TTPM Spring Showcase Gifting Suite Haul

A few weeks ago, I attended TTPM’s Spring Showcase, where the latest and greatest for spring and summer toys were revealed. It’s always great to hear the experts’ opinions on the hot toys of the season.

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And this time around, hot toys range from outdoor toys, to ride on toys from Razor, to movie-inspired gear and goodies. Be sure to check out TTPM’s full lineup of this season’s hot toys.

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Like their other showcases, TTPM hosted a gifting suite where press and influencers receive samples of toys that might be relevant for their outlets. I met with all of the exhibitors, but typically only grab samples that are a fit for us. I let the boys do a haul of the samples I brought home with my usual sidebar comments! Be sure to head to our YouTube channel to check out the video!

 

Power Rangers Parents: Dino Charge Set for Saturday

As another installment of the Power Rangers Parents program, I have some cool insider details and goodies to share. With the Power Rangers Dino Charge final new episode before the mid-season hiatus coming up on April 4 at noon, I wanted to share all of these exciting Power Rangers goodies, too.

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Dino Charge is all about dino-fueled action and adventure this season with an action-packed storyline and new team of Rangers. After this Saturday’s new episode at noon, Power Rangers fans can continue to tune in to Nickelodeon at 12 pm and Sunday at 8 am for repeat episodes.

To help spread the Dino Charge news, we received a box of rad Power Rangers goodies including:

Raptor Zord with Charger from Bandai
Dino Charge Megazord from Bandai
GUM Power Rangers Timer Light Toothbrush
GUM Power Rangers Power Toothbrush
Power Rangers T-shirts
Power Rangers Dino Charge underwear
Power Rangers coloring books
worksheets, tattoos and stickers

Here’s a fun vlog that we created to share our Power Rangers Parents box:

Thank you to our friends at Saban and Power Rangers for sending these products to facilitate this review and help share this news. As always opinions on NKT are my own. 

 

Power Rangers Dino Charge airs on Nickelodeon + Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher unboxing

We’re excited to partner up again with Saban to share the latest and greatest. This time, we’ll be focusing on the beloved Power Rangers franchise. Marking the 22nd year, this season is dino-mite. No, really…Power Rangers Dino Charge, which debuted in February, on Nickelodeon is fully charged with wild adventures.

 

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This season in Power Rangers Dino Charge, an alien entrust powerful Energems to 10 dinosaurs, but when the dinosaurs went ext inct, the Energems were lost. Now, an intergalactic bounty hunter is determined to reclaim the Energems and rule the universe, destroying our planet in the process. A new team of Power Rangers must find the lost Energems and use their Dino Chargers to power up an arsenal of din-fueled weapons, zords and Megazords to save the world.

We had the chance to get a look at the new Deluxe Dino Charge Morpher ourselves. They’re pretty amazing and we can’t get enough of it!

 

Check out our video for our Power Rangers Dino Charge unboxing:

New episodes of Power Rangers Dino Charge will continue to air every Saturday at 12 p.m. on Nickelodeon, with encore episodes airing Sundays at 8 a.m. on Nickelodeon and Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Nicktoons.   

 New episodes of Power Rangers Dino Charge will continue to air every Saturday at 12 p.m. on Nickelodeon in the U.S., with encore episodes airing Sundays at 8 a.m. on Nickelodeon and Saturdays at 7 p.m. on Nicktoons.   

Toy Fair 2015 Faves: Knit’s Cool, Snap Pets, Lego Minecraft, Plan Toys

There was so much to see and do at Toy Fair this year. Before I share about the trends I saw, I wanted to share a few of my favorites from this year’s show. Most of these toys won’t hit shelves until this summer or fall, so here’s your sneak peek at a few of my favorite next kid things:
 

Knit’s Cool
 

Spinmaster’s Sew Cool did so well last year that they’re riding the maker trend with a number of cool activity sets for Tweens. Knit Cool is an interesting set that allows kids to knit with ease, similar to that of finger/arm knitting. I can’t wait to see this generation of kids continue to make cool things with their own imagination and ingenuity.
 

