Maclaren Issues Recall on all Strollers

Over the weekend, news broke that Maclaren is issuing a recall for one million strollers. According to reports, this massive recall affects its production between 1999 and 2009, which includes the Volo, Triumph, Quest Sport, Quest Mod, Techno XT, Techno XLR, Twin Triumph, Twin Techno and Easy Traveller.


On its website, Maclaren said,

in cooperation with the USPC, we are providing free of charge to all affected consumers and retailers a kit to cover the stroller’s hinge mechanism, which poses a fingertip amputation and laceration hazard to the child when the consumer is unfolding/opening the stroller.

The CPSC and Maclaren will issue a press release on the recall tomorrow, but Maclaren began notifying its dealers of the recall in the past couple of days.

Because all Maclaren strollers are included in this recall, parents should:

• Stop using (or limit use of) all Maclaren strollers until you get a hinge cover. Even those dating back to 1999 are included in the recall.

Order a hinge cover from Maclaren’s. More details will be provided Tuesday once the official recall goes live. (I will be sure to link)

As with all recalls, there’s no need to panic; your best bet is to stay informed and act accordingly to ensure safety, as far as your kid gear is concerned. I’ll post more details as I get them.

New DVD Release: Star Wars The Clone Wars

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 SWCWas 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.

NKT Halloween Safety Tips

halloween_pumpkinThe spookiest time of year has finally arrived! Happy Halloween, everyone! As you put the finishing touches on the kid’s costumes (or if you’re like me, haven’t even started your own) let’s not forget the importance of safety. According to a report I read, statistics show that pedestrians are twice as likely to be struck by a car on Halloween night as they are the rest of the year. Not only are cars a concern, but so is the potential of getting lost.

There are plenty of sites and articles that offer advice on how to keep safe this weekend, but I thought I’d add my own two cents as well!
Read More

Earth’s Best to Roll Out New Products

A few weeks ago, together with some other parenting bloggers and members of the media, Earth’s Best invited me to attend a luncheon at Rouge Tomate in honor of their 25th anniversary. Even though I spent most of the luncheon being a mom since the kid was having a tough time in the childcare area, I missed most of the presentations, but did get to hear snippets of about Earth’s Best history and future.

EBGoldStandardLogo-concept1 copy

Read More

Color Outside the Box with Lights, Camera, Color

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.



Read More

The Grass is Greener

…on the counter top!

The forward-thinking, creative minds over at Boon have done it again with another fantastic idea. They’ve combined a very simple idea and design to create a very cool countertop drying rack that channels a patch of grass.


The Grass Countertop Drying Rack features a two-piece design where baby and kid accoutrements rest on the blades of glass to dry, as water drains into the detachable lower tray. Grass is dishwasher-safe, in addition to being BPA, PVC and Phthalate-free.

Because of our small space, I appreciate kid products that can blend with our modern design, or in this case, add a bit of fun without being too cartoon-y. I love the clean lines, fun design and affordability of this new product ($19.99) from Boon. No word yet on when it’ll be out in stores, but I’m sure it’ll be available very soon!

Harumika: for fashionistas in training

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.


Harumika comes in starter sets that are $10.99, and sets with many more accessories and options such as the Designer Dress Form Sets for $14.99; the Fashion Show & Go Sets for $19.99 and the Runway Showstopper Set for $39.99 (which includes a USB camera).

Harumika starter setLike 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.)

Want it?

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!

More Time to Play Must-Haves

Zhu Zhu Pets
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.

Battle Strikers from MEGA

Battle Strikers

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!

Time to Play’s Must-Have Holiday Toys

At last week’s Time to Play Holiday Showcase, I had the chance to check out, firsthand, the hottest toys of the upcoming holiday season. With all of their insightful predictions and the large range of toy companies represented at the event, it”s really no wonder that Jim Silver, editor in chief, and Chris Byrne, content director aka The Toy Guy are recognized as experts in the industry.

With all the toys that were showcased, I can only imagine how daunting it was for to choose their top 16 must have toys. Having had the chance to check out almost every single toy on the list in person, I can see just why they all made the cut.

And without further ado, here are the first few of Time to Play’s picks for the must have toys for the 2009 holiday season. I’ll break down the list to add my commentary.

1. Barbie Fashionistas
Fashionista Barbie
Barbie’s been a girly favorite for generations, but this new line boasts six distinct fashion personalities, as well as the ability to strike a pose, thanks to its 12 points of articulation.  I personally love the Artsy and Sassy Fashionistas! With their adorable accessories, including trendy outfits and with hot boots or shoes to coordinate, I think Barbie Fashionistas is the most stylish Barbies to date.  Starting at only $11.99, Barbies Fashionistas are just as affordable as they are stylish.

2. Crayola Crayon Town from Wild Planet

Crayon Town
Crayon Town adds a whole new dimension to crayons–quite literally! With Crayon Town, kids can create an entire town, complete with 3D structures to color and build, including a horse ranch, neighborhood, airport, construction site and zoo. Each set includes Crayola crayons, coloring sheets, pop-up buildings and accessories. I love that Crayon Town adds even more imagination and creativity to a crayons, a product that is well known as the arts and crafts standard. The only caveat I see for this toy is the amount of pieces and probability to lose stuff. Other than that, with all the activities included in Crayon Town, this set is bound to be a hit. Starter sets start at $9.99 and deluxe sets are $19.99.

3. Rocky the Robot Trucks from Matchbox

Rocky the Robot Truck is, just as he’s named, a robotic truck. I thought this guy was one of THE coolest toys included on Time to Play’s list, but that also has a lot to do with my truck-loving tot. Rocky the Robot Truck from Matchbox is a dump truck that has a personality of its own. It can stand up, squat, shake, tells jokes and even dance with the help of interactive sensors. Rocky says over 80 quips and hilariously enough, Rocky even urges kids to “shake what your mama gave you!”

Rocky the Robot Truck
You can only do so much to cars, trucks and toys for boys, so I appreciate the fun and technological twist to Rocky the Robot truck. I have a feeling that in a month of so, Rocky will be one of those hard to find holiday toys! Rocky retails for $59.99, but I saw a link for $49.92 on QVC.

Portable and Huggable: Mobi TykeLight GloMate

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.