My Art Desk and My Work Bench
as a father and grandfather I can testify to the fact that as kids grow up
they want to be busy.
little minds seek to explore, learn and take in what they’ve discovered and
make and do things.
play sets that encourage kids to create are vitally important to a young
doesn’t matter what a child creates looks like anything. The effort and challenge to their dexterity
and imagination are enough. As they
grow older then they start to recognize, emulate and perfect their ability to
create copies of actual objects.
Alex Brands understands this.
love things that are bright and inviting.
Ask any balloon vendor or toy manufacturer. The brighter the better.
Brands ‘My Art Desk’ fits the bill with its vibrant, primary color scheme,
star cutouts and inviting, no hard edge design.
kid size the Art Desk makes the ideal way for young children to show off
their blossoming creativity. All you
need is crayons, paint, pencils, markers and whatever other art supplies a
kid is sure to love.
you don’t need is a roll of paper, as it comes with the Art Desk.
underneath to a wooden rod with large removable ball ends the paper slides
easily on the Desk top and inserts into the small wooden ‘cutter’ (no blades)
at the bottom of the Desk top (which also serves as a small ledge so pencils
and crayons don’t slide off. Simply
pull the paper and once an art project is done, slide the top edge to the
cutter and tear off.
entire Art Desk comes in a large flat box with its contents carefully wrapped
in bubble wrap and foam sheets.
the enclosed instructions I was able to assemble the Art Desk in a snap using
the screws and wrench along with my own screwdriver.
of the pieces for both the Desk and Chair went together with little
effort. Parts matched up perfectly and
once the screws were tightened the Desk and Chair were secure and extremely
Desk features a large surface in black with primary and secondary color spots
large yellow ringed holes hold the four supply cups where kids can store
their paint brushes, pencils, etc.
green dowel assemblies slide through the Desk top holding it securely in
undo the dowels, reposition them in various slots on the Desk top
undercarriage and the Desk surface can be raised or lowered at different
angles best suited for a child.
large dowel hangs underneath the top of the Desk top where a large roll of
paper can be stored and then dispensed.
base of the Art Desk also includes a horizontal slate for stability and makes
for a handy foot rest.
small chair slides underneath the Desk for easy storage and is the perfect
size for small children.
I mentioned before there are no sharp edges and the entire Art Desk assemble
is made of durable solid wood painted in virtually chip free paint making it
safe for kids.
can imagine my grandson spending many hours enjoying his Art Desk, especially
considering his grandpa will be right there with him showing him how to draw
Brands’ ‘My Work Bench’ is the perfect solid wood, child safe toy that
encourages kids to build.
‘My Art Desk’, ‘My Work Bench’ is easy to assemble following the enclosed
instructions. Screws are
included. All you need is a
in bright primary colors (red, blue and yellow), the Work Bench is perfect
scaled down version of a real woodshop Work Bench.
small wooden hammer, saw, wrench, screwdriver and scale hang on pegs for the
blue stripped backboard.
Work Bench top is perforated with holes so kids can pound in the wooden
‘nails’, set in ‘bolts and nuts’ and have a surface to work on.
surfaced nails and nuts and bolts allow kids to use the tools and make their
wooden robot and truck are included, which (along with other items) can store
on the lower shelf.
front edge of the top surface is marked off as a ruler.
Work Bench is made of solid wood with smooth corners and edges and painted in
chip resistant paint.
builders and carpenters are sure to love this colorful and fun Work Bench and
enjoy hours of hammering, bolting and unbolting, screwing in pieces and
pretending to make wooden masterpieces.
the Art Desk and Work Bench are made of the highest quality wood, smoothed
and finished for little hands and painted with safe, non-toxic paint.
pieces are guaranteed to last for years and make for fine gifts for young
kids to ignite their imaginations and creativity.
Andrea’s Rifle, Utility Belt and Jungle Friends
When I taught I used to tease my
high school students about The Walking Dead.
I would tell them the definition
of The Walking Dead: they are always hungry, make guttural noises and wander
Once I described The Walking Dead
I would then tell them why they like the show so much.
