Crayola Emoji Maker

Crayola have been a trusted brand for many years and are well known for their quality arts and crafts products. This Emoji Maker contains all the equipment you need to make 16 colored emoji stamps and markers. The 16 emoji’s include different faces, animals, and sunglasses.

For those who are asking what is an ‘Emoji,’ it is basically a little image that is commonly used to give expression to a text message in digital form. If you are still confused, think of the little smiley faces you see in emails and on Facebook–that’s an Emoji.

How Much?
The Emoji Maker retails at around $20

Who Would Buy The Crayola Emoji Maker?
The set is marketed for kids of 6+. We would suggest parental supervision for children under the age of 8 as this could get a bit messy.

Reading reviews online, kids up to age 11 have been enjoying creating Emoji stamps with this. Children younger than 6 years old have also enjoyed it with help from parents.
If your child enjoys arts and crafts they will love this set. It’s also a nice way of getting them away from computer or TV screens and spending some quality time with your kids.

Things We Like About Crayola Emoji Maker
At first glance, all the various components might look a little bit daunting but if you read the instructions or watch the video it will soon become clear what to do. We liked that it is a great arts and craft set that the whole family can enjoy.

It also teaches young children about colors and how they can be mixed to form other colors as well as how to measure.
Once the child has created the emoji they also will be very proud that they have actually made something with their own hands and will encourage them in their creativity.

Things We Didn’t Like About It
It can be a bit messy so you do need to keep an eye on what is going on. Make sure that you put down newspaper first. The paints are described as washable so you should be able to remove any stains but it would be wise to be prepared. The stamps are a little small and you need to practice a bit before you can get that ‘perfect emoji.’

Is The Crayola Emoji Maker Worth The Money?
We’d say it is a reasonable price for an arts and crafts set that has a lot of repeat play value. Siblings could also play with this at the same time making it good value if you have more than one child using it.

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Where Can I Buy It?
We have seen it being sold online at Toys R Us and Amazon – it’s getting some good reviews on Amazon at the moment so it’s worth taking a look at what users are saying and their best suggestions on getting the most from this emoji making set.

Final Thoughts
This is a nice set and ‘emoji’s’ are very popular with young kids at the moment so it would make an ideal gift.

Batman Voice-Changer Helmet

Batman Voice Changer Helmet_250x250There’s a lot of toy merchandise available that ties in with Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice but this voice changing helmet has got to be the one that you can have the most fun with.
While critics didn’t rate the film it was still a huge hit with kids and if they like the film they will love this.

How Much?
The recommend retail price is $29.99 but currently we are seeing it for lower prices online – check some of the big online stores such as Amazon to see if they are offering it at a discount price.

Who Would Buy It?
It’s recommended for 4 to 10 year olds by Mattel the manufacturers. Reading user reviews online we have heard that people from 4 to 40 have been wearing this mask and having fun with it. Any superhero fan and especially Batman fans are going to want this mask.

Things We Like About It
It’s a nicely designed mask that requires two AA batteries luckily Mattel provide these so you are good to go as soon as you have the Batman mask out of its packaging.
The mask is sturdy and comfortable to wear and adjusts to accommodate head sizes small or large.
To turn the mask activation on you push a button inside the mask that can easily be accessed. To use the 15 pre-set sounds and phrases, there is a button at the side.
We loved that you have two different functions with this mask.
The pre-set voice says phrases from the Batman Vs Superman movie such as Gotham City needs me, villains beware, Batman is here, and you can’t defeat me Superman.
The voice changer does just that and changes what the wearer is saying into a booming Batman voice that will amuse adults [for a while] and provide plenty of imaginative play for kids.
It also has light up eyes that illuminate in time to the voice which looks especially cool and menacing in the dark.

Things We Did Not Like About It
You can’t actually adjust the volume which is fairly loud, so your child running around booming loudly in a Batman voice might become a bit tiresome.

Is It Worth The Money?
Your child will get plenty of creative long term play out of this mask with the two different settings of voice changer and pre-set phrases. If you grab a cape and a batman mask as well, they will look even more the part.

Where Can I Buy It?
The Batman Voice-Changer Helmet is available from all the big online stores and toy shops, Amazon would be a good place to start looking as they are very competitively priced.

Final Thoughts
This will light up any little Batman fans eyes [literally]! If you are looking for a gift for a child who likes their superheroes, this would certainly be a great pick and all the family will have some fun with it.

