Thursday, October 3, 2013

Jack Skellington is Almost Here!

Just in time for Halloween, they are about to release the Jack Skellington figure for Disney Infinity.

My son will be at Gamestop on Saturday as soon as it opens!

From now until October 28 it's a Gamestop exclusive and after that should be widely available.

It's not clear whether it can be used as part of a play set or just in the Toy Box.

I shall find out on Saturday!

UPDATE: You can only use the figure in a Toy Box so it's unclear when/whether there will be a Play Set for Nightmare Before Christmas.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Kids Get Education and Fun With the LeapPad2 Tablet

The original LeapPad was a great success and given the rapid improvements in technology it's no surprise that the LeapPad2 is now available!

The LeapPad2 comes with a wide range of educational games and apps.  There are literally hundreds of challenges for your little treasure that become progressively harder as yo0ur child gets better.  This also gives them a sense of accomplishment as well as the fun playing the game.

The LeapPad2 is great for reading with the Learn To Read series as well as others.  They can improve on their phonics, vocabulary and comprehension.  The difficulty increases as they read more and if they have a problem they can touch the text to hear the words.

There is also a sophisticated reporting package for parents that shows where your child is doing well and where they might need some work.  Plus you can even add things to the games yourself!

There are two cameras (front and back) that record images and video. Also incluuded are five free apps - Pet Pad, Cartoon Director, Learning Songs and Art Studio. Plus, you can chose four more from a selection.

All in all the LeapPad2 is a fun introduction to more advanced technology that educates your little one while they have fun.

They also have "bundles" such as the  LeapFrog LeapPad2 Explorer Disney Princess Bundle.

My son had the original and loved it.  But he's now 6 and has moved onto other things so I'd bear that in mind as the "claimed" age range is 3-9.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Best Toys For Preschool Children

When it comes to finding the best toys and gifts for preschool children, there are two main considerations that need to be need. Firstly, the safety of the toy should be paramount. Secondly, the educational potential of the toy should also be considered. We are going to take a look at some of the top electronic learning toys for preschool age children as well as a toy or two that does not require batteries.

Best Learning Toys for Preschool Children

Here is our roundup of the top toys for children age 2 to 5 years old.
  • Playskool Alphie - This classic from Hasbro has been updated for the 21st century and is still a hit with children in this age range. Available for a surprisingly low price, it is a great way for younger boys and girls to learn while having fun at the same time. While boys may be more interested in this robot, there is nothing saying a little girl would hate the idea of having a robot buddy.
  • LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet - This is better for boys and girls age four and five, but these days even some toddlers and three year olds have the skills to operate a touchscreen. This does require batteries - we recommend rechargeable batteries - but it has a lot of potential for growing with your preschool age child as they develop. At around $100, it's a solid investment.
  • LeapFrog Scribble and Write - This is not as versatile as some of the other electronic learning toys on the market, but for the price it's a great, fun way for preschool children to practice their numbers and letters with an etch-a-sketch style device that lets them print out letters and numbers. At around $20, it's a great value and good for a preschool age boy or girl.
  • Pretend and Play School Set - Created by Learning Resources, this is a great way to get smaller children accustomed to the idea of school, even making it fun. Doing this can help them make the transition to school where they must interact in a social situation with other children. For the price, this is a great way to add a little extra to the imagination when "playing school" at home.
  • Vtech - V.Reader Animated E-Book System - Less expensive than a Kindle or other ebook reader, this is an ebook reader for kids that makes it fun for them to learn to read. They can interact with the screen as the story is read to them. Rechargeable batteries are recommended for the Vreader from Vtech.
  • Alphabet Matcher - This is a toy from Twisterz that does not require a battery! It is a great way for preschool children to learn their letters. There is another version that is a Word Matcher that allows children to create their own stories - all without electronics.
This is just a small sample of some of the best toys for preschool age boys and girls. As mentioned, the important things to remember when buying for this age group are safety and potential for learning.

