Tag: Lego

Top Toys Guide 2020

Top Toys Guide 2020

We have focused on Proudly South African, I’ve spoken about my favourite educational toys and I have also helped you to have a look at my hottest selection from one of South Africa’s biggest retailers. Now, here in one consolidated list are my top choices across the board for Toys of 2020.

Starting from top left to right:

Singing Elsa Fashion Doll

Part of Hasbro’s Great Gift Guide for 2020, the Elsa singing doll is the perfect gift for your children that have now seen Frozen II a million times, it sings “Into the Unknown,” which is one of the biggest hits from the movie.

One of the toys that we reviewed was the Power Rangers Beast-X King Morpher, with light up lion eyes. When kids strap the morpher to their wrist and move around, they will hear show-inspired sounds and phrases. When they use the Morph-X key in the Beast-X King Morpher, it will enter Beast-X mode, for even more sounds and phrases! It’s actually reignited my boys love for the show!

Marvel-Avengers Titan Hero Iron Man, this 12-inch iron man figure from titan hero series features a classic design and comes with character-inspired accessories that attach to the figure’s arms, hands and back.. The perfect figurine for any Marvel fan and Iron Man in our house is ALWAYS a winner!

Enjoy some fun family time with Boggle. This brings back so man memories of playing with my dad, Boggle always sat on top of our fridge. Earn points by spotting words your opponents donโ€™t before time runs out.  Shake the grid to mix up the letter cubes, players have 90 seconds to write down as many words as they can find on the grid before time is up.  It’s the perfect size to take with you on holiday and a great exercise in literacy for younger children too.

Lego – Always a firm feature on my lists, I’ve picked out the Disney Princess Cinderella Dream Castle. (My family knows how badly I wanted a castle growing up ๐Ÿ™‚ Let your child re-enact their favourite scene from Cinderella, complete with a horse carriage and revolving dance floor. Or perhaps you have a house full of superhero fans, like me. If that’s the case you cant go wrong with any of the Avenger sets. From Spiderman to Thanos, pick your favourite figurine to build. On the top of my kids wishlist at the moment are the newer “SuperMario” sets which would provide a welcome relief to playing the actual game.

Melissa and Doug – Band-in-a-Box- This 10 piece set is the perfect gift for younger members of the family. From about 16 months kids love to shake, bang and smash.

Hatching Toothless from Hatchimals- If your kids are fans of How to Train Your Dragon, they will love watching as this interactive baby Toothless comes out of its shell, teaching it to fly, and taking care of it.

Peealots & Poopalots Big Wags Pets collection, probably one of the “toys of the season” and another expansion of the “Fureal pets”. Each “Peealots “pet comes with a leash system that allows you to take them for walks and a water bottle so you can give them a drink. Of course, after all that drinking, your pet will need to go! Just lift its tail and watch as your pet lifts its leg and pees โ€“ but be sure to clean up after them! Give your cuddly Poopalots pet a few of the included play treats, then take them for a walk to do their โ€˜businessโ€™, leaving a trail of poop nuggets behind! Luckily, your pet comes with its own poop scooper for quick and easy cleanups.ย  A pretty good introduction to the real thing I’d say!

Imaginext Mega Bite Shark – Another one the boys were lucky enough to review, and it came just in time for a certain shark obsessed little boy! He had just finished learning about sharks at school and this provided hours of education and entertainment. Its pretty realistic looking, down to the retracting jaw and it can even “swallow” the scuba divers whole. Roll the shark along and watch the realistic swimming motion and its head moves from side to side. We’ve taken our shark into the pool to add an extra element of play.

Playdoh Elastix and Playdoh Slime – Two new additions to the Playdoh family and the perfect stocking fillers. We always had Playdoh in our stockings growing up. Playdoh slime gives kids an extra dimension to play, its squishable, you can pull it and stretch it while the Elastix looks just like traditional Playdoh but is softer, more stretchy and extra flexible.

Tonka Mighty Metal Fleet – I think almost every child goes through a phase of being utterly obsessed with diggers. With my eldest we would literally drive around town scouting out construction sites as he would watch in awe. Tonka has a full range available in South Africa now, whether its the dump truck, garbage van or digger, these trucks are Tonka tough! Durable, long lasting and perfect for outdoor play, I know this would make the perfect christmas gift for many children.

