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Welcome to toys-toys-toys.co.uk, the official toyday blog where you will find craft projects to make, local news from our shops, toy reviews, interesting toy facts, games and other toy news.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Gok Wan's Spray Painted T-Shirt Disaster

I was watching the new series of Gok's Clothes Road Show on Channel 4 last night and although I love browsing the high streets fashions from my arm chair and watching as Gok Tirelessly makes women look thinner simply by adding a belt to any outfit I was less than impressed by his homemade t-shirt. I love the idea of giving us crafty fashion tips, I can see the use for glittering up a pair of old heels but using spray paint to create a unique design on a plain white T I don't think any of us could pull off. Even with his creative flair the design produced was lack luster so how can any of us mere mortals expect to come anywhere close to producing something wearable. Plus I'm not entirely sure how practical it would be to wash.

Nowadays customising a t-shirt shouldn't be so hard. You can by iron on transfers, sew on patches or how about going a bit retro and doing some tie dying. When I was a child I created my own funky t-shirts with string and some veggies. I tried tea, stinging nettles and beetroot as dye but for just £3.99 you can buy a tie dye kit. Now I don't know how much a can of spray paint is but I'm pretty sure you could achieve better results with one of these methods.

Looking forward to next week to see what other crazy idea's he has in store for us!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Travel Connect 4 Game Review

This travel size Connect 4 game is from the Hasbro range of games, this is a scaled down version of the original game. The aim of the game is simple, get 4 of your coloured discs in a row either horizontally, vertically or diagonally to win. Take it in turns to slot your coloured discs in to the stand to try and get 4 in a row or to block the other player from winning. Only two people can play, male or female. It is recommended for people over the age of 6.

Travel Connect 4 Summary
Connect 4 is a simple but enjoyable game. The travel size makes it perfect to take on any long journey and be taken out your bag to play and pass some time. Only two people can play this at a time, but that doesn't matter too much with it's purpose being for travelling it would suite two people sat in the back of a car or sat together on a train,bus or plane.

I use to love playing this with my Dad and could play all afternoon trying to beat him so will definitely be giving this as a Christmas present to my 7 year old cousin - mainly to keep him quiet in the evening! The simplicity of this game is what seems to make it more enjoyable and unlike Monopoly and Cluedo you don't need to dedicate your whole weekend to playing this, but can still be kept occupied for a decent amount of time whilst you challenge a friend or family member to a game.

Pro’s and Cons

- Comes in a handy container to keep all the pieces in.
- Portable version folds away easily and would fit nicely into your bag.
- You're never too old to play.
- Easy to set up.

- Only two people can play the game at a time.
- Could come with a bag to put it in.

How Much Is It? - Travel Connect 4 available from www.toyday.co.uk and cost £6.99, considering the play value you get for that price, it is an absolute bargain. Toyday also stock other enjoyable travel size games such as Hungry Hippos and Guess Who.

In Short
Price - £6.99
Value for Money – 8.5/10
Enjoyment Rating – 9/10
Recommended Age – 6 years and over
Recommended Sex - Male & Female
Overall Rating – 9/10

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Best Sellers This Week.

With Christmas looming upon us and the summer, well what summer we had, almost a memory I am always interested in what customers are buying as presents and what seems to be the most popular. It is always pleasing to hear that there are many parents still looking to buy the more traditional toys for their children and can usually find what they are looking for here in the shop.

Whether its for a girl or boy these seem to be the most popular this week.

The Wooden Carpenters Tool Set has to be one of the nicest tool sets around for the budding carpenter. It comes complete with a range of tools including a hammer, screwdriver, saw and other items and in the little drawers are an assortment of screws and nuts. It closes with a couple clips and has a carrying handle. Perfect for the DIY child.

Although the Train Vehicle Puzzle is going to make up many Christmas presents it is a very popular buy throughout the year, although sadly the various other vehicle puzzles have now been discontinued. In the box are 8 pieces of track which can be changed around to make a huge variety of layouts, some traffic signs and a little red or navy blue train. Just pop an AAA battery inside away it goes on its never ending track.

