Category Archives: Creativity/Imagination

Rube Goldberg: The Speeding Car Challenge

From time to time, we see a toy that comes out and takes us all by surprise and makes us wonder why we didn’t think of such. How about Rube Goldberg: The Speeding Car Challenge. What do you think about that? It is a toy that was inspired by a famous American Cartoonist and inventor that is well known for his hilarious and complex contraptions that has been designed to perform small tasks.

Can you take a tennis racket, a chicken and some tires to launch a speeding car? Sounds pretty interesting, right? Rube Goldberg thinks you can and has proved that you really can!

Contents Included:
* 1 Helping Hand
* 1 Pillow
* 1 Base
* 1 Holder
* 1 Basketball
* 1 Nest
* 1 Pole with Cork
* 1 Racket
* 1 Chicken
* 1 Support Bar
* 1 Car
* 1 Spare Tire
* 1 Egg
* 1 Instruction Guide
* 1 Balloon

Looking at the contents that are included in this set, it probably makes you giggle. It’s not every day we see a car, chicken, balloon and nest all in one playset. It makes us wonder what it’s all about.

What is Rube Goldberg: The Speeding Car Challenge?

Rube Goldberg: The Speeding Car Challenge is a funny playset that really captures the attentions of kids. However, the playset, as funny as it may be, isn’t all about humor – it is also about learning. By playing with this toy, children will learn about STEM-based principles of air pressure and gravity, which is used to launch a car. Build the contraption, test it, and complete the challenge in order to trigger an epic and hilarious chain reaction. You can collect and connect all of the playsets in this collection in order to create your own funny, bigger and more complex inventions.

Features

* For those of you that are not familiar with Rube Goldberg, they are all about hilarious inventions where some wacky chain reaction is created out of contraptions to complete a challenge.
* Build it, test it, and complete it. It’s all about the speeding car challenge. With this set, kids will learn to discover and use gravity and air pressure to make the car go …fast
* There are plenty of other Rube Goldberg challenges that can be collected and connected in order to invent and create even funnier contraptions. Each of those challenges are sold separately, but they give you something to aim for and add to your collection.
* This Rube Goldberg set, and all of the other sets are designed for both boys and girls ages 8 and up. No batteries are required for this set.

Conclusion

Yes, being serious while learning is good, but from time to time, we all need to step out of that serious zone, take a breath of fresh air and get some good laughs in. With this Rube Goldberg set, your child will not only get some giggles in, but he/she will also be learning. With Rube Goldberg: The Speeding Car Challenge, it’s all about getting kids to learn, without actually letting them know they’re learning something.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Silent Mary Ghost Ship Playset

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales LEGO Pirate Ship (ages 4+)

During the toy fair in New York this year (2017), we got to see many amazing toys – some of them really caught our eye. Since we are a major Lego fan (a lot of Lego stuff was introduced), the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Lego Pirate Ship (71042 Silent Mary) really stood out from the crowd for us. This is the fifth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Lego Pirate Ship is set to release on May 26, 2017.

Pieces
Looking at all of the pieces, you are going to have a whole lot of fun when it comes time to put Silent Mary together. This set has a total of 2,294 pieces. This is a pretty big ship, but it’s not the biggest ship Lego has ever made. It does, however, impressively measure 18 inches in height, 27 inches long and 8 inches wide. With the main mast collapsed, she’s a little over 14 inches. To give you a comparison, the largest Lego ship is the 10210 Imperial Flagship – it measures 29.5 inches long and 23.6 inches tall.

The Box and Instructions
Silent Mary will arrive in a dark and intimidating box – there’s no bright colors standing out on this set. On the front of the box, you’ll see a picture of Silent Mary’s bow opening up with Captain Jack Sparrow and the crew looking into their row boat, surrounded by a pool of ghost sharks.
One thing we noticed with this set is that it doesn’t have any stickers, which is weird, because most Lego sets come with stickers. There’s not many printed parts either. If you’re not a big sticker fan though, you’re going to be happy that it’s lacking stickers because those are always tedious when it comes to applying them.
In the box, you’re going to find sixteen bags – those contain the part you need. We personally like how Lego puts their parts in bags, because when it comes to building, you have got to stay organized, otherwise, you’re going to end up with one big headache. There’s even a bag that contains the fabric sails that are paced with a cardboard backing in order to make sure they stay in good condition.
As far as the instructions go – there’s a book that contains a total of 263-pages. Don’t worry, because the instructions are well laid out and easy to follow – Lego always does a good job with their instructions. When you open up the instruction book, you’ll find a short bio for the mini figures as well as an image of the character from the movie.