Barbie Star Light Adventure Galaxy Barbie and Hover Cat Review

The Barbie Star Light Adventure toy is based on the space fantasy movie of the same title. This Barbie has a flying pet cat known as Hover Cat who is also responsible for telling the story of their out of this world adventures. In the show, the two travel to different galaxies and meet lots of colorful and interesting characters in the process. Sometimes in their adventures they get to face dangerous situations. The two are also heroes having saved the universe in several occasions already. With this Playset from Mattel, you can now recreate the adventures of Barbie and Hover Cat.

How much?
The retail price of the Barbie Star Light Adventure toy is $24.99. It is more expensive than regular Barbie dolls but that is because of the toy’s special features. Considering the faithful recreation of the Barbie character in the movie it is easy to conclude that this toy is priced just right.

Who would buy it?
Obviously, manufacturers of the Barbie Star Light Adventure are targeting fans of the Barbie movie. But even Barbie fans who are not familiar with the movie would surely love this doll. If you are a fan of the classic Barbie doll though – the one that comes with the beautiful dresses and the cute accessories – then maybe you should skip this one. This is for the Barbie fans and collectors with a sense of adventure who don’t have a problem with the popular blonde icon getting her hands dirty and getting herself in precarious situations.

What we like about it
One of the coolest things about this set is that the cat really flies. The action is controlled by a button that is located on Barbie’s leg. All you need to do is attach the leash of the cat into Barbie’s hands and then push the button and watch in amazement as the cat flies around. There are propellers on the cat that gets activated when the button is pressed. This is a wonderful feature because it can open up the imaginations of kids for adventure and storytelling.

Barbie, the star of the show, is not too shabby herself. This version has the world-famous doll wearing a futuristic-looking–yet still fabulous–pink jumpsuit. A shiny holographic vest, plastic skirt, blue utility belt, blue star hair clip and silver boots complete Barbie’s look. If you think the cat needs some rest from all that flying, you can take her out of her spacesuit.

What we don’t like about it
There are very few negative things to say about the Barbie Star Light Adventure. As mentioned earlier, if you are looking for a classic Barbie then this one is not for you. Also, the doll cannot stand on its own. This can pose a small problem for people who like to display their collection.

Is it worth the money?
Even if it is slightly more expensive than regular Barbie dolls, this one is still worth the money because of its many cool features. Plus of course you get a flying cat.

Barbie Star Light Adventure Galaxy Barbie and Hover Gat_250x250

Where can you buy it?
The Barbie Star Light Adventure is available in stores where Barbie dolls are sold and in online stores such as Amazon.

Final thoughts
This Barbie doll is ideal for Barbie fans and collectors of all ages.

Barbie RC Hoverboard

Barbie has been rebooted as a cosmic princess in the upcoming Barbie Star Light Adventure movie and she teams up with a group of hover boarding friends to save the Galaxy. Barbie is boldly going where no Barbie has ever gone before!

Once your little girl has seen the movie she is going to want one of these Barbie Remote Control Hoverboards that work in a similar fashion to the quadcopter and drones that you are already seeing everywhere these days.

How Much?
The Barbie Hoverboard will be released this autumn and priced at around $60

Who Would Buy It?
The manufacturers recommend it for ages 8 and over and with parental supervision. I’m guessing it will appeal to children of a younger age as well.

Things We Like About It
First of all, we liked the look of this toy, the matching blue and pink colors for the hoverboard, remote control, and Barbie’s clothes are well designed.

The actual hoverboard and remote control seem easy to use and as well as going up and down and in all four directions it also has buttons for instant take-off and landing. The hoverboard also has preset buttons for three different stunts. The unit is charged by an included USB Cable. Drones and quadcopters are notorious for being difficult to control but this has been well designed to be easily controlled by a novice.

Things We Did Not Like About It
Until the Barbie RC Hoverboard is released later this year we won’t know of any design faults. One thing we didn’t really like is that Barbie can’t be removed from the hoverboard which would add some extra creative play to the set . The actual Barbie is made of lightweight foam, which makes sense otherwise she would be too heavy for the hoverboard to fly.

Watching the video from the Toy Fair, the hoverboard does seem fairly noisy but quadcopters usually are so this isn’t a big surprise.
There’s been no mention of how long it flies before it needs recharging which would be great to know.

Is It Worth The Money?
For Barbie fans old and new this is likely to be a must have and will be a big seller once the movie is released and will certainly be on a lot of girls’ Christmas toy lists. The hoverboard looks pretty durable and we are sure it has been rigorously tested so it should be worth the sixty dollar price tag.

