Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)

When my daughter was about 2-years-old, on a trip to the local soft play centre a rather confused looking older boy asked me “Is she a boy or a girl?” about my daughter.

Resisting the urge to point out he’d already answered his question I simply replied “She’s a girl.”

“Why is she wearing a Spider-Man t-shirt then?” he retorted. Continue reading Superheroes are for Girls (and Boys)

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout Blu-Ray/DVD review

While DC’s live action movies get increasingly sombre and serious, thank goodness for the LEGO DC movies, that bring the fun back into super heroics.

LEGO DC Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is the latest of the LEGO Justice League series, and as the title suggests is a Batman centric tale.

However, Batman is away from Gotham for most of this story – having been taken on a holiday by his associates Nightwing and Batgirl. He asks Superman to looks after Gotham while he’s gone – something Superman thinks will be easy, given that most of the city’s villains lack superpowers. He soon discovers how wrong he is.

Batman’s ‘holiday’ turns out to be a working one, as he is taken to revisit his old mentors – and there’s trouble involving super villain Deathstroke at the very first stop.

Meanwhile in Gotham, Superman is finding the likes of the Joker far trickier to deal with than he imagined. Even calling on the likes of Cyborg and Wonder Woman don’t seem to help. Perhaps only the new Robin can save the day?

A particular draw to this movie was the featured appearance of LEGO Batgirl, a favourite character of my daughter’s. It was also great to see Wonder Woman included again as well.

This movie has the same irreverent knockabout humour that has characterised the likes of LEGO games and other movies. Of the two plot strands, the Gotham one was by far the most engaging. We also loved the appearance onscreen of LEGO Jokerland – which was probably one of our favourite ever LEGO DC Superhero sets.

The Blu-Ray of the movie also comes with an exclusive Nightwing LEGO minifigure, which was a nice added bonus.

Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is out now.


Disclosure: I received a Blu-Ray copy of this product free of charge.

Being a parent doesn’t make someone more qualified to lead the UK

Firstly let me be clear – I don’t want either Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom to be the next Prime Minister of the UK. However, that decision is in the hands of the 150,000 Conservative Party members across the country.

But it will be one of them, and as always seems to come up when discussing women in power – motherhood has become a talking point. One candidate is a parent, one is not – and the mother has clumsily indicated that being a parent gives her a greater stake in the future of the country, and therefore makes her a better candidate for Prime Minister.

Leadsom (the mother) is furiously backtracking from her comments, and there is speculation whether this is conspiracy (to appeal to traditional Conservatives) or cock-up (she fluffed her interview where she said these things).

I do not think being a parent makes someone more qualified for a role than someone who isn’t. But I do wonder if Leadsom was trying to indicate something a bit more nuanced.

I am absolutely not the person I was before I became a parent. It has changed my perspective on the future, and how I see the world around me.

Being a dad – especially of a daughter – introduced a new way of looking at the world that has informed my vision of it ever since.  It has made me far more than the person I was before.I would not be writing this blog if I hadn’t been a parent.

However, that is not to say that someone who ISN’T a parent could write more passionately, intelligently, and perceptively than me about the themes and ideas I write about on this blog. In fact, I know that’s the case.

So being a father – or a mother – will likely inform anyone’s perspective on life from then on. But being one – or not – does not make anyone more or less qualified to be – for instance – our Prime Minister.

But I do strongly believe is that our next Prime Minister will lead a party that will do very little to help the women in our country – whether they are mothers or not.


My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Sugarcube Corner toy review

After finally taking the plunge and watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic with my daughter, it remains a staple in our household. More often than not, it’s the answer to my question to our daughter “What do you feel like watching?”.

Visually, Pinkie Pie was probably my least favourite Pony. One of the six friends who make up the core group of the show, she is just so… pink!

But the thing is, her character is far from stereotypically girly. While she loves all things party related, she is also something that female characters are rarely allowed to be – funny.

More than that, she’s goofy, silly, whacky… Her character is the source of much physical humour, and she is rightly adored by many children – and not just because she’s pink, but because she makes them laugh.

This set is from the bakery and sweet shop where her character works. As well as Pinkie Pie, this also has another pony called Cheese Sandwich (!) and various accessories such as plastic cakes and balloons.

