Candy Free Easter Baskets

It’s that time of year again, when Peter Cottontail and all his bunny helpers hop into homes with baskets filled with treats and toys for good little boys and girls. Here are some of our favorite non-food items to fill your kiddo’s baskets with.

PLAYMOBIL has created even more figures to inspire imaginative play- Figure Series 13: Blind bags will continue to be a hit with the kids.  The latest series features 24 different figures that can be collected, assembled and are interchangable.  Each figure comes unassembled which adds to the fun- your kids can put them together or mix and match the interchangeable parts with other figures to create an entirely new and original character. $2.99 each

It’s Spring- ready for bubbles? These are cute, and can be less messy then a bubble wand. Glove-A-Bubbles Bunny (or 7 other animal options) puts the bubbles onto a little glove and lets them wave their hands around, creating waves of bubbles with each swipe. These ‘gloves’ come with two packs of bubble solution in each package. A parent can pour it into the pouch, dip the glove into the bubbles, and send the kids out to run wild. While there are 8 animals total, Bunny is egg-stra cute for Easter, we think.  $2.99 each.

We LOVE Smooshy Mushy, I’ve got to say. If your kids have not begged for a squish toy yet, we don’t know how you have escaped this craze. It’s not one I personally mind terribly- they are inexpensive, smell nice, and are adorable, so not a craze that this mom minds.  As we had mentioned in out Toy Fair columns, The Squish trend is continuing, for sure. These scented, “slow-rise,” squishable animal toys come in a variety fun food and pet themes, each packaged with an itty-bitty collectible squishy best friend, adding levels of surprise. The packaging itself is super cute, often an ice cream cone, soda bottle, milk carton, or the like. Very sweet. $9.99

GOTRAX Releases Limited Edition GALAXY Versions of its Best Selling Hoverboards

GOTRAX™, a Denver-based brand of electric rideables driven by imagination and innovation with a focus on science and education, today announces limited edition GALAXY versions of two of its most popular hoverboards for sale, the off-road ready HOVERFLY XL, and the budget-friendly HOVERFLY ECO.

The limited edition GALAXY versions feature a durable and unique colorful water transfer graphic wrapping the board, consisting of signature space-themed GOTRAX characters.

GOTRAX engineered the HOVERFLY XL to take riders beyond the pavement with dual 350-watt motors and 8.5-inch rubber all-terrain tires for maximum traction in dirt, sand, gravel and grass, and the ability to scale slopes up to 30 degrees.

Toy Fair Trends 2018 #NYTF

It Febuary, so you know what that means. [email protected] was at the New York Toy Fair, checking out all the newest and best toys and games that are coming out this year, and we think it will be a fantastic year for toys. James Hamilton, of the popular pop-culture website was there to lend a hand covering the massive show floor (and we thank him for his contributions to this coverage). 

We found that some of the trends for the next year are somewhat of a continuation of old trends, albeit slightly updated. Some of these continuing toy trends do venture into new territories, and it’s always fun to see what the year will bring to our families. 

blister packs

One of the continuing trends has to be the “blind boxes”. While these have been growing in popularity, one of the variations on these “blind box” items is that the blister pack will show some of the toys or contents with one or more figures being obscured. The remaining contents are visible to the consumer, and the hidden toy is often a “rare” item.  The other big news in blind boxes is the packaging has gotten very creative, having the packaging serving a dual purpose such as being used as a Christmas ornament, storage tin, or as part of the toy itself. We LOVE this, and we think your kids will, too. 

kids coding toys

One of the other trends we witnessed is expansion of STEM based products. If you are not familiar with the term STEM, it stands for Science, technology, engineering and math (another variation is “STEAM”, where the “A” stand for Art- which we like better). Build a robot, learn to code, build atoms, mix colors, new takes on old classics like volcano building- there is no shortage of truly fun with learning options.  Starting from months old and up, the child can learns coding though programming a robot’s actions, how to use a musical instrument, and so much more. This year, education is king, and we are happy to see that trend. 

Win Roblox Toys

Recently, Roblox announced their new toy line, inspired by some of the games, characters, and developers in Roblox’s user-generated universe, and its is the perfect gift for any Roblox gamer!


With the toys, Roblox is seeking to “Power Imagination” in the same way they inspire participants in their online platform to express their creativity.  Fans can take apart the characters in the physical toy line and mix and match parts to create new characters just like they can in Roblox’s virtual world.  To make the games even more interactive, each toy comes with a code that can be uploaded to the game for cool, new in-world accessories.

The Roblox toys are sold Target and Toys ‘R Us.


Magnaflex – Fun Building Toys

In the landscape of building toys available there, are a few characteristics which make the greats stand out.  Originality, simple, form, function, and ease of use as well as of course use of colors.  One of the most interesting building toys available right now is the Magnaflex by Wowwee.  These building pieces are magnetic, flexible, and easily stick to one another to make anything your imagination can put together. From buildings and robots, to flowers and animals, even faces and a crown.  Make them in 2D or 3D, these shapes can make just about anything with the right amount of imagination and creativity.