Mini Figures
The Silent Mary contains a total of eight mini figures. You will have the following mini figures:
* Henry
* Captain Jack Sparrow
* Carina
* Captain Salazar
* Lieutenant Lesaro
* Officer Santos
* Officer Magda
* Silent Mary Masthead

The ghost pirates are some of the coolest mini figures we have seen in quite some time. Both Officer Santos and Captain Salazar have transparent heads. Captain Salazar has a neat looking printed outfit and is wearing black epaulettes to complete his look.

Construction
The first thing you’re going to be putting together is the little row boat. It contains a simple seat and a lantern along with a couple of oars. When it comes to putting the big ship together, you’ll have some pretty amazing Technic builds to look forward to. Overall, there are some points that will be a bit tricky, but with a little bit of time, you’ll get past it.

Conclusion
If you’re a Lego fan and you enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean, then this would be a great build for you. This build will bring you hours of time and once it is all put together, you can proudly display it on your shelf.

Melissa and Doug Food Truck Indoor Playhouse (Ages 3+)

Have you had the opportunity to go to the toy store lately? If so, you probably noticed a lot of different toys on the shelves – ones that really stand out are the Melissa and Doug toys.

What is the Melissa and Doug Food Truck?

Long story short, with the Melissa and Doug Food Truck, children will be able to imitate a street-food vendor as they use their imagination to serve food while on the go. It consists of beautifully constructed wooden pieces and a sturdy cart that makes it so that the little one can play out different scenarios, whether it’s an ice-cream cart, hot dog stand or simply a mobile market. Putting the “hot dogs” menu and awning on display, the little ones will be able to reach inside the slide-top food compartment and grab a hot dog with some toppings to serve. There are even soft pretzels with mustard or salt! By flipping the menu and awning and reversing the storage drawers, the slide top opens onto scoops, cones and ice pops – something great for dessert!

This wooden truck comes stocked with a total of 40 pieces that your child can play with. They won’t get bored as they will be able to serve everything that is on the double-sided menu board.

High Quality Material
Have you looked at some of the toys on the shelf today? Some of them seem to be made out of some type of cheap plastic or something – we wouldn’t expect that in a child’s toy …you know, something that will be tossed around in every corner. Toys should be made in order to last for a long time – the Melissa and Doug Food Truck just so happens to be one of those toys that doesn’t feel as if it has been made of cheap plastic that is going to break. In fact, it feels as if it really can withstand the test of time. We read some reviewers that wanted to introduce the “classic style” toys to their child’s toy collection and that is where the Melissa and Dough food truck came into play.
While a lot of the other toys will end up being donated when the child is done playing with it, this is the type of toy that you will want to pack up for your little one to give to their little ones when they’re older.

Paint Job
There is just something about color that children like – they seem to really be attracted to bright, vivid colors and the designer of this food truck obviously understood this . The paint on this toy is vivid.Measurements
 52″ x 21.5″ x 4″ pig 48.2″ x 39″ x 31″ assembled

Wheels Roll Great
Rolling the Melissa and Doug food truck around shouldn’t be hard, because the wheels roll great. There’s no problems with the pivots.

Conclusion
The Melissa and Doug Food Truck is the type of toy your little ones won’t get bored with fast. This is the type of toy that you will want to pack up and store for their children to play with. It’s made out of high quality material and the color really does catch the eyes.

Littlest Pet Shop LPS Cruise Ship (Ages 4+)

For years, the Littlest Pet Shop has been making its way into our homes. If you have a little girl, you may remember her playing with Littlest Pet Shop pets (she might still have a collection in her room). This year, at the toy fair, Littlest Pet Shop LPS Cruise Ship was revealed and from what we can tell, it looks really good. Today, we are here to tell you what we know about the LPS Cruise Ship …

An Introduction to Littlest Pet Shop
Littlest Pet Shop, also referred to as LPS, is a popular toy franchise as well as a cartoon series that is owned by Hasbro. In the 1990s, the original toy series was produced by Kenner. In 1994, Sunbow Productions made an animated television series. Back in 2005, Hasbro introduced a new version of Littlest Pet Shop – during this time, the pets went through some revisions, like having larger eyes. As of right now, there are over 3,000 different pets that have been created by Hasbro under this revision. Back in 2010, Hasbro released their own version of Blythe under their own toy line. They have created a variety of different versions of these cute creatures.
Now, here we are, looking at the latest accessory to the LPS collection – the Cruise Ship and from what we can see, the LPS Cruise Ship is going to be a big hit among those children that like to play with Little Pet Shops.

