Archive for November, 2009

The Big Toy Book

This Year, The Big Toy Book® Features Toys and Games from Multiple Retail Sources, Giving Consumers a Choice and a Voice
Moms, dads, grandparents and gift givers searching for the hottest toys this holiday season can now find them online at Now, shoppers can easily find the best deals on toys and games from manufacturers big and small, sold at mass, specialty, online and independent toy retailers, all through one easy-to-navigate online shopping destination:

“ not only makes shopping simple and easy, but also empowers consumers by giving them a choice as to where they ultimately buy the toys and games topping kids’ holiday wish lists this year,” says “The Toy Insider Mom” Laurie Schacht, co-founder of “At, shoppers can find the toys they are looking for—whether they have a specific item in mind or are looking for an age-appropriate gift idea—and then purchase them from their preferred retailers at the best prices available online. ”

For shoppers who know exactly which toys they’re looking for, or for those who might need a gift suggestion, allows consumers to shop by Type, Brand, Age Group, Company, and What’s Hot. Products are also grouped by girls and boys by various age ranges, from babies ages 0-24 months and preschoolers ages 3-5, to older kids ages 6-8, tweens ages 8-12 and teens.

The Big Toy Book® team of moms has also divided all products on the site into specific toy categories, including arts & crafts, games & puzzles, educational, tech toys, eco-friendly, construction, electronics, Web and more.’s interactive tools and easy site navigation assist shoppers in finding exactly what they’re looking for, as well as the best current deals online, without having to go from site to site.

After purchasing an item on, shoppers are invited to share their feedback about their toy and retailer experience using the site’s comment form—enabling the consumer to determine “What’s Hot.” Moms, dads and gift givers can use these reviews to assist them in their decision-making process.

“For years, millions of shoppers have excitedly awaited ‘The Big Toy Book’ to arrive on their doorstep, but this year, they’ll find The Big Toy Book bigger and better than ever, available at their fingertips, online and interactive, at,” says Toy Trend Expert Reyne Rice, co-founder of “Combining the ease of online shopping with a choice of multiple retailer options, is the new one-stop shop for holiday and year-round toy shopping.”

Toys from the brands consumers know and love are currently featured on, including longtime favorites Disney, Sesame Street, and Hello Kitty; hot sensations Twilight, Bakugan and Harry Potter; and newer classics Dora, Sponge Bob and many, many more.


November 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment

Duck Hunting in New York City

Well you already know that we do a lot of playing in the office, especially when it’s crazy and we need a break. So what did we do today, well, we went Duck Hunting!!!!

Ok…we really didn’t kill anything alive…and the gun doesn’t even look like a gun (which as a mom is very important to me), but I have to share this with you.

The toy is called Duck Hunter from Interactