Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Buzz on Skylee

My Pretend Lawyer Made Me Write This: This is not a sponsored post.  However, I did receive a Skylee for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

When I Love Robots.com offered me a chance to review Skylee, I jumped on the chance. I'd first had the opportunity to meet Skylee at the Clever Girls Collective brunch while at BlogHer this year and knew Skylee was something in which my daughter would be interested.

Official Product Description:
Meet SKYLEE, a chatty, interactive toy dragon for kids! This very friendly dragon comes with a very special surprise: an egg that holds a tiny fuzzy dragon baby named Bebe that loves to squeak and play with Skylee all day long!

Skylee flaps her beautiful dragon wings in response to a child's touch and responds with words of excitement to a child's greeting.

Skylee flaps her dragon wings in response to a child’s touch and responds with words of excitement to a child’s greeting.
My take?

Skylee was an immediate hit, as I had suspected.  And the little "bebe" that comes in an egg, which rolls out of Skylee's tummy?  The icing on the robotic cake.  Both kids giggled a storm over that one, then proceeded to stuff the egg back in, so they could make it come out again. Rinse, repeat.

You'd think this would be a girl's toy, but my 6 year old son loves it, too.  It's also a tough, good-quality toy -- we've had it for several months now.  It's seen plenty of play hours and the batteries are still going strong.  I do wish it was a little softer and snugglier, but that's just me.  The kids don't really seem to mind.

Anjali's favorite thing to do is to dance with her dragon:

Anjali and Skylee from Kelli Oliver George on Vimeo.

Also, she has renamed the dragon.  I hope Lady Gaga is flattered.  Ahem.

The Buzz on Mechatars

My Pretend Lawyer Made Me Write This: This is not a sponsored post.  However, I did receive a Mechatar for review purposes.  All opinions are my own.

Awhile back, I Love Robots.com offered me an opportunity to review a Mechatar and I said "Sure!"  As I seem to have a robot loving little boy in my possession, this seemed like a wise choice.

Official Product Description:

Mechatars are fast remote control robots that battle in the real world and connect to a FREE-TO-PLAY online game at www.Mechatars.com! You can customise your personal Mechatar and download new missions; complete each mission and earn new skills to level up then connect to take the battle online. Very quickly each robot becomes unique to its owner.

My Take?
The setup was quite easy -- we pulled it out of the packaging and immediately, my 6 year old son was able to use the remote to get his Mechatar rolling around.  As a parent,  I LOVE the huge, rolling leg/wheels (i.e. the legs do a complete rotation, which is not obvious from the photo) -- they have a soft rubber on them that grips our hardwood floor, but doesn't scratch it. Furthermore, the legs are very sturdy and since they are large, they give the Mechatar a sort of "agility" that ensures the robot doesn't get stuck.  The Mechatar works equally well inside and outside -- even from our driveway and through the grass!

Unfortunately, I was not able to completely review the training and battle portion of the Mechatar.  My 6 year old was just a little too young to navigate the website by himself. Additionally, we don't have a friend with a Mechatar.  I did play around with the setup and it was very easy to navigate.  And importantly, I did not see any questionable content or security issues that concerned me.  When my son gets a little older, I would have no problems with letting him play on this website unattended.  And considering how durable this toy is, I see no reason why he won't still have a working Mechatar in a few years.

Overall, I think a Mechatar would be a perfect gift for a boy aged 8 or above!

The Buzz on The Coffeetalk Game

My Pretend Lawyer Made Me Write This: I have not been compensated for this post but I was given a free copy of this game for review purposes. All opinions are mine alone. You can't have them.

I have written a couple of times how much I love to play games -- boardgames, videogames, card games.  Just a few times.  Maybe once or twice.

Since I am always on the hunt for new and unusual games, I jumped on the chance to review The Coffeetalk Game when it was offered to me while at BlogHer this year.  Awhile back, I hosted my canasta group and when we were done with cards, I brought this game out to get a feel for their thoughts.  Later, I hosted another event with my group of gals who form our periodic Game Night Group.  If there ever was a focus group for boardgames, these ladies should be in it.

First impression?  The packaging is quite clever -- the playing pieces are fake coffee beans, the trump cards are creamer and sugar "packets" and the playing cards are in the shape of disposable coffee cups.  Of course, the pièce de résistance was that it all came in a bag that was JUST like the ones in which you buy your coffee beans.

Second impression?  The beans (i.e. playing pieces) did not exactly fit on their space and that bugged more than a few of us Type A Personalities (including yours truly).  Also, many of my friends are in marketing and felt the marketing copy was a little too cutesy using taglines such as "A latte of fun!".  Me?  I am not in marketing and like cheesy copy.

However, how did this all stack up when we actually played the game?  We figured out the gist of the game quite quickly but we did struggle with the purpose of the trump cards (turns out sugar packets are played when you want an answer pushed through and creamer packets are played when you don't like the topic card that is pulled and want to redraw).  Once we figured the trump cards out, we got to playing.  And....

It was really fun!  I like that "anything goes" -- a topic card is thrown out, the sand hourglass is flipped over and then we scribble down anything that we think might be related to the topic card.  It reminded me of word association exercises and I liked that we weren't limited to a certain letter of the alphabet.  It was entertaining to see the twisted mental paths some of us went down once we got going.

We played a few rounds and they went really, really quickly.

In conclusion?  This reasonably priced game would make a nice gift  -- for a coffee lover, for a game lover.  This would make a perfect gift for someone who loves games and is strung out on caffeine.