31 October 2016

FEATURE: Christmas Stocking Fillers #2

The buying continues...

Yet more goodies to inspire your gift shopping today, with four more fun and interesting products to consider. We'll be running these gift guides on a regular basis up until Christmas, and if you purchase everything we recommend, you get to ride along with Santa on his sleigh as he delivers presents on Christmas Eve. Wow, best get buying!

Sylvanian Families Pizza Delivery Set

Part of the Food & Shop range of sets, this gift-sized pack contains a Hedgehog Father figure, a moped, and a few pizzas for him to deliver. This was the first ever Sylvanian Families set we'd ever reviewed, and actually none of us had played with the huge range of toys as kids, either. However, the product is pretty good, and the Hedgehog figure is of a really high quality.

Despite his big furry back, he sits on the moped well, and the pizzas (in their own boxes) slide into the back. This is part of a range which includes a doughnut store, a candy cart, the village shoe shop, and other delightfully twee settings.

Around £15

Go Travel Piggy Folding Pillow

You might have a long car journey planned over the Christmas break – if so, this folding travel pillow from Go Travel would be great for your young passengers. It's a piggy soft toy for most of the time, but when you need to lay your sleepy head down on something soft, just pull out the Velcro tag and it opens up. Yay!

Fortunately it doesn't smell of bacon but does provide a soft and squishy pillow that is perfect for a child's head. Actually, smelling of bacon would be a major plus for us, but the wee ones we gave it to to try thought it smelt just fine anyway. So on Christmas morning you can give them this, and then reveal you're all off on a long car trip. Then it's up to you to explain that it is to see weird Aunt Deirdre, but that's not Go Travel's fault.


Meccano Micronoid Socket

If you really want to get the kids something that will ensure you don't see them all Christmas day, you could do a lot worse than the Meccano Micronoid Socket. This is an interactive robot that kids build themselves, using Meccano parts and a big chunky pre-assembled robotic head.

Fortunately the build is pretty simple, taking us about 25 minutes to complete. After that you can set Socket (as his friends call him) into different modes such as dance, programme, and interact. In dance he'll simply jive away to any music he can hear, using a really clever method of locomotion. The only moving part is a swivel joint under the head, which turns quickly to push along the feet that are set on wheels. That is the reason the build is relatively quick and simple, but it works quite well.

With programme mode set you can use the top-side arrow buttons to code in a few movements like left, left, right, forwards, forwards, then hit the action button. Socket will then push himself around in that sequence, albeit rather unpredictably. Interactive mode is pretty fun, as you can put questions to Socket (usually having to start with “Do you...”) and he'll answer yes or no. No is more fun, as he shakes his head around. So a fun build, and plenty to do with the finished product.

Around £35

Hallmark Star Wars Itty Bittys

In A New Hope, Darth Vader was responsible for the deaths of millions of people when he destroyed Alderaan. So it's lovely to be able to cuddle up to a teeny tiny soft version of the Sith Lord thanks to Hallmark. We promised last time that every Stocking Fillers feature this year would probably feature some Star Wars merchandise, and this time they're as cute as a button.

We were sent little versions of Vader, Yoda, and Chebacca, each being no bigger than four inches and a big hit with the kids. Hallmark have recently branched out with their licensed stuff, so there are Itty Bittys from the Marvel and DC Universes, The Wizard of Oz, lots more from Star Wars, and also Christmas themed ones too.

Around £6 each

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