Furby Connect review: The cute kawaii toy has come of age

Furby Connect review: Hasbro’s cute kawaii toy has come of age in this latest version with its increased interactivity, range of sounds, and brightly animated LCD eyes. 

Our daughter has been regularly bugging us for 2 things, for what seems like forever – a baby sister, and a pet. To her great disappointment, we are not planning on having either. She also has a rich entourage of imaginary friends.

She clearly has a great desire to have some kind of pal at home with her,  so when Hasbro sent us one of their new Furby Connect toys to review, I thought it would be a hit with her,

First impressions: Thankfully, despite being listed on their database as a girl, Hasbro sent my daughter a blue Furby – they also come in Pink, Purple (more hot pink), and Teal (greeny blue). So basically, blue and pink.

Batteries are not included. You have to unscrew the Furby from the packaging to get at the battery compartment (it takes 4xAA batteries). Be prepared – as soon as you put the batteries in, the Furby will come to life.

Yes, come to life. Despite the fact know this thing isn’t alive it’s difficult not to feel that it is. The Furby moves and wriggles when you touch it, talks to you in a kind of English-Furby patois, and most alarming of all is its eyes. The technical explanation is that they are animated full colour LCD screens, covered with motorised eye lids. However, the effect is of incredibly expressive eyes – the classic window to the soul.

However, as they are illuminated screens – in low light they can look downright spooky.

The Furby Connect – imagine these evil eyes staring at you in the dark….

The Furby can start to act like a kid on too much sugar after a while. Like an overactive child needing to be removed from stimuli, the Furby can be put to sleep (not a euphemism) by placing the provided eye mask on. Alternatively, just leave it alone for a while.  We put it to sleep while watching TV, because it just wouldn’t shut up.

It also gave me a surprise when it woke up – delivering an in-joke for Blade Runner fans…

I didn’t make it up btw – it actually said that….!

Be warned, if you’re easily offended by toilet humour you might want to stay out of earshot of this creature. It constantly – and loudly – farts and burps. My daughter and I find it more amusing than my wife.

This is called the Furby Connect because of the smartphone app you can link it too. We found this to be problematic, and continue to have issues with the app. It only works on one of our devices, and constantly crashes. When it is running, it often loses connection even when right next to the Furby.

To be honest, if you can avoid the app for the time being, I would recommend it. It’s a pain, seems full of in-app purchases, and – more than anything – why give the kids another reason to stare at a screen, especially when they have this pretty cool tactile toy to play with in reality.

Despite the fact it comes (so far) in variations of pink and blue, this is essentially presented as a gender neutral toy. My daughter says it’s a girl, but that tends to be her default for anything where the gender is unclear. I like that Hasbro are using both boys and girls to advertise it.

boy and girl playing with furby connect toy and app
A Hasbro promotional photo: Despite only coming in variations of pink and blue, I would say the Furby Connect is still presented as a gender neutral toy.

This toy isn’t cheap, but it is likely to be a hit with any kid.  Our daughter has really taken to it. First thing in the morning she will wake it up. When she comes home from school, she will do the same. She laments that I spend more time with her Furby than she does.

Which is true. 🙂


Hasbro’s Furby Connect has a UK RRP of £99.99. We were sent this item free of charge for the purposes of this Furby Connect review.

LEGO DUPLO Backhoe Loader review

The LEGO DUPLO Backhoe Loader is the perfect toy for any digger loving child – which let’s face it is pretty much every child.

Kids love diggers. It’s basically a fact. What’s also a fact is that this love is not the preserve of boys, as girls loves them too. Our daughter is always fascinated by them and what they are being used for when we see them while out and about.

Continue reading LEGO DUPLO Backhoe Loader review

Transformers – Power Surge Optimus Prime and Aero Bolt Figure

The Power Surge Optimus Prime (with  Aero Bolt Figure) is one of the latest incarnations of the famed robot-to-vehicle toy line.

The Transformers emerged in the 1980’s as part of a wave of toys that used cartoons to help sell them to kids (see also My Little Pony, and He-Man). They remain as popular as ever, thanks in part to the Michael Bay movie series, but also endless cartoon shows that continue to support new lines of merchandise. The latest cartoon is Transformers: Robots in Disguise, and features this particular toy version of Autobots leader Optimus Prime.

The figure comes with a couple of accessories – a sword, and most importantly the Mini-Con Aero Bolt Figure. This is what unlocks the various modes: robot mode, vehicle mode, flight mode, and Power Surge mode. Each mode has accompanying sounds and/or different elements unlocked within the figure.

The figure also unlocks features on the standalone app, by scanning the shield (which the Mini-Con figure converts to).

But what about the key aspect of the Transformers – transforming?

While my daughter really liked the idea of the robot turning into a truck, she seemed much more into the robot. I was a little disappointed about the transforming part of this toy. The vehicle seems more like an afterthought, as Optimus the truck is not a very convincing disguise.


I could be charitable and suggest that perhaps the mere 5 step transformation is easier for younger kids to master.  Even then I don’t think it’s that simple, as it’s hard to tell what it’s supposed to look like. We finished and were like “Is that it?” Also, some bits seem to fall off rather easily – but at least this is better than them breaking.

However, the robot version looks awesome – like the cool Japanese style giant robot he’s supposed to be, with sword, shield and wings. And the sounds are kind of cool.

To be honest, I think at nearly £50, this is priced high for what it is – but the little Transformers fan in your life may disagree.


