Wednesday, 4 December 2013

12 Days of Christmas Ultimate Wishlist

Hi all,

This has probably been one of the most fun posts I’ve ever had to write! As you should hopefully be aware, we are now in December so that means IT’S TIME TO GET CHRISTMASSY! And to celebrate, here is me with my Christmas hat on.

I am going to do a longer post on my thoughts about Christmas (deep and emotional and all that), but for the moment I am cutting to the chase. Imagine this:

It’s the 12 days of Christmas. You suddenly won the lottery but realise you are a child again (or a Man-Child), and can buy 12 gifts for you (and/or your children). What would you get?

This excites me. I love window shopping online. Bert will be a bit young to fully understand Christmas and present opening this year, but I am mega excited for when he is a bit older and he has a wrapped up box bigger than he is, I can’t wait to see his face! I know there is a lot more to Christmas than presents, but for now I am going to let my imagination run away with itself!

So here we go, if money was no object and I could choose 12 gifts for myself, ahem sorry I meant for Bert, what would I choose? What’s on my 12 days of Christmas Ultimate Wish List?

DISCLAIMER! I haven’t had any contact with any companies who make these gifts below, I have picked them purely because I think they are awesome, and nobody has sent me a ‘review’ copy to say so. Neither have I had any contact with Amazon, I just do all my shopping there!

1. Scalextric Digital C1276 Platinum 1:32 Scale Race Set

Scalextric is amazing. No doubt about that, I have loads of memories of when I was a little one whizzing the cars around, it flying off the corner at high speed and shattering on the wall. And as money is no object I have opted for this set directly from Scalextric at £549.99. I had a set when I was little that was basically a figure of eight that we brought a few extra pieces for and I was more than happy with that. I think that’s where my love of motor-racing started really! I am hoping Bert will be just as into it as I am.

This set is like the King of Scalextric sets, as there are so many types these days. It has 6 cars on the track AT ONCE, a timing screen for all your laps, and 8.5 metres of track including a bridge and changeover pieces. It basically looks flipping amazing.

We have an old Scalextric set in our loft when we moved in to our house that I haven’t got around to getting down and checking out yet. When I do I am sure Bert and I will have just as much fun as I did when I was a boy.

2. IGGI Space Rail Perpetual Rollercoaster Glow in The Dark Level 4

I was always interested in toys I could build and use my imagination with when I was young, and so mix that with another boyhood staple, marbles, and you get a marble run. I am not sure whether I had a whole set when I was young, but I feel like I’ve always wanted one.

This set is currently priced at £28.99 from Amazon, which I think is a mega-bargain. It’s absolutely massive and glows in the dark! Most marble runs are bright simple colours, so I like the stealth look this one brings, not to mention all the loops and twists. To make it better it has a battery operated lift for the balls. This is for intermediate users but I wouldn’t worry about that having never put one up, I wouldn’t need the instruction manual. That’s half the fun experimenting! How hard could it be?

3. Melissa & Doug - Folding Medieval Castle

Back to using imagination, I am a huge fan of everything fantasy, so stuff like dragons, castles, knights and magic tick all the boxes for me. I am super excited about playing knights and dragons with Bert when he is older, and so this wooden castle set looks ideal and I really like the look of all Melissa & Doug wooden stuff. I would have to buy all the separate toys to go in it, but there are loads around. It’s currently priced at £50.39 from Amazon.

I remember having a wooden fort and playing cowboys and Indians with it when I was little, and it was fantastic fun. This castle folds out so you can play in the middle, includes towers, balconies, a trap door and a working drawbridge. It even has a dungeon! It is wooden though, so I wouldn’t play with it with a real dragon, laying siege etc, it is likely to burn down.

4. Star Wars Anakin to Vader Color Change Lightsaber

Got to have a Star Wars toy at Christmas! I always wanted a lightsaber (preferably a real one but this will do). The ones around when I were little were just plastic extendable ones. Now they light up! It’s priced at £29.99 from Amazon. Ideally I’d want two so I could have lightsaber battles with Bert. I’ll be Dad Vader and he can be Albie-Wan Kenobi.

5. Revellutions 1:18 Mantis RC Buggy (Blue)

I always wanted a really awesome remote control car as a boy. Now I have a real car the urge isn’t quite the same, but it’s still there. There was a real craze when I was growing up of increasingly elaborate remote control cars, they all had their own gimmicks. Ones that went upside down, jumping ones, even one that had a snake’s head that popped up and squirted water! There doesn’t seem to be AS much of a choice these days, but this one by Revell looks ace. The car on Amazon is priced at £39.99.

I don’t think I want gimmicks when I can just have a fast one that steers well. Set up a race track in the garden?

6. Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Power Edition Quadricopter

While we are on the subject of remote control vehicles, flying ones are new to me. There were only kites and petrol helicopters when I was little. This quadricopter looks fantastic from Parrot. It's priced at £319.99 from Amazon and looks great fun, like something from Call of Duty. What does it do? What doesn’t it do is more the question.

