Scalextric Touring Car Battle #review

I hate 'bog standard reviews', you know the kind:

I love [insert product name] I think everything about it is [great/fantastic/an income stream*], my kids loved it (even though they didn't bother take it out of the box/refused to be photographed with it). You can spot them from a mile off, generic 'one review fits all' type write ups for all kinds of crap; a couple of photos, a few back links .....sorted. Everyone (bar the proposed reader) is a winner. 

Don't get me wrong Daddy Poppins does reviews (in fact, you're reading one now). I apply for products to review on a regular basis. My criteria;

  • Will my kids enjoy it?
  • Is it a product this family needs?
  • Is it something I can honestly say we love?
  • Is it funny?
  • Can I make it funny?
  • Will it fit in with my site?

So when Mr. Postman arrives to my door with a big box I know 1 of 2 things has happened

  1. The Bear(that's my wife) has been splurging on clothes online (again), or
  2. Another suitable product has arrived ready for review. 

I can usually tell which of the above options it is by the bemused look on my Postman's face as re-reads the name 'Daddy Poppins' on the address label on the way up the drive. A year in and delivering to Daddy Poppins still freaks him out a bit. It gets even weirder every time as he watches me sign 'Daddy Poppins' and give a cheeky wink with every delivery.

So today a 'mystery box' arrived by post, it was big and heavy (and I gave the obligatory cheeky/*'potentially creepy' wink). I better compensate him with a good tip at Christmas.

'Ooooh what's in this?', I thought as I placed it in the floor, 'I'll have to open it later'. You see, the Bear had given me another 'list' and I was up to my eyeballs. I've found if I open the mystery boxes as they arrive that I forget the list and Ladies and Gentlemen, that doesn't end well.

The Bear upon arriving home to find me playing with the latest kids toy amoungst the filth

The Bear upon arriving home to find me playing with the latest kids toy amoungst the filth

So later in the day with the list 'almost' complete, the Boo in crèche and the little man settled in front of the TV I decided to see what had arrived...

WAHOO!!! I'm 9 again!!*

(*Well actually, I'm 37 and have 'Peter Pan syndrome' so I always act like a child) but today upon opening the latest Daddy Poppins delivery I was EXTRA CHILDLIKE.

Ladies and Gentlemen, today I received a Scalextric Touring Car Battle set.

Scalectrix Touring Car Battle set

I always wanted one of these bad boys but never had one before. Don't get me wrong, I had cheap knock offs (sorry Scalextric) as a child but that's all they were, they were poorly made of cheap materials and fell apart and ran out of batteries and ended up in pieces under a bed somewhere.

Now at this point I'll draw your attention back to my review rules.

  • Will my kids love it? I don't care, I will.
  • Is it something my family needs? Hell no, but I wanted it and they sent it to me. Also, don't we all need one of these? (Even if it arrives a full 28 years after the ideal age).
  • Is it honestly something I can say my family will love? Well, I don't know. That's kind of the purpose of a review 😉 I hope so. 
  • Is it funny? No, it's bloody cool. (Note to self: from now on the question should be is it 'funny or cool'?)
  • Can I make it funny? Well I'll do my best, like. *adjusts collar.
  • Will it fit in with my site? No, it'll make it much cooler. 

So as you can see when asked to review this product I wanted it so much that I tore up my own review rule book.

Was it all I'd hoped it would be? Well, 'Yes and No'.

My first impression was that it was much stronger and better built that the generic ones I remember having as a child; the cars were bigger and clips that held the track together were sturdier. The track itself was less flimsy and felt like it would last. The connectors on the cars (a BMW 1 Series and Honda Civic) could turn independently of the car so they held the track better and drifted around corners. The cars were so real looking, I thought the detail was insane.

I told the little man that I had to finish cleaning upstairs (which I did, the Bear is a hard task master). Once the cleaning was finished I proceeded to set up the track so I could surprise him. 'I hope he loves it', I thought to myself as I put it together.

It was simple to set up, the diagrams and instructions where easy to follow and it was ready to go in no time. It came with a power adapter so it worked from the mains!! this to me is great, no searching for batteries on Christmas morning or running out of juice in the middle of play time. The connections weren't fiddly either, 3 slots and 3 plugs to go into them, handy.

The little man isn't necessarily a typical 'car fan', he loves; Minecraft, gymnastics, dancing and all kinds of imaginary play.

Surely, he'll Iove a Scalextric set though, everyone does, right? 

So once the program he was watching finished and homework was done I told him I had a surprise for him. OK, I bribed him with a surprise to complete his homework (this is an honest review after all). We both ran upstairs excitedly and I opened his bedroom door and was delighted with his response. 

