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In September I was asked to emergency foster a dog who we then ended up deciding to adopt. He is a small to medium breed but he is so strong and pulls like a lunatic on the lead which unfortunately meant that not only was he choking himself when we went for a walk but that it was in no way a pleasure for me to walk him either as I was constantly stopping or having to pull him back. I purchased a Beaphar gentle leader to help with this.
The leader is made of a pretty tough lead type material and it comes in various sizes based on the size of your dog. It is important you get this right as they wear the leader over their snout and comfort is obviously important as well as making sure the fit offers you the most control.
The leader fits over the dogs snout and then fastens behind their head. Under the section that fits under the dogs snout there is a metal hoop and it is here you attach your lead. Dogs tend to have a natural urge to pull against anything on their neck but the lead being attached under the snout means you have total control of the dogs head and as such can lead them this way. Having the lead attached under the snout also means that it isn't particularly comfortable or possible for the dog to seriously pull against it.
Since we have had the gentle leader we have learned to enjoy walks again. The experience is so much better as he will walk beside me or slightly in front of me without pulling. It is great for training too as you can reward your dog for walking "nicely" and give them treats so the positive reinforcement comes as they walk to heel and eventually you can get rid of the leader and the dog should still walk nicely.
The only issues I have found with the leader is it can rub at the fur around the snout so Buddy had an odd shorter patch on his face, it has frayed slightly in some places too but it is still perfectly functional. Another issue is people can mistake it for a muzzle and avoid the dog which for my dog is an issue as he loves everyone and every thing!
This leader cost me around £6 from ebay and for the joy it brought back to walking it is thoroughly recommended.
My son used to love doing arts and crafts type activities when he was younger but as he got older he started to do them less and less. To try and combat this for Christmas this year I got him a couple of small Fimo soft clay modelling sets.
Fimo is a soft clay which reminds me a bit of plastercine really in consistency. You can mould it and make models from it and then you need to bake it in the oven.
The pack shows pictures of a couple of really cute looking dinosaurs and the idea is that you make these models using the clay which is provided.
Inside the thin card packaging there are step by step instructions on how to create the models. You are able to create a purple and a green dinosaur.
The instructions are quite good and I imagine my son could have made the models on his own but we wanted to do the activity together and it was nice doing that just sitting and talking and having fun together so I would recommend that. The kit is recommended for those aged eight plus and I would say this is about right as you do need to make some small bits from the clay which requires decent fine motor skills which younger children may not have fully developed.
The Fimo clay can be quite tricky to manipulate initially and I do find it is best to soften it in your hands somewhat before you start your model as it just becomes an easier product to work with. I would also recommend protecting your work surface as well because it will mark the table and whilst this does wipe off with some antibac spray and a cloth it is better to protect it from the off.
We managed to make two good sized dinosaurs with the kit and had a little of the Fimo left over in a couple of colours which we were able to wrap back up and store with our others. The models we made are around ten centimetres or so in length and a couple of centimetres high so they do stand out quite well.
We were able to varnish our models because we have varnish in our starter set but it is important to note you don't get varnish in this set. You could use PVA glue to give the model a shine if you wanted I suppose. We also used a sharpie pen to draw eyes and a mouth on our models so they look even cuter now they are smiling!
This set costs £6.05 with free delivery on amazon but I got it for less than a fiver. I would say the price fluctuates and it would be worth keeping your eye on the set should you be interested. There are lots of varieties available if this one doesn't grab your attention. I would recommend this set as a good activity to do with your child.
The Lucky One asks the question do you believe in lucky charms? U.S Marine Logan Thibault isn''t sure he does until one day he finds a picture of a woman in the dirt during war in Iraq. From the moment he finds the picture his luck seems to change and he seems to be protected where others aren''t. When he arrives home he is still convinced that this woman holds the key to his destiny and so he decides to try and find her, to thank her for some how keeping him safe but he doesn''t anticipate falling in love with Beth and her family and so buries the secret of the photograph. This of course could destroy everything they have should the secret come out and Beth''s ex husband is determined to find something to force Logan out of her life. There are 334 pages in this book so it isn''t overly long but it isn''t particularly short either. I really liked the way that the book was set up though because each chapter focussed on one character be it Logan, Beth or Clayton and so they flowed really nicely and you were always looking to someone elses view but despite this it gelled really well. I found that I really liked Beth and Logan. I think I saw a lot of myself in Beth as I was reading this book as she is a single parent who has made sacrifices in her own life for her son which of course any parent would do. Beth has struggled to meet someone who would stick around and so when Logan comes in to her life she is understandably cautious. With Logan I just liked how strong he was. I liked how he took pleasure from the simple things in life such as walking, and his dog Zeus. The other main character in the book is Keith Clayton, Beth''s ex and father of her son Ben, and frankly I couldn''t stand him! I really enjoyed the love story in this book. I like how it took time to develop but that you kind of knew it was always going to happen because of how Logan found the picture in the first place. I spent quite a while reading this book but whenever I picked it up I got straight back in to the story and would find myself lost in their world. I really found it easy to read and I think that is very much down to the author and his writing style. The words just seem to flow and he has a really good way of describing emotions so that you can really feel it too. I would certainly recommend this book to you especially if you are a fan of Nicholas Sparks books generally as this is another good one. I think if you enjoy a good romance then you will enjoy this book but it does throw up a few surprises.
Last year my friend and I were taking our children to Disneyland Paris and for all of us it was a bit of a dream that I don't think either of us were sure would happen being that we were both single parents working part time. When the dream became a reality we wanted everything to be right and so we both purchased a new compact digital camera to take away with us. We saw the Nikon coolpix L25 camera on offer at Argos for around £49.99 at the time which we felt was a good price to pay, as I believe it was a half price offer at the time. This is my review of the camera.
The Nikon coolpix L25 camera is what I class as a standard looking compact digital camera. It is available in various colours but I chose black because I felt it was the most classic looking one. I think my friend chose a pink one! The camera came packed in a small cardboard box in which everything you need was there such as the actual camera, the camera strap and batteries as well as the instruction manual and disc for putting the software on your computer and the USB wire. I bought a SD card seperately for this camera and I just got a sandisk 8gb one which was more than enough despite my taking lots of pictures at Disneyland.
The camera looks smart in my opinion with its black main body and silver lens and buttons. It is quite sleek too and incredibly lightweight. In fact when I did get it out of the box for the first time I remember thinking "is this is?" as it was significantly lighter than my previous compact digital camera and I wondered would it be a bit flimsy. I had purchased a case for it to protect it when not in use though.
The camera features a 10.1 megapixel sensor which should allow you to take decent photos but of course there are many cameras out there now which offer more. It also features a five times optical zoom for getting those long distance or more detailed shots as well. What I particularly liked about this camera was the three inch LCD display on the back which was great for really seeing what you were taking a picture of and then viewing your pictures back as well.
I found that this camera was pretty easy to get a grasp of in terms of switching it on and pointing and shooting so to speak. There are lots of features on the camera such as the eighteen different scenes for taking pictures but I will be honest and say for the bulk of the time I chose to have this one on the auto setting purely because the camera knew better than me what lighting was there and if the flash would enhance or spoil a shot and what not. The majority of the time using the auto function worked well for me and was able to get some good quality, very clear shots. The fact that it has face detection and would focus on the main things in the picture with just you pushing down slightly on the button to take the picture was a good feature. You can also switch from taking pictures to videos very easily with the click of a button on the main body of the camera which is a really handy tool.
One massive issue both my friend and I had with this camera though was the fact that sometimes you went to take a picture of a moment and you would be pushing the button down to take the picture whilst the camera just did nothing but almost get ready to take a picture. Now at Disneyland when we wanted to take pictures on rides and things this spoiled too many moments for us and it did get a bit frustrating. It wasn't as though a message came on to say the flash was charging or anything like it did in my old camera but it just seemed to lag and whether this was down to it trying to focus or what I don't know but we had moments which were either totally missed or came out blurry sometimes.
I used this camera a good few times after Disneyland but when I took it to London to see Matt Cardle in a gig his drunken manager dropped it on the floor when passing it back to me and the lens jammed and I still haven't got it fixed because I suspect the fixing it would cost almost as much as it cost me to buy the actual camera which is a shame.
Loading pictures on to a computer via the USB lead is really easy. I actually couldn't use the disc to download the software as my disc drive is broken but upon plugging the USB in it searched for the driver and then opened up the file to allow me to copy over my pictures to the computer. It is a very simple process to do.
All in all I think this camera isn't a bad simple digital compact camera. It has some nice features and I do really like the large LCD screen on the back for displaying your pictures or the scene you are about to shoot. It looks nice and is certainly easy to hold and use which makes it a good entry level compact camera perhaps for a child or teen as well as someone like myself. I do wish there weren't the issues with some pictures delaying which sometimes came out blurry as the camera is meant to have an anti blur feature but this said I did get some wonderfully clear and vibrant pictures on this camera and so for the most part it was fine. I think this is the kind of camera where you are going to just pick it up and have a go and soon get to grips with it....things like viewing pictures, deleting them, taking them, zooming in or out etc are all very simple and I think most people would be fine with it.
This camera is costing £61.99 on amazon at the moment in the black which I have. Other colours are coming in at around five or six pounds less should you be interested in checking this one out. I have to say I would give this camera four stars. It loses one for the fact that it can be tempremental at times and cause you to miss a shot but for the most part it is a good quality, simple camera to use which gives good quality pictures.
Thank you for reading my review!
My sons favourite thing to play with is Lego without a shadow of doubt. He has a massive drawer filled with Lego bricks and we have sets built all over the house. I dread to think how much money must have been spent on Lego since he started getting really in to it! For his birthday this year he received some money from some people and he wanted to go shopping at the Lego store. One of the things that he bought was the Lego set 6117 which is the doors and windows set.
==What is it?==
As the name suggest this set is a set of doors and windows. In the set you get various sized window and door frames, actual plastic panes to fit them as well as some shutters for some of the windows as well.
The set comes in a smallish cardboard box which shows pictures of all the different kinds of doors and windows on the front as well as some smaller pictures of the doors and windows in use so you do get a good idea of what you are getting just by looking at the box in the shop which is something I do like.
You are advised that this set is suitable for children aged four years and over and I have to say that Lego are usually pretty good with their age guidelines. There is nothing in this set which would be a risk to young children in my opinion.
My son was keen to get going with this set as soon as we got home from shopping. Inside the box all of the pieces were bagged together but they are all seperate so you do need to combine the parts to make a complete door or window. Obviously within this you have the options to make doors and windows to suit your own needs and so you can have a black frame with a yellow door or a red frame and a black door for example. It allows a little bit of creativity within your building anyway and it isn't totally rigid.
