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. 

 

Highlights from Day 1 of Toy Fair 2015

It feels like Arundel here in NYC, but I’m onsite at the Javits Center for Toy Fair 2015 covering the latest and greatest in toys and games. As in years past, I typically spend my days at Toy Fair meeting with companies, checking out their latest wares and getting the dish from their developers, marketing team and sometimes the creators themselves.

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For the first day, I started my day by having breakfast with one of my favorites: Spinmaster. Spinmaster is responsible for many recent top toys, most notably one of the hottest sellers from last year: Kinetic Sand and Sew Cool. Who knew modernizing two classic activities and repackaging them to make them kid AND parent friendly would make these toys such a success in 2014? Spinmaster, that’s whom! Piggybacking on kids’ interest in sewing, knitting and crafting, Spinmaster has new activities that emphasize this trend. Text Cool was my absolute favorite, mainly because it reminds me of my parents’ 1970s clicker label maker. This updated activity allows kids to design text bracelets with letters, emoticons and other designs. It’s a simple craft, but one that I think will resonate with nostalgic parents like myself.

 

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Another highlight with Spinmaster was checking out the cool Paw Patrol toys, including the Paw Patroler.

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On the heels of Dino Zoomer being honored with a TOTY award, Spinmaster revealed the latest iterations of this line: Zoomer Kitty and Zoomer Chomplings.

 

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One of the best aspects of Toy Fair is walking the first floor and meeting new companies who are exhibiting for the first time. This time around, I loved learning about Lace Locks, which is an innovative accessory for shoelaces. This company has well known partners and their expansive line has a lot of licenses and designs to choose from. Since we’re huge superhero fans at our house, I especially loved all the fun Marvel Lace Locks. I loved seeing the Lace Locks on branded Marvel shoes. 

 

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Another cool toy/app that I loved learning about on the first floor was Painting LuLu which is a traditional coloring book with a partnering app and crayon stylus. I loved the way the way the app and crayon stylus can bring a child’s real artwork to life.

 

 

 

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My first meeting of the day was with one of my all-time favorites: Crayola. Crayola always has innovations that are forward-thinking and fun for both kids and parents. I’ll have to share more in-depth details about Crayola, but some of my new favorite products include the Thread Wrapper, Color Wonder Stamper, Color Me a Song and the Cling Creator.

 

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Tomy has all kinds of cool stuff coming up this year. As the master licenser for the new Disney Jr. Show, Miles from Tomorrowland, I got to see all the fun toys for this hit new show. The Stellosphere and this cool board that reminded me a of a hooverboard.

 

 

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One of the highlights of my day was checking out Cloud B’s lovely night lights and plush toys. One particular new toy that I fell in love with Super Max the Turtle, which is a special turtle nightlight that was inspired by a young cancer patient who spent a lot of time in the hospital. The special protective casing on this light can be used in hospitals or settings where shared items can be sanitized. The story about this beautiful toy was amazing.

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My absolute favorite toy of toy fair so fair has to be VTech Toys’ Kidizoom. This small action camera packs a punch and fills a void for our social sharing youth. I watched a little demo video created by the Kidizoom and the quality is pretty impressive for an action cam of this size and stature.

 

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As always, I’ll have much much more to share, but for now, check out more of my favorites on Instagram and Twitter!

Cyber Monday Deals for Kid Gifts

It’s Cyber Monday, you guys, and the deals are out in full force today!  I thought I’d share a quick roundup from my favorite stores and shops. Happy shopping!

Gamestop 

One of my favorite deals for the day, or should I say, week: Gamestop has extended their deals to go all week long. So, if you’re on the hunt for some deals on Disney Infinity or Skylanders Trap Team, before you go anywhere else, check out Gamestop.  

 

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Here are their posted deals:

New Hardware

•$70 off Xbox One Holiday Value Bundle ($329.99) and $50 off Xbox 360 500GB Holiday Value Bundle ($199.99) – available only online

New Video Games & Accessories

•$20 off new video game titles for Xbox 360 and PS3: NBA 2K15 ($39.99), Borderlands the Pre Sequel ($39.99), WWE 2K15 ($39.99); and $10 off BioShock Infinite Complete ($29.99) – available only online

•Free Great White Shark and Bull Shark cards with purchase of PS3 Grand Theft Auto V video game ($30 value) – available only online

•$20 off Thrustmaster Ferrari 458 Spider Racing Wheel ($79.99) – available online and in stores

 

Cyber Monday deals offered all week, include:

Pre-owned Video Game Consoles and Titles, and Consumer Electronics

•PlayStation 3 console bundles for only $199.99 and Xbox 360 console bundle for only $149.99 – available only online

