Toys

Toys we play with including reviews

Disney AppMATes

We were recently very lucky to be invited up to Disney HQ in London for the launch of their new ground breaking product AppMATes. We got to see and play with them and other games from the Cars 2 range and then we watched Toy Story Hawaiian Vacation which is superb and Cars 2 in the Disney theatre! Can you imagine how privileged we felt? Both films were excellent and the whole Disney experience for us was a very special one indeed. Daddy was particularly taken with these guys…

Cars 2 is a incredibly popular hit with preschoolers and beyond and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed the film, I even tutted when one twin needed the loo and I had to accompany her out as I didn’t want to miss any of the brilliant story – I know it’s bad isn’t it but I did take her, honestly! Here are a couple of the Cars 2 computer games that are available for Christmas presents this year which the girls loved playing with.

It goes without saying that there is an enormous collection of Cars 2 merchandise available to suit all pockets from pencil cases to packed lunch boxes and drink bottles there’s something  for everyone, here’s a few bits that we came home with – Thank you Disney

For all parents who own an iPad – you will have first hand knowledge on how that wonderful gadget becomes the property of your little ones once they get their sticky mits on it right? How many apps have you downloaded to keep the kids happy whilst you’re travelling, trying to watch the news, cheering a poorly child up and so on?

In fact the initially expensive iPad has probably saved you on more than one occasion from a full scale tantrum or simple boredom and so has now earned it’s exclusive 1st place on your list of essential gadgets.

That’s why I am ever so, ever so proud to present you an industry first! Disney has recently launched its Disney AppMATes Mobile application toys, a ground breaking new toy that comes to life digitally when used with an Apple iPad by allowing children to use the tablet’s screen as a virtual playmat. 

The AppMATes toy line features Cars 2 vehicles with sensors on the base of each car that are recognised as a unique footprint by the app with no cable or Bluetooth connection required. All you have to do is download the free Cars 2 Appmates app from the iTune app store, place your Appmates toy character on the screen and play. Look how my two mastered it in no time

Some of the Cars 2 Appmates features include

  • Exploration – Drive around Radiator Springs, visit Flo’s V8 cafe
  • Directed game play – Perform missions unique to each character like helping bring a tow hook back to Mater
  • Racing – five race tracks available to choose from – need I say more?
Each toy unlocks different features and content within the app specific to the character, you can download the app and test it with your finger but the play experience is optimised to come to life with the Appmates toy vehicles.
The Appamtes toy vehicles can be bought at Apple Store, Apple store online, selected Disney stores and Disney.co.uk as two packs featuring Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, Finn McMissile, Holly Shiftwell, Francesco Bernoulli and Shu Todoroki costing £12.99 for a single pack and £19.99 for a two car pack.

Baking kit and cookware John Crane

John Crane 100 sleeps logo54 days till Christmas!!!

and we’re over the half way point with our Craniac Christmas Competition due to end on the 13th December. If you are late do not despair simply go through the back questions, gather your answers and jot them down somewhere safe. Today ‘s is question 7 out of 13 so you have plenty of time to catch up and check out the Extra Brownie Point boxes on previous posts just to make sure your name is recognised All Over The Place – I wish you all the very best of luck and remember one lucky person will receive £300 worth of John Crane Toys in a mystery parcel in time for Christmas. Don’t forget to mention on the John Crane Facebook page what particular toy you’d like to find in your mystery box.

This week I’m showcasing two gorgeous toys that get our little people thinking and playing for hours on end and more to the point will get YOU tasting their make believe cakes, biscuits, pies and who knows what they may come up with?

It’s a known fact that our little ones love to copy us and with these kitchen tools they’ll be in their element as they roll, cut, shape and prepare, the baking moulds are made out of silicone so can be used in a real oven too! As can the tins. The biscuit cutters are perfect for little hands and once they get the hang of it you’ll have biscuits coming out of your ears :)

One of the first things my two said when they started to play was ‘Mummy, we haven’t got an oven.’ Which was a fair statement for any budding chef so I made them one out of a large cardboard box, trouble is I should have taken a photo when it was brand new as it got played with so much it’s now been put out with the rubbish! However a quick glance on the John Crane website and you’ll find a variety of kitchens to suit all tastes and pockets.

