Top Toys of 2015

From Toy Fair in February to recent holiday media events, I’ve been scouting toys and trends all year for The Next Kid Thing. I have several lists in the works, but before the biggest shopping day of the year kicks off, I wanted to share some of the coolest toys that I think might be the big sellers this season.

I put this list together based on the play value, my kids’ reaction, price point as well as accessibility. I’ve been checking out the toys’ popularity online and in person and have compiled, what I think, might be some of the hottest sellers this season. Some obvious picks did not make my list because the supply is more accessible or the price is out of reach for many people.

Keep an eye out for more of our picks. Until then, I present The Next Kid Thing Top Toys for 2015.

 

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1. Sit-to-Stand Ultimate Alphabet Train

 This is the latest version of Vtech’s popular Alphabet Train. The multi-phase toy is intuitive and is perfect for tots who are sitting, toddling or already on the go. I love that this toy grows with kids and offers so many different types of educational play and function. On sale, I’ve spotted this great toy in the $40 range.

 

2. Bright Beats Dance and Move Beatbo

Beatbo first caught my eye at Toy Fair because of its bright and simple aesthetic. Beatbo dances, sings and has engaging educational games, perfect for curious toddlers. Beatbo can be found at major retailers for $35.

 

3. Paw Patrol Interactive Mission Chase

 Chase has all kinds of features, making him quite the hot commodity. Chase is bigger in size and has cool details for making missions easier. Paw Patrol toys, in general, are popular, so make sure to pick up Chase before he becomes hard to find later in the season. This Chase is #1 on my little guy’s list.

 

4. Paw Patrol Patroller

This Paw Patroller vehicle holds 3 vehicles when closed and several more when opened, making it an ideal gift for Paw Patrol mega-fans. This cool vehicle has multiple functions and landed on several top toys’ lists, and will certainly be another popular toy this season. Head’s up: Target currently has a 20% off Promo on toys. Head to their site to take advantage of this deal.

 

5. Shopkins

Just like it’s been all year, expect anything Shopkins to be super popular this holiday season. Right now, playsets and blind bags are in stock, but expect anything Shopkins to be a must-have for kids who appreciate these super cute collectibles. I love this Ice Cream Truck!

 

6. Clever Keet

Little Live Pets have been a favorite for animal lovers, and Clever Keet is no exception. This clever guy can chat and respond to your voice. He dances and even rides his little cart. 

7. American Girl Grace Thomas

The 2015 Girl of the Year Grace Thomas encourages savvy kids to pursue big ideas and embrace the business world. Available for only one year, the Grace collection includes an18-inch Grace doll featuring long dark-brown hair and blue eyes, plus several French-inspired outfits, accessories, and toys that reflect her interests, such as the premium French Bakery Set with more than 60 pieces.

8. Girl Scouts Cookie Oven

The very cool Girl Scouts Cookie Oven is making quite the buzz this holiday season. With this fantastic toy, kids can bake their favorite Girl Scout cookie flavors at home while learning how to bake. 

9. Interactive R2-D2

With the upcoming release of the latest installment of Star Wars: the Force Awakens, it’s no surprise that Star Wars toys will be among the hottest toys this season. One toy that made our list of hot toys is Thinkways’ Interactive R2-D2. He projects images, turns his head while he talks, is voice-activated, among other cool features. With over 1000 programmable action combos, this smart toy will be a favorite for kids and adults alike.

10. BB-8 Sphero

BB-8 Sphero has been a hot Star Wars item since Force Friday earlier this year. This interactive droid is app-enabled and has voice-recognition, and has been dubbed the coolest Star Wars Toy by various outlets. Another toy that’s expected to be a popular multi-generational gift, this guy might be hard to find later in the season.