An Introduction to Littlest Pet Shop Cruise Ship
How can we describe this cruise ship by LPS? Can you imagine your little one setting their little pets on an amazing journey in a cruise ship with their favorite Blythe doll? With this cruise ship, there’s no telling what type of journey those pets will be going on, but there’s one thing that is certain and that is the fact that your little ones imagination is going to soar.
With the cruise ship, there’s even a cruise ship collection, which consists of a Blythe doll, 7 pets and accessories. With the collection, the little ones will get the opportunity to comb their dolls hair, dress her up in sunglasses and a pretty hat and take on the world in their cruise ship.
With the cruise ship and the cruise ship collection, children will have everything they need in order to imagine fantastic travels. Kids have fun getting the Blythe doll all prettied up and ready to go out and enjoy the sunshine. The Blythe doll can sit on her stand with a pair of binoculars in her hands and take part in some nice sightseeing adventures. With a surfboard, inner tubes and snorkeling accessories, the Blythe doll and pets can have some exciting adventures in the water.

Conclusion
If your little one is a fan of LPS (most little girls adore these pets), then you can’t go wrong with the Cruise Ship. This is going to be a big hit for every child that adores Littlest Pet Shop animals and the Blythe doll.

Lego Boost Creative Toolbox (Age 7-12)

When you hear the name “Lego,” what do you think of? Many people instantly jump to building blocks. Of course, over the past couple of years, Lego has expanded into robotics, and video games, but the heart of Lego has always been about playing and building. Lately, Lego has been focused on meeting the growing demands and trying to find ways to get children more tech connected, while remaining true to their building roots. During the 2017 CES, which was held in Las Vegas, we saw the answer to this – it’s nesting behind the Lego Boost Creative Toolbox.

If you didn’t get the chance to attend the CES this year, you definitely missed out on a lot of amazing toys. However, don’t let that bother you too much, because we have all the information you need in regards to the Lego Boost Creative Toolbox.

What is the Lego Boost Creative Toolbox?
The Lego Boost Creative Toolbox is a robotics kit that was designed for children ages 7-12. They have put a heavy emphasis on building and playing.

Coding
This teaches the basics of coding, but there is a strong emphasis on playing and building. When someone mentions a new Lego robotics kit, what do you think of? Many think of Lego Mindstorms and start to compare the new kit to Mindstorms. We’re going to tell you right now, Lego Boost isn’t as intimidating as Mindstorms and it is much more accessible.
The Lego Boost really plays up on the play and build aspect of creating robots. Children can definitely learn the basics of programing and coding. However, despite it all, it’s important to remember that Lego Boost isn’t going to replace Mindstorms.

Features
Take a look at the key features of the Lego Boost Creative Toolbox:
Pieces – This kit includes a little over 840 Lego pieces. It also includes a color and distance sensor, Lego move hub and an Interactive motor.
Move Hub – This features Bluetooth Lower Energy connectivity, activation button, two encoded motors, a light and an internal tilt sensor.
Color and Distance Sensor – The color and distance sensor is there in order to detect motion, distance, color and function as a light.
Interactive Motor – The interactive motor is an encoded motor.
Vernie’s Head – You can rotate Vernie’s head in order to activate its shoulder-mounted spring-loaded shooter. This technique, alone, can be quite fun.
Guitar4000 – With the Guitar4000, you can learn how to play a song.
Frankie the Cat – Frankie the Cat is really cool. Once you get him put together, the kids will learn how to look after their own pet. They need to feed them the right food, or Frankie might get upset and that won’t be a good show.
Multi-Tooled Rover 4 – With this kit, you can build the Multi-Tooled Rover 4 or for shorts, the M.T.R.4. Once you build it, you can try out different customization attachments and prepare the vehicle for different exciting activities to take part in.
AutoBuilder – You can construct, code and operate the AutoBuilder. By doing this, you can produce real miniature Lego models.
Easy-to-Use- It has easy-to-use intuitive software.
Building and Coding – You can build and code robots and models with the playmat and Lego Boost app. The app is available for Android and iOS tablets.
Building Instructions – For all five modes, you have building instruction. The building instructions are included with the free Lego Boos app.

