Monday 30 June 2014

"Heroes in a half shell, Turtle power"

The End.

Despite being huge LEGO fans the Turtle Sub Undersea chase, is the first of the TMNT themed LEGO we have owned, surprising really as the Turtles were something i was in to back when i was a child. This is a great kit with some really interesting pieces, which is something that really interests me as a custom builder. The minifigures are really interesting and the boys loved the detachable shells. As the kit doesn't come with all four turtles, we went out and bought Kraang Lab Escape and Mutation Chamber Unleashed just so we had the whole team. While buying the two kits i also noticed the TMNT Juniors easy to build kit, we recently bought the Junior Batman kit and i think they are great for getting younger builders into the magic of LEGO. There's plenty of choice in the LEGO TMNT range.

The Turtle Sub is great for roleplaying and is quite a large sturdy vehicle which fits all four turtles and other minifigures. As you would expect from LEGO the kit is really well thought out with moving fins as you push it along, rockets and a baddie ship to chase, Everything you need for underwater Turtle adventures.

"The most important thing in the world is family and love."

Saturday felt like a little bit of a wasted day. Mrs M was working for a few hours and the weather was awful so me and the little super hero spent the day in apart from a trip to the game shop to trade in some unwanted games for newbies. Yesterday really made up for it though, the sun was out and everywhere looked cheerful again. We didn't have any plans so we spent the first couple of hours of the morning trying to decide what to do. eventually we decided and packed a picnic and headed to Attingham park. We took a stroll towards the house on the grounds and it was really peaceful, I love walking around holding Mrs M's hand, we don't seem to get to do it very often and it always feels quite romantic.

 Our game of hide and seek in the garden was made a little easier by the big red super Mario hat that Opeie was insisting on wearing all morning. He was looking rather cute though.

After eating our grub and spending some time in the walled garden we jumped back in the car and took a slow drive towards Mrs M's parents house. Opeie was feeling exhausted so it was a great opportunity to get him down for a nap so that he was full of energy for all of those kisses he was going to get off nanny.

After a cup if tea, racing some toy cars and a game of Bigjigs skittles with Nanny and Grandad we all jumped in the car and drove to Auntie Lottie's house...

Opeie was so excited that he got to have a ride around on one of uncle Aaron's vintage tractors and i even got to drive it around the garden too which was lots of fun. The weather was so lovely all afternoon and being around the people we love the most made for a pretty perfect Sunday afternoon.

Saturday 28 June 2014

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I've written about it many times before but I think that many parents seriously underestimate their children and the amount of information they take in at a young age. Opeie literally blows us away most days with the things he comes out with and his infectious playful personality. I think it's all because we really take the time to listen to or translate what he is actually saying rather than just dismissing it as jibberish (like many parents would).

We were asked by a friend of Mrs M's if we would review a book for her and it was Opeie's big old brain that has been the motivation for the start of the post. When the book arrived I placed it on the sofa ready to read at bed time that evening but as we sat  on the sofa that afternoon Opeie opened the book to look at the pictures and then started reading (or though it seemed). "We don't eat cows, we don't eat sheep, we don't eat pigs and we don't eat chickens" he happily read to himself. What blew our mind was that we hadn't told him what the book was about. 

The book in question was 'we're vegan' by Anna Bean. An introduction into veganism for young children. Ever thought that Vegans were just crazy people that only eat lettuce leaves? It seems to be the most cliche opinion of most people eating a western diet. This book makes it a little more clear and I love that it is aimed at young children. If you eat a plant based diet as a family then it is important to educate your children and this book is a great first step.

With simple colourful illustrations it's really appealing to children and when we did read it to Opeie he really enjoyed it. For me the one thing that let it down was that it concentrated on veganism from an animal advocacy point of view and I think there should have been a mention of other reasons, health, sustainability etc. Personally you can't beat rhyming books when it comes to younger readers especially when it's a serious message, hearing it in rhyme seems to help the information stick (its why I'm such a huge Dr. Seuss fan). I'm not sure if Opeie's some sort it literacy genius or maybe it was just coincidence but Opeie's message was clear and although he has only just turned three he seemed very passionate about it.

It was lucky we were practicing his writing that afternoon, because When asked 'why?' We don't eat cows, sheep, pigs and chicken I used Opeie's very intelligent and heart warming response as his writing exercise...

I'm so proud of that little boy of ours.   

Monday 23 June 2014

"Uh-oh. Toxic levels are off the charts. We're talking class 1 sludge: Fatal if swallowed, poisonous if inhaled, corrosive to the eyes and extremely hazardous to skin"

New LEGO!!!! It's one of the few things that will never lose its appeal! The great thing about LEGO is the way they reinvent themselves, they are continuously releasing new themes and products. It seems like the LEGO movie is still fresh in peoples minds especially with the release of the DVD. Since it made its way onto the big screen there has been some new Themed ranges, the Simpsons characters have made their way to the LEGO world, Guardians of the galaxy movie kits have ended up in the boys room and yet they have still managed to design and release a completely new concept.

I spotted LEGO Ultra Agents in the shops a few weeks back and as with all kits i was firstly dragged in by the minifigures. Seth is a big James bond fan so this range was always going to be on his wish list. Secret agents and a great selection of villains throughout the six kits, whats not to like. To kick start our collection, Ultra Agents Riverside raid. What i love about the smaller LEGO kits is they are pocket money prices and great for a gift without going all out. A goodie, a baddie, a vehicle and something to knock over, all you need to start making up your own LEGO scenario's.

Opeie was desperate to open the box when it arrived so as the weather was lush we took it outside to build. As with all kits built Opeie is the Minifigure builder, So Agent Max Burns and Adam Acid was his job to build. Its great how the range has a back story and it seems that all the bad guys names are based around harmful disasters. Opeie loved the green toxic coloured face, i think the look oozed 'proper baddie'.

The first part of the build is a boat for your Ultra Agent to get around on. One of the things i love most about the newer kits coming out are the weapons on vehicles. When playing with the boys and having battles the new stud shooter blasters (like below) and the spring action darts that have been on the new Marvel kits have made roleplaying with our LEGO so much more fun and the boys find them a lot easier to use than the flick darts.

 The second part of the build is a wheeled base meaning the vehicle when playing can be used on land and in the water which is great as Seth is a stickler for the rules. I like to pretend that vehicles can go on any terrain but not Seth, if its a boat it stays in the water, but give it wheels and you add a little more fun to the game.

 The greatest thing about Lego is the versatility during play, being able to swap and change the design of your creation is such a big thing. Plus each Theme works perfectly side by side. What other toy range could have Abraham Lincoln kidnapped by new super villian Adam Acid?

Only to be rescued by an unexpected super team of Spider-man, Santa, Spongebob and William Shakespear, Only in the LEGO world.

To top of this great kit there is a supporting App than can be downloaded for free, a moving interactive comic with in story games to entertain you when you're not physically building. Its a perfect way to find out more information about the characters and the back stories behind each kit. The technology side of things shows just how far this classic and timeless toy has come and Opeie had lots of fun playing the game and then acted out the story by himself.

The other five kits available from the range as expected are fantastic with the Ultra Agents mission HQ being the set Seth keeps looking at. Opeie has informed me that he likes Toxikita's Toxic Meltdown (or the 'green lady baddie set'). 

Agent Max Burns protected the civilians today and Astor city is safe once more.

Bad guys lose again!!