Best of Pokemon For Your Collector #HolidayGiftGuide

Looking for some great new toys for your Pokemon fans? Check out these fun options.

POKEMON TAG TEAM MINI TINS

Two Pokémon can be stronger when they join forces, as you’re bound to learn after getting your hands on these new TAG TEAM cards. A TAG TEAM can be stronger than a Pokémon battling solo. Choose from three strong duos—Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, Eevee & Snorlax-GX, or Celebi & Venusaur-GX—in the Pokémon Trading Card Game: TAG TEAM Tin. Each of these fantastic tins contains an amazing pair of Pokémon who work together perfectly as a team—with a GX attack that can leave opponents in the dust. Each tin comes with;

    • 1 of 3 foil TAG TEAM Pokémon-GX with special art: Pikachu & Zekrom-GX, Eevee & Snorlax-GX, or Celebi & Venusaur-GX
    • Pokémon TCG booster packs
    • 1 metal TAG TEAM GX marker
    • A code card to unlock a playable deck in the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online

My Partner Pikachu

Engage with Pikachu like never before. My Partner Pikachu features 3 touch sensors that let you and Pikachu communicate in a new and fun way. Watch Pikachu’s arms and ears move, his cheeks and tail light up or hear one of his iconic Pikachu expressions or sound effects. 2 modes of play create over 100 interactions along with 20 sounds and expressions for you to experience. Gotta Catch ‘Em All!™SRP: $19.99, for ages 4+

Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games are among the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch games of all time. Additionally, the games sold just over 2 million copies in the first two days in the U.S., making it the highest-grossing launch of any Pokémon game.

In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, players embark on a journey through the Galar region, where they’ll catch, battle and trade a variety of Pokémon, meet a memorable cast of characters and unravel the mystery behind the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta. (Photo: Business Wire)

“This past weekend, millions of people began their Pokémon journeys through the new Galar region,” said Nick Chavez, Nintendo of America’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “With such a momentous launch, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield have proven to be two of the must-have games this holiday season.”

Games in the core Pokémon RPG series have sold more than 240 million units worldwide since launching with the Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version games in 1996.

In Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, players embark on a journey through the Galar region, where they’ll catch, battle and trade a variety of Pokémon, meet a memorable cast of characters and unravel the mystery behind the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta. In the Wild Area, which stretches between the Galar region’s different towns and cities, players will explore a vast expanse of untamed wilderness that’s full of Pokémon to battle and catch. By teaming up with three other players locally or online in the new multiplayer co-op Max Raid Battles, players will face off against gigantic and super-strong Pokémon known as Dynamax Pokémon.

For more information about Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, visit https://swordshield.pokemon.com/en-us/.

Great Gift Ideas For The Kids #GiftGuide

Looking for a great toy for the kids that won’t break the bank? We are HUGE fans of Stikbot over here, and have been from the start. They are great for imaginative play, as well as getting kids to get off their gaming consoles now and then. This does require tech, but the use of their minds and imaginations as well as learning a new skill set means it’s not just another useless, mindless, brain numbing app or game- it’s actually pretty cool and gives them something positive to be doing. Not to mention? Kids love, love these.

KlikBots is a line of collectible action figures that kids can use to create their very own stop-motion videos. With their interchangeable pieces, articulating limbs, and action accessories, KlikBots are ready to travel the universe and go on any adventure you can imagine.

KlikBot comes with a free app, Stikbot Studio, that allows users to create and edit stop-motion movies with their characters.

You can get them in single packs as well as “studio packs” which gets you the Klikbot, tripod, and extra bits and pieces.

The Stikbot Studio gets you 1 Stikbot, 1 Stikbot pet and 1 tripod.

There is also a Zanimation Studio, or Studio Pro Stickbot options which comes with 2 Stikbots, 1 Stikbot pet, 1 tripod, 2 prop boxes (blue and green), and 1 green/blue screen stage. Everything your kiddo will need to make stop motion movies like the pros do.

Also available are dinosaurs, pets, safari animals, monsters and mega monsters, and so much more. There are so many “bots” and playsets, your child(ren) won’t get bored. Best part? They are not expensive. You can get them for as little as $4 in just about any store that sells toys. Prices vary depending on what you are buying, but the single packs are a super affordable gift, stocking stuffer, or bribe to get good grades. Not that anyone would ever do that….

Check out the line here, and see what strikes your fancy. Happy holiday shopping!