Snap Pets

Selfies and tech toys were displayed loud and proud at Toy Fair. Snap Pets from Wowee is a fun selfie tool that can be used to take selfie images or as a remote. Tweens will love the small size of this cool selfie tool. 
 

Lego Minecraft

Speaking of creations, Lego, as expected, has a slew of cool new sets. Because Lego Minecraft was one of hottest gifts last holiday season, I thought I’d share a few photos of the upcoming sets in this series.

I saw a lot of new and upcoming Lego sets that encourage kids to forego the instruction manual and enjoy open-ended play. The crafting box is just one of many sets that give suggestions on what to build, but just like the digital version of Minecraft, this set capitalizes on pure imagination.

The Mine is another cool set that I loved seeing coming to life. The skeleton, creeper and spider are my favorite part of this set!

The Ender Dragon is another cool set that is sure to be huge among Minecraft aficionados.

Plan Toys
 

Plan Toys remains one of my absolute favorite toy companies, not just because they produce aesthetically pleasing goodies, but also because they’re eco-friendly and socially conscious.
Here are just a few of my favorite finds from my Plan Toys booth visit.
 
This chalkboard table set would look super cool in a playroom or classroom!

This rocket nesting toy is so eye-catching. The toys nesting inside were never-ending!

I can’t resist boat toys. This sailboat was so classic and cute!

If only NYC taxis could be this innocent and cute. Nevertheless, I love this sweet wooden taxi.

You can’t go wrong with wooden pull toys. Plan Toys owns the cute card in this category.

 More details and fun finds to come!

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!

 

2014 Best Baby Gifts

Since this year was the year of the baby within my circle of friends and family, I thought I’d share just a few of my favorite baby products from the year. Beyond all the typical baby gifts, my favorite baby gifts to give and receive are always the practical ones. So, here are just a few of my faves:

 

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1. O-Ball Linky Loops

This cool take on the classic links provide a modern aesthetic while giving babies great grasping toys to play with and chew on while in a carrier or stroller. Links are always some of my favorite toys because you can link them together and attach other toys to the carrier.

2. Cloud B 

Cloud B makes some of the coolest illuminating toys that are perfect for baby’s nurseries. The Tranquil Turtle combines soothing sounds with a relaxing glow, giving it a tranquil, almost spa-like feel for babies and kids to enjoy as they fall asleep.

3. Stokke Trailz

Stokke entered the all terrain territory with its new Stokke Trailz stroller. This sleek stroller merges that chic Scandinavian design with function. Like their other strollers,Stokke Trailz boasts an elevated seat and ample storage. This new stroller allows families to navigate all terrains, whether it’s bumpy city streets of unpredictable surfaces in the country.

4. Hape Roller Derby

Some of the best toys for babies are the ones that are kid-powered. Hape is one of my absolute favorite brands for fine wooden toys, and this Roller Derby is no exception. Babies and kids love ramps and balls, so the Roller Derby offers the best of both worlds.

5. Little Me

Perhaps some of the best gifts for babies, or rather the parents, are well-made classic clothes.  Little Me makes some of the most beautiful clothes for babies and toddlers. The fabric is soft and durable, yet classic and age appropriate. I love that you can invest in their clothes and pass them down to younger siblings or other families.

6. Aden and Anais

Aden and Anais seems to always make it onto my baby gift list, and all for good reason. I love their products and so do kids! I’m currently coveting the Dream Blanket, and will actually be getting my little dude this dream blanket for Christmas. He’s grown out of his baby blanket and has always loved the muslin blankets from A&A. This bigger size will accommodate kids and adults too!