It’s easy really-the Walking Dead
are teenagers! The description fits!
OK, on to more serious matters-or
at least onto the reviews.
Alex Brands’/Buzz Bee Toys’ bolt action,
dart-blasting Andrea’s Rifle from The Walking Dead is a perfect, functional
replica of the deadly weapon from the TV series.
Of course the bullets are soft tip darts,
but they can fire up to 100 feet!
The rifle features real bolt lever
action, a removable scope, a working trigger, a heavy stock, an Ultra-Tex
Clip for holding the eight darts and a short barrel for maximum carnage.
It’s a real beauty of a brute made
of heavy and durable plastic, featuring recreated details from an actual
rifle and offers more fun than you can shake a dismembered zombie leg at.
Proudly displayed on its ‘The
Walking Dead’ display box, that is decorated with art from the comic book
series, Andrea’s Rifle is a proud member of the ‘Air Warriors’ series of
When I was a young boy my friends and I
used to trek out to the wilds, pitch a tent and tackle the rugged terrain and
harsh conditions of living in the wild.
Actually we would put up a pup
tent in the backyard, string out an extension cord for our radio, cook up
some hotdogs inside my house, grab a few snacks, lay out our padded sleeping
bags and spend most of the night talking, telling jokes and making strange
noises that young boys do.
One of us might have brought along
a compass or a pack of matches but that was about the extent of our camping
Backyard Safari Adventures bumps
up things a few notches with its awesome Utility Belt set.
Here’s what kids get: a utility
belt, a protective case, a field microscope, a pencil and notepad, patch and
The utility belt includes a belt
buckle, D rings, elastic loops and the elastic holster attaches to it.
The portable field microscope also
has adjustable lens, a view finder and the entire assemble folds down for
easy storage and transport.
Everything fits snuggly into the
clip case sans the belt and buckle.
It’s an awesome kit that I wish I
had when I was a kid.
I’m excited. My grandson just turned three months old
and he’s starting to really get active.
One of his favorite things to do
is to take a bath.
Now he has something to make bath
time even more fun: the Alex Brands’ Jungle Friends Block Squirters.
These cute, little, cubed animals
stack on top of each other, can fill with water and with a simple squeeze out
shoots a stream of water!
They are colorful, cute and
feature a tiger, hippo, elephant and zebra.
It’s a wild and wacky water world
of fun that little kids are sure to love and which make bath time a real
Four Arms and Heatblast
It is remarkable to me and a real
testament to a toy line that certain action figures tend to stay around for
Ben 10 is one such action figure
line of toys.
When Ben finds an alien watch; the
Omnitrix, he discovers, to his delight,
that he can change into 10 different aliens.
Once he changes he takes on the
characteristics and powers of the alien he chooses.
Ben chooses to be the hero and
he’s saved the planet a number of times.
Over the years the selection of aliens has changed but the adventures
of Ben is as fun as it gets when you consider he’s a kid and he’s just been
handed awesome powers.
Playmates Toys has
produced a lot of Ben 10 figures over the years and its newest selection ups
the ante with some incredible sound chips producing voices, alien power
surges and more.
The new figures not only talk and
make noises but they also light up.
Get ready to ‘Power up!’ with
latest and greatest Ben 10 action figures yet.
Heatblast stands about six inches
tall and looks translucent.
His fire/flame head is accented
with a red skull front that lights up whenever he talks.
With four finger hands and two-toe
feet the translucent figure is every bit the hero with alternating fire red
patches over his nearly transparent body.
Fully-articulated, Heatblast is a
real ‘hot’ toy that is sure to ‘turn up the heat’ against any bad guy.
Watch his head and torso light up
with the push of the button on his upper back.
He’s hot stuff!
What’s better than two arms? Why Four Arms of course!
Four Arms is a muscular red, black
and white clad alien with massive arms and hands and two-toe feet.
His four eyes and large teeth
filled mouth make him look intimidating-which he is!
Fully–articulated, Four Arms can
move his legs, arms, torso, head, hands and he lights up as he shouts out
some warnings and threats against any adversary.
