PJ Masks Turbo Blast Racers | Review

Items sent for purpose of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack is a big fan of PJ Masks. He loves all the characters and the stories and loves watching them on the TV. Even Olivia has started to get interested in watching them so when offered the chance to review the new PJ Masks Turbo Blast Racers, suitable for ages 3+, I knew he’d be interested.

Retailing at £14.99, the PJ Masks Turbo Blast racers  come with one 3 inch PJ Masks character figure! Each of the characters is dressed in an exclusive Turbo Blast outfit equipped with matching racing helmet! There are three Turbo Blast Racers available including Cat-Car, Owl Glider and Gekko-Mobile – each sold separately. We were sent Owlette with her Owl Glider and Gekko with his Gekko-Mobile.

These Turbo Blast Racers are a brand new addition to the PJ Masks toy range for this year – there are figures, playsets and dress up items in the range and in April, the NEW Romeo’s Lab playset is coming out – you don’t want to miss it!

So what is PJ Masks about? Its about three regular kids who turn into superheroes at night, in their PJ’s, with the help of their animal amulets. Jack was very impressed with the racers and the figures and they slot easily into the seats. He did ask where Cat Boy was – so I know what needs to be next on the present list for him so he can complete the collection.

Although these are for ages 3+, Olivia has been playing with Jack under supervision as she loves the toys just as much as Jack does. The design of the racers is super sleek with some cool silver accents and they are both bright and colourful  and keep children’s attention.

The figures are lightweight so easy for little hands to carry around but also chunky so not easy to lose. Their arms and legs are fully posable – which is obviously so they can be sat in their turbo blast racer or stood up – and so the figures and vehicles can be interchangeable. We all know how kids like to switch and swap their toys so if Owlette wants to go in Cat Boy’s vehicle, then she can. They are bright in colour and very resilient – they’ve endured some heavy duty crashes in their turbo blast racers already. Owlette comes with a cape too which feels like it is made of some sort of silicon type material and is removable from the figure.

Available online from Amazon {affiliate link} and other reputable toy stores, these racers move across ground fairly easily – we live in a fully carpeted house and they work well on them which some toys struggle to do. We will definitely be checking out the rest of the items in the range as we are massive PJ Masks fans. How about you?

Stretch X-Ray & Vac-Man | Review

Items sent for consideration for review – all thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack was bought a Stretch Armstrong a couple of Christmases ago by his uncle and he absolutely adores it. Since then, he has seen the Stretch range expand and has been begging us to get him the new items in the range too so he can complete his collection.

I remember Stretch Armstrong from when I was younger – I had two male cousins whose house I used to go round and they had all the toys that you would remember from the Nineties – Pokemon, wrestling figures and of course, Stretch Armstrong! I loved playing with him and when Jack received his present from his uncle, it really harked back to my childhood – and it is exactly why my brother in law bought it too, he remembered it from when he was little.

We received a Vac-Man and a Stretch X-Ray. Jack has been seeing the Vac-Man adverts for ages and has been begging for it so was super excited to see it turn up. These look like some fantastic additions to the range and Jack couldn’t wait to get them out of the packaging.

Vac-Man is Stretch Armstrong’s arch enemy. He stands at 7 inches tall and is fully stretchable and posable as demonstrated in the pictures above by Jack. You just need to pump the air out of him via his neck – you pump the neck and mold Vac-Man into the position you want him. Press the button on the top of his head to release and he’ll go back to normal. It’s super stretchy and very resilient – Jack and Olivia have really been putting it through its paces. He can also be stretched once the valve has been released. The figure is available, as well as other items in the range, here for £14.99.

Stretch X-Ray is a 7 inch figure who is completely transparent. Olivia has been mesmerised by him and isn’t keen on giving him back to Jack! He’s gooey, he’s creepy and as you stretch and pull him, you’ll see his scary insides shudder back into place. If you wanted, you can even tie him up in knots. Jack has been getting him in all sorts of predicaments.

Jack has been loving playing with the two of them and even loves pitting them against each other. They really make for imaginative play – I’ve heard him setting up battles between them before big old Stretch Armstrong comes on the scene and obliterates everything.

There’s so many items in the Stretch range and Jack is so keen to get them all. If they are as good quality as these, then we will be very happy. Both Jack and Olivia are loving playing with them and Steve is even having fun too – they are just so much fun!

You can follow Stretch Armstrong on PopJam, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Do you remember Stretch from your childhood?

Zak Storm Hover Vehicle, Collectable Coins & App | Review

Item sent for consideration of review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Jack loves his toys – you can probably tell that from all the reviews we’ve done in the past year or two – and he loves finding new ones.

We were recently sent a Zak Storm Hover Vehicle with figures (£14.99) and a collectible coins 4 pack (£4.99). These are available to buy from Smyths. Zak Storm goes on lots of adventures and is a ‘Super Pirate’. Jack has only recently discovered him and is obsessed. Zak Storm is a new animated series that is becoming increasingly popular. The story begins when he steals his dads special necklace and enters a surfing competition but ends up being sucked into the Bermuda triangle by a giant wave. He then finds himself as the captain of a ship called The Chaos and this is where the story on the app begins.

