, watch videos together. We have watched music videos of real current hit songs where Furby sings along and fun videos of things like nanna’s drumming and little kids doing karate. Think of it like watching Youtube with your Furby but with only very young kid appropriate videos coming up. Plus Furby talks all over the videos, so its like your watching and interacting at the same time.

I loved that about 10 minutes after we’d watched the karate kid video Furby said “AWW remember the nunchuck kid video that was so awesome” It really made us all laugh.

The good thing with the Furby Connect Worlds app is that you don’t have to use Furby at the same time if you don’t want to. Theres always Furblings to clean, eggs to hatch and so on, but this means that while your out and about with Furby at home you can still do all the other things with your Furblings and theres always something to entertain and keep your little ones busy.

It’s also worth mentioning that Furby connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, so everything really simple. I know that we had a lot of trouble at times connecting our old Furby Boom to the app, but no such problems this time. The new Furby Connect Worlds app is simple to use, as I said no connectivity problems with Furby Connect, and is most importantly really fun to use.

Being connected wirelessly via Bluetooth means that Furby Connect will update periodically when your in the App, so the videos change and Furby will learn new songs from the charts. He even knows what time it is, so will ask for breakfast or lunch, plus even knows what day it is- for example a special day like Christmas Day or Valentines Day.

And lastly having two boys I cannot fail to mention the laugh out loud fun they have had putting Furby over the virtual toilet and helping him push something out. Will it be a truck, a pineapple with a banana face or maybe just a big poo, the possibilities are endless. Everytime I hear Furby shout “The Struggle is real!” I know there putting Furby over the toilet again.

Unfortunately for Furby I don’t think its going to get old anytime soon. Poor Furby

 

Disclosure: We received Furby Connect for review as part of participation in the Hasbro Toy Tribe. All opinions are our own

Thunderbirds Are Go Super Cool Promo

Heads up International Rescue members! Check out this brilliant promo video for the new range of Thunderbirds are Go Toys by Vivid being available at Toys R Us.

As keen participants in the Thunderbirds are Go blogger missions, we were given an exclusive early access to the video, and obviously had to pass it onto you all as it’s so awesome.

Jacob laughed and laughed. He thought the idea of Thunderbird 2 actually delivering the toys to the store was hilarious.

We loved the ITV show, and can’t wait to get our hands on our own Tracy Island, Thunderbird 1 and all of International Rescue.

Think Thunderbirds are going to be top of a lot of christmas lists this year!

 

 

 

 

Thunderbirds Are Go Website – Review

The final part of our Thunderbirds Are Go Blogger Missions were to work our way through the Thunderbirds Are Go Website, and sign up to International Rescue.

Another pretty easy mission we thought at first, however we’ve run into a problem – Were having too much fun!

Honestly the website is jam packed with so much interesting things to do and collect, we have spent a lot of time this week playing it (and I mean a lot!)

The first thing you do when you log onto Thunderbirds.com is sign up to International Rescue. You get to choose a cool secret code name, and you get a certificate you can print off.  This is Jacob’s certificate, the codename he choose was GeostationaryDiagnostics37.

Once you’ve signed up and got your codename the fun really begins as you can start working towards your badges.

Theres 14 badges in all you can work towards collecting. You start with the codebreaker badge, as you’ll need the skills you acquire for all the other badges.

Each badge has a coded message part, which you have to decipher to continue. The codebreaker badge sets you up for this by having you crack the code. You can then use the code template to work out the secret messages and unlock the next mission badges.

Jacob and I recommend downloading the Thunderbirds Are Go app for your phone or tablet if you have one. It’s a handy gadget for completing the badges, as it has the deciphered code on it to help you gain your badges, and it makes you feel like a real agent.

As part of the mission I had a few questions to ask Jacob about the website:

  •  What’s your username?  Do you think it’s cool?

Yeah I really like my name, it’s very cool. It was hard to choose a name as they all sounded good together, but I’m glad I choose the name I did.

  • What stage have you got to so far?

Me and my mum had such a good time playing we finished all the stages.

  • How many challenges have you done so far?  Did you do more than one in one go?

