Category Archives: Toys

Edtoy Magnamobiles

In my recent post about Play Merrily Toys, I mentioned that we had been given two Edtoy Magnamobile vehicles to review.  We received the police car and the fire engine, and the range includes an ambulance, a bulldozer, a helicopter and several more vehicles.  They are made from wooden pieces which fit together with rotating magnets, so they can be combined in a variety of ways and the pieces will not repel each other.

edtoy magnamobiles 1

Tiddler and Rabbit decided straight away that they should have one each – the fire truck for Tiddler and the police car for Rabbit – but they did manage to share with the big boys who were keen to try them out too.  They were perfect for my children as they are suitable for age three upwards, and with supervision I would say that younger children would enjoy them too.

edtoy magnamobiles 2

We started off by playing with them on the dining room table so that the children could focus on the new toys first, because I knew that as soon as we took them into the playrooom lots of other toys would be added to the game.  They went to get the Budkins fireman and policeman straight away though.  We discovered that the ladder of the fire engine does not stand up well enough to hold the fireman.  You can make it stand up straight but it’s a bit wobbly.  Daddy thinks he can fix it, but in fact the children didn’t really mind and have played with it quite happily as it is.

edtoy magnamobiles 3

All the children enjoyed taking the vehicles apart and rebuilding them.  It was easy for the big three, and Tiddler only needed a very little help from Owl.

edtoy magnamobiles 4

Next, we moved into the playroom as Monkey wanted to build a city.  He discovered that the boxes the Edtoy vehicles came in made good buildings and he added his Lego minifigure house too.  With some Tomica road and a few other vehicles, they made a play scene which kept them all occupied for a long time.  It should have been bedtime but they were all playing so nicely that we let them carry on!

edtoy magnamobiles 5

While Tiddler was occupied playing with some of his other cars, Rabbit had a good chance to play with the Edtoy vehicles without interruption, and she took them apart and rebuilt them several times.

edtoy magnamobiles 6

The vehicles cost £17.95 each and I think that is good value because they have lots of play potential as construction toys, as well as vehicles, and they are very good quality.  They also appeal to a wide range of ages, probably from about 18 months upwards.  Owl is nine and he enjoyed building them, so if they were bought for a young toddler you could expect to get years of play out of them.

We were sent two Edtoy Magnamobiles by Play Merrily Toys for the purpose of this review.

Play Merrily Toys

A few days ago, I wrote a post about the Keepsake Teddy we have recently ordered, and I said I would write about some of the other small businesses we love.  So this is the second one, and it is our favourite online toy shop.  Play Merrily is a family run business which sells excellent quality toys, and the customer service is exceptional.  Everything we have ordered has always arrived very quickly, and if there are any problems with the order they are dealt with efficiently.

We have many Play Merrily toys in our house.  We love our doll’s house, which was a very special present for Rabbit last Christmas.  This year she is hoping for a Ruben’s Barn doll – Monkey already has one and she doesn’t want to be left out.  All our children enjoy playing with toy food, and we can never resist adding to our collection of wooden and soft play food. There are so many wonderful things to choose from, we always find it difficult to decide what to order.

I had already planned to write this post when the lovely Merry (of the Merrily empire) offered us the chance to review some Edtoy magnetic vehicles.  A full review will follow, but here is a sneak preview.  We were sent the police car and the fire engine, and Rabbit and Tiddler quickly decided they should have one each.  Luckily, they agreed to share and all four children enjoyed playing with them for a long time at bedtime on the day they arrived.  It was one of those situations where they were playing so nicely that we let them stay up quite a lot later than we intended!

edtoy vehicles

So if you are looking for good quality toys this Christmas, and would like to keep your money out of the hands of the big companies, Play Merrily would be a great place to start.

Next up in our small-businesses-we-love series, a great place to buy books for little ones online.   Watch this space!

Handmade Keepsake Teddy

I have been planning to write a series of blog posts about some lovely small family-run businesses because I try, where possible, to avoid handing over our hard-earned money to big companies with dubious moral and ethical standing.  I’m going to start with this one which has been on my list for ages.  I should have written it earlier, as it’s probably cutting it fine for handmade items to be ready for Christmas, but it is so special that you might not need Christmas as an excuse!

I’ve given away a lot of baby clothes, but it’s hard to part with my favourite ones that evoke so many treasured memories, so they inevitably end up in the loft not serving any purpose.  I was really excited when I discovered Handmade at Holmes, a small business run by a lovely mum.  She makes keepsake dolls and teddies, and I chose some of Rabbit’s baby clothes to send to her.

baby clothes

I was very pleased with the results and I’m really looking forward to giving Rabbit her new teddy for Christmas, as I am sure she will love it.

keepsake teddy

I think it’s the perfect present for little ones – and it ticks all my boxes for clearing out the clutter in my loft, recycling, and supporting an independent business.  Have a look at the Handmade at Holmes facebook page and you can see some other examples.  You can also get little advent stockings to fill with treats – I’m very tempted!

So that’s the first family-run business I want to recommend to you.  Next on my list is my favourite online independent toy retailer which is equally brilliant!