Friday, 30 September 2011

Kre - O Oh so much fun!

When my eldest saw the two boxes of Kre-o transformers in our latest toys R us toyology box to say he was pleased would be an understatement.

He is 9, and loves lego and all things like that, and he loves transformers so this is an ideal combination.

Kre -o is a great construction set, based on the transformer range, there are several sets to choose from, all with incredible detail and likeness to the transformers they portray.

We received the Optimus Prime Twin cycle set, this set is the ultimate Autobot construction kit, you can build up Optimus prime in robot mode,  vehicle mode or even into a base station. There are 5
Kreon mini figures included which both my boys loved, and two motocycles.

Jake built up Optimus Prime in robot mode with no help from myself, it took him a fair few hours and he came back to it over a few days, but he was pleased with the results, and the likeness to the transformers kept him sufficiently engaged as he could watch it building up.

The instructions are easy to follow, set out in two seperate books, one for building into the Robot mode, and one for the vehicle mode.

 The Kre- o does not actually transform, so to switch between the 3 modes you have to dismantle your previous effort and start again following the new instructions, but this means there are hours of enjoyment to be had as you build up which ever mode you want to at the time.

The pieces fix together well and are sturdy when built which means when built they do withstand a small amount of maneuvering, however it is not really a toy that younger children can 'play' with unless you want to spend your time having to rebuild broken parts.

But the mini figures as always are a huge hit and my youngest has had equal enjoyment as my eldest playing with these figures.

We are yet to build up the base station, but I can imagine that this will further enhance younger childrens ability to enjoy this set, and for older children it is a really great construction model set which they are sure to enjoy making and admiring once made.

With over 500 bricks in this set it is challenging enough to occupy older children who will be proud of the results, and has plenty of fun factor with the motorcycles and mini figures for younger children to enjoy too.
This set is priced at £69.99 and can be purchased from Toys R us now other sets start from as little as £8.99 for the basic Kre- o sets and range in price depending on the detail of the sets. Although this set is rather expensive it is sure to be well received by any older child and will keep them happy and occupied for many hours as they build up the various options in this set, however for younger ones it might be worth starting out with the cheaper options in the Kre- o range.

heres our video review for you to take a closer look.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Lessons, well and turly learnt!

OK first off let me start by saying Thank you for all your amazing support, and so sorry that it has ended up this way!

If you have been following the badly organized, competition then you will already be aware of some of whats been happening.. if not read : here

and I am not going to sob story the rights and wrongs any longer, we tried, we took a stand, we made a difference and we made a mistake.

We posted in Get Online Votes, as mentioned in our previous posts, AFTER contacting Mercedes SEVERAL times about the competition, very early on, and after receiving NO response from them, We were exploring avenues about how people get votes. This site works where you post your link and others in contests look and vote in the hope you vote in exchange for them in their contest, no money is passed hands, no fake accounts are used, no mass voting.
We informed Mercedes that we had posted in this style of website via email, and stated that in doing this you receive few response, and we were therefore concerned at the mass numbers of votes the other contestants were jumping, NO RESPONSE!
We are also aware others brought this to their attention around the same time with NO RESPONSE!
then obviously I checked out how the others were getting their huge votes, found they were BUYING them, which I consider to be totally unfair, so once again I contacted Mercedes and received NO RESPONSE, then I blogged about the whole thing, and surprise surprise Mercedes take note when my supporters all contact them, I stated in this blog post that I had posted on Get Online Votes, site, and said that this method takes alot of effort, (we only posted once on this site and recieved 3 responces - one of which stated they could not get the site to load!) inorder to use this site you have to post on eeryone elses posts saying you have voted this takes ALOT of time and wasn't something I followed up with, Mercedes changed there T & C and forgot to mention the vote swapping, instead ringing me up to praise me and make out I was fine, then AFTER I tell all my friends and supporters Mercedes are doing the right thing, and re blog saying they had done the right thing, they suddenly decided its fine to disqualify me, maybe because they were happy I had rectified there awful situation they had got themselves in.