Yeah, we finished all the challenges do far. We worked really hard as we wanted to beat the Hood. It feels go to have gained all the badges.

  • Did you find the challenges easy or hard?

Most of the challenges were quite easy. It just took a bit of time to scan the pictures to find all the objects and Hood Challenge pieces.

  • Have you taken on The Hood yet?

Yeah, We just beat The Hood. It was great to find all the pieces finally, and see the secret mission video.

  • Is the website easy to navigate?

I think it’s a good website. I like to look around at the the different characters and crafts.

  • Do you think you’ll go back to the website to continue taking the new challenges?

I’m definitely hoping that more challenges will be added. It’d be so cool to get my score up and earn more badges.

So as you can see we had great fun together on the Thunderbirds.com website, and thoroughly recommend you all check it out.

Thunderbirds Are Go – DVD Review

This week the boys and I have been taking part in the Thunderbirds Are Go Blogger Mission.

Our first mission was an easy one – to enjoy all of the Thunderbirds Are Go episodes on the new series one DVD.

Firstly Jacob was a bit sceptical about watching Thunderbirds Are Go with me, after I told him that I used to watch the original Thunderbirds when I was growing up. I think he thought it was going to be very old and boring, but he was so hooked on the new CGI look.

All the old favourites are there like the Tracy brothers, Brains, Lady Penelope and Parker, but the new cartoon look brings everything bang up to date.

As part of the Thunderbirds Are Go Blogger mission I asked the boys to answer a few questions about the series.

  • Favourite character?

Thomas: Gordon Tracy. I think he looks a bit like me, and he’s loud like me too.

Jacob: I like Brains, as he’s always building things and inventing stuff.

  • Favourite craft?

Thomas: I’m going to say Thunderbird 4 as it’s Gordon’s, and it goes underwater.

Jacob: I loved the Bullet Train from the Runaway episode. It goes so fast, and mum said she went on a bullet train in Japan.

  • Favourite episode and why?

Thomas: I liked Slingshot as it’s in space with Asteroids and the Solar Flare

Jacob: Fireflash – Brains supersonic jet is really cool

  • What would you like to see happen next in the series?

Thomas: Another Space episode, maybe a bomb on the International Space Station. Perhaps even The Hood fakes his way as an astronaut and plants it himself.

Jacob: It’d be cool if Brains invented some kind of mega gun and The Hood tried to steal it

  • Would you like to see more of a certain character?

Thomas: I like Max, Brains’s robot helper. He’s cute.

Jacob: Yeah I like Max too.

  • What character are you most like?

Thomas: Gordon. He likes water like me, and he’s funny.

Jacob: My mum says i’m like Brains as i’m always building gadgets and things with my Lego

  • Is your mum/dad like any of the Thunderbirds Are Go characters?

Thomas: Think mum would like to be Kayo, but she’s more like Grandma

Jacob: Dad’s the oldest so he can be Scott

Thanks boys for your help (I think?)

The DVD is released in shops on 22nd June 2015, and you can pre-order it now from Amazon, or download the episodes from iTunes.

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the Thunderbirds Are Go on Dvd to write an honest review. All opinions are our own. 

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.

 

 

Rubik’s Cube turns 40 – Review

You may remember last year me taking part in the ‘Cuber In Training’ blogger challenge, with me finally completing the cube in 4mins 16 secs.

Well this year that twisty turny coloured menace of a cube turns 40 years old, and to celebrate the anniversary we were kindly sent some more Rubik’s goodies to test.

First Invented in 1974, it was in the 80’s that the worldwide obsession with the cube took over. Making the Rubik’s Cube synonymous with the decade as much so as leg warmers and Wham!

As a child of the 80’s the Rubik’s Cube will always hold a special place in my heart. In fact it’s the one and only toy I can remember me, my uncles and even my grandfather all trying our hand at. My granddad impartial is still a massive fan, and I often found him trying to complete it all these years later.

As well as the lovely old Rubik’s Cube, we were also sent a mini keyring version which is gorgeous, but so small it makes the solving even harder if that’s possible.

Our favourites though out of our bloggers box was the Rubik’s Twist (which my husband says used to be called the snake) and Rubik’s Race which is an awesome two player game.