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Where Can I Buy It?
This is a big toy release so should be available at most toy shops and certainly will be on sale at big online stores such as Amazon where you can check out the latest user reviews once released.

Final Thoughts
Barbie is getting a big makeover this year and this Science Fiction cosmic Barbie is a pretty brave move. We welcome this futuristic new Barbie and think the RC Hoverboard will be massively popular with all Barbie lovers.

Anki Cozmo Robot Toy

Our prediction is that this will be one of the biggest tech toys for 2016, Christmas and probably 2017! Anki, who up to now is known for their smartphone guided Overdrive car racing sets, have pushed the boundaries of consumer robotics and AI with Cosmo.
They describe the Cozmo Robot as like having a robot from a movie [think Wall-E] in your own home.

The robot is vehicle shaped like a mini bulldozer and is operated by use of a smartphone. When it is delivered it will come with the robot, a charger, and three power blocks that are used for game play and interaction with the robot.

How Much?
When it is released in mid-October it will be priced at $180.

Who Would Buy It?
Anki recommend Cozmo for 8 years old and up. We think it will appeal to most kids and adults who are interested in cutting edge tech toys. It will also appeal to anyone interested in robotics and AI intelligence.

Things We Like About Cosmo
There is so much to like about this gadget, actually calling Cozmo a gadget would be doing him an injustice.
First, it has facial recognition built in so it recognizes you when it wakes up from its charger. While it is charging, Cozmo snores as well!The thing is that Cozmo has so many fun features that we don’t know where to start. What we really like about him [we reckon it’s a boy robot, you may disagree!] is that he really seems like a pet or young child and you will start to feel emotionally connected to him. He explores and sulks if you don’t give him enough attention. He plays games with you and remembers the ones you like.
The more you interact with him the more different emotions he shows and as you play games, new ones unlock.
Your information is secure and is never shared. Cozmo uses a local device-to-device connection so your details can’t be accessed.

Things We Did Not Like About Cosmo
Cozmo is very small – Anki has not hidden this fact; they actually describe the robot vehicle as palm size. The good thing about this is that Cozmo is easily portable so it can be transported with ease.

Is It Worth The Money?
If you or your kids are into tech gadgets this is going to be a must have on your list and you are going to be full of envy once you see others using it. For amateur robotics engineers they will think they have died and gone to heaven with this A1 robot.
Anki Cosmo Robot Toy_250x250

Where Can I Buy It?
This item will be released on October 16, 2016 but you can pre-order it now from Amazon. Apparently pre-orders will get the device two days before it arrives in the shops. Currently Amazon  offers a discount if you pre-order now, but double check this to make sure it still applies.

Final Thoughts
Because this is an app-based robot it will be constantly updated with new features so this has plenty of longevity. It won’t be a gadget that is left to gather dust. For those interested in robotics or budding game developers, Cozmo will be on their Must Have List. Anki has rigorously tested Cozmo and this robot is likely to revolutionize home consumer robotics.

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Air Hogs Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone

To coincide with the release of Star Trek Beyond and the 50th Anniversary of the original TV Series Air Hogs has launched the first Star Trek Enterprise Flying Drone. The drone is based on the NCC-1701-A which is the Enterprise from the movies rather than TV Show.

How Much?
This Star Trek Enterprise Drone has a recommended retail price of $130.

Who Would Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
The recommended age for this product is 10+. Being the first ever version of the Enterprise that actually flies this will be a must buy for Star Trek fans. Kids who are just starting to discover Star Trek through the new movies might also be interested in this. For the serious Drone enthusiast this probably isn’t on their radar though some might be interested in the unique design which differentiates it from the typical drones available on the market.

Things We Like About Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone
A lot of thought has gone into this model to make it look authentic. It has 10 different light and sound functions including a phaser and warp factor sound. Even though it is longer and sleeker looking than the usual quadcopter, it is still based on the same principles, but to get the Star Trek look they have hidden the spinning propellers in the main saucer section of the Enterprise. Though it doesn’t look particularly durable, users are saying that they have crashed it a number of times with no damage.

Things We Didn’t Like About It
If you haven’t used a quadcopter or drone before it might take some time to get used to the controls and will probably result in a few crashes. We would suggest limiting your flying to indoor use at first before venturing outdoors with it. Some reviewers are speculating that it will become a collector’s item so you might want to keep it in nice condition just in case.

