Posts from October 2011

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The Christmas Countdown – Top 12 Toys for 2011 Revealed!

It’s official – the Toy Retailers’ Association has announced its Top 12 Toys for Christmas 2011. Expect to see the list in your morning paper (if the Toy Retailers’ Association’s PR company has done its job properly) and prepare for the kids to turn up the pester-factor!


We’ve provided a breakdown of each product here so you can see what all the fuss is about and surprise the kids with how much you know about the coolest presents around this Christmas. You’ll see that Refresh PR’s client stocks a few of the products on the list, which should help avoid any Tracy Island-esque scuffles on the high street…


  • Doggie Doo (£24) – the game where players feed a dog as they make their way around the board, collecting dog poo when nature calls. The player with the most dog poo on their shovel at the end, wins
  • Fijit Friends (£54.99) - cute interactive robot toys that giggle and dance when poked or squeezed. They have bright, multicolour face displays and inbuilt voice recognition. They react to 30 keywords and respond with over 150 phrases, and even tell knock-knock jokes! Get yours now at
  • Fireman Sam Pontypandy Rescue Set (£29.99) – everyone’s favourite fireman comes to the rescue in this ‘multi-disaster’ play set. Kids can help put out building fires with the hose, save naughty Norman when he traps his head in the railings, help Fireman Sam get the cat down from the tree! There's never a dull moment in Pontypandy...
  • Kidizoom Twist (£49.99) - gets budding photographers off to a good start. This 2 megapixel camera from VTech has a twisting lens so kids can take pictures and movies of their friends as well as self-portraits. The camera has a 4x digital zoom, built-in flash, colour screen, five games, and a variety of frames, stamps and effects so kids can get creative
  • LeapPad Explorer (£78.99) – this ‘iPad for kids’ is aimed at ages 4-9. Given that it saves around £320 on the iPad, it comes very well equipped with a still and video camera, voice recording, and motion-based accelerometer. Many of the interactive games use these features, and there are apps to help with everything from reading, maths and language to health and hygiene, the difficulty levels of which adjust automatically according to a child’s age. Clever!
  • Let's Rock Elmo (£69.99) – Sesame Street’s Elmo has gone all rock’n’roll on us, but only so he can help the kids learn through music. He responds to and interacts with his instruments, and comes programmed with a series of sing-along songs, too
  • Milky the Bunny (£59.99)the adorable interactive bunny rabbit that just loves being cuddled. Perfect for kids that pester for pets, Milky responds to touch, wiggles her ears, blinks, sleeps, eats and moves her feet! When she’s awake, she will blink, wiggle her ears and call for attention. Give Milky a good home by ordering from

·         Monster High Lagoona's Hydration Station (£39.99) – one for fans of the cult Monster High dolls, the Hydration Station comes with a new Lagoona Blue doll. The Hydration Station is basically where Lagoona sleeps at night; because she is part sea-monster she needs to rehydrate. Doubles up as a slightly morbid lava lamp thanks to its eerie blue glow

·         Moshling Tree House (£19.99) – playground craze Moshi Monsters are given a place to hang out with this tree house, which has a working basket lift for moshlings to play in too. The tree house also stores Moshlings to prevent them from cluttering up bedrooms

  • Nerf Vortex Nitron Blaster (£44.99) - propels a full-auto storm of foam nerf discs toward targets at extreme range for an all-out assault. One for outside methinks.
  • Ninjago Fire Temple (£89.99) – an immense Lego play set that gets kids saving the Dragon Sword of Fire from the clutches of the evil Skeleton Army. Intense.
  • Star Wars Ultimate Force Tech Lightsaber Assortment (£39.99) – this says it all, really!


So, what do you think of the Toy Retailers’ Association’s must-haves? Anything not on the shortlist that you think should be? Leave a comment below!

Tagged with: Christmas, Christmas presents, Fijit, Gifts, Milky the Bunny, PR, PR company, top 12 toys, Toy Retailers Association, toys

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The X Factor Makeovers...Get The Look

The finalists were selected, the judges were ready, the songs had been chosen and the makeovers were complete….Saturday night was X Factor time.  This weekend saw the return of the live shows  to our screens, with the final 16 ready to battle it out and with the new judges determined to impress.

Now, I know the X Factor is all about the music, but for me one of the best parts is the finalist makeovers.  On Saturday night the contestants took to the stage, styled and groomed to within an inch of their lives and working their new looks.  The question is…who looked the best?

It’s a tough one because they all looked so very different, and that’s down to one thing: hair colour.  It seems they had all been hitting the hair dye to go from drab to fab in an instant, and it worked!  Just consider Janet Devlin, who was transformed with a flame-haired make over.  It’s not an easy look to pull off but Janet had it down to a tee, teaming her new hair with her vintage, indie style to match that quirky voice of hers.  I’ve always thought she’d look amazing if she stuck to her roots and went for a funky gothic look, a la Florence Welch, and she didn’t disappoint.  On Saturday night she was flaunting her new look in a cream lace number, and Sunday night’s results show saw her working a ‘Florence’ inspired dress of black, lace and big sleeves. 

It wasn’t just Janet who had been hitting the (hair dye) bottle to complete their makeover.  Amelia Lily, the Christina Aguilera of the competition, took her locks from platinum white to a rosy pink ahead of the live shows on Saturday.  Pink…it’s an interesting one I know, but it seems to work, not only on Amelia but on a fair few celebs who have been working the trend too.  Fearne Cotton, Sienna Miller and Katy Perry have all stepped out sporting the look.  I was really disappointed to see Amelia go, especially because I thought she was the one to watch on the style front, she had a touch of a Lady Gaga about her, didn’t you think?  Even her song choice of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean’ was a risky one.

I thought it was a great idea for Amelia to go down the pink route; she’s always stood out in the auditions for having her own style.  It’s just a shame that we won’t see her funky sense of style again on the shows.

Feisty girl group Rhythmix were flaunting different colours and styles too.  They had a mix of platinum blondes, honey and caramel extensions, and that ever-famous Rihanna red.

So, X Factor was all about the hair colour this weekend, and thankfully the enormous selection of hair dyes available in the stores makes it easy for us to stay on trend and rock these colourful celeb looks at home.   There are some great accessories out there too that make the whole hair dying process ten times easier, and with very little mess. Enter Refresh PR’s new client: Tie Towel!

The Tie Towel is a brilliant investment for anyone who is a fan of colouring their own hair; it’s the perfect home hair colouring towel that drapes over your shoulders, with a toggle that you can pull up at the front to keep your clothes and neck from getting a colour change too.  It’s bleach and tint resistant and machine washable, so there are no more towels ruined when you fancy a hair change.  It’s a must have for any hair obsessive.  The Tie Towel is available at Boots and Superdrug now for just £9.99.

I hope you enjoyed watching the X Factor as much as I did.  Roll on next weekend so that we can take in the styles and transformations once again as they’re sure to be the must have looks for winter 2012, and I haven’t even started on the judges yet…. 


Don’t forget to follow Tie Towel on Twitter @TieTowel and on Facebook for competitions, spot give aways and top hair trends and tips.

Tagged with: Amelia Lily, hair, Hair Dye, Janet Devlin, makeovers, X Factor