Creative Fun, Ghost Hunts, Car Stunts & Epic Designs | Toy Reviews

The Warehouse annual Big Toy Month  is running from 24 June to 21 July 2020, and our Junior Toy Analysts (known as the “SRS SQUAD”) put their kid play to work trialing out a few of the toys that are available!

LEGO®, a family game, and Hot Wheels® were put to the test, and came out with six thumbs up, that’s two each from our little squad of toy testers!

Meet The SRS SQUAD

starlingAge: 6

Favourite colour: Pink

Favourite food: 

Chicken nuggets and slushies

Favourite toy: LOL, doll houses, crafts and board games!

Starling

Starlings take to the sky but this Starling is a fish in water, in the pool dipping and diving every chance she gets! Always a keen hand in the kitchen when it comes to baking (not cleaning, just baking). Starling loves to paint, play shops, digital games and board games too… a Pictionary master, and family game night instigator.

riverAge: 6

Favourite colour: Purple

Favourite Food:

Pizza and chocolate milk & slushies

Favourite Toy: LEGO, Ryan and Red Titan, cars and toy animals!

River

River loves being in the pool too, till his fingers and toes wrinkle. He’s a do-er & loves to be doing things aaaallll the time! Playing games – both digital and board, playing with Ryan, superhero & Star Wars action figures, toy cars, dinos & animals, toys & sports! Plus being a ninja with some super sharp ninja moves!

Sailor Junior Toy Analyst
Age: 3

Favourite colour: Red

Favourite food:

Hamburgers and ginger-beer

Favourite toy: Dinosaurs, superheroes, Peppa Pig, cars… and jails!

Sailor

Sailor also loves being in the pool, till his fingers and toes wrinkle! He’s a natural musician, jamming with his ukulele! A big fan of dinosaur battles and epic car stunts. He loves being his big brothers side kick, playing digital games, chasing balls, and being a ninja or superhero with some slick moves and a super staunch looking face!

LEGO Hidden Side Newbury Subway

LEGO® Hidden Side Newbury Subway

LEGO is beloved in our household – an age-old pastime from when we were kids following the instructions to build our fave set or building our own creation, to now as parents of the builder and creators. Some things don’t change. The fun, the creative play, the family bonding. Some things do change, as a parent I now have to hold back when I want to take over the whole build, and now LEGO is digitally interactive!

The LEGO Hidden Side Universe sets are where physical and digital worlds merge in an incredible, single or multiplayer, mixed-reality play experience. We played with The LEGO Hidden Side Newbury Subway set combining the creative play of this LEGO set with an augmented-reality (AR) experience. Talk about combining two of the favourite things to do for this duo – Starling and River! This subway model reveals a ghostly digital world when viewed through a smart device equipped with the free Hidden Side AR app for smart devices.

Being a little younger than the suggested age range didn’t matter for these technically advanced kids. We installed the app and scanned the Newbury Subway model to reveal the digital world. An ever-evolving AR experience set in the fictional town of Newbury, where ghosts haunt people and buildings. Couldn’t get better for a couple of kids always trying to outdo each other with their spooky, ghostly suspicions. Hunting ghosts, exploring and solving mysteries through hands-on LEGO play and the AR app takes LEGO play to another level and the kids were thrilled! With a little help from their teen sibling to get both the set built and AR underway, the six year olds took to the augmented-reality aspect easy-peasy! But their 10 year old cousin Jordy was the maestro who quickly grasped the idea around the ghost hunt. Players can hunt and capture ghosts for later use in the game.

Single or multiplayer modes, the kids get to compete in the action-packed digital world and partake in epic battles against boss ghost, Rat Shaun! The AR play experience is constantly enhanced through new content, ghosts and special events so they’ll be able to play time and time again and never get bored. The LEGO Newbury Subway model itself is another awesome scene for imaginative play with a piece count of 348 including Jack, Parker, and Pete Peterson minifigures, plus a Spencer the dog figure, a possessed-head minifigure and accessories. River and Starling were  just as happy playing with the set itself and when this hands-on play interacts with the app it triggers events in the digital world – that’s the kind of next level, mind blown digital play the kids get to enjoy today (what I would call “cool fun”!)

What’s in the box?

The LEGO Hidden Side Newbury Subway AR play set including Jack, Parker, Pete Peterson minifigures, plus a Spencer the dog figure, a possessed-head mini-figure and accessories.

Age Range

8+ (though the slightly younger kids still enjoyed it, with a little help from older family).

We give it …

👍 Thumbs up, especially if you have kids keen on digital AR games.

LEGO Minecraft Pandas

LEGO® Minecraft The Panda Nursery

River discovered Minecraft™ via watching something about something on YouTube Kids … it was a long detailed story but those were the main points – he stumbled upon its existence and has been a keen fan of Minecraft ever since!