Conclusion
Lego Boost Creative Toolbox is the next best thing offered by Lego. If your little ones are into everything Lego, then this will be a big hit for them.

Hatchimals

If there’s one thing that all kids love, it’s getting a surprise. When you add that to a toy, it’s bound to create a fun, learning experience. Spin Master LTD has mixed the fun of a toy with the anticipation of a surprise with their new toy line of Hatchimals – found on Walmart’s 25 Hottest Toys for 2016 list.

A Hatchimal is a toy pet that comes in an egg. The egg doesn’t give a peek to the child as to what’s inside. The only way that the child can get to the toy is by taking care of the egg and patiently waiting until it hatches.

Once the egg has gone through the play incubation period, it will hatch. However, what hatches is anyone’s guess. Your child won’t know what’s inside his or her egg until it’s actually revealed during the hatching phase.hatchimals

Not every single Hatchimal is identical. So there will be a lot of different variations that your child can get. With that in mind, the Hatchimals are sure to be at the top of the most sought after toy list.

The details for the toy have been kept under tight wraps to prevent spoiling the surprise of what’s inside. But it’s clear that the animal your child will hatch will be one that he or she will definitely love.

The animals were created for boys or girls. There have been many hints as to what the names of these Hatchimal pets will be called. Pengualas is one of the names making the rounds.

Draggles is another one. Then, there are also the Owlicorns Hatchimal eggs. There is some speculation as to what will be used to identify the eggs – if there are any marks. Some consumers mention that one of the Hatchimal eggs will be a mixture of both purple and green.

What’s exciting about this new toy from Spin Master LTD is that word has it the toy will be one of their popular interactive ones – which is always a great idea for children. The more interactive a toy is, the more your child discovers and improves his various skills.

The different Hatchimals are said to be able to have learning abilities and be able to grow with your child. From what’s known so far, the Hatchimals toys will feature a few different modes representing learning.

This learning stage will shape the actions of each of the individual Hatchimal. To wipe the slate clean, all you have to do is reset the toy so that it goes back to the factory settings. The toys are durable and created using a mixture of materials such as metal and plastic. The recommended age level for the toys are 5 years old and older.

Fisher Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway

Little kids love playing with cars and the Fisher Price Little People Sit ‘n Stand Skyway offers plenty of fun to spark their imagination. There are little roads that they can propel their vehicles up and down over.

The skyway – which made Walmart’s Hottest 25 Toys List for 2016 – has plenty of bright colors and interesting stops along the way – such as the town that’s part of the Skyway. Kids can run imaginary errands in their vehicles or stop for a visit just like Mom and Dad.

fpskyway

When their tank of gas is getting low, they can pause at the gas pump to get a refill and keep on playing. From top to bottom, the Skyway will entertain your child. The set is a little above three feet in height, which makes it the perfect size for toddlers to be able to reach.

By putting their cars at the very top of the Skyway and letting go, they can delight to see the vehicles speed down all the roadways and ramps. Kids love making their cars go into the car wash and being in control of lifting up the gates to let their cars go on their way.

The ramps are spiral, which helps keep the vehicles in place as they zip around the toy until they reach the end of the road. The set takes minimal assistance once it’s put together to get it ready for your child to play with and it can switch from a roadway to the tower.

This two way configuration doubles your child’s playing fun. You can change it from a sit down toy to a stand up one. What some parents do is they use the toy in the sit down mode for younger children until their child is a little older.

You can also use the Matchbox cars with this set as your child gets older. Included in the set are two of the Wheelies cars. This toy is suitable for kids who are one and a half up to five years old.

As well as being a fun toy, it also offers some educational value. It encourages physical activity, hand-eye coordination and putting objects in place. Batteries are not needed for this toy, but there is some assembly required and depending on your handiness with putting things together, the timing to get it set up might vary.

