Monday, 28 July 2014

Ravensburger Colosseum 3D Jigsaw Puzzle Review

I was really pleased to be sent this to review; jigsaws are getting awfully clever these days.  The 3D element makes it an interesting project and once built it becomes quite an eye-catching ornament.  It is aimed for children 10+ but my son who is 7 was perfectly capable of completing it on his own.  

The pieces are all numbered which helps considerably; otherwise in this case you would be at it forever as the Colosseum is made up of many similar looking pieces.  Not only are they numbered they also have a handy little arrow that shows you where the next piece should be placed, up, down or sideways and gradually piece by piece you see the striking Colosseum take shape.

I must admit having had such a positive experience this time I am glad I finally have some new Christmas present ideas to pursue.  When we blog about toys so regularly I often get asked what do you get the boys for Christmas? It is somewhat tricky, but Ravensburger have heaps more 3D puzzles to pick from including ones that actually light up, you can see them all here so I think I am sorted phew!

The building of the Colosseum kept eldest happily occupied for ages, he spent a few hours each day and then when he finally finished he proudly showed if off to everyone just before bedtime.  

With summer currently hiding here and it getting colder and raining more, these jigsaws are wonderful entertainment and a great way to introduce your children to the most famous buildings around the world.  So they are very educational in that respect, plus handling all the pieces is good for fine motor skills.  The end result is very sturdy; the pieces bend round well to slot into the stand.

The RRP of £24.99 seems reasonable given the entertainment value and the quality of the set.  I will definitely be extending our collection.

Review by Karen at Missing Sleep

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Disney Eye Found It! Game

Our family really enjoy playing board games and so when we received the new Disney Eye Found It! Game from Ravensburger my two boys couldn’t wait to get it out of the box. In fact my eldest discarded his favourite tablet device the moment he saw the box!

The first you will notice is that the board is huge! It comes in three parts that slot together and when complete measures six foot long. The jumbo board is packed full of artwork and favourite Disney characters and is solidly made.

Once the game starts the clock is ticking and players must work together to get to Cinderella’s castle before the clock strikes midnight. Traveling through 12 Disney realms, starting from Radiator Springs through Alice's Wonderland to Peter Pan's Never Land and Pooh's Hundred Acre Wood. Throughout the race, everyone searches for iconic Disney objects... and gets a chance to say, "Eye found it!"

This game is great as it encourages co-operation and teamwork and everyone has to use their observation skills in order to identify the objects.

My youngest is 3 ½ and wants to play it all the time. As I put him to bed last night he said “The Disney game is my new best friend”

The game will be available in September from Toys R Us, Smyths and Amazon.  It's definitely one to look out for!

Monday, 21 July 2014

Board Game review : Bugs In The Kitchen

As soon as I saw the name of the latest Ravensburger board game that we had received to review, I knew it would be a hit with the Madhouse Mini-testers. "Bugs In The Kitchen." I could already hear them crying "eurgghhh" delightedly !

And that was before we even had a look inside the box and discovered that it has a Hex bug in it. The Madhouse Mini-testers had seen these before in a toy shop and thought they were very cool. They're little robotic bugs that scuttle about in a very fast, erratic and quite random manner. They give me the creeps a bit which just makes them love them even more !

The game is very simple to play. The board is made up of a maze of pivoting knives, forks and spoons. You roll the dice to know which piece of cutlery you can turn to try to guide the Hex bug through the maze to your designated trap.

It's more down to luck than judgement really because you can set up the perfect path to your corner then twiddle your thumbs helplessly when the bug scuttles off in the wrong direction. This evens up the odds for younger players but can be a bit frustrating for older players who want to use skill and strategy rather than sheer luck.

It's great fun and is a quick game to play if you're short on time (about 20 minutes usually). The kids invariably end up playing with the Hexbug on the table when the game is over though. The suggested age range on the box is 6+ but 4-year-old Pierre manages to play (and sometimes even win) quite successfully.

star rating : 4/5

Review by Madhouse Family Reviews 

RRP : £19.99 available on Amazon 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Ravensburgers Outdoor Mandala Designer Set review - Romantic Garden

I love anything that gets the kids outside and something with a craft element as well, makes for a brilliant school holiday idea.

The girls took the opportunity to try out the Ravensburgers Outdoor Mandala Designer Set that we had been kindly sent to review. There are various designs to choose from and were sent the Romantic Garden set - which is so pretty!

The girls love to colour or paint outside when the weather is good, so the Mandala Designer sets are fantastic for them.  They allow budding artists to become street artists as they chalk works of art on any paved surface.

Each design in the mandala template disk allows you to create various masterpieces - Simply place the stencil on the ground, choosing your chalk colour and colour in the ground through the stencil! ! Children can create beautifully coloured mandalas outside, easily and effectively - it's great fun for all the family! Even I enjoyed having a go!

