Tomy have some great toys available this Christmas, including a range of Dinosaur Train toys. My boys all watch this on Nick Jr, especially the younger two (age 3 and age 2) and they are mad about trains so it’s no surprise that they were really keen to try out the Dinosaur Train toys.
Tomy sent us the Lights & Sounds Dinosaur Train with a Laura the Gigantosaurus figure. In the series, Laura is a look out for the train and rides in the observation car.
The train was slightly smaller than I had imagined. If you are familiar with Chuggington Die Cast trains, it is bigger than those but not loads bigger. The size is just right for Mr T and Mr R’s little hands and I was pleased to see the same coupling system as the Chuggington trains as they are familiar with those and I know from our previous experience that this system works well and the train carriages will stay together well while the children are driving it along the floor. This system also enables you to mix and match with other Dinosaur Train carriages which you can buy separately.
When you press the funnel of the train, this activates the lights and sounds. The front section of the train is clear to enable the body of that train to flash and light up which the boys loved. The sounds effects are different each time you press it, and there is a variety of Dinosaur noises which they also loved!
The only downside we found is that it can be a little tricky to get the Laura figure to stay in the train properly. There is a raised peg which her foot should press down onto but we just found she doesn’t always stay steady. However the boys were not too bothered by this as they love the train and they move Laura around anyway while making up stories and playing.
Dinosaur Train is a great concept as it combines Trains and Dinosaurs perfectly, both of which Mr T and Mr R really enjoy – as most boys of their age range seem to. They love the lights and sounds train, and I can see this continuing to be played with daily. I may look out for a couple of the other carriages and characters for them as I think they would enjoy collecting these.
If you have a little one who enjoys the show, they are sure to love it! If you have a little one who has not seen the show but is interested in trains and dinosaurs, they will probably still love it too!
To keep up to date with all the latest toys please follow Tomy on Facebook and Twitter!
Tickety Toc have a lovely new range of toys and books out in time for Christmas, and the boys and I were lucky enough to be sent some of the new Tickety Toc products to try out and review.
We have the:
Wooden Matching Pair Puzzles
“Mystery Time” Board Book
“Birthday Time” Sticker Activity fun book
First Mr R wanted to try out the matching puzzles. He is 2 years old and these were right for his stage as they are nice and simple. They are great for colour matching and for practising the skills of putting two puzzle pieces together. He enjoyed spotting and pointing at all the characters while he was playing.
These puzzles are made from real solid wood, which I find great. Knowing that they will be used by younger toddlers its such an improvement on the regular cardboard material you get with puzzles, as I do find younger ones try to put the pieces in their mouth from time to time and these will withstand that much better. They also can’t be ripped or torn at all and should last for years! The pieces have a really nice and chunky feel to them, and the colours are really bright and appealing.
The Tickety Toc matching puzzles are available from Amazon at £6.99
Next, Mr R moved on to the books. “Mystery Time” is perfect for his age with thick board pages so like the wooden puzzles, it’s pretty indestructible so he is able to look through it himself and enjoy the pictures.
The story is a simple mystery all about missing food in Tickety Town. Tommy and Tallulah go around from character to character finding out that even more food has been taken. They wonder who could be responsible and they manage to solve the mystery just in time for Chime Time! The story is just at the right level for a 2 or 3 year old. It is not too long so it’s able to keep their attention, but it is not too babyish either. At the end there are some questions for your child to answer, to see if they can remember the details from the story and also some objects to find within the pictures of the book.
We were also sent the Birthday Time Sticker Activity fun book. This is a bit too advanced for Mr R just yet but ideal for ideal for Mr T and Mr Z’s age, at nearly 4, and 5 years old. It would be fine from 3 years+ with a bit of help from an adult to read some of the instructions.
The activity book has plenty of variety in it from dot to dot, to colouring, quizzes, a game, and press out activities to make a birthday card and gift box. It also has over 50 stickers, which is a double spread full of stickers. These are bright and colourful featuring the main characters and some party accessories like presents and party hats, as well as some word stickers.
The books are published by Igloo books and are available for £4.99 from all good bookshops (including Amazon)
If your little one is a big fan of Tickety Toc make sure you don’t miss the special Christmas episode of Tickety Toc which is going to premiere on Sat November 30th at 12:30pm on Nick Junior. There will also be an after show Twitter Party at 13:00-14:00 on the same day. Follow @ticketytocuk to take part.
About a year or so ago, the boys got their first Wow Toys. I’ve added quite a few to their collection since then and have been really impressed with how much use they get out of them and how well they keep them engaged. So I was really happy to be sent a Wow Toys Ernie Fire Engine for us to try out and review.
