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Confessions of a Toy Copywriter – and a Cool Giveaway

For almost a year now, I’ve had a bit of an obsession. Can I trust you with my secret? OK, I love Sticky Mosaics by Orb Factory. There, I said it.

Sticky Mosaics Princess set

As a writer for Magic Beans, I get to play with all the toys I want. I stack blocks, deal cards, enjoy craft projects, play with teeny animal figurines, and build wild formations out of magnet blocks. This is part of my job – I know, not too shabby.

One day, there was a sample pack of something called Sticky Mosaics on my desk. One of our toy buyers was bringing these sets into our stores and wanted me check it out. The idea is simple. When you open any Sticky Mosaics package, there is a cardboard sheet (or crown or card or jewelry box, depending on the set) featuring a design with little numbers. You will immediately think of the paint-by-number sets from your childhood. With Sticky Mosaics though, there is no messy paint. No colored pencils to keep sharpened. Instead, you use the included thousands of colorful, glittery mosaic stickers to fill in the blank sheets.

In order to learn about this product, I decorated a sheet from the Princess set. I wanted to get a sense of the process. About fifteen minutes and a hundred mosaic stickers later, I realized I was really enjoying it. There was something so gratifying about seeing a lively image taken over the blank page, a picture made especially arresting with the metallic and even jewel mosaic pieces. As a neat freak, the clean and easy process appealed to me. I loved the feel of the thick foam mosaic pieces. It was incredibly relaxing and yet engaging – until my co-worker said, “um, are you still playing with that?”

Alright, Sticky Mosaics sets weren’t designed for 26 year olds. I know that. My friends would look at me funny if I whipped one out while waiting for my entree to come at a restaurant. But as long as it’s “research”, I’m able to enjoy this simple yet addictive project.

But if you are shopping for a kid this holiday season, definitely pick up a set of these. Not only will your child stay focused and quiet, but the project results in a pretty picture that’s sure to make her smile. Planning to travel this season? This is my number one recommendation for traveling kids ages five and up.

I just so happen to have a few brand new Stick Mosaics sets on my desk. Being in the holiday spirit, I’m giving away these Sticky Mosaics sets and sharing the  fun with you, our dear readers. Want one? Leave a comment on this post about your favorite Magic Beans toy – the one that belongs to your child, but you end up playing with and enjoying (we promise not to tell the kids). I’ll choose three lucky winners to receive my favorite no-mess craft.


  1. I love Blokus but my daughter’s Ugly Doll, Target, is a hit with all of the family.

  2. Magnatiles, hands down. The entire extended family was playing with these after my daughter went down for her nap on her birthday last year.

  3. I love Shrinky-Dinks. I always have and always will, and I cannot explain why.

  4. I play with all of my son’s Melissa and Doug food sets where you can cut the food and put them all back together. We play together, too. He tries to cut it all faster than I can put it back together. It is a close race!

  5. I love her Melissa and Doug nesting block set – I am building structures and pointing to the fun pictures long after she has moved on to the Rody…:)

  6. Most of art sets I end up playing with but I really love shrinky dinks!!

  7. Making potholders with the Loop n Loom brings me back to my childhood. Such good memories, I think I enjoy it more than my daughter!

  8. I *love* the Melissa and Doug wooden foods (we have the Pizza Party and the Cutting Food). It’s great!

  9. I love this little car/plane set we got for my son a LONG time ago at Magic Beans. I think the are called chubbies or something, but several years later and lots of use they still look like new.

  10. We have more Melissa and Doug puzzles than we know what to do with and we keep doing them all!

  11. We all love Sophie. My daughter now thinks that every giraffe makes that squeeking sound! Rody is a close second.

  12. My son is only 4 months old so he’s just starting to show interest in toys, but so far my favorite is the Tiny Love mobile. I love the music and watching it go round and round, and the little clicking sound it makes with the discs. I also love that it keeps him entertained long enough for me to take a shower or put away the laundry!

  13. I’m addicted to the old classic, Legos, but in Duplo form…

  14. I get a certain delight about squeaking Sophie

  15. Our 4-year-old got something similar for her birthday and I thought it would be a disaster, but she LOVES it.

    My favorites are the Melissa & Doug food sets, too. We just got the sushi set – SO AWESOME.

  16. My favorite “toy” of sorts from Magic Beans is my sons Orbit infant travel system! I’m obsessed about its functionality and cinvinience and ease of use! I recommend it to all who ask me and all which (frankly) don’t!!! Second in line is Sophie The Giraffe and something I call “hugs”, which is actually any Angel dear lovie! Those things are so cuddly I thunk I formed an attachment with the froggie one, and the monkey one and I keep liking giraffe one, but haven’t splurged on that one yet! If I win this Ill have something to surprise and shower my 2 adorable neices with whom I haven’t seen since Mat and who will meet their baby cousin possibly very soon. Perhaps around New Years! Thank you for the chance!

  17. I’ve had my eye on the Sticky Mosaics for my six year old. This might clench it for me. The thing I play with the most from Magic Beans is our Dado Cubes, I’ve owned them for several years and they still get played with daily!

  18. Our Melissa and Foug train set!

  19. I think we like Rody the best- we’ve bought so many great toys for our daughter from Magic Beans.. Can’t say enough about them!

  20. My 14-month-old twins enjoy carrying around and playing peekaboo with the Knock-Knock blocks, but I’m much more into them. I build little cities for them to knock down; and I seem to keep building more cities even after the babies have wandered away.

  21. Thank you all for sharing your favorite Magic Beans products! I’ve contacted the winners. Be sure to keep checking back here at Spilling the Beans – who knows what awesome toy will show up on my desk next 😉

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