Monday, 11 March 2019

Reviews Revisited March 2013-2018 1/2 inc. LEGO storage, robotic balls, bangs and Yoxo

It's often a great idea to come back to a review item later on for a really informed opinion. You're unlikely to find anything we bored of quickly here, or anything which broke 3 minutes after the review went live, because I'd be a fool to remind you about it, but you will find some of the true gems we have looked at over the past 5 years....

Here's a look back at things we reviewed in the the first half of March 2013-2018...


In March 2014 The LEGO Movie was the biggest hit in the cinemas and in our house. Everything was awesome and that included the LEGO Storage Blocks, Lunchbox and flask we were sent by local shop and online retailer Store. Still in use, as good as they were 5 years ago and in fact our collection of LEGO Storage Boxes has even grown since then (please excuse the photo quality, it was the olden days)...


No huge surprises then that the next item that I love is a LEGO Movie set - Metalbeard's Sea Cow. This is a big grown up set that we bought ourselves and it's possibly even more beautiful than the Ninjago Temples when built. It's gorgeous and we just got it out again because my 10 year old wants to build it. I have a spot ready on a shelf and I'll be pleased to see it back out. Here's a peek into the Captain's Cabin...


Not LEGO related, in 2014 we were also introduced to Good Foods hemp seed, milk and oil. Hemp seed is really good for you, especially if you have a diet low in omega 3 (i.e. no fish). I used hemp milk to make vegan rice pudding and it beats soya milk hands down, but the star of the show was the seeds themselves, which we still use to add flavour and Omega 3 to all sorts of dishes.


In March 2015 one of our first reviews was Numberbundle Maths Activity Boxes. We really loved these. They have loads in each box and it's really carefully put together to be fascinating to children aged 3-7ish. It works out around £20 a box, but you can see where the value goes. Mail order and small enough to fit through a letterbox.


YOXO was a review item sent to me from the US and unavailable in the UK at the time. I took a gamble and I'm pleased to say it's now available on Amazon, starting at £10 for a bike kit. YOXO is interlocking cardboard shapes that encourage your child to add their own recyclables to the build, and then your imagination decides the limits. Very clever and you can use it on any scale to make immense builds or tiny tabletop ones...


2017 was the turn of LEGO Batman and Character World sent us some bedding for the boys. I can confirm it's all still a favourite, has withstood the last 2 years and is in a rotation with Star Wars bedding. The fleece is more often seen in the evenings when we are watching TV before bed. The towel is more of a hand towel these days though...


The John Adams Booms, Bangs And Fizzes set is truly excellent value and has loads of interesting science experiments inside. It's one of the best chemistry/science sets we've ever owned and we really enjoyed it. Still available, still a great all-in-one set - and a great photo...


This time last year we were reviewing the Sphero Mini robotic balls. These are brilliant little app-enabled robots which roll around and teach your kids to code at the same time. Awesome fun and very futuristic - but practise low down at first because they roll fast, but can't actually fly if they reach the edge of the table before you stop them...


I asked my then 9 year old to choose 9 books he'd recommend for other 9 year olds. The answers were not the same as I'd give, but impressive nonetheless. My youngest child is now almost 9 and has read a couple of these already, so I have to defer and say his brother knew what he was doing. Although I think it'll be a while before our youngest is reading Lord Of The Rings...


Celtic Herbal are a brand I really, REALLY love. Their handmade, natural products last an eternity and feel awesome, so it's worth splashing out. Everything in this Celtic Herbal review we adored, from lip balm to bath oil, and it hasn't even all run out yet! I clearly need the luxury of a bath more often...


And the 'Doh, why did you do that?' of the month....

I'm not always so keen on children's games that have large noisy plastic parts (although they always go down well with children), but Shhh! Don't Wake Dad! is still a popular choice here and in spite of how many hundred games we have, it still gets played. A newer game that's still available, but no longer distributed by one of our longest collaborators, Drumond Park. You should have kept that one...




Most of these items were supplied/arranged previously for review. I've not accepted any incentive to include them in this post. I just chose the most interesting! 

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