K. Paul Mallasch is the publisher of Top Toys Blog, where you can learn more about the Best Toys for 2011.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Tips on Choosing the Best Toy Stores and other articles

Posted: 26 Oct 2011 09:53 AM PDT
Do you want the best gift for your children? Look for the best toy stores and find the most suitable gift for young children. Today, you can have more time in looking for a special treat by searching the Internet.
Posted: 26 Oct 2011 08:32 AM PDT
We've just put the finishing touches on our 2011 Hot Christmas Toy insider reviews. We hope that you can use this guide to help figure you out which gifts to buy your child. So, without further ado, here's our list of 2011 hot Christmas toys.
Posted: 26 Oct 2011 06:16 AM PDT
Kids, young and old alike, will enjoy building the LEGO Star Wars clone turbo tank. The toy and collectible comes with dual cockpits, guns that move, and a command station. Turning wheels and a flexible suspension make this toy tank one toy collectible your children and you will enjoy. Of course, you can't have a tank without mini figurines in the form of Star Wars characters too. The tank also comes with Anakin Skywalker, Aayla Secura, Ahsoka, and Cad Bane. A battle droid and two clone troopers are included as well.
Posted: 25 Oct 2011 12:56 PM PDT
Shopping for Christmas gifts online has become trendy in the past few years. Many gifts are available on the internet nowadays. Listed below are some online gifts that you can buy online.

Friday, October 7, 2011

VTech InnoTab Tablet - The Must Have Educational Toy

The latest electronic gizmo available that your child may well be demanding as a gift soon is the VTech InnoTab Tablet. This toy looks like a kids version of a tablet computer, but also serves as an educational toy. The InnoTab Tablet has some great features such as a 12 cm colour screen, some great built-in learning apps, educational games, a tilt sensor and can play movies and mp3 music files.

The VTech InnoTab can also store and show photos, and as stated above play movies and music. It comes with 64 MB of onboard memory which is enough to run its operating system. You can expand the memory capacity of the tablet toy by purchasing a SD card, this will enable you to store various games, apps, music and photos.

Educational Toy

The built-in motion sensor, helps kids play games that teach them skills in reading, spelling, maths, logic and creativity. This toy will work with both Mac's and PC's, which you can connect to via the included USB cable. Handy for transferring apps, games etc.
Calling the VTech InnoTab Tablet a toy is doing it a disservice as it's a computer in its own right. It comes with great interactivity as the screen is a touchscreen, as well as controllable via a stylus. As well as the great features already covered, the InnoTab comes with other great apps such as an interactive globe, calculator, clock, ability to create a friends list and am art studio.

Additional Games and Apps Available

Additional games can be purchased separately and children's favourites such as Toy Story and Dora the Explorer are available. A good safety feature of the device is that additional games and learning apps can only be transferred from a computer on to the InnoTab, it cannot access the Internet directly.
The InnoTab is quite light and weighs less than one kilo and is 33 cm long by 28 cm wide. It requires 4 AA batteries, but cam also be mains powered and is aimed at children 4 to 9 years old. It's recommended price is around £79.00, but if you shop around you should be able to get it cheaper. The InnoTab is also compatible with the Kidizoom Range of products.


In summary the VTech InnoTab Tablet allows children to develop skills in reading, writing, spelling, maths logic and creativity in a fun way. It is already becoming the in-demand toy for children and it may well save your iPad or tablet device as kids will be enthralled by this great little computer.

The Best Kids Toy Shop has more great VTech InnoTab Tablet information. If you are considering buying your this toy for Christmas and want to find more, please visit

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program

The U. S. Marine Corps Reserve has a sixty odd year old scheme to collect toys for tots from needy families both in the United States and in other countries. The goal is to collect new unwrapped toys during October, November and December every year and then give those toys out as Christmas presents to deprived children in the community in which the campaign is being conducted.

Their aim is to deliver a message of hope to underprivileged children in order to encourage them to become 'responsible, productive, patriotic citizens' in the words of their website.

One of the foremost goals of Toys for Tots is to unite the communities where U.S Marine Reserve units are stationed for the three months of October, November and December every year in the collection and allocation of new toys to children from less well-off families in order to help them experience the joys of Christmas.

One of the hopes is that the memory of receiving these gifts every year will encourage the kids to appreciate the communities where they live and take an dynamic part in those communities when they become older.

Communities where there is no detachment of U.S. marine Corps Reserves can also take part in the program but they should first register for authorization. These non-Marine groups will mostly, but not always, be ex-Marines.

