Hedbanz – a family game of “what am I?”

I’m sure at some point we’ve all played one of those games where a post-it note is stuck to your forehead and you have to guess who or what you are. Hedbanz follows the same concept in a family game – with some hilarious results.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Much as the game name suggests, in Hedbanz each player gets a headband to put on your head which can hold a playing card size card. The idea is that everyone wears on if these with a card placed in it, and they have to guess what they are.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

How to play

Game play works in that each player is given three counters, or chips, at the start of the game. When it is their turn, they turn over the timer and then have that long to ask questions to help them work out what they are. The rules don’t specifically say that it is has to be yes / no questions, but they generally are.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Helpfully the set also includes a card for each player which has sample questions on it. We played with 8 year old Little Miss C and she found this really helpful on her first go to have a bit of structure and guidance to help her work out what she was. Although – I’ll be honest and say that none of them really helped me to work out that I was a toaster in one round!

Hedbanz family game who am I game

If you guess what you are before the timer runs out then you put one of your chips back in the bank. The first player to get rid of all their chips wins. If there’s still time remaining on the timer then you can also pick up another card to place in your headband, and try to guess a second time.

What we thought

For a game you can have between two and six players. We tried it out with two adults, a thirteen year old and an eight year old. It worked really well with some hilarious results. I can definitely see it being a firm family favourite at Christmas time, or just the next time we have extended family to stay. I’m also guessing that after a couple of drinks it may also go down well with the adults playing alone!

I though the whole chips side of things a bit of a complication. In a way it would just be easier to each take a chip when you guess correctly. But you can easily tweak how you play to accommodate that.

Added bonus

There’s also one extra added bonus of the game which has to be mentioned. It’s wonderful for helping you to get new online profile pictures of people!

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Headband is produced by Spin Master and is available in most high street toy shops as well as online. It has an RRP of £12.99 but if often available for less, especially at sites like this one.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Hedbanz for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Moj Moj – So soft, So cute… So Moj

Little Miss C loves a collectable. Especially a blind bag collectable that happens to also be squishy! That’s why I instantly knew she’d love Moj Moj.

Moj Moj blind bag collectables

95+ Moj Moj to collect

There are over 95 little squishy Moj Moj to collect, and they are sold in blind bags that each contain two of the creatures – alongside an important collector’s tick-list. Each blind bag sells for approximately £4 in toy shops (possibly slightly more online) making them ideally priced as pocket money purchases.

Moj Moj blind bag collectables Moj Moj blind bag collectables

Different types of Moj Moj

Rather than being given a series number, the original series are simply denoted as the 🙂 series. Yep – a little smiley face as the series “name”.

Moj Moj blind bag collectables

The Moj Moj in the series are split into six different types:

  • Adventure seekers
  • Party Animals
  • Couch Potatoes
  • Happy Campers
  • Sun Bathers
  • Day Dreamers

Moj Moj blind bag collectables

As with most collectable series there are some that are rare and some that are ultra rare, but then the fun is in trying to get those rare and ultra rare ones. I know LMC has her heart set on trying to find the rainbow unicorn that is marked as ultra rare in the “day dreamers” category.

So soft, so cute

My first impression of Moj Moj was that they were incredibly, incredibly cute. I wouldn’t mind a set of the little ducks lined up on my desk if I’m honest. The squishy nature of them makes them very tactile and LMC is really into little toys like that at the moment. I guess they’re a bit like stress relievers for kids.

Moj Moj blind bag collectables

With so many to collect and at just £4 for a blind bag of two they’re actually priced really well in comparison to some other collectables on the market. They also have a quality feel to them which as a parent I like. LMC loves little collectables like this and Moj Moj have instantly become a big favourite with her.

Moj Moj blind bag collectables

You can find out more all about the world of Moj Moj over on their official website here. They can be found in most high street toy shops or online on sites like Amazon.

