The Toy Insider Mom shows off the top offerings from Toy Fair 14 on ABC News!
Toy Insider Mom Laurie Schacht gives CBS’ The Couch a preview of the American International Toy Fair in New York City!
If you have a kid, odds are you’ve heard about Disney’s Frozen and all of the fun characters featured in the film.
Sure, there’s Elsa and Anna, the sisters who the movie is really about, but there’s also Kristoff, the adorable reindeer-loving fellow who becomes Anna’s partner through her frigid trip. There’s Sven, that reindeer who rescues Kristoff more than once, and, of course, Olaf the snowman, who keeps you laughing throughout all of the drama. It’s no surprise that these amazing characters have translated into some even more amazing toys, including dolls, plush, and play sets.
My 8-year-old wanted each and every character to play with and we were lucky enough to find Frozen dolls at our local Walmart just before the holidays, so they became the perfect surprise come Christmas morning.
We ended up buying a set of character dolls for about $40, which I think is a great deal, since I don’t know how I would have found Sven on his own. The only character who wasn’t included in the set was Kristoff, but we were able to purchase him individually for about $12, also at Walmart. Now, I’m able to find a play set from Mattell that includes all of the characters, including Prince Hans (not sure we wanted him anyway), for about $55. There are several options made by Disney, too, and I’m told many of the stores are sold out, so if you want one and see it, pick it up fast.
There are other options available, from plush characters (an Olaf that can detach his body from his head, but reattaches with Velcro so that kids don’t lose the pieces), to singing dolls that are a little more expensive.
I still think this is my favorite Disney movie ever, and that’s saying a lot since Dumbo held that title for decades, so I’m happy to have the characters for my daughter to play with often, being reminded of the film’s message about the importance of family and the reality that people aren’t always what they seem.
The winter can be so drab, and by February, the novelty and beauty of snow can wear off. The kids are antsy and the promise of fresh snow is met with dread. So, how can you make the next snow day a fun day? Consider making snow cream.
Snow cream is an alternative to ice cream. If you have ever made ice cream, you know that you make it with salt, ice, and cream. For snow cream, you will need snow, milk, and sugar. To make about four servings, you need eight cups of snow. Fresh snow is best, but if you don’t get around to making it right away, you can make it up to a couple of days later. Just get the snow under the first inch as the top layer of snow will have dirt and the like.
Put the snow into a bowl, add one cup of sugar (more or less to taste), one tablespoon of vanilla and two cups of milk and mix together until creamy. You can add flavors like peppermint oil or cocoa powder, or ingredients like M&Ms, crushed candy canes, or chocolate chips.
With simple ingredients, kids can get involved in helping to make it, so have fun during the next snow day!
Charlene DeLoach is a senior member of the Toy Insider Parent Advisory Panel. She writes at Metrowest-Mamas.com and CharleneChronicles.com. She has two children: a 4 year old boy and a 18 month old girl.
Whether you are a football fan or not, and even if you team didn’t make it to the playoffs, Super Bowl Sunday can be lots of fun—especially for kids.
Here are some ways to play up the day:
1. Get out some crayons, markers, glue, and miscellaneous materials and have the kids make big Super Bowl signs to hang outside, on the door, or in the house.
2. Blow up some balloons and have a fun Super Bowl game in the house. See who can kick a field goal using a balloon. (Since balloons have a mind of their own, expect a lot of laughter.)
3. Make a sheet cake and frost it using green frosting. Let the kids decorate the football (cake) field with yard lines, end zones, and more. The fun part is then getting to eat it!
4. Print out an NFL coloring sheet or one of your favorite team or a Super Bowl team. You can find them here.
5. Make mini-field goal posts out of straws, tape, and Play-Doh. Then scrunch up a little piece of paper and see if you can get it between the posts!
So whether you tune in to watch the Super Bowl or not, you can have your own sports fun at home!
Charlene DeLoach is a Senior Member of the Parent Advisory Board. She writes at Metrowest-Mamas.com and CharleneChronicles.com and is a Mom to a 4 year old boy and 18 month old girl.
For kids ages 4 and up who need rescuing from toys that require too gentle a touch, it’s Teen Titans Go! time! Jazwares’ line of toys based on the animated TV show already includes five-inch action figures and a mini-figure assortment (See our previous review). But there are also plush dolls that can handle a more rough-and-tumble style of play, thanks to polyester filling and a lightweight design that invites squeezing and tossing into the air. The plush comes in heroes Robin and Cyborg and bad guy Trigon, and each has similar proportions to its cartoon counterpart: Robin, for example, has a head that easily dwarfs his torso. There are also such fine details as the Boy Wonder’s stitched cape and Trigon’s long hair, both firmly attached so they can be used to drag these doll around.