National Ice Cream day is Sunday, July 21st – fun toys to celebrate

National Ice Cream day is Sunday, July 21st! Among the free ice cream offers you might be getting from Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen and more, there are these sweet, ice cream themed games and toys that would be an interesting addition to continue the celebration with family and friends.
– Oops Scoops (YULU) – Stack the ice cream scoops on the shaking cone, if the tower topples over you are out of the game.
– Ice Cream Cart (PLAYMOBIL) – Build your Ice Cream Cart and bring the set to life! With figures and accessories included, enjoy this sweet treat.
– Foodie Surprise Ice Cream Food Cart (RedwoodVentures) – Deconstruct the ice cream themed food cart to reveal all supplies and ingredients needed to make your own gummy candy.
Oops Scoops – Get ready to scoop, stack and score with Oops Scoops! This super fun stacking game challenges players to take turns stacking ice cream scoops on ‘Oops’ the ice cream cone. Players compete to build the tallest ice cream tower, but beware, ‘Oops’, the shaking cone, can shiver to make the stacking even more challenging and causing the tower of scoops to topple. Spin the scoop spinner to see how many scoops to add. If the scoops fall on your turn, then OOPS – you lose! The last player left wins the scooping showdown.
Ice Cream Cart from PLAYMOBIL: Indulge in a cool, sweet treat with the Ice Cream Cart! Open the cart’s glass cover to reveal a variety of ice cream flavors. Select the one you want and the owner will scoop it into a waffle cone for you. When all of the customers are satisfied, the owner can close up shop and bike to a new location. Combine this set with the rest of the PLAYMOBIL Summer Villa theme (#9420-9426 – sold separately) to fully bring the story to life! Set includes one adult figure, two child figures, ice cream cart, ice cream flavors, waffle cones, sign, ice cream scoop, and other accessories.

Hoppey Easter! Filling Those Bunny Baskets

It’s already April, and of course that means that for many, the Easter Bunny will soon be hopping his or her way into their houses with a basket of treats.  Here are a few ideas to consider for your kids- or kids at heart.

Tired of hearing your kid’s video games or other noisy electronics? Tell them to put on a pair of headphones, we deserve some peace and quiet once and a while. I don’t need to hear every time your character get a coin, LOL.  BuddyPhones are volume-limiting kids headphones, which are perfect since kids cannot ruin their hearing by playing the volume too loud.  These fun looking and good quality headphones keep the ears of little listeners safe by providing them with the safest, toughest headphones for a decent price. Really- they don’t cost an arm an a leg. They are available in popular colors and designs, including the uber trendy unicorn. Your kids are quiet and  entertained (perfect for car and air travel as well!) and parents are not subjected to the same movies, games, or shows over and over again. Thank you, I’ll have that.

Water resistant and durable with as much as 24 hour battery life, these also sport wireless connection capability. More then one kid? BuddyPhones offers their patented shared BuddyCable, which is a great option for families with multiple kids and only one device, or when one of them inevitably loses one of theirs at the worst moment. Good backup plan.
Available now at www.buddyphones.com or Amazon ($69.90-$79.99).
yoshi's crafted world
Speaking about games, do you have a little Yoshi fan in your life? Yoshi has a new game just out, Yoshi’s Crafted World. This is Yoshi’s first starring adventure on Nintendo Switch, so it’s a big deal for fans. Yoshi will venture through his crafted world, collecting costumes and gems, battling ShyGuys (the most familiar faces in the series) along with thieving mice, and other enemies who await. There is a level that flips stages, and you must do them backwards. Yoshi must help Poochi her puppies back, as they ran off (as bratty pups will do from time to time).  Baby Bowser is back, causing a ruckus, as are an all star team of favorite characters your child will love to interact with.
Fun and funky graphics, with accessible yet challenging gameplay that is perfect for younger audiences but still fun for older ones, this game can be played with two players at a time, which makes it great for family fun.  $60 on https://www.nintendo.com/

For cute additions to your child’s basket, take a look at Rescue Runts Babies. These adoptable mini plush pets let your child rescue, groom, collect and love them. These four-inch plush pets come in small, brightly covered, plastic crates that your child can use at their “home”.  These little stuffed animals are in need love, cuddles, and care. Your child can remove “fleas,” brush their fur, and tie collar ribbons, and more to help them go from ragged rescue to valued and loved pet.

