Monday, 23 June 2014

Minecraft figures Series 2 Review from Character

Myself and my two young boys were so thrilled to be selected as reviewers for the new Series 2 Minecraft figures from Character.  We will be reviewing these fantastic new Minecraft figures over the coming few weeks, starting now with the Steve With Diamond Armour figure and Animal Mobs six figure pack.

We are absolutely Minecraft crazy in our house and own copies of the seminal sandbox indie game on both home computer and game consoles, I even made a Minecraft themed cake for a recent birthday. My youngest son really enjoys watching the Minecraft based Stampy Cat videos on YouTube and hopes one day he will be featured in Stampy’s Love Garden.
What, I hear you ask what is Stampy’s Love Garden? Well it’s a place that features in Stampy’s Lovely World, a feature of every Stampylongnose Minecraft video. It’s a memorial garden in which Stampy and his friends show thanks and appreciation for their special fans, whether it’s for drawing a Stampy themed picture, baking a Stampy themed cake or simply by posting a favourite comment on their fan page. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! Fingers crossed my son will get there one day.
Back to the figures! We already have a few Minecraft figures from Series 1 and knew what to expect in terms of quality so we could not wait for the postman to finally bring the new range to our door and pretty much tore the packaging apart just to get our hands on them!

We are very lucky to have a great back garden for exploration so perfectly suited for real-world Minecraft play in which Steve and his animal friends could go crafting, exploring or just enjoy watching the sunset after a long day of building. At first glance the Series 2 figures are much the same as Series 1 in many ways, reassuringly so,  although there are new designs for Diamond Steve, Iron Golem, the Villager and the Animal mob. Familiarity is no bad thing as the figures are exceptionally high quality and represent extremely well their pixel related counterparts. These are in no way a cheap imitation of these hugely popular characters and fans of Minecraft will be thrilled with the look and feel. In short these are stunning articulated action figures - colour, look and even the limited range of movement (as in the game) are perfect!
Steve With Diamond Armour comes with his very own diamond sword and full set of armour including detachable helmet and a diamond ore block ready for mining. The only thing the boys said they would have liked was a diamond pickaxe instead of the sword, or even both if possible.
Animal Mob includes the cow, chicken, pig, sheep, tamed wolf and the ocelot all of which are articulated.  The boys loved that this set included all of the main animals from the game and I liked this set a lot too due to the fact there are no small pieces that could go missing like some of the other sets have.

Overall we are very, very pleased with series 2 and so far they look really good and feel really well made. As you might expect they have been put through their paces by some very excited young children and I can confirm that the they take a good bashing and would be quite hard to break.
Adults/older children just looking to collect Minecraft figures won't be disappointed as they would look pretty awesome on a desk or in a presentation cabinet. With their interesting designs they certainly look different and are certain to provide a great talking point.

We are very much looking forward to seeing what the next three instalments have lined up so keep checking out the blog for updates about what’s just around the corner in the world of Minecraft. I wonder if they will ever look at doing a set featuring Stampylongnose and his friends such as I Ballistic Squid, Amy Lee etc. I am sure it would be very popular and I know my son would love to have this set too. Who knows – in the world of Minecraft literally anything is possible.

Minecraft is available now on PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Playstation 4, Linux, Android and more!
Minecraft Series 2 figures are available now from all major toy retailers.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Dinosaur Roar! Apps book and more

My son loves this book a lot and its been a firm favorite for a long time now so my was so happy when they brought out an App!! Only £1.99 its a great buy from the book being a great feature in the app and colouring pages, To getting you Own Dino name Robert- o- Docus and Mummy-A-Tops. Its really good value for money. The only downside for us we have it only on such a small screen.

Every Night   Robert- o- Docus loves to have the story read to him by the kids doing the voices in the book this was a really great idea, and then having the choice to be able to record your own was so much fun especially when you listen to it afterwards. The app is really child friendly and easy to use that I am able to let him get on with it without having to worry.

After visiting their Facebook Page we also found out about a great competition they were doing featuring your child's roar, Where Paul and Henrietta Stickland will be picking one child to win a brand new iPad Mini which would be amazing. So my son loved to take part he had to dress up and wanted to feature the book in his video too he was a natural and here is our video below.

We are also very much excited about the Dinosaur Roar! tour and hoping we will be able to go and see that in either London or Plymouth once tickets go on sale. So make sure you subscribe on their website to find out more information when its available.

My son has so many costumes and dino figures he is even looking forward to the new Jurassic park film coming out next year I believe. He even dressed up as Dr Grant at school once before, they had to pick a character from their favorite book. He never won a prize but he loved his costume and still wears it now.

So why not pick up your own copy of Dinosaur Roar! and see what its all about after 20 years its still one of the best selling childrens picture books designed and illustrated and written by Paul and Henrietta Stickland. It will always be a family favorite for us its already been passed down by his big sister who's 11 and his brother whose 8 and its still going strong after all these years.

And if you get chance to have a play with the app we would love to know what dino names you got!