Is The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone Worth The Money?
The $130 price tag is fairly expensive for a quadcopter. You can get drones with built-in cameras that work well for the same price. What you are paying for here is the unique Star Trek design and maybe a quadcopter that will become a collector’s item in the future. It also makes a nice display piece. For Star Trek fans or Drone Collectors I don’t see the cost being an issue.

Air Hogs Spin Master Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone_250x250

Where Can I Buy The Star Trek U.S.S Enterprise Drone?
Spin Master and their flying RC vehicle Air Hogs range is available in most Toy Shops, collectors and RC Stores as well as big online stores such as Amazon. Amazon is always worth taking a look as you can read the most up-to-date reviews from genuine users.

Final Thoughts
If you are a serious Trekkie the likelihood is that your mind is going to already be made up regarding the purchase of this Star Trek Enterprise Quadcopter. Those interested in TV collectibles might want to speculate and pick this up as a collector’s item. We think that Air Hogs have got the design spot on. To see your own real life miniature version of the Starship U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701A cruising through the air boldly going where no man has gone before is just amazing!

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Toys as Early Learning Tools

Have you ever watched a child at play? You may have wondered what they were thinking as they spun a toy or pushed a soft square block into a round cup. One thing you may not have considered is that while the child sits there playing, they are also learning about the world they live in. Each toy they play with is another way to interact with material things that exist in their world.

As children get older, they learn to manipulate items and find uses for nearly everything in their toy bin. The types of toys they have to play with will have a large role in how they learn to solve problems.

They will learn some things fit together easily while others do not. This is when they’ll be making internal associations on how these different objects either complement or discourage one another.

Toys can be the perfect early learning tools to get your child started in the right direction to develop early cognitive skills that will be beneficial throughout the rest of his life. Choosing toys that help your child learn while they are at play is a choice that will help your child get a boost early in life.

If you want to help your child play and learn at the same time, you can find a wide variety of toys that do just this. Before you go to your local toy store or department store, you may want to look online and see what types of toys are recommended for your child’s age.

This will save you time and can help you find out if any toys have been put on a recall list. Make sure you know where the toy recall list is posted wherever you buy toys. Most stores have them listed next to the restrooms or in the layaway section and toy websites usually have a prominent link to their recall list.

Toys that stimulate the mind are the best for early learning playtime. Toys that include things like the alphabet and the animal sounds are considered to be learning toys.

Some toys are made to teach children how to function in every day life. Toys with buttons, laces, Velcro and snaps can teach them how to dress themselves as they learn to manipulate each closure.

By carefully choosing which toys your child plays with, you can help stimulate the natural desire to explore new things and master new skills. Early learning can be fun, exciting and educational. Best of all, it’s a type of learning that children love!

Pie Face Game

Now here is a best selling game for the whole family that will create lots of laughs. Playing games as a family or with your friends can be a great way to relax and have some fun – especially after a long day. The funnier the game, the more you’ll laugh and laughter is a great way to not only relieve stress, but to bond with the people that you care about.
One of the hottest games to hit the market is the Pie Face Game. This game offers up one of the funniest experiences with games that you’ll ever have. It’s not complicated to play and everyone will want in on the fun.
To play the game, all the players have to do is put the whipped cream on the arm of the game. Once the whipped cream is loaded onto the arm, each person playing the game will put his head into the mask.
The mask has a cut out center for the player’s face and along the sides, it features cartoon like hair, ears and splats of whipped cream around the figure. After the player puts his head into the open face mask, they then spin the spinner.
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Each of the players will take turns moving the handle that’s a plastic piece that’s attached to the bottom of where the mask fits. This handle creates tension with the spinner, which causes the arm of the game to tighten up.
And the arm keeps tightening up until one player spins the handle and the load of whipped cream goes flying. That player ends up getting whipped cream sprung at him all over his face.
You never know which player is going to be the one that ends up with the whipped cream because it all depends on the tension of the spinner. It could be anyone who receives the surprise face full of whipped cream.
This game is so hilarious that all your friends will want to get in on the fun. One of the things that makes this game so much fun is the suspense of not knowing who’s going to get the face full of whipped cream.
The whipped cream in the game is not included so you’ll have to use some that you buy yourself. The best kind to use is the kind that comes in a spray can because it stays firmer longer.
If you don’t want to use whipped cream, you can use the sponge that comes with the game. All you have to do is wet this down with water and put it on the arm instead of whipped cream.
The players earn a point each time they get through their turn without getting splatted. The first player to end up with 25 points wins the game. The game comes with a spot to rest your chin, the arm that you load the whipped cream onto, the colorful face mask, the spinner and the sponge. It’s suitable for kids older than 5 as well as for adults.
Suzanne
P.S. If you like to give a great book as a gift to a child (like I do), check out my site http://www.booksforkids.us/ where you can find books sorted by different categories: classics, board books, inspirational, picture books, chapter books, and award winners!