Both figures are expertly crafted
with great sculpts, no slop over or rough edge paint application, are rugged,
articulated and look great in their full-figure display bubble packs.
Push their buttons and they talk,
hold the buttons down and get ready for some alien energy blasts! Exclusive at Toys R Us.
“Money makes the world go around
The world go around
The world go around
Money makes the world go around
It makes the world go 'round.
A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound
A buck or a pound
A buck or a pound
Is all that makes the world go around,
That clinking clanking sound
Can make the world go 'round.”
the Bible it is stated that ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.”
You’ll notice that it is the
‘love’ of money, not money itself that is evil.
Money is neither good nor
bad. It can be used for good or evil
purposes, but money itself is neither.
There is nothing wrong with money
in of itself. In fact, without money
it is very difficult to survive in today’s modern world.
It’s important that children are
taught how to save and spend money.
They need to learn what it means to earn money. It requires work and discipline.
Unfortunately too many kids are
taught that they are entitled to things and money. Very little emphasis is placed on working
and earning a paycheck or allowance.
Good financial planning and
understanding is a must if a child (when they get older) expects to survive
and use their finances properly.
That’s why I got so excited when I
saw Alex Brands/Brainy Bucks newest
educational toys-all about money and banking.
Granted it may not seem like a big
deal. Trust me-it is a very big deal.
Let’s start with the basics.
Brainy Bucks’ ‘Cash Stash Tray’
contains over $3,000 in realistic play money-both in coins and paper money.
One hundred and twenty bills and
100 coins make up the set, all divided by denomination and accurate to size.
With the play money children can
be taught to recognize real money and how to make change. The Brainy Bucks money can also be used in
Brainy Bucks toys-or kids can actually use real money if they want.
Either way allows kids to
comprehend and use proper currency.
An excellent way to get kids to
save money is with a traditional piggy bank.
Kids put in their money and after awhile they open the piggy bank and
either spend their saving or put it away in a saving account.
But, what if you had a bank that
not only stores your money but keeps track of the amount, shows a digital
display of your total savings, counts your change, keeps track of paper money
and features an undo button should you mess up?
The Brainy Bucks’ ‘Bill & Coin
Money Jar’ does all that and much more!
Kids can watch their loose change
add up, personalize it with their picture and it even remembers
their balance even if the batteries have to be replaced.
That’s some piggy bank!
A free educational book on how to
be money smart is also included.
What if a child’s saving mount up and
overflow the Money Jar?
Easy problem to solve.
Kids can keep their money (and
other valuables) safe in the ‘Voice Activated Safe’!
The bank is voice activated and
will only open when the password the child creates is spoken by the child.
If someone tries to activate who
is not the child an alarm goes off-even when it is tampered with.
The interior of the safe has
shelves and a drawer for valuables and a special manual override that allows
kids to change their password.
Simple press the password button,
state a password and immediately begin storing your valuables.
are everywhere and it is imperative that kids know how to use one.
Brainy Bucks’ ‘Real Money ATM’
operates just like a real ATM and accepts real money.
It tracks accounts, is activated
by an ATM Card, counts coins, has an automatic bill feed and it even makes
sounds just like a real ATM!
It’s digital, it’s realistic and
The ‘Time To Save ATM’ is the big
daddy of the Brainy Bucks money toys.
It looks (in a smaller scale) just
like a wall-mounted ATM machine that does everything the ‘Real Money ATM’
does but also includes a secure vault and a real working alarm!
Kids will get a kick out of its
functional buttons, ATM Card Slot, Speaker, Screen, Keypad, Vault and Money
It’s big, it’s rugged and it makes
for a perfect gift to teach kids how to save and keep track of their money.
I highly recommend the ‘Brainy
Bucks’ line of money toys. You can
‘count’ on them!
Go! Go! Smart Wheels, Baby Beats Monkey Drums
and Light &
Lullabies Travel Mobile
Nowadays babies have it made!
It used to be babies (or young children) had a very limited selection of
toys to play with, let alone educational toys.
A ball, rattle, plastic keys on a plastic key chain, building blocks and
other assorted simple toys fit the bill.