Now obviously you have to take in to account the fact that this set is pretty much useless on its own. You will need a box of Lego bricks to go with this set to make use of it. Now my son has massive amounts of Lego at home and so he was able to make use of the set but I wouldn't buy this as a gift for a child I didn't know well for example in case they didn't have Lego at home. If you do have Lego bricks at home this set allows you to use your imagination and make houses or other buildings. My son's Lego bricks he had prior to buying this set were completely lacking of doors and windows and so he really did want something like this to make more realistic buildings.
He found it ok clicking the doors, window panels and shutters in to the Lego frames but it is a little bit fiddly and younger children may struggle a little to get them to click in to place perhaps. He was able to get on with this set independently and he chose to build all of the so doors and windows before adding them to his drawer of Lego as opposed to keeping them in the box they came in. What's good is the doors and windows can be altered easily and so they can meet your needs depending on what you build.
My son has been able to build lots of realistic looking little houses using his bricks and this set. He tends to use a base plate to build on when he makes houses and again this is a piece of Lego I would recommend having but which is useless on its own. What is good with this set is that the doors and windows open and close as you would expect them to. He likes this fact as he is able to add his mini figures to the play and have them living in the house he has built.
These doors and windows are as good quality as any of the other Lego sets that we have. The pieces are well made, shiny and feel as though they will last many many years. In the Lego store these cost £10.49 but they are a slightly cheaper £9.99 on amazon should you want to look there. I would recommend this set as an addition to general Lego bricks as I think they enhance the building experience and allow a child to make realistic houses.
Thank you for reading my review!
My son is a massive fan of Lego and as such so many surfaces at home seem to be covered in Lego! He has a book case with shelves full of models, the window sill in his room is also covered as well as their being a massive drawer of bricks in his toy storage in the living room. That said he really does get a lot of play and enjoyment out of building with Lego and one of the sets he bought with some of his birthday money back in May was the Lego City tanker truck. This is my review of the product.
==What is it?==
The Lego tanker truck is part of the Lego City range of which there are masses of products. In the range you get things you would expect to find in life such as a police station, trains, delivery trucks and what not. This tanker truck carries the set number 60016 should you wish to look it up.
The set comes in a mainly blue cardboard box which stands out as Lego City straight away for me due to the fact my son has plenty in the range! On the front of the box there is a picture of the set assembled and I do like that they do this as it gives you a good idea of what you are going to be building and getting from the set.
The box tells us that this particular set is suitable for those aged five to twelve years which I think is probably pretty accurate but perhaps less confident builders would need some help with the building. I always say that parents tend to know their child well enough to decide whether a set is something they can tackle solo or not. My son is a confident Lego builder and so I knew I wouldn't need to get involved in the building with this small to medium set.
Inside the box are two bags of Lego which are numbered and there is also an instruction manual too. I like when Lego number the bags as they correlate to steps in the instructions and you don't have too many pieces out at the same time! It is a shame they didn't do this with the Tower Bridge set we won which had over 4000 pieces!
The instruction manual that comes with the set is a good size and they always remind me of little magazines really as they are glossy and colourful. I really do think that Lego show they are the kings of contruction toys just by their manuals because they really are head and shoulders above many other brands in that they are clear, feature small steps and tell you exactly what you need for each step as well.
As I mentioned earlier I was happy to let my son get on with building this set on his own as he was just turned eight when he bought it which is pretty much in the middle of the age guidelines anyway. I would say that younger children may need some help from mum or dad as they build it. My son is great at following Lego instructions and is probably better than me most of the time and so I just let him get on with this one.
He followed the instructions with ease and I would say he built this tanker truck in about twenty minutes. With bag one you build the bottom part of the truck and with bag two the top part and so you could take a break and leave one bag still closed if you wanted but my son always wants to get things built as soon as possible so that he can play.
What you build here is a white and green tanker truck and I do think it is pretty impressive in terms of the detail used. You have headlights on the truck, orange lights on the top, thick chunky wheels, a fire extinguisher and a nice energy company logo on the truck too. What you also get is a hose and mini figure as well as a small petrol pump and so you can use it in play pretending to fill things up with petrol and what not. My son likes to use the small petrol pump to pretend to fill his other cars that he has made.
The tanker is a nice solid build I think and I do think that again Lego quality shines through because unlike with some other brands the bricks just fit together really well and feel solid where as other brands can fall apart easily. I think the look of this model is good too and it is a reasonable sized kit when you consider you are getting a truck, small petrol pump and mini figure for your money. This set costs £18 currently on amazon and seems to be only a penny cheaper in places like Asda and John Lewis. This is the price that is sells for in the Lego shop and I am sure we paid slightly less so keep your eye out if you are interested in the set as it may come down in price.
My son likes this set and at the minute has it on display in his bedroom on the window sill but he gets the cars down from there some mornings to play whilst his lazy mum is still in bed and so I do think there is plenty of play in it. I do recommend it.
Thanks for reading my review!
My son is a massive fan of Doctor Who and has been for some time now and so he has quite a collection of toys in the range. One thing that he has a few of are the action figures because he got a Character Options tardis playset and needed some figures to go with them. A figure that he has is the 2010 weeping angel regenerating figure and this is my review of the figure.
The weeping angels are probably, in my opinion, the scariest of all the Doctor Who monsters that I have seen! This figure lives up to that opinion as far as I am concerned! There were two editions of this figure available for purchase one with a normal looking head and one with a screaming head making it quite a good item to have if you are a collector. Well obviously we wanted the one with the screaming head as it looks the most scary and so this is what we have.
