Trains and Christmas go together like Rudolph and carrots, don’t ask me why, I don’t make the rules! So with that in mind, the LEGO Winter Holiday Train. This sweet little model features a full circle of track, boarding platform with bench and lamp post, a Power Functions upgradable train engine with brick-built smoke bellowing from its stack, coal tender, flatbed wagon with a rotating holiday tree, toys and gifts, and a red caboose (yes, we said caboose) with a detailed interior and table.
Toys & Games reviewed and tested
I was obsessed with tigers when I was little and would have done anything to have a little tiger friend of my own, but due to logistical reasons and the risk of getting swallowed whole, my parents got me a Sylvania ice cream truck instead. We all have scars from childhood. The Roarin’ Tyler is a playful tiger pet that almost definitely won’t eat your children, his favourite way to play is to ROAR, if you make noise he roars back.
Robots are the must have toy for 2017 so it comes as no surprise that LEGO Boost’s, Vernie The Robot, is such a popular choice. Build and customise Vernie, code its behaviour and complete activities with the included playmat. Vernie will respond with facial expressions when you speak, he can move in all directions at variable speed on large tracks, see objects and recognise colours, sense distance, grip and carry accessories, make hand gestures and even launch darts from its shoulder mounted shooter.
Batman is the king of gadgets, he is also a massive narcissist, so it only makes sense that the Dark Knight would love something like this. The Lego Batman Alarm Clock from GenieGadgets.com is a Batman LEGO Movie Minifigure Clock that has moving legs, he can either chill and sit on your bedside table, or stand ominously over you until you get up. Push his mask to light up the digital clock face or snooze (Batman would NEVER press snooze) and set the time/date/alarm on his back, under the cape.
The Grimm’s Counterrotating Stepped Spiral (catchy name) is a great addition to other Grimm’s building block sets. Create spiral staircases to the top of a castle, bridge towers together, and make colourful arches. The set comes with 56 building blocks and a wooden base plate, constructed from lime wood, this soft wood makes them lightweight and quiet during the inevitable demolitions, they are brightly decorated in non-toxic water based colour stain with a non-toxic plant based oil finish.
Hape believe that toys don’t need to be made from plastic or powered with batteries to entertain. This expertly designed wooden marble run is a fast-paced medieval themed game, the marbles are placed at the tip of the rotary tower, twist the flag and watch them get released one by one onto this marble run. With an angry Griffin threatening to attack the castle, the marbles are released to protect it with unique features, like a watermill, rotary tower and drawbridge. The castle is made from strong, child-safe materials, recommended from ages 4 and up.
When we were kids there was no cooler place to have a birthday party than at the local Laser Quest. If I concentrate hard, I can still smell the unique combination of sweat, feet, and pizza, so imagine my utter joy when I was asked to play with review the Laser X. This version came with two Laser X Blasters, both requiring 3 AAA batteries, I immediately raided all the TV remotes to get the Blasters working. I hopped from foot to foot until my husband got out of the shower and then yelled the instructions at him over my shoulder as I ran upstairs and hid.
Like all the best toys, Magna-Tiles were invented to educate children through the act of playtime, these were specifically made to teach about shapes. Each tile has magnets built into the shape along it’s edges, they will connect with each other even when flipped, and they always stay together. They have been designed to be the perfect size and weight for little hands.
We love all gadgets here at GadgetHead but toys have a special place in our hearts. Ollie’s reputation has proceeded it and we have been itching to get our hands on one for a while, we definitely weren’t disappointed. Excuse me while I refer to Ollie throughout the review as if it’s a living thing but it is easy enough to imagine as this little rascal has a lot of personality. Ollie comes with a companion app to control him, download the app, charge him up and he is ready to go.
At this time of the year when it’s cold and dark outside it can be difficult to try and persuade your kids to do anything remotely active, however the Minions Hit Them Out Game can provide energetic fun and excitement whilst keeping warm and dry on winter nights. It has recently won the Dads Choice Highly Commended Award and the game comes with seven cute and colourful Minions characters that have accidentally locked themselves inside a high-energy force field and need to be saved by carefully knocking them over with the “anti-matter ball”!!