7. Tommee Tippee

Tommee Tippee is another all-time favorite baby brand, quite simply because the products work well for us. The Truly Spill Proof Straw Cup is one of our most used kid products right now, so I am going to be getting a few more as stocking stuffers! These Sippys are one of the only ones that I know won’t leak and they use the straw design which is what I need for my growing toddler.

8. Stride Rite

Another all-time favorite practical baby gifts are Stride Rite shoes. The thing about Stride Rite is that they fit well and always look sharp. I appreciate the SRT Technology that Stride Rite employs in some of their early walker shoes, which helps to stabilize those wobbly baby feet. 

2014 Holiday Gift Guide Sneak Peek

And because Christmas is just two months away, I’m reluctantly, but excitedly looking ahead to the holidays. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the holidays since the summer because of all of the holiday press previews.  I’m finally organizing my thoughts and ideas for this year’s holiday guide. As in years past, I will be categorizing my guide, starting age and possibly by theme.  So, as a fun preview, here’s a sneak peek of The Next Kid Thing Holiday Gift Guide, babies and toddler edition.

NKTBabygiftguide14The items feature above have been included in NKT at one point or another. Here’s a round up of just a few of the items I’ll be featuring in our gift guide:

  • Starting with the Stokke Steps, babies and tots can grow with this sleek seating system. 
  • The Jack Spade/Kate Spade for Gap collaboration has my heart all aflutter, so I couldn’t help but include the fun blue oxford and striking red ballet flats with a gift bow detail at the bottom right.  
  • Feeding gear and other practical baby items are among some of my personal favorite stocking stuffers and add-on gifts. As always, Tommee Tippee keeps it cool with these sweet section plates and Truly Spill Proof Straw Cups
  • Stride Rite’s Isaiah Motion will keep the kids on their toes for the holidays. 
  • Aden + Anais will forever be one of my go-to baby gifts because of its versatility and sustainability. liam the brave sweet dream gift set would double as a gift for mama and babe. 
  • When it comes to classic kid powered toys, Melissa and Doug can do no wrong. Throw some pancakes into the mix, Melissa and Doug’s delicious playset is certain to be a toddler must-have.   
  • Kitchen sets are a favorite when it comes to toddler big ticket gifts. Plan Toys’ newly redesigned kitchen set keeps its same small footprint and sustainable design, while showcasing its modern aesthetics. 
  • And, perhaps some of my favorite baby board books to date, Baby Lit turns classic literature into baby board books. With fantastic imagery and graphics, simple one-word story lines, these line of books are perfect baby (or rather, parent) gifts for classic lit aficionados or English Majors like yours truly.

Stay tuned for more holiday gift ideas to come! 

 

 

 

Review: Playskool Stack ‘n Spin Monkey Gears

Playtime for Littles is usually quite colorful and musical lately. Because he plays so much as part of therapy, unstructured play usually involves building and tinkering and lots of singing, too!

We had the chance to check out Playskool Stack n Spin Monkey Gears , which Littles totally loves!  The Stack ’n Spin isn’t a new concept, but the combination of that familiar Playskool monkey makes this version even more fun.  

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With lots of twinkling lights, melodic chimes and spinning gears, the Stack ’n Spin Monkey Gears keeps toddlers engaged.  Tots can stack and arrange the various gears; once they’re done, they can push a button to watch and listen to their handiwork.

This toy encourages creativity, logic and cause and effect.  By arranging the gears, kids work on their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. What’s great about this toy is that babies to preschoolers can get in on the Monkeying action.

My tinkerer absolutely loves puzzles, music and monkeys, so the Playskool Stack ’n Spin Monkey Gears makes for a go-to toddler toy.

The Playskool Stack ’n Spin Monkey Gears can be found at major retailers such as Toys ‘R Us and Target, as well as online at Amazon.com. 

 

Review: Mega Bloks Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown

Last month, our friends at Saban sent us a Super Mega package in honor of the new episodes of Power Rangers Super Megaforce, which airs on Saturdays at noon on Nickelodeon. 