Also check out our fab review on 4M Kidz Labs Volcano Making Kit Review

4M Kidz Labs Volcano Making Kit Review

We have had a bit of Dino week in our house, From reading Dinosaur Roar! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland to filming my son do his Scary roar  for a competition its been a busy week.

But we also managed a trip to London  and while we there we had to take a visit to the Natural History Museum. So not only did my son learn lots about Darwin and how the world began we also checked out the Dinosaurs too. He loved looking out how big they were and he even knew a lot of them by name (Put me to shame)! We also paid a visit to how Earthquakes happen and how Volcanoes are formed he loved this the most seeing how they feature in a lot of Dinosaur books.

So when it was time to go we stopped off at the Gift Shop and after a while we stumbled on  4M Kidz Labs Volcano Making Kit . So he had to buy one I was fine with it seeing as we normally come away with a pen or something that has no educational value or breaks as soon as we get home.


  • 6 tubs of paint
  • 2 Packets of Plaster Mould
  • 2 Elastic Bands
  • 1 Cardboard Cutouts of houses and people
  • 1 Instruction booklet
  • 1 Volcano Cast

The volcano was really easy to piece together and took no time at all once made you use the elastic band s provided to hold the Volcano in place ready for the plaster mix to be made and poured into the mould.

Get a old jug or bowl in our case a bucket and empty both packets of the plaster mould into the bucket add water and mix well. Once the mixture is ready pour this into the Volcano mould being careful not to spill any (top tip get a plate of a bit of cardboard under the mould for any plaster that may come out of some of the cracks ) we had a little but not much!

Tapped the mould a few times to let any air bubble float to the top and pop. Then leave the mould for about 2- 3 hours to set at room temperature. Once set remove very carefully from the mould and leave for about another 20 hours before painting.

The next day we were ready to paint ...  Once painted and left to dry we were ready for some Volcano action.

What you will need

  • Bicarbonate of soda 
  • Vinegar
  • Red Paint
  • Spatula

The kids proceeded to add the Bicarbonate of soda into crater of the Volcano with a dash of red paint and then poured in the vinegar with a  matter of moments the Volcano came to life and started to bubble.The kids were thrilled even the Dinosaurs loved watching too.

Once we were finished we tidied everything up and cleaned out the Volcano, which can be stored and the experiment repeated anytime you want. If not looks great as a talking piece in any kids room.

Not only was this fun to make even if you had to wait for a day to get to the exciting part it was educational for the kids learning about science with a hands on experiment. 


Sunday, 1 June 2014

The Cool Create Club!

The Cool Create Club is a great place for kids to go and get inspired to create awesome creations. There are lots of craft activities to get their creative juices flowing in no time perfect for rainy days and holidays to keep them entertained and the best part it’s all free.

Membership is free and each month you can send your creations you have made and if you are lucky enough to feature on the The Cool Create Wall you will win a cool prize.
We were lucky enough to win one ourselves last month which was a Suteki! Check out the review here.

With some great prizes to be won and fab creative ideas such as making Fathers day cards and this month the chance to win a Swap Watch by answering the question on the main page you would be silly not to sign up.

Well Done to this month's winners 

So please click the link now and sign up and enter some cool creations too and see if you could feature on next month’s Cool Create Wall please remember to say KTBennett This is me! blog sent you that way they know how you found out about this fab new club!

Suteki Stencil Station Review

Thanks to the Cool Create Club we recently won a Suteki Stencil Station after being featured on last month’s wall. It arrived in the post last week and as it was delivered on a rainy day it was the ideal opportunity to dive straight in and have some creative time. 
Each stencil has been colour coded so for example the green stencil is used for green paint, yellow for yellow paint and so on. The information booklet provided lets you know the order they go so as long as you follow the instructions there is no chance of getting stuck or creating anything less than a mini masterpiece! We soon had everything set up decided to start by making the girl picture first.

After the first layer of paints has been applied, in this case the yellow layer, you need to wait for the paint to dry. This is a good opportunity to wash out the sponge which is easily removed by un-screwing the bottom (please note: take care when washing the sponge as ours eventually came a little loose). 

As my daughter was not keen on watching paint dry we decided to speed things along with the help of a hairdryer and were quickly back in action and ready to apply the next paint layer - green. Another bit of manoeuvring with the hairdryer and we were soon onto the next layer, this time a pretty pink. We found a little issue getting right into the corners with the round headed sponge and felt that it might have been better if the sponge was square or if both options were offered but after a little manoeuvring we managed to get the job done. The final paint layer was black and once applied and dried the picture was complete and looked like really professional. We were very pleased with the result.

As things had worked out so well we went onto the next picture, following all the steps as laid out. Once again the results were fab and really the only downside was that we wished there was at least one more stencil to do, particularly as there was enough paint left over. It’s never a bad thing if your downside is a positive and overall, given the final results, the Suteki Stencil Station could be considered good value for money at it’s RRP of £14.99.

Both myself and my daughter were very pleased with our finished pieces of art which look even better and are ready to display after using the frames included with the set.