Alongside the main dozen Christmas 2015 toys recommended by the Toy Retailers Association in the UK & Ireland, we have a number of categories featuring notable other toys.
The Build It And They Will Thrive section features eleven toys, including six LEGO-based kits, plus a range of other construction-focused toys, many based on current and popular films/shows/characters.
- LEGO City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel
- Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle
- Friends Pop Star Tour Bus
- Jurassic World: Raptor Rampage
- Meccanoid G15 KS Personal Robot
- Mega Bloks Build-A-Minion
- Minecraft The Nether Fortress
- Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10
- Ninjago Master Wu Dragon
- Real FX Slotless Racing
- Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle
1. LEGO City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel
It’s great to see LEGO continuing to top the toy charts, even in an age of video games, tablets and Minecraft.
The LEGO City Explorers Deep Sea Exploration Vessel is certainly not a cheap piece of kit, but it does come with a huge array of items to keep kids (and adults) entertained.
As the product description explains: “A shipwreck with a cargo of gold bars has been spotted at the bottom of the ocean. Jump aboard the awesome exploration vessel and head to the scene! This LEGO City model is loaded with the latest high-tech diving equipment. Launch the remote sub and scuba scooter, and activate the winch system to lower the exploratory submarine into the water. Then climb into the shark cage and join the other divers deep below the oceans surface. Check out the amazing white shark, swordfish and octopus as you retrieve the gold bars from the sunken ship. But be carefulÉ the entire structure is unstable and might collapse at any moment! Includes 7 minifigures: 2 crew members, 4 scuba divers and a deep-sea diverIncludes 7 minifigures with assorted accessories: 2 crew members, 4 scuba divers and a deep-sea diver Features an exploration vessel, submarine with domed cockpit, remote sub, scuba scooter, shipwreck with collapse function, shark cage, seaweed, swordfish, octopus, white shark and 2 grey sharks Exploration vessel features a working winch, large wheelhouse, below-deck cabins and a lifeboat. Accessory elements include 2 mugs, walkie-talkie, binoculars, life preserver, welder, 2 boxes and 16 gold bars.”
Reviews appear to be positive, and as you know with LEGO it’s incredibly versatile. Other deep sea exploration items/kits are also available.
2. Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle
For anyone obsessed w with both LEGO and Frozen, the Disney Princess Elsa’s Sparkling Ice Castle seems like a must-have.
It includes Queen Elsa and Princess Anna mini-doll figures, plus Olaf the snowman. It features a castle with icicle tree, sleigh, secret staircase, ice cream bar, bed and an ice hill. Accessories include skis, ice skates, glittery wall elements, decorative stickers, two capes, tiara, hair bow and a carrot nose for Olaf.
Make the secret staircase appear and disappear, and prepare tasty frozen treats in the kitchen for a picnic in the snow with Olaf.
Unsurprisingly for a LEGO product, it receives generally positive and high-ranked ratings.
3. Friends Pop Star Tour Bus
LEGO goes ‘pop star’ with the Friends Pop Star Tour Bus.
The description says: “Drive with Livi the pop star on her amazing Tour Bus! The Tour Bus is a home away from home for Livi when she is on the road, and has everything a pop star needs to relax and prepare for performances. Chill out in the living area and help Livi go through her fan mail before having fun singing karaoke on the TV with her friends Stephanie and Mia. Stop the bus and reveal the rehearsal stage area for Livi to practice for tonight’s show, while her friends watch from their sun loungers under the umbrella with some drinks and snacks. Pump some tunes from the DJ decks as Livi joins them after rehearsal to get in the party mood. Then relax in the hot tub before Stephanie takes the wheel and drives Livi to the venue in time for the big show! Includes 3 mini-doll figures: Livi the pop star, Stephanie and Mia.”
The box comes with three mini-doll figures: Livi, Stephanie and Mia.
Current reviews are mainly positive.
4. Jurassic World: Raptor Rampage
The Jurassic World franchise still seems to be popular, with the addition of LEGO Jurassic World: Raptor Rampage.
The description says: “Watch out, the mobile vet unit is under attack from Blue and Charlie, two marauding raptors. Drive the powerful vehicle at top speed to evade their charges. Join Owen on the motorbike to distract the dinosaurs and lure them away with the flare. Fire the rotating rooftop shooter to repel the raptors and put them to sleep with the ACU trooper’s tranquilliser gun. Includes 3 minifigures with a weapon and assorted accessories: an ACU trooper, Owen and Claire.”
Only a few reviews currently around on this one, but they are mainly positive.
5. Meccanoid G15 KS Personal Robot
This ‘personal robot’ looks like an amazing piece of kit, but it’s not for the faint-hearted parent as its RRP is £350 (although it is being heavily discounted).