11. Lego Dimensions

Lego Dimensions joins the market as the latest toy to life video game. But this time, this video game has the clout of its beloved Lego franchise and characters to back up its foray onto consoles. From fun characters from the Lego Movie to classic superhero and cartoon figures, Lego Dimensions is already popular for kids and families. Since spotting it at the Kidz Vuz Back to School party, this game is #1 on my older guy’s list!
Head’s up: Lego Dimensions is featured on Target’s Cartwheel for 35% off for two more days, which makes it around $65. Combine this with an additional 5% off if you have Target RedCard. To compare: Toys R’ Us has Lego Dimensions on sale for $64.99 on Black Friday at 7am. 

12. LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum

LeapFrog’s latest LeapPad Platinum has some of the coolest features yet. It features a faster processor and crisp screen. In addition to the popular LeapFrog games and easy-to-navigate interface, the LeapPad Platinum features the unique and cutting-edge ImagiCard technology. My preschooler is obsessed with ImagiCard and I appreciate how reinforces counting, colors, alphabet, as well as tactile manipulation.

As of today, all of these toys are available in stores and online. Be sure to take advantage of pre-Black Friday sales and coupons which are proving to be cheaper than schlepping out to stores in the wee hours later this week.

Stay tuned for more gift ideas with all of my NKT Holiday Gift Guides!

 

 

Highlights from the Kidz Vuz Back to School Bash

Our friends at Kidz Vuz always know how to throw a party. And luck us, we had the chance to participate in their really cool Back to School Bash.

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Held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel, the Kidz Vuz Back to School Bash was a great mix of fun family and tween brands, many of which we already know and love. We did, however, have a chat to chat with brands or products that were definitely the epitome of The Next Kid Thing! I’ll have to do several posts about the Kidz Vuz Back to School Bash, but for now, I wanted to share some of our favorite new and upcoming things in the kid realm. 

MetKids, one of my personal favorite concepts at the BTS Bash is a digital aspect made for kids, with and by kids. I was shown a cool app that kids can use in collaboration with the Met. There’s a cool app that kids can use while at the Met, as well as on its own. The features will launch soon, but I loved learning about MetKids. What a fun way to get the kids more engaged while at my favorite NYC cultural institutions! 

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LegoDimensions seemed to be Jack’s absolute favorite booth, considering we spent most of our afternoon there! Lego Dimensions is a new game that merges physical LEGO brick building with digital gameplay. 
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It will feature some of your family’s favorite brands including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, Scooby-Doo and The Simpsons…all in the Starter Pack!  Players begin the LEGO Dimensions experience by building the LEGO minifigure heroes, LEGO Batman, LEGO Gandalf and Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie, and fire-up the game.  

 

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Following the in-game build instructions to assemble the loose bricks, creating the LEGO Gateway and placing onto the LEGO Toy Pad to transport the characters into the game.  It will be available for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation4, PlayStation3 and the Wii U system from Nintendo.  On the heels of the popularity of Skylanders and Disney Infinity, we’re absolutely loving this concept and can’t wait for it to be released on September 27, which just happens to be Biggie’s birthday! 

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Biggie had a great time checking out Wonder Workshop. He had a chance to play around with robots, Dash and Dot and get a glimpse of the fun of coding and engage in STEM! I loved seeing all the kids control these cool robots. I even had to jump and raise my feet a few times when the robots went rogue! So fun! 
 
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We had such a great time at Kidz Vuz Back to school bash and will be sure to share more of my favorites!
 
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Skylanders SuperChargers Reach New Heights with Vehicles; Debut Set for September 20

Activision announced its latest installment in the Skylanders Franchise today. Skylanders SuperChargers will debut on September 20, 2015, which will bring this beloved game to new heights.

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In SuperChargers, Portal Masters will take the helm of high-octane vehicles on land, sea and sky. From vehicular combat, races down rapids and aerial dogfights, Activision says SuperChargers will feature story-driven gameplay, vehicle-based and on-foot adventures, puzzles, mini games, activities and platforming.