The Rubik’s Twist has been such a revelation, the kids have been totally glued to it. Fighting over who gets to use it next. Which has been great, I love that they have been off their gadgets for a while and creating fun shapes with their hands and imaginations. It’s a real brain teaser.

Rather than having a single solution, the Rubik’s Twist is made for creativity. It’s basically up to you what you want to make of it. Try to put it back into a circle, making a pattern in the colours, making a shape like a cat or zig zag. The boys have really gone to town and enjoyed the flexibility of not having a pre-determined end solution to aim for.

Rubik’s Race is Thomas and I’s new thing to do together during our quiet time before bed.

Although we have so much fun it’s maybe not quiet, but it’s something not involving a screen.

Each player has a board with 24 coloured tiles (4 of each colour).

One player shakes the tumbler. Inside are 9 little coloured cubes, the game is to match the pattern that the cubes in the tumbler make on your own big board.

You do this buy moving around the tiles until the patterns match. The first one to match the pattern correctly is the winner. It’s fast, fun, but ever so tricky, and brutal when your one tile away from finishing and your opponent smash’s down his panel to say he’s won.

We have had so much fun with game. It’s the best game we’ve played for a long while, and so addictive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If all this talk of Rubik’s cubes has got you all nostalgic, then head on over to Google’s CubeLab where you can play online Rubik’s inspired games and digital artwork.

Thanks so much to John Adams for sending these Rubik’s goodies for us to try out.

Toy-centric Fathers Day gift guide

Fathers Day is fast approaching, you’ve only got just over 2 weeks to get those gifts in.

So I’ve been on the hunt for toy related Fathers Day gifts, as we all know men are all just little boys at heart.

Here’s my pick of what’s out there for the fun-loving dad in your life:

Special Collectors Edition Football Sports Edition Rubik’s Cube

RRP £14.95 from Paul Lamond Games

I just love this football edition Rubik’s Cube.  Some of the teams to be given the Rubik’s treatment are  Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC, Arsenal FC, Tottenham Hotspur FC and Manchester City FC

Each cube comes has the club logo, stadium and other club related images on each of the sides. So you can use it just like a regular Rubik’s cube.

We tried out the Tottenham Hotspur edition, being big Spurs fans. One side is the stadium, another a big mosaic of the logo, the underside is made up of each cube having a picture of the logo, and the last side is made up of bricks saying “come on you spurs”.

It great on its stand, and would look wonderful on your football loving dad’s desk at work.

At first I thought it would be impossible to solve without the colours, but I did beat it eventually. I just had to give each side a colour in my head. Sounds weird I know, but that’s the only way I could get my head around the new blocks.

I definitely found it harder to solve, so a great new challenge for a footie loving dad who perhaps thinks he’s conquered the cube.

And if you need reminding how to solve the cube, don’t forget my cuber in training video 

Daddy Pig Loungewear

My two boys have never been into Peppa Pig, but I know that she and Daddy Pig are big modern kiddie icons.

So what better for your little Peppa fans dad than this cool Daddy Pig range from Asda

Theres pyjama pants, a t-shirt, No 1 dad trunks, and a range of socks available.

Theres even a pair of Grandpa Pig socks for that special grandad

All available from Asda stores nationwide and asda.com from £2.50 – £10

Billy Whizz Morphsuit 

One for older more nostalgic dads perhaps.

Although saying that my hubbys not old, but he loves Billy Whizz

At £39.95 it’s quite pricey for a father’s day gift, however imagine seeing your dad rushing around as Billy Whizz!

it has to be worth it for mere comedy value alone.

Available from Morph Suits for £39.95

Beano Cup and Coasters

If the Beano is your dads cup of tea then these personalised Beano cups and Beano coasters are just the thing.

Coasters are always handy things to have around, and having a pack of six means they’ll be plenty to go around the office, work desk and man cave.

Having a personalised Beano mug is bound to earn them a few high fives around the office too.

Pack of six coasters £14.95 from DC Thompson Shop, and Personalised Beano mug  £10.99 from Gone Digging

Subbuteo Penalty Shoot Out

Another one for the old nostalgics out there.