The description of the Meccano G15 Ks Toy says: “It’s easy to assemble, just use the real tools included. When you’ve built Meccanoid’s frame and have plugged in the batteries, it will use its Meccabrain to guide you through connecting its motors. As with any Meccano product, you can take the pieces apart and re-create. Rebuild Meccanoid as a dinosaur, or anything else you can dream up. With your imagination and 600 parts to play with, the possibilities are endless! : Programming your Meccanoid G15 is easy and intuitive – no special skills required! Thanks to Meccanoid’s Learned Intelligent Movement (LIM) technology, you can simply move its arms or speak to it and Meccanoid records what you are doing and repeats it back to you! With 6 motors to control its arms and feet and head, Meccanoid G15 can show off some slick moves as his large LED eyes light up with over 500 colour options! : Meccanoid’s powerful, built-in Meccabrain is the key to its programming. It contains 64 megabits of flash memory allowing it to learn movements and record sounds that play back. For interactive fun use the Motion Capture feature on the Meccanoid app which is free to download for your smart device. Place your smart device into Meccanoid, activate the Motion Capture feature and marvel as Meccanoid mirrors your every action! Or swipe the on-screen Ragdoll avatar to make Meccanoid twist, turn or move any way you want! : Meccanoid G15 is your wisecracking best friend with voice recognition and an intelligence shaped by you! It tells jokes, plays games and has over 1000 pre-programmed phrases, comments and witty comebacks. With a friend like the Meccano Meccanoid G15 Personal Robot, there’s no limit to the fun you can have!”
For the older child/teenager, this sounds like a really good project and ongoing toy which could keep them entertained for some time.
There are no obvious UK reviews at present – the US reviews are a touch mixed but verging on the positive.
6. Mega Bloks Build-A-Minion
The Mega Bloks Build-a-Minion Toy is a 15.5-inch tall Minion Kevin and includes one regular size constructible Minion Bob character figure with removable parts, like overalls, goggles, arms and feet.
It can be combined with other Mega Bloks Minions play sets and is compatible with all micro bricks.
The description reads: “It doesn’t get much bigger than this for Minions fans. Kevin, like you’ve never seen him before – large and in charge in Build-A-Minion by Mega Bloks Minions. This jumbo-sized buildable Kevin assembles to stand over a foot tall, with sections that come apart and rearrange easily, making it a snap to customize your Minion. Turn Kevin’s frown into a smile, change his height, give him a different pose, or open and close the pocket on his overalls. The set also comes with a regular size buildable Minion Bob character, so Kevin can bring his friend with him on a mission to save all of Minion-kind! Ideal for ages 5 and up.”
7. Minecraft The Nether Fortress
LEGO Minecraft The Nether Fortress includes 3 minifigures with assorted weapons and accessories: Steve, Alex and a Zombie Pigman, plus a Blaze and a Ghast. Features a Nether portal with light-up effect, 2 brick-built glow-in-the-dark glowstone elements, Fireball-shooting function, lava flow function,3 brick-built portable fires, mushroom and Nether wart elements, 2 Nether quartz brick-built ores.
8. Nerf N-Strike Modulus ECS-10
Build your own blaster with the motorized NERF N-Strike Modulus ECS-10 Blaster. Flexible blaster has more than 30 combinations. Features targeting scope, drop grip and dual-rail barrel. Blaster can launch the included darts at targets up to 90 feet away. Blaster’s banana clip holds up to 10 darts.
The description reads “Get a whole arsenal in one blaster with the motorized Modulus ECS-10 blaster! This incredibly flexible blaster has a targeting scope, drop grip and dual-rail barrel, and its many removable parts let you customize your blaster in more than 30 combinations. Load up the blaster’s 10-dart banana clip with the included darts and hit the battlefield in whatever configuration will make you the victor!”
Reviews are weighted to the favourable although build quality is a concern for some reviewers.
9. Ninjago Master Wu Dragon
The LEGO Ninjago Master Wu Dragon features an Aeroblade with stand, Ninja banner, Ninja sword decorations, 2 lantern elements and computer element with 2 flick missiles. Possessed rickshaw features a hidden Ghost disc shooter, storage for extra discs, Ghost crystal and cup elements.
Also includes a Skreemer (attachable to minifigures) with a bottle of ghost poison and Sensei Wu’s dog with a crossbow. Weapon elements include Sensei Wu’s Deepstone Staff, Soul Archer’s bow and arrow and dagger, Hackler’s Ghost Axe Blade and Ghost Katana, and Pitch’s knife
Accessory elements include Cole’s Deepstone armor, Hackler’s shield (with ghost decoration) and Pitch’s pitchfork.
Reviews are positive.
10. Real FX Slotless Racing
Real FX Slotless Racing claims to be the “next generation slotless racing which provides the most realistic driving experience in R/C cars ever created. Each car is fitted with infrared Opto sensors which read the track at 200 times per second – this artificial intelligence means a second car can drive around the track by itself and compete against you! Overtake opponents and deal with track hazards, from tyre blowouts to oil spills in this truly innovative racing system. It’s like video gaming meets slot racing, but in real life and of course with no slots!”
11. Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle
More Star Wars kit with the LEGO Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle.
The description says: “Enter the battle with Kylo Ren’s personal Command Shuttle! This fantastic, highly detailed starship has loads of features, including opening front, rear and bottom storage bays; wing-mounted, spring-loaded shooters and detachable weapon racks. And when you’re ready for even more action, activate the amazing extending wing function! It’s time to hunt down the enemy and play out your own great scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Includes 6 minifigures with assorted weapons and accessories: Kylo Ren, General Hux, First Order Officer, 2 First Order Crew and a First Order Stormtrooper Officer.”
Only a few reviews were available but they do appear to be favourable.
Now check out the main DreamToys 2015 Dozen.