This is a toy that will have all Harry Potter fans busy for hours building it, and then busy playing with for months on end after they have finished construction of the castle. The LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle took me and my kids about 3 or 4 hours to complete. But once it was done my kids were jumping about with excitement wanting to play with it. I think that the castle is definitely a little bit too difficult for children under the age of 8 to build, and even some children of age 8 will probably have difficulty with it, unless they have been playing with LEGO for a long time.
The castle includes a whole host of different things from the harry potter books and movies. The rooms include the Great Hall (which is something that has been missing from previous sets), Library, Dumbledore’s office, the room of requirement, common rooms, astronomy tower, owlery and quite a few more. With 1200+ LEGO pieces, there is quite a bit to castle. I’m pretty sure it is the biggest LEGO Harry P. Castle that has been released to date, although there has been a slightly larger castle scheduled for this year so I hear.
Most of the characters from the books are included as well. Harry, Hermione, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick, Filch, Mrs. Norris and two dementors. The exclusion of Ron is probably my biggest complaint with the whole set. I think that the only reason to exclude probably the second biggest character in the whole series is to attempt to force parents into buying yet another of these toys in an attempt to complete the set. The fact that this is being done with kids toys and if the parents do not get the extra toy it will leave the kids put out is not too nice at all.
The price of the castle has now come down in price and you should be able to pick it up for less than 120 dollars. Taking the size of this castle into account this really is value for money. While I put this castle together with my daughters and it took us just one afternoon, if your child was about 10 years old and building it on his own, it could take him a little longer to put together. Also once the castle has been completed the complexity of the thing should ensure that they get months if not years of play time out of it. If you were worried about the durability of the castle once complete you can rest at ease, because my daughters have given it quite a thorough testing over the last few weeks and it is still in one piece.
Thanks for reading this LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle review.
If your child has ever watched “Yo Gabba Gabba”, or even if they haven’t, then this set of foam bath toys is a great way to keep them entertained while in the tub. I originally bought this set of foam “stickers” about a year ago now, and they are still going strong. I have two small children the older is now 2 1/2 and the younger has just turned 1 year old. The product description has this toy as only suitable for children of ages 3 and up.
My comment on this has to be that while I agree that it could be dangerous if a small child swallowed the toy, with children that small you have to be in the bath with them anyway, so the danger is greatly reduced. I was letting my younger daughter play with this toy and others like from 6 months old, sure she chewed it a little, but no harm done.
The “Yo Gabba Gabba” TV show has gained some serious popularity over the last few years and the characters have become big household names. My older daughter just loves to watch the show, and having all of her favorite characters with her during bath time actually makes her want to stay in the bath longer.
There has been plenty of screaming and shouting when I try to take her away from the place where she gets to play with these toys. I don’t let her play with the toys outside of the bath, because I just know they would get lost in the jungle that is her room. I thought it better to keep them for bath time only.
The stickers are made of foam, on one side there is a picture of the Gabba characters and on the back there is a 1/4 inch layer of foam. When you wet these pieces of foam they stick to the wall and to the bath. One thing that did irritate me was the fact that when they get bent they do not stick to the bathroom wall anymore and they are very difficult to bend back into shape. This toy has the #16 rank for “Toys & Games” on the Amazon.com best sellers list.
I would like to thoroughly recommend this toy to anyone who has kids that love the show Yo Gabba Gabba, but also for children who are not yet familiar with the show, the bright colorful characters will keep them entertained for hours.
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Quirkle is one of those games that is very easy to pick up, but once you are hooked on it, you can easily lose hours playing it. I bought this game last year for my two kids, myself and my wife to play. This is an ideal game for us all to play as a family because my wife is Japanese and her English is not native level. When we play games that involve ordering words and things like that in English it can get a little bit too much for her. This on the other hand is the ideal game not just for her, but also for my children, who also would struggle to play a word ordering game properly.
The game Quirkle was made by “mindware” and the gameplay is very straight forward, it can be explained even to a small child in just a few minutes. There are 108 tiles in the box. The tiles come in 6 different colors and 6 different shapes. The object of the game is to match the shapes to each other or match the colors to each other. So you can put a red square to a red diamond or a square of any color. As long as the color “or” shape is the same you are good to go. For every tile that you successfully place on the board you receive one point. During each go you have the option to either place a tile, or you may choose to give up your current turn in order to exchange one of the tiles in your hand for a tile from the pile.
Each player begins the round with 6 tiles, and must keep 6 tiles in their hand until all of the remaining tiles from the middle of the table have been used up. After they have all gone the winner of the game is the next person to successfully place all of their tiles on the table.
This game is ranked incredibly well on Amazon.com it has a ranking of #9 in the best sellers list. That might be enough to convince you that this game is worthy of some attention, but if not I should mention that this game has won numerous awards including the Mensa Best Mind Game Award 2007 and the Major Fun Award 2007. If that is not enough then you will just to take my word that this is one of the most engrossing yet simple to play games that me and my family have every played.
Thanks very much for taking the time to read this game review.