If you’re looking for a sure-fire guaranteed fathers day winner then this has to be it.

At only £9.95 it’s a brilliant value for money gift.

Not for dad’s, Subbuteo will provide lots of fun for all the family.

We’ve been testing out the Penalty Shoot out set for a couple of days now and its brilliant fun.

Easy to play for even the youngest wannabe footballers, we’ve been having a blast holding our own penalty shoot out tournaments at home.

If you’re looking for something that is 100% sure to get dad’s off the sofa and down on the floor playing with the kids then this is a must buy.

 RRP £9.95 from Paul Lamond Games

 

So that’s my list. Hopefully you’ve found something that’ll take the fancy of the dad in your life.

Disclosure: We were sent a Football edition Rubik’s cube and Subbuteo Penalty Shoot Out sent for review. However all opinions are our own.

 

 

 

 

Rubiks Uk Championships

As you’ll probably know by now, me and another couple of bloggers have been taking part in the ‘Cuber In Training’ programme. During the programme we all learnt how to complete the cube, and then battled to see who was the fastest cuber.

All our blocky fun was done in the run-up to the 2013 UK Rubik’s Championships, which saw cubers from around the world descend on the UK to tackle the 13 different events. Over 100 speed cubers took part in the events, and here are the results.

  • Winner of the 3×3 and UK Rubik’s Cube Champion is Thom Barlow, 25 from Manchester with an average solve time of 10.64 seconds!
  • Winner of the 3×3 Blindfolded is Matthew Sheerin, 22 from Airdire, Scotland with an average solve time of 57.99 seconds!
  • Winner of the 3×3 One-Handed is Robert Yau, 21 from Gulidford, Surrey with an average solve time of 16.24 seconds!
  • Winner of the 2×2 Rubik’s Cube speed solve is Sameer Mahmood from Catford, London with an average solve time of 2.70 seconds!

Well done to all the winners, I simply cannot believe those amazing times they achieved. Puts my efforts to shame for sure.

 

 

Cuber In Training – Challenge Three

Here we are then – Judgement day!

All the hard work and training over the last few days has been building up to this.

I’ve been driving the family mad with my cubing. First few days because I was just staring at it blankly and getting cross with myself. And now that I can do it, I can’t stop myself.

I’ve just been practicing as much as I can. Every minute I can fit a bit in I’ve been cubing.

On the bus with my mini Rubik’s key ring, on the way to school, whilst cooking the dinner. I’ve even taken to leaving my cube by the kettle so I can have a go whilst it’s boiling and I’m making the tea.

Finally this morning I felt confident enough to start filming and timing myself. I’ve had a few goes – some went badly and I totally lost it, others went better but weren’t as fast as I’d have liked.

This is my fourth attempt at the challenge, and I’m finally happy with my time. In fact I’m over the moon with my time. My best time ever and I managed to get it on film!

If you want to see how I got on, and more importantly my time you’ll have to watch the video for yourself.

Be gentle with me please, It’s my first time on camera :)

Disclosure: I was sent various Rubik’s products in order to participate in the Cuber In Training programme

 

I’m now officially a Cuber In Training

Today I’ve mostly been spinning around coloured boxes! Trying desperately to get my head around my brand new Rubik’s Cube

To conincide with the UK Rubik’s Cube championships from the 16th – 17th November, John Adams have set a few of us bloggers a challenge. To conquer the cube!

I’m taking part in the John Adams Rubik’s Cube Blogger training programme with @1ConsumerVoice, Tom from @DiaryOfTheDad, Wendy over at @savvywendy, and @MelTinkFerrari.

My ‘Cuber in training’ kit arrived this morning, with a 3×3 Cube with a how to solve guide,  2×2 cube and a mini Rubik’s Keyring cube.

There was also an ominous looking envelope containing our first challenge – To complete the cube in under 20 minutes.

We get three days to complete this challenge. Well I’m not sure about that to be honest, as I’m seriously struggling already.

Theres plenty of great video instructions on the Rubik’s Cube website to help, so I think I need to get watching .

However Maybe I just need to sleep on it and try afresh tomorrow. Wish me luck everyone!