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SuperChargers Dive Bombers

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SuperChargers will have 20 new character toys and 20 new vehicles. Starter Packs will include two new Skylanders characters and a new Skylanders vehicle, as well as a new Portal of Power. The game will be available for preorder starting today, June 3 for $74.99. According to Activision execs, the previous Portal will be functional with this game, as well as a Digital Players’ version where the game itself can be downloaded on select consoles, adding even more play value to Skylanders SuperChargers. I’ll share details on that once it’s released.

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Skylanders SuperChargers feature a new class of heroes. The namesake SuperChargers boast swift moves, powerful attacks and new weapons. The developers, Vicarious Visions, have given SuperChargers special in-game abilities that will uplift players to take on Kaos.

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First Look at SuperChargers at #MTSKylanders

Back in February 2011, I remember standing on my tip-toes in the back of a room of journalists, trying to see the stage while listening to Activision executives talk about their next big thing. It was a video game that combined video games and tactile play with collectible figures, that would go on be a major game changer.

Yesterday, I stood on my tip-toes to get a glimpse of Skylanders, but in a much different setting. I had the unique opportunity to attend an intimate lunch hosted by Momtrends to learn about the latest installment of Skylanders. The beloved franchise is unveiling their fifth installment in their character-driven game and they gave a select group of NYC bloggers a firsthand look.

 

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As major Skylanders fans, it was a treat to get the first look of this new installment of the game we love so much. Skylanders has perfected upping their own ante with each new installment. Is it any wonder why the game remains the top console game for kids? Upon first look, my mind was blown. The vehicles and SuperChargers add a whole new dimension and explore different terrain at a new perspective. The SuperChargers will surely be well received by kids and gamers alike. The vehicle figures alone add so much tactile play value; I see even younger Portal Masters-in-training getting into the mix with the introduction of the cars, planes and vessels.

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Skylanders, as a whole, is the embodiment of The Next Kid Thing, and I’m thrilled to give you a first look of the game in-play.  The video I shot looks and sounds very much like a bootleg because of the setting. Because of the nature of the reveal, we were asked to sign an NDA and video opps were informal since it was a luncheon. Nevertheless, here’s a first look of Skylanders SuperChargers in action:

 

Skylanders not only gave us an exclusive sneak peek of SuperChargers the day before the official announcement, they treated us to a very special Skylanders-themed gift bag. In it, we received a lunch box, Thermos Foogo, Gil the Grunt pillow, Crayola Color Alive book and various stickers. In honor of the SuperChargers unveil, I’ll be giving away one of these fun goody bags!  I’ll post an update on this soon.

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A big thank you to Activision for always including bloggers in your outreach. As a family who has been a fan since the first unveil, it was an honor to be included in yesterday’s luncheon. 

Thank you to the Momtrends team for hosting a lovely and delicious lunch where I got to see friends, eat delicious food, craft and geek out!

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Skylanders SuperChargers will be available on Xbox 360™ and  Xbox One™video game and entertainment systems from Microsoft, PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment systems, Nintendo’s Wii U™ system, and a different, unique adventure will be made available on Nintendo’s Wii™ system and the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. Additionally, the complete Skylanders SuperChargers experience will be available on iPad®. The game will be available on September 20 in North America, September 24 in Australia/New Zealand; and on September 25 in Europe. 

 Full disclosure: I attended a hosted event and received exclusive information to share with my audience. I received swag bags and lunch, but as always, opinions on NKT are my own.

NKT Faves: Christmas 2014 Goodies, Lego, Disney Infinity 2.0, VTech and more

Happy 2015, everyone! Like all of you we had a busy holiday, so much so we took a mini-social media break. We seem to always have ongoing medical issues and work life consuming everything that it’s a necessity to recharge when we’re all together.

Anyway, we’re back and ready to focus on the new year.  But before I do, I wanted to share some of our favorites from Christmas.

Because we check out toys all year, as you can imagine, gift-giving can be tricky.  Thankfully, Santa and our relatives get that, and so the boys’ gifts certainly reflected this.