The action figure stands at about five inches tall which seems to be the standard for all of the figures that my son has with the exception of the Daleks which are a little taller. The angel is like a browny bronze in colour all over and there is great detailing in the plastic for the clothes which are made to look as though they are cracked and made of stone. As I mentioned this angel has a screaming face and the amount of detailing that has gone in to the face is actually amazing as it looks just like the weeping angels on the show and you can see the sharp and spiky teeth really clearly!
The figure is poseable with a moving head, arms which move in various places and ways and jointed legs and feet too so you can really work with this figure to make it move along and in particular with this one leave it looking super scary and creeping up on someone! The fact that is is so moveable does add to the play factor with this toy and ultimately that is what I wanted it for as opposed to being a collector item.
Now the angel has two large stone wings on her back which obviously in this case are made from plastic. Unfortunately we found that the wings just seemed to fall off so easily and we ended up losing one of them. I am still hoping it shows up and have glued the other one in place because I don't want it to end up with no wings at all. This was a bit of a let down in an otherwise fantastic action figure because yes whilst it can also be a collected item it is ultimately a toy which is meant to be played with and so for the wings to come off so easily left us feeling a bit let down.
Depsite the wings issue I still think this is a fantastic action figure to have in your collection of Doctor Who figures and you can buy this one directly from the BBC shop online for £9.99 which I think is a pretty fair price to pay should you be interested.
Thank you for reading my review!
For Christmas I decided to get my son a decent branded tablet. I had bought him a very cheap one imported from the US for his birthday just to see how he got on with one and if it would be a good investment to buy a better one for Christmas. The brand I opted for was the Samsung Galaxy tab 2 7" even though the tab 3 was out and of course larger options too. I felt for an eight year old that the tab 2 was a fine investment and this is my review of the product.
The Samsung Galaxy tab 2 cost me £139.99 from my Very catalogue before Christmas. It costs £129.99 on amazon currently so the price isn't that variable it seems. The tablet came packed in a white cardboard box which features the Samsung brand logo, the product name and a picture of the tablet. There are a few little snippets of information included on the box such as this is a wifi enabled product, that it has a 3MP camera and that it is powered by android for example. I chose the 8gb silver tablet for my son based on the fact that you can add further memory space to the device via a memory card.
Inside the box came the tablet itself, a charger which needed assembling and instructions for use. I have to say that I did find the charger a bit of a faff to put together inititally for charging but I think that is more down to me thinking why the heck do I need to assemble a charger?! The lead for the charger is also the cable for attaching the tablet to your computer for backing it up and things. This seems to be quite common place now.
The charger itself is sleek I have to say. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but compared to the cheaper one I bought for my sons birthday this is amazing to look at. It screams Samsung, style and expense in my opinion. As I mentioned I bought the silver one as opposed to white and I do think this adds to the sleek look of the tablet. Although it only has a 7" screen I think it is a great size and I doubt I would go for anything bigger for myself if I was in the market for a tablet unless I went for an iPad I suppose. The screen features a a black trim all the way around which really makes the colours on the screen stand out and I think the resolution on this is great. There are no issues when playing on any app, taking photos or whatever on this with the way it looks.
Now I charged this before wrapping it for my son for Christmas so that it would be ready to go when he opened it. As such I also wanted to add some apps and things to the device and this is really easy. Switching on the device is as easy as pie as you just press and hold the power button on the side of the device. You will need to run through a small set up on the tablet doing things like adding wifi before you can really get going on the device. You need to go to the google play store to search for any apps that you want to put on the device and downloading them is as simple as just clicking on the screen. What I did struggle with a little more was putting apps on to certain pages on the pages where I wanted them purely because I am used to an iPhone and so I needed to go on to you tube for a turorial on how to do this! Anyone already familiar with android devices will not have any issues at all! There are six pages free for adding apps so there is loads of space if you wanted to organise them in terms of games, work things or whatever.
This tablet is basically as functional as a laptop or PC in my opinion in terms of the things that it can do. You can access and send emails, go on the internet, play games, take photos and things. Most of these things are preinstalled on the tablet as well so there isn't a massive amount of setting up to do. Once you add your email address and things you are pretty much good to go. I find that the tablet touch screen is really responsive either when using a stylus or just your fingers and it doesn't lag or freeze often at all. Once it has frozen and wouldn't budge at all including when we tried to power it off and I was panicking thinking it was broke but we found a way round this by looking online.
The tablet features a 3MP camera which is both front and back facing which makes it great for being able to take pictures whilst you are out and about but which is also useful for snapchat and taking selfies! My son doesn't use the camera a massive amount but I think come Summer when we are out and about more he would certainly be more interested in using the camera to take pictures on days out and things. I think it is a decent enough quality camera for this kind of device. I suppose we are used to better ones these days but for my sons needs this is perfectly adequate. He also uses the camera sometimes to Skype his Dad and finds it fit for this purpose.
Charging the tablet is really easy and it doesn't take a massive amount of time for it to charge. I have to say that I am impressed with how long the battery does last on it. My son has a habit of not powering off the tablet but after a very short time it will lock the screen and go in to a low power mode which helps preserve the battery. My son tends to charge it maybe every few days, more over the weekend if he has been on it loads but it certainly lasts much better than his old tablet.
