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Showing posts with the label toys and games

LED Glow Art Lighted Peg Display (Dollar Tree)

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A dollar store version of a Lite Brite. I, like many others, have fond memories of using an old Lite Brite as a child. It was probably one of my first introductions to the “magic” of toys. How cool was it that you can make your designs light up using pins and a board? Of course, those old Lite Brites (which are probably worth a fortune now) used electricity to light up the board, which clearly wasn’t safe for young kids; now, the national brand boards are made to run on batteries, in accordance with updated laws meant to sap the fun out of everything. Alas, the Lite Brite has forged itself a place in the annals of toy history, even earning itself a nomination for the Toy Hall of Fame. But let's be real here: the latest iteration of the beloved toy, while still mostly fun, just isn’t the same, all thanks to those blasted toy regulations. So imagine my surprise when I saw an item simply labeled LED Glow Art at Dollar Tree. It took me a little while to figure out what it was, but onc

Unbranded Smiling Fire Hydrant and Octopus Balancing Ball Sprinklers (Dollar Tree)

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Look at these adorable little fellas! Sometimes it’s kind of surprising to see just how far a dollar can (potentially) stretch these days - the latest example that kind of blew my mind were the fact they carry sprinklers. And who doesn’t want to kick back with some exciting sprinkler action during these hot summer months? Especially when you have a four-year-old boy...that virtually made it a prerequisite that I pick at least one of these guys up. Just to make sure I got a winner (or, at least, to heighten the odds), I decided to grab one of each of the two styles they had available at our local store. The first thing you’ll notice - and this is probably to be expected from a dollar store sprinkler - is that they are made of a very cheap, thin plastic. I probably wouldn’t consider these for a large neighborhood gathering, as all it would take is one dumb kid to fall on it, or kick it, or drop it, to render it inoperable; it should be fine for small family affairs. (To be fair, I was a

Pidoko Kids Power Burst Speed Break Apart Cars (Amazon)

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Absolute garbage. As I established in an earlier post , our four-year-old son has a fascination with car crashes, and watching cars break apart. We fed that interest with “computer car crash” videos (movies and clips made with the computer program Beamng.drive) and crash test videos (yes, the ones used to rate cars on their safety), but of course he eventually wanted cars that would do it in “real life”. Rather than head to the junkyard to buy a bunch of “beater” cars that we could destroy, I decided to do it the safer way, and find toys that we could break apart. There really aren’t too many options for what we were looking for, but of course those lovely Chinese folk had a couple options. I purchased the version from Chuchik, simply because they were cheaper—after about a month of remaining obsessed with these cars (to the extent that he would actually throw fits when staying at his grandmother’s house, wanting to come home just so he could play with them), my own mother decided to

Chuchik Toys Blaster Car Break-Apart Crash Cars (Amazon)

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NOTE: This product was reviewed on our radio show! If you'd rather, listen here . If you're looking for toy cars that break apart upon impact, this should be your only option. Through the first two or so years, our son was pretty much the poster child of the perfect baby/toddler: he didn't really fuss much (unless he was hungry or tired, of course); he picked up on things (especially words) rather quickly; and he was incredibly calm with toys. When we would visit his cousin (who is three months younger than him), we would be shocked at how ridiculously over-the-top that kid was, as he was loud, obnoxious, and rough on...well, everything. Our child, in comparison, never really crashed cars, and would even cry sometimes if he felt he was accidentally too aggressive with one of his toys, acting as if he “hurt” it. (In actuality, his cousin was actually just a typical kid; we were just blessed to have a much less temperamental one.) Everyone said to prepare for the terrible two