I thought I’d share a round up of the boys’ favorite gifts:

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Legos continue to be the absolute favorite toy in our home. Santa gifted the boys a couple of Lego sets: Duplos Joker Challenge and Minecraft Cave set. Admittedly, we haven’t assembled either set in their entirety yet, but we’re getting there. As Biggie’s big gift, we got him the Lego Movie Super Cycle Chase.

Littles got a couple of fun gifts that he’s been eyeing. He got the Fisher Price Grow with me Roller Skates. My little guy has been “skating” with his physical therapist for quite some time. As Early Intervention is winding down, I thought it would be fun to get him his own pair of skates. I love that there are multiple functions to help the kids grow with the skates. He’s currently on the first function, which lets him “walk-skate” until he has enough coordination to move on to the next level.

Another fun toy that Josh received was Vtech’s Go Go Smart Wheels Airport playset. I will never forget the look on his face when he first opened that gift! I was so in the moment, that I was too slow to catch a picture. He’s been begging for the Go Go Smart Wheels toys, but we haven’t had a chance to get it for him. Lucky guy got it from my parents. I love how smart this playset is; he can navigate the plane around the tracks and at specified points he can learn all the “smart” little quips about the airport.

The big gifts for the guys was Disney Infinity 2.0. This follow up to the first Disney Infinity features more characters than ever, including our favorite super heroes. The graphics are stellar and game play is truly an adventure. Since this game is still super new, we’ll do a follow up, more in depth review.

Perhaps Biggie’s favorite and really big gift was his iPad Mini. This gift was actually his birthday present, but we conveniently used his birthday money from relatives to pay bills or something else responsible. Since I had several Amazon gift cards, we got him his much deserved Mini, which he has been burying his face in ever since he opened. Upside: he’s learning how to type more efficiently. Downside: I get emoticon-filled texts every other minute.  Honestly? I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Hope you guys enjoyed your holidays! Looking forward to sharing more fun stuff in  2015!

 

Partying with LeapFrog’s LeapTV

The other day, we had a mini-party to celebrate the weekend. And because we’re all about play, we were tasked to have a party with MommyParties to celebrate the launch of LeapFrog LeapTV .

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LeapTV is a new video gaming system from LeapFrog, the brains behind the LeapPad and LeapReader. With the LeapTV, kids can learn through motion as they jump, dance and go crazy. This system is unique because it was designed for kids specifically in the 3-8 year age range. The interface is simple and intuitive, the graphics are sharp, the motion-sensing camera puts kids front and center and the games are forward-thinking.

With LeapTv, there’s 3 unique ways to play: body motion, pointer play and classic control. Through these methods, kids get to experience fun games with plenty of educational content in between.

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I found LeapTV to be much more appealing than I had envisioned. I thought, “a kiddie gaming system?” I was certain I wasn’t going to like it, even though I’m a diehard LeapFrog fan. Truly, LeapTV exceeded every expectation and then some. From my delayed 2.5 year old to my gamer 7 year old, LeapTv satisfied both kids’ gaming desires. It was easy enough for the younger guy, yet engaging enough for my seven year old.

 

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At just $149, I think LeapTv is a great primer gaming system. LeapTV can be a bit redundant if you already own an Xbox or another gaming system that has a camera. It’s perfect for littler guys who express an interest in video games, yet can’t quite play any games on the Xbox. The camera and games geared for the smaller ones make this system appealing for families who aren’t ready to invest in a full blown gaming system. Above all, I loved watching my small and big guy interact together while they moved, grooved and reached for action words and slapped odd numbers. So fun! LeapFrog did it again with LeapTv!

Here’s a video we put together that showcases our LeapTv experience:

 

Full disclosure: I was provided with a review unit to facilitate this post, and to share with friends and family at our LeapTV party. Affiliate links are included in this post.