 This set comes with a detailed template including hearts and flowers, plus a set of 6 coloured chalks and an instruction booklet. We kept our designs simple as it was Little One's first go - but even the simplest designs look amazing!

The sets are aimed at children aged 5+ Even Middle Miss (12) loved helping her sister create her Mandala! 

At around £14.99, I think it's great value for money. Although you'd need to replace the chalks once they are used up, the stencil can be reused time and time again.

Review by White Lily Green

Monday, 7 July 2014

What if? The Racehorse

Last year Ravensburger launched a fun comedy puzzle range called WHAT IF? The picture on the box shows what the characters would like to happen. The picture you puzzle is what actually does happen. It’s a great idea and we loved doing the puzzle from the outset. 

There are some little clues to help you imagine what the finished puzzle scene will show.

This has to be one of the best puzzles we have ever tried. There are similar versions already out there from different puzzle manufactures but this is simply a joy to do. The main reason for this is that with a Ravensburger 1000 piece puzzle none of the pieces are the same and so there is no confusion about where a piece may fit. 

The finished puzzle is really bright and colourful and as with any Ravensburger puzzle the image is of the highest quality.

For any puzzle fan out there I would recommend you having a go at one of these excellent What iF? Puzzles.

Available on Amazon 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Empire State Building 3D Puzzle with lights

puzzle making with DaddyWe’d previously reviewed the Ravensburger Windmill 3D Puzzle and had a lot of fun with it, so H was well up for trying out the Empire State Building 3D Puzzle.  This was a bit of a step up in terms of difficulty, it’s for 12+ rather than 10+, plus it’s a lot more exciting because it lights up in a range of colours.

We did struggle with constructing the first few layers of pieces.  When I say ‘we’ I mean both H and I.  Mr 92three30 then took over and things moved more quickly, although to be fair I think once you get some of the supports inserted, the structure is a lot more stable and easier to add to.  This is a puzzle for adults or older children to build, but H had a lot of fun helping Daddy construct it.

Empire State Building 3D Puzzle This puzzle is made up of 216 plastic pieces which are pretty sturdy.  Once finished the structure measures 46.5cm high. Each puzzle piece is printed with a number on the reverse side, so you can either assemble the puzzle by eye, or just by following the numbers, which did it with the numbers.  You could also do it by eye and then check your work with the numbers. There’s no need for glue or any sticky stuff as the pieces slot into each other like a normal jigsaw and stay there. The puzzle comes with a printed base board, so it can be displayed easily.  Once complete, the Empire State Building 3D Puzzle looks very impressive as you can see.

Empire State Building 3D Puzzle

empire state building at nightYou’ll need to provide 3 AAA batteries to light your finished skyscraper up at night.  It’s very dramatic and moves through a good range of colours: I counted 7 or 8.  H loved having it in his room at night and having it as a sort of night-light.  It’s very impressive to watch it switch from colour to colour and the light highlights all the little details.

empire state building at night

Review by 92three30

Available on Amazon 

Monday, 30 June 2014

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Puzzle Review

This is a brand new Ravensburger 100 piece XXL puzzle How To Train Your Dragon 2. It features the new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider. It measures 49 cm by 36 cm when complete. This is suitable for children aged 6 and above. Ms C is only 5 and she managed to do it. So if you have a big fan of puzzles, I’m sure they will love this gorgeous group photo of How To Train Your Dragon 2.

how to train a dragon 2 puzzle ravensburger

how to train a dragon 2 puzzle ravensburgerThis is our second time testing out Ravensburger puzzles. We had the same type of Ravensburger puzzles before, with the 100 XXL of The Muppets. Click to read more about it. Again I am very impressed with the range of puzzles they have. Do check them out on Twitter @RavensburgerPC as they regularly host giveaways!

how to train a dragon 2 puzzle review

how to train a dragon 2 puzzle reviewThe group picture is very attractive and comes with four different knight badges. The surface comes in a matt finish. The pieces are thick, strong and easy to join up. The only problem is there are a lot of blue bits coming off the backing. Once the bits are brushed off, it is fine afterwards. The puzzle can be done over and over again and kept safely in its box when not required. We had to disassemble it as we don’t have space to keep it out. It would be great to frame up.

Ms C and I love doing jigsaw puzzles at home as they are a great work out for the brain and can be beneficial for improving problem solving, motor skills and eye co-ordination for children and adults. If you or your children are a big fans of How To Train Your Dragon 2, you might like to consider this.

how to train a dragon 2 puzzle

how to train a dragon 2 puzzleBoth of our children can’t wait to catch the new movie in July. Not long to go now!

Available on Amazon