Review: Kawaii Box – a Collection of Cute Items from Japan and Korea

This week we received a box of delights from Asia. Kawaii Box is a subscription based service where you receive a monthly box of assorted Kawaii items – which basically means ‘cute’.

While some brands will be recognisable (previous boxes have included Hello Kitty and Totoro for instance) for the most part these products from Japan and Korea will be new to most westerners.

The monthly boxes are crammed with random cute stuff from Asia, ranging from sweets to stickers and accessories.

It’s always fun receiving parcels, especially if you don’t know what’s inside. When our slightly battered box arrived from Singapore, it was with great anticipation that we opened it…

Just got this box of Japanese and Korean cuteness from @kawaiiboxco. Review to follow 🙂 #kawaiibox #kawaii

A post shared by Man vs. Pink (@manvspink) on

So, as promised, here’s a more detailed look of what was in the box:

Kracie DIY Chain Candy

Kracie DIY Chain Candy Kwaii Box - July 2015
Some Japanese pink & blue (good choice) sweets that interlink to form a chain. Or you can eat them. They tasted… sugary.

Squishy Doughnut Mirror

Squishy Doughnut Mirror Kwaii Box - July 2015
My daughter’s favourite. It’s the perfect size for her hands, flips open to reveal a mirror, is colourful, and makes you really want a doughnut!

Dessert Eraser

Dessert Eraser Kwaii Box - July 2015
“Can you eat this?” asked my daughter. No, but it is a cute looking cake shaped eraser (aka ‘rubber’)

Kawaii Toast Coaster

The simplest item in the collection. A thin piece of wood, in the shape of a piece of toast, with a minimalist face stamped through it.
The simplest item in the collection. A thin piece of wood, in the shape of a piece of toast, with a minimalist face stamped through it.

Pastel Pearl Bracelet

My daughter liked this stringed collection of pastel balls as well.
My daughter liked this stringed collection of pastel balls as well.

Korean Glitter Glue Set

This made my daughters eyes light up - six colours of glitter glue, plus four colours of hearts, stars, and flowers to stick.
This made my daughters eyes light up – six colours of glitter glue, plus four colours of hearts, stars, and flowers to stick.

Rilakkuma Notes

This is a very cute fold-out collection of post-it notes of different shapes and sizes, all featuring the equally cute Rilakkuma character (roughly translated as ‘Relax Bear’.
This is a very cute collection of post-it notes of different shapes and sizes, all featuring the equally cute Rilakkuma character (roughly translated as ‘Relax Bear’).

Mushroom Mini Plush

The kind of thing you might see in a Nintendo game.
Reminds me of the kind of thing you might see bouncing around in a Nintendo game.

Cute Pencil Set

As described really - ordinary pencils with cute colourful patterns.
As described really – ordinary pencils with cute colourful patterns.

Flake Seal Stickers

I was expecting seals. We get what appears to be hordes of pandas, pink rabbits, and yellow birds (one with a bow in their hair).
I was expecting seals. We get what appears to be pandas, pink rabbits, and yellow birds (one with a bow in their hair).

Alpaca Keychain

My favourite. To me it seems utterly random to have three pastel coloured alpacas on a key ring, but here we are. Might try and keep this for myself…
My favourite. To me it seems utterly random to have three pastel coloured alpacas on a key ring, but here we are. Might try and keep this for myself…

So there you have it. A nice little collection of pop culture curios and oddities from the east. We enjoyed getting this Kawaii Box, and I can imagine it would be fun to get one of these each month – a regular little box of surprises.

It may all seem rather pink and pastel. As I’ve said before, I don’t object to the colour pink – just how it’s used to market things to girls, and there is nothing in the Kawaii Box offering to indicate that these items are for girls only. They’re for people who want a bit of cute in their lives. And why not.

Fancy getting your very own Kawaii Box delivery? Then click to enter the giveaway. Competition closes on 20 September 2015. Good luck!

Kawaii Box Man vs Pink Giveaway August 2015

=====

Disclaimer: While I was not paid to write this review, we did receive this Kawaii Box free of charge. All opinions stated remain our own.

Family Fever
You Baby Me Mummy

Review: LEGO Star Wars Imperial Assault Carrier (75106)

The LEGO Star Wars Imperial Assault Carrier set (75106) is based on one of the Empire’s spaceships from the Star Wars Rebels TV show. It featured prominently in the finale of season 1. Continue reading Review: LEGO Star Wars Imperial Assault Carrier (75106)

Win This Fantastic Rockabilly Lottie Doll!