Another thing that I like about this tablet is the way that is is so portable. Being a 7" screen tablet it is around the size of a paper back book but obviously much thinner. Even in it's case it fits neatly in my bag should we want to take it out somewhere with us but it is also a nice size for my son to just carry it to my parents when they are looking after him if I am working. The fact that it is so highly portable is a massive plus I think when it comes to this product.
I have to say that I would absolutely recommend this tablet to anyone really. It looks great and is really sleek in its design but more importantly than that it is a really functional piece of equipment. It allows you to be able to send emails, type documents, calculate things, take pictures, store pictures, edit pictures, play games and so much more! It really is an all rounder and something which I think would suit those younger technology fans such as my son but which would be just as suitable for someone like myself, or my parents for example so it is a great all rounder. I think the price for the tablet is fair too so it is one I can afford to give all five stars to on this occasion.
Thank you for reading my review!
A couple of months before Christmas I saw a great offer on hotukdeals which was telling us that Sky customers could get their multi room package for half price for twelve months and this included free installation of the Sky HD DRX595 box and £40 cashback through Quidco. As I had been considering getting multi room in for my bedroom it seemed a perfect time to try it out and this is my review of the product.
The Sky man came to install the Sky HD box for me and had to do some wiring from the opposite side of the room to where the box is situated as the dish is by my window but my TV is on the other side. He did this pretty neatly although it is a thick black wire and so it stands out a bit against my cream walls and woodwork! The box was neatly packed in a white cardboard box which he did leave with me after the install with some extra wires in there which weren't compatible with my old television.
The box is a really sleek looking black piece of kit which certainly looks much better than my large Sky+ box which I have downstairs. It is certainly more slimline than I thought it would have been and so he placed the box on top of my DVD player which is on top of my television! It is probably just over half the length of the DVD player but a bit taller. It has the Sky HD wording on the top front of the box but this isn't too intrusive with the black sleek look of the box on the whole. There is a button for power and changing the channels on the front of the box should you lose the remote which is so important because I seem to always lose the remote at some point or another in my bed!
The box is connected to my television via a skart lead but there is also the option to connect via a HDMI cable which the engineer did leave me with but as my TV in my bedroom is a bit old I don't have that function but he said he would leave me with the wire just in case I get a new television any time and want to set it up like that. The sections on the back are all colour coded so that you can easily spot where things go which I think is good. I should mention that the power cable is of a reasonable length to plug in but it isn't going to go all the way round your room or anything. Mine is plugged in to a four way extension cable with the television and DVD player.
What I did love was that the engineer set it up so that the main Sky HD remote worked completely with my television and that he took the time to explain this to me. Basically the remote is now multi functional and will switch my television on as well as control the Sky features on the box. The remote is decent I must point out and very responsive so I can easily alter the volume, change channels or look on the interactive services such as box office should I want to.
When you switch on the Sky box a green light comes on the front of the box and it is good to note that after a period of inactivity it will automatically go to sleep saving you electricity if you fall asleep with it on or something. Once the box is on you are able to work your way through the Sky HD menu which does look different to the menu on a normal Sky or Sky+ box but it is something I did get used to quite quickly and the only real difference is the way you scroll through channels and the colours used really.
There are various HD specific channels which come with this box but as I said my TV is pretty old so I haven't been able to make use of those, plus I don't really want to pay an extra £10 a month for the privilege anyway when I think the pictures are perfectly fine for me to watch now anyway.
I am impressed with the whole Sky HD DRX595 box if I am honest. I like the way that it is a bit smaller and more sleek in design than the Sky+ box I have downstairs and I think it fits in with many modern electronics now with it being glossy and black. I also like how it has large vents at the sides which are obviously exposed to the air as this seems to stop the box from getting too hot unlike my Sky+ box which does get hot! I think this is a quality piece of kit and considering it was fitted for free and that I am paying £60 for the multiroom service with it for the year but then getting £40 cash back I think it has been a very good investment indeed!
Thank you for reading my review!
My son is a massive fan of Doctor Who and has been for a few years now and so he has quite a lot of Doctor Who themed toys including some figures. I tend to add to these figures as and when I see them and a couple of years ago now I spotted the Character Options Cyberman toy in B&M bargains for around £3.99 and thought it was a great price and snapped it up. This is my review of the toy.
The figure came packed in the usual plastic front casing with a cardboard backing. Through the clear plastic you can of course see the figure you are buying which is essential for this kind of toy I think. The BBC, Doctor Who and Character Options branding were all present on the packaging as well so it stands out as being an authentic product in my opinion.
The figure that you get here is the classic looking Cyberman in my opinion although apparently they appeared in the 2006 version of the series but for me this just looks like a normal, bog standard Cyberman. It stands at about five inches high and is all silver in colour as you would expect. There is a lot of detailing on this plastic figure which really adds to the charm in my opinion and so there are ridges in the plastic to look like the steel on the Cyberman, one hand is clenched as though ready for battle and the eery blankness of the Cyberman face is present as well as the C logo on his chest. I think to look at this figure is just great to be honest as it is very detailed and looks just like it should. On the back there is some detailing to say this is a BBC licenced toy as well.
What is great with this figure is the fact that it is poseable and so the head moves from side to side, or all the way around if you are so inclined! The arms move at the shoulder, elbow and wrist and so you can make it pose well and look as though it is marching, walking towards you to grab you or whatever. The legs also move at the hip joint, knee and foot and I like the way the movement is quite wooden almost in the legs as it makes it move like a Cyberman does in my opinion!