There are more then 20 pets to choose from, including cats, dogs, wild animals, and mythical creatures. Each Rescue Runts Babies is sold separately, and the package comes with the pet of choice, convertible crate, 3 fleas, brush, ribbon /collar, as well as stickers. $10 at Walmart.

easter chocolate

If you, like me, like to give a basket to your partner/spouse (or need a gift for friends, bosses, co-workers, clients, etc), look no further then Godiva. These gourmet chocolates are bound to be a hit,  the melt in your mouth delights will be savored by any chocolate lover. With many sizes and options available, the most inclusive and varied would be the Enchanted Easter Chocolate Gift Basket.

Available in stores or online, this basket comes pre-filled with a collection of the best chocolates as well as GODIVA’s sweet plush 2019 Easter bunny. There are eight different chocolate gifts placed inside, including

One 2019 Limited Edition – Plush Bunny with Chocolate Foil Easter Eggs, One Milk Chocolate Bunny, One Eggstra Special Assorted 5 piece Chocolates Gift Box, 5 One Classic Milk Chocolate G Cube Box with 22 candies inside, One Solid Milk Chocolate Bunny with 5 Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Eggs,One Truffle Crème Egg 4 piece Assortment,One Milk Chocolate Bar, One Dark Chocolate Raspberry Bar. Something for everyone- or just me. Just me it is.

Prices vary per item, this particular basket is $99.95; at Godiva.com with all items included as described and listed.

Moosh Moosh Toys

If kids ask for Crush The Shark, they are not alone. Crush has become “the it toy” since Moosh-Moosh™ launched its cuddly buddy collection earlier this year. Stack ‘em or squish ‘em, they are oh-so-cute. Moosh-Moosh has become a hit on Instagram as kids and celebrities can’t get enough of these pillow pals. Slipperz, the oh-my-gosh adorable slippers for kids ($14.99) and kidults ($19.99). Crush is one of a dozen personalities transformed into a left and a right indoor slip-on.

Joining Slipperz are the Sequins ($17.99) and Series 3 large plush ($14.99) Collections this month. Best described as plush with a marshmallow-like texture, these pillow pals offer comfort, cuddles and company to youngsters, teens and college coeds. Thousands of fans follow them on Facebook.

“With almost every animal that you can think of — and some you never would! — the cuddly kids stuffed animals from Moosh-Moosh are loveable and fun,” begins the magazine’s column, 15 Gifts to Give The Kid Who Has Everything. “We love Handi Andy the octopus stuffed animal and Gwen the Penguin plush, though honestly, it’s really hard to pick favorites! Where else can you find a dragon, a caticorn, and a giraffe in one place? Plus, they start at only $5.99, which means you can buy one of these affordable stuffed animals for all of the kids in the family without blowing your budget.”

Add a little sparkle with a pal from the Sequin Plushies Collection. Neighborhood stores including Michaels, CVS and Jo Ann have stockpiled the popular plush. But you might discover them on family outings at museum stores or event venue pop-up shops. Sequins have a special swipe & change feature that makes kids want to “pet” their plushies. And why not? With cute faces on Bandit, Percy, Cody and Kandy Kat, these sequined softees will be treasured.

Crush The Shark makes a special appearance in the Sequin Collection with a silvery head and soft white torso.

Moosh-Moosh designers have just released Series 3 with some distinct personalities. Crush is joined by his shark siblings Nibler and Neptune. Sweet! New to the group is devilish Ash and Spike, Nemo-lookalike Finster, winking Francine and meow-velous Blossom. Priced nicely at $14.99, these are easy on the budget.

Cute and Cuddly, Prefect for Easter or Passover

Soft and snuggly is what bedtime (and even just cuddle up time) is all about. There are some new cute critters that we thought you would enjoy for your den, check these out- they are perfect for Easter or Passover.

petsies stuffed animals

If you have pets at home, your family will be thrilled by Petsies. where you and your kids can custom design a stuffed animal to look just like your furry family member. Choose from a wide selection of colors, combinations, ear types, tails, even tongues. The plush version of your pet will arrive at your door in a few weeks, but there is actually more. While you wait, you will get emails on the progress it is making-  what point it’s at, asking you to check photos of progress to see what you think, and more. Here is an example-

“CONGRATS! Our lead designer has just reviewed and approved your picture for Petsification. This designer also transferred your photo into our special Petsies plush coding machine, so that we can create the best plush representation of your pet. Next steps: Two more designers will work on picking fabrics and crafting the shape of each individual piece of plush that goes into your design.

