MobiGo Review and Giveaway: VTech Introduces New Handheld Learning System


VTech has introduced  a new handheld learning system to its lineup of electronic learning toys.  I had the chance to get a glimpse of the MobiGo at Toy Fair, but got an even closer look at the unit this week before it officially hits the shelves.

The MobiGo is packed with features, including touch screen technology, sliding screen and is web-enabled via USB.

The MobiGo retails for $59.99, which is comparable to other handheld systems in this category.  In addition to the touch screen technology that mimics that of mom and dad’s iPhones and smartphones, what sets the MobiGo apart is its flip-up screen.  That feature made quite a few heads turn when we were toting the MobiGo around this week.

The MobiGo has a variety of game cartridges (19.99) and a carrying case (14.99).  The system is available in the blue/yellow or a pink/purple option.

Vtech MobiGo at ToyFair Read More Features Cool Threads for Cool Kids

While most of you are updating and/or breaking out your summer wardrobes, our family continues to pack for our move. Between us, there’s nothing I’d love more than to chuck all of our clothes and start over so we can be done packing already!  But that would be too easy.

With all of these summer clothes posts lately, it couldn’t be more timely to introduce you to a rather sweet shopping site for cool kid gear. is a site that features trendy kids clothing from the outdoor, surf, and snowsports markets. The clothes reflect that slightly edgy surfer/skate aesthetic that I mentioned that I adore, especially for boys.

Growing up in Virginia Beach, and even to this day, we’ve always worn skate and surf brands, and this site caters to like-minded shoppers and parents.

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The site features brands like Patagonia, Volcom, Roxy, Billabong, DC, Quicksilver, just to name a few, that I know my tween nieces and nephews would appreciate. Among the cool logo t-shirts, shorts, pants, jackets, dresses and more, there’s also a few vintage-inspired tees I wouldn’t mind for myself!  How about that adorable summer dress from Roxy!

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Q and A with John Lithgow: Succinct, not Soporific

His theatrical and entertainment career spans four decades, through Broadway, Hollywood and back, garnering countless accolades, including a Tony, Oscar nominations, Golden Globes, some Emmys and four Grammys.

He has the capacity to make families laugh with eccentric roles like those from Harry and the Hendersons and Third Rock From the Sun, yet he can disturbingly induce the fear in his latest role as a murderer in Dexter and just as easily write seven endearing children’s books.

With all that, it’s safe to say this living legend transcends the “triple” requirements of being a triple threat.

And among those accomplishments, for the second year, Emmy-award winner John Lithgow will act as host for Turner Classic Movies (TCM)’s Essentials Jr., a summer movie showcase which highlights a lineup of iconic family-friendly films.  Set to run each Sunday throughout the summer, TCM’s Essentials Jr. includes films such as Old Yeller, To Kill a Mockingbird, Swiss Family Robinson, among others.

The other week, as part of his media rounds promoting TCM’s Essentials Jr., I had the chance to sit in on a short conference call to speak to Lithgow.

His voice resonated a little more than I expected it would.  And the phrasing of his speech was just as succinct as you’d imagine. In our short interview with the actor, author, singer, songwriter and performer, find out which films made an impact on him, what character he thought was brilliantly portrayed as a midwestern hick and why he thinks ‘soporific‘ is so fantastic.

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Crayola Touts Creative Outdoor Play with New Sets

Crayola, always a favorite here on NKT, was one of the many fabulous exhibitors at the recent Time to Play Spring and Summer Showcase.

Crafts and the outdoors should go hand in hand, what with the fairly easy clean up and the expansive canvas.  And as always, Crayola is at the forefront of the outdoor artistry when it comes to kids.


CrayolaCrayola Chalk MakerCrayola Spira-BlasterCrayolaCrayola

At the showcase, Crayola’s table had a variety of colorful goodies, including the latest additions to their product line: the Sidewalk Chalk Maker, Spira-Chalk Blaster and the 3D Disney Fairies and 3D Disney Toy Story Activity Sets.

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2K Sports Releases MLB 2K10

It’s not quite official yet, but Spring has sprung in our neck of the woods, and you know what that means…

It’s time to root, root, root for the home team!

Just in time for Spring Training, 2K Sports has released Major League Baseball 2K10.  For the MLB video game series’ tenth anniversary, this variation showcases perhaps the best graphics yet.  Check out the trailer to see for yourself.

The ongoing battle of pitchers vs. hitters is the highlight of the game, where pitching mechanics and right-stick swing control enhancements convey realistic experiences.  MLB 2K10 also boasts a revamped fielding system, new signature animations, as well as a new star player rating system.  The game is available for XBox 360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS and PC and is rated E for Everyone.

The kid and I had the chance to preview 2K Sports’ MLB 2K10 the other week, just before it hit the shelves.  During the demo, I was in disbelief how incredible the graphics were; if I didn’t know any better, I could’ve mistaken this new game for a live broadcast of an actual ballgame on tv.  The audio adds to the whole realistic experience as well.  During our demo, we chose to play using our team, the Mets in their homefield, Citi Field. Having visited the new ballpark for the first time last summer, I was in awe of just how realistic the graphics of MLB 2K10 were to the park.  Speaking of Citi, did you know 2K Sports has a cool gaming suite within the Fan Fest area at the ballpark?  It’s a must-see and must-do if you make it out to the park.