My son has had great fun playing with this figure over the years that we have had him. He has played with him along side his Tardis play set and other figures to create attacks on the Doctor or other general role play. He has also played with this toy in the bath a lot and I can honestly say it is still in excellent condition and works perfectly which I think is testament to the quality of the toy to be honest. Whilst I would expect quality from an authentic BBC endorsed toy unfortunately this isn't always the case but with this particular figure I can say it has been money well spent and at £3.99 I feel I got a bargain.
Having looked online for current selling prices I can only seem to find them new and used on amazon for £7.99 but I would totally recommend looking in stores such as B&M or Home and Bargains because often they will be selling them at a much reduced price. I know my friend recently got a few from our local B&M store and with the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who so fresh they may be making the most of that. If you can find this one I totally recommend it in terms of quality, how realistic it is and playability too.
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We had friends round for a get together on Halloween and the kids played great together. I was really surprised when I checked on my son's bedroom to see that his room was pretty tidy as he had claimed but then I opened the door to his toy cupboard and it was a bit of a state! It had been my intention to tidy the cupboard up before Christmas anyway selling some things he doesn't use anymore and so when we started sorting my son said "well it is my stuff, really I should get the money" which was a fair point I guess and with the first part of money he made he bought the Lego set 6862 called Superman V Power Armour Lex and this is my review of the set.
==What is it?==
This set is part of the Lego super hero range which have people like Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Ironman and what not. This particular set features Superman and his nemesis Lex Luthor.
The set comes in a good quality tough cardboard box which isn't particularly big but this is one of the mid range products. I did expect the set to be a little bigger than what it was when it arrived to be honest but my son didn't seem to care. The box features a picture of the set built and in use as well as a smaller inset picture of the three mini figures that you get with the set. The mini figures included are Superman, Lex Luthor and Wonder Woman which is quite a nice little mix to be honest and they are cool mini figures which look good in any set to be honest.
The box tells us that this set is suited to those aged six to twelve years and I think this is probably quite a fair assessment to be honest. Lego are usually pretty good with their age guidelines but I suppose younger children could get this and have help building the set and I would imagine some adults would still love this set!
==Building the set==
My son insisted we paid for first class delivery on amazon so that the set would arrive before he was back at school. When the parcel arrived he couldn't wait to get stuck in to it and I just sat back and left him to it. He is a very competent builder with Lego and he loves the feeling of achievement he gets when he completes a set which is lovely to see as a parent.
Inside the box was the Lego pieces in a bag, the instruction manual and also a little comic featuring the Lego characters but to be honest the comic wasn't much good and my son flicked through it before deciding to get stuck in to the Lego.
The manual included in the set is a good size as as ever with Lego comes across as a bit like a magazine in that it features full colour, glossy pictures which are really well detailed for when you are building. I like how Lego always take their time with the instructions and they don't feel rushed. In some brands such as k'nex the instructions can be pretty complex and it is easy to miss a small step and go wrong. It is much harder to do this with Lego due to the clear and well detailed instructions. I always feel confident letting my son go alone on a smaller set like this one but when it is a more complex set I will chip in where needed.
What you get in this set is basically the Lego to build Lex Luthors power armour and it does look pretty impressive when it is done! It reminds me a bit of a transformer type robot and it is mainly green as Lex powers the armour using kryptonite which is damaging to Superman. The armour has a little section in the top with a clear dome front where Lex sits as he controls this robot and attacks Superman. On the box it shows Wonder Woman as having been captured by Lex and Superman coming to the rescue and attempting to defeat Lex. The robot looks impressive and stands at about 15cm tall but to be honest given it costs £16.99 on amazon currently I would have expected a bit more for the money. Ok you get three mini figures but not a massive amount else for your money. This is my grumble though. My son was more than happy with what he got with his money and he has set and played with the power armour quite a lot since he got it mixing it with other sets and stuff.
it took my son around twenty minutes to get this set built up which considering what you have to build was reasonable. Again I would have liked it to take him a bit longer to get it all built but there isn't much to build. When it was built I have to say the power armour is pretty cool looking and my son does love it. He likes how he can put different mini figures in it not just Lex and so it is good for his imaginative play to be honest. It is good quality too. It holds together well unless you drop it on the floor which I did but thankfully only an arm fell off and my son could fix it quickly or I would have been in the dog house!
==Would I recommend the set?==
For £16.99 I have to say this set is probably a little expensive for what you get and the RRP is actually £19.99 which is even more expensive. That said my son does really like the set. He likes the large robotic looking power armour which towers over the mini figures and he uses it a lot in his play. He would probably give it his recommendation and so for that reason I give it four stars. One off for the fact I think you could get more for your money though.
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Whenever I get a sore throat that needs some form of soothing I will head to the chemist for supplies and one thing that I nearly always buy is a bag of Victory V lozenges. I suppose it is something that goes back to when I was much smaller as I remember my parents having them if they had a cough or a sore throat too.
Victory V lozenges tend not to be all that easy to source anymore. At one point I remember you could buy them from the corner store along with bags of fishermans friends and things like that but I know my local store doesn't do them anymore. Thankfully my local chemist does still sell the small bags of them for about 75p.
The sweets come in a bag, but used to come in a tube too so perhaps you can still get these somewhere. I like the fact they come in a bag anyway as I think it is easier to keep the lozenges fresh if you will. The bag is a paper one but it is quite strong and so won't rip in your pocket or anything. It is a red pack with a large V on the front as well as the Victory name too. We are told that they are forged for strength. There is something so traditional and lovely about the packaging actually that it doesn't seem to have changed over time and it always makes me feel quite nostalgic.