Transformers Cyberverse Battle Call Trooper Class figures. A must in any transformers fan stocking! Each little figure includes a signature weapon, which disassembles and attaches to the figure to create “power-up armour”. There is a voice activation feature, with each figure, that sets off pulsing lights in the figurines chest. All figurines convert between vehicle and robot modes as well.

I mentioned the Playdoh Drizzle Ice Cream Set before and then I came across this Kitchen Creations Candy Delight Playset and had to mention it as well. Kids can create pretend gummy bears, peanut butter cups, and create their own candies with this awesome playset that comes with five cans of Play-Doh. I think I’m going to need a play room just for Playdoh soon!

Go Glam Nail Stamper – I’ve seen this mentioned by a few bloggers and it looks like the cutest set for any budding beauty. The Go Glam Nail Stamper makes it fun and easy to create custom manicures in minutes. With 125 nail customisation’s to try out, this is definitely a gift that keeps on giving, so pull up a chair and let your child create gorgeous nail designs on your manicure for the holiday season.

Instax Mini 11 – We have packed for our mini roadtrip and the first thing we included in the boys suitcase was our Instax. The perfect little camera for taking holiday snaps and memory books and the perfect present for any budding photographer.. The Instax Mini 11 provides on-the-spot photo printing, and features an Automatic Exposure for better-looking photos in darker lighting conditions. RSP R1299

Christmas Gift Guide – Educational Toys

Christmas Gift Guide – Educational Toys

I have to be honest, my kids have A LOT of toys. The boys have all gone through phases of being obsessed with digger, trucks and cars to superheros and NERF guns, but the thing is, that’s exactly what it is. A phase, and soon I know those toys will be lying in the toy bin forgotten or not played with, like a sad tale from Toy Story.

That is one of the reasons why I am such a huge fan of educational, open-ended toys and sets. Play items that are designed to encourage imagination and creative play. Toys that teach and that can provide endless years of return play. Here is a list of SOME of my favourite educational toys this Festive Period.

From Top left to right:

  1. No educational wishlist is complete without some LEGO. The possibilities are absolutely endless and it is something that is enjoyed by all ages. I have to say this is the first year my kids REALLY got into LEGO, aged 5 and 6. Let me rephrase that, they didn’t just “get into it”, they are OBSESSED. From cars and cities, to forts and Superhero towers they will spend hours happily creating. I have one son who is a “rule follower”, he follows that instruction manual to the last detail, but struggles a little with more free play. I have another son who is the complete opposite. DO NOT give him a manual ๐Ÿ™‚ He can take those bricks and turn them into anything his heart desires. It’s so incredible to watch.
  2. Safari Ltd from Timeless Toys – It’s no secret how much I adore making “mini worlds” for the boys. The reason for this is because it combines sensory play WITH learning. My eldest has moved on a little from “normal” sensory play, and buy using figurines and by creating “Mini Worlds” our adventure begins again! The toobs sets from Safari Ltd are my absolute go to. They are a great size and you can purchase any theme you life, from the lifecycle of a frog or butterfly, to “Amazon”, “Africa” or “Antarctica”. These make great stocking stuffers! From R250.

3. Double sided Alphabet Tracing Set from Harper and Sloane. This beautiful wooden alphabet tracing board is a great way for young children to practice their letter recognition, letter formation and writing skills. I love the fact that the board is double-sided with lowercase letters on the front and capital letters on the reverse, all too often only one case is focused on which causes problems when school starts. R525 .

4. Melissa and Doug lock board available from Eden Kids.This was the first “puzzle” that I ever bought for my eldest child, and it is still going strong 7 years later! Its my 18 month old favourite puzzle at the moment, everyday she pulls my arm and says “tome” for “come” and makes me sit with her to open up the latches and look at the animals. Its a classic, and if its baby’s first or second Christmas, this one is worth it!

5. GeoSafari Jr Talking Microscope – Ok this has been on my wish-list for YEARS and I still haven’t gotten around to getting one for the boys. It comes with 12 slides of commonly found insects to deepen your child’s love for learning and exploration.

6. Spelling Card Box from Shop Mums Palette – I adore this box set and wonder why I didn’t stumble across it sooner! Such a fun, creative way to assist spelling and matching and at an incredibly affordable price! R230

7. Logarithmic Montessori numbers available from Takealot.com . I love everything about this set. It has counting, matching, fine motor skills you name it. It is great for hand eye coordination and I think is going to be one of our newest additions to the playroom!

