Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Loyal Subjects x Bandai Cross Retail Universe - Ultimate Collectible Collab!

In the Bandai booth at New York Toy Fair, I learned that The Loyal Subjects and Bandai were collaborating on a retail level. I am on planet Mom, so I really didn't even know about this collaboration, so it was cool to learn that at NYTF. 

Loyal Subjects and Bandai joint venture is a no-brainer as both companies never compromise on quality, yet Bandai has the support and retail reach that TLS fans so deserve. What a great pairing! TLS thrives on pushing the envelope, so I am excited to see what gets dreamed up should they decide to team up creatively.

Just like the commingling of different universes within The Loyal Subjects line of vinyl figures, Bandai and TLS hope to create an even greater fan experience. Bandai and TLS’ partnership will be one that will help expand The Loyal Subjects’ retail reach by putting their amazing vinyl figures into the hands of many who have never collected them before. Examples of The Loyal Subject line of Masters of the Universe figures, Game of Thrones vinyl figures, and beloved characters of horror like Freddy Krueger, Jason, and more were on display in the Bandai booth at New York Toy Fair 2019. 

The Loyal Subjects are well known for their line of Action Vinyls, which are made with 15 points of articulation. The figures also have multiple and interchangeable accessories. Where else can He-Man can hold the nunchucks of Michelangelo, the pizza-loving Ninja Turtle in his hands, and vice-versa. 

I missed The Loyal Subjects booth at NYTF with good reason, I promise! 

What do you think of this collaboration?

New York Fair 2019! Bandai Booth Tour - New Toys and Collectibles | Godzilla, Dragonball Super, Pretty Pixels, Slob Monsters, Disney Kidea Wooden Blocks featuring Toy Story, Monster's Inc, Little Mermaid and Frozen!

New York Toy Fair was a blast! I had over 50 appointments during my four days touring the neighborhoods of Jacob Javits Center. Our family visits Javits every year for NYCC, so coming back for NYTF is always fun — it’s a totally different feeling, but you still roam the same halls and floors. If you have never been to New York Toy Fair, it can be quite daunting with the endless rows and avenues of booths either closed or open. This year, I found it to be a bit more airy, and open. I think I could have gotten away with coming back for later time appointments as many booths seemed open. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow our blog for lots of New York Toy Fair 2019 coverage featuring a lot of fun, new toys for kids and big kids at heart! 

One of my first appointments was with Bandai at NYTF and they did not disappoint. Once you walk in the booth, you were greeted with the amazing collection of Godzilla figures that are already available. What stood out though was the MEGA Godzilla, which is a stand-alone statue. Its tail is huge and wrapped around the other figures on the table. Fans of Godzilla will be sure to add this to their holiday wish list as it will become available in Holiday 2019 for about $300. Hopefully, Santa has room for him on his sleigh. In addition to this section, there were the 3.5” Vinyl import figures and 12” larger scales figures with articulation. 

Pretty Pixels by Bandai are a fun, new way to brighten your pencil box and to correct your mistakes in kawaii style! With fun colors, cool designs, and a flair for DIY, kids in school will love these tiny erasers that they made themselves. Pretty Pixels are so easy and fun to make as each kit comes with a themed pack where you can follow along with the simple instructions, or create your own design. Choose from one of four design packs Animals, Sweets, Fruits, and Fashion. Once your design is complete, pop it in the microwave and then you have your own custom eraser! The end result is a pixelated version of a cupcake, rainbow, or butterfly - the pixelated look is very on trend and nostalgic! Pretty Pixels will be on the shelves this Spring 2019 - just in time for Easter to fill Easter baskets, perfect birthday gift, and it also makes a great back to school bonus gift! Kids ages eight and up will love Pretty Pixels, which is just about the age where I started my own eraser collection! I’m sure others can relate - the school store always had adorable little erasers, and my pencil box was chock full! I wish Pretty Pixels was out when I was a kid! There is the deluxe kit for $24.99 as well as starter pack for $16.99, each set comes with enough materials to make up to 10 erasers, plus your kiddo will be strengthening his or her fine motor skills as each Pretty Pixel eraser is a small cylinder that gets pieced together and then placed in the Pretty Pixel maker. You also get a handy tool to make the building of your eraser super easy! This project will keep your kids busy, and once done they can keep them or trade with their friends! You can purchase refill packs for $9.99 to keep making more erasers! I sincerely hope Pretty Pixels branches off into other cool DIY sets as the overall look is super cute. I would love to see a Pretty Pixels jewelry maker where you can turn your erasers into a charm necklace or a fun, stretchy bracelet! 

Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph is finally released on DVD and on digital! In addition to enjoying this funny and heartwarming movie in your living room, you can now add the full Princess collection to your smartphone or tablet. The Princesses are back with their own series of the Wreck-It Ralph Power Pac collectibles standing or sitting in cute poses, and holding fun accessories. We have done so many videos featuring these cool figures, and we just love how each figure has a specific pose and nuance from the film! I am so happy to see a whole collection dedicated to the Disney Princesses. There are 12 to collect in all, and for $6.99 each you get a mystery Princess dressed in her cozy pajamas and a game code to enter in to the super fun game PACMAN: Ralph Breaks the Maze that you can play on your smart phone and smart device. 

Slob Monsters are a new line of collectible figures that are gross and totally funny - they definitely have digestive problems as they are full of gas and need help releasing their fury! Take a listen! Packaged in an oozing soda can, shake each Slob Monster to hear a collection of different farts, belches, and burps. The more you shake it, the more gassy sounds they will make! Collect all 12 to make a flatulent symphony. Not only are the sounds funny, but they look funny and have silly names, too, like Bloated Bob and Odorous Olly. Each Slob Monster has his own trading card too, so collect them and trade them with your friends! I like that they are shaped like a ball so you can have a fun game of Slob Ball with a friend — the silly sounds will have you rolling! Slob Ball is not a real game, I just made it up, but feel free to make your own rules! Get Slob Monsters for $6.99 - these gassy guys are US only. 

Disney Kidea is new, premium building block toy made of wood featuring beloved classic Disney characters, and Disney Pixar characters. Toddlers will love the chunky, wooden pieces and the familiar faces, and collectors will love to see their favorite characters in artisanal block form. I immediately fell in love with the whole collection, as I imagined my little guys playing with these cute blocks featuring characters from Monster’s Inc, Toy Story, Frozen, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, and more. It’s not just building blocks, Disney Kidea will test your little one’s skills with balancing games with the Winnie the Pooh Balance Game, as well as teach colors, shapes, and strength fine and gross motor skills. The packaging for the individual character blocks gives these block sets a designer look without the designer price tag. Starting at $7.99 to $59.99, you can grow your collection to build a train of characters or line up your favorite characters by movie. From the smallest collector at just 1 1/2 (age two years and older for the train set) or even the seasoned Disney collector, Disney Kidea will be sure to brighten up collector shelves and will be a toy box staple for years to come. I seriously am in love with them! 

Fans of Dragon Ball Super will be pleased with these 6.5” articulated figures from the Dragon Stars series for $14.99 each! With over 14 points of articulation as well as a second set of hands or an energy blast, you will be able to pose these figures into different battle scenes. For larger scale, you can get the 12” figures for $14.99 and the 13” figures for $19.99 with five points of articulation for $12.99 each to rule your collector shelf or battle it out! Both series will be out this Fall 2019.

Disney Channels Big Hero 6: The Series continues the line with articulated figures and vehicles. You can still purchase these amazing figures for $9.99 to help our heroes battle the scientifically enhanced villains of San Fransokyo. A favorite of mine is the 10.5” Flame Blast Flying Baymax for ages four and up as it has pop-out wings that span 20”! This figure is perfect for a small kid as he prepares for aerial attacks against the enemy. Motion activated lights and battle sounds give this figure a realistic impression during open play. It’s retail is $34.99, but I have seen it for under $30 at most major retailers.

What do you think of all of the new Bandai toys and collectibles? Do you think Bandai should expand their Pretty Pixels line to other licences? I think they would be fun! I am wishing Bandai success this year! Stay tuned for more NYTF coverage here!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Iconic FAO Schwarz Expands to New Locales, New Lines for Kids in 2019! Children Around the World Will Experience the World of Toys!

FAO Schwarz echoes my childhood — toys, fun, nostalgia, family - even after so many years of being a household name, they continue to keep things fresh! Growing up I have memories of class trips visiting FAO Schwarz! After half of a school day at a museum, we were let loose in the world’s toy store where we were lost in the moment playing with larger than life plush stuffed animals, or seeing the actual quite small piano that was super-sized in BIG! I remember watching the movie BIG and just wanting to be apart of MacMillan Toys, the make-believe version of FAO Schwarz. My parents would take us kids there after eating ice cream at Serendipity—what a treat! 

My son getting stickered by a Build a Bear expert at FAO Schwarz. 