Today babies and kids have a vast plethora of educational and fun toys to
play with. They make sounds, move,
talk, flash lights, ring bells and are animated.
Perhaps no other toy company has more of a selection of electronic toys
If it moves, talks, flashes lights, sings, makes noises and keeps kid
occupied for hours then more likely than not VTech has created and manufactured it.
Just this week I greeted my first grandchild into the family. Vance is a healthy little boy who, if he is
anything like his mother and father, will be a very inquisitive and active
child-curious about everything.
What better way to introduce him to the world than to provide him with some
exciting and educational toys?
Imagine-playing and learning at the same time!
‘Go! Go! Smart Wheels’ toy vehicles, made for 1 to 5 year olds, are cleaver
little ‘Press & Race’ vehicles that scoot along the floor or flat surface
with the simple push of their rear body that sends their rear wheels
spinning, propelling the vehicles forward.
The ‘Race Car’ will say his name, make sounds, play music and teaches the
letter ‘R’ all by the simple flip of a switch.
The ‘Fire Truck’ teaches the letter ‘F’ for Felix, talks, makes fire
engine sounds, plays music and it even has a small extension ladder that
The ‘Dump Truck’ flashes its lights, teaches about the letter ‘D’ for Dump
Truck, sings, plays music, talks and makes Dump Truck sounds.
All of the Go! Go! Vehicles are made of tough and durable plastic, for
rough play, are brightly colored and sure to be a big hit with small
Felix the Fire Truck has all sorts of exterior details such as fire
fighter supplies and there’s even a fire fighter in the front window.
Dale the Dump Truck also has a driver, a large exhaust pipe on its side, a
small rear dumping area and more.
Ray the Race Car has a rear spoiler and a fancy roof scoop.
love to drum on things and make noises.
What better way to satisfy a young child’s energetic outbursts that to
let them play with the ‘Baby Beats Monkey Drum’?
Made for 3+ months the Monkey Drum features an adorable brown monkey that
beats the drum when the large drum top is pressed.
The colorful drum lights up and makes drum noises along with music, talks,
sings and laughs.
Press the purple, green or blue light-up buttons and the Monkey Drum asks
kids to play the drum, sing, dance and other activities that are sure to wear
out any active kid.
The buttons also asks questions, challenging kids to follow their
What a fun and educational toy that provides sound, movement and physical
‘Lights & Lullabies Travel Mobile’ is a handy little toy that can be used
at home, in a car and on the go!
Easy to set up the Travel Mobile spins and plays up to 30 minutes of
It provides soothing music and sounds for babies, plays nursery rhymes and
spins showing off its three soft stars decorated with animal motifs.
It’s a ‘4-in-!’ bundle of fun for carriers, cribs, strollers and more.
Soft lights flash and music or sounds play. There is a night-light, volume buttons, a
timer switch for 10, 20 or 30 minutes and it even responds to a baby’s cries
by playing soothing music and sounds.
C-3PO 3D Deco Light
Everyone’s favorite, prime and proper; Protocol Droid from the Star Wars
Saga is now a 3D Deco Light courtesy of 3DLIGHT
That’s right! The to-scale C-3PO head, in all its glorious golden sheen,
is perfectly duplicated as 3D Deco Light and it is awesome!
Simply stick the cracked wall (or surface) decal on a flat surface, attach
the C-3PO head to the wall with a couple of screws, put batteries (not
included) in the head, flip the switch and C-3PO’s eyes light up, just like
in the Star Wars movies!
Wow! Is that cool or what?
3Dlight FX has done an excellent job of translating the golden Droid to
perfect 3D, right down to his slit mouth, two, round, eye ports with vertical
slats, two-piece Droid head, neck swivel and more.
With its LED lights the head never gets hot, is child safe and makes a
perfect night light or nifty room decoration and a killer addition to any
Star Wars collection.
Displayed in a clear-front box, with color photos on the back and a list
of features, along with photos of other Star Wars 3D Deco Lights, it makes
for an eye-catching combo that jumps out from store shelves.
Deluxe Glow Creatures and
I’ve said it before, “I was born in the wrong decade!”
