Monsters University giveaway

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Nov 142013
 

Where did Mowgli come from and why was he left in the jungle? How did Woody end up in Andy’s toybox? What happened to Snow White’s real mother? We all love a good sequel but sometimes it is even more interesting to see how the story really began, long before the first movie. It is not often that you get to look back in time which makes the prequel to Disney‘s Monsters Inc even more exciting. Take a peek in the childhood of Mike Wazowski and be there when he first meets Sulley in Monsters University.

Monsters University Blu-rayIf you’ve seen the 2001 blockbuster Monsters Inc you might think that Mike and Sulley have grown up together and have been best buddies forever. Monsters University take you back to where it all started, with adorable one-eyed monster Mike who has always wanted to become a proper scarer but sadly doesn’t fit the stereotype of a good scarer. He is willing to work hard to achieve his dream and arrives at Monsters University campus determined to be the best despite what everyone says.

Mike has always wanted to be a scarer

Mike has always wanted to be a scarer

Then there is James P. Sullivan (Sulley), blessed with the looks, the sounds and the confidence of a top-notch scarer yet he doesn’t take university that seriously. For Sulley university is all about having fun, crazy parties and being part of the coolest fraternity. The two monsters do not see eye to eye and all this bickering gets both off of them kicked out of the scare program. For a moment it seems all is lost, until an opportunity comes up to win their spot back into the program… All they need to do is win the Scare Games but that sounds easier than it is!

Mike is so excited to be part of the Scare Program

Mike is so excited to be part of the Scare Program

To participate in the Scare Games Mike and Sulley need to create a (winning) team so when they’re teamed up with a bunch of campus outcasts in team Oozma Kappa they fear all is lost. Over time they come to realise that teamwork is what makes you a winner and this strange group of misfits turns into a strong family that uses each player’s talent to get closer to the finish line. Each victory brings them closer to that much wanted ticket back into the program, but will Mike ever become the scarer he dreams to be?

A team of misfits or a recipe for success?

A team of misfits or a recipe for success?

Monsters University is available on DVD ($39.95), Blu-ray ($49.95) and 3D Blu-ray ($59.95) at major retailers across Australia.

To find out more about Disney, to discover the latest releases and to order your favourite titles online visit www.disney.com.au.

To celebrate the November 13th Blu-ray and DVD release of Monsters University we are giving away 3 copies of Monsters University on Blu-ray 2D. If you would like to see what Mike and Sulley got up to on campus enter our giveaway below:

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Oct 052013
 

Disney Infinity

A few weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming release of Disney Infinity and I promised to be back a little later to not only share my experiences but also bring you a giveaway. Some of you wondered if I forget all about that, don’t worry I was just taking the time to test Disney Infinity myself (read: have loads of fun and neglect my household duties). Now if you have been living under a rock and completely missed the who, what and how of Disney Infinity check out my original post here, it explains all the ins and outs in easy to understand language.

Disney Infinity Starter Pack

Disney Infinity PS3 Starter Pack

To start your Disney Infinity journey you need a Disney Infinity Starter Pack, suitable for your game console. As we recently purchased an Xbox 360 we went with the Xbox Starter Pack but you can also buy a PS3, Wii or WiiU version. I think it is important to point out that I am not a ‘gamer’, in fact the last computer game I ever played was Super Mario on a Nintendo 64 (Am I showing my age here?). At the same time our children are new to game consoles as well so we were all very excited to give this a go.

Disney Infinity Base

Disney Infinity Base

The setting up was very easy: just plug the base into your game console, insert the Disney Infinity disc and the game will guide you through the whole process in simple steps. As I explained in my original post there are two ways to play Disney Infinity: You can play ‘free range’ in the Toy Box or you can explore pre-made games in the so called Play Sets. As our children are big fans of Monsters University we decided to start with the Monsters University Play Set by simply placing the Sulley figurine (which is part of the Starter Pack) on the Disney Infinity base.

Monsters University figurines

Monsters University figurines

Even when you are a novice like me it is not hard to learn how to control the game, clear instructions pop up on the screen to tell you which buttons to press and what actions you can perform. Our two 5-year olds (and even the 3-year old) worked it out very quickly and have the best time exploring Monsters University. Because we thought it would be nicer for two family members to play together we purchased the Mike figurine separately which I think was a good move, at ca. $17.99 it was not overly expensive and now our kids can share the game experience. When you play with two players you actually play together as opposed to play against eachother which is more fun.