•Wii console bundle for only $89.99 and Nintendo DS bundle for only $69.99 – available online and in stores

•Various Xbox 360 video game bundles ranging from $9.99 – $34.99, and PS3 video game bundles ranging from $19.99 – $59.99 – available online and in stores

•$50 off Nexus 7” tablet – available online and in stores

•Apple iPhone 4 staring at $99.99 – available online and in stores*

PC Games

•Save 75% on Sid Meier’s Civilization V ($7.49) – available online and in stores

•Save up to 95% off on select PC download games – available online and in stores

Gymboree

Like they did on Black Friday, Gymboree is offering 50% off of everything online and there’s no minimum.  Gymboree is one of my can’t miss destinations on Black Friday, especially because you can use a coupon at the store. I just checked a few coupons and it doesn’t look like you can pair them with Cyber Monday, but it’s worth a shot.  This is a great chance to pick up pieces for those Holiday outfits and to stock up for next year by clearing out the clearance rack!  The quality of Gymboree’s clothes at these prices can’t be beat! Some restrictions apply, be sure to check out the fine print on their site.

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Amazon

As expected, the mecca for online shopping, Amazon.com, has some of the best deals for Cyber Monday. I’m personally addicted to Amazon Prime, so I am planning on taking advantage of several of these great deals. But since we focus on everything for kids and families, I thought I’d highlight some of the best deals on toys and games:

Toys & Games:

  • 50% off select LeapFrog toys
  • Buy One, get one 50% off select Blue Orange Game (We love the Pengoloo game from Blue Orange Game!)
 
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And here’s the rest of their awesome deals:

Electronics:

  • Sony 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $298
  • LG 49-inch Smart 4K Ultra HD LED TV, $999 plus 15% back in rewards (no signup required)
  • Samsung 40-inch 1080p LED TV, $298
  • 15% back in rewards on select LG Smart LED Premium TVs (no signup required)
  • Up to $50 Amazon.com credit with purchase of SONOS wireless speakers
  • $30 off select Bose headphones
  • Kids Cameras at unbelievable prices
  • Top-selling digital camera, $70 off
  • Acer Chromebook at $149
  • HP 110-430 Desktop + 2371d 23-inch Monitor Bundle — $299.99
  • 25% off new iHome Bluetooth Executive Music Station
  • 25% off new splash-proof Philips DOT Bluetooth speakers

 

 

 

Books, Movies and Music

  • Up to 50% off popular books including Guinness World Records 2015, What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey and The Cook’s Illustrated Meat Book
  • Save up to 57% on over 12,000 movies & TV shows on DVD and Blu-ray including House of Cards: Season 2Lone Survivor, and The Dark Knight Trilogy

 

Kitchen:

 

Tools and Home Improvement:

 

Patio, Lawn & Garden:

 

Home:

 

Automotive:

 

Pet Supplies:

 

Industrial & Scientific:

  • 3D printer under $400

 

Wine:

  • Amazon Wine will feature deep discounts starting at 60% off on over 100 unique wines

 

Fashion:

  • Puffers for women, $34.99 and under
  • Puffers for men, $24.99 and under
  • Save 50-70% off cold weather outerwear and accessories for boys and girls
  • Save 40% off Cole Haan for men
  • Save 50% off Kenneth Cole Reaction boots for girls and boys
  • Save 50-70% off Nautica for girls
  • Save 60-70% off U.S. Polo Association for boys
  • 4-piece pajama sets for girls and boys, $15 and under
  • Hello Kitty clothing for girls, $15 and Under
  • Save Up to 60% off Quiksilver for baby boys

 

Jewelry & Accessories:

  • 50% off FRYE Women’s Wyatt Harness Short Western Boot
  • Save 60% off the Amazon exclusive Antonia Satchel from Cole Haan
  • Kenneth Cole Reaction leather messenger bag, $39.99
  • Versace “Dafne” Watches, starting at 70% off
  • Stuhrling Automatics, 50% off everyday price
  • Save 50% off Lego Movie Watch 2 pack – Batman & Superman
  • 14K gold 0.5 carat diamond stud earrings, $299
  • Myia Passiello Swarovski 6 cttw Round Stud Earrings, $23.99
  • 1928 Holiday Necklace, $19.99

 

Sports:

  • Save 25% off Withings O2 Pulse
  • Save 20% off the TRX Suspension Trainer
  • Save 25% off big logo hoodies from Under Armour

 

Outdoor:

  • Schwinn Discover Men’s Hybrid Bike, $179.99
  • Schwinn Discover Women’s Hybrid Bike, $179.99