Star Wars The Force Awakens 3.75-Inch Figure Desert Mission Finn

Lots of fans of the Star Wars movies are thrilled about this newest character. There is a lot of speculation and some secrets that are swirling about Finn and his background. What’s known for sure is that he is depicted at some point wearing the armor of a Stormtrooper.
It’s revealed at one point that he was indeed a Stormtrooper, but what he stands for remains to be seen. He is a warrior, however and the figure based on this character will make a great addition to any child’s Star Wars toy collection.
The Star Wars The Force Awakens 3.75-Inch Figure Desert Mission Finn does have a lot of attention paid to the clothes that he’s wearing. Instead of showcasing him in the Stormtrooper attire, the figure is shown wearing civilian clothes.
The action figure toy is wearing the light brown jacket that has red inserts. He’s also dressed in a black T-shirt, a pair of black pants and a pair of white shoes. Now what we know about the character based on the description given on the box is that he’s part of the Desert Mission series.
As a character in the series, his fellow Desert Mission mates are Constable Zuvio and a First Order Flametrooper. These are all sold separately, but you’ll want to make sure that you buy all three of these action figure toys for your child because of how they go together.
When you have all three of these figures and your weapons, what you get are the pieces from each pack that your child can put together. When these pieces are together, they create a bigger, much more formidable weapon than if you just had the one character’s weapon.
When you get the Finn figure, he comes with two pieces. These are a laser gun as well as a tank. The tank has the ability to be able to roll. It’s not that big but it is one of the weapons that’s needed.
It can be taken down and made small enough so that it can be fastened onto Finn’s back. It has an extended piece of molded plastic that allows it to snap into place in the small hole on Finn’s back.
This keeps it firmly in place and it won’t fall off regardless of how much rough play the figure is introduced to. The long pieces of this tank will hang just over the character’s shoulders.
With the tank mounted on his back, it ends up being just slightly larger than a backpack and it kind of looks like one when it’s folded up, too. Finn’s hands are able to hold onto the laser gun as he stands upright. The package comes with an informative instruction booklet that has some bio information in it.
Suzanne

Scalextric ARC One

Plenty of kids know the thrill of playing with slot cars. Racing them around the track for fun or in competition to try and beat your opponent was a great way to spend a few hours having fun.
But Scalextric has changed the game so that the cars use modern technology to up the stakes when it comes to racing. What Scalextric has done is to take the benefit of the classic racing and mix it up with technology to increase the functionality of the cars and the fun of the game.
You can get different sets and they each offer different features. Some of the features are the same throughout – such as being able to race against an opponent, getting to keep up with the times of the laps, battling it out in tournaments and even holding a drag race event or two.
Technology makes it all possible and by combing the technology of Bluetooth with the fun of racing cars, Scalextric created a game that can work with your smartphone.
There are no more guessing games with the races once you situate your phone in the holder the racetrack has. Kids no longer have to guess when it’s time to set off from the starting line and there’s no figuring out if one player jumped the gun.
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The app will let the drivers know when it’s time to take off for the laps and at the end of the game, it tallies the score to show you which car came in first. The speeds are accounted for and each aspect of the race is covered so that kids get to view it once the race is over.
Just like running cars at a real racetrack, the game adds an element of reality here by offering pit stops. The cars will be notified when they need to come in to get the once over and if they don’t listen up, they’ll get the penalty for not listening to the notice to come in.
The pit stops can cover things like a tire puncture or engine trouble, fuel or more. The app will clock the time the race began and has the feature that will shut down the power if a car ends up off the track.
There’s also a jump start penalty, the option to change drivers, and a lap counter as well as a qualifying laps. The cars can race neck and neck or kids can employ whatever driving decision they want that they think will make them take first place.
The app you use with the system will give you the racing modes, the setting and more. You do get hand throttles, but some of the sets do offer wireless play. The cars from one set are compatible with the cars from another Scalextric set, including the older models. The set is for use with Apple or Android phones.
Have fun,
Suzanne

Best toys for your kids!