But I guess if you are sticking strictly to terms and conditions (even if they are brought about mid way through), and it is then decided that it is not ethical to ask for votes in an exchange for a vote, (even tho I never stated that I would return votes for me in any of my posts;) then it is only fair that everyone doing so is excluded, even if that seems immensely unfair :(

We wish all the other entrants luck, and hope that Mercedes eventually find their winner.

So sorry once again,  still pleased we managed to get the vote buyers disqualified, so I guess as much heart ache as this has been we did manage to prevent people buying mass votes from scooping the prize.

Hopefully this truly has been a wake up call to anyone, wanting to run a competition, or enter one!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Driving me up the Wall!

We received Hot Wheels Wall Track Starter set in our 4th Toyology box.

I think most people are aware of Hot wheels they top the market for toy cars, the quality of them makes them a timeless classic.
 We have had hotwheels cars, but until now never ventured into the hot wheel track sets, one of the main reasons for this was the floor space they seemed to take up so when I saw these in the box I was interested to see how they worked.

The idea of these new sets is that they attach to the walls so you free up the floor space commonly associated with hot wheels tracks.

The wall Track system give you a whole new dimension to create stunts for your hot wheels vehicles, the track fastens to your wall using 'wall safe' command strips by 3m

On the packaging it states they are un suitable for wallpaper, and may not adhere well to vinyl, so that is worth noting however, I used them on wall paper in the boys room and they stuck well, and removed without a mark, but obviously that would have to be your decision if to use them on your wall paper.

The starter set includes a loop, a clacket bridge and several other stunt filled sections, there are several features which allow you to change the direction of the cars and enhance your play.

Only one vehicle is included in the set but more can be purchased separately.

It is worth noting the starter set is quite large you will need to ensure you have about 3ft square of available wall space or more if you wish to expand you set.

The all important part is how does this set attach to the wall, the answer is amazingly well with Command strips, and can it be easily removed?

The command strips are double sided adhesive tape which fasten onto the wall brackets. To remove them you must not pull off in a forwards motion towards you,  as this will result in ripping your paper, or marking your walls, however if you pull the removal tab which is left showing at the bottom of the bracket, downwards in a straight line along the wall for about 12 inches the bracket will release leaving no marks on your wall.

The brackets themselves are designed with a safety break away feature, to prevent them being ripped off the wall in the incorrect manner.

The front of the bracket will clip away from the mounting back plate if any force is applied onto the bracket. Resulting in the track being able to be removed leaving just a back plate in place on the wall, which you can then re clip the bracket back onto the back plate as you wish.

The Track itself is universal with other Hot Wheels sets using simple clip together pieces which can be added and taken away as you desire giving you endless possibilities to expand and design your own stunt tracks.

This set is really good and the command strips work amazingly well in holding the brackets on the Wall and allowing you to remove them with ease. We had to completely move our set over to the right as we later realized that we had placed it too close to the bed to be able to use one of the exits. but this was not a problem as the command strips removed easily. You receive 12 command strips in the starter set, which is enough to place your set twice, however you can purchase future command strips online here : 3M Command Strips which is handy to note because you could get creative and design your own track setups, and change them whenever you wish.

We really loved the Wall Tracks and Think they will enhance any hot wheels sets you already have, or make a great introduction into the Hot Wheel world!

See our video review here which shows how to set up the wall track, and demonstrates how the command strips attach and detach from the wall.

If you like the look of this set I have donated a Hot Wheels Wall Track to my good friend to Auction off in her charity Auction to help raise money for her son to go to America to have a operation which may help him to walk! If you could spare two minutes to pop over and support them I would appreciate it :) and the auction can be found here : Online Auction

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Winner of the KNex Giveaway

Thank you all for the amazing responce to the K'nex give away

it's great to hear good reviews on the Toys R us Toybox app, I hope the reviews continue to come in useful as Christmas gets closer!

We once again placed all the names of the entries into a hat, and my daughter picked out the winner

I will be contacting Lisa Troccoli to arrange delivery.