I feel cheated! When I was a kid in
the 1950s and 1960s all we had to build with was what we could find around
the house or yard. Sure, it was
fun. What I would have given for a box
of ZOOB BuilderZ!
and creatures! As much as we want to
avoid nasty critters they fascinate us.
Why just be fascinated by them when you can build them?
ZOOB BuilderZ’ Deluxe Glow Creatures includes 300 pieces.
Snap the pieces together, activate the blinking lights and watch them
Build creatures right out of nightmares or make some cute, lovable critters
that move and pose, stick to walls and even hang from the ceiling.
You get everything you need with five different types of ZOOB snap
together parts, each color coded for easy identification.
Here’s what you get: 279 ZOOB pieces, 4 Suction Cups, 14 Glow Pieces, 1
String, 2 Flashing Blinking Light-Up Eyes (Batteries included) and Easy
All the parts come in a heavy-duty plastic tub with snap on lid for easy
The ZOOB BuilderZ S.T.E.M. Challenge ups the ante when it comes to construction.
Pop and snap ZOOB pieces together to make all sorts of vehicles that move
Encourage children’s creativity.
The sky’s the limit! The
S.T.E.M. Challenge includes 35 challenging opportunities to create some of
the most outrageous and clever contraptions imaginable.
all this in the set: 175 ZOOB Pieces, 2 Foam Building Pads, 4 Wheels With
Axles and Rubber Tires, 1 High-Bounce Rubber Ball, 23 Rubber Bands, A 20 Foot
Nylon String, 14 Cards With 35 Challenges and Easy Building Guides for 40
Are you up to the Challenge?
My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage
Fairies: small, humanoid and magical creatures, with wings, that live primarily in woods and forests.
Hidden away in trees, behind mushrooms and other forest plants and fauna
they live secretive lives and are very seldom seen by humans.
As protectors of nature they tend to stay around flowers and other
What kind of dwellings do they occupy?
It is said that their dwellings are fashioned very much like human
dwellings but are incorporated into the plants and forest landscapes.
Quiet, shy and peaceful, Fairies tend to plants, befriend forest fowl,
animals and insects and are spirits of nature, preserving and protecting
wildlife and plants.
‘My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage’ from
Play Monster/Interplay have created
a facsimile of a Fairy home complete with plants and landscaping. In fact, it’s so authentic looking that,
who knows, a fairy just might take up residence in it.
Imagine setting up your own Magical Cottage with flowers and plants
blooming all around it and even in it!
This adorable Magical Cottage comes in two levels.
The top level features a large mushroom surrounded by flora that you plant
yourself that are included with the magical Cottage.
Sprinkle water onto the mushroom and watch the water trickle down to water
The entire Cottage sits in a large circular base where kids can plant
small flowers and plants. The pop-top
cottage allows kids to see the interior of the Fairy Cottage that includes
furniture and a fully decorated interior.
A small, blond hair, female Fairy comes with the set, all dressed in purple
with blue wings.
She can be displayed standing or floating by the use of an enclosed
cord. Her pet chipmunk likes to stay
by her side.
Also the Magical Cottage comes with a shovel, rake, hoe, watering bucket,
decorative porch posts, a large plastic tree, seeds, soil and instructions.
All of the Magical Cottage accessories are made of durable, colorful
plastic, as is the Cottage itself.
The Fairy is partially articulated, easy to pose and a little over two
Check out the two chairs, table and umbrella that can be used as an
interior furniture set or as outside décor.
Dress up your Magical Cottage set with stones for a path going to the twin
swinging front doors and landscape with various plants and flowers and
whatever else fits your fancy.
Kids will love it, Fairies will love it and parents are sure to love its
durability, fun features and its clever way to teach kids about gardening and
Water Warriors Air
Pressure Outlaw and Colossus 2
Usually when someone tells you. “You’re all
wet!” it’s a put down.
With Buzz Bee Toys’ The Original Water
Warriors Air Pressure Outlaw and Colossus water guns, it’s a compliment.
Half the fun is getting wet. The other half is getting others wet.
Original Water Warrior Air Pressure Water Blaster Colossus 2 holds up to a
whopping 74 ounces of water. Talk
about ammo overload!
