I love discovering new stores that sell a wide range of gifts, especially ones that sell fun gadgets for all ages.
Hawkin's Bazaar is one of these gadget stores and a bit more. They are now selling online as well, and have kindly offered me an opportunity to review something from their online store, so that I can have a feel of the shopping experience. They have a lot to offer from a wide range of prices, with a lot of fun novelty gifts, some high-tech ones like drones with camera, and collectables like Hornby's trains too.
|Images from Hawkin's Bazaar's website|
I had a quick look and the 4 gifts in the above picture has caught my eyes! Especially that Christmas hat! It sings Shout and dance to the tune too! They have included a video clip of how it works, and it's just so bizarre and funny! Imagine seeing it dancing and singing on someone's (or yours) head!
Overall I like Hawkwin's Bazaar's website layout, and love the gifts they stock too.
Back to the products I went for to try out. After a long look, I went for the Disney Star Wars R2-D2 Desktop Vacuum (unfortunately out of stock now), which I think hubby will like (whether it works or not, it'll look good on the desk!), and the Immerse Virtual Reality Headset (£30.00), because I want to see what this future gaming experience is like (it's not really for me, I hope that they won't stop making normal games in the future...)! To my surprise, the parcel came with a Smiley bubble necklace as a free gift! Cute!
This R2-D2 Desktop Vacuum Cleaner would definitely make a lovely novelty gift for the Star Wars fans who are always working by their desk. At first I thought it didn't really work (it won't suck up a strand of my hair!), but it has no problem hoovering up tiny pieces of papers (like those from hole punchers), and pencil crumbs.
The good thing is that it maintain suction power, the bad thing is that it's pretty selective, and sometimes it get stuck. However as novelty gifts go, it's still pretty impressive.
Although it's not for sale anymore on Hawkwin's Bazaar's website, you can still find lots of other Star Wars and R2-D2 gifts that will suit the workaholic geeks!
|Looks like a gas mask!|
|Right: Snap the plastic off to allow wires to fit|
It's a fairly straightforward to understand headset. Open the lid and fit your phone inside with the app open (line the centre of the app, which is the middle line between the left screen and right screen of the game, with the lid). If you are using a headset or wired game pad/ controller for the game, simply snap the clips with a headset logo next to it off (see bottom right image) to fit the wire. Or just use a bluetooth wireless controller.
Close the lid with your phone inside the box. Put on the headset and adjust the clarity by adjusting the lens, and you can start your virtual reality tour!
There is quite a healthy selection of VR apps under Andoid (I'm not sure about iOS), although quite many are over-excited apps like horror (I don't want to live Insidious 3 thank you!) or roller coaster. The one I was happy to trial is Space Explorer VR, which sounded peaceful enough!
While you are at it, do remember to clear the area around you. You don't want to trip over anything while going around. Also, for glasses wearers (like me), you shouldn't need your glasses to see because of the close distance of the screen to your eyes. So don't try to squeeze your glasses into the headset (like me. *cough*).
The real problem I had though, was that my Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was too big. It did fit in the phone clamp (it will hold a phone with up to a 5.7" screen), but the clamp was putting pressure on all the buttons. The bigger the phone, the stronger the pressure the clamps puts on it, so it kept switching it off.
Although the headset will hold a big phone, I wouldn't recommend it.
I managed to try the game out by holding the phone and the headset together with my hands, and then peek inside the goggles. It's quite an interesting experience, and I think if I played for longer, I might live it too.
However, after a 2 minutes test, my eyes felt really tired and strained. It's the first time I felt that I really need to drip some eye drops for relief. I have then found out that it is not recommended by health specialists to look into a VR headset (any VR headset) for too long as it could strain your eyes and might possibly cause long term damage.
The Immerse VR headset recommend using it for no longer than 2 hours, but I wouldn't really go for that long. My eyes are normally tired and dry already, so they didn't last for more than 2 to 3 minutes. But for healthy eyes I wouldn't go for longer than 10 to 15 minutes without a break either.
Anyway, it was a fun opportunity trying both the R2-D2 Desktop Cleaner and Immerse VR Headset out, thanks to Hawkin's Bazaar. There is still a lot of gifts that looks and sounds fun, and I do think that they will make great gifts. most will certainly put a smile on someone's face!