Monday, 21 August 2017

Review: Ladybugs Garden Playset and Little Live Pets Lil’ Ladybugs Single Pack

Few months ago little L came across and became a big fan of a cartoon where one of the characters is a ladybird. The more we watched the cartoon the more ladybird related products we were purchasing for L, so when we were offered to review Ladybugs Garden Playset and Little Live Pets Lil’ Ladybugs Single Pack I knew it would be a perfect toy for L.
If you have never heard of Little Live Pets here is a little bit about them: 

"Little Live Pets are the lifelike electronic pets that move, feel, act and sound so real. The more you play with them, the more playful they become.

Collect all of the pets, discover their personalities and listen or watch as they let their own unique personalities show! Adopt one today!"

I recall seeing Little Live Pets on Youtube but have never came across them in shops. Ladybugs Garden Playset packaging needs a special mention as it is quite colourful with ladybugs pictured all over it's cardboard bottom, with an oval dome "roof" covering the playset. This clear dome also allows you to have a sneak peak prior to purchasing the set. 
Once I have removed all the packaging, I have noticed few features making this playset a great and entertaining toy:
- colourful pair of ladybugs (1 big one called Spotsy and 1 little baby ladybug)
- ladbug's garden has different "paths" and slides to discover and zoom around
- a spinning flower elevator, which will help ladybugs to get from bottom floor to top 
- little white divider that blocks certain paths  (flower elevator) allowing to explore new routes
- different "sightseeing" featured to make ladybugs' journey more adventurous (a little house at the top, little white bandstand and white arrow signs on a pole at the bottom, which are not detachable)
- 2 white ramps that can be attached on both size of the playset for easy exit and entry
I have previously mentioned a flower elevator which was one of the first features L has tested out. For an easy transfer from one level to another L have placed ladybugs at the bottom of the elevator on a little purple pedestal, once L started to spin the flower's head ladybugs started to move forward and up until they reached its destination and off they went on a different path.

Little Live Pets Lil’ Ladybugs Single Pack (£5.99) 
packaged in the similar style as Ladybugs garden and comes with a big battery operated (battery included) Ladybug and a baby ladybug packaged separately to the bigger one. Both of the toys are part of the collection, altogether there are 12 colourful ladybugs to collect.
Bigger ladybug is a battery operated bug with little bristles imitating bug's legs and helping it move fast. Once it's turned on (a little button moved left or right to switch it on or off) it starts moving whilst making vibrating/buzzing noise. At the back of the bigger ladybug I have found a little section allowing to slot the smaller ladybug attaching them 2 together. 
Small ladybug has a longer front- a little black plastic bar which allows an easy attachment to a bigger ladybug as it cannot move by itself.

Overall, I think both Ladybug Garden playset and Ladybugs themselves are really cute and just perfect for my toddler. Even though these toys are recommended to use from 5 years old, my little L who is 3 years didn't have any problems using them under my supervision. She didn't find it hard to understand the mechanism of switching the ladybug on and off in fact she found it by herself she also found it easy to play around and gets really excited when the set it out to play.

The only downfall was that the bigger ladybug from Ladybugs Garden playset stopped zooming on day 3, it might be just due to L playing with the toy non-stop but of course I would have preferred for it to last longer.

Disclaimer: I was sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Review: Paw Patrol Live: Race to the Rescue at Birmingham

Let me start this review by stating that I had high expectations for this show, mainly due to the popularity/craze that is currently surround Paw Patrol.

We dressed L in her Skye outfit (which her aunt bought for her b'day) and kept the show a secret from L right up until entering the arena.
The stage was set out with just the words Paw Patrol on the drawn curtains.. and then it began!
To say it began is an understatement.. just wow! Ryder appeared on stage with energy and enthusiasm.

 And then enter the pups, one by one they appeared with their signature entrance names.. starting with you know who “MARSHALL”.

The images show exactly what the characters were like.. realistic almost. The best way to describe the costumes, is the actors were quite literally wearing the puppy outfits which from a visual perspective was excellent.
L naturally went crazy when she say Skye “Skye, look mummy it's Skye”. Considering she was one of the few children to dress up for the show, made her extra excited about seeing the pups.

In essence the show follows Ryder and the pups as they race on Mayor Goodway's behalf (she injures her ankle). Unfortunately for the pups their nemesis Mayor Humdinger and the kitten catastrophe crew are out to spoil the race.

This show has all of your favourite characters and has cameo's from Jake, Everest (who appears for the second half), Farmer Yumi and Captain Turbot.
We wondered where the time had gone, due to the fact we enjoyed the show so much.