Our Wooden Fire Engine with two dolls has been selling well and is a lovely sturdy wooden toy. It comes complete with two little bear firemen, a movable ladder, hose, fire hydrant and hosepipe.

If they are more into Police Cars than fire engines then have a look at our Wooden Police Van and two little policemen dolls. The front doors open for the flexible dolls to get in and out and with two rear doors that will also open its another great wooden toy. Both of these have been popular buys this week.

With more unusual names being given to children nowadays, trying to find an item with their name on it is becoming more and more difficult and our Wooden Train Letters have provided the answer for many customers. Any name can be made up by choosing the letters to make up the name, add a front locomotive and a rear carriage and its complete. They come with a hook and eye attachment and can be used as a decoration in a bedroom or played with on all major brands of train track.

I hope these few items have given you some ideas and I am sure your children will be pleased to receive any one of them.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Best toys for an 8 year old boy

Unless you know what's cool buying a gift for an eight year old boy can be tough going. By eight they know what they like and what they are in to may change by the day. Below is my list of top gift ideas that are sure to be a hit:

1. Spinning Plate - £5.99
The diabolo has seen a rise in popularity this year and most little boys seem to own one already, which is why it's not on my list. After experimenting with diabolo tricks they have become interested in all things juggling and this spinning plate will certainly test their skills.

2. Technorobot Building Kit - £10.99
I could have chosen almost any kit from our education section as there are some other fantastic ones amongst the range. This robot making kit has been popular for years and is a hit with boys.

3. Wooden Bow and Arrow Set - £8.99
A lovely traditional bow and arrow complete with target and three arrows. Even the Dad's will love having a go at this!

4. Magic Hat Trick Set - £16.99
Harry Potter has made all things wizardly very popular and because this set comes complete with a wand it is a great hit.

5. Magnet Kit - £9.99
You may be surprised at the fun that can be had with all these magnets.

I really struggled to narrow down the stocking stuffers as we have so many great ideas. I have chosen the top 3 that would be suitable for almost any boy of eight but if your looking for the favourite of 2011 it has to be the Smurf figures at £3.50 each:

From the Right
Light Up Kinetic Wheel - £4.99, Net of Marbles - £1.50, Aircraft carrier - £4.99

Friday, 16 September 2011

Toy Museum auctions the largest private collection of antique toys

Park house Toy Museum, Stow-on-the-Wold
Barbara and George Sutton founded the Park House Toy & Collectors museum in Stow-on-the-Wold in 1987 after they started dealing and selling toys in their antique shop. After nearly 25 years, they are retiring to Berkshire, and selling all but a few of their huge collection of Victorian, Edwardian and vintage toys, which include thousands of antique teddy bears, dolls, puppets, train sets, model cars and tin soldiers.
Barbara & George Sutton, Founders of the Park House Toy Museum
 The auction will be help at the salerooms at Norcote, Cirencester, on Thursday, September 29th, with a chance to view the toys there the day before.

One of the highlights of the auction will be four cased Pelham Puppet theatres shown here, with automated mechanisms to make the puppets dance on their strings. These are expected to collect between £500 - £1,200 each.

Other lots include Merrythought, Deans Ragbook & Norah Wellings  dolls, some beautiful dolls prams and dolls houses, a huge collection of teddy bears and plush toys, some Victorian tin-plated toys right through to 1970's action men, annuals and die-cast cars. Many of the toys have been bundled into lots valued at around £100 - £150 each.

Heubach Koppelsdorf bisque doll
All the details on the lots and guide price can be viewed here and all the auctions can be seen at the pre-sale viewing event at the salerooms at Norcote, Cirencester, on Wednesday, September 28, the day before the auction.
Merrythought Old Mother Hubbard bears
collectors tin toys

Although I am extremely tempted to go off and get a nice big loan and turn the basement in Totnes into a Toy musuem, I think we better find a new home for the internet operations first, which isn't going to happen before the end of the month!