 

Baby:

  • Save up to 40% off Stork Craft Dressers
  • Save 35% off select Graco swings, playards, and more
  • BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Active in white mesh, $69.99
  • More than 40% off The First Years True Fit IAlert C685 Car Seat (select colors)

 

Beauty:

  • Save up to $30 on Oral Care including Oral-B Electric Toothbrushes and Crest Whitening products
  • Save up to $100 on men’s grooming including Braun and Panasonic shavers
  • Save 30% off FMS-270H Foot Massager
  • Save 30% off Baxter of California shaver’s skincare kit
  • Hair styling tools including hair dryers, flat and curling irons from Remington, John Frieda, Remington, Conair, and Revlon, starting at 20% off
  • Save 20% off Conair Sonic Facial Skincare System
  • MANGROOMER body groomer and hair shaver, starting at 20% off
  • Save 25% off Axe toiletry bag
  • Save 40% off Conair P1AM sound therapy pillow

 

Be sure to head to Amazon.com to take advantage of these great deals!

 

Melissa and Doug

One of my favorites for kids’ toys and gifts, Melissa and Doug, has some pretty awesome deals for Cyber Monday! I especially love the $20 off $100 and free gift of Holiday Cookies Wooden Play Food Set for purchases of $50 or more.

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Review: Max Tow Truck

There’s no shortage of cool boy toys on the market these days, and that definitely includes cars and trucks. The new Max Tow Truck from Jakks is destined to be a popular truck this holiday season, and not just for its cool factor. 

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Max Tow Truck is described as being able to tow up to 200 lbs.  He talks and moves, but more importantly, he tows!  My guys are really enjoying playing with Max.  Between the 2 and 7 year olds, Max appeals to both younger kids as well as older boys—my husband included.  

 

Max can tow things, without a doubt.  We towed toys, wagons, little brothers…but we never got as far as towing 200 lbs. We found a few glitches, but after shifting a few times, we were able to get Max to tow (most of) the things we wanted.  His rubber and almost hollow wheels allow for maneuverability and monster truck action. We loved watching the truck go up hill and over any and everything.  And contrary to what Bigs said in the video, I don’t think Max can move boulders.  Small boulders, maybe. 

All in all, Max Tow Truck is pretty awesome and lives up to its cool factor.  We’ve had so much fun with the truck, I’m sure I’ll end up posting more about it soon.

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: Hasbro Captain America Battle Helmet and Dualshot Gauntlet

 

In a house of boys, it’s all about super heroes all the time.  My two guys love playing good guy vs. bad guy.  Sometimes, it’s even Marvel vs. DC. Ha!  

Nevertheless, we’re all big fans of Marvel heroes, especially Captain America.  Since David Wright, one of our favorite baseball players is actually nicknamed Captain America, our Captain America hero gear does a whole lot of double duty.

 

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This spring, my friends at Hasbro sent us over some of the latest in Captain America role play toys. We’ve had a great time checking out the Captain America Battle Helmet and Dualshot Gauntlet. My big guy absolutely loved the new details of these toys, especially the the light up features of the Dualshot Guantlet.

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The Battle Helmet features a button-activated light-up visor and a missile-firing projectile rocket launcher that can also be connected to three different points on the helmet via the innovative rail system feature.  You can customize the helmet by connecting more gear such as the Recon Rangefinder and Dualshot Guantlet. The helmet uses two AAA batteries and retails for $19.99

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The Dualshot Gauntlet is a cool gauntlet device that can worn on a hand and can also shoot missiles.  As mentioned, this device can be worn on a hand or can be used as an add-on to the Battle Helmet.  The gauntlet uses two AAA batteries and retails for $7.99.

If you’re into Captain America or super heroes like we are, this gear from Hasbro would be a perfect complement to your battle supplies.

 

Full closure: Samples were provided to facilitate this review. As always, opinions on NKT are my own.

 

TTPM Highlights Top Trends and Best in Play at Spring and Summer Showcase

It may feel like we were just unwrapping Christmas gifts, but thankfully, after the longest winter ever, we can finally focus on spring and summer.  And with a new season comes more new toys!

 

 Last week, TTPM highlighted the key top trends and best in play at their annual spring and summer showcase. Time to Play Mag, which has expanded and officially rebranded to TTPM, is the same juggernaut and resource for reviews on playthings and beyond.  

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The TTPM editors pinpointed three trends that will contribute to the popularity of toys this summer, including: bigger blockbuster movie lineup, innovative outdoor toys and breakout hits.  

