Friday, December 15, 2017

Hasbro Has the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Toys for You!

Christmas came a little bit early here this year. Hasbro Canada sent over a big box of goodies for me and Michael to check out.

Who wouldn't love to have a box like this arrive at their front door? So exciting! It was filled with an assortment of great toys from Hasbro, in celebration of the release of the newest Star Wars movie, "The Last Jedi." Have a look at the fun we had discovering all that the box contained.

What do you think? Is there a toy here you think someone on your list would like to receive this holiday season? And, are you planning on seeing this movie? We can't wait!!

Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Hasbro Canada. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own, or those of my family.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

#HGG2017: Stickbots {review}

I first encountered Stikbots last year while I was shopping for Christmas. I picked up a couple of the individual figures for Michael's stocking, and he did a few short videos, but I think he needed a few accessories to get really into the craze. Stikbots are poseable figures that you use in creating stop-motion animation videos. Kids have been creating their own movies and uploading to share with other fans using the hashtag #Stikbot. To date, the Stikbot YouTube channel has received nearly 200 million views, and over 150,000 original videos have been uploaded to YouTube by kids. This is clearly a hot toy!

Stikbots have suction cup hands and feet that can stick to almost any flat surface, and allow them to hold props. Kids download the free Stikbot Studio app (iOS and Android) and use it to create their masterpieces. With stop-motion animation, you pose your Stikbot, snap a still picture with the app, then move slightly, snap another still. etc. When you are done, use the app to weave it all together into a short film, complete with built-in music and sound effect options. It's a pretty detailed process, and takes some time, but your child will feel like a pro when they see the final product. The app is easy to use, and kid-friendly.

Here's a three second video Michael made to demonstrate:

Stikbots are available in sets and as individuals. The Zanimation Studio Pack even includes a green screen stage, and both it and the regular Studio Pack include a tripod to hold your smart phone steady while you create. This is important, because you need all the pictures for a video section to come from the same angle, or the video will look jumpy. You can even buy Stikbot dogs, cats, and a monkey!

These all come in a variety of solid and clear colours, and are available at major retailers including, Walmart, Indigo, ToysRUs, Mastermind, and Costco. Prices range from $5 - $25, so this is truly affordable fun. Stikbots are recommended for ages 4 and up, but I think I'd recommend for ages 9 and up, as the older kids will get more out of the experience.

Mostly, I love the creativity involved here. Your child will love playing with these characters, developing a story line, and filming their unique creations. You never know, you could be fostering the next Spielberg ;)

Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family.

#HGG2017: VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Race & Play Adventure Track {review}

Little hands love interactive toys, and VTech's Go! Go! Smart Wheels Race & Play Adventure Track will keep them engaged and entertained for ages. And at over 3 feet wide, this is an impressive set-up that is sure to bring the "wow" factor under your tree this year.

The Race & Play Adventure Park combines the excitement of a race track with the fun of an amusement park. Kids can take their new friend Gavin the Go-Kart on a ride around the track, through a 360 degree loop, jump him off a ramp, and even shoot him to the top of the track with a catapult. The park includes a Ferris wheel that spins, a tumble-down carnival game and a swinging gate to strengthen motor skills. There are four SmartPoint® locations, which prompt Gavin to respond with fun sounds and phrases, plus three sing-along songs and six melodies.

I like that this has a lot of gears and levers and pieces for the kids to manipulate, helping to develop fine motor skills, as well as keeping them actively engaged in the play. Gavin not only responds to the SmartPoints, but will also reward you with phrases, songs, and music when you press his light-up button.

I also like that this set is compatible with other VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels and Go! Go! Smart Animals sets. Vehicles and animals from those will respond to the SmartPoints in this set as well.

As with all VTech products, this is brightly coloured and very sturdy - perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers!

One word of warning though - there are a lot of pieces, and putting this together is a bit challenging. This might be a good one to put together in advance, and have it waiting all ready to go and unwrapped on Christmas morning.

Go! Go! Smart Wheels® Race & Play Adventure Park is recommended for ages 1-5, and is available at a variety of major retailers, including Toys “R” Us, Amazon, Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Loblaws. MSRP $49.99.

Disclosure: I received complimentary product to facilitate this review. No financial compensation was received. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own or those of my family. This post contains an affiliate link, and should you make a purchase after clicking through I will receive a small commission from the retailer.


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