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  • Toys Archives - Page 26 of 34 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Toys

Building with trees

I picked Tree Blocks as one of my favorite finds this past year at Toy Fair. Now, they’ve finally arrived. We’re carrying a 21-piece set, a 36-piece set and two types of treehouses. The blocks are extremely unique. They are hand-cut from real branches in precise 2cm length increments, with wider 2cm pieces that can serve as bridges or platforms. ... Read More »

The search engine is rolling into the station

Here’s a quandary. Your company produces an iconic children’s toy beloved by generations. But lately, it seems like everyone is knocking off your product, and sales have slowed. How do you update your product for the 21st century, to keep it fresh and relevant for today’s kids? Well, if you’re Brio, you take a huge risk. You move away from ... Read More »

Squishy towers

Edublocks have been a fixture in our store’s playscape since we first opened in 2004. The set of giant, foam Lego-style blocks are probably the only toy that has survived two years of unmitigated abuse at the hands of our littlest customers. But they are very expensive, and despite their popularity, we don’t sell too many of them. Now, I ... Read More »

In gear for the holidays

Oliblocks are one of the successful instances where art and play intersect. Designed by architect Daniel Oakley, the original blocks have been featured in a variety of venues, from museums to toys stores. Now, they just introduced Oligears, a set of 11 gears in various sizes that can interlock or connect magnetically. The pieces are beautiful, the quality is excellent, ... Read More »

Incognito and Ugly

Uglydolls have been a sensation since they debuted in 2004. Why do so many folks gravitate towards these soft, charming and, yes, unattractive litte characters? I’m not sure, but I have one on my desk at work. Now, they’ve come out with a limited edition Secret Mission series of all-black Uglydolls. What they lack in vibrance, they make up for ... Read More »

What (not) to wear

In my children’s little universe, independence is treasured beyond almost anything else. I see the evolution in sharp focus now, with a toddler who wants to do everything “by mysewf”, and a pre-kindergartener who confidently tried to make herself an ice cream sundae last week (complete with microwaving the ice cream to soften it for scooping). Getting dressed each morning ... Read More »

Rub a dub dub – design for the tub

Thanks to Boon, the creative engine behind the Frog Pod and the Potty Bench, your nightly bath time experience can be further enhanced with a whimsical collection of bathtub toys. The set includes 15 colorful, amorphous foam appliqués that stick to the wall and tub when they’re wet, two mini-scrubbies, and three balls. It’s unusual to find bath toys that ... Read More »

Play Foam is here!

After Toy Fair this past February, I named Play Foam one of my favorite new products for 2006. It’s taken a while, but you can all finally see for yourselves what is so cool about it. This squishy, moldable foam never dries out, and because of its granular texture, color mixing is a bit like pointillist painting. Your kids will ... Read More »

Abby Cadabby Joins Sesame Street

There’s a new muppet on Sesame Street, and naturally there’s an uproar to herald her arrival. Abby Cadabby is the first female muppet to join the cast in 13 years, and unlike any of the other muppets on the show, Abby is a girly girl. She’s pink with fluffy pigtails, dainty fairy wings and a “training wand” that she uses ... Read More »

Dinner Theater

When someone first showed me Dinner Games, from FamilyTimeFun Games, I was very skeptical. Why would parents need a little box of suggested activities to keep kids engaged during dinner? I found a curmudgeon blossoming within me: why, when I was a kid, we just sat at the dinner table and talked. We didn’t need fancy games. Then, my four-year-old ... Read More »

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