Christmas is coming and there are just some things that each year become must-haves for the festive season. The Toy Retailer’s Association have come up with a dream list for 2013 and we’ve been trying a couple out.
In our family Christmas means board games – lots of board games! So in the lead up to the official opening of the games cupboard we’ve been playing the new Monopoly Brand edition.
It’s like a supercharged version of the original with all the great bits you love and some fab added extras. We played with my mum and dad which is always a gamble as dad is possibly the most competitive man I know. I say man because I happen to be the most competitive woman I now!
Monopoly is a game to get you thinking and making decisions. It’s time less and this one is no exception. It’s the classic fast-trading property game with a brand new twist! Initially mum and dad were a little dubious as this is new full-throttle consumerism with no go to jail card! Every time you pass GO, you collect the current value of your tower, so every brand you buy makes you richer!
I soon became a little obsessed with getting richer and richer – I was capitalism at its finest. We were all really engrossed and there was something extra special about recognising all those iconic brands and taking control.
Game Includes: game board, 4 Towers, 6 Tokens, 30 Billboard Tiles, 6 Office Tiles, 14 Chance Cards, 14 Empire Cards, Money Pack, 2 Dice and Game Guide
This game yes is all about today’s brands like McDonald’s, Coke, Hasbro. The game also is so much shorter than a regular game and felt fast-paced. Sometimes I found the original game a little boring and it went on for hours. To win all you have to do buy up the little tiles (properties) to fill up your tower. No cards to collect, just buy the tiles and and fill your tower.
Just like the classic Monopoly you roll the dice and go around the board game. There is no trading of pieces either but there are Monopoly and chance cards you can pick up and that allows you take tiles away from other players.
It’s a much more family-friendly version because the games are shorter and while Arthur at two-and-a-half is much too young, I would say it’s suitable for eight-year-olds.We got a bit confused while we were finding our feet but once we got in the swing it was a great game and I genuinely enjoyed it.
I’ll definitely be bringing it out again over Christmas – it will be taking pride of place in the games cupboard!
Introducing… Robo Fish
Robo Fish is another toy from the Toy Retailer’s Association ‘Dream Toys’ list for 2013. You can find the full list of Dream Toys here at Argos.
When we go to our local garden centre Arthur is obsessed with watching the fish in the pet section – he’s literally mesmerised. I’m not a huge fish lover – they’re not exactly thrilling are they?! So it was great to get a Robo Fish toy to play with, a perfect alternative to a real fish and no tank to clean!
These little intelligent techno toys are amazing. They replicate the natural movement of fish and as soon as we put it in the water Arthur thought it was fab.
He did take it in and out of the water quite a bit (good job it wasn’t real) but soon realised that it only worked once immersed. It’s so simple, you just fill the bowl and pop the fish in. I must admit I was pretty impressed with it and the three of us sat and watched it for quite a while – in a slightly hypnotic state!.
Our Robo Fish, named ‘poo poo’ by Arthur, came complete with batteries (plus spares) so he was really simple to set up. As a parent that ticks a big box and means you’re not scrabbling around hunting for batteries.There is no on button or remote control, it just has these rather clever sensors, so when put in water he reacts and swims, when he is taken out of water and dries off he stops moving.
It’s a really simple concept with great technology and enough to grab the attention of a toddler – plus it’s much easier than a real fish and the cats didn’t eat it!
*This post is in association with Argos