Ernie is one of the larger Wow toys vehicles that I have seen. It is very chunky and sturdy as all of them are, and it comes with one fire fighter figure and one safety barrier accessory.
There is plenty for little ones to explore with Ernie Fire Engine. The front and back both open to allow you to put characters or accessories in and out. The fire engine ladder lifts up and down and also has a motor that can be used to rotate the ladder around. There are no batteries required for Ernie or any of the Wow Toys but they do move along by friction power.
The lack of batteries is something which really appeals to me. I sometimes find batteries tend to run out quickly then it is a pain to make sure you have the right spare batteries available and keep replacing them all the time! It also means you don’t have to worry about getting the toys wet, so you can use them in messy play, sensory play or in the bath – and they wipe or wash clean brilliantly too. I never found the boys missed the features of flashing lights or sounds with the Wow Toys. They are happy enough making up their own games or racing the vehicles around and they do always come back to these toys time after time!
The Wow Toys figures are all interchangeable so you can take characters which came with another vehicle or set, and mix them with another. When playing with Ernie, Mr T quickly remembered that he did have another fireman which came with our Fireboat Felix so he ran to get it so that the two fire fighters could ride together in Ernie. There is room for 3 or more figures to ride in this Fire Engine easily, which gives plenty of space for children to expand their role play and make up stories with the figures.
Ernie the Engine would be a brilliant first fire engine, even from 1.5 years and it would then grow with the child. It’s an ideal size, and with the figure included and lots to open and close and move around, it is one of the best toddler fire engines I have seen.
Wow Toys are offering one Ernie Fire Engine as a prize to one of my readers in December as a part of my Advent Competitions – so keep your eye out and make sure you come and enter!
The boys have been testing out a great new toy recently: The Tonka Fire Station Play Set. This is part of the new Tonka Town range suitable for ages 3-5.
The set is pretty big so it would be ideal for a Christmas or Eid present as it would make an exciting gift for little ones.
As soon as my boys (age 2-5) saw it, they were all very interested. The set includes the main fire station building with 3 floors, a fire car and 2 firemen figures. There is plenty to do and lots of little details in the set. There are doors to open and close, ladders to climb (which can be removed and placed differently if you wish), buttons to press for flashing lights and nee nawwww sounds, a fireman’s pole for the figures to use and a control panel area for them too.
The figures are fully pose-able and their hands are able to grip onto the fire pole, which is very cool. This gave the set a lot more play value for Mr Z my 5 year old who is at the older end of the age range. I was really pleased to see him still very able to enjoy this set as he has been getting too old for some preschool toys but this did capture his imagination and he has been doing some lovely imaginative play. I could see this set doing well in an early years setting too, as there is space for a couple of children to play at a time and make up stories together. I was happy to see two figures included rather than only one, as this avoids sibling squabbles! The figures also fit very easily into the fire car so there was no frustration there with the figures not staying in place.
It was also perfect for Mr T at 3 years old. He loved the flashing lights and sounds, and it is great to help him with developing his imaginary play and developing his language too. His favourite is the fire car and he has often been taking this to play with separately as well as playing with it as a part of the set. The fire car has been taken out and about with us as Mr T and Mr R have both got really attached to it and it is a good size if they want something to take out in the car to keep them amused.
Mr R at just over 2 years is under the recommended age range and at the moment he is more interested in the fire car than the full set but I definitely see him getting a lot of play out of this as he grows too. I think it will have a lot of long lasting appeal, when Mr Z grows out of it, Mr R will be ready to enjoy it. Luckily it does seem to be quite sturdily made so it should be able to withstand a lot of play. I would say this Tonka Town range does seem more toddler proof than some of the other large Tonka vehicles we have. The fire car has a very chunky feel to it, and there are no small pieces which could break off at all.
I’ve been really impressed with the set, and would definitely consider adding to our collection from the rest of the range. You can see the full range at Tonkatown.com, which includes fire, police, rescue, construction and helpers. I do love the look of the jail play set too as I could see Mr Z making some great stories with that! As well as these larger sets, you can buy the vehicles or figures separately which makes it easy to add certain bits to your sets in a mix and match way. There are also some games for children to play on the website.
I would definitely recommend this for children aged 3-5. Especially any who are interested in firemen and fire engines. I won’t say just boys as girls can like it too! My boys do really love it, and its a very exciting toy for them. At an RRP of 39.99 it is pretty good value for a full set like this which will give hours and hours of play.
There is a new Tonka Town magazine coming out October 15th which will come with a free character as well as including stories, activities and more. This sounds great and I will be looking out for it in the shops!
Disclaimer: we were sent this play set in order to review.