While the two heroes definitely have their strong points, my favorite of the three dolls was Trigon, thanks to fuzzy skin—and hair—that provide the most interesting tactile experience. All in all, Teen Titans Go! plush is tailor-made for the superhero lifestyle, or one that potentially calls for even greater stamina—that of small kids.
Whoa! We just got the Radio Flyer Cyclone in to review and I have to tell you – it is fabulous!!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect but knew with the Radio Flyer name – it would be TOP notch. This product isn’t even out yet but it will be in February and available at RadioFlyer.com & also Toys R Us. The Cyclone is meant for kids ages 3-7 and up to 70 pounds. (Yes. I was disappointed when I realized I wouldn’t be able to try it out. ha)
The Cyclone is a hand powered ride that also allows the driver to do a 360 degree spin. The wheels are GIGANTIC and offer a smoother riding experience. The solid steel frame and wheel castor in the rear really gives this wild looking thing a smooth ride!
It took us some time to be able to stand the cold but today we finally were able to get out. Not too long to freeze – but long enough to fall in love! He’s dying to get that thing back outside for the spring.
Check out our cold but fun trial for the new Cyclone by Radio Flyer!
What is your favorite Radio Flyer product?
The Toy Insider is giving away a BOX FULL OF TOYS worth over $200!
Enter to win by clicking on the IMAGE ABOVE or THIS LINK and fill out the form!
This contest will run through February 13, 2014. A winner will be chosen and contacted on February 14! For a complete list of rules, click here.
Don’t miss out on your chance to win! ENTER NOW!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY OR PAYMENT.
A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
The Toy Insider’s Box Full of Toys Giveaway (Parade) (the “Promotion”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including District of Columbia) who are 18 years or older at the time of entry.
Void in Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other U.S. territories and possessions and where prohibited by law. Entrants must either be the legal guardian of children depicted in the entry picture or have consent from the child’s legal guardian to submit. Employees of Adventure Publishing, Parade, or any of its respective affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising agencies, or any other company or individual involved with the design, production execution or distribution of the Promotion and their immediate family (spouse, parents and step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, and children and step-children) and household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such employee are not eligible. The Promotion is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules (the “Rules”) and Sponsor’s decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Promotion (that of a parent/legal guardian, if, entrant is a minor ). Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. The Promotion consists of a Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”).
Adventure Publishing New York, NY, 307 7th Avenue, Suite 1601, New York, NY, 10001.
Adventure Publishing is the prize sponsor of Promotion. Individual toy names and logos are used for purposes of promotion and/or prize only.
The Promotion begins on Wednesday January 29 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) and ends on Thursday February 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST (the “Promotion Period”). Timestamp on Wufoo.com entry form will be the official time keeping device for this Promotion.
4. How to Enter
To qualify to a The Toy Insider’s Holiday Toy Sweepstakes during the Promotion Period, (a) January 29, 2014—February 13, 2014 entrants must fill out the embedded sweepstakes form on www.thetoyinsider.com.
Any form of entry other than those described herein is void. Limit: Limit one (1) entry per person, per user name, per email address, during the Promotion Period. Multiple participants are not permitted to share the same email address or username. Any attempt by any participant to obtain more than the stated number of entries by using multiple/ different usernames, email addresses, identities, registrations, logins, or any other methods will void that participant’s plays and that participant may be disqualified. Use of any automated system to participate is prohibited and will result in disqualification. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, invalid, unintelligible or misdirected registrations or entries, which will be disqualified. Sponsor is not responsible for lost internet connections resulting in invalid entries. In the event of a dispute as to any registration or entry, the authorized Instagram account holder of the username used to register or enter the Sweepstakes will be deemed to be the registrant or entrant. Potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder. All entries become the sole and exclusive property of Sponsor and will not be returned.
5. Winner Selection
On the dates set forth below, Sponsor or an independent judging agency will select one (1) entry for the prize described below in Section 8 based on all valid entries received and chosen at random. The winning entrant(s) will be contacted Adventure Publishing via email and may be awarded the prize(s) (subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with the terms of these Rules.) Sponsor’s decisions as to the administration and operation of the Promotion and the selection of potential winners are final and binding in all matters related to the Promotion. Winners (or their parents/legal guardians if entrant(s) are minors) will be notified by email approximately one (1) day(s) after the drawing. Failure to respond to the initial verification email within 48 hours of notification or return of email notification as undeliverable after 3 attempts will result in disqualification.