Included are items specifically for Pinkie Pie to be the loon we love – a ball to balance on, a propeller hat, a fake moustache, and even a rubber chicken. She also has her pet gator Gummy.

MLP Friendship is Magic Sugarcube Corner Sweet Shoppe with Pinkie Pie and Cheese Sandwich
My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Sugarcube Corner Sweet Shoppe toy

As a toy, it doesn’t really do anything. Other than some doors opening, there are no moving parts. Even the figures are just figurines, with no articulation. I can’t imagine someone who hasn’t seen the show thinking much of it.

However, as a tool for imaginative play for children who do know the show, this works fine. I’m glad that the Pinkie Pie figure here is depicted as lovably goofy as her onscreen persona – I have noticed that many MLP toys do not reflect the tone of the vibrant tone of the show.

Pinkie Pie is a character who wants to make people happy, and this set certainly made my daughter happy.

My Little Pony Friendship is Magic: Sugarcube Corner has an RRP of £19.99.


Disclosure: We received this product free of charge for the purposes of this review.

Dad’s Breakfast Club – with LEGO DC Superheroes

Dad’s Breakfast Club is a great London based meet up for fathers. This event included quality food, lots of LEGO, DC Superheroes and more.

The lure of either LEGO, DC Superheroes, or a slap up breakfast would be enough to get us out of the house early on a Saturday individually – but all combined for a Dad’s Breakfast Club meet up? Yes please.

The event tied into the release of LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout! on Blu-Ray/DVD, and was the latest Dad’s Breakfast Club event run by father Greg Stanton (aka London Dad on instagram).

It was held at Cau, St. Katherine Docks in London, a typical quality chain eatery (from the team behind the high end and similarly Argentina inspired Gaucho) that you get in this part of London  – so I knew we were going to get a nice brekkie.

There was a buffet of good English breakfast staples (pork & herb sausages, eggs, bacon, mushrooms, etc), as well as pancakes with maple syrup, and my favourite item – brioche bacon baps with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo & ketchup. I actually ended up having two of these. In fact I ate so much food I didn’t eat again until dinner.


LEGO DC Superheroes were represented by themed colouring and a giant LEGO Batman sculpture as we walked in. Most excitingly, every table also had unopened LEGO Batman sets for us to build. These ranged in size from the smallest sets available to some of the largest – such as this LEGO Batman Killer Croc Sewer Smash Set

Dad’s Breakfast Club is a great way for dads to join as a community to share time with their children. Greg and the other dads I met were warm & welcoming, and it was nice to see a collective of dads with their kids. As I often blog, LEGO is a great joint activity for parents to do with children, so it was awesome to see all these dads with boys & girls enjoying making Batman LEGO together.

We left the event with a goody bag, containing a Blu-Ray & DVD copy of the film (including a limited edition Nightwing figure) and LEGO superhero key rings. Additionally, we took home the LEGO set my daughter had constructed pretty much by herself (while I was busy eating successive waves of my delicious breakfast/brunch).

The Dads Breakfast Club 'LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout' goody bag
The Dad’s Breakfast Club ‘LEGO DC Justice League Gotham City Breakout’ goody bag

Also in the goody bag – and a little bit sexist – was a DVD ‘for all the mummas’ a stereotypical rom-com. It can be argued that an event like this is a bit sexist too. One the one hand, I know plenty of LEGO & superhero loving mums who would love this.

But then again, there are very few dad centric events and groups in the parenting world, so this one is to be celebrated. It’s probably aimed at a family set up that differs from ours. On a Saturday morning, my daughter is more likely to spend time alone with her mother given I have been home parenting all week while my wife has been at work.

Many of the dads I spoke to had been signed up to attend by their other halves. For some families, this can be a way to ensure dad and the kids get time together away from mum – who also has a morning all to herself. I know how important that is too.

But this Saturday morning was for me & the munchkin. Given the combo of LEGO, superheroes, and a quality breakfast – on paper this event seemed like a great way to spend a Saturday morning with my daughter – and that’s exactly what it turned out to be.

For more on Dad’s Breakfast Club, please follow them on Instagram.

Justice League: Gotham City Breakout is out now.


Disclosure: I received a free ticket  to this Dad’s Breakfast Club event, which are normally £25.