Recently we went to the launch of the new range of Tickety Toc toys, which was a fun morning in Hamleys for the children. You can read all about that here. At the event, one of the toys the boys were most attracted to was the Tickety Toc Musical Pufferty.
We have now been sent one to review, so I have been able to see how well they play with it at home.
Once Mr T (3) and Mr R (2) saw the toy they were so eager to get started playing with it. Luckily it was not too much trouble to get out of the box. There are some plastic fasteners at the bottom which you simply turn to release the toy. I much prefer this than having to get the screwdriver out which I have had to do with other toys on occasion.
They seemed to remember the toy and straight away started playing with it together. As there are 3 figurines and 2 carriages the pair of them were able to share and play together with the toy without too much squabbling, which is always good! The figures included are Tommy, Tallulah and Tooteroo the Owl. Tommy and Tallulah are pose-able so they can stand or sit, and fit nicely into the carriages.
The door on the carriages also opens and closes which is something the boys have enjoyed, opening the doors and walking the figurines into the train.
The 2 carriages and the main engine all uncouple from each other, so it can be split into three separate sections. It is quite easy to put it back together although the boys do have to ask me to help them. Luckily as the three pieces are quite big, they are not likely to get lost even if they separate them and take them to different rooms of the house.
The front part of the train with Pufferty’s head plays the Tickety Toc theme tune when you press the funnel. Anyone who has seen Tickety Toc will know that this is quite a catchy tune, my children all love it. Mr R has been really enjoying pressing to make the music come on, so that he can dance to it. He noticed that when the song is playing, if you press it again the music will stop again straight away so he has been using it for his own version of Tickety Toc musical statues where he presses it and starts to dance, then stop and we have to freeze, which he finds hilarious.
While I have been tidying up and sorting things round the house, I keep hearing the Tickety Toc tune coming from nearby as Mr R keeps bringing it everywhere with him.
The quality and build of the toy is good. Most parents would have come across some character based playsets that can be a bit flimsy, but this seems to be pretty durable so far. For example the doors of the carriages are all well attached and not at risk of falling off if they are opened and closed a lot.
Out of the three children I would say Mr R (2) has been playing with this the most as he has really loved the musical aspect, and Mr T (3) has also enjoyed playing with it, more in the train aspect of moving it along the floor and putting the figures in and out. Mr Z (5) felt he was a bit too old for it although he has played with it a bit, but I would recommend it most for ages 2-4 and I am sure any little ones who are familiar with Tickety Toc would enjoy it.
If you’re not familiar with Tickety Toc, and would like to watch – You can catch it on Nick Jr or Milkshake!
Last Sunday we spent the morning in Hamley’s for some top secret toy testing. A new Tickety Toc toy range is coming out and we were among the first to see it and play with it!
You can see my boys here enjoying having a go with the Musical Pufferty Train and Clockhouse Playset. They love trains so these were the first two toys they were immediately attracted to.
The Musical Pufferty train plays the Tickety Toc theme tune when you press the funnel, and includes small figures of Tommy and Tallulah as well as Tooteroo the owl. My youngest (nearly 2) really enjoyed opening and closing all the doors and moving along the train, as well as hearing the theme tune which they all recognise from watching on TV.
The Clockhouse playset is immediately recognisable for anyone who has seen Tickety Toc, with the distinctive look of Tickety Town. It includes a pushalong pufferty the train with tracks integrated to the house, and Tommy and Tallulah figures.
There are also talking soft toys of Tommy and Tallulah, and smaller soft toys of Tommy and Tallulah.
Among the goodies in the goody bag (also including Tickety Toc sticker books and magazines which I’m sure will be available to buy soon along with the toys), my boys got to go home with one of these soft toys each. They chose to have Tommy and they have been enjoying playing with him, singing the Tickety Toc theme tune to themselves. These are a very handy size, not too big and not too small – Ideal if they want a small toy to take out in the car with them or anything like that.
As well as testing out the toys, there was more fun to be had. The boys took part in a craft session to make some Tickety Toc headgear for themselves (you can see my 5 year old modelling his top right in the collage below) and decorating some plates too with glue, feathers and all those crafty kind of bits and pieces. My 5 and 3 year old both love crafts. There was also dancing with the Milk Shake presenters Olivia and Kemi, delicious milkshakes from the Hamley’s milkshake bar, giant Tommy and Tallulah characters walking around and the chance to explore all the toys of Hamley’s before opening time – which is always great! There were some celebrity families there to join in with the fun too!
The new Tickety Tock range is coming out this Saturday 27th and will be available from Argos, The Entertainer, Smyths, Amazon and all good toy shops/online. Tune-in to Tickety Toc at 9am every weekday on Channel Five’s Milkshake! and daily at 8am, 4pm and 4.15pm on Nick Jr!