These groups organize fund-raising events throughout the year in order to finance the purchase of new toys since donations of new toys do not always meet the organizations' needs. These fund-raising events can include sports days, golfing tournaments, bicycle races, swimming tournaments et cetera.

Toys for Tots started in 1947 when Major Bill Hendricks, USCR and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys for deprived children in the local region.

The original idea sprang from Major Hendrick's wife, Diane, who had made a doll for a needy child. She gave it to her husband to give to a fitting charity. When he could not find one, she suggested that he start one himself, so he did just that.

The next year Marine Corps Reserve units across the country adopted the program and it has been actively providing toys to deprived tots ever since. Walt Disney got involved from the very beginning by designing the logo that the Marine Reserve charity still makes use of today.

Other celebrities to become involved in the early days were Nat 'King' Cole, Peggy Lee and Vic Damone, who recorded the Toys for Tots theme, which was written specially for the charity by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster.

Numerous celebrities have been involved over the years. People like Bob Hope, John Wayne, Doris Day, Lorrie Morgan, Tim Allen, Kenny Rogers and Billy Ray Cyrus. First Lady Nancy Reagan served as the national Spokesperson in 1983 and First Lady Barbara Bush acted as the national Spokesperson in 1992. She wrote in her autobiography tenderly of her involvement with Toys for Tots and called it one of her favourite charities.

Owen Jones, the author of this piece, writes on a number of subjects, but is now concerned with Silver Cross Rocking Horses. If you would like to know more, please visit our web site at Rocking Horses for sale.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Are the 3 Hottest Toys for Christmas in 2010?

We love to gift toys that thrill our kids. But these days kids change their likes and dislikes faster than actresses change fashion. So how do you know which are the hottest toys for Christmas in 2010? This article comes to your rescue!
After a careful study on trends on Amazon I have concluded that the top three toys must be presented to you in the form of top toys in each category. Like the Oscars!

LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle (4842)So the top toy among boys toys first! And the winner is... Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle.

This is a 1,290 piece Lego set with Harry Potter, Hermione Grange and 9 other characters including Lord Voldemort, Albus Dumbledore, Professors Snape, McGonagall, Flitwick and many more exclusively created for it. Professor Dumbledore's office features the Sorting Hat, Gryffindor's Sword, a Basilisk fang and secret sliding stairs! Gryffindor's common room features a fireplace with Sirius Black's face... that is truly exciting. And Tom Riddle's book is hidden in the Knight's armor!

This product is currently available for shipping only within the US and Pacific locations. For APO/FPO shipments, it is recommended to check with Lego regarding warranty and support issues. The customer reviews are fantastic however... no complaints!

Barbie Pink 3-Story Dream TownhouseContinuing with the race for the hottest toys for Christmas, among Girls Toys too, we have a distinct winner. And that is... The Barbie Pink 3-Story Dream Townhouse.

Now this includes a pink personal elevator, and lights and sounds on every level of 3 floors! Sounds include the doorbell, kitchen timer, crackling fireplace, shower humming, and flushing toilet. You would really love to live this way when you see Barbie's Ultra-luxurious signature bathroom. And the charming light-up tiki lights and outdoor whirlpool tub will sweep you off your feet. But the details of the roaring fireplace and pop up flat screen TV are what will truly get you in the end!

The only negative is that Amazon is currently shipping this product only around the US. For APO/FPO shipments, it is recommended to check with Mattel regarding warranty and support issues. Customers review the townhouse as 'worth every cent' and you can rest assured with that.

Qwirkle Board GameFor the family, the hottest toy for Christmas 2010 will be one that has featured in the top 100 toys since almost 500 days! And that's called the Qwirkle Board Game.

Designed for 2-4 players of age 6 and up, the game lasts about 45 minutes and provides gripping fun and educational value for the entire family. It has won the Games Magazine Award and the Mensa Best Mind Game Award and the Major Fun Award. Built with 108 wooden blocks it combines the logic and strategy of Set with the creative multi-maneuver game play of Scrabble. Solid entertainment with Qwirkle or the other hottest toys for Christmas... have a great Christmas 2010!

To read reviews and look up other toys that fit your budget, check out the hottest toys for Christmas at the author's website