Trap or Treat: Skylanders Trap Team Halloween Video

Some of our favorite characters who just might already live in a fantasy land are starring in a Halloween-themed video to give us a glimpse of some ghoulish shenanigans. In honor of Halloween, the Skylanders Trap Team released this Halloween video to get us in the spooky spirit while sharing some of the latest installment of Skylanders.

Happy Halloween!

 

Disclosure: This video was sent to me from Activision for promotional purposes. I was not compensated for this post, but received samples to facilitate a review of this game. As always, all opinions are my own.

Kidz Vuz Holiday House Party Highlights

A couple of weeks ago, Biggie and I had a much-needed mom and J day.  But it wasn’t just a regular day out, it was a day well spent getting our hands on some of the best gear for tweens.

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Though J is a few years away from the official tween stage, we were in great company at the Kidz Vuz Holiday Party.  In case you’re not familiar, Kidz Vuz is a safe online hub where tweens gather to dish and disseminate their thoughts on any and everything, including the latest gadgets and gear.

The Kidz Vuz Holiday Party, held at Gary’s Loft just footsteps away from the hustle and bustle of Herald’s Square, was abuzz with a slew of tween-appropriate goodies.  From tablets to gaming consoles to books to broadway, The Kidz Vuz House Holiday Party had everyone covered.

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Here are some highlights of the wonderful day we had at the House Party of the season:

Samsung

Samsung was front and center showcasing their Galaxy Tab 3 Kids 7.0.  Just as the name suggests, this 7 inch tablet is geared to kids and packs a punch in a colorful little package.  Heavy on the parental controls, this wi-fi enabled tablet allows kids a safer, yet simple interface.  There’s also a standard mode so parents can use the tablet as a fully functioning tablet.

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I didn’t get that much time with this cool device, but I was quite impressed with this kid-friendly tablet.  My only reluctance about this device is the yellow and orange, which, for us, wouldn’t be as appealing in a year.  At just six years old, my older son is already turned off by electronics or “babyish” devices.  We’ll group him into the spoiled Apple generation.

Nintendo
We didn’t spend much time at the Nintendo Lounge, but it was quite the hotbed for the tweens and teens, which meant the target audience was satisfied.  We did, however, have a chance to check out a few of the Nintendo DS games, which were fun.  Unfortunately, we’re not a big DS family since we mostly co-play on our XBox and PS3 and J prefers the iPad to a DS.  Nevertheless, I always enjoy Nintendo’s expansive offerings on their various platforms.

Spinmaster

J spent almost the entire afternoon at Spinmaster’s nook.  He was immediately drawn to the Tenkai Knights building sets.  Along with several other dudes, J built creation after creation until he could build no more.  Untitled
We are longtime Spinmaster fans, so we have been testing out the other toys they had on display.  I loved seeing how my favorites, Kawaii Krush and Zoomer, were well-loved.  Tenkai Knights have firm placement on our Christmas list.

Hasbro

Hasbro, another longtime favorite of ours, had several fun toys for the kids to explore.  The most popular of the Hasbro corner, though, was definitely the Rebelle shooting range. This fun extension of Nerf includes the Heartbreaker, Guardian, Sweet Revenge and Pink Cross.

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À la Katniss from Hunger Games, the Rebelle Heartbreaker underscores the popularity of archery, especially for our fearless females.  Make no mistake though, plenty of boys were giving the gear a spin for themselves.

The Furby Boom, which is looking like a hot item this holiday season, was also a featured product from Hasbro.  This new take on the quirky character is interactive via an app, is responsive and loves to dance.  This latest iteration of Furby is much more vibrant (if that’s even possible) and has more flair than ever.

Downtown Bookworks

This fun children’s publishing company had a selection of superhero books that made quite an impression on us.  With board books featuring DC Superheroes, such as: DC Superheroes, ABC 123 and My First Batman Book, this publisher has numerous titles that would make our littlest superhero fan stand proud.
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But it was The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook that kept my biggest superhero fan completely engaged. I love that this book combines two of our loves: superheroes and cooking.  The Downtown Bookworks table let the kids decorate their own superhero cookies with a stencil.  J made his own Flash cookie, which we devoured on the bus on the way home. By the way? This Wonder Woman apron was EVERYTHING!