Disclaimer: We were sent three Moj Moj blind bags for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Rack-O

For a while now Bonn and I have been collecting various vintage board games. We’ve been picking them up from charity shops all over the place with the aim of featuring as many as we can here on Penny Plays. The idea is that we can feature each of the games and maybe include some in videos and podcasts that we have planned. I guess that means it’s time to welcome our first vintage game here on Penny Plays – Rack-O.

rack-o

Last Monday saw us luck enough to stumble across a car boot sale as we headed home from the ferry port. We managed to pick up quite a lot whilst we were there. One such game being Rack-O. For the grand price of 66p!

Now I have to admit that I’d never heard of Rack-O before last week. The box told us that it was a card game that involved putting things in order, but not much more than that. As general card game fans we were very much up for giving it a go though. Aimed at ages 8 to adult we played with my Mum and step-daughter.

The aim of Rack-O is to get your cards in numerical order. Much like you might do in the regular card game of Rummy, or “Threes and Fours” as I always knew it. Rack-O isn’t played with regular cards though. Instead you have cards numbered 1 to 60.

Game play

In the regular four player game, which we played, each player is dealt ten cards and has to place each card in his or her Rack-O rack immediately. In the order that they are dealt. Each space in the rack has a number next to it and these go in fives from 5 up to 50. The first card dealt goes in the 50 slot and the final one in the 5 slot, with others following in-between.

rack-o

At this stage I literally found myself having to sit on my hands as not being able to put the cards in numerical order was very hard to bear! It’s something that you so naturally do in card games, but not in this one.

The remaining cards are placed in the centre of play in a pile. This is the stockpile. The top card is turned over next to them and forms the first card in the discard pile.

Game play goes around the table clockwise from the dealer and the aim is to get your cards in numerical order from front to back in your rack. When you do this you then shout “Rack-O” and win that game.

rack-o

The way you get the cards in order is that you need to take cards from the table and replace cards already in your rack with them. Each turn you can either take the card on top of the discard pile or one from the stockpile. If you want to keep a card you put it in your rack, in whichever position you choose. The card you have replaced is then put on the discard pile.

You don’t have to have straight runs of numbers (at least not in the regular four player game), but they just need to go from lowest to highest.

Scoring

What makes the game particularly interesting is the scoring. And for this you definitely do need paper and pencil whilst you play. The overall winner is the first player to get to 500 points.

rack-o

The person who shouts Rack-O first in a game gets a total of 75 points. 25 of these are for shouting Rack-O whilst the other 50 are for the cards in his rack. 5 points for each of the ten cards in the rack. Other players score 5 points for each card in their rack in low to high order, starting with the card in the number 5 slot. This counting of points stops when you get to a card that is out of order. Also, the last four cards in the rack do not count. This means that whilst the winner of the game gets 75 points, the maximum anyone else can score is 30.

Game variations

We tried out the standard 4 player game, but variants are available for 2 or 3 players. In these you use less cards and the two player version also requires your to have at least three cards in immediate sequence in the rack to call Rack-O. It is also possible to play as partners when playing with four players.

There is also Bonus Rack-O in which you get extra points for runs of numbers when you shout Rack-O. Get a six or more card run and you can end up with a massive 475 points when you shout Rack-O.

History of the game

A bit of a search online suggests that Rack-O was first brought out in 1956 by Milton Bradley – more commonly known as MB. The version we found is probably early 80s as it says copyright 1980 on the box, but 1978 on the instructions. In later years the game was produced by Winning Moves.

It seems that Rack-O wasn’t actually all that obscure. A quick look on Instagram with the #racko hashtag, also suggests lots of people are still playing it. All around the world. There are also lots of old versions of it still for sale online.

Nice touches

Whilst we all had a great time playing Rack-O there were a couple of nice touches that are really worth shouting about. Firstly the racks and tray for the stockpile and discard piles. It’s lovely to see both made from a sturdy plastic that shows no signs or raging or wear after all these years.