You can imagine the delight when he got to build LEGO Minecraft The Panda Nursery set! If the LEGO Hidden Side Newbury Subway set combined two of his fave things, then this combined another three – LEGO, Minecraft and Pandas!

This LEGO set brings Minecraft to life where kids get to enjoy hands-on Minecraft fun with the characters they’ve gotten to know in the game! The Panda Nursery has mum panda bringing baby panda to the nursery. Alex is there with pie and an Ocelot. It’s pretty CUTE. The kids built the Minecraft environment themselves including the characters, a hut and rooftop bed for the pandas, and plenty of bamboo to eat. A teeny bit of helped was needed to assemble the pieces following the instructions but no help was required for the imaginative play that followed!

What’s in the box?

The LEGO Minecraft The Panda Nursery play set including two buildable pandas, Alex and Ocelot, plus fish and diamond pickaxe accessory.

Age Range

7+ (with a little bit of help the 6 year old easily managed the build).

We give it …

👍  Thumbs up, especially for Minecraft fans.

Cobra Paw Game

Cobra Paw Game

You best be sharp and quick for this game! RequiringNinja-like reflexes, sharp recognition skills, and mental fortitude”, this is a game about tile-snatching!

Players take turns to roll the dice featuring six unique symbols, spot the tile with the matching pattern, then snatch it before your opponent does! The first player to snatch up six tiles WINS and bestows great honour to the Grand Shidoshi, Master Meow.

This game was heated because we had many sharp and fast ninjas prepared to give it their all to win! Tiles flew as did hands, arms, and accusations. Who grabbed the tiles first and how did they end up in the plant? Anyway, and thankfully, it was all in good fun! The great thing about this game was we could all get involved. We each took turns rolling the dice, snatching our tiles and, after a burst of energised snatching and accusing, it was all over. Perhaps this isn’t always the case, but this time it was. Plus combining mental agility to recognise symbols quickly and fast reflexes is a fun way to exercise the kids developing mental sharpness and motor skills!

What’s in the box?

The Cobra Paw game Includes 21 tiles, two dice, and instructions (2 to 6 Players).

Age Range

6+ (5 should be ok, with fair opponents).

We give it …

👍 Thumbs up – be prepared for competitive paws.

LEGO DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand

LEGO® DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand

Starling’s a crafty kind of kid – always happy to pull out tape, glue, and discarded cardboard to DIY some invention, so this LEGO DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand was a great choice for her! DOTS™ sets are reusable canvases where kids can explore their love of creative DIY to build and decorate, either following the pattern ideas included or following their own design.

The Rainbow-themed Jewellery stand set has easy to follow instructions to make the stand. All the surfaces can be decorated and there’s five hooks for hanging those special pieces and a tray to hold smaller pieces. An idea sheet offers decorating inspo which Starling followed and then redesigned with her own ideas. I think this will be a common practice – redesigning her designs! You can mix the tiles from any of the other DOTS items so the kids can re-set, re-design, re-theme, re-decorate to their hearts content! It was easy enough to assemble and dismantle so I can see this being a popular little toy to take on sleep overs so the young designers can creatively collaborate!

Another battery-free toy from LEGO that gives kids a fun opportunity to create, problem solve, and build confidence – and it’s practical to boot! Starling thoroughly enjoyed building and designing her LEGO DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand and has her little collection of jewellery proudly displayed on her side table.

What’s in the box?

LEGO DOTS Rainbow Jewellery Stand including the stand, DOTS to design, instructions/pattern ideas.

Age Range

6+ (5 would be keen too! Note: it has those small pieces).

We give it …

👍 Thumbs up, perfect for young DIY and design enthusiasts.

Hot Wheels

Hot Wheels® Single Basic Cars Range Assorted

Cars, cars, cars! Sailor and River at three and six years old have most definitely not outgrown a love for Hot Wheels cars. I MAY have even bought my dream car recently, the Hot Wheels version, so maybe we never grow out of collecting these toy vehicles!

Did you know that the Hot Wheels line produces a variety of 400 new cars every year?! The toy cars are segmented into 30 different Mini Collections and each collection includes themed vehicles ranging from muscle cars, sports cars, race cars, and trucks, to trending roadsters.

My boys have been playing and collecting with Hot Wheels toy cars ever since they were allowed to! We have a box filled with a massive variety of different vehicles and a carry-tin where they keep the coolest and most favourite cars of their collection. They have a road mat, carpark and looping tracks dedicated to their cars, trucks, motorbikes, and construction vehicles, to perform their everyday tasks of driving – typically at speed. Hours of fun is spent doing epic stunts and competitive challenges between teams!

You can never go wrong gifting Sailor (and River) a new Hot Wheels toy car for his car collection – it’s a “go to” for his pocket money spend or a treat from mum!

What’s in the box?

A 1:64 scale Hot Wheels toy car (each sold separately).

Age Range

All ages! (Watch little wheels with little kids).

We give it …

👍 Thumbs up, because cars, cars, cars!

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