For the most part, I watched the demo, rather than played MLB 2K10 myself, but I plan on having a more thorough review of the game as soon as we have the chance.  There’s quite a few other baseball games that are big for sports gamers, but as a non-sports gamer who reviews a host of games for kids, I think MLB 2K10 is certainly one to check out.

Win it!

Two of lucky NKT readers will have the chance to win a copy of 2KSports MLB 2K10!  That’s right, two.

To win a game, let’s make it easy, tell me about your favorite MLB team, players or stadium.

Per usual, share on any social networking site for extra entries.  Comment below for all entries.


Check it!

While we’re talking about baseball favorites… together with some fellow bloggers and kids from the NY Boys and Girls Club, our family was invited to participate in Citi Field’s Kid’s Day tomorrow.  As diehard Mets fans, we’re over the moon about this cool experience.

Citi Field

Want to see what we’re up to at the ballpark?  Be sure to follow me on Twitter and on Facebook to get live updates throughout the day!

If you’re in the NYC area tomorrow, Citibank branches in the five boroughs will host baseball themed activities, including kids’ games, food, face painting, balloons, clowns and characters. Former Met Ed Kranepool will visit the Park Slope Citibank branch from 12:00-1:30pm to sign autographs. Baseball themed refreshments will include hot dogs and cracker jacks.



Watch This: Abby in Wonderland

With the upcoming release of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton-directed adaptation of the classic story, Alice’s adventure and tea party is fresh on our minds.

In fact, another whimsical adaptation of Alice in Wonderland has us seeing the Cheshire Cookie Cat, the Grouch of Hearts and a fuzzy red rabbit.

Wait, what?

The always-precocious fairy-in-training, Abby Cadabby, stars in Abby in Wonderland, the Sesame Street version of this classic tale.  In this re-release from Warner Home Video and Sesame Workshop, along with Elmo and several friends, Abby dreams that she takes a journey down a rabbit hole and bumps into some familiar friends along the way.

The kid, who is way too young for the latest Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, has fallen in love with Abby in Wonderland.  Over the past week or so since receiving the review copy, we have watched Abby in Wonderland nonstop.  It’s a 30-minute primer to the storybook classic that cutely incorporates a few Sesame Street characters who play Alice in Wonderland characters, and even has Abby and Elmo singing a few sweet tunes.  This watered down version of Alice in Wonderland is a great alternative for preschoolers, especially those who have piqued interest in the eye-catching Disney commercials.  And to boot, this DVD release comes with 5-song CD that features a few favorite Sesame Street hits.

Abby in Wonderland, the Sesame Street adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, goes on sale March 2, 2010 but of course, I have a copy for one NKT reader.

To win a copy of Abby in Wonderland, comment below and tell me who your favorite Alice in Wonderland character is and why.

For extra entries, share about this giveaway on any social media site and comment below.  Sign up for the NKT newsletter below and get 2 extra entries.  (If you’re already a subscriber, invite a friend to subscribe.)  Please leave a comment for every entry.

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This contest will end this Friday, March 5, 2010 at midnight.  The winner will be chosen by and will then be notified by email.

Best of 2009: Baby Genius Toys

At any given moment when a good song comes on in our home, it’s likely we’re having a mini jam session with the kid on the guitar, dad on the keyboard and me often playing the drums. The 2 year old band leader who “distributes” the instruments accordingly, has the rocking out routine down to a science.

Because music is such a big part of our lives, I appreciate toys that encourage musical value and Baby Genius does just that.


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Best of ’09: Polliwalks

The first ‘Best of 2009’ and companies and products to watch in 2010 is Polliwalks.


To be upfront, we are not a clog kind of family. Y’know, as in Crocs and the like…well, until we tried Polliwalks on for size.
Clogs, personally, are not my style, but for kids, I think they’re functional and they seem comfortable. True story: the summer when the kid started to cruise, I brought a pair of clogs home. The next day, I was asked to return them. That’s right, the clogs were vetoed.  And of course a few months later, at a family outing, we learned that the kid has a fondness for clog. (pastel pink ones to be exact!) They always want what they don’t have; funny how that works!

And so, this fall when Polliwalks approached me to check out their line of clogs, I happily obliged. Polliwalks has a wide variety of animals, bugs, creatures and character-themed clogs, so it was hard to choose which shoe to try. Since it was around the time of my trip to Sesame Street, the characters were even closer to our hearts, so we went with Cookie Monster.
Cookie Monster Polliwalks
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Gift Glossary: great video games

In the video game sector, titles and technology are constantly evolving. With many new handheld titles and fun family titles to choose from, I had a tough time narrowing down NKT picks. I could go on and on with this exhaustive list for great family video games, but I chose many of the ones below because I had the unique chance to experience them first hand. For the ones that I didn’t try out myself, I felt that their family-friendliness and entertainment value coincided with NKT’s scope.  And as far as giveaways go, this is a biggie!  Enter for a chance to win these recently released video games and NKT picks!
So, here they are:

51zxuPNAUVL._SL500_AA280_Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom
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