Toys for under £20 for Christmas

Considering some medium-priced toys for Crimbo?
Want to get the skinny on them first?
Right here is the Sticky Fingers equivalent of try before you buy.
We were sent this batch of toys as part of the Toys R Us Toyologist programme to test so you don’t have to wonder if they’re worth splashing out on  . . .

Blast Lab Messy Mess, £12.97
★★★★
Eight year old + experiments =  pure joy.
My son LOVED this which basically means lots of messy play to make slime and stink bombs. Oh joy!
Based on the Richard Hammond TV show Blast Lab (which we don’t watch), it’s a chance to wear silly goggles and make stinky stuff.
Great fun, although it should be noted that some other household items are needed to complete some of the experiments. But they’re pretty everyday stuff (washing up liquid, glue, pepper etc).

Zubber Bands, £12.97
★★★★★
Great idea, pretty rubbish finish.
This set allows you to make trendy ‘zubber’ bracelet bands (zubber being a modelling compound which you can mould like dough but hardens like rubber and in which you can stamp any words you choose).
However it takes a LOT of supervision and the end product is disappointing.
It looks nothing like the examples on the box (and I’m a perfectionist, so I followed those instructions To. The. Letter) and it broke after first wear.
Very disappointing.

Lego Harry Potter Quidditch Match (4737), £19.97
★★★★★
Seriously, Lego can do no wrong in this house. I saw this set which includes five minifigures (Harry Potter, Oliver Wood, Draco Malfoy, Marcus Flint and Madam Hooch) and various fiddly little accessories (brooms, Golden Snitch, goal posts, catapults, trophy) and thought it’s not really a ‘model’ as such which is what we’re used to building.
Who’s going to want to play with this?
Shows how much I know; it’s been played with non stop since being built.
An excellent starter set.

Meccano Construction Starter Case, £14.99
★★★★
A great starter set for anyone discovering the building system for the first time.
The tough, red case is packed with enough bits and pieces to make simple five models.
An excellent gift.

Sylvanian Families at Home set, £12.99
★★★★★
I confess I don’t really ‘get’ the whole Sylvanian Family obsession. I mean a badger, driving a car? Come on.
But then a friend’s daughter gave my little girl her Sylvanian Family narrow boat and it’s been love ever since.
This little set doesn’t really go with the whole boat theme, but of course Mia has managed to work Tam Tailbury (apparently) and her cute little bathroom in somehow!

Nerf N Strike Recon gun, £15.97

★★★★★
Possibly one of the best toys my 8 year old has received on this programme.
He adores it. It’s sat at the end of his bed and anyone who touches it pays the price.
He’s also been hinting that he’d like Santa to bring him some more bullets. And maybe a bullet vest.
It is apparently “the ultimate customisable blaster you can modify for any mission with 5 interchangeable parts”.
In reality it has seen my husband and son create dens in our living room and yell at the top of their lungs as they instigate Ultimate Nerf Wars.
(NB. It may have been the husband who actually came up with that name. The shame).

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