It’s high pressure, two tank blasting power
shoots water up to 40 feet! Take that
you other wimpy water guns!
There’s even a gauge that lets you know the
distance you can expect to make when you use its three adjustment nozzles.
Other water guns tend to shoot in pone
direction. Imagine how surprised your
opponents will be when you shoot them at an angle! Who says water on shoots out straight?
The easy to handle and cradle Colossus 2 is
just the right size for young warriors.
A few pumps with its hand front mounted Pump Handle, a simple pull of
its Trigger and SPLASH!, you’ve soaked another foe!
as impressive is the Outlaw Air Pressure Water Blaster. Easy to hold in one hand the Outlaw shoots
a water stream up to 42 feet and holds plenty of water in its single Tank.
Adjust the Nozzle, fill it up through its handy
top mounted Fill Cap, pump up the pressure, pull the trigger and it’s soaking
Are you ready for a little wet water fun,
then check out the Colossus 2 and Outlaw from Buzz Bee Toys/Alex Brands!
Peppy Pups and Splashlings
Kids love puppies. They’re cute,
cuddly and adorable. They are also a
chore to take care of, potty train, feed, groom and meet their medical needs.
What if I would tell that kids can now have a puppy of their own that
requires no food, no baths, no doctor visits and best of all-no potty
training and no fleas!
TPF Toys’ new adorable Peppy Pups are as
cute as real puppies and they walk and run!
of soft cloth for cuddling, Peppy Pups are the pet kids are sure to love!
The lovable brown puppy has long, dark brown ears, a head that wobbles and
moves as it walks, a short tail with a white tuff at its end, four large
white paws, big green eyes, a short snout with black button nose, a long red
tongue, and comes with a blue collar with bell and leash.
Kids lead their Peppy Pup by its leash and its special flexible legs cause
it to walk or run, depending on how fast it is pulled. Special grippers on the bottom on its paws
allow it to walk or run on any surface.
It goes where you go, is kid powered and has bouncy walking action.
The world of the Splashlings has
grown. With Wave 2 the Splashlings
have even more adorable and cute undersea creatures.
With over 100 creatures to discover the Splashlings come in a variety of
The 12 Pack Splashlings bubble pack
includes a partially articulate mermaid, seven sea creatures and four
additional Splashlings hidden in sea themed pop open containers. You never know what you will get!
The 6 Pack contains a hidden Color
Change Mermaid, two hidden Splashlings and three Splashlings.
Get ready for an ocean full of friends with these adorable bubble pack
Splashlings that are cute, extremely detailed and fun to collect.
Are you ready for a little undersea mystery? Are you ready to take a chance?
If so, then the starfish hidden surprise Splashlings are just what you
Buy them, unwrap them, pop open the
starfish and get ready for a big surprise.
Splashlings are small and best kept away from children three years old and
younger. You’ll be impressed by the
variety, the colors, textures and sculpt of each Splashling.
Lil Lockitz Best
Friend Party Pack
and Shrinky Dinks
What young girl doesn’t love making her own bracelets, lockets and
trinkets? Let’s be honest, it can be a
lot of fun for boys too!
Alex Brands’ Lil Lockitz Best Friend
Party Pack there’s ‘A Story In Every Locket!”
You’ve seen jewelry boxes adults use to keep their rings and things. Those jewelry boxes have nothing on the
jewelry/trinket box that comes with this massive set!
Girls can store enough bling and zing to make up 18 Lockets. Glitter,
Backgrounds, Stickers-you name it, it’s got it!
Here’s exactly what you get: 18 Locket Tops, 18 Locket Backs, 6 Necklaces,
6 Bracelets, 6 Keychain Clasps, 72 Charms, 54 gems, 32 Backgrounds, 1 Pack of
Sequins, Tweezers, A Photo Stencil (You heard right, you can include your own
photos!), Locket Crimper, Photo Puncher, A Huge Storage Tray and
What a great way to spend hours making your own jewelry, having your
friends over and blinging out! You
make it, you wear it!