Thank you again for all the entrys, if you were not the lucky winner this time be sure to look out for my next competition and to keep an eye on the facebook page to see other toyologists giveaways :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Morals and values.

As you may all be aware we were in a Competition with Mercedes Vans, Made for the
A dreaded Voting competition... which I do not normally enter, I have mentioned before about competitions and my love hate relationship with them and the greed and moral dilemma's they bring up.

But I do love a creative competition, I love to be creative and everyone likes it when someone rewards you for things you do, so this competition which although boiled down to votes, was also a creative competition, with only 10 people being shortlisted into the voting round, shortlisted on merit.

So we entered with good spirits and had good fun making a song up which we  wrote and sang ourselves,  we entered and were happy to be shortlisted, we rallied support and gained votes from genuine loyal friends and family.

However we had concerns from the off that something wasn't quite right, our votes were being matched to the exact number every night, then suddenly the other contenders jumped up 300+ votes in one day, we were hitting a bit of a brick wall our supports were slowing in numbers, and although my friends were still sharing with their friends the other contenders were flying up in votes fast. We googled to see if we could find anything out about how the other contenders were gaining votes, were they rallying support in local newspapers? were they on local radio stations? no....

What we uncovered was a much murkier world of voting contests!
Initially we found them on vote exchange sites, like getonlinevotes, and we emailed Mercedes, no response, we pondered we watched, we assumed this must be allowed due to the no responce from Mercedes, even tho we were assured they HAD recieved our emails. So we posted on Getonlinevotes, we watched to see if the votes would fly up now and match the other contestants votes.. but no, our votes remained still, we received 3 replies to our post on Getonline votes, 1 said they could not cast the vote as the site would not load, we puzzled about this, and went back to getonlinevotes and figured out this site only works if you are actively swopping your link, voting on other peoples and asking for a return vote, simply posting on their site will get next to no interest, this found out we quickly realized that was unattainable and certainly would be far to much effort and time taking, and would not be the way the others were gaining their 100's of votes in a matter of hours.

So we googled again, this time finding out even more murkier practices!

What the others were doing was buying votes online, on sites such as and

And joining in vote exchange websites where people offer to exchange 100's of votes from mutiple fake accounts.

We resisted joining in and continued to rally support genuinely talking to friends and family,managing to gain over 500 votes yet we were increasingly frustrated when our friends votes were not counting, when friends were reporting they could not load the website, or register their votes.

We messaged Mercedes at two different email address and received no response, we plodded on hoping that eventually they would sit up and take note... but no nothing, deathly silences from the organizers, increasing votes from the contestants. who were now on over 900 each

We decided to make a facebook page and try and rally support that way, with over 200 likes in less than a week, we also noticed that the leading contender had a facebook page with no likers at all!

Today I decided enough was enough and I rang Mercedes, spoke to a lovely man called Tom, who listened to my queries and reassured me they would look into it and get back to me.

They did indeed get back to me, but their response was disappointing to say the least. They Said:

the voting system allows visitors to vote once which is the only stipulation....

The approach the others are using does not break any rules and will not be disqualified....

So with that response we were thrown into a moral argument, what to do? join in... in the hope we can buy more votes? or refuse to be apart of that and hope that by taking a stand Mercedes will either stand up and take note, or other companies will not make such drastic mistakes!
The only way we could keep up would be to act in a manner I concider is cheating.

If you agree with us andwould class  buying votes as cheating then all we could ask you do is email Mercedes here:

or phone them here: 
0845 602 4321

and join us by saying we do not agree with buying votes, its not fair that Mercedes are allowing this activity to win so openly, buying votes is NOT an option at all and we will take a stand against this!
Close the competition and Draw a winner out of a hat or pick on merit!

Surely voting contests means what the public deem as the best entry to win, buying votes completely undermines any such structure and really there would be no point in having the voting contest at all.
Additional Note:

We pulled our video from the competition to take a stand, because we disagree with the voting structure, and had said on several occasions to Mercedes we would if they didn't help us sort this out. we were proud of our entry and were thrilled to be shortlisted, but do not agree in buying votes  we don't want to compete with this sort of vote gaining but would love for Mercedes to reconsider how they are picking their winner and make it fair!