My younger boys have been really lucky this week, as they have been sent some of the new Fisher Price Bubble Guppies toys to try out. They enjoy watching Bubble Guppies on Nick Jr quite often, so I was not surprised that they took to the toys straight away.
For those who may not know, Bubble Guppies is an underwater educational and musical show for preschoolers. Molly and Gil are the main Bubble Guppies and it’s set in their underwater classroom.
The new Fisher Price range has loads of different Bubble Guppies toys, all suitable for around 18 months+.
The first thing the boys were immediate attracted to were the racers. We were sent: Bubble Guppies Nonny & Green Streak, Bubble Guppies Gil & Red Racer and Bubble Guppies Molly & Violet Racer
They love cars and anything transport related, so they were really excited by these. As soon as my 3 year old saw them he was so excited and started to sign “fish – car” (he’s non verbal due to SN) and I knew he recognised the characters, and was very very happy to see them! 😀
Each car includes one removable Bubble Guppy rolling figure, and these also work on the Rock and Roll stage which is really handy as you can mix and match. The Bubble Guppies are easy to put in and out of the cars, so my youngest (23 months) hasn’t got frustrated with it at all. The cars are an ideal size for this age group too and are very well made and look like they will last well. (I generally find this to be the case with Fisher Price!)
The boys have kept coming back to the Bubble Guppies racers and I think it will keep their attention over time, not something that they would get bored of quickly.
The next item we tried out is the Bubble Guppies Rock & Roll Stage. This was also pretty exciting for the boys.
Firstly, I have to mention you do need to assemble it once you take it out of the box BUT it is really easy and does not involve any tools. It’s just a matter of following the instructions and clicking everything into place, it took me a maximum of 5 minutes and I am not very good with instructions or assembly so it really is easy! You also have to add the stickers for decoration, which again is really easy as its very clear where each one goes. Then you will also need 3x AA batteries, as the toy has sound and lights.
The rolling figures really work well with the Rock and Roll stage. Each one has a little metal ball in the bottom which helps them to glide down the ramp, and this activates lights and sounds at the end. The set comes with a Molly figure, but as I mentioned any of the other figures from the racer cars are also compatible and you can buy more rolling figures sets separately.
It is easy enough to use for young children. The figures may fall off the odd time but 95% of the time they were gliding down the track smoothly. For any young children who like ball tracks or simple marble runs, they would probably enjoy this as its quite a similar action.
You get a few extra play pieces included – a drumset, a microphone and a rock lobster. These would be good for encouraging a bit more imaginative play.
I’ve made a short video just to see it in action! As you can see, my little boys really enjoyed sending the Bubble Guppies sliding down the ramp and hearing the sounds and songs
The last Bubble Guppies toy we were sent is one of the bath squirter packs: Bubble Guppies Gil, Mr. Grouper & Lobster Bath Squirters
There are 3 different sets available each featuring a Bubble Guppy and two of their underwater friends. For me, it’s ideal having 3 in the pack for my 3 boys – one each so no arguments! My 5 year old is getting a little old for the other toys and was happy to leave them more to his younger brothers, but he is not too old for a water squirter! These are simple fun but provide a lot of laughs and are great for bath time or just water play time. My boys find it hilarious to squirt each other with water!
Have a look on the Fisher Price page to see the other Bubble Guppies toys available. I am pretty impressed with the ones we have tried, and I am sure any young Bubble Guppies fan would love them. Which ones do you think your little one would love the most?
We are one of 100 families testing out the Toddlebike, a first bike for ages 18 months to 3 years. We will be testing it out for 3 months to see how our youngest (19 months) gets on with it.
The toddle bike arrived this morning! The first thing I noticed was how light it is, even before I opened the parcel I was surprised how light it was, it almost felt as though the box was empty – but no, it is just super light! It weighs less than 1 kilo. It’s made of plastic rather than wood so that obviously allows it to be much lighter than other balance bikes, but even compared to the usual ride ons we have around the house it is noticeably way lighter.
The next thing that pleased me was no construction necessary, it can be used straight out of the box. A massive plus for me as I hate putting things together.
As soon as my little one spotted the bike he was eager to jump on and straight away was able to scoot around the house on it, which he is still doing as I type this. He seems to be enjoying himself and getting the idea of it pretty quickly, so I will be interested to see how much more he picks up speed over the 3 months and how well it works outside.
I’ll add updates throughout our trial time to see how he is getting on, and some pics and hopefully videos of him riding along.
Now just waiting for the weather to improve so we can get the chance to let him lose on it outside!
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