8. All in one kits from One Two Play – making life easier for parents all across the country! One Two Play creates pre-packed kits to make sensory play and exploration that much easier. From Dingo Digs to Swamp Adventures, you can buy a pre packed box with everything you need in it for some sensory fun. While you’re at it, add some of their story blocks to your cart for some super fun, open ended play.

9. Card Machine Till – A till is more then just a till – Its the beginning of an entrepreneurs journey, its endless hours of shopping, counting, learning. Its maths. I bought a cheap plastic one for the boys about 4 years ago, I didn’t particularly like it at the time but it was the best I could find and that thing is one of the MOST used toys in our house! Its gone with us to market days, the boys set up shop at home and try to resell me food I’ve bought just to try to increase their pocket money ๐Ÿ™‚ A good quality till is an investment, a masterpiece, and this one from Timeless Toys is just beautiful.

10. Imagimags – When I saw Marie-Louise post about a South African brand of magnetic tiles I jumped for joy! We were gifted our magnetic tiles a few Christmases back from my aunt in the USA (and they are a lot cheaper there). I’ve been wanting to add to ours for ages as the kids genuinely play with them a few times a week. Imagimags are proudly South African and trust me 108 pieces is a fantastic amount and the hours of play would be endless! This would be a gift that keeps giving year after year!
108pc Magnetic Building Tiles Set R 1,599.00.

11. Mega Blocks Sustainable Forest Friends these need a special mention, because these blocks are made from plant-based plastics, yep you read that right, a sugarcane based renewable raw material. Even their packaging is 100% recyclable and has FSC-certified packaging, made from both recycled and sustainably-grown materials. They are the perfect fit for little hands, and I love the fact that you have to “match up” the animals.
My 18 month old was able to comfortably stack and take apart the blocks with ease.

Father Day Gift Guide 2020

Father Day Gift Guide 2020

Every year I find myself stumbling over what to get my husband and dad for Fathers Day. I’m sad to say for the last few years I haven’t been able to spend Father’s Day with my dad, but I hope he knows just how much I love him.

If you’re looking for something different to spoil the men in your life with this year, here are my ultimate choices to show Dad he’s Rad ! (See what I did there?)

From top left:

These gorgeous 100% genuine leather wallets from Journey Leather. They have a full range of products including toiletry bags. RSP: From R520

If you are going big, you HAVE to check out Lego’s latest masterpiece. Lego Creator Expert has a model of the Manchester United Football Stadium to keep dad’s busy while they wait for the Premier League to come back on! At R4,499.99 its a little pricier then your normal gift but so worth it!

For the golfer dad’s out there why not add in a little style, while giving back to a great cause?
Goodbye Malaria is a social benefit organization that fights against Malaria, in Southern Africa, Eswatini and Mozambique. All online sale proceeds go towards the eradication of malaria. Golf t-shirt: R350 – Shorts: R350.00 – Baseball cap: R200

Has lockdown got you fighting for TV space? Enjoy the home console gaming experience on the go and, even without access to a TV. Nintendo Switch fits around your lifestyle. Enjoy classic games like Super Mario Brothers, which is perfect to teach the kids!

LINDT Excellence features the likes of 70% Dark, 85% Dark, Mint Intense, Orange Intense and Sea Salt flavours in 100g tablets (RRP: R49.99; the 90% and 99% RRP R54.99). Flavours vary from intense through to sweet, with many combinations proving to be unexpectedly delicious and indulgent. Why not set dad up with a pairing? Jack Black, Cappucino, Rooibos tea – Lindt pairs well with so many things.

This Garmin Approach is the perfect tool for measuring your yardage for shots from anywhere on the course you’re playing. It’s compact and clips on and would be the perfect addition for any Golf loving dad.

For the foodie dad, Le Creuset is a special treat! They have launched the super stylish “matte black” range which fits in seamlessly to any kitchen. Shop Matte Black and exciting new Fatherโ€™s Day promotions, including Cast Iron Grill pans, online or in store at www. lecreuset.co.za from 1st June 2020.

Who says fitness watches can’t be stylish? This Garmin Vivoactive Watch, from takealot is the perfect gift. It has interface with Android phones and all the latest gadgets with heart rate monitors.

Every dad needs in introduction to DIY work, this cordless drill from Leroy Merlin is the perfect starter tool. At only R389 its perfectly priced to spoil dad with this weekend.

