Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Lego Minifigures Series 11

In the run up to Christmas it can be all to easy to forget about some of the smaller toys that we sell that are popular all year round - and Lego Minifigures are one such toy.

Back in the summer we blogged about the special series 10, including the Mr Gold figures that were hidden in some bags. As far as we know we weren't lucky enough to sell a Mr Gold, but that hasn't dented our enthusiasm for series 11, especially since we know that a Minifigure bag would make a great addition to any Lego fan's stocking on Christmas morning.

So who is inside series 11 then I hear you ask? Those clever people at Lego keep coming up with more great ideas for the mini figure characters and this series is no exception. Here's the full cast list:
  1. Barbarian
  2. Scarecrow
  3. Pretzel Girl
  4. Evil Mech
  5. Island Warrior
  6. Gingerbread Man
  7. Holiday Elf
  8. Yeti
  9. Mountain Climber
  10. Welder
  11. Scientist
  12. Saxophone Player
  13. Diner Waitress
  14. Grandma
  15. Constable
  16. Lady Robot

If you want to know more about each of the Minifigures in the series then look no further than Jay's Brick Blog. There's a full three part guide to series 11 (part 1, part 2 and part 3) and I honestly don't think there's anything about these characters that you won't find out there!

Bags of series 11 Lego Minifigures are available in all our stores (St Albans, Letchworth and Hatfield Galleria) and are priced £2.00 each. We also have some stocks of previous series if you're still looking to finish off earlier collections.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Pre-Schoolers for Christmas

When it comes to pre-schoolers many of the toys which we think are going to be most popular this Christmas come from television programmes that are popular with this age range. When watched in moderation television can be wonderful for encouraging children to play and as a basis for them to start acting out stories on their own.

1. Tree Fu Tom - Ultimate Tom - £23.45

Each episode of Tree Fu Tom sees Tim put on his magical belt and be transported to the world of Treetopolis where he has adventures with his friends and uses his magic to help get them out of scrapes. Sometimes he needs a bit of help and calls upon "the big world" for assistance with spells. This is where the children watching at home are asked to perform moves in front of their TV sets to help send the magic to Tom. The series was actually developed on conjunction with the Dyspraxia Foundation so that the moves children are asked to do to help Tom perform his magic are beneficial to children who have developmental coordination disorders.

The Ultimate Tom is fully posable and also has wings which pop out to help him "fly". By pressing the chest the music from the TV programme plays when you tilt him into a flying position. Both his Sapstone belt and his Holopax (to those of you not familiar with Treetopolis lingo - it's the thing he wears on his wrist!) light up and when they are pressed you hear Tom say one of 30 phrases from the TV show.

Tree Fu Tom fans will love Ultimate Tom and soon they'll be helping him perform magic to save his friends in Treetopolis.

2. Doc McStuffins - Time for your Check Up Doll - £13.50

Dottie McStuffins is a six year old girl who wants to be a doctor, like her mum - and also happens to star in her own TV show on Disney Junior. With the help of some of her cuddly toys, she "pretends" to be a doctor by fixing her toys, earning her the name of Doc McStuffins. As soon as she goes into her playhouse and puts on her stethoscope all her toys come to life. The DocMcStuffins series on Disney Junior has received a huge amount of praise, especially for showing a girl in a leading role like this. Thanks to Doc young girls have been inspired to want to become doctors and help "fix" people just like she does.

This Doc McStuffins Doll comes dressed in Doc's favourite clothes, including her white coat, and with her stethoscope round her neck.

Here on the Cuthberts blog we've previously reviewed the Interactive Doc and Lambie Doll which is also available.

3. Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag - £24.99

Once your children have finished playing with their Doc McStuffins doll it's time for them to pretend to be Doc herself and that's exactly what they can do with the Doc McStuffins Doctor's Bag. The bag is exactly like Doc's one in the television programme and includes an ear scope, syringe, thermometer and two plastic plasters, plus a stethoscope that speaks 15 phrases from the show. If that's not enough you can also buy the dress up set which includes Doc's white coat and a doctor's name badge with interchangeable inserts.

4. Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse - £24.99

The appeal of Peppa Pig to small children is incredible - even for those that have never seen the television programme! Rumour has it that even William and Kate named their little Prince after Peppa's brother.

Children who love Peppa will also love being able to act out their own Peppa stories with the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse. This playhouse ingeniously folds out (meaning less storage space required when it's not in use) and also has a handy carrying handle so children can move it around. Inside the house there are four rooms, all looking just like they do on the television, and each comes with furniture. Peppa and George Pig figures are included and other figures from the Peppa Pig Muddle Puddles range also fit with it.