Wishing Barbara and George a very happy retirement, and hoping that this fantastic toy collection will go into the best hands possible, to preserve the history of these wonderful collectors pieces.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

How to Play Ludo

Ludo is another traditional board game for 2 to 4 players that has been played for many years. The game consists of a wooden board, different coloured pegs, dice and involves some strategic playing.

Each player chooses a different set of coloured pegs and places them in their corresponding starting circle. A 6 must be thrown to start each peg on its way around the board and the player must decide which of his pieces to move in a clockwise direction around the track by the number thrown.

If a player can get one of his pegs to land upon another of his pieces of the same colour this will form a block which cannot be passed or landed on by any opponent so giving him an advantage.

Also if a player can get his piece to land on an opponents piece of another colour then that piece is removed and returned back to the start and that player must then throw a 6 to re start it on its way around the board again.

To win the game a player must get all of his four pegs around the board and back into his coloured home column by throwing the exact number for each one to finish.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Best toys for a 2 year old girl

At two a little girl is young enough to not be influenced by crazes and fads so you can buy some quality gifts instead that will last for years to come and can even be passed down through the generations. Here is my list of top toys for a two year old girl that she's sure to love:

1. 3D Breakfast Puzzle - £12.99
This wooden jigsaw puzzle can also be used as play food with a plate and cutlery. Great for role play as well as learning.

2. Doll's Pram - £39.99
This dolly's pram is absolutely beautiful and is a favourite with almost every girl that comes into the shop, that includes the grannies. It is the perfect height for a two year old and is sure to be pushed around every where she goes.

3. Dress Up Princess - £17.99
Girls love dolls and this one will teach her how to use buttons and zips as well.

4. Dough Sundae Set - £12.99
An icecream making machine that comes complete with accessories and reusable play dough. A great way to get creative from a young age.

5. Bear Jack in the Box - £19.99
A lot less scary than the clown version but no less traditional. This tin jack in the box plays pop goes the weasel with the surprise of a bear popping up during the song.

Some smaller gift ideas and great stocking stuffers:

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Do you remember the Scream Comic from 1984?

Wow - How excited was I to discover that my childhood favourite comic Scream has been dragged out from the depths and even has a whole website devoted to it at www.backfromthedepths.co.uk which appears to have been written by the original inuman editor Ghastly Mcnasty!
The first ever issue of Scream Comic - Came with a free set of Dracula Fangs
The scream dedicated website features the front and back covers of this fantastic comic, and you can view every page of each comic in high resolution, and you can select to read any of the entire story-lines. My particular favourites were The thirteenth floor, where the buildings computer was so committed to the tenants interest he invented his own 13th floor where no man came out of it alive, Terror of the cats, and Monster, where a 12 year old boy named Kenneth was forced to look after his disfigured Uncle Terry after he had been locked in the attic his whole life; in fact I re-read this entire story again last night to be left on a real cliff-hanger at the end of issue 15, the last episode. Clearly a further edition had been planned, as there was plenty of references to "next weeks issue" and the 4th part of the sea themed poster was missing.

No-one really knows why the plug was so abruptly pulled from this classic horror comic, and this mystery just makes it that little bit more spooky. I have also discovered that Eagle comic picked up the Monster story which is also online, so after just 27 years, I can finally find out the fate of Ken and Terry!

I often fondly talk about this comic, which first arrived in our newsagents shelves on 24th March 1984, with the last issue published in June 1984. Only 15 weekly issues were ever produced, of which I had every one.  I remember in detail the pull out posters which used to be a feature on my bedroom wall.

The poster - Had prime position on my bedroom wall
Yes I did own all 15 episodes, and a couple of summer specials that arrived a couple of years later, but I sold them all to my stepfather for £10 so that I could buy the spectrum 48k that I really wanted (and still have, in fact). Now all fifteen issues would collect around £140.