Now I can take my children to the new flagship store at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. We visited for the first time after visiting Santa Claus and seeing the tree in December, and my son was in awe of the large clock singing the song I didn’t even know that I still remembered, and the sights and even smells of each level. The Alex spa and Schweetz areas smell divine. Lest I forget the best part, the toys! The pretend supermarket with play food, and shelves and shelves of toys and displays to play. The people who work - they are so warm and friendly, and even though, FAO was seriously so packed, everyone working there was smiling, laughing, and having fun! Why? It's FAO Schwarz, of course! FAO Schwarz is every child’s dream toy store, a place to be free, to be a kid. These moments of childhood are paired with FAO Schwarz, and for being the world’s toy store, it should be enjoyed by the world. 

In a time where we, the children and children at heart, needed a new toy store to get lost in, FAO Schwarz saved the day where children are given levels of enjoyment, areas to play, to pretend, to get pampered, to play piano on the iconic piano keys, to build a bear, and more! Hence my excitement to learn that FAO Schwarz will now be on the go at many airports starting with the ever-changing, and expanding LaGuardia Airport in November 2019. To follow will be Chicago’s Midway Airport and then the Indianapolis International Airport. FAO is partnering with Hudson Group, the kiosks, and small shops at all North American airports—they will now be using that same footprint to create FAO Schwarz and FAO Schweetz shops throughout airport terminals.  Additionally, FAO will also be opening their very first European store November 1, 2019, in Selfridges in London located at the famous Oxford Street location, and will house 20,000 feet of space dedicated to FAO’s product line. You will also see shops in shops stores in Canada’s Hudson Bay company. 

Dorking out at FAO during Christmastume

My favorite section - BARBIE! 

This is not the piano I remember when I was small! I remember it being way smaller!

Many new lines are actually coming out this year too, and not just toys! A new line of FAO Schwarz home foods will be produced with an industry leader in the field, Brittanica Home Fashions. From bedding to soft goods for the home, even holiday decor will be amongst the launch of products. The genius confectioners behind Finders Keepers surprise chocolates, Galerie USA, will team up with FAO Schwartz to create a line of specialty candies, chocolates, and gift sets to commemorate holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas. Finally, FAO will be working with Uncas International to create a unique jewelry line, hair accessories, and keychains that will stay on trend with today’s needs for that market. 

FAO Schwarz will also have a presence in China with a 27,000-square-foot flagship store that is scheduled to open at China World Mall in Beijing in May 2019. This is exciting as they will also work with Kidsland, the largest toy distributor in China with over 300 stores. The presence in China alone will further the reach of FAO Schwarz’s presence within the realm of nostalgia and notoriety. Children all around the world will now be welcomed to their world of toyyyyyyyys! I’m sorry, I really could not help myself!

Have you visited the new FAO Schwarz flagship store yet? What do you think of the new locations and new product lines? I’m most excited to see the airport locations, particularly LaGuardia Airport. Stay tuned to our blog and our youtube channel to get a first look at everything new and exciting in the world of toys! See you at New York Toy Fair!

Video and Toy Review: Wrapples by Moose Toys Perfect Valentine's Day Gift for Your BFF! Little Live Wrapples Cute and Cuddly Bracelets that Speak, Sing, Get Sleep, and Angry!

Keep your friends close, but your Little Live Wrapples closer with these adorable plush bracelets that wrap around your wrist made by Moose Toys. Turn an adorable Wrapple on to watch their big eyes glow different colors to tell you their wants and needs, and listen to over 50 different sounds and songs. 

Wrapples are totally interactive as they respond to movement, touch, and can "feel" when other Wrapples are close by! Pair two Wrapples together with your bestie and listen to them have the cutest conversation. There are actual changes in pitch and inflection to make their conversations so realistic - I mean they are realistic, they're speaking Wrapplese after all! 

Little Live Wrapples by Moose Toys will make the perfect gift for your bestie as two Wrapples will speak to each like they are old friends! Buying two for yourself isn't a crime as they are priced right at $14.99, I have seen them go even lower! Wrapples are so colorful and soft and attribute their bright colors come from their time surfing down rainbows. How fun! Wear them, play with them, love them, and share their magic with your friends! 

We received a surprise package from Moose Toys for Valentine's Day and inside are Wrapples including the new Bonnie Bunny! Wrapples sing, play, laugh, chat, sleep, and even get angry! Their eye color dictates how they are feeling, so try to keep them happy and you will hear a lot of happy sayings. Our Bonnie the Bunny said "hello" to us as soon as we turned her on.  I love that you can wrap them around your wrist and take them with you every where you go, and I also love how cute and cuddly they are, which makes wearing a Wrapple super comfy! Wrapples come in a variety of cuddly pals like unicorns, mermaids, bunnies, and more! You can find Wrapples at Target, Walmart, Amazon, and more for $14.99. Big thank you to Moose Toys for sending us this adorable Valentine's Day box!