Thank you again for letting us plushify your pet! The Petsies Design Team”

petsies toy

We looked forward to our updates, and when we got the email with shipping notification, the wait was on. My son stalked the delivery man, and was completely thrilled with the outcome of the plus twin of his pup, Teddy.

Get yours at https://www.mypetsies.com  Right now there is even a sale going on, so the time is good.

stuffed toys

While we are on the topic of customization, the same company that offers Petsies offers you Budsies, which again was a HUGE hit in this house. Your child or children can bring almost any drawing to life by sending in a photo of a creation of their own design, which Budsies then expertly makes a plush toy out of. It’s super impressive, and the process is a lot of fun for the kids. Have them choose their favorite character that they would like to see as a toy, and send it into the Budsies team. Give it descriptions, choose colors and design options, and even give explanations to make sure that your creation is really understood as you wanted it to be. Again, the email updates are fun and we looked forward to updates-

“Congrats – our lead designer has just reviewed and approved your design(s)! This designer also translated your design into our special internal Budsies plush coding. Next steps: Two more designers will work on picking fabrics and crafting the shape of each individual piece of plush that goes into your design. Thank you again for letting us plushify your design! The Budsies Design Team”

His favorite part was one of the last emails, which send a photo, front and back, of what the toy would really look like- the actual toy they were sending. Seeing his creation as a real plush was very exciting, and he was even more thrilled when it got to the door. These are super fun, very unique and a great way to spend some fun family time before the toy even gets to you. You can take a look at https://www.budsies.com .

llama unicorn

A fun, no fuss toy thats easy to pick up and would be great to put in any Easter Basket or as a Passover gift is this adorable Little Daydream the Stuffed Pink Llamacorn Mini Flopsie by Aurora . Super adorable, comes in quite a few sizes (smallest is only $4.99) and very trendy right now, this little llama has it all. Super soft, shiny, glittery horn and hooves, a unicorn horn, and did we mention it’s a llama? Everyone’s favorite ungulates are extremely popular right now, and this little guy embraces a lot of the toy trends of 2019, making it a great choice for pretty much any kid who loves stuffed animals.

Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

This winter, as Spring is (hopefully) around the corner, you might be having a hard time holding onto those New Years Resolutions or even trying to stay healthy or active as a part of your regular lifestyle. I know for me, February is my “ugh” month, I often find myself with a case of the winter blues and really just “done” with the gray and the cold. I find it hardest to be motivated in February, and not just grab a bag of chips and pop on the Netflix. What to do? Try something new, a little change can often be just the thing you need, a little bump to get you moving.

DIY kits

Have you ever heard of Purple Carrot? You have probably  heard of similar ideas, pre-ordered meal kits delivered to your home that you cook yourself. This is the ONLY 100% plant-based meal kit company of the kind, where you can get pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions for cooking healthy, vegan meals at home. As we are learning, eating plant-based meals even if only one day or a few times a week, has a positive impact on people’s health, the environment, and animal welfare. The food is very good, but it definitely takes time to make, so prepare to spend some time in the kitchen. While not difficult, some of the items made were challenging and to me very unnecessarily time consuming, like making my own veggie burgers. But we learned new things, so that was something. I can honestly say, even as vegetarians, we had never made any of these recipes before, so they were interesting and new.  Find out more here-

Trying to get yourself moving? It can be challenging in this weather. One of the fitness groups I belong to recently posted a meme which said “I was sad, then I bought some new workout clothes and now I’m running!” I was clearly amused, but it’s also true. Sometimes a new pair of leggings or shirt or sneakers makes you feel good, and then when you feel good, you move. Also, you of course need to show them off, right? Your couch will not be impressed. You however will be impressed with the Brooks Running Ghost Tight. I can’t say enough good things about it. I thought they were going to feel like shrink wrap when I saw them, but they are wildly comfortable. It’s ultralight fabric keeps  you cool and wicks sweat and the color options (3 total) are fun. Price $120 at  https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/brooks-ghost-tight-womens/221347.html

Winter can be rough on the skin, rough all over. The new Limited-Edition NIVEA Creme City Tins from NIVEA® Creme are easy to carry around. They are tiny- easy to toss in your purse, backpack, or pocket, and give you a “protective layer of care that prevents the loss of moisture throughout the day” as per the brand. Smooth and soft, it has provitamin B5, which helps it last longer. You can use it on your face, hands, lips, and body- it’s good all over. These limited-edition tins are now available for $.99, get yours at www.NIVEAusa.com.

give back

For your love, no matter if they are one or a hundred and one, take a look at these. Not only are they amazingly adorable, but each toy funds 10 meals for a hungry person. These ethically produced, hand-knit dolls and stuffed animals give 10 meals to hungry children around the world for every item sold. Hand made by artisan knitters in Peru, these handcrafted, heirloom-quality dolls are great for anyone who loves stuffed cuddles. There are 27 toys to choose from currently, and two sizes are available in most cases.