Buon appetito! as they say in Italy.

Now for the important bit Question 7 of the Craniac Christmas competition – On what day of the week does Christmas Day fall this year? Red knickers hold the clue

If you’re new to this treasure hunt of questions let me remind you that there are £300 worth of John Crane toys to win just by visiting every week and answering the questions we have laid out for you, a mystery parcel will be put together and sent around the 15th December in time for the Big Day. Just jot down all your answers somewhere safe and on the last week (13th December) you will be given an email address where to send your answers with a 100 word tie breaker so have a little think about that. You can find all of the questions on this blog by using the search box at the top right hand side and searching for Craniac Christmas Competition. Here’s last week’s question 6

Fro more Brownie points

  • Subscribe to Mari’s World by email in the box on the top right hand side of the blog to make sure you never miss out on other fabulous competitions coming up
  • Copy and paste on John Crane’s Facebook page – I’m participating in the Mari’s World 100 sleeps to Christmas competition I’d like to find a ….. in my mystery parcel! (Fill blank in with your favourite John Crane toy that you’d like to find in your mystery parcel – go check out their web site)
  • Copy and paste on Mari’s World Facebook page – I want to win the 100 sleeps to Christmas competition. And LIKE the page whilst you’re there :)
  • Visit the John Crane blog
  • Follow John Crane on Twitter
  • Follow Mari’s World on Twitter
If you are on Twitter join in the fun using the hashtag #100sleeps, I’ll see you there!

Competition Terms & Conditions:

• This Competition is open to all residents in the UK and ROI over 18 years of age, excluding employees of John Crane and its affiliates or agents, the families of such employees and any other person connected with this promotion.
• The Promoter will not be liable for applications not received, incomplete, or delayed. Last date for receipt of entries is 14th December 2011.
• All entries received by this date will be entered into a prize draw and the winner will be chosen randomly.
• The winning entry will receive £300 worth of John Crane toys.
• The prizes are as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged. There is no cash alternative. No bulk or third party entries accepted.
• The winner will be notified in writing by 15th December 2011.
• The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability due to circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control.
• By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

See you next week for question EIGHT and another fabulous toy idea for your Christmas list

Dolls High Chairs and Bunk Beds John Crane

John Crane 100 sleeps logo61 sleeps till Christmas and time is moving fast, next week we’ll be in November, Halloween will be behind us Guy Fawkes will be burnt by next Sunday and then we have only one mission on our minds. Christmas.

How are you all getting along with your ideas and plans? Do you know where you’ll be spending the BIG day yet? Have you got a vague plan sorted out or are you another Last Minuter the proverbial Christmas Eve shopper?

Not for me. I’m carefully getting my thoughts and ideas in one place and I’d like to be sorted by the time December comes along. Week 6 of our fabulous competition where one lucky winner will win £300 worth of John Crane toys and receive them in time for Christmas too. You really must visit their web site and sign up to the mailing list so you can discover all the latest toys, discounts, sales and news form the insiders themselves. Each product listed on the site also has a range of places close to where you live who sell it which is extremely helpful especially if you’re in a hurry.

This week I am showcasing two toys that work very well together as you will see in the video below. Every little girl loves to play mummy at some point and that’s when the doll’s bunk beds and the doll’s high chair come into play. Both extremely easy to put together with literally a few screws they are ready in minutes for some serious mummy role play.