Green Mustache Smoothies

One of my favorites of the day was Green Mustache Smoothies.  Created by a mom of a picky kid, these smoothies are made with a full serving of greens and fruits.  It’s non-GMO, organic and tastes amazing.  My younger guy is showing picky tendencies or textural issues, but he absolutely LOVED these smoothies.
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We normally buy another brand of smoothies, but after tasting these, we are sold.  In fact, I’m headed out today to pick up a few flavors at our closest store, which is 20 miles away.  I will be dropping off an info sheet at my local organic store, in hopes they pick this product up.

Chloe’s Fruit

Chloe’s Fruit was another delicious treat, this time featuring frozen fruit.  With quite a few flavors to choose from, I can see myself choosing this delicious treat over Tasti d-lite anyway.

The Lamp NYC

The Lamp NYC is an organization described by NYCcharities.org as an organization that educates and equips people to shape the media landscape through hands-on training.  The Lamp NYC teaches young, impressionable minds about news, reporting, commercials, digital media and more.  The purpose of this charity is to immerse kids head-on with the different types of media that shapes our ever-evolving informational landscape.  I love the purpose and meaning of this charity, and it’s one that I hope to get my kids involved in, when the time is right.

Kids’ Night on Broadway

Kids’ Night on Broadway takes place on Feb. 24- March 2.  For this program, kids 6-18 see a Broadway show for free with a full-paying adult.  Tickets go on sale on January 8th for this fabulous experience that gives kids a taste of culture as well as a peek behind the scenes during a fan festival.  This is definitely something I’m hoping we can take part in, so I’ll be penciling in the dates now!

Stonefire Flatbreads

Lunch was catered in part by Stonefire Flatbreads.  J and I ate some delicious sandwiches made with these amazing breads.  These are the fluffiest flatbreads and pitas I’d ever tasted.  Seriously, so fluffy and filling!  A big thanks to Stonefire for introducing me to a new family staple.

Homewood Suites

One of our absolute favorite places to stay when we’re on the road is most definitely Homewood Suites.  In fact, during Hurricane Sandy last year, we had a family member who was staying at a local Homewood Suites and we had the opportunity to stay there for a week.  We had the chance to experience the great complimentary weekday meals, fabulous indoor pool and impeccable service.  Whether traveling for business or with family on vacation, we personally seek out the comfort and convenience of establishments such as Homewood Suites.

Dermalogica

I had the opportunity to get my face mapped while at the Kidz Vuz House Party.  The well-versed aesthetician told me things about my skin that I had no idea about, such as I could still have acne prone skin and it still be dehydrated.  I also learned a bit about the Dermalogica’s teen line, which is more concentrated for problem skin that is often brought about during those hormonal teenage years.

Justin Case

Kidz Vuz had a lovely raffle going towards Lamp, which I was more than happy to make a contribution.  As luck would have it, I won a fabulous Justin Case Rechargeable Power Case from Innovative Technologies, which is a back up battery and iPad case all in one.  I read all about it on NYTimes.com, so I’m quite excited about this win!

A big thank you and congrats to my friends Rebecca and Nancy of Kidz Vuz.  I attend a lot of events throughout the year, and this was, by far, one of the most well-organized and informative events where my kid and I both came away with a lot of great information and fun goodies to boot.

Full disclosure:  I was not compensated, although I did receive a generous swag bag from the event.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

Activision Family Game Summit Makes Family Connection

A few weeks ago, Activision, the video game powerhouse, invited us to their annual Family Game Summit.  Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, this year’s theme focused on connecting through video games.

