Friday, July 10, 2009

New 3D puzzles create replicas of Famous Buildings

We received some wicked cool 3D Building puzzle kits today! Made from a type of foam with a paper overlay, you carefully pop the (many) pieces out, and assemble the buildings in stages. For our in-store display sample we opened up the Empire State Building package.

We started by spreading all the foam frames out on the counter-top, and studied the simple diagrams. You might be tempted to pop all the pieces out immediate, but we were glad we didn't as the pieces are numbered on the frame- not on the actual piece. You need to pop them out as you use them. This is a great project for adults, teens, and tweens that have patience and enjoy model making.

It took us about an hour to assemble our 20 inch Empire State Building. But, that was with frequent interruptions from customers and curious onlookers. As you can see from the photo, the building goes up in stages, and then the final pieces were added with crowning glory.

There are six different models...
Empire State Building
The White House
Eiffel Tower
Statue Of Liberty
The US Capital
The Chrysler Building

We laughed at the age recommendation on the box, that advised "for ages 5 and up." Ages 10 and up would be more realistic. You really do need to be careful pulling the pieces apart and bending them along the creases.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

100% Recycled Toys

We received more toys from the Green Toys company today.

We absolutely LOVE Green Toys. This company was started environmentally conscious from the ground up. They use recycled milk jugs as the main ingredient for creating their toys. The milk containers are reprocessed into a super clean fresh plastic called high-density polyethylene (or HDPE). This material is considered one of the safest, cleanest plastics around. Free of phthalates, BPA, and lead, this is as green and safe that plastic can get.
Even the packaging is great. All the toys come in recycled corrugated boxes with no plastics, cellophane or twist-ties, and are 100% recyclable.

Last year, the first item that was available was the tea set. This quickly became our best selling tea set, as it is unbreakable and safe for toddlers, who are not quite ready for a china tea set.

Next, the cookware & dinnerware set was added, and then a sand toy set.

Today we are very please with the super-sturdy (almost) unbreakable trucks. A nice chunky dump truck in shiny bright red, and a earthy green recycling truck ( how appropriate!) Plus, some nice and strong jump ropes, and a flying disk called eco-saucer, is perfect for outdoor play.

These are great gifts that you can feel good about giving!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The evolution of the Tomy Waterful 1970-2009

Waterfuls were what us older kids played with in the mid to late 70's before we had mind-dissolving video games like pong!

Waterfuls were plastic hand-held water filled toys by Tomy. They came in various shapes and sizes, typically smaller cylinders and larger rectangles. The basic was a ball catch, but other themes themes ranged from sports - basketball, soccer, ring toss, fishing and many more.

Fill the chamber with water, and then press the button to use jets of water to launch a basketball into a hoop, play ring toss, or tic tac toe.

It was terribly exciting.

We must have been badly deprived back then.

While surfing for images of Waterfuls, we ran across a few variations we had never seen before, like this PacMan inspired Waterful! We don't quite understand the logic of slapping an electronic video game license on a water-filled toy, but they probably sold truckloads of them.
Did you have one of these?

Many of our customers have been surprised to find Tomy Waterfuls on our shelves. Like Erector, Calico Critters, and Slinky, some toys never go out of style, and Waterfuls continue to be one of our top-selling novelty toys.

This year's incarnation sports a Pirate theme tic-tac-toe, and an Underwater Adventure themed Ring Toss. That seems to make a lot more sense than a "Guitar Hero" brand Waterful!

Click on the picture to go to our website.