The racing red Hover Vehicle comes with a Blazz Zak action figure and a collectable treasure coin. All you need to do with the coin is to scan the code into the app to receive some fantastic digital rewards for use in the mobile game – these include weapons, powers, worlds and health. Jack loves playing games on the tablet so this was a welcome addition and a feature he adored.

The collectable treasure coins were also a welcome addition for Jack, knowing what he knew about the digital rewards he could get off of them. Each coin features a unique QR code which he scanned into the app to reveal his rewards. He’s very keen to get some more coins so he can get some more rewards!

Jack has been obsessed with the app since the Zak Storm toys arrived. He’s loving playing it on his own or getting us to sit with him and help him out.

The app is available on iTunes here and is lots of fun – Jack downloaded it onto both my phone and the tablet and has had great fun playing it and scanning the codes on his coins to see what he was rewarded with. It really makes their play experience even more special – it ties both the physical toys and the game together and helps them to develop the story further in their imagination if they wish. I’ve already caught Jack playing with the figure and Hover Vehicle pretending he is doing what he has been playing on the app.

There is the possibility to make in app purchases on the app as with most games but these are easy to turn off – handy when you have a child that would probably purchase more rewards if he could!

Jack has been very impressed with the Zak Storm toys and app and has been telling his friends all about it. I personally love the use of technology to make for a even better product – it is a great feature and means Jack can play with Zak Storm whether he is playing with the physical toys or battling away on the app.

What do you think of the Zak Storm range? Have you got any yourself?

Maplin USB Microscope with 400x Magnification | Review

Item sent for consideration for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

I’ve mentioned before how into science and the world around him Jack is. We were recently offered the chance to review an item from Maplin and had a few different items to choose from – we gave a shortlist and we were picked to review the USB Microscope with 400x magnification – there’s a whole load of microscopes available on Maplin here.

This USB microscope, standing at 125mm high and 33m in diameter, helps you to explore the smaller details of the world with its 400x magnification. The microscope itself is digital and you can capture not only images but video – and you can even watch live from your PC, laptop or Mac (compatible with Windows 10, 8, 8.1, XP, Vista, 7 and Mac 10.5 and later) – a feature which Jack and Olivia both loved. The camera is 1.3 megapixel which is interpolated up to 2 megapixels to give a 1600×1200 pixel image on screen.

The design of the microscope is pretty sleek – it is plain black and comes with an alloy stand.

So what can we see with this microscope? Jack tested it out with such a wide variety of items – the carpet, a cotton bud, a leaflet, various body parts – he was keen to see what the inside of his mouth looked like in minute detail. All you need to do is place the microscope directly over or on the sample to get the highest magnification posible and slowly pull it away, adjusting the focus as you do so you get back to 20x (The minimum focusing distance is 10mm, giving you enough room to see by simply placing the microscope on top of your sample over an area of approximately 855mm²).

So is it easy to use? Yes, definitely. Jack and Steve spent ages discovering the world around them. Jack would happily have sat there for hours sorting it. To set it up, you simply have to plug in the attached USB lead to your chosen device and install the included software. This sets it up so you can see the detail of your samples in real time on a big screen. You can keep the microscope on the stand to keep it steady or take it off to look freely. There are eight LEDs to keep your samples illuminated whilst looking at them.

Overall, Jack has been very impressed with the microscope and Steve has too – he’s been as enamoured with it, if not more than Jack. Jack is constantly asking to get it out so that he can discover more about the world around us.

Are your kids into science like mine? Maybe they’d like a microscope like this. This particular model is usually £54.99 but is currently down to £44.99 and is available to buy at Maplin. Would you like one of these?

One Third Stories French Story Box | Review

Item sent for consideration for review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

If you remember, Jack and I reviewed One Third Stories back in 2016 and we were recently contacted to see if we would like to review one of One Third Stories’ Story Boxes. We were very happy to – Jack is keen to get learning more in French so we opted for the French story box.

I was sent the first box. This contains a story all about a T-Rex called Terrance who’s on a search for the perfect pair of shoes. It is said that your child will learn basic greetings, numbers up to ten, and colours. The activities within the pack include build-your-own dinosaurs using numbers and colours in French, using French numbers for simple sums, and how to tell somebody else your name, age, and favourite colour in French

You can choose your subscription – for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. The 12 months works out the best value but for the 3 month plan, there is an upfront payment of £50.97 which works out at £16.99 a box. There is UK only free shipping and it auto renews after 3 months and you can cancel renewal at any time.

So what did we think?

Jack was very happy with his activity box. He has been learning snippets of French at school and is a total bookworm so this combined two great loves. He has been loving dipping in and out of the box, reading some of the story in English and some in French and working out what the French phrase means.

It has made me hark back to my GCSE French and is actually helping me to remember the language which I had long since forgot. Jack has been enjoying using the flash cards so that both he and I can get to learn the words in both their English and French words.

He’s definitely keen to get his hands on another box and learn some more French words – and I’m keen to help him. It is always great to see children passionate about learning – and I’m keen to help Jack with his learning too.

Are your children learning any languages?