6. POTENTIAL SWEEPSTAKES WINNER(S) IS SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION BY SPONSOR WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE PROMOTION.
7. Verification of Potential Winner (s)
Potential winner(s) must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. The potential winner(s) (or their parents/legal guardians if
winner(s) are minors) will be notified by email after the date of winner announcement. The potential winner(s) (or their parents/legal guardians if winner(s) are minors) may be required to sign and return to Sponsor,
within three (3) days of the date notice is sent, an affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release (except where prohibited by law) in order to claim his/her prize(s) (or those of the child, if applicable). If a potential winner of any prize cannot be contacted, fails to reply to contact efforts or prize notification is returned as undeliverable within 48 hours, the potential winner forfeits the prize. In the event that a potential winner of a sweepstakes prize is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner based on the creativity among all remaining eligible entries.
Winner will be selected on the Sweepstakes Drawing Date, February 14, 2014.
For all Prizes: No cash equivalent for the prize, prize is non-transferable and no substitution will be made except as provided herein at the Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute any listed
prize for one of equal or greater value for any reason. Within 3 days after of receiving the winner’s affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release, Sponsor will mail the winner’s prize(s) via UPS to the address provided therein (if winner is a minor, his/her prize(s) will be delivered care of a parent/legal guardian). Sponsor is not responsible for any delay in prize delivery. Winners (or their parent/legal guardian, as applicable) are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. Odds of winning a prize depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Promotion Period.
9. Entry Conditions and Release
By entering, each participant (a parent/legal guardian on behalf of participant, if participant is minor) agrees to: (a) comply with and be bound by these Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Sweepstakes; (b) release and hold harmless the Sponsor, its parent, subsidiary and affiliated companies, prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Sweepstakes and Promotion, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability, including but not limited to negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to a participant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Sweepstakes and Promotion, acceptance or use or misuse of prize and/or the broadcast, exploitation or use of entry; and (c) indemnify, defend and hold harmless the Sponsor from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or relating to an entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes and Promotion and/or entrant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.
Except where prohibited by law, participation in the Promotion constitutes each winner’s consent (that of a parent/legal guardian, if participant is a minor) to Sponsor’s and its agents’ use of winner’s name, likeness,
photograph, voice, opinions and/or hometown and state for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration. All uses of a winner’s information are in accordance with our
Prize Pack of various Toys provided by the Toy Insider. Products and styles may vary. Prize pack valued at $200
Approximate retail value $200
11. General Conditions
Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Promotion, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures or any other factor beyond Sponsor’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper
functioning of the Sweepstakes, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the
operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate
operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.
12. Limitations of Liability
The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the
Promotion; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3)
unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Promotion; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Promotion or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Promotion or receipt or use or misuse of any prize. If for any reason an entrant’s entry is confirmed to have been erroneously deleted, lost, or otherwise destroyed or corrupted, entrant’s sole remedy is another entry in the Sweepstakes play, provided that if it is not possible to award another entry due to discontinuance of the to hold a random drawing from among all eligible entries received up to the date of discontinuance for any or all of the prizes offered herein. No more than the stated number of prizes will be awarded. In event that production, technical, seeding, programming or any other reasons cause more than stated number of prizes as set forth in these Rules to be available and/or claimed, Sponsor reserves the right to award only the stated number of prizes among all legitimate, unawarded, eligible prize claims.
Entrant (entrant’s parent/legal guardian, if entrant is a minor) agrees that: (i) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, other than
those concerning the administration of the Sweepstakes or the determination of winners, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; (ii) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Sweepstakes, or any prizes awarded, shall be resolved exclusively by the United States District Court or the appropriate New York State Court located in New York County, New York and that by participating in the Sweepstakes, you agree to the jurisdiction and venue of such courts; (iii) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of- pocket costs incurred, including
costs associated with entering this Sweepstakes, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (iv) under no circumstances rights to claim punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. SOME JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE LIMITATIONS OR EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THE ABOVE MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or
the rights and obligations of the entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Promotion, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of New York, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of New York or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of New York.
14. Entrant’s Personal Information
Information collected from entrants will be kept private by the Sponsor. Only entrants who opt-in to receive news and information from the Sponsors official newsletter will receive future emails from Sponsor ONLY.
15. Promotion Results
For Promotion results, send a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to Winners List –
Adventure Publishing, New York, NY, 307 7th Avenue, Suite 1601, New York, NY, 10001.
Requests for the winner list must be received by February 28, 2014