Grasshopper has a full range of options for the dad in your life, whether he is running around town all day, or seated at a desk. The winter Grasshoppers range includes a style for everyone including the “brown rugger”, the Grasshopper take on the classic Chelsea boot. Available online via Bolton Shoes or visit the Grasshopper site for more information.

Got a dad that’s addicted to Cooking shows? This flavour injector is such an awesome foodie tool, simply pour flavourful stock or marinade into the syringe, attach the correct sized nozzle, and inject the flavour into the body of the meat. (I may just go by myself one).

I think this may just top all gifts, get your garage organised with Garage Guys. Garage Guys are the leaders in cost effective garage shelving. They create custom shelving solutions to fit your garage style and needs.

Build 11 awesome LEGO machines with this awesome activity kit. Machines that whirl, flip, punch and cruise! Including: a gravity-powered car, a boxing robot, a claw, a catapult, a spin-o-vision, a ghost mobile car, a rollin’ T-Rex, a whirling fan, a mixing machine, a micro movie maker and a gravity-drop coaster. Available from Takealot.com

If you are looking for the perfect starter toolkit, this it it! Tool set DEXTER 40 pieces bi materials comes with all the tools you need to keep your home in tip top shape. Available from Leroy Merlin

Garmin Watch, from takealot

We Are Counting Down Until Comic Con / Kids Con 2019.

We Are Counting Down Until Comic Con / Kids Con 2019.

Pop-culture fans unite! We are gearing up for the most interactive four-day pop culture festival, Comic Con Africa, and this year Kids Con is joining in on the action!

Comic Con Africa focuses on all elements of pop culture, including cosplay, comic books, anime, manga, film and series, games and books and authors. The festival also features a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements in animation, toys, gadgets, clothing, collectible card games, video games, webcomics, and fantasy novels and the ever-popular Artistsโ€™ Alley.

This year sees a programme that is bigger than ever before, catering to the hardest of pop-culture fans, newcomers and kids. Five halls jam packed with competitions, seminars, workshops and over 160 hours of content, you can bet we are ready to geek out! It’s pop-culture paradise with almost 300 exhibitors offering event specials on everything from gaming hardware and accessories, apparel, pop-culture merchandise, comics, figurines and much more, my boys have been counting down for weeks! We have a superhero wish list ready to go!

As usual there will be no disappointment when it comes to the list of appearances, international stars like legendary actor, author, producer and director, William Shatner, as well as Anthony Mackie, (Falcon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe), these are just two of the big names who will be at Comic Con Africa 2019. Visitors will also be able to meet and interact with local trailblazers like Jason Masters, who has worked on various Batman titles including Legends of the Dark Knight, Guardians of the Galaxy, Wolverine and X-Men as well as Sean Izaakse, a Marvel illustrator and comic artist who has worked on comics such as The Thunderbolts, Avengers, Deadpool and Captain America.

Itโ€™s not only the ultimate kids paradise with all the superheroโ€™s they can think of, but one of the partner sponsors of KidsCon this year is Jaguar Land Rover. A number of exciting activities have been arranged for children to experience the thrill and technology of Jaguar, and adventurous nature of Land Rover. There will be giveaways from Jaguar Land Rover for young adventurers willing to get their hands dirty, a collection of branded goods for all age groups will be on sale and a full-size Jaguar F-PACE like you have never seen before ! Brands such as Lego and Hasbro have jumped on board and will be providing entertainment and activations for the kids, along with the best of the best in terms of merchandise to purchase.

Dress up in your best cosplay outfit to join the hundreds of singing stars at the Cosplay Karaoke Cafรฉ, and compete in the Championships of Cosplay competition. If you are a gaming enthusiast, geek out in a dedicated gaming hall with freeplay zones, racing SIMs and the latest gaming equipment.

Donโ€™t miss a moment, keep โ€œAppโ€ to date with all things Comic Con Africa by downloading the Comic Con Africa App. It allows attendees to plan their experience and gives a full breakdown on whats on in each hall.

Where to buy tickets:

Comic Con Africa and Kids Con 2019 takes place this weekend, the 21-24 September, at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand. A ticket to Comic Con Africa gives you access to the dedicated KidsCon Hall. Get your Comic Con Africa tickets now at http://bit.ly/CCA_KidsCon or www.computicket.co.za


Head on over to my instagram page and you may just get lucky and win tickets for a family of 4 to attend Comic Con 2019, on Tuesday 24 September!