“cuddle+kind has partnerships with several respected humanitarian agencies including World Food Program USA, Children’s Hunger Fund, Breakfast Club of Canada and WE Charity to guarantee that every purchase directly benefits children in need.” (Information given by the brand)

Choose your favorites here- https://cuddleandkind.com/collections/hand-knit-dolls.

Toy Fair Trends 2019 #NYTF #NewYorkToyFair

Well, it’s February, so you know what that means. [email protected] headed out to the New York Toy Fair, checking out all the new toys and games being released this year. While we found it to be overall a bit quieter then 2018, we think it will be a fun year.

In our opinion, some of the trends for the next year are a continuation of old trends, albeit somewhat 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.

toy narwhals

For example, dinosaurs, “mermaid” sequins (those colored sequins that flip from one color to another), llamas, unicorns, glitter everything, narwhals, and coding games and toys are everywhere. As are blind bags, DIY and make it yourself kits, toys that require or interact extensively with apps, and poop. Yes, all sorts of poop in all sorts of ways. Even glittery poop, if you’d really like to combine trendiness- and if you REALLY want to combine them, we even saw glittery poop that uses an app. There really is an app for everything.

Some of the trends you can watch out for this year will include leaning into the above already holding strong trendy toys, like glitter. Sorry, but it’s only going to get even more sparkly.  There are lots of kits that let kids make things for themselves, like soaps or bath bombs or makeup, and now there is oh so much glitter. Got a kit? Guess what, now it has glitter. Not JUST glitter, but so many toys, games, and craft kits now come with “bedazzler” type items to add rhinestones to your hair, clothing, stuff toy, whatever your little heart desires. Sequins and all manner of shiny additives can be applied to just about anything- and sometimes, taken off, and reapplied over and over and over again. Huzzah.

unicorn cat

Stick with me on the glitter for a second, Tinkerbell. There are so. many. wands right now, sold with toys and games or AS the toy/game, more then I’ve ever seen. They make sounds, hold glitter, shoot glitter (yay?) and of course, are very, very glittery. The wands are all over this year, and that is without even counting the ever-popular and only getting more so Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchises, each with a multitude of their own wands and wand games to choose from. Wingardium Leviosa, these will be flying off shelves this year.

Unicorns? Yes, these are still as popular as they have been. All over, on everything, from ducks to plush to pool floats- there is a unicorn for you. And a unicorn for your unicorn, as well. (So they won’t get lonely, of course.)

unicorn sloth

However, not just horses can be unicorns anymore, so there will never have to be a “last unicorn”. In the spirit of inclusiveness, now anything can have a magical horn. Cat? Yes. Llama? Of course. Marshmallow? Even you, little sugar spun bit of sweetness. If you like it, you should have put a horn on it- because now someone else has.

What did the fox say? He said that is a lame reminder of viral videos gone by, but that won’t stop you from seeing a fox around every corner. So, I guess fox says that s/he’s awesome and will be in your house soon if there isn’t a few already.

Fox also says that he’s bringing his best bud Owl, who is another animal we are seeing much more of this year. Alpacas are also joining their cousin Llama at the “cool kids” club.

llama crafts
Slime is everywhere, in everything, and yes- sometimes even glittery. You can thank YouTube for that. Speaking of YouTube, more companies are tapping your kid’s favorite YouTube personalities to endorse products or create lines.  From slime to bubbles to fake hair and ninja toys, YouTube madness is spreading.

Super soft, extra squishy, mushy plush animals are gaining in popularity, and oftentimes in size. These incredibly plush and huggable toys range in size from backpack clips to giant beanbag-type chairs and everything in between.

fortnite star
While we are on the topic of backpack clips- just yes. Everywhere, and in ever growing popularity,  you will find objects that will help weigh down your child’s backpack. Who needs books, anyhow?