My daughter recently received a new Rockabilly Lottie doll, kind of as a thank you from them for our previous post about these great dolls. For a general overview for why we like Lottie so much, please have a read of it.

However, while those other Lotties are awesome, I think this new one might be our favourite yet.

My daughter's latest addition to her @lottie_dolls collection. She rocks! 🙂

A post shared by Man vs. Pink (@manvspink) on

We like this one so much we’re offering you the chance to own one too.

What’s so great about the Rockabilly Lottie doll?

The first thing that struck me about Rockabilly Lottie is her outfit is exactly like the kind of cool and quirky mash-up my daughter would put together. We’ve been letting her choose her own outfits since she turned 3, and she comes up with some amazing combinations.

Mixing a tutu with leggings and a vintage Letter Jacket is her kind of outfit. In fact, the other day we tried to replicate Rockabilly Lottie using items from her wardrobe – we came pretty close don’t you think?

Why we love @lottie_dolls – she's a lot like my daughter 🙂

A post shared by Man vs. Pink (@manvspink) on

The only condition we really place on my daughter when choosing an outfit is that it needs to be weather appropriate. Other than that, pretty much anything goes (though I admit I did persuade her not to wear her micro-skirt as an even smaller dress recently).

I feel Rockabilly Lottie is a character who exhibits the same exuberance, of a child not yet confined by social strictures of how you should or should not dress.

This is yet another Lottie that will help reinforce my daughter’s self-esteem as she grows, supporting her in making choices that may be outside of what is considered the norm.

If Rockabilly Lottie were an actual little girl, I would love my daughter to be friends with her. She is a character who truly embodies her slogan of “Be Bold. Be Brave. Be You.” – an inspirational message for all of us.

====
Disclaimer: While I was not paid to write this piece, my daughter did receive the featured doll free of charge.
====

See below for your chance to win your own Rockabilly Lottie doll, or alternatively you can purchase one here.

====
a Rafflecopter giveaway

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium Review (75094)

More LEGO Star Wars fun with my daughter this week as we built another new set, the Imperial Shuttle Tydirium.

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094 LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094

Firstly, a confession. I’ll admit it. The reason why we selected this particular set for review was because of one of its smallest elements – the Princess Leia minifig.

(As you can see, we also have Sabine, from another soon to be reviewed set.)

This is not to put down this LEGO Star Wars set by any means. But we have wanted a Leia figure for some time (that WASN’T in her ‘slave’ outfit) and we’re stoked to finally have one. My daughter was so desperate for one she started making up her own from what we had, creating brand new adventures for her too. Now we have one, sporting a rather cool if fragile looking camouflage poncho.

As well as a LEGO Princess Leia in her Endor outfit, you also get Han Solo & Chewbacca, plus two similarly attired Rebels. Accessories include the usual guns (Chewie gets his crossbow one), some thermal grenades, plus what appears to be cake – presumably the food Leia offers to Wicket the Ewok in the movie.

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094, LEGO Princess Leia , Princess Leia LEGO minifig, Han Solo LEGO minifig, Chewbacca LEGO minifig, Endor ooutfit

This is the latest in a line of Imperial Shuttle LEGO sets, but is the first one to include the rebels, and is taken from the scene in Return of the Jedi when they attempt to sneak onto the moon of Endor to sabotage the force field protecting the under-construction Death Star.

Han Solo LEGO minifig, LEGO Star Wars Han Solo, LEGO Star Wars Chewbacca,
“I don’t know. Fly casual!”

The build took us a few sessions of an hour or two, with my 3-year-old daughter helping me out with this age 9+ recommended set. I can see why the age is relatively high, as this is an intricately engineered model, with hinged ramp and cockpit plus fold up wings and doors in the cargo section.

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094, LEGO Princess Leia minifig, Princess Leia LEGO minifig Endor ooutfit
No room for Leia in the cockpit. It’s not wise to upset a Princess with a gun.

REBELS - cargo crop

It also features fold-out guns and fireable rockets/torpedoes – the set comes with (or at least ours did) much needed additional spares. It also has retractable landing gear, which is cool but we have found to be a little temperamental.

While the dominant white colour scheme is not reflective of the colour of the ship in the movies, it makes for a more eye catching model, that is visually different from our other grey Star Wars sets.

Being a vehicle, to me it lacks the full on creative storytelling led playability of the Death Star Final Duel set, but my daughter still loves opening the doors, ramp, landing gear – and of course firing those missiles! It has prompted many creative play sessions, involving new adventures and scenarios.