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The movies that are expected amp up toy sales include Transformers: Age of Extinction, Disney Planes: Fire and Rescue, Godzilla, and The Amazing Spider- Man 2.  We’re hardcore Spider-Man fans, so our house alone may contribute to this increase in sales.  Untitled

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Innovative outdoor toys such as automated bubble blowers, our favorite: the bike bubbler and Grab n’ Go Chalk Games are just a few of the many toys that are sure to keep the kids entertained for hours.  There are so many fantastic breakout hits, but Paw Patrol, Lego Movie, The Happy’s and not surprisingly, Frozen take top honors in this category.

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There were quite a few standouts for spring and summer toys in the showcase.  Ride-on toys such as Razor’s Power Ride 360 and the Kawasaki TMNT 4-wheelers made it on to the hot list.  Personally, Hasbro’s Spider-Man toys and TMNT Combat-a-Bubbles are on our current list of must-haves.

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I have tons of photos to share from the event which I’ll include within this post.  I also did a gifting suite haul, something I had fun doing with my older son. 

Attending the TTPT showcases is always a highlight of the season for me, but getting to test out the toys via the gifting suite is a true highlight for the whole family.  So, many thanks to the companies who participate in the gifting suite. 

 

Demo and Review: The Happy’s from Cepia

Coincidentally, Pharrell’s song, “Happy,” has created an ongoing movement, but it’s these new toys from Cepia that’s making us move!

 

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The Happy’s are an adorable line of novelty plush that are motorized, so it’s as if these pets come to life and can play with you.  By incorporating IR technology, The Happy’s can perform tricks, make crazy noises, will play with you or explore independently. If you guys watch a bunch of tv like us, you’ve likely seen their commercial already!

 

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At Toy Fair earlier this year, I had a chance to listen in on a demo from Cepia executives.  We watched the pets perform tricks, chase their balls, scoot in cars, but the best is when they explore and snuggle up to unsuspecting toes.  The dogs, which varied in colors, scooted along the hard wood floor, and chased the interactive treats and toys.  According to the makers, tricks include follow me, chase a ball, pounce, chasing tail, beg, wiggle and dance.  So, minus the batteries and neediness, it’s almost like have just the fun of a real dog!

 

My toddler and six year old had a great time chasing our puppy around the living room.  Though, I found that the pup had a much better time navigating on the hardwood floor, rather than on the area rug.  The toddler had a much harder time understanding the Happy Treat and how to play with The Happy’s, but he did love it when it chased him.  My six year old, who fits in the target demo, loved the idea of The Happy’s but, quite frankly, wanted more from him.  He would’ve liked to be able to train it or teach it some tricks.  Nevertheless, he loves the idea of getting another few of The Happy’s and the cool skateboard and car!

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The cute plush, with its interactive features make The Happy’s a fun toy for young grade schoolers.  What I really love is that its gender neutral and even encourages group play. The Happy’s, which are available now, would make a super cute alternative to candy for those Easter baskets!

 

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In addition to the original four of The Happy’s, these accessories and play sets are available now:

Chase and Play

Ride-on Accessories

Fashion Carrier and Scarf

Deluxe Bed & Blanket

 

Rockin’ Playground

Agility Training Set

 

Full disclosure:  This is a sponsored post and I did receive samples to review the product.  As always, all opinions on NKT are my own.

TinkerBell Flutterbye Fairies to Fly onto Shelves

Today, I’m heading to a media event where I’ll get to meet, and perhaps, interview the producer for the new Disney straight to DVD movie, Pirate Fairy.  I’ll have more about this cool flick, but in the meantime, I have fairies on my mind.

So, in honor of the stars of Pirate Fairy, I thought I’d highlight one of Spinmaster’s hottest toys: Flutterbye Fairies.  One of Christmas’ must-have toys, Flutterbye Fairies is set to add a few more fabulous flying friends.  Set to launch this Spring, TinkerBell is just one of the newest fairies to join this cool new line of toys.

 

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Like her fellow Flutterbye Fairy friends, TinkerBell will be able to dance, fly and flutter with the same kid-navigated technology.  The ability to control her flight path by simply hovering your hand underneath the doll is simply amazing!  Tink launches from her display stand and stops with the push of a button. In true Tink fashion, the TinkerBell Flutterbye features that signature green dress with a dash of pixie dust.

 

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For TinkerBell Fans, this new addition to the Flutterbye Fairies line is a magical move. TinkerBell Flutterbye Fairy from Spinmaster launches this Spring and will retail for $39.99

 

Want to hear more about Pirate Fairy, which is set to release on April 1?  Check out the extended sneak peek to see what the Fairies are up to in Pirate Fairy.