It’s a wonderful way to introduce young girls (and boys) to crafts and
creativity. It promotes patience,
practice and dexterity.
a former art teacher I recommend to parents to encourage their children to
make things. It develops their
confidence, cognitive skills and dexterity.
Art-it makes the world go round!
Everyone has the talent for art.
Most just don’t know it.
Everywhere you look there is art: painting, drawings, posters, store front
displays, billboards, advertising, TV commercials-the list is endless.
What better way to spark a child’s imagine and drawing skills than to
provide them with the tools they need?
Gone are the days when you stick a piece of paper and pencil in front of a
child and instruct them to, “Draw!”
With Shrinky Dinks’ Mini Artist Set kids not only get to draw, color and
create, they also get to frame their own work! How cool is that!?
It’s so easy!
Simply use the 6 Colored Pencils, color the 3 Precut Shrinky Dinks Plastic
Artwork Sheets, bake the art in the over, put backing on the art with Glue
Dots, and Frame them!
Hang your creations on the wall or stand them up on a table or dresser.
After kids are down with the three drawings they still have the six
colored pencils left to use on other products. It’s easy using the
instructions or watching the online tutorials.
What a great way to entourage kids to create works of art using the
contained illustrations or to create art on their own!
Times have changed. The American
family has transformed. No longer is
the traditional mother and father and kids, nuclear family the norm.
Kids have to deal with living in single parents homes, stepparent
environments and other non-traditional homes.
It’s tough on kids-especially boys.
Too often they develop their image of manhood from what they see in
the movies or on TV. Either they are
super-macho or overly emotionally sensitive.
Finding a good balance in today’s topsy-turvy world can be a
Speaking as a man who was raised by a single mom I can state with great
confidence that the presence of a strong man role model is key to a young
boy’s maturing into a man.
was one of the fortunate ones. I had
good friends whose father’s treated me as one of their own and taught me what
it meant to be a man.
Believe it or not. Boys and girls
are different. Not just physically,
Neither sex is better than the other-quite the opposite-they are equals.
Growing up to be a man does not mean you are domineering or gruff. Neither does it mean that you are all
teary-eye and weak. It is a balance of
the physical and emotional.
If there was one thing I learned: respect everyone. Treat others, as you want to be treated.
It’s so important for a young boy to have someone to place his confidence
in-to talk to-to buddy around with-even when it comes to the things he does or
why I am so impressed by Play Monster’s
new Wonder Crew collection of 12-inch soft and huggable boy dolls.
Yeah, you heard right-dolls. Who says
little boys can’t have dolls-especially when they are boy dolls dressed as
any rough and tumble boy would dress or would dress depending on what they
It can be a superhero, chef, explorer or construction worker-whatever he
The Wonder Crew collection of four figures includes boys from all ethnic
groups. They come dressed in different
outfits. My example happens to be
Marco decked out in his bright red superhero outfit with belt, mask and
Marco also comes with a red cape and mask that fits a young boy so they
can play superheroes together.
As a team they can right wrongs, save innocents and rescue the world from
Other figures are also available that include appropriate outfits for
their boy owners.
Additional Wonder Crew outfits include doll and matching boy attire.
In this case it’s the Explorer set with a t-shirt, pants and hat along
with a matching hat for the boy explorer.
Wonder Crew’s creator, Laurel Wider, was inspired by the way play impacts
child development. Wonder Crew
encourages kids, especially boys, to be their full selves—kind, emotionally
connected and creative.
I believe she has accomplished her goal.
I can’t wait to share Marco with my soon to be born grandson for him
to play with when he gets older.
Go anywhere. Be anything.
and 9-In-1 Utility Tool
The TV series ‘The Walking Dead’ is one of the most popular TV shows on
the air. Its fan base starts from the
very young up to the very old.
Noted for its stellar scripts, outstanding character development and
intensity of its content, the show does not appear to be slowing down despite
being on TV for a number of years.
One of the show’s most popular characters is Michonne, the Katana
brandishing ‘bad mama’ is no one you would want to mess with.
Buzz Bee Toys/Alex Brands has
faithfully recreated her weapon of choice: a Katana-a ritualistic sword used
by Japanese Samurai.