Happy Pal'n'time's Day with Becca's Bunch! Free Valentine's Day Card Printable for Kids! Nick Jr. Becca's Bunch!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Have your kiddo spread some Valentine's Day cheer to their closest pals with Becca's Bunch Pal'n'times Day do-it-yourself cards! Becca's Bunch is all about friendship, togetherness, encouragement, and pure fun! Fans of this Nick Jr. show will love coloring their own Becca's Bunch Valentine's Day card featuring Becca, Russell, Pedro, and Sylvia! 

Simply download the free printable, print, color, then cut! Give out to your friends to enjoy and cherish! Marcello made 22 Becca's Bunch Pal'n'time's Day cards for his class! Big thank you to Becca's Bunch for sending us this adorable printable to share with all of our Valentines! Watch Becca's Bunch on YouTube and on Nick Jr. You can also share your Becca's Bunch creations on Facebook @BeccasBunch and @beccas_bunch on Instagram!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Video and DIY for Kids! New Nick Jr. Show Featuring Becca's Bunch Easy How to Make Becca Craft!

Becca’s Bunch is a new show on Nick Jr. that is geared toward pre-schoolers. Becca's Bunch follows the adventures of adorable animals Becca, Pedro, Sylvia, and Russell. Along with their fun adventures, children will be taught the art of friendship! The group’s friendship is a strong one cultivated on positive thinking, support, encouragement, and fun! Already my son relates to this adorable series with their characters’ adventures especially Pedro the Worm; Pedro wears glasses just like him! Children will love the arts and crafts style animation as each character looks carefully handmade. 

The storylines of friendship and positivity truly make each episode a lesson of learning and will be very memorable for your child. My five-year-old son, Marcello, always calls back to Becca episodes and compares them to experiences at school. One episode with Pedro the Worm having stage fright and his trusty friend Becca helped him get through his fear so he could perform on stage with his friends. The episode helped Marcello with a show and tell at school, a friend of his didn’t want to speak in front of the class, so Marcello started the presentation just like Becca did for Pedro before they sang on stage. 

If you want to continue the adventures of Becca’s Bunch in your home, then definitely try out this adorable craft below! Becca’s Bunch sent us a really cute do-it-yourself craft, and I think you and your little fan of Becca’s Bunch will love to create it together! Check out the materials list below, and the easy peasy printable! Big thank you to Becca’s Bunch for sending us this adorable craft for Marcello and me to do! Stay tuned to our channel and blog for a Becca’s Bunch Valentine’s Day themed craft next!

Becca's Bunch Craft - Download the Instructions here. You can also use this super easy stencil printable for an easy guide!

Materials List:

  • Yellow Pipe Cleaner
  • Two Googly Eyes or Small Black Buttons
  • Felt or Construction paper in Red, Yellow, Purple, Blue, and White
  • Black Marker to draw on feathers
  • Red Pom Pom
  • Scissors
  • Glue (We used hot glue, but you can use any Elmer’s glue for felt, or a Glue Stick if using construction paper)

Cut the purple material into an oval for the body, and two long teardrops for Becca’s wings. Then cut the white material into a squished circle (see photo) for the inner body. Then cut two small blue circles, two slightly larger white circles, and finally cut two red quarter (coin) sized circles - all three of these will be layered for the eyes. Keep in mind the googly eyes or the small black buttons should be slightly smaller than the blue circles. Cut a very small diamond-shaped beak for Becca. Then with the red material, you will cut the hat in two pieces - long sized kidney bean with a convex semicircle. Fold your yellow pipe cleaner in half and cut, these are for her legs. Don’t trim until the legs are attached. Now that everything is cut, piece it all together by layering it from the bottom up and glue! You can add some more detail by having your kiddo draw on her feathers. Once complete, your little one will be able to go on adventures with Becca! Soon Jakks Pacific will be releasing toys for Becca's Bunch! You can also turn Becca into a puppet by attaching a string, or even add a magnet to the back to display on your refrigerator! 

Be sure to also share your Becca’s Bunch creations with them on Instagram @beccas_bunch and @beccasbunch on Facebook! Big thank you to Becca’s Bunch again for sending us this adorable craft! You can watch Becca’s Bunch on Nick Jr.