The skyway doesn’t dismantle once you have everything screwed into place. So you can’t store it in a toy box, but you can tuck it in a corner or into a closet if you need to get it out of the way.

Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart

One of the must-buy toys on children’s wish list according to Walmart’s Hottest 25 Toys list for 2016 is the Doc McStuffins Hospital Care Cart. Kids love the idea of helping their stuffed animals get well again when they’re sick.

It’s a toy that’s educational as well as a kid favorite thanks to the beloved Doc McStuffins character. The cart is a fun, on-the-go toy that’s designed with a lot of eye-catching colors.

docmcstuffinscarecart

The little wheels that look like flowers can roll smoothly over surfaces as your child makes her rounds from room to room to be able to visit her toy patients. The cart is packed with the various items that kids can use their imagination with to take care of any of their injured or sick toys.

They love the thought of being able to emulate Doc from the show airing on Disney Junior. They can line up the toys and have their patients waiting to be seen. During the exam or treatment time, kids can put the toys in the middle of the cart – much like a table at the doctor’s office – to find out what’s wrong with the patient.

Whether the toy is sick or just in for a checkup, the cart contains everything your child will need to help out. The cart has a light that enables kids to check out their toys and it also has a scanner.

Kids will love using the X-ray to see what’s wrong with their patients. The X-ray comes with cards that show the characters on the Disney Junior show. When checking out the patient’s heart with the EKG, the cart can enable kids to see the patient’s heart patterns.

The heart rhythm tool is on a roller at the front of the cart for easy kid access. There’s also a blood pressure pump that so kids can check out how their patient is doing. A familiar tune that kids hear on the show can play and there are various buttons as well as things that can make sounds like in a real doctor’s office.

The cart keeps all of the medical tools neatly in the drawer so when kids need to rush off to treat the next patient, all they have to do is load it up and go. The hospital care cart does have one toy that comes with it so that kids can get started right away treating him.

Findo is the little dog that needs tender loving care to go from sick to well again. The cart not only encourages kids to use their imaginations, but teaches them to be kind and caring. The suggested age range for this toy is 3 years old and older.

Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-pillar

This is the latest in the Think & Learn line from Fisher Price and is a fun way for your young child to experiment and learn a variety of skills. The code-a-pillar consists of a motorized caterpillar head that has blinking eyes, sound, and lights up. A further 8 segments connect together and move in different directions. There are also two destination targets with the goal being for the code-a-pillar to reach the target.

There are also reasonably priced add-on segments you can buy to add more value to the toy. They are certainly not ‘must haves’ but if your child is already getting a lot of use out of it, they could make a nice addition.

How Much?
The Code-a-Pillar currently has a recommended retail price of $50.00 The Add on segments are currently selling for $4.99 each.

Who Would Buy The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar
The recommended age range is 3-6 years old. We would say both boys and girls would enjoy playing and learning with this toy. We think it could appeal to older and younger children as well, probably for 2-7 year olds in our estimation.

Things We Like About Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar
We like that it actually came with batteries straight out of the box–well done Fisher Price! The main feature we liked about this toy is that it should have some longevity and the various uses for the toy will grow with the child. A younger child might appreciate the sounds and lights and the caterpillar crawling about the floor but as the child gets older it can work on the problem solving and puzzle aspects of this toy. We also like that it glows in the dark and lights up with different colors.

Things We Didn’t Like About It
If you have a small apartment or a lot of clutter we would suggest looking for another educational toy for your child as this one needs a fair amount of room and ideally a hard wood floor or a thin rug or carpet. One reviewer suggested an empty garage. The toy is fairly loud and there is no volume control

Is The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar Worth The Money?
It definitely has replay value so it shouldn’t be one of those toys that get relegated to the back of the toy cupboard. We’d say $50 is a fair price but if it is used a lot it could eat up a lot of batteries so do factor that into the cost.

Fisher-Price Code-a-Pillar_250x250

Where Can I Buy The Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar?
The Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar is currently available at most online stores and we are guessing some local toy shops. Amazon has it available and you can read user reviews about it here.

Final Thoughts
This is a nice interactive educational toy that parents are actually enjoying playing with alongside their toddlers. It’s getting some good reviews from moms and dads online and it’s a great fun way to teach young kids logic and problem saving in a fun way.

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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.

Crayola Emoji Maker_250x250

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.