"WOW!!!", he exclaimed.

"That's how I feel too!!", my inner Peter Pan screamed.

So we sat down to play and within seconds both cars had left the track and smashed into the nearby wall. It took a little bit of time to get to grips with the amount of pressure to be applied but we got there. Well I say 'we', he got there, I lagged behind (both on and off the track). The little man took to it like a duck to water. His car sped around the track and he reveled in the fact he was beating me (on the other hand, I wasn't as keen on this situation).

mean to tell me.jpg

This brings me to another great option: there is a adjustable speed limiter available on the controllers that you can set to prevent you applying too much pressure so younger (or in my case 'less skilled adults') don't spend most of the time putting their car back on the track (or retrieving it from a nearby wall).

If he keeps beating me I might have to secretly limit him
— Daddy Poppins

There's also a lap counter on this set which makes it easy to see who's winning, I'll tell the little man about it as soon as its in my favour, he's already rubbing it in enough.

Until then I'll be all...

losing is so hot right now

We played it for ages that night and we loved it. I thought it was a great father son bonding experience. He even gave up time set aside to play his beloved tablet to have another go with me later that night. If that doesn't say how much it was enjoyed nothing will.

Scalextric touring cars

So there has to be something you didn't like about it.. (you did say 'Yes and No', after all)

Well, it comes with enough track pieces to build 4 different circuits (another big plus point) and the first circuit I set up was the figure of 8 with the bridge (who doesn't love a bridge in something like this!). We found that with this configuragtion the cars sometimes got stuck because of the incline to the bridge. We had to prop certain sections of the bridge up to offer additional support and prevent this from happening. The cars are very precise and small details like this seem to affect them.

Although the set says its recommended for ages 5+ because of the constant small adjustments that need to be made younger children will always require adult supervision/help (the little man is 7). Unfortunately on day 2 of having the set we found out the above the hard way, when the little man and 2 younger friends tried to play it without me and through their roughhousing managed to jam the wheels on one of the cars and proceeded to keep trying to use it instead of calling me.  In doing so they damaged the internal cogs in the car and I'm going to have to order a new rear axle online to get it back working. Luckily there appears to be a huge Scalextric community out there and replacement parts are easy to find.

But hey, lesson learned, when a box says 'adult supervision is required' they mean it.

(So that 'no' is totally my fault but I feel I should tell you anyway).  

Apart from that, could you recommend it?

Absolutely, we loved it. We can't wait to have both cars back up and running and I'll see if I can topple 'the Champ'.

Right, Where can I buy one?

Why, Right here, Tell 'em Daddy Poppins sent ya'. 😜

So are you just going to wait for the replacement part waiting to get beaten by your kid again?   

I thing the below Insta post let's you know my thoughts on that 😉 

Appy Kids Co drinks #Review and Giveaway

It's the eternal struggle: getting kids to eat and drink things that are healthy for them.

"I'm hungry"

"OK, have some fruit, dinner is nearly ready"

"I'm not hungry for fruit!! I'M HUNGRY FOR CHOCOLATE!!"

This a conversation a young Daddy Poppins had with his mother (Nanny Poppins), a long long long time ago (he remembers it word for word as he's been reminded of it by said Nanny on many an occasion)

and you know what? its funny.     

.....Or it was funny

Till he had kids.

Once you have kids everything food related is a battle, The Bear (my wife) did everything to bring ours up on all kinds of wonderful stuff, you name it; homemade vegetable puree and soup, fruit, vegetables, correct healthy portion sizes. If there's something to know about food and health she knows it. I on the other hand (as a man) go strictly by the concept of taste, if it tastes good I like it.

Below is an example of our date night dietary habits:

mmmm tasty

The Bear: "I think I'll go for the salad to start and then the sea bream, I want to be good"

Daddy P: "I 'want' to be good too ......but I'm going for the chicken wings and a huge steak"

The Bear: *glares, eyebrow raised

Daddy P: "I'll have a side order of onion rings too"

The Bear: "Seriously?"

Daddy P: "And a pint of beer!!!"

So you see, we both come from different ends of the 'food spectrum' and although our kids started off firmly at her end of the spectrum the little dial has been sliding my way over time. and as we all know once the 'sugar floodgates' are opened its very difficult to get them closed again. First its just a treat here, a bribe there and the next thing you know its forced its way into the bottom of your 'kids food pyramid', they are demanding their 7 a day (of sugar). 