While I found the Imperial Shuttle to be one of the less interesting craft in the movies, as a LEGO Star Wars model it looks great. It’s still one of the iconic ships of the original trilogy, and adding these classic minifigs to your LEGO collection is a nice bonus. My daughter and I had fun building it, and a great time playing with it too.

The LEGO Star Wars – Imperial Shuttle Tydirium (75094) has a RRP of £79.99, but please see below for your chance to win one.

LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle giveaway, LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094, LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium 75094 prize

** This giveaway is now closed, but the LEGO Star Wars Imperial Shuttle Tydirium set (75094) can still be purchased here **

======

I think it’s important for boys and girls that female characters such as Princess Leia are included in merchandise like this. What do you think?

======

Disclaimer: While I was not paid to write this piece, we did receive the set reviewed free of charge. All opinions remain ours.

LEGO Star Wars – Death Star Final Duel set review

My daughter loves LEGO and loves Star Wars, so naturally she enjoys playing with LEGO Star Wars. This week we were lucky to be sent a trio of sets to build, play, and review. When they arrived my daughter was rather overcome with excitement.

Honestly, her choice of a LEGO Star Wars t-shirt that morning really was a coincidence.

I assumed she’d have trouble deciding which one to make first, but she opted straight away for the set with Darth Vader. She loves Darth Vader. I like to think it’s because he’s Leia and Luke’s daddy.

This new Star Wars LEGO set recreates the iconic setting of the final showdown between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi in the Emperor’s Death Star throne room.

My daughter and I spent an afternoon making this together, while listening to the Return of the Jedi soundtrack (her idea). Given this set is recommended for 8+ and my daughter is a 3-year-old, I was the Master Builder with my daughter assisting. Playing LEGO is a great joint activity for us, and while she can’t make a set like this herself, it helps her develop her fine motor skills, ability to follow instructions, general concentration, as well as her imagination, when we build LEGO together like this.

She did have sole responsibility for the minifigs though, of which there are five – Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, and two of his Royal Guards.

Death Star™ Final Duel (#75093) - minifigs

The detailed 100+ page instruction booklet was easy to follow, and by afternoon’s end we had an awesome LEGO Star Wars playset. It recreates the key spaces of the movie setting, such as the Emperors throne:

Emperor on throne
“My young apprentice…”

The Stairs leading up to it where Luke and Vader duel:

Death Star™ Final Duel (75093) - Luke vs Vader
“Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the Dark Side.”

The shaft where Vader sends the Emperor to meet his maker:

Emperor thrown away
“Nooooooooooooo…..”

And the Darth Vader figure is particularly nicely detailed, with a two piece helmet so you can recreate the big reveal.

Vader removes helmet
“Just for once… let me… look on you with my own eyes.”

As well as the adapted setting, this also has interactive elements such as a collapsing walkway and stairs, sliding doors, plus a minifig ‘force jump’ lever, and even mechanism to fire a lightsaber in the air. There are also hinges and siding parts so it can be opened up or closed between play sessions.

“Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed.”

I actually have an early precursor to this set. That one wasn’t very impressive.

To call this new set an improvement is clearly an understatement.

The fundamentally great thing about this is that it’s a playset. It provides my daughter with a detailed LEGO Star Wars environment for her to recreate scenarios with her minifigs. We have a bunch of LEGO Star Wars vehicles, which are great, but this is our first playset (the one above clearly doesn’t count) and the way she interacts with it is a joy to behold.

My daughter loves to improve upon the existing stories, usually by adding more female characters (for instance, she made her own Princess Leia minifig and a brand new scenario to go with it). As this scene is all male, she addressed the lack of women by bringing in a couple of female characters from the other sets we received.

Eventually, we came up with our own alternative finale.

And that was rounded off with an epilogue that my daughter created all by herself.

I think she knows daddy often likes a glass of wine or two at the end of the day. :s

This is a perfect LEGO Star Wars set to enable any little girl (or boy) to create new adventures with. While it was satisfying to construct, it’s far more fun to play with. My daughter usually tries to pull apart any sets we build, but she hasn’t even attempted to with this. She far too busy coming up with more stories in the galaxy far, far away. The force is strong with this one.

Playing Death Star Duel

=====

The LEGO Star Wars – Death Star Final Duel set (75093) has an RRP of £69.99, and is available to buy here.

=====

Disclaimer: While I was not paid to write this review, we did receive this LEGO set free of charge. All opinions stated remain our own.