The actual lozenges are a brown colour which don't look very appealing! They are rectangular in shape with slighly curved edges and are perhaps a couple of centimetres long. I find that they take a good ten minutes at least to suck until they are small enough to crunch. The lozenges have a very unique flavour which is supposed to be a mix of menthol, licorice and menthol. Apparently in the past they used an ingredient which was mixed with cannabis but obviously that was dropped! I find that the lozenges are very soothing for a sore throat or cough because as you suck them it gives off quite a warm feeling but also seems to create a soothing amount of saliva which seems to help too.
In a bag you do get plenty of Victory V's. I would guess at about 20 or 25 in a 45g bag and this does give you plenty to go at. I rarely finish a bag through one sore throat anyway so they last me well.
I would certainly recommend these lozenges for when you have a sore throat or a bit of a cough because for me they taste nice, are soothing and are a decent price as well providing that you can find some locally.
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My son and I were lucky enough to win a prize in Lego's "let's build" promotion earlier in November. We had to send in some pictures of us building together with Lego which they then turned in to a mini video. There were quite a few different prizes to be won with one winner being picked daily and as we never seem to have any luck I couldn't believe it when I woke the day after we had entered the competition to an email telling me we had won the Lego Tower Bridge kit. I knew it was a massive set and it was the one that appealed to both my son and I as we adore London. This review tells of our experience with the kit.
The set was delivered to us in a MASSIVE box that had me wondering just how massive the kit actually was! Fortunately there was an awful lot of padding and bubble wrap and things included in the box but still this is a massive Lego kit! The box was heavy and I had to carry it upstairs to my son's room as we knew it was going to be displayed up there and felt it would be best to build a set of this size in the room it would be on show.
The box shows a picture of the Lego Tower Bridge fully assembled with a back drop of other architecture in the background. The box certainly gives the impression of grandness just from looking at it and I don't think you can not be impresssed that you can build something so great out of Lego to be honest. We are told that the set is suitable for those aged sixteen plus as it is a very advanced set but I will say here that my son and I worked together on much of the project but there was also a lot he did on his own as well and he didn't struggle or make mistakes here. I would say my son is great with Lego but you know your audience so make your own call on this one. I wouldn't give this to a young child to do completely on their own purely because there are over 4000 pieces in this set but there is no reason to be over sixteen to build in my opinion.
What first struck me when we opened up the Lego box was the sheer magnitude of how much Lego was actually in there! There were just bags and bags and bags of the stuff. I noted immediately that the bags weren't numbered and seemed to be a random mix of pieces in many of the bags which wasn't ideal. Often with other Lego sets the bags come numbered and you open them at the points instructed in the manuals but this wasn't the case with this one. We decided that we would have to sit down and sort the pieces the best we could before we started building and this wasn't really much fun for my son! We got sandwich bags and sorted them in to coloured bags having a bag for normal looking pieces and another for unsual looking ones. It may seem an odd system but it worked for us! The sorting of the pieces alone must have took us a good couple of hours and so it is tiresome but I wouldn't recommend attempting to build this one without doing so.
There are three instruction books included with this set and all are around A4 sized and full colour. The steps are broken down well in the manual and so you aren't overfaced as you are building which I think is brilliant because with a set of this size if the instructions were too busy or complex you would easily lose your way and potentially go wrong affecting the model down the line.
What you end up building here is basically a replica of London's Tower Bridge and so the bulk of the work is within building the two towers themselves. These towers are tall and impressive and so it took a lot of work to get them completed. We actually spent around thirteen to fifteen hours on building this set I would guess over the course of a couple of weeks. We didn't want to rush the project and having clubs and things after school it was mainly worked on during the weekends though my son would usually tackle a bit in the morning before school if he woke early. Once the towers are completed and attached to the moving section of the bridge there is only the extra road, suspension ropes and vehicles to be made and so from there it moved along quite quickly. This is a complicated build though and as I mentioned I would advise doing it with your child or certainly being there to supervise and chip in when required.
Once built Tower Bridge really is epic. That is the only word really that I think sums up this Lego set. It stands 45cm high, 102cm long and 26cm wide and so you are going to need some serious space to store this one. We have it on my son's bookcase in his room where it fits nicely but as soon as you walk in the room it grabs your attention with it being so big. I love the detailing in this set and the way that it does look so much like the actual Tower Bridge. There is wonderful detail be it in the criss cross sections of the bridge, or the windows for example and it just looks amazing. I also like how you are able to move the mid section up and down on the bridge just like the real thing would do. You also get to build a really cool little red bus, taxi, car and a lorry for use on the bridge too so you can play with it but in all honesty I think it is mainly a model that would be displayed as opposed to being used for play.
So on to the finer details. Well, this set costs £209.99 from the Lego site and not much less from amazon. It is safe to say there is no way that I would ever buy a set that cost this much for my son no matter how much he wanted it and at that price I would imagine it is more collectors that buy it than anyone else. This said the set is wonderful quality as you would expect from Lego. The pieces shine and just fit together perfectly which isn't something you get with cheaper brands in my opinion. The final product you get is nothing short of exceptional and so I would recommend it but I personally couldn't justify the price tag just for some Lego.