Paw Patrol live is by far the best live children's show I have seen.

The thought/creativity which has gone into creating this show is superb. The costumes were excellent and it was like watching an episode of Paw Patrol on tv (only live).

Ryder and Mayor Goodway were frequently interacting with the audience, with the mayor approaching some of the kids in the crowd (in person). It is cute to see all the kids go shy! But they are live and being filmed so you can't really blame them..

There is a short break to break the show up and give parents/kids time to eat & rest, but the show soon starts up again with another action/energetic second half. Entertaining throughout..

To summarise, you would be barking mad not to see this show! My expectations of Paw Patrol live were honestly exceeded. 

Something to note- I have paid £30 per tickets and just a couple of weeks prior to the Birmingham show I saw the same tickets advertised at half of its original price via Groupon, something that disappointed me as I could have saved £45, but you guys, can learn on my mistakes! 

So if you have little ones who love Paw Patrol book your tickets now  (currently touring in Newcastle upon Tyne,Leeds, Cardiff, Glasgow) and you will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Review: Bloopies Bath Time Toy

Little L likes to play with her bath toys and every so often I try to buy new ones as it is proven to be difficult to clean the mold from some of L's bath toys.
So when we were offered to review Bloopies Bath Time doll (£12.99)  I knew that it would be a hit! Firstly this bath time doll is very different from usual rubber ducks as it can be used in water and when mixed with other toys during role play.

Other features:
- Bloopies bath time doll is made of a durable rubber alike material
- suitable from 18 months old
- there are 6 Bloopies characters to collect (each has different facial features and coloured accessories)
- comes with an accessory (snorkeling mask, diving fins and swim suit)
- can squirt the water out of it's mouth
- can snorkel/float on the water without any aid  
- can blow bubbles when played in bubble bath 
- suitable for little hands to play 
- child friendly facial features
- can be purchased from Smyths toys, Argos, Littlewoods, Amazon.

Few things to note: 
- as it's a basic bath toy the doll doesn't require any batteries

- even though the swim suit has a velcro fastening at the back it cannot be taken off as diving fins are attached to each other
- arms and legs do not move up and down, but are flexible due to the material they are made of
- diving fins are glued to doll's feet and cannot be taken off

L has lots of fun playing with it as it's such a versitile toy! As it looks like a doll L is very happy that she can care for it just like she would normally do and can also have lots of fun with it in the water when having bath time. Once L understood the principle of using Bloopies bath time toy L handle the doll without any additional help.

I would certainly recommend buying this toy, which can fit in any family budget! 

Disclaimer: I was sent the item mentioned above for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Review: Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom Live Show

We are all aware of this great little kid's cartoon and when I saw the tickets on sale I knew that L would be over the moon.

L is a huge fan of "Holly Ben" (as she calls it) and has taken a liking to a certain ladybird “Gaston”, so she was pretty excited to see him live. The live show takes a select few characters from the cartoon and presents a wonderful and imaginative story line which is easy to follow.

We attended the live show on a Thursday morning (10am) at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham, but you can pick a later time (16pm). I have booked tickets for Stalls with adult tickets costing £16.25 each and a child ticket £14.25.

The main storyline consisted of Ben, Holly and Nanny Plum visiting a little girls house to swap her tooth for money. But unfortunately the little girl wakes up and sees them all.. leaving them with a decision to make, what to do!?
The show is excellently present with brilliant background scenes and props. The characters are all dressed up correctly and perform really well, with dancing and singing for all of the family.

L was encapsulated throughout but the noise level went up a notch when Gaston appeared.. she immediately recognised him and kept on saying “Gaston, Gaston, look mommy it's Gaston”. Says it all really!

L also loved the flight back to the Little Kingdom, which they dimmed the lights for (darkness), and used small puppets to give the effect of them all flying through the night sky. It really was a joy to watch. You also get to see Holly's dad- King Thistle, who has a spot of bother with magic!

One thing to note is that the show length was approximately an hour, which seemed just about enough to avoid having a fussy/fidgety little one after the show. L was mesmerised by it all so for us it was not an issue.

I would definitely recommend taking your little ones to see Ben and Holly's Little Kingdom live show, even if they know nothing about the cartoon, it is guaranteed to get you singing and dancing (even once the show has finished)! It is entirely child focused and they have done a great job in keeping the kids involved and entertained throughout.

Thanks for reading and I hope it inspires you to book tickets to see Ben and Holly Live next year!