Tuesdays always marks a fun day of the week, particularly because of all the fun new DVDs and CDs that are released. Well, this close to the holidays, you can be sure to expect even more exciting titles to pop up, with today as no exception.
The first season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the wildly popular animated series that chronicles “a galaxy far, far away” was released today.
“The Clone Wars sweep through the galaxy, the heroic Jedi Knights – including Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master Yoda and padawan Ahsoka Tano – struggle to maintain order and restore peace. But despite the best efforts of these brave protectors, more and more planets are falling prey to the sinister forces of the dark side…”
In addition to all 22 episodes, the four-disc set offers a look behind-the-scenes and also includes an exclusive 64 page production journal. Exclusive to the Blu-ray disc, The Jedi Temple Archives provides in-depth access to an extensive database of creative materials.
As children of the 70s and 80s, I know many of my parent friends are huge Star Wars fans, so, it’s no surprise, The Clone Wars has garnered a lot of older fans too. At $44.98 for DVD and $59.99 for Blu-ray, The Clone Wars first season would make a great family gift for Star Wars lovers!
The dvd is available in stores today, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars airs on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on Cartoon Network.
As I mentioned in a previous post, there are three NYC shows on November 21st at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. (which are both sold out), and because they’re awesome, they added another show at 5 p.m. so more Gabba fans have a chance to hang with the gang.
DJ Lance, Brobee, Toodee, Muno, Foofa and Plex are expected to rock out to various tunes, including some that are heard regularly on the show. And I hear that there may even be some special guests at the shows. Trust me, the Yo Gabba Gabba gang knows how to get down. (Like there was ever any doubt!)
But, if there was ever a reason to do a Dancey Dance, today’s the day!
Oh yeah, friends. That’s right! Our friends at W!ldbrain are giving one lucky NKT reader four tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba at the SOLD OUT 11 a.m. show on November 21! Awesome, right?
Concert tickets, in general, can get pricey—nevermind ticket prices in NYC—which is why I’m so excited about this AWESOME GIVEAWAY. Four tickets to this show, which run as high as $75 last time I checked, is a dealbreaker for many families. I think it was quite generous for our friends at W!ldbrain to offer this fabulous giveaway—which by the way, is definitely my favorite/most awesome giveaway ever.
So listen up friends, to win the Awesome Giveaway for four tickets to see Yo Gabba Gabba on November 21, at the 11 a.m. show at Beacon Theatre, you must comment below with your favorite character, celebrity guest or Dancey Dance from the show. Multiple entries are encouraged.
There’s been so much hype for the opening day of one of my most awaited movies, and rightly so! The movie, Where the Wild Things Are, which is set to release this Friday, is directed by Spike Jones and adapted by Dave Eggers–two of my favorite creative minds. I planned on talking more about this exciting movie later in the week, but in the meantime, I thought I’d mention that the video game is already out.
In The Where the Wild Things Are video game, players take on Max’s perspective and explore the island, dangerous terrain and battle fierce, er, lovable creatures. The video game follows the same premise as the beloved book, but with a modern twist. The graphics are mysterious, exciting and absolutely incredible. Based on the trailer below, this game looks like something big kids and parents will enjoy.
This video game is rated E10+ and is available for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS.
Crayola had all kinds of fun goodies at the Holiday Showcase, but one simple and clever innovation in particular shows just why this company is associated with generations of creativity. With a new web application called Lights, Camera, Color, Crayola is once again thinking outside of the box—literally.
After uploading photos, the Lights, Camera, Color application gives kids a chance to print, color and customize their creations. Whether they’re photos from family gatherings, vacations, fun outings, field trips, birthday parties—you name it—kids can create their very own coloring pages.
Do you have a budding fashion designer at home? At the Holiday Showcase, I spotted the perfect toy/activity for fashion-minded girls. Ban Dai has recently introduced Harumika, which is an activity set that allows girls to play fashionista with a dress form, stylus, swatches of stylish fabric and accessories.
With the included stylus, girls can tuck and fold fabric into the dress form and accessorize as they please. It’s so simple and the possibilities are endless. I love that here’s no cutting involved, just pure imagination and creativity. It’s such a cool idea, I wish I had a set like this as a kid. We had fashion plates growing up, but Harumika is a fun way for girls to harness their creativity, and to use their hands to cultivate their designs and fashion ideas without all the mess.
Like many cool toys I noticed at the showcase, Harumika has an online and interactive presence. With the Harumika USB camera, you can upload images and have a runway fashion show! If your tween is all about being creative and into fashion, Harumika is definitely worth checking out!