Sulley on the move

Sulley on the move

The game truly is beautifully made, it really feels like you are walking around on the Monsters University campus. Wherever you look there are things to see, touch, pick up, climb on, change and play with, I was extremely impressed. Within the Play Sets there are many ‘missions’ to be fullfilled, some are short and some are a bit longer but it is nice to have little challenges to do within the big Play Set. By completing the individual missions you follow a storyline but there are so many missions to do we are yet to reach the end.

Toiletpaper Gun Action

Toiletpaper Gun Action

Unlike many other computer games there is no ‘game over’ which makes it a much more positive way to play for children, it does not matter if they make mistakes as they can just try again. We are quite careful about what we expose our young children to and Monsters University is definitely a child friendly game, it is happy, fun, full of jokes, tricks and cheeky monster antics. Who wouldn’t love a turn with a toiletpaper gun or a ride on Archie the scare pig? The kids love pulling tricks on other characters, riding bikes, playing paintball, building joke traps and especially picking eachother up, they will not stop laughing when they get tiny Mike to pick up big Sulley and carry him around.

Pulling Pranks

Pulling Pranks

For the kids it has become a bit of a habit to get some play time with hip daddy on a Saturday morning, they play just 10-15 minutes each which is long enough for children of their age. When they play with daddy he mostly takes care of the challenges while they explore and have fun, keeping it fun for all. Behind the scenes daddy is building a cool Toy Box World for the kids and I will make to sure to share some more about that as we get ready to show it to them. We are also impatiently waiting to find out what the next Disney movie is to made available as a Disney Infinity Play Set, which movie is your favourite?

If you would love experience the magic that is Disney Infinity too make sure you enter our giveaway below, up for grabs is a Disney Infinity PS3 Starter Pack valued at $89.95.

To find out more about Disney Infinity, to take a closer look at the game and to watch cool videos of Disney Infinity in action visit www.disneyinfinity.com.au.

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LeapFrog takes on Monsters University

 Toys, Books & Movies  Comments Off on LeapFrog takes on Monsters University
Jul 142013
 

Ever since the kids discovered that their heroes from Monsters Inc. were back for a sequel they have been begging us to go see the movie on the big screen. We promised we would take them but sickness has been keeping us indoors for weeks now, such a disappointment for my little Monsters fans. Luckily I knew exactly how to turn those frowns upside down and introduced them to these two great Monsters University releases from LeapFrog:

LeapReader Monsters UniversityLast week I told you all about the exciting new LeapReader Reading and Writing System (if you missed it you can read it here) and Monsters University ($24.99, ages 5-8) is one of the first titles in the LeapReader library. We all know kids learn better when they like the subject they’re reading about so this was the perfect book for our kids to start with. As if Mike and Sully weren’t interesting enough already the book comes with a pair of 3D glasses, smiling faces all around.

Reading is fun with the LeapReader

Reading is fun with the LeapReader

The hardcover book tells the story of Disney’s Monsters University which is currently showing in cinemas around the country. Kids can hear the story read out loud or read letters, words and sentences by themselves using the innovative LeapReader stylus. What I think is a real bonus is that the stylus teaches children to pay attention, listen carefully and follow instructions, those are very useful skills at school and at home.

Learning about Nouns and Verbs with Mike

Learning about Nouns and Verbs with Mike

But there is more than just reading, by touching the symbols on each page corner kids can play fun (and educational!) games too and even the illustrations come to life when you touch them with the stylus. We’ve read Monsters University so many times now but we keep hearing new things which is what makes these books such a success. My kids love playing the games and without realising it they are learning about position words, nouns and verbs and adding tricky words to their vocabulary too.

LeapFrog Explorer Monsters UniversityTo avoid arguments between the big two I made sure there was some more ‘scary’ entertainment available in the shape of the LeapFrog Explorer Monsters University Learning Game ($44.99, ages 4-7). We have both the LeapFrog GS and the LeapPad 1 and it is compatible with both so that’s very convenient. This game has so many cool functions, I think we’ve only discovered the tip of the iceberg but I can already tell you it is a huge hit.

The game uses a range of different exercises that build creativity (create your own monster picture and practise your scariest monster sounds), logic skills (walk your way through the university, avoid obstacles and enemies and learn about cause and effect) and memory skills (play the monster memory game and solve puzzles). Get working on those scare skills! Last but not least: Monsters University is a great tool to show your kids that there is nothing scary about monsters, they’re just funny!

If you want to stay up-to-date with all the latest LeapFrog news and specials make sure you keep an eye on the LeapFrog Australia Facebook page, that way you’re always the first to know.

To find out more about LeapFrog, to take a closer look at the range and to locate stockist near you visit www.leapfrog.com.au.