LEGO Duplo Batman Adventure, featuring Wonder Woman and Superman

One of the best things about Wonder Woman featuring in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – as well as finally the character finally making it to the big screen and having her own movie on the way – is the influx of Wonder Woman merchandise on the shelves.

The latest example arrived on our doorstep the other day. Superhero Duplo is relatively new to the brand, the LEGO line designed specifically for young children – typically 1½ to 5 years.

For some reason this set is called Batman Adventure, despite the fact that as well as the aforementioned Wonder Woman, and the caped crusader, it also features Superman – the third part of the Justice League trinity brought together in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.

What instantly drew me to this set was the inclusion of Wonder Woman, and she is probably the best served character of the set. While Batman has a basic Batboat, and Superman no vehicle at all, Wonder Woman comes with a pretty cool bike. The dudes have individual cloth capes though.

The scenario of the set is a wonderfully whimsical one – a cat’s in distress on the Gotham City river, and our trio of heroes have to save it from its makeshift raft around a working bascule bridge.

While my daughter at age 4 is getting towards the tail end of Duplo’s suggested age, she loves the study large sized bricks. Having access to these characters in Duplo form is another great way for her to indulge in imaginative play with these heroes. While I have always encouraged her to engage with Wonder Woman, my daughter is also a big fan of Batman and Superman too.

The character design is in keeping with the existing Duplo style, and thankfully at odds with the seriousness displayed in Batman V Superman. In this set, the trinity of heroes that form the Justice League really look like Super Friends.

Lego Duplo Justice League trio compared to Movie Justice League, Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman
Why so serious? The happy Duplo Super Friends are at odds with the deathly earnest look of the movie Justice League trio.

The beauty of Duplo set is that my daughter can follow the simple printed instructions herself without my help, an important aspect of development. There is of course the free play and imaginative aspects that follow.

This is a fun set, and perfect for young superhero fans or any little kids you want to introduce these iconic characters to.

Lego Duplo Wonder Woman on bike


Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice ©2016 WARNER BROS. ENT. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Disclosure: We were provided with this set for the purposes of this review

Family Fever

Our Star Wars Cartoon Family Portrait

We had a lovely surprise gift during a recent holiday to New Zealand – this great Star Wars inspired cartoon family portrait.

Our cousin Vaitoa (the family tree connection is more complex than that but cousin is fine) is a commercial artist, and while as far as I know not particularly a Star Wars fan himself, he knew of my love of the galaxy far, far away… and how I’m sharing it with my daughter.

He browsed our Facebook photos for reference – the one here is just to show you what we all look like normally – and then created our likenesses for this picture.

We first saw it when he gifted us with a framed print, while he and his awesome family came round to see us for an all too fleeting visit while we were in New Zealand (where my wife is from and we lived together for 4 years).

We love this picture, and now back in the UK we proudly have it hanging in our home.

Cartoon Jedi Family
Mummy, daddy, and youngling

What’s happening in this illustration? Well, Jedi are not allowed to have relationships, so I reckon my wife and I look like a couple of Jedi Knights who fell in love and decided to leave the Jedi Order to be together. We then had a child, and we are bringing up our youngling to learn the ways of the force. And we look very happy about it.

My wife – also not particularity a Star Wars fan – is stoked to have this portrait of us.

The point of the post is to share something we think is really cool, but it would be remiss of me not to pay it forward and promote my cousin’s services. So, if you want your own version, drop our cousin Vaitoa a line at Tell him cuzzy Simon sent you, and said you’d give a good rate 😉

In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic

For as long as I’ve been blogging about being a parent raising a daughter in the shadow of princess culture, I’ve had online feedback suggesting I check out the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic cartoon (aka MLP:FiM).

At first, I ignored them. What were they thinking? These people clearly didn’t understand I wanted to show my daughter content with themes of female empowerment and self-confidence; to find stories and characters that didn’t patronise young girls; that had imaginative female led tales of action and adventure yet with stimulating and thought provoking scenarios. My Little Pony was surely part of the problem – not the solution. Continue reading In My Little Pony, Feminism as well as Friendship is Magic

Review: Custom LEGO Figures From

One of the things I loved to do as a LEGO loving kid, in the days before their licensed lines, was to create sets from my favourite stories. Star Wars was unsurprisingly a favourite one to explore.

A company still doing this in their own way is They create custom minifigures – with designs printed on new LEGO parts – based on a whole host of properties that LEGO haven’t – and in most cases probably will never have – made sets from.

They offered to send me a selection of their minifigures to check out, and I requested sets with female characters (as I’m always keen for my daughter to have more of those in our collection).

