It goes without saying that Blondie Boy is a huge fan of toys: he’s five! He’s also a huge fan of toy reviews and reviewers. While I don’t quite get it, he’d quite happily spend days watching videos of people reviewing toys he would probably have little interest in normally, if it wasn’t for the fact he has limited screen time! So when toytesters.tv and Hamleys at the St Enoch Centre got in touch to ask how he’d like to spend the afternoon as a toy reviewer, it’s fair to say I didn’t have to twist his arm too much, it’s pretty much his dream come true!
We went along to Hamleys in the St Enoch Centre and met up with Nigel and the rest of the toytester.tv crew who showed us how they worked and let Blondie Boy (and me!) have a go! The St Enoch Centre was the launch of the toy tester.tv summer tour and its only Scottish stop.
The RealFX racetrack not only takes slot car racing into the 21st century, it totally reinvents it. First off there are no slots, the cars race on paper tracks which means the cars aren’t limited to lanes, they can overtake at any time. The cars have AI which not only counts how many laps you have completed but can also race a car against you, should you want to play by yourself. There’s still the same principle of skill involved as you would have in a Scalextric or slot car system, too strong on the controller and your car will shoot off the track. Unlike slot car systems where setting up the track can take time to set up, the guys set up the track in seconds and Blondie Boy and the other Toy Testers had a great time racing. If this ends up on BB's Santa list I’m fairly sure I’ll have a shot or two once he’s in bed…
BB says: “I really liked it because I am a huge fan of racing cars.”
Little Live Pets Mice
The Little Live Pets Mice was probably the toy we spent the least amount of time with. Little Live Pets are the next generation of electronic pets. The little mice act like real mice, you can let them go in their track and they’ll wander around and run on their wheel.
BB says: “ The mice were really cute.”
Power Rangers Dino Charge
Neither BB or I are fans of the Power Rangers shows but we both enjoyed the Dino Charge toys. The Dino Charge cannisters come in packs to collect and unlock sounds and features in the other toys. The Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher features lights and sounds which change depending on which canister is inserted. Once you insert the Dino Charger and spin to charge it, it makes unique sounds for each canister and lights up. The Deluxe Dino Charge Mega Zord features three dinosaur shaped robots which can be combined to form one giant robot.
BB says: “These are really cool.”
I-DO-3D was probably the surprise hit of the day with Blondie Boy. He does love drawing and the I-DO-3D pens let kids create in 3D. The pens come in a variety of colours, the kids draw with them and then dry their creations with the little torch provided which sets them in three dimensions. This was definitely a toy Blondie Boy kept coming back to. He made a couple of quick creations but I’m fairly sure given a bit more time he could make some pretty cool stuff. When Nigel asked him his favourite toy of the day BB had no hesitation in saying the I-DO-3D, which is no mean praise given the impressive high action toys that he also tried out.
BB says: “I loved it!”
The current trend for robotic pets has somewhat passed our house by, maybe because we have a real life barking dog and we’re not keen on scooping robot poop too. The Teksta Scorpion was somewhere between a robot animal and a remote control vehicle. The controller was pretty intuitive, it was worn on the back of your hand so it was easy to control by tilting your hand, even for a five year old. More than one scorpion can apparently battle, which seems like it might be fun.
BB says: “The scorpion is awesome.”
Thunderbirds Interactive Tracy Island
With the new series on CITV, Thunderbirds is instantly recognisable to everyone from kids of the 1960s to the 2010s. I was just a bit too old to have been caught up in the megahype surrounding the sold out Tracy Island toy in the 1990s and the subsequent build-your-own Blue Peter number but I still thought the new one was pretty cool. Thunderbird vehicles 1, 2 and 3 launch with sounds taken from the programme and flashing LEDs. While Blondie Boy doesn’t watch the show, he still loved the toy. He’s a bit of a car/ vehicle freak, so the cool International Rescue vehicles were right up his street, during the free play he came back to this toy again and again.
BB says: I really liked this. I liked the vehicles and the sounds.”
We had a great time testing toys at Hamleys at the St Enoch Centre and I'm pretty sure Blondie Boy picked up some ideas for his Christmas list! Some of the toys mentioned in the review haven't been released yet but all of them will be available at Hamleys once they are. The St Enoch Centre runs a wide variety of events over the summer for visitors of all ages.