It’s important to notice that the bunk beds stack on each other ingeniously with little ‘feet’ on the bottom bunk fitting into ready made holes on the top bunk, the two are connected with a ladder that is also easy to put on and take off. The beds can also be used side by side and come with pink or lemon accessories. The highchair is also available in pink or blue. The bunk beds are available from a number of retailers from £60 – 70 and the highchair can be bought from £35 – 40

Here’s a closer view at the twins playing with the bunk beds and highchair

Question 6 – What was the gift on Day 5 of the 12 days of Christmas? The answer can be found in the Doll’s House

If you’re new to this treasure hunt of questions let me remind you that there are £300 worth of John Crane toys to win just by visiting every week and answering the questions we have laid out for you, a mystery parcel will be put together and sent around the 15th December in time for the Big Day. Just jot down all your answers somewhere safe and on the last week (13th December) you will be given an email address where to send your answers with a 100 word tie breaker so have a little think about that. You can find all of the questions on this blog by using the search box at the top right hand side and searching for Craniac Christmas Competition. Here’s last week’s question 5

You also might like to

  • Subscribe to Mari’s World by email in the box on the top right hand side of the blog to make sure you never miss out on other fabulous competitions coming up
  • Copy and paste on John Crane’s Facebook page – I’m participating in the Mari’s World 100 sleeps to Christmas competition I’d like to find a ….. in my mystery parcel! (Fill blank in with your favourite John Crane toy that you’d like to find in your mystery parcel – go check out their web site)
  • Copy and paste on Mari’s World Facebook page – I want to win the 100 sleeps to Christmas competition.
  • Visit the John Crane blog
  • Follow John Crane on Twitter
  • Follow Mari’s World on Twitter
If you are on Twitter join in the fun using the hashtag #100sleeps, I’ll see you there!

Competition Terms & Conditions:

• This Competition is open to all residents in the UK and ROI over 18 years of age, excluding employees of John Crane and its affiliates or agents, the families of such employees and any other person connected with this promotion.
• The Promoter will not be liable for applications not received, incomplete, or delayed. Last date for receipt of entries is 14th December 2011.
• All entries received by this date will be entered into a prize draw and the winner will be chosen randomly.
• The winning entry will receive £300 worth of John Crane toys.
• The prizes are as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged. There is no cash alternative. No bulk or third party entries accepted.
• The winner will be notified in writing by 15th December 2011.
• The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability due to circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control.
• By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

See you next week for question SEVEN and another fabulous toy idea for your Christmas list


Story Buddy – Watson the racoon – Hallmark

Hallmark story buddyHallmark have come up with a fabulous idea that cannot fail but to impress children. A cuddly toy who joins in the reading of a story on cue! A Story Buddy.

We were contacted a while ago asking if we’d like to review a Hallmark Story Buddy and as reading is a night time ritual for us and one the girls (and daddy) really enjoy I thought we’d see what these little guys were all about. I was informed that one was being posted out to us but one week later there was no sign of the little guy.

I got on the case and wrote an email concerned for his/her safety Where was our Story Buddy? What had happened to them? And we were sent another who arrived two days later – Ta-dah! Enter = Watson the Racoon.

Just opening the box and discovering a cuddly toy was enough for my girls but when they learnt that he talked simply by touching the button in his ear they were hooked. Then when we got the book out and laid together on the floor with Watson to read his story they were captivated.

What a brilliant invention! As I read the story to the girls there are certain phrases within the story that are typed in a different colour to allow the reader to make room for Watson to join in with his own delightful snippets.

Now my two love a story but like all little ones sometimes their attention can stray, a chirpy chappie like Watson brings them right back to the story as he does the unexpected – He Talks!

They were amazed at his clever interventions, they listened to him and laughed gleefully that he was telling them a story PLUS they paid extra special attention to the story to make sure they didn’t miss a word of what Watson the Racoon had to say.

Watson the Racoon, a soft and gentle guy, has been an enormous hit since the moment he stepped out of his box. He has ‘turns’ in the girls’ beds being passed from one bed to the other on a daily basis but he takes it all in his stride and does his best to share himself equally between them. I have immense respect for him and honestly don’t mind sharing my stage with him, he’s cute and serious and I have also had the chance to ask him about his fellow Story Buddy, Does he know what has happened? Was there some secret mission we didn’t know about? Because to this day there is a Story Buddy out there MISSING.

Watson hasn’t been very forthcoming, maybe he just doesn’t know but can you all keep your eyes peeled as he most definitely didn’t turn up here. Now maybe he’s on a secret mission or maybe he’s been kidnapped for ransom, or maybe he wanted to go on a cheeky jaunt by himself to get his next story and got lost so I ask ladies and gentlemen could you please keep your eyes peeled and if you should see a Story Buddy around acting strangely them comment below and we’ll send out a search party.