They arrived in nice packaging – both the individual figures and the parcel itself. Custom LEGO

First we opened the X-Files set with Sculder and Mully (geddit?), which are a pretty good LEGO likeness for the iconic FBI agents.

They also have a Star Trek line, with Kirk, Spock, Scotty, Sulu, and a generic Red Shirt. The female figure is Lt. Dax from Deep Space Nine (which was one of my favourite Star Trek shows).

But my favourite one was based not on a film or TV show but a real life adventurer – aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. Named Amelia Brickhart here, the detail on her is great with the helmet, goggles, flying jacket – and even a map.

Amelia Earhart LEGO minifigure
My favourite – an Amelia Earhart LEGO minifigure (named Amelia Brickheart)

They have dozens of other figures on offer based on properties and figures as diverse as Barack Obama to The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and E.T. 

These minifigures aren’t cheap, retailing from £9.95 each. They are more for the adult collector than LEGO loving child, but I love their creativity in keeping this aspect of imaginative LEGO play alive. And as collectables, some of their minifigures also end up selling on for more than face value.

Check out the range at


Disclosure: We were sent these minifigures free charge for the purposes of this review. 

LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of companies which does not sponsor, authorise or endorse products.

Comic Book Movies For Kids? Check Out the LEGO DC Superheroes Collection

I was a superhero loving child, who grew up watching the likes of Superman on the big screen and Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk at home on TV. One of the biggest shames about the current renaissance in live action comic book adaptations is that they’re made for teenagers and adults – and the children who I think should be the prime audience shouldn’t be watching (ahem) the best of Marvel and DC on film or TV.

I’ve written about this before. It particularly bugs me because I really want to share my love of these characters with my 4-year-old daughter.

Cartoons are a good alternative, and a recent discovery were the animated LEGO DC Superheroes movies. I must admit, I had pretty much ignored these straight-to-video releases. But I was offered the chance to check out the series of three Justice League movies, including the latest instalment LEGO DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Clash. The previous ones are Attack of the Legion of Doom, and Justice League vs Bizzaro League.

LEGO DC’s Justice League- Cosmic Clash
The JLA as featured in ‘LEGO DC’s Justice League: Cosmic Clash

I was happily surprised by them. The quality of the animation is really good, far better than I expected from a home entertainment only release. Having recently had the misfortune to see one of the Barbie straight-to-video movies (ugh), the quality of animation – as well as everything else – is so much better.

These are light comedies, that poke a little fun at the characters (much like the LEGO Movie did). The characterisations are fun – for the most part. Superman is a naive and giddy do-gooder; Batman is constantly suspicious; Green Lantern tends to be full of himself; and Cyborg is an enthusiastic youth.

LEGO DC Superheroes JLA
It’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice – LEGO DC Superheroes style

But what of the female characters? Wonder Woman is a founding member of the Justice League and features prominently in all three films. While her character in the first one has an annoying tendency to make fashionista comments, she soon becomes the strong and respected hero she deserves to be.

Wonder Woman is even worshipped as a deity at one point by an all-female civilisation. In Justice League vs. Bizarro League, her ‘bizzarro’ version (Bizzara), who is supposed to be the opposite of her, made me chuckle when she proclaimed “I’m a pretty princess!”

Another prominent hero is Supergirl, who here is actually a girl – a high school cheerleader, who frequently breaks into cheers mid-battle. This is something you’ll likely either find endearing or annoying. Another Super-family character that features is Lois Lane, poking fun at her propensity to be rescued by Superman.

Supergirl cheerleader
Supergirl as a super-cheerleader

Other female characters include Saturn Girl from the Legion of Superheroes, plus villains Cheetah and Giganta (who my daughter really liked).

Superhero Movies For Kids?

These fit my desire for child-friendly superhero movies perfectly. The humour and general playful tone, mixed with decent plots, worked well. My daughter liked Wonder Woman in particular – especially when she took on Giganta – but she also enjoyed seeing the Green Lanterns (Hal Jordan was her favourite incarnation). She also liked it when the JLA played hide & seek – a current favourite game of hers.

LEGO DC’s Justice League- Cosmic Clash Green Lantern
Cosmic Clash features the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern – my daughter’s favourite

Overall, I found these cartoons fun and engaging. Though comedies, they still don’t skimp on the action. However, in a classification system (BBFC) that rates the original Star Wars trilogy as U, the PG rating seems rather harsh. IMHO these are fine for any pre-schooler.

LEGO DC’s Attack of the Legion of Doom, Justice League vs Bizzaro League and the latest release Justice League: Cosmic Clash are all available to buy now.


Pirate Batman riding a shark
Pirate Batman riding a shark. What’s not to love.

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Family Fever