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Category Archives: Toys

Lego on and on

The appeal of Lego is so broad, it’s staggering. This one company produces plastic bricks (or variations on that theme), and manages to successfully attract customers ranging from infants to adults. Until recently, though, the older Lego customer was usually a die-hard Lego enthusiast, one who loved the challenge and satisfaction of assembling the models and displaying the finished product. ... Read More »

Shake it up, spell it out

Rattled is a new game from Educational Insights, the same company responsible for Blokus, a perennial bestseller. Rattled is a word game that offers a creative twist on a familiar theme. Shake the wand, and a random set of 8 scrambled letters appears. Then, two players (or teams) compete to find the longest word that can be made using those ... Read More »

Building a Rainbow Connection

Sure, I know it isn’t easy being green, but do my kids? As it is, when Kermit’s old standard comes on the car CD player, my two-year-old delightedly claps her hands and shrieks, “Yay! Ernie’s song!” Well, technically, yes, sort of. And wow, good ear. But no, not quite. When we were kids, the Muppets were at their heyday. The ... Read More »

A real, live virtual stuffed pet

In 1975, the Pet Rock was the hottest holiday item on the shelves. For just $4, you got a rock, a carrying case and a training manual. Yes, a rock. Americans snapped up more than 1,000,000 of these geological novelties in just a few months. Next, in November of 1996 Bandai launched the first edition of the Tamagotchi, a small ... Read More »

Giggle Gear, aptly named

Earlier this year, a company called Big Boing sold off it’s small collection of unique products to two different companies. Alex purchased their bath toys, and Cranium purchased their make-believe toys. This small acquisition for Cranium was the first signal that they were looking to branch out of the game category. Now, Cranium is on a roll, releasing 10 new ... Read More »

Warning: Hexabits are addictive

One day, a salesperson sat down at my desk and pulled out a plastic baggie filled with small, flexible hexagon-shaped pieces that interlocked. A new construction toy. I don’t think I paid attention to another word he said. I was totally captivated by my creative efforts, and I was reluctant to return his sample an hour later. Now Hexabits have ... Read More »

Zip-up dee doo-dads

When it comes to organizing the playroom, the smaller toys are usually the hardest to conquer. But now, along comes a new product that not only provides a natural storage space for small pieces, but also enhances playtime by converting into colorful, themed playmats. ZipBins use a series of zippers to transform from storage box to playmat in virtually no ... Read More »

Spectrangle: strategy at its best.

This game caught my attention from the moment I saw it, because of its unique triangular packaging. When I read the basic premise of the game, I was impressed and brought one home to try it out. My fiance agreed to play a round with me, and some intense competition ensued. It was incredibly fun and engaging, even for adults. ... Read More »

If they’re Not Bloks, what are they?

We’ve just received our first shipment of Not Bloks, a new mega-size construction toy that looks like a lot of fun. Inspired by cardboard box play, these are big sheets of corrugated plastic, and they attach using velcro to form large structures, like playhouses, tunnels, rocket ships, etc. I like that they’re so open-ended, and that they will engage parents ... Read More »

What’s hot? Flying monkeys, of course.

What do you get when you cross a stuffed monkey with a slingshot and add some good sound effects? Evidently a hit. The new Flingshot Monkey from California Creations is flying off shelves across the country (pun intented), and kids are hooked. We’ve jumped on the bandwagon and stocked up on these creative novelties. Basically, you stick your fingers into ... Read More »

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