Meme represntation on my previously helthy kids

Meme represntation on my previously helthy kids

So when I was approached by Appy Kids Co to #review their drinks, which they said where made with 'ethically sourced wholesome ingredients' and had 'no added sugar, GMOs or artificial preservatives', I thought, "Hey that sounds pretty damn good" and that's before I read that they 'are kinder to teeth and a healthier option for children'.

To be honest I thought it was all 'a bit too good to be true', then again, as previously discussed, I come from the 'healthy food tastes bad' school of thought.

When it comes to kids food you usually have 2 choices:

Or they don't bloody eat the blue pill and stomp their feet till they get the red one!!

Or they don't bloody eat the blue pill and stomp their feet till they get the red one!!

But then Appy Kids Co arrived, all 'Morpheus like' and said:

what if i told you.jpg

So I agreed to do an honest review of their product for the product itself and some to give away to you lot too (but we'll discuss that bit later OK)

Then 1 day I received an incredibly heavy package in the post, they'd sent me 5 boxes of the stuff, all in different flavours and kids characters. There was;

  • Dora (mixed berries flavour)

  • Paw Patrol (both apple and orange flavours)

  • Minions (tropical flavour)

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (multifruit flavour)

So how did we get on with them? 

Why not check out the video below to see

(He drank 4 in the end, if you were betting)

So after we made the the above video the Bear arrived home from work and upon opening the fridge we had the following conversation:

the Bear: "What is all this sugary crap doing in my fridge?"

Daddy P: "It's not sugary its healthy"

the Bear: HHHHMMMMMMMMM (you know that 'Marge Simpson sound', yeah that)

Daddy P: "look it says lower sugar on the packet"

the Bear: "So its full of artificial muck then, great!"

Daddy P: "No, its some natural thingamebob"

the Bear: "Don't let them drink too much of it till I read whats in it"

Daddy P: "Yeah, ............OK" (*as he thinks back to the 4 the little man just drank in about 3 minutes)

the Bear: (*reading the packet) "OH, it uses Stevia to sweeten it, I read that's much better than sugar but it tasted s**t when i tried it in my tea"

Daddy P: "Well the little man loved them so its working alright in them"

the Bear: "Alright then, actually.. how many did you give him?"

Daddy P: (*expertly changing the subject) "So, how was your day?"


the Bear: "Stop trying to change the subject"


They arrived on the Thursday and myself and the Bear went away to the national Dyspraxia summit for a few days and when we arrived back on the Sunday what was left of the 5 boxes was in the fridge. 

Yup, 3 pouches left.  

Yup, 3 pouches left.  

If that doesn't tell you how much my kids liked them i don't know what will

OK, so where can you get them?

Well, they are available throughout Ireland in Dunnes Stores, some Spars and SuperValus and online through Amazon (they are also available throughout the UK in Tesco, Ocado and Spar).


So, the GIVEAWAY!! here is where you can win yourself 8 cases of them (that's 40 drinks!!)

(Just click on the rafflecopter box below and follow the instructions)

(Entry is limited to the Ireland and UK, although Appy Kids Co are available in 27 countries around the world)

brush-baby dental products #review

When I get approached by a company to review a product my first questions are usually:

1. Is it something we need?

2. Does it fit with my brand? (yes, I think Daddy Poppins is a brand, don't worry this makes me laugh as well)

3. Is it something I can honestly review?

4. Can I make the review interesting?

So when the people at Brush Baby contacted me to see if I'd review their dental products I thought I can definitely answer yes to the first 3.

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I long for the times of; going outside to kick a ball around, tag, stuck in the mud, tip the can oh and of course family board games! (even the Christmas Day ones when it can become a bit dicey)

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So where is Fenor? and why should you visit it's playground?

Well, Fenor is situated in County Waterford, about 5 minutes drive from Dunhill and 10 minutes drive from Tramore. (its about 15 minutes from my front door). Theres a handy map below

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Trunkaroo box review

We were asked to #review a monthly creativity box from the lovely people at Trunkaroo. 

Now I don't know about you but I loved getting stuff in the post as a child; What is it? Who's sending something to me? It's a big box!! What could be inside? (Nowadays it's generally bills so I'm not quite as thrilled). My little man seems to have inherited the same 'excited about the post' gene. 


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So, I was recently asked to review these toys and because at 16 months old my little lady has taken a sudden interest in the program I said yes straight away. (*Disclaimer, I was given these toys free for the purpose of the review)

So what is cool about these toys?  Lets start with Bella’s favourite… Igglepiggle In the Night Garden Baby Soft Toy or ‘PIG’ or ‘PIGGLE’ as she manages to call him.

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