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Sure, family time should transcend screen time, but Activision presented a solid case on how and why video games often connect family, regardless of age or interest.  This year’s celeb guest host was Korie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame.  She talked briefly about how their family connects, and her thoughts on the business, among other things.

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As usual, I found the stats to be the most interesting part of the event.  I learned a few key takeaways, including:

  • Fun means different things for everyone
  • Free doesn’t always mean free
  • Actively manage your online parental controls
  • Your kids’ friends lists are not always friends
  • Check your kids’ profiles for publicly facing information

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And, of course a Family Game Summit wouldn’t be a summit without a showcase of the latest new games.  Just in time for the holidays, Activision spotlighted just a few titles that are all about family fun. The titles featured at the event were:

Angry Birds Star Wars, Wipeout Create and Crash, Transformers Ultimate Battle Edition and Ultimate Autobots Edition, Skylanders Swapforce, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Moshi Monsters Katsuma Unleashed and SpongeBob Square Pants Plankton’s Robotic Revenge

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Our most favorite of the lineup is, of course, Skylanders Swapforce.  As diehard Skylanders fans, this franchise continues to keep the family gaming going.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Angry Birds are also fun games that require patience and strategy.  I’ll post separate reviews for the aforementioned, so check it out soon.

As with previous Activision Family Game Summits, we were able to bring kids.  My boys had a blast in the kid zone playing with new friends, coloring and going crazy.  A definite highlight though, was schmoozing with TMNT and Sponge Bob! I mean!

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Once again, Activision outdid themselves with a lovely and informative event promoting co-playing and family bonding over video games.  Of course, as with everything, moderation is key, so don’t go playing video games all day and night.

Thanks to Activion and the other sponsors, we were sent home with a very generous gift bag with samples and other branded material.  I love that Amazon also had a presence there, and I learned all about Amazon Prime and got to know their latest Kindle a little better.

All in all, it was yet another lovely event, where I learned interesting information about family time and video games!

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Full disclosure:  Activision provided us with a gift bag  As always, all opinions are my own.

Interview with Seth McMahill: Pokemon Black Version and White Version

Pokemon Black Version and Pokemon White Version, both released earlier this month, have reported record sales as well as positive reviews.  PCMag.com reported:

According to publisher Nintendo, both versions have sold over 1 million units since their March 6 launch. The record was previously held by “Pokemon Diamond” and “Pokemon Pearl,” which came out in 2007 with a combined sales total of 780,000 units in one day.


And the gaming blog Joystiq said the latest additions to the Pokemon lineup:

represent the very best that the franchise has to offer: An endearing cast of monsters and trainers, addictive collection mechanics, a 40-plus hour single-player campaign and a bevy of bolstered multiplayer functions.

And though I’ve yet to check them out firsthand, I did, however, have a chance to chat with Pokemon expert, Seth McMahill.  See what McMahill has to say about the latest Pokemon titles.

NKT at CES 2011

Howdy from Las Vegas, everyone!  As everyone was gearing up for the New Year and packing up their Christmas decor, I was fielding emails, setting up appointments and mentally preparing myself for the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest technology conference.

What’s a blogger—more specifically, a blogger who focuses on kid stuff—doing at a tech conference?

I’m doing what most other members of the press are doing: checking out and reporting on the latest innovations in technology.  Most importantly, what I’m here for, is to learn about all this new technology and how it intersects with families and kids.

This holiday season, I noticed that more and more handhelds for kids and gadgets lined the shelves of big box electronic stores.  In the age of iPads and smartphones, apps help our kids to read stories, tablets are being harnessed for educational purposes and moms…well, we’re still doing most of the buying decisions, especially when it comes to technology throughout the entire house.  It’s more than evident that technology is embraced by the entire family, with mom and kids influencing a good portion of the techy marketplace, now more than ever.

With CES officially opening today, I be on the look out for a superfluous amount of #CES tweets, my pictures on Flickr, and of course, some blog posts all about the family friendly tech gear that I find on the showroom floor.