Secondly, and most importantly in my eyes, the card design. In particular the positioning of the number on the cards.These go across the top edge, but are done so that they are in a different position for each number, with lower numbers at the left and higher ones at the right. This means that as you look down your rack you can easily see any card that is out of position. A small thing that makes game play so much easier.

In conclusion

When we buy games at car boots and charity shops we always do so with the idea that we’ll try them out and then either sell the on or donate them to a charity shop if we don’t like them. The measure how a good game is if we decide to keep it. Rack-O is definitely in the keep pile! 66p very well spent.

Celebrating National Nail Polish Day with the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

I’m not sure quite when Little Miss C became old enough to be interested in nail polish, but it’s happened. She’s due to turn eight next week and now the magazines she chooses come with nail polish on the front cover, and at the school fair she spent her pocket money on getting her nails done. I would previously have ignored a request to review something like the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. I would have dismissed it as being a bit too old for her. Now though I need to accept that she’s growing up and nail polish is exactly the kind of thing that she’s interested in!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

National Nail Polish Day

Friday 1 June was national nail polish day, making it the perfect time to review the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. Although, so out of touch am I with girly things like that, that I hadn’t even realised national nail polish day was a thing!

Num Noms

LMC has been a fan of Num Noms since we were first introduced to them a couple of  years ago. Since then she’s used her pocked money buy loads of the collectables, and also frequently chosen the Num Noms magazine when we’ve been on supermarket shopping trips together. The combination of Num Noms with a nail polish maker is a perfect match.

Nail Polish Maker

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

I can’t deny that the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker is somewhat larger than I was expecting. Significantly so. The main section of it looks like a cafe – with the components that make up the nail polish in dispenser like bottles over the counter.

The set comes with three empty nail polish bottles that you can fill up from the ingredients in the nail polish maker. They’re incredibly cute!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The bottles are shaped just like Noms, and so fit inside a Num with an appropriate hole in the top for the bottle lid to go.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The Num Noms Nail Polish Maker set comes with a Nom which its the nail polish bottle Nums inside it.

Making the nail polish

Children then use the three different scented colours (Yellow Banana, Blue Blueberry and Red Strawberry) to make the desired colour of nail polish, by adding them to the Nom shaped bottle. Along with a squeeze of glitter if they so desire.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

After a few drops of the chosen colours, the bottles are then topped up by the base pearl colour. Or “milk” as it is known in Num Nom land!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Once this is done the nail polish needs mixing.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

This can either be done by good old shaking, or using the mixing part of the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. You fit the bottle in (which is a bit fiddly) and then just turn the handle until it is mixed. To be honest though we found shaking far more effective!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Once the polish is mixed you can then use the finger stool (two are included) to paint your nails. These can clip in the back of the nail polish maker shop, but I found that there was then a problem with not having enough space to actually paint the nails. So instead I just used the finger rest on its own.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Extras

As well giving you everything to make the nail polish, the Num Noms nail polish maker also comes with stickers that you can use on your painted nails.  Also included are two sets of plastic nails. These can be decorated on the Donut Table and then attached to your own nails using the nail adhesives included.

Overview

Little Miss C really liked the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker, but there’s a but… The big draw back that I see is the you can’t buy refills or replacement nail polish pots. This means that once you’ve used up the flavourings and glitter in the maker you can’t make any more. It seems a bit of a shame. This also means that if your kids make all three bottles of polish straight away it’s somewhat finished as a nail polish maker.

However, on the plus side, the nail polish maker is cafe themed. This means that even once you’ve finished you could still use it as a regular Num Noms cafe play set. I do think that Num Noms have missed a trick though as surely selling replacement ingredients and pots would be a good thing. I’d expect them to have a price point that would work perfectly for pocket money toys too.

Being eight years old, Little Miss C didn’t really think through the longevity of the nail polish maker in terms of future use. I’m expecting her to be a bit disappointed though when she realises that she can’t make any more nail polish with it.