Also we gained our support in a number of ways, I did not spam my blog with beggs to vote, I asked my friends on this blog post here: We really need your help and that was the only mention on my blog, we also asked  karaoke friends to help here : singsnap (notice we did not beg and plead or comment under everyones response asking for votes,  the majority of the people here who said they had voted actually didn't register, or didn't mention voting at all just saying they liked our tune -  we were happy they liked the song, as these are not 'friends' just people who appreciated the music) and we mainly rallied support on facebook, always conscious of spamming and begging and never forcing people to vote. We campaigned hard to spread the word and did so because we were proud of our video and with the contest shortlisted to a top10 thought we had proved ourselves worthy of votes.  Our genuine campaigning got us over 500 votes. But we will not continue campaigning to try and compete with vote buyers.


After our successful campaign and with every bodies effort in bringing this to Mercedes attention, they finally listened and promptly amended their Terms and Conditions to disqualify vote buying, proving that Mercedes-Benz has a strong moral and ethical code. So strong indeed that they went on to disqualify us!!!!! want to know why? click here :Lessons well and truly learnt

Friday, 16 September 2011

My Own LeapTop From LeapFrog

We received the My Own LeapTop from LeapFrog as part of the toys R us Toyologist program.

The age rating is suggested at 2+ which I think is just right, My three are all abit older with my youngest being 4 However my daughter (who is 8!) loved this little laptop especially the animal questions, and my 4 year old sat with it for a good while before we  passed this along to our younger friends ,the LeapPad is better suited to older children, however for the little ones this  is realistic enough to look like a laptop and has enough features to keep them entertained.

The LeapTop comes with a USB cable, you do however need Internet access to download the connect software in order to customize the LeapTop.

Once you plug the LeapTop into your computer the easy to use on screen options help you customize the LeapTop with your childs name, you can also select from a few messages, you can not type your own message but you can select if you would like the chosen message to be from 'mummy' 'daddy' etc.

The LeapTop has 3 options which are selected from a mouse shaped slider, you can select Animals, Alphabet or Music, on the Animal option when you press a letter key, the LeapTop asks a question about an animal, such as C - meeeooooowww, who makes that sound? your child can guess the answer, then press the paw print button to reveal if they are correct, and then they are rewarded with a display on the screen.

On the Music option when you press the letter keys different sounds are played, and when you select the alphabet option it tells you what the letter is and what sound it makes which is a great way to introduce letters to your child.

The leapTop also has a Blog entry feature which plays different messages, and a song feature, you can choose from a selection of songs when you connect the LeapTop to your computer, you can store 1 song and 5 melody's on the LeapTop and change them whenever your child wants something new to interest them.

This is a really sturdy toy, and I can see it being a big favourite with children from a young age with enough to keep them busy as they grow.

Heres a video review.

Club Penguin - hours of entertainment!

I must admit we are a very technology hungry family, we all spend probably a tad too much time on the computers, although the children do love spending time outdoors, they all thoroughly enjoy playing on the PCs and all three are very computer literate, from my eldest who is 9 to my youngest who is 4, they all are very good at controlling a mouse, or mouse pad, and can all fully function most aspects of computing, which I think is a vital skill in an ever increasingly technological world.

Obviously playing outside, and indoors with toys using your imagination and hands on skills in other ways are vital, but computers have a role too.
My youngest has learnt many letters and numbers from using a computer and has learnt many simple words such as 'start, play, help' etc by playing online games and activities. He also has great hand eye co ordination and can  use all the basic computer functions.

We all enjoy playing games online, and one such game the children all like is Club Penguin. This is a virtual world full of penguins,

Each player can create their own penguin, and customize them with different outfits and accessories as they earn  online currency from playing the games.

The penguins are free to create, however to unlock new features within the game you will need a membership which can be purchased online directly or in stores such as Toys R us as a membership card with a code to unlock the paid for sections of the game.