Some of what we like most about Magnaflex is its ability to be used anywhere. The pieces are big enough to not get lost easily, yet small enough to keep hands busy in the car.  Also, Magnaflex are brightly colored and make for a wonderful gift.  Magnaflex uses the power of magnets to hold themselves together, so your works of art can last for as long or as short a time as you would like.  Pieces separate with ease.  These pieces can be incorporated into a metal surface like a filing cabinet or refrigerator door, adding to the places you can play with them.

Win All-New Squishmallows Stuffed Toys

”Squishy” Style, super cuddly, Japanese-Inspired Collectible plush toys are available and oh-so soft- You will never want to let them go.

Both my son and my intended like to sleep on the larger sizes- and I have to admit, they make a nice pillow.  The Squishmallows collectible plush toy line is available in four sizes. Clip-ons (3.5”), small (8”), medium (13”) and large (16”) sizes have a suggested retail price of $2.99, $6.99, $9.99 and $19.99, respectively. They are very, very soft and snuggly- this can not be overstated, honestly, and adults would like them as well. I know we do, and not sorry to admit it!

The all-new collectible Squishmallows squad is now available in eight styles and in four sizes, including pink and blue penguins, purple and grey owls, a cat, fox, frog and hedgehog. You can sign up for the email list at get the first look at four special editions available later this year. The line will expand in 2018 with seasonal styles including Valentine’s Day and Easter.

Holiday GIft Guide- Hot Toys For kids

With only about a week to go, you will be on the lookout for the hottest toys for the little ones in your life. These are a few we think will make those kiddos shriek with delight as they tear off the wrapping paper.

Last year’s hit toy, Hatchimals, are back with an ever bigger surprise inside. The all new Hatchimals Surprise have let you hatch two sweet and cuddly Hatchimals out of the same egg- that’s right, you get twins. As you play with and hold your colorful egg, the Hatchimals inside make all sorts of sounds to let you know they are trying to hatch. When they are about ready, you will see their rainbow eyes and they will begin to “push” their way out of the egg. Even though they are twins, they are unique in personalities. As you interact with them, they learn new tricks and habits, like how to talk, dance, sing, tell jokes, play games, repeat what you say, and more. They also interact with each other, both being sweet and occasionally arguing, like any siblings will. Get yours for around $60 in stores and online.

Did you ever want your own droid? I know I have. Now you can, which is very cool and interactive- Droid BB-8 . It is pretty lifelike in scale, at 16 inches tall (19 inches with antenna) so it will feel like you are a true Jedi or padawan. BB-8 glides about just like his movie counterpart and can have pretty realistic interactions, as well as lights and sounds. Put on the “Follow Me” mode and have him roll next to you. You can use voice recognition (which is pretty sticky sometimes) and it has remote control capabilities as well. Hero Droid BB-8 is a great gift for any Star Wars fan, young or old, new to the films or long time aficionado.  Grab yours quickly (these run out at times) for about $150 in stores or online.

Great Holiday Toys For Kids (And Kids at Heart)

Getting ready for the holidays can involve a fair amount of shopping for the kiddos. Here are a few items we know are sure to be on a lot of lists this year.


If your children love cars, or shows like Pokemon or Battlebots, they will enjoy the Power Rippers™ 2-IN-1 Competition Set. This set is very complete, and makes a great gift that comes with everything you’d want or need. It includes a Track Set and Battle Arena, dual loops that you can reconfigure for side-by-side racingas one long track, a crash zone and “epic jump” when your toys reach the end of their track. They can use the Battle Arena to- you guessed it, battle each other (or mom and dad).   The set comes in its own case, which makes for easy storage, clean up, and take along as well. Grab yours anywhere that sells toys for about $29.99.

Justice League BIG-FIGS™ take action figures and super size them for giant fun and BIG play. These are great for both the kids and collectors in your life- ok, and the “big kids”, too. ( I can think of more then one adult who would love them.)  Choose from Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Aquaman, and my son’s favorite, Cyborg.  They are detailed, though not fully articulated, and include items like soft capes and removable accessories.  These BIG-FIGS™ are priced right at $19.99, so they are a “big” value as well, considering the regular sized figures usually start at about $11.99.

Have a Nintendo fan? Have they played Splatoon? (If not, you guys are missing out, as we have mentioned previously, it is a lot of fun!) This toy is based on the hit videogame by Nintendo, the Splatoon™ Splattershot Blaster brings into real life all the fun, mess (not really!), and strategy the game is all about.  You and your kids can play all day with these blasters that fire water-based compound up to 30 feet.  Each Splattershot Blaster comes with a pair of Inkling Goggles and two compound canisters that are good for up to 50 shots each.  You can get yours on stores like Amazon for about $29.99. I’d pick up at least 2, so you can play together.