The actual making part is great fun, but again rather fiddly. I ended up doing most of it with LMC helping. A slightly older child might manage the whole thing alone, but do be prepared to help if you don’t want a huge mess.

Where to find the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The Num Noms Nail Polish Maker is available to buy online here. The RRP is £50, but it is often available for significantly less. At the time of writing you can get it for £29.89 on Amazon UK.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

It’s a little while since Little Miss C helped me review Marina’s Lagoon from the My Mermaid Lagoon range. She really enjoyed setting it up originally and still plays with the figure and other accessories in her bedroom. She was therefore thrilled when I brought home the Serena Charm Shell from the same range from Blog On X.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Smaller than the original Lagoon sets this Charm Shell consists of a mermaid figure and a lockable charm shell. You an sit the mermaid in the shell and it also has in it a secret compartment (under her seat).

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

The set also comes with everything needed to make a charm bracelet. The key for the shell goes on the bracelet and can be kept safely there.

Bracelet making set

LMC loves anything crafty and has recently been going through a phase of making jewellery so this was perfect for her.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Apart from a bit of help knot tying she was able to make the bracelet without any other assistance. She particularly loved the fact that it meant she could keep the key for the shell safe and therefore stop her younger brother from being able to get in!

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Miniature World Play

Miniature world play is something that LMC still loves and so it is no surprise that the Serena the mermaid and her shell have become part of her play world. She has a variety of characters that she plays with regularly, and some of them it seems now live in the charm shell with Serena.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

The My Mermaid Lagoon Charm Shell is perfect for mermaid loving children who are into small world play and who love making things. This set gives children something much longer lasting than just having a quickly completed bracelet making activity set. It’s also really nice for them to have somewhere special to now keep their treasured items.

You can buy the My mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell online here. At the time of writing the RRP is £9.99, but online discounts are available.

Disclaimer: We were given the My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It may not have escaped your notice but there is a lot of red, white and blue around right now. Not only is there a new Royal baby, but there’s also a Royal Wedding fast approaching. The prospect of getting out the Union Jack bunting may not excite everyone, but it does mean that brands are using every opportunity to become as patriotic as possible. I’m pretty sure the Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker puzzle was already in their range, but what a perfect excuse to promote it more.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

We’re lucky enough to have reviewed one of these Ravensburger 3D Sneaker puzzles before, but it was such a hit that we were more than keen to have a go at this different design.

How the puzzle works

The way these 3D puzzles work is that the puzzle pieces are made out of plastic and interlock. This means that they hold the shape of the 3D object that they will end up being. For the sneaker, you also in the kit get a base to the shoe, and also a toe piece. The puzzle pieces fit into these to give it structural integrity.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

You can put the puzzle together by trying to be clever and work out which pieces go where, but there is a simpler way. One the back of each puzzle piece is a printed number and these numbers tell you how to put the sneaker puzzle together. Starting at the sole of the sneaker you work round and up – following helpful arrows that are also on the reverse of the puzzle pieces.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It can be a little fiddly in places, but when you get the knack you can make quick progress. I did need to help seven year old LMC, but she was able to do a lot on her own. With only 108 puzzle pieces it doesn’t take too long to complete.

Completed puzzle

Once the puzzle is completed there is then a plastic “bucket” like piece that sits inside the neck of it. Not only does this add further to the structural integrity, but also means that it works perfectly as a pen-pot. My daughter is thrilled with the finished sneaker puzzle. It now takes pride of place on her desk, full of pens and pencils. It actually looks really cool on there too.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It’s also great to have a finished puzzle that serves a purpose too.  Far preferable to it just being there to attract dust!

How to get hold of the Ravensburger 3D Union Jack Sneaker puzzle

The 3D sneaker puzzle is available to buy online here. At the time of writing, it has an RRP of £14.99.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

Disclaimer: We were sent this Ravensburger Unions Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Coming soon

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We’ll be bringing you reviews of the latest toys and games, our retro game discoveries, geeking out over gadgets new and old, and totally geeking out over model trains.