In the meantime to get a better idea of what these guys look like and what they can do, have a look at our short video here, the lighting is low as it’s night time but Watson really does take centre stage

Wooden hangars and coat pegs John Crane

John Crane 100 sleeps logo68 sleeps till Christmas! That means we’re one third of the way there since we first started at 100 sleeps. I know some people who have already been buying ‘bits’ towards their gift list and putting them to one side for wrapping at a later date and our local supermarkets already have a seasonal aisle stacked to the brim with chocolate of every kind and advent calendars. Yummy. I have also seen displays of Christmas cards to choose from but I haven’t bought mine yet, have you? should I be looking in to last posting dates yet?

Not only that but the weatherman has already mentioned the snow word and has hinted maybe this week too! So get your skis on if you’re in one of those areas likely to be hit as we just never know how long it’s going to last.

This week I’d like to show you some John Crane accessories for children’s bedrooms and play rooms. These smaller items make wonderful presents and don’t break the bank.

John Crane Cupcake coat pegsThey have a pink range featuring cup cakes and a blue range featuring stars which both include coat pegs with one or three pegs and hangers for clothes. Encouraging children to be tidy from the moment they want to be independent. I know my two three year olds are very much finding their own feet at this stage and wanting determinedly to do everything by themselves, take their coats off, put their shoes on and so on, why not take the opportunity to encourage this and add tidyness into their little world too? I’m sure mum will thank you!

I’m sure you’ll agree they add a touch of fun and what’s more they’re useful too. The colours are vibrant and eye catching and once again they have been crafted with the utmost attention to detail.

And now for your 5th question How many doors on a traditional advent calendar? The answer can be found hidden amongst skipping ropes and recorders

If you’re new to this treasure hunt of questions let me remind you that there are £300 worth of John Crane toys to win just by visiting every week and answering the questions we have laid out for you, a mystery parcel will be put together and sent around the 15th December in time for the Big Day. Just jot down all your answers somewhere safe and on the last week (13th December) you will be given an email address where to send your answers with a 100 word tie breaker so have a little think about that. You can find all of the questions on this blog by using the search box at the top right hand side and searching for Craniac Christmas Competition. Here’s last week’s question 4

This week for extra brownie points please visit the new John Crane web site and sign up to their mailing list (box in the bottom right hand corner) to be super informed and to find out the latest products. Be the first to know and find out your closest vendor too for each product!

You also might like to

  • Copy and paste on John Crane’s Facebook page – I’m participating in the Mari’s World 100 sleeps to Christmas competition I’d like to find a ….. in my mystery parcel! (Fill blank in with your favourite John Crane toy that you’d like to find in your mystery parcel – go check out their web site)
  • Copy and paste on Mari’s World Facebook page – I want to win the 100 sleeps to Christmas competition.
  • Visit the John Crane blog
  • Follow John Crane on Twitter
  • Follow Mari’s World on Twitter
If you are on Twitter join in the fun using the hashtag #100sleeps, I’ll see you there!

Competition Terms & Conditions:

• This Competition is open to all residents in the UK and ROI over 18 years of age, excluding employees of John Crane and its affiliates or agents, the families of such employees and any other person connected with this promotion.
• The Promoter will not be liable for applications not received, incomplete, or delayed. Last date for receipt of entries is 14th December 2011.
• All entries received by this date will be entered into a prize draw and the winner will be chosen randomly.
• The winning entry will receive £300 worth of John Crane toys.
• The prizes are as stated and cannot be transferred, sold or exchanged. There is no cash alternative. No bulk or third party entries accepted.
• The winner will be notified in writing by 15th December 2011.
• The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize with a prize of equal or greater value in the event of unavailability due to circumstances beyond the Promoter’s control.
• By entering this competition, entrants agree to be bound by the rules and by any other requirements set out in the promotional material.

See you next week for question SIX and another fabulous toy idea for your Christmas list