One of the features of Club penguin is the fact there is a safe chat feature, so you can meet up with other players, there are two chat options, one is a free chat method, where you are able to type your own messages into the chat boxes, the messages are screened so it is safe, there are also moderators online and options to disable the chat features completely. It is a very safe child friendly site and I have no worries with my children playing there.

There are plenty of features in the free sections but to expand your creativity and enjoyment of the site then you can upgrade to become a paying member.

Membership allows you to purchase additional items for your penguins igloo home, and also enables you to adopt your very own pet puffle, which you need to care for as you progress through the online adventure. Membership can be brought monthly for £3.95 or in a 6 month (£19.95) or 12 month (37.95) block.

The game is set out in an easy to use way, with all menus and options clearly shown.

The games are fun and simple enough for my youngest to enjoy, yet engaging enough for my eldest.

With the content constantly changing and updating with fun things for you to discover this game is sure to provide a good safe fun online computing experience for everyone.

Here's a quick video review, you may gather from this video my children love the pet puffles and alot of their activity is centered around looking after these, feeding these and buying the new activities for the Puffles! (You need a membership in order to adopt a Pet Puffle)

Winners of the So..? giveaway!

The great People at So..? fragrance picked the winner of my 'For Me; competition

thanks to everyone who entered, it was great to read everyones favourite things to do when they have their own time.

The Two winners have now been contacted by email directly from So..? the winners are:

Annaojbee  and Natasha Gandy

Thank you again

and remember if you didn't pop over to the So..? fragrance facebook page then do so now to be kept upto date with all the great offers and competitions.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Wagg Treats!

As you all know Jackson is a huge part of our family,  he is such a character, with him just turning 1 he still has alot of training. We try our hardest to make sure we engage him in training as often as possible to keep him occupied. We were really happy when Wagg Dog Food sent us some of their training treats to test.

These tasty little bone shaped treats come in a handy 125g packet, perfect for long walks or training classes, they are nutritionally balanced so you can reward your dog without worrying about overfeeding.

The flavour we received was Chicken, Beef and Lamb, which went down a treat. Jackson really liked these tasty little treats which made training great fun as he was eager to please to be reward with the next tasty bite.

These treats are oven baked, which is great they are not fatty and contain no added sugar or artificial colours or flavourings, so if you are concerned about your dogs weight then these would be perfect rewards. They contain yogurt which makes them so tasty and helps keep your dogs teeth and bones healthy. They are suitable for all dogs aged over 8 weeks, which means as soon as you have your puppy home you can use these to help train them. With all dogs its important to start training as soon as possible and they really do respond well to food rewards, but it really is important not to overindulge with fatty treats so these are a perfect combination to help you get off to a good start with your puppy training.

My daughter really loves training Jackson, they enjoy spending time together, Chloe has with the help of these Wagg Treats, taught Jackson to Sit, Lie down, Roll over and Stay. Having these tasty treats he responds well to her, which means she doesn't get frustrated with him not listening or learning as quickly as she sometimes imagines he should.

Look out for these treats in Pets at home and other good stores near you, or take a look at the Wagg website here: Dog Food, also check out the Wagg resident Dogs very own blog here: Daltons Diary
And be sure to keep updated with offers, information and competitions on the Wagg Twitter here: WaggFoods

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

we've all got an annoying little monster

We all know that our little darlings love to annoy us in their innocent ways, their repetitive wants and cries of 'muuummmmmmmmm' is enough to drive you to distraction sometimes isn't it, well if you have an annoying little monster in your house then they would love these real little monsters, who are not 'as' annoying as they make out, really they are rather sweet!

When we received Alfred, who landed through our door, my youngest instantly took hold of him, and quite frankly hasn't let go of him much since!

Alfred is a cute, perfectly sized annoying little bundle of orangeness, he is part of the new range of toys from Mint who make seriously fun toys, and the annoying monsters are definitely that!

Alfred  repeats what you say, farts, burps laughs screams and snores! he and Mikey could be twins!

The little monster has 4 swirls which you can press to hear his annoying habits, if you press his toes he cracks into a infectious laugh, press his tummy and he will make a burping sound, or a farting one! is you poke his eye he will let out a scream in annoyance!