The family game Apples to Apples is brilliant game that can be enjoyed by the whole family. I recently bought this game from Amazon.com and felt that it was time to give it a full review. Detail our experiences with it and hopefully let you all see how much fun we’ve had and what a great game it truly is.
The manufacturer recommends that this toy is only used by children aged 12 and over. This is definitely the case, and this leads me to the only negative point about this whole game. While some more mature 12 year olds could get the full enjoyment out of this game, the material is often more geared for older teens.
The rules of the game are very interesting. Each player receives red cards at the start of a round. Then one of the players becomes the judge (the judge changes with each turn), the judge must flip over a green card. The red cards all have nouns printed on them, and the green card that the judge flips over has an adjective on it. The aim of the game is match the noun to the adjective. So you might have the word “irritating” as your adjective and nouns such as “Bill Clinton”, “Homework” or things like that. The winner of the round is the person who makes the best match, and or does the best job of appealing to the judge.
The variability of this game is awesome as well, as it doesn’t have to be the “correct” answer, it can even be the answer that is least appropriate for the adjective, but makes the judge laugh. So having the option of choosing something completely inappropriate and also the option to play normally if that’s what you want, really opens the game up.
There of course is the option to defend your decision, you can really get into a mini debate as to why your answer is best. Convincing the judge is the only way to win the round, so the more skilled at arguing will possibly be the winner of the game. But then a judge also has the option to strategically vote against you if you are doing too well.
The game can be played with as little as 4 players, but the fun level of the game jumps up dramatically when you increase the number of players. 5 or 6 players is an ideal amount of people in my opinion, not so many that the game takes too long to finish, but enough so that you get that little bit more variety when you play.
Thanks very much for taking the time out to read this Apples to Apples review.
The Settlers of Catan is the award winning game designed by Klaus Teuber. It is a “german style board” or “Eurogame” if you prefer. The main difference between the two is that American style games usually have more drama, conflict and luck, while German style games have more economic themes focusing on strategy over luck and usually keep all the players in the game until the end. This game makes an ideal family board game because of the fact that no player is knocked out. Even if it becomes clear that you cannot win, you can still try and achieve smaller goals within your range.
The gameplay of the Settlers of Catan is not too complicated, but for beginners, playing the game with the user manual or “almanac” on hand is probably a good idea (actually you will probably need the almanac even if you are not a beginning player. You play the game as a “settler” trying to set up a new colony on a new island named “Catan”. The objective is to build up settlements and then cities and then connect them with roads.
The map is made up of hexagonal squares or “hexes” or different land types. For each settlement and city that you set up you will get “victory points”, once you have collected 10 victory points you win the game.
You will earn resource cards each turn from the hexes that surround your settlements, then you spend those resource cards to build more settlements, cities and the like. Resources such as lumber, wool, ore, grain and brick are received each turn and you roll the dice to determine which of the hexes gives you resources. The “robber token” is a very interesting addition to the game as well and whichever hex the robber is placed on, does not produce resources.
This game falls into the category of “gateway game” which means that it is not as heavy in detail and strategy as a “gamers game” might be. Also the length of time required to play one game is less. The Settlers of Catan usually takes anywhere from 60 – 90 minutes to play. You can play the game with 3 or 4 players as it comes as standard, and with expansion sets the numbers can be from 2 to 5 or 6.
This is a fantastic board game with a randomness that you will only find in truly special games. It is easy to pick up, but it will take a long time to master. I hope that you have found some useful information on this toy from my review.
Thanks for reading.
The Melissa and Doug Standing Easel best price is available right here folks. For a quick review of this great toy please keep reading.
If you have been looking for a way for your pre-schooler to express themselves as fully as they like, then you may well have found it here with this standing easel from Melissa and Doug. This Easel comes with two sides, so two children can use it at the same time, this means that there will be a lot less arguments if you are only buying one easel. One side of the easel has a blackboard and the other side is a whiteboard. There is also a dowel in the middle of the two easel sides for a roll of paper (must be bought separately) that you can pull through and cover either side of the easel. There is also a number of large clips that you can use to attach large sheets of paper to the easel side if you prefer.
The fact that there is no paint included with this product might seem like a negative, but if you look at the price of this item, you can see that you are being given the option to choose whatever paints you like. Having it this way means that they are trying to meet the needs of as many people as possible. Some people might prefer to have more expensive paints, while some might want the cheapest paint possible to save on the cost.
The only real issue that I am seeing with this easel is the chalkboard. The chalkboard that has been provided has received consistent reports of customers not being able to write on it. Children on the other hand are even more so going to have difficulty writing on the board as it comes from the retailer. After contacting customer services you will most likely be told to “sand” or “prime” the board. This is a little bit of an inconvenience to say the least and definitely goes against Melissa and Doug.
I would recommend that this easel could well be for you if you either don’t mind a bit of DIY and or are not looking for the chalkboard in particular. Even with the chalkboard issue this is a very high quality and very low price toy that will almost definitely be a welcome addition to any playroom. I have also read reports that Melissa and Doug will replace the chalkboard if you find it to be unsatisfactory.
Thanks for taking the time to read this Melissa and Doug Standing Easel toy review. I hope that you feel more confident about whether to make a purchase of this easel or not.