You can fly it outside or inside, and it’s controlled by Wi-Fi, has an autopilot to take off and land for you, is controlled by a phone or tablet, and it even has 4 different colours of propeller. By far my most favourite bit is that it has a hi-def camera in it you can stream to your phone to take videos and photos on! Excellent for surveillance on the cat.

7. LEGO Mindstorms 31313: EV3

I’ve always loved Lego, and have so many memories of building all sorts of things with my family, not just at Christmas, but all year round. Bert is going to be a Lego veteran before long! As much as I love the Lego sets, and there are so many of them around now, I always just liked getting all the bits and seeing what I could build. I used it with all my other toys as well, bridges for Scalextrix, chairs for action man, all sorts.

Lego has evolved quite a bit in the last 20 years. This is a Lego Mindstorm set, priced currently at £224.99 from Amazon. It is totally badass, and so far removed from Lego as I remember it, it almost seems a different product. That doesn’t stop me wanting to get my hands on it though!

You can build all sorts of robots and control them using your phone. It comes with a built in computer and motors and all sorts of awesomeness that you can program into it. The cat will love this one, Bert even more. Again, ideally I’d like two so they could battle together, but it looks super awesome.

8. LEGO Technic 42000: Grand Prix Racer

More grown up Lego, from the Technic range. I remember my brother having Technic when we were little (he was older than me). It seemed like Lego but with more intricate pieces. And it's the same here, a Formula 1 Car priced at £62.99 from Amazon.

Combining 2 of my favourite things, Lego and Formula 1. If it could make sandwiches it would be the perfect toy. It has all sorts of detailed parts with moving pistons and adjustable flaps. You can even motorise it if you buy the extra parts. I think I would need the instructions for this, it would keep me busy for a fair few hours. zoooooOOOOOOOOOOooooommmmm!

9. Toy Story Talking Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger, Pixar Toy Story Collection

Wow. I always wanted a Buzz Lightyear. And this is the Buzz Lightyear toy all the other toys want to be. Toy Story is one of my favourite films, so this Buzz makes that come alive for me. It’s the priciest model at £67 from Amazon, but easily the best. I hope Bert loves Toy Story when he is old enough to watch it, I’m sure he will. I want to get him versions of all the toys so he can recreate all the scenes from the films and more!

It has 65 Buzz sayings. It does all the things Buzz does, retractable helmet, wings with WHOOSH sounds, fully posable. It HAS LASERS (not really, it’s a little flashing light that blinks). It has all sorts of interactive modes where it talks back to you and moves it’s head. It’s basically like Buzz is real and in your house. WARNING. He doesn’t fly, he falls with style.

10. Hasbro NERF - N-Strike Vulcan 25264, Havok Fire EBF-25

I’ve been getting into NERF recently. I have a few little ones, but this is like the Daddy of all Nerf guns. Priced at around £70 at the moment, it’s mostly automatic with a bullet belt that means you shoot all the darts pretty quickly and a tripod so you don’t have to carry it (it’s pretty big). With this and the quadricopter, me and Albert will have a fort under the table sorted out in no time.

11. K'nex Sonic Blizzard Roller Coaster Model Building Set With Speakers Over 1,100 Pieces

Time for Knex! I used to have a little yellow box with a Knex set in that I used to play with ALL the time. I made so many things out of it, it was like Lego but bigger. I played with it with all my other toys, it was brilliant. Last year my Mother-in-Law brought an old Knex rollercoaster from a car boot to take to her school for the children. Obviously I jumped at the chance of putting it together first (to make sure it was working of course) and spent a few very happy hours building it, it’s just as much fun as I remember.

The classic Knex set was always the Ferris Wheel, but now they have a new rollercoaster, the Sonic Blizzard currently priced at around £58.99 from Amazon and it has over 1100 pieces. It looks huge and has loads of twists and turns. Definitely in need of instructions, I would love to put this together with Bert. It’s educational as well, as you learn about structures and architecture and weight loads and all sorts. What I really like about this is that it has battery powered speakers you can plug your iPod into. Why? I don’t know, but I like it!

12. Sony Playstation 4

Oh yeah! The big one. I think this is the one thing I may actually be getting soon (for Bert obviously), hopefully it will be reduced from its current £350 (again from Amazon) price tag soon as I don’t have £350 lying about unfortunately. I grew up with video games, and have loads of memories playing them with my dad, so it’s always been a big part of my life and was a bonding process between us. I would dearly love to spend the same time playing with Bert together and teaching him how to play. I’ve always had a console all the way back to the Spectrum, and always preferred Playstations. I can’t wait to get the new one as it looks amazing!

And that’s it for my 12 days of Christmas gifts! Or is it?... As it’s Christmas, there is always time for a surprise present!


A bargain at £2,649, it’s a wooden garden Pirate ship for Bert! It could go in our garden. It does everything but actually sail in the water!

Sold by All Garden Fun, it’s 12 foot long. It has a picnic table and benches with it, climbing ramp, rock face climbing wall, pirate flag, steering wheel and slide. It even has a telescope. LAND AHOY!!

That’s definitely it for my 12 Days of Christmas Ultimate Wishlist. If you could have 12 gifts, money no object, what would you have? What were your favourite toys growing up?

Not long to go now, woohoo!

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