The other great thing he does is repeat your own voice, how this feature works is you press the swirl on his hand, he beeps informing you he is ready to listen, you get about 10 seconds.then beeps twice to inform you hes finished listening, then he repeats what you said, he will  repeat the phrase 3 times, unless you press one of his other swirls to stop him.

My three have all enjoyed recording phrases running through and placing the monster next to me, so he is the one asking for a drink, food or to go to the park!

Alfred is one of 5 annoying monsters, be sure to take a look at their website here: Annoying to meet the others, there is bound to be one to match your little monster perfectly! and whilst your there be sure to enter the fab Annoying monster competition where you can colour your own monster online and be in with a chance to win some amazing prize, the top prize will be to have your own monster made up along with £130 worth of annoying Monster Goodies!
2nd and 3rd prizes also receiving loads of annoying monster goodies too, it is definitely a competition not to be missed!

Here's our video review so you can see what these little monsters are all about, and if you would like to get your hands on one for your own little monsters, then they can be purchased from along with other good toy stockists including selected toymaster stores

Keep your eyes out for these monsters I'm sure they would make a great Christmas Present for any Little monster in your life!

These little monsters definitely provide lots of laughs!

Monday, 5 September 2011

North Pole Camouflage

We received North Pole Camouflage from Toys R us in our 3rd Toyologist box, we were eager to give it a try as we had received the amazing Cannibal Monsters in an early box.

this is another IQ building game, and it didn't disappoint, it is a great game for everyone to have ago with and is its sturdy plastic game board which doubles as a storage box for the 24 double sided level maps, and the 6 transparent plastic piece make it a very well made game which can be taken with you anywhere.

My eldest who loved cannibal monster also loved this, the concept of this game is to fit the 6 pieces together so they cover the whole game board, but to make sure the animals are on the correct scenery, polars on the ice, whales in the sea. Sounds simple right? wrong this is a seriously brain tingling game and one that gives you alot of satisfaction when you complete a level.

There are 48 levels, ranging from beginner to expert in difficulty, the beginner levels have a piece outlined to give you a helping hand, the age range is 6+ my eldest is 9 and he whizzed through the levels of this and gave me and dad a run for our money often completing levels we got stuck at! My daughter who is 8 who struggled with the concept of cannibal monsters, was much better at this game, although both promote visual spatial awareness and logical thinking, my youngest also could complete the beginning levels of this game with the handy outlined hints, so we all got alot of enjoyment out of this game and I am sure we will continue to play with it for some time yet!

I have been very impressed with the range of games from smart games that I have seen so far, the quality of them is second to known and they have got the perfect combination of educational game and fun!

So be sure to keep a look out for the range in a toys r us near you.

Here is our video review, be sure to check out the facebook page to see the other toyologist reviews.

Friday, 2 September 2011

What do you do for 'Me time?'

A few weeks ago I received the lovely so...? fragrance aptly titled so..? for me.
Which was a lovely treat to receive, something which was truly for me, us mums quite often forget about taking that bit of time out and enjoying things which are just for us don't we?

Now the lovely people at so..? contacted me and asked If I'd like to be able to offer my fab readers a competition... and of cause I jumped at the chance..  and whilst you get in with a chance to win this fab So..? fragrance set, lets all share our favourite 'for me' moments  in my great competition

Win a So…? For Me fragrance set!
Two winners are up for the chance to each win the  So…? For Me 100 ml edt and the So...? For Me 75ml body spray.
To enter, just follow the three easy steps below:

1) Like the So…? Fragrance Facebook page (

2) Register/ become a member of the So…? website (

3) Tell us how you prefer to spend some ‘Me time’ in a comment below.

Don't forget to mention your email address so that we can contact the winners.

Terms and conditions:

1.The competition closing date is on Monday,12th Sep 2011 at 23:59
2.The competition is for UK Residents only (sorry, we don’t want to leave anyone out but we can only ship the prize to a UK address). 

Good Luck and I look forward to hearing how you spend your 'for me' moments.
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