We had the chance to check out the brand new Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdownfrom Mega Bloks. This brand new 306-piece set includes a buildable Red Ranger Sky Ship Zord and features a working launcher. In the set, you can also build Damara’s evil ship, and get the Red Ranger and Damaras micro action figures into the mix.  It currently retails for $19.99 at Toys ‘R Us, Amazon and Kohl’s.

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It took us a few hours after school to finish up the Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown. For my 6 year old, it took a lot of patience and time to focus on completing the project. There’s always that awesome sense of accomplishment every time we finish a construction project. Biggie had a great time working on the Super Megaforce Sky Ship Showdown.

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 We also loved checking out the Power Rangers Super Megaforce Red Ranger Key and the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Mighty Morphin Green Ranger Translucent Key from Bandai.

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The keys activate special features in other Super Megaforce toys such as the Deluxe Legendary Morpher, Battle Gear and all the items in the Zord Builder Collection. And I love this feature: when you use your smart phone’s camera, you can scan any Ranger Key with the free Power Rangers Scanner App and morph yourself into any Legendary Ranger onscreen. So cool.

 

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With the Ranger Keys anyone can enter the Power Rangers “Unlock the Power” instant win game and sweepstakes. Be sure to download the Power Rangers Scanner app for a chance to win coupons and toy prize packs now through December 31, 2014.

 

Full disclosure: a sample was provided to facilitate this review. I am a Saban Brandbassador and was provided with products to share the latest updates on Saban Brands. As always, all opinions are my own.

Happy Play-Doh Day + 3 Fun Play-Doh YouTube Channels

Today marks National Play-Doh day, and with its close timing to back to school season, the iconic dough compound from Hasbro sculpted six schools and students from classic movies and tv shows. From Cher’s plaid back to school outfit from “Clueless” to the Burn Book from “Mean Girls,” to Rydell High’s infamous T-Birds and Pink Ladies, to Mike and Sulley from Monsters University to the lockers from Saved by the Bell and to two memorable scenes from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Play-Doh captured the essence of these classic shows.

 

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Play-Doh on YouTube

We can’t leave all the fun up to Play-Doh on National Play-Doh Day! In case you didn’t already know, the kids love watching kids play on YouTube. This is a thing, people. Some of the highest trafficked channels on YT are toy and play-based! One of the reasons I know this is because my 3 year old Godson is a huge fan of watching Play-Doh on YouTube. When YouTube was created, I bet they never even considered this would become a thing!

 

And in honor of National Play-Doh Day, here’s a trio of channels that have captivated audiences young and old…all in the name of Play-Doh!

 

Surprise Eggs unboxing toys 

These videos give a thorough visual tour of the toys. What I found about these Play-Doh fan channels is that they rarely have a “face” to them.  And, I guess that doesn’t really matter for the kids who just watch for entertainment, rather than research. As a blogger, I personally appreciate the faces behind the content, but that’s me.

 

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Kid Toys TV

This is another unboxing channel that focuses on the product, rather than details of the toy.  This unboxing of Frosting Fun Bakery Playset which was originally published in August and has about 240, 000 views and counting. What’s unique about these videos is that there’s no commentary, just playing and unboxing. The musak gets repetitive, but it’s still cute.

 

 

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DisneyCollector

Perhaps the rockstar of the the Play-Doh YouTube sector, DisneyCollector has garnered billions of viewers on her channel that overviews toys. Billions! This video of the Mega Factory Play-Doh playset has a staggering 25 million views.

 

 

 

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The voice behind Disney Collector is, quite simply a mystery. Many of her video analyze and unbox new toys, including Play-Doh sets. According to Adweek, she has over 3 Billion views. She’s been mentioned by BuzzFeed, New York Times, AdWeek and now NKT 😉  After watching some of her videos, I get the allure. Her voice and video content are equally mesmerizing.