Well I was ecstatic to find others passionate as me about this fantastic horror comic, and really enjoyed re-reading some of the stories and appreciating the artwork, and can only remain eternally grateful to the authors of both Scream and the guys at www.backfromthedepths.co,.uk.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

CollectableToys for Everyone

With the summer season now at an end and we are into September customers are starting to think about buying their Christmas presents. Although our range of toys seem to be for children we do have a lovely selection of collectable tin toys for the more 'mature' person in your life whether they are 16 or 60 and if you are looking for something different then do check these out.

One of the most popular sellers has to be the Sparking Space Robot or as he is better known, Robbie Robot and Planet Robot. Just wind him up and he wobbles around whilst sparks fly in his visor.

Everyone probably remembers the pop pop tin boat and I have even had a customer on holiday from London unable to find one and couldn't believe his luck when I had one here in the shop. Candles are lit and inserted into the boat and it propels itself along the water.

For the car lover there is the Bugatti and the Vintage Racing Car, both sturdily made in tin with long running motors, and a little man sat in them for a realistic look. A perfect present for any racing car enthusiast.

Another highly amusing and frustrating toy is the Tin Basketball player .

Although not a wind up toy it has a spring action where a ball is placed in his hands and the lever pulled and released to flick the ball into the basket, if you are lucky!

So if you are looking for presents for the Grandchildren or for Grandparents then we hope we will have something for you.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Toyday Loyalty Rewards Scheme

At Toyday we really do have old fashioned values; one of which is rewarding our loyal customers. This is why we have created a fantastic new loyalty reward program for our regular customers.

Simply by shopping with us as usual, customers earn stamps with every transaction, which will save them money off their next purchase. Due to be launched on 24th September, there should be plenty of time to start saving the reward stamps to save a whopping 20% off the Christmas toys bill!

Ask in your local Toyday shop to pick up your loyalty reward card and start collecting today.

Don't worry if you're not local to Devon and Cornwall, as we haven't left out our loyal website customers. There is a treat for you too at www.toyday.co.uk/mysterygift when you spend £30.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Best toys for a 4 year old boy

As Blake has his 4th Birthday coming up and Christmas just after that he has a slight influence in this blog post. Here is my list of the top five toys for 4 year old boys that are popular not just with Blake:

1. Space Explorer Building Bricks - £14.99
Boys of this age will need a little help to build the models in the instructions but will learn and copy you and can build their own creations. They can then use there imaginations to play with the finished space center. This set is compatible with Lego and other leading brands.

2. Mega Ball - £5.99
Blake has been after one of these all year! Once inflated these balls are the size of a him and he's not a small boy.
3. Marble Run - £14.99
Boys can build up the marble run how ever they choose and then watch the marbles as they follow their track down to the bottom. Then rebuild it a different way to make the marbles take a different path.

4. Bug Viewer - £4.99
Slugs and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what boys are made of. With this bug box they can collect there own creepy crawlies to examine but it also comes with it's own plastic spider to get them started.

5. Tip Tap Art - £8.99
At this age children will start doing this activity at nursery or preschool so it will be instantly recognisable when they unwrap it. They create pictures by hammering pis through the colourful shapes on to the pin board.
And here are a few stocking stuffer ideas:

Bike Horn - £3.99 Magnetic Letters and Numbers - £6.99 Clockwork Fishing - £3.99

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Totnes Festival 2011

The Totnes Festival is cram packed with events this year, which celebrate the culture and heritage of Totnes. The festival kicked off on 2nd September and continues through to the 11th.

The festival celebrates the passion for art, dance, theatre, film, music and outdoor events that is very much present in Totnes. Venues throughout the town, including The Barrel House and Royal Seven Stars, play host various artists and art and craft workshops.

There are events for Children to enjoy too, which includes a Circus Skills Workshop, where they can practice juggling, diabolo and plate-spinning!

There is even a festival within a festival at the Bay Horse Inn which host the 6th Annual Bay Horse Beer & Cider Festival, which runs Friday 9th Sep to Sunday 11th Sep all day.

For more information regarding dates, venues and artists visit www.totnesfestival.com

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