The Power Surge Optimus Prime, from Transformers: Robots in Disguise, has an RRP of £49.99. Recommended age is 5+,  app 9+. We were provided with this toy free of charge for the purposes of this review.

Family Fever

LEGO Dimensions Wave 6: Ghostbusters, Adventure Time, Harry Potter, Mission: Impossible, and The A-Team

**This review of the LEGO Dimensions Wave 6 packs will be updated as we work our way through each set**

We love LEGO Dimensions. From the virtual LEGO in the game itself, the real LEGO figures and mini kits, the way real and virtual worlds are combined, and the icing on the cake is the wonderful range of characters and pop culture icons that are released. It’s aimed at parents as much as the kids. I wonder perhaps if more so…

This sixth set of packs (LEGO Dimensions Wave 6) is no exception, with ones based on the latest Ghostbusters, Harry Potter, Adventure Time, The A-Team, and Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible series.

This release also introduces a few new elements to the game, such as battle arenas and a new way of accessing the new/different worlds. It also includes the very first additional story pack, including a new LEGO build portal to be used on your game pad. All new figures and mini kits now also have orange bases instead of the blue of previous waves, which makes the toy pad look a little more colourful.

Be warned: There a whole bunch of time consuming updates and downloads to install, so make sure all that happens before you have any disappointed kids (or adults) who will have to possibly wait hours before they can use the new and updated packs.

So, in no particular order, here are the packs and our reviews of them (updated as we work our way through them).

Adventure Time Team Pack with Jake and Lumpy Space Princess (71246)


My daughter was keen to use this one first. We have hardly seen the show (I know, I know – we need to rectify that…) but the engaging and outlandish designs of the characters instantly won her over – especially Lumpy Space Princess (one of only two female characters included in LEGO Dimensions wave 6).

In this pack you get buildable minifigures of Jake the Dog and Lumpy Space Princess, plus minikits of Lumpy Car and BMO.

The mini kits are fun – Lumpy’s pink car is cute, while the Gameboy-like BMO is very cleverly designed in LEGO.

The Adventure Time world is nicely realised, with all characters given a line drawn cartoon look. There are special ports where BMO can dock into and you can play some 8-bit style games.

My daughter is especially fond of Jake’s shapeshifting ability – especially his ability to turn into a working trampoline and have another character bounce on him.


The A-Team Fun Pack with B.A. Baracus (71251)


Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that A-Team LEGO would ever exist.

My daughter misheard me when I told her what this set was called – instead of ‘The A-Team‘ she thought I said ‘The 80s’. I was going to correct her, but then I thought ‘No, that’s fair enough’.

This Dimensions set brought back many memories of the 1980s, and as such will likely prove to be a hit with adults of a certain age.

If you didn’t already know (because you’re not as old as I am) The A-Team was an immensely popular ultra-violent 1980s kids TV show. I’m pretty sure this was my favourite show growing up, but unlike many other childhood enthusiasms, it’s not been one I’ve been keen to rewatch – but this was a really fun way to relive this blast from the past.

Two of the most iconic elements were the A-Team’s van, and team member B.A. Baracus, aka Mr T – which make up this set.

The B.A. minifigure is great, with his trademark mohawk hair and dungarees. The van mini-kit is clearly recognisable as the famous van.

The game world is a lovingly recreated 1980’s LA, with downtown, the Hollywood hills, and the airport as key locations. There is also an iconic LA storm drain, the setting for the likes of the car race in Grease.

The level features the other members of the A-Team, who are also playable. Many familiar scenarios occur, such as dealing with a biker gang at a motel, all played out with the familiar soundtrack in the background.

This set is definitely pitched at grown-up fans – but kids will have fun playing with it too.


Adventure Time Level Pack with Finn (71245)


This level pack comes with a Finn minifigure, plus mini kits of Jakemobile and Ancient War Elephant.

As well as giving access to the Adventure Time level, this also includes a new mission-based game level, plus access to new areas and more abilities.

While the mini kits are fun, the Jake the Human minifigure is the star of this set, with his iconic look translating well to LEGO.

The new level is fun, and in keeping with the Adventure Time tone and aesthetic.


Mission: Impossible Level Pack with Ethan Hunt (71248)


This comes with an Ethan Hunt minifigure, and mini kits of his bike and car – plus a mission based new level to play.

I’m a fan of the Mission: Impossible film series, even though I’m slightly incredulous it has managed to last 20 years of only moderately entertaining movies.

The playable level is based on the first (and best) of the films, with action switching between international locales from Europe to Virginia. The are some simple puzzles to unlock, and a few gadgets to figure out – and was pretty good fun.

The minifigure and minikit are perfectly fine, but the M:I series doesn’t really have any iconic vehicles or character looks, so in its toy form this is really just a bloke with a bike and a car. The appeal of this set in particular is the gaming rather than the LEGO.

But they we’re fun little sets for my daughter to put together, and playing the game was a great way to get her interested in watching her first Brian DePalma movie. I’ll definitely take that as a win… 🙂


Ghostbusters 2016 Story Pack (71242)

Story Pack includes a buildable Abby Yates minifigure, an Ecto-1 minikit, plus a brand new Ghostbusters themed gateway build. It also unlocks six levels of Ghostbusters gameplay – of the entire film story!

**Review to follow**


Harry Potter Team Pack with Lord Voldemort (71247)

This team pack has Harry Potter and Voldemort minifigures, and minikits of the enchanted car and Hogwarts Express.

**Review to follow**


Disclaimer: We were sent these LEGO Dimensions packs by Warner Bros. Games UK for the purposes of this review.