Harumika can be found at Target and Toys “R” Us.
I have a really cute starter set up for grabs that I had the chance to check out for review! (The fabric set I have is different than pictured.)
Please comment below and tell me the name of any of the Harumika products. Each product counts as an entry. If you choose to share on any social networking site, that counts for extra entries as well!
Last night, I attended the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower Ever, one of my most favorite events. This time, instead of attending as a new or expectant mama, I attended as press. That’s right, I perused hot strollers and noshed on cupcakes while admiring all the beautiful, glowing and glamorous NYC moms, all in the name of The Next Kid Thing! I remember telling one of my friends there that I certainly don’t remember being nearly as glamorous as many of the stiletto-heeled moms I saw in attendance! Wowza, there were some hot mamas there!
But that’s the beauty of NYC, everyone is so diverse: there moms that are very fashion forward, some are very knowledgeable about the latest trends in baby gear and then there are those who are just generally in the know. What ever it may be, it seems this is a hotbed for parents with discerning taste and we’re all influenced by one another. And because of that, there’s always a plethora of events showcasing the latest and greatest in kid and baby gear, which is part of the reason for me starting this blog.
Trust me, I’m not the most fashionable or in the know, but as a reporter by trade, innately, I love investigating and revealing these great finds.
If you’ve been with me since day one, one of my first posts was about the Spring Biggest Baby Shower. The fall event was just as fabulous, but with even more space for moms to spread out and check out the goods. This event once again took place at the American Girl Store on Fifth Ave. in NYC, but unlike the Spring event, this one occupied three whole floors, and it was gorgeous!
I know I haven’t even finished my wrap up of the Holiday Showcase, which is coming…but in the coming days, I will divulge some fabulous finds from the Biggest Baby Shower as well! As I edit and organize photos and media kits, for now, check out these hot products that I eyed at the event!
I actually never saw the Zhu Zhu Pets at the showcase, and to be quite honest, that may have been on purpose. Besides cats and dogs, I’m just personally not a fan of small, furry things scurrying around—motorized or not. But that’s just me. Zhu Zhu Pets are cute little things and perhaps the next best thing to having a real live hamster around the house. Zhu Zhu Pets are motorized, interactive (they squeak and chirp among other sounds,) can play in their habitats and can enjoy fun accessories such as a wheel and skateboard. These are so popular that the Associated Press said that Toys R Us and Wal-Mart can barely keep them on the shelves. After a quick glance at the TRU website, as of today, it looks like they’re out of stock of the pets themselves but it looks like they still have a 3-count set of pets on pre-order that’s set to ship in early December. The pets, themselves, retail for about $8-10 and the activity sets and accessories are $10 and up.
Dora’s Explorer Girls
This new line of Dora toys were some of toys that I was most excited about seeing. I wanted to see for myself what all the controversy was about with her new look. I have to tell you, she’s still cute and sassy, and still age-appropriate for the range that she’s supposed to target. The thing about this line of Dora dolls is that she’s growing up with the kids who grew up watching her. The dancing Dora had on a dress that looked like something that she’d wear to a fancy party or Quincenera. She did a simple dance and got up on her tippy toes, as seen on the video above.
The other Dora doll that I checked out was Dora Links, which is a doll that, you guessed it, links to a computer. You can create and renew her look by just clicking a few buttons on the computer. I watched Dora go from a brown-eyed girl to a green-eyed girl, and from no lipgloss to all made up (though her lit up red “glossed” lips were a bit strange looking to me). In addition to being interactive, Dora Links is multilinguaI, diverse and pretty cool; I thought Dora Link’s interactive features was an interesting innovation to a favorite doll and character. I saw so many more techy type toys that were geared for boys that I think Dora Links stood out for me, being geeky and all.
If you read regularly, then you must already know how I feel about Battle Strikers from Mega. Battle Strikers made the list for good reason. We dig it! Oh, and so can you!
Check out my review and giveaway. I will be upping the ante and adding a second winner! Though I don’t have another Tournament Set to give away, I have a bunch of Battle Strikers for the second winner. Comment on the review if you want to win. As always, I choose the winners at random and will email the winners directly, so make sure you include a valid email!
Yesterday, I had the unique opportunity to attend the Time to Play holiday showcase, an event that highlighted some of the latest innovative and noteworthy toys. In good company with many influential bloggers and online media representatives, I was fortunate to meet and connect with a lot of toy publicists and execs to hear all about the latest and greatest goodies for kids. Quite simply, it was toy heaven. Can this really be considered work?