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Without a shadow of a doubt my sons favourite toy to play with is Lego and it has been for quite some time now. He loves to build and be creative with his own drawer full of random Lego bricks but he also has quite a lot of Lego sets where you build a specific model and then play with it or have it on display. We are literally running out of places to store his Lego models now! One set that he has is the Lego fire truck set which has the model number 60002 and this is my review of it.
==What is it?==
The Lego fire truck set is part of the Lego City range. In the City range there is a massive range of things that you would find in every day life I guess and so there are fire stations, police stations, construction, train sets and stations and many more.
This set is easily identified as a Lego City because it comes in a blue cardboard box which all of the Lego City range comes in. This is one of the smaller sets and so the box isn't massive but I would say it is big enough to make a respectable looking birthday gift for example. On the front of the box there is a picture of the assembled fire truck and I do like how Lego do this as it gives you a good idea of what you are going to be getting for your money.
This set is aimed at those aged five to twelve years and in my experience Lego are usually pretty good at getting their age guidelines right. I think perhaps in this case though the lower end may need a little help with the building and instructions but my son was able to do this on his own when he was seven years old.
My son was as keen as ever to get stuck in to building this Lego set as soon as he got it home from the shops. Inside the box there were two bags of Lego which were numbered. It is really good how Lego do this I think because it makes the pieces that are out at any given moment more manageable for the child when they are building. You are told when to open each bag within the instruction manual and so it is all really clear. The instruction manual is a good size in comparison to the size of the set and I like how it is in full colour and each step is small and well illustrated because it gives the child the best chance in building the set independently whilst also teaching them about reading and following instructions.
My son spent around thirty minutes building this fire truck which I think is a reasonable amount of time to be honest considering there are fifty four steps to making it. He didn't ask for my help at any point but I wasn't expecting him to need any with this one as he has done more complex ones on his own as well as he is really good at building with Lego. When he had made the fire truck I was really impressed with the look of it. I liked how the fire truck looked shiny and quite like a real fire truck! It has blue see through lights on the front and also on the top which gives the impression of the flashing lights.
My son was impreesed with the fire truck as well. What he liked was how it came with some good little working parts and accessories. The fire truck features an extending ladder which also has a rotating base and so he could use it to have his Lego mini figures climb up to the window of the buildings that he made and such like. This set also came with two mini figures dressed as fire fighters so he was able to properly play with it and create little scenarios. A door on the side of the fire truck lifts up to reveal a box with lots of little bits and pieces for fighting fires which is a nice addition I think. There is also a hydrant which attaches to the fire engine as well so I do think this is quite a comprehensive set in terms of imaginative play. Obviously my son needed to build his own little building to pretend it was on fire but building houses is something that he enjoys doing anyway so it worked well for him. He sat and played for a good couple of hours the first time he played with this set and then from then onwards he tends to get it down from his room from time to time and play with it with other larger figures, playmobil and things like that so it is a good little set.
This fire truck does feel quite sturdy as well once it is built. The ladder extends easily and doesn't feel as though it would break easily. I do wish there was a door that opened on the front of the truck to pop a driver in the truck but this is often the case with Lego products to be honest! My son hasn't moaned about this but I do think it would make it a bit easier in play. All in all though this is the usual kind of good quality that you would expect from Lego. I think it is the kind of set that you could buy for a birthday party or something and not need to worry about whether the child has other items in the range as I think it can stand alone as well as work well with other sets.
==Price and availablity==
This set costs £9.99 on amazon which is a good few pounds under the £14.99 recommended retail price. I think this is a good price for the set and would recommend it at this price for sure as you get a good amount for your money in my opinion.
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Often I will just use an ordinary cheap hair conditioner when I am shaving my legs as I found that in particular the value brands are so cheap and provide a great barrier between your skin and the razor. That said I do find that purpose made shaving foam is the best option and so when I was in Boots I bought their own branded sensitive smooth care shave gel and this is my review of the product.
The shave gel comes in a metal aerosol as many of these kinds of products too. The container says please recycle when empty so I presume you can but it doesn't show the recycling symbol. The packaging is pretty clever I think given that it is a sensitive product as it uses calming blues and greens along with some white flowers which just gives that feeling of calm for me. The product name and the brand name is featured on the packaging as well as instructions for use should anyone not know how to use it!
Removing the white plastic cap you have a large button to press which releases the shave gel on to your hand for use. The gel is blue in colour and matches well with the sensitive theme I think. Basically to use all you do is rub the gel on your skin that needs shaving and the gel foams up and spreads really well over the skin turning in to a white colour.
This shave gel has been designed for those whose skin can be sensitive to shaving and this is most definitely my skin. I like how this gel spreads so easily on the skin and how it contains aloe vera which is soothing for the skin. When I shave with this product on my skin I find that the razor moves smoothly over the skin and that as I go from stroke to stroke I can rub the gel over the skin some more which really helps in giving a close a shave as possible! Let's face it we all want a close shave because I certainly wouldn't want to shave my legs but still have stubble because it wasn't a close enough shave! I do think that this product really helps to get a close shave.
I find that after shaving when I have used this product that the skin on my legs feels quite smooth and soft and certainly more so than when I have shaved using hair conditioner or nothing at all! This alone is a reason for me to continue using this product but another reason is simply that my skin has suffered no itching or other such side effects with this sensitive gel.
A 200ml of this product costs £1.90 currently at Boots where it is on offer at 1/3 off. I would definitely recommend this product. A little goes a long way and as such a tin is sure to last me quite a long time making it value for money too.
Thank you for reading my review!