Friday, 20 January 2017

Minecraft Comes to Life with Action Figures

If you have a Minecraft fan then they are sure to love the fantastic new range of Minecraft figures from Character Options which have definitely been given the thumbs up from Ben, my little Mindcraft fan. We were sent two figures to review, Alex with Skeleton Horse and Witch. The details in these figures are brilliant, they are so fantastically pixelated matching the game style perfectly and are instantly recognisable.

Alex with Skeleton Horse

Thanks to Ben, I know that there are two default players in Minecraft, Steve and Alex. Alex is the female and is described on Gamepedia as follows: "Alex has long bright orange hair hanging to the left side, pale white skin, and dark green eyes, with a light-green shirt (un-tucked on both sides, and a dark green belt wrapped around it), a pair of brown pants, grayish boots, pinkish lips, and 3px arms." The figure we received for review definitely fits that description to a tee. 

The Alex with Skeleton Horse pack which is a Series 3 Minecraft figure, includes Alex with Carrot Farm, Skeleton Horse, Saddle, and Bone so plenty of accessories to bring the game to life. I love the level of detail in the figures and accessories and Ben confirmed this by saying, "they look just like the ones in the game". The packs also have interesting facts on the back which I think is a great idea.

Witch Action Figure

The other figure we were sent is Witch, who is one of five highly detailed and fully articulated figures available to collect. The other packs available include Charged Creeper Pack, Zombie Pigman Pack, Alex with Diamond Armor Pack, Snow Golem Pack and Steve with Minecraft Pack. 

The Witch figure is fantastically detailed also and comes complete with a bottle of potion which Minecraft fans will know is the powerful weapon of attack for the witch. In the game the witch uses splash potions, such as poison, weakness, damage, and slowness, to fight the player so this pack is perfect for creating real life Minecraft adventures. 

Our Verdict

The great thing about these Minecraft figures is the ability to recreate, build and customise your own Minecraft world in real life. I like the fact that it brings the characters from screen to the lounge floor or kitchen table and I have found that it has resulted in another dimension of Minecraft play that is more inclusive and allows the rest of the family to get involved and play too. It has been lovely to watch Ben and the twins play Minecraft together and excitedly chat and create their world through play.

Where to Buy

Minecraft Figures are available to purchase from the usual toy retailers including Smyths Toys where you will find the full range. The Alex with Skeleton Horse pack is priced at £12.99 and the Witch Pack is £7.99.  They get the thumbs up from us, we are having lots of fun bringing our Minecraft world to life.

*Disclaimer: I received the Witch and Alex with Skeleton Horse Minecraft packs in exchange for a review. All views and opions are my own and unbiased. 

Monday, 16 January 2017

Ravensburger Trolls XXL Puzzle

Zachary, my three year old son, is my little puzzler. He loves nothing better than sitting down on the lounge floor tackling puzzle after puzzle so I knew he would go nuts when I gave him the Ravensburger Trolls XXL 100 piece puzzle which we had been sent to review. As we are all massive fans of the hit movie Trolls here, the mere sight of the puzzle box resulted in lots of excitement from everyone and Zachary insisted on building it immediately.

Ravensburger Trolls XXL Puzzle

The Trolls 100 piece puzzle is bright and colourful featuring some of the crazy haired characters from the movie including Poppy, Biggie, Satin and Chenille, DJ Suki, Fuzzbert, Cooper, Guy Diamond and Smidge (although Zachary was a little disappointed that his favourite Branch is missing).

It is aimed at age 6+ years which means it is a bit more challenging than some of the puzzles that Zachary has been doing up until now, but it is actually just what he needed and is ready for. He stormed through the bottom section of the puzzle, piecing together all the characters quickly and only needed a little assistance when he reached the blue area along the top on his first attempt. Now he knows how it goes together he can do it pretty much by himself.

Like all Ravensburger puzzles, this one is of a high quality made from strong premium grade cardboard, with a linen finish print to minimise the glare on puzzle image and will definitely withstand lots of play. The pieces fit together perfectly and the puzzle is a good size, being 49cm x 36cm once complete. 

The Benefits of Puzzles for Kids

Zachary is a joy to watch as he does puzzles. He quietly and methodically works his way through each one, breaking the puzzle down into sections and then joining them all together in the end to complete the full picture. He never gets frustrated but keeps going until he finds the pieces he is looking for, rarely asking for help, and once finished runs over saying "I have something to show you" pointing proudly at the completed puzzle saying "Ta-da".  

I'm really impressed at Zachary's approach to puzzles and the insight it gives into how his mind's logic and thought processes work. There is no denying the fantastic educational value that puzzles provide for children and it is definitely one activity I will continue to encourage with all three kids. We can't get enough puzzles in this house. 

We can definitely recommend the Ravensburger Trolls XXL 100 piece puzzle which is available to purchase from the usual toy retailers including Amazon where it is priced at £9.90

*Disclaimer: I received the Trolls XXL Puzzle for review. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lesson Learned - Never Attempt to Cut Child's Hair

The YouTube video made it look so easy. Too easy, I should have known. Quick spay of water, section the hair, angle scissors at 11'o clock and cut it with little snips. Reality was, it was not easy. I made a terrible mess of poor Zachary's hair. Worst part is I cut his fringe far too short. I will never touch a pair of hairdressing scissors again.

Thankfully we managed to find a hairdressers open on a Sunday and the lovely stylist rescued my attempt. She was even so nice as to say I hadn't done a bad job. Ha, she was definitely just being nice. I am now willing Zachary's fringe to grow but there is no doubting he is still seriously cute. 


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! Christmas went super fast didn't it? Personally I think time is speeding up each year. We had a lovely break though and spent some really nice family time together. We had lazy mornings, went for lovely long walks with our little Tuco (even magaged to get lost on one), played, laughed, built lots of Lego and of course ate and drank lots of yummy things.

Christmas 2016 

We rounded the year off with our day long New Year's party which was packed full of fun.

NYE party 

The kids took turns popping 10 balloons throughout the day which were filled with activities ranging from playing Buckaroo, doing a puzzle, having a dance party, New Year Bingo, balloon volleyball and more. 

New Year Bingo
 NYE 2016 
Eye Found It family fun

NYE party girl 

I'm going to miss everyone when they are back at work, school and nursery and we resume the normal routine, not to mention the return of the dreaded school run. Ben is starting off the New Year with a new haircut which has suddenly made my brown eyed boy look very grown up. 

New Year, new hair 

So here's to a wonderful 2017 full of many more happy memories, adventures and magic. 

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from us all. It's been hectic, crazy, magical and wonderful all rolled into one. The excitement levels were so high this morning when the kids woke and made their way downstairs. I loved seeing their faces when the saw Santa had been. I loved the flurry of unwrapping presents, paper being tossed every which way and squeals of delight when discovering what was inside. Aww it's been lovely.


Now to relax and enjoy the rest of the break, December has been an awesome but busy one.