I seriously can’t wait to talk about my finds and share all about some of the products that will definitely be creating lots of buzz. But for now, check out Time to Play’s picks for the top must-have toys for this holiday season!
One exciting toy that’s worth buzzing about is Battle Strikers by Mega Brands. This new toy, which was released earlier this year, is already being called a “breakout toy” by Chris Byrne, AKA The Toy Guy.
So, what is it? An updated and exciting version of the classic spinning top, Battle Strikers takes it to the next level with battery-operated launchers, unique and superfast Strikers and a tournament arena. After being launched, the lightning-fast Battle Strikers can be navigated by magnetic finger Controllers, adding even more excitement to the playing field. Battle Strikers is a simple concept that Mega Brands has revved up to offer a kid-controlled battle system
Mega Brands gave us the chance to test out the Tournament Set, so I enlisted the help of my 12-year old nephew who is no stranger to battle systems. The Tournament Set, which retails for $35, comes with two Launchers, two Controllers, two Strikers and a battle arena. Starter kits and single Strikers are also available.
Upon first impression, as a mom to a little guy, I balked at all the small pieces that Battle Strikers included. (The suggested age range is for 6 years and up) But once the actual Strikers were constructed, it all made so much more sense to me. The Launchers, Controllers and Strikers are all boldly colored and appear to be durable enough to withstand countless battles. The arena is a basic plastic square with walls that allow for enough room for the Strikers to battle, but still be controlled. There are a few great YouTube videos that showcase Battle Strikers in motion, but I love how candid this one is:
As I mentioned, the premise of Battle Strikers is simple, with new technology and engineering for a new generation. There are 12 different Strikers, which all have their own character and strengths, differing in attack, defense and control. Kids can collect and interchange the different Striker pieces to customize and enhance their battles. The Strikers easily click into the bottom of the Turbo Launchers. The Launcher, which channels a joystick of sorts, accelerates the Strikers by pushing a trigger on the handle. The Launcher releases the Strikers by bumping the opponent’s Launcher or tapping the top of your own. Once things are in motion, it’s pretty empowering to be able to navigate and strategize with the magnetic Finger Controller. (Don’t get let the Controller get too close to the Striker because the magnet will pick it up. I know this one firsthand!) The object is to keep your Striker in motion, and the last Striker standing wins.
One thing my nephew kept mentioning is that Battle Strikers reminded him of Beyblades, another battling top sort of toy. From the research I did, it seems like Beyblades has a very loyal following, many of whom seem to have mixed opinions of the new Battle Strikers. I remember buying my nephew a few Beyblades toys when he was into them, but from what I can tell now, they seemed to have fizzled since I haven’t heard much about them. With its powerful launchers and 12 different customizable Strikers and Finger Controllers, Battle Strikers will likely have its own loyal following!
Battle Strikers is a fun new game that involves imagination, competition, strategy and speed, and one that I think older boys will love. Battle Strikers is likely to land on a lot of Christmas gift lists this year, and don’t be surprised if you hear even more buzz on these soon!
Because of the husband’s job, sometimes we get to try out new products or test out samples that we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance. The TykeLight GloMate from Mobi is the latest cool gadget that we had the chance to try out, coincidentally on our most recent roadtrip.
The TykeLight GloMate is a new take on the old school nightlights. This nightlight is rechargeable, portable and even huggable. On our 350 mile roadtrip back to our hometown, a trip that we take way too often, we try to find ways to entertain the toddler when he isn’t sleeping in the backseat. Since we haven’t succumbed to the car dvd player, toys and music are our savior. This time, right at sunset, we broke out the TykeLight GloMate and the little guy didn’t let go until we made our destination, hours after he’d fallen asleep. The soft, colorful glow was so comforting and never overpowering—a perfect complement to our bedtime routine.
We have various other nightlights and sound machines that we’ve used since the baby days, but the TykeLight GloMate is the first that we can bring on roadtrips or snuggle with. As we speak, the kid is pretending it’s his own little baby and shushing it to “sleep.”
Bedtime can get rough, but having consistency at bedtime is key. The TykeLight GloMate is the perfect size for toddlers to tote to bed or on the go, yet ideal for bigger kids to use in their bedroom, too. The TykeLight GloMate glows blue, green, red, violet or cycle through the rainbow of colors. It can glow for 10 whopping hours per charge and features a 15-minute dimmer when the kid falls asleep.
Because of its functionality and portability, the TykeLight Glomate is one of my favorite kid gadgets to date. At just $20, I foresee the TykeLight GloMate becoming one of my go-to gifts for my new mom friends.