5. Playmobil 5810 Pirate Corsair - £30.00

Pre-schoolers love acting out stories and that's exactly what pirate lovers can do with this Playmobil Pirate Corsair.

The Corsair comes with a skull and cross bones sail, a working cannon and anchor winch and three Playmobil pirate characters. It is also fully waterproof and means that children can continue their Playmobil adventures in the bath (although a top parental tip is to make sure you've taken all the small pieces out before pulling the plug...)

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Pre-Schoolers are available either online or in our stores (Hatfield Galleria, Letchworth and St Albans). If you want any more recommendations for what to buy your little ones this Christmas then please pop in and talk to our staff.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Toddlers for Christmas

Following on from last week's Top 5 Toys for Babies, this week we're looking at what we think toddlers will love this Christmas. One to two years olds are at that exciting age when they're starting to take much more notice of what's going on around them, becoming really inquisitive about the world  and able to move around confidently too. It's an age when they really start to "play" with toys, rather than just explore them and that's what we've tried to reflect in our top 5 list.

1. VTech Toot Toot Drivers Garage and Airport - £39.99 and £29.99

Since VTech launched their Toot Toot Drivers range it has been hugely successful with both boys and girls. The cars are the perfect size for little hands and they're also really easy for them to push around on the floor. The range is also full compatible, meaning that you can add to it over a period of time as your child grows up. As well as the large components like the garage and airport, you can also buy cars, additional road and now a train station too.

Local blogger Mrs C reviewed the garage back when it was first released and here on the Cuthberts blog we also reviewed the airport in detail just last month.

2. Mini Micro Scooter - 3 in 1 with O Bar and Seat - £74.99

Older children have been enjoying Micro Scooters for a few years now, but even toddlers can get in on the act with the Mini Micro Scooter 3 in 1.

The 3 in 1 set set gives you a normal Mini Micro Scooter (suitable for ages 3+) but also an O Bar handle and an seat which fits on to the O Bar handle. This means that for young toddlers they first use the scooter as a ride on toy and then when they're ready the seat can be removed. The O Bar handle gives them more stability and easier steering than the normal T-bar handle and means they can gain confidence before moving on to the T-bar handle once they're around three years old.

There's a review of the 3 in 1 Micro Scooter available here and the Cuthberts blog can also provide you with an excellent overview of the entire Micro Scooter range that we sell. The 3 in 1 Micro Scooter is available in either pink or blue.

We don't sell Micro Scooters online, but if you pop into any of our stores we will happily show you the Mini Micro 3 in 1 and explain how it all works and grows up with your child. If you already have a Mini Micro Scooter in the family, we also sell a pack containing the O-bar handle and seat.

3. My First Brio Railway - £29.99

Wooden train sets are huge hits with toddlers and again are things that can grow with them. The My First Brio Railway is a perfect introduction to the world of wooden railways and simple enough for young children to be able to play with it effectively.

The wooden track pieces fit together like jigsaw pieces and the set also comes with handy ramp pieces at each end so that toddlers can guide the train up on to the tracks, rather than having to place them on correctly. There's a sweet little tunnel to guide the train through and the train itself comes with three carriages which attach together with magnets. The First Brio Railway is also compatible with the rest of the Brio range, as well as with other wooden railways.

4. Wow - Dexter the Digger - £22.99

One of the best things about the Wow range at Christmas time is that it doesn't require batteries! Dexter the Digger is Cuthberts' best selling item is the range and a huge hit with children.

Like all Wow toys Dexter the Digger is incredibly sturdy and perfect for little hands that might not always be gentle with their toys. Using a slider on the side of Dexter's digging arm he can be moved to scoop and pick up the three boulders that he comes with. He also twists in the middle so that he can turn and drop the load anywhere he wants to. To help keep him in check Dexter also comes with a builder figure called Bill.

5. Peppa Pig Lullaby Peppa - £21.99

For children you love Peppa Pig this Lullaby Peppa is the perfect bedtime companion. If you child presses the heart shaped area on Peppa's tummy then she plays Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and also projects gentle starlight up on to the ceiling, which will then fade away after 20 minutes. The combination of music and light will help to relax your little one and make it easier for them to fall asleep. 

Cuthberts Top 5 Toys for Toddlers are available either online or in our stores (Hatfield Galleria, Letchworth and St Albans). If you want any more recommendations for what to buy your little ones this Christmas then please pop in and talk to our staff.
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