Can you even imagine the squealing when I asked my two if they fancied taking Toys R Us up on their offer of becoming an official toy reviewer? Or ‘Toyologist’ to give it the official title.
They took their job very seriously.
When the large box of toys arrived, they took each one out, placed them on the kitchen table, had me take a photograph of them.
Then they divvied them up.
Then they ripped them open in a wild frenzy and played . . .
1. Total Football – £24.99
Remember Subuteo? This is like the modern version of that.
The players move better, the pitch is more robust and I haven’t been able to get my son off it for 5 days straight.
It’s set up on our kitchen table which is a bit of a problem as it means we’re all eating breakfast off our laps or squashed up onto the one free corner of the table.
It’s one of those toys which takes quite a while to set up and after playing for 15 minutes I was all ‘this is a bit rubbish’, but my 7 year old is addicted.
Shows how much I know about what’s cool and what’s not cool.
2. Disgusting Science – £9.99
The name alone had Dan in fits of giggles and begging BEGGING us to start the experiments.
And it pretty much does what it says on the box: You can make bogies, blood and guts, grow germs and generally gross out anyone who comes within 5 yards of you.
You get to mix up all sorts of concoctions, use petri dishes and talk about smells and bodily fluids for hours. What’s not to like?
3. Ocean in my Pocket – £19.99
I hate these sorts of toys. They just seem such a waste of money to an old skinflint like me.
I mean £20 is a lot of money for a ‘playground’ that keeps my attention for all of 10 minutes. And that’s including the time it took me to get it out of the box.
However, my 4 year old keeps coming back to it time and time again. I clearly should never choose my children’s toys.
3. Jolly Octopus – £16.99
This is a bit like an updated Operation game I suppose. You have to try and grab crabs sat on the wall under Mr Octopus, whose tentacles spin around to prevent you.
4. Disney Princess Shaker Maker – £9.99
I might have actually groaned when this came out of the box. Plaster of Paris? In my house? With a 4 year old in charge?
But actually it’s totally mess free. Well, as mess free a 4 year old with a paint brush in her hand can be.
And shhh, don’t tell anyone, but it was Daniel who made the first ‘cast’ and has been begging me to paint it ever since! He clearly needs the Ben 10 or the Star Wars one sharpish.
5. Play That Tune – £19.99
Great fun. A piano mat that you play with your feet. It comes with a set of cards with the songs on in number format (to match the numbers on the mat) for you to attempt. But many were a bit over my 7 year old’s head (theme to Coronation Street? Even I would struggle with that one!) and others were just too darn hard.
We ended up having a free-for-all which was a total hoot!
And, of course, when all the playing is over and it’s time to chill out, like any self respecting child with an imagination, the box the toys came in proved just as big a pull as the goodies themselves . . .