Our role as Toys R Us Toyologists has made me the World’s Best Mum.
It’s official. My 7 year old told his mates and everything.
My ranking shot up into the stratosphere when we invited his rugby friends to join in some of the testing.
Can you even begin to imagine how cool I am now?
Especially given the toys we were testing . . .
Tonka Ricochet, £79.97
A remote controlled car like no other: This one you can crash and it flips over, like some nibble animal, and because of the huge wheels it still goes on driving! You can also pump up the ‘Monster Lift Suspension’ and create more of a truck, but this has far less manoeuvrability.
The boys squabbled, whooped, and had ‘who can run the cuddly toy over quickest’ competitions.
Big, big success on the fun factor.
The downsides? A truck this tough requires quite a bit of juice, so while the rechargeable battery lasts a decent 15 minutes (and believe me you will want the madness to stop after 15 minutes) it is a bit of a faff to get at and it takes a few hours to recharge.
It might be worth managing expectations if Santa puts one of these under the Christmas tree.
However, unlike other remote controlled cars we’ve had, this is a lot more robust and rugged – which I guess explains the 3 sheckles off £80 price.
(I also checked around a bit and Toys R Us is one of the cheapest places to buy it as it usually retails at £99.99).
Scalextric Start Grand Prix Set, £69.99
Shouldn’t every boy own a Scalextric track? Or is is that their dad?
This set is aimed at ‘rookie racers’ and the boys’ eyes were like SAUCERS when they eyed this box!
This great Scalextric Start Grand Prix Set allows you to design and decorate your own cars and then race against your opponent to become grand prix champion on the 1:32 track.
It’s easy to put together and the hand controllers let you control the speed: a great set for beginners.
There is apparently more than 17 feet of track and you can make six alternative track circuits.
And it kept four 7 year olds semi quiet for at least 40 minutes.
Lego Star Wars General Grievous Startfighter 8095, £44.97
As far as my 7 year old is concerned, Lego can do no wrong.
And Lego Star Wars? He nearly self combusted when I produced the box. But will General Grievous have 4 lightsabres . . . . we’re on tenterhooks here . . . yes, yes, it is a hit hit hit.
Like all Lego sets, the instructions are clear and easy enough for a 7 year old to follow (with maybe a little help from mum) and the finished toy, a joy to behold.
We sent it home with one of his friends because seriously? There is only so much Lego one household can support.
Nerf N Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 Blaster, £22.49
The big BIG downside of this ‘toy’ is you quite simply cannot own just one. How can you possibly play Outerspace Alien Wars with just one cool gun? Duh!
So while this was a massive massive hit (“OMG mum, it’s pump action. And look at all the darts. And you can blast”) the boys spent most of their time checking out the other Nerf guns in the range on the Toys R Us website and mentally penning a begging letter each to Santa.
Wild Science Ant-O-Sphere 4 Pods, £19.99
Ants? In my house? ANTS?
I wasn’t at all impressed with the prospect of housing a bunch of the critters I’ve spent all summer killing after they made a little ant tunnel into our house and set up home in the kitchen bin.
But for a 7 year old boy, the chance to spy on ants as they go about their daily business (the pods are specially designed so we can see in but to the ants it looks like they’re in darkness) is too great an attraction.
It did stay up for a week or so, but actually the whole structure is just a bit too wobbly for my liking and I had visions of it spilling it’s contents in the middle of the night, so they were evicted!
Sticky Mosaics Dinosaurs, £14.99
Given that this bunch of 7 and 8 year olds had been testing guns and Lego and Scalextric I wasn’t convinced this was going to go down at all well.
“Put that girlie box away woman,” I thought they’d all yell. “Give us more rough tough boy stuff”.
I couldn’t get them off it. Reams of foamy stickers making dinosaur pictures to hang on their walls. They were in heaven!
It’s basically mosaics by numbers and a box includes 4 dinosaur pictures and more than 3,000 coloured sticky foam pieces.
Easily one of their favourites.
Robotic Hand Making Kit, £9.99
This is one of those kits which looks like a great idea – make your own robotic hand, oooo – but actually once it was built, it didn’t get touched again!
The kit contains everything you need to build a fully functioning hand: frame, fingers, fishing lines and instructions.
Cuponk Game, £9.99
Such a simple idea, but so much fun!
You take it in turns trying to get one of the ping pong balls into the Cuponk – in a manner dictated to you by one of the playing cards.
Seriously addictive fun as you’ve invited to bounce your ping pong off walls, saucepans, sofas and throw it over your head.
We now play it most nights as I’m better than everyone else at it and it feels gooood to win so much!
Phineas and Ferb Mystery Good Figure Pod, £3.99
This is me rolling my eyes and sighing. I HATE these sorts of ‘toys’. I mean come on; A pot of goo with an articulated figure in the middle of it?
A pot of goo that makes farting noises. A pot of goo that gets EVERYWHERE.
The kids, of course, adored it!
NEXT WEEK: Toys for 5 year old girls this Christmas