Michonne is a master at the Katana and it, like its master, are extremely
popular with ‘The Walking Dead’ fans.
Recreated in scale, the Michonne’s Katana is a soft, pliable recreation of
the deadly weapon that fans and kids of the TV show can play without the
worry of decapitating or injuring anyone.
From its characteristic black and gray diamond grip to its single-side
blade, the Katana toy looks exactly like the real deadly weapon right down to
its size and color.
Here’s an interesting little tidbit.
While the upper section of the Katana is sealed in a colorful,
illustrated ‘The Walking Dead’ themed, clear-plastic hanger, the Katana
itself (if you pull it gently, slides out of the bubble pack without
destroying the display pack. Pretty
That way you can pretend to ‘kill’ those nasty, flesh-eating, zombies and
afterward gently put the Katana back into its display bubble pack.
My daughter, who is a big fan of ‘The Walking Dead’ has already laid claim
to the Katana.
I never knew she was a zombie killer!
I’m a big believer of being prepared for anything.
That’s why I have a special pack in the trunk of my car where I keep
survival supplies like food packs, a small stove, a shovel, tools, matches, a
first aid kit and so forth.
You never know when you might find yourself out in the middle of nowhere,
with a broken down vehicle , with no cell phone reception and without food or
It’s important to be prepared-not afraid-just prepared.
With Backyard Safari Adventures’ 9-In-1 Utility Tool kids get a real sense
of what it is like to thrive and survive in even the harshest conditions.
While the plastic toy has no sharp or dangerous parts it is a great way for
kids to understand and use survival tools even though they are plastic
The Utility Tool looks like an oversize pocketknife with nine fold out
accessories, just like a real survival tool.
Accessries include a Brush, Knife, Screwdriver, Magnifying Glass, Safety
Whistle, Spoon, Fork, Tweezers and Signaling Mirror.
A handy Hanging Loop with Carabiner is also included.
Other than the knife, all of the accessories work. Junior campers and explorers are sure to
love this Utility Tool.
Captain America Shield and Spidey Mask
“Avengers Assemble!” Marvel Comic
Book fans recognize that battle cry from Marvel’s Avengers Comic Book. The shout was more often than not bellowed out
by the Stars and Stripes Avenger and Ol’ Shield-Slinger himself: Captain
"When Captain America throws his
All those who chose to oppose his shield must
If he’s lead to a fight and a duel is due,
Then the red and the white and the blue’ll
When Captain America throws his mighty
Imagine owning Cap’s famous Shield.
Well, now you can—sorta.
3DLIGHT FX presents the famous
red, white and blue, star emblazoned Shield in all its patriotic glory with
their new Caps’ Shield LED 3D Deco Light.
you need is a couple of batteries and a hammer.
First, place the 3D Crack Sticker on the wall you choose. The sticky 3D Crack Sticker makes a wall,
or other flat surface, appear as if the Shield has shattered it through.
Place the Shield over the 3D Crack Sticker, securing with a small nail and
viola! You have Cap’s Shield appearing
to crash through the wall!
Flip on the light switch and the Shield’s large centered white star lights
up! A simple click and it goes off.
Since the light is an LED there is no heat, which makes it safe for small
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Here comes the Spiderman.”
Comics premiere hero: Spider-Man, is the web-slinging wonder that protects
new York City from terrestrial and extraterrestrial bad guys.
Ol’ Web Head is a big hit with fans and his facemask is easily
identifiable with its bright red hue, large black a white-eye holes and its
Invite Spidey over to your house with the new Spidey Mask that recreates
Spidey’s famous mug-full size!
Like Cap’s Shield the Spidey Mask comes with a 3D Crack Sticker to make it
appear as if Spidey’s head has smashed through a wall.
Place Spidey’s Mask in place; flip a switch and his eyes light up! Another flip of the switch and his eyes go
Both Cap’s Shield and Spidey’s Mask come in full-color, clear front panel
boxes so you can easily see the contents of each box. Shoot, they look good even left in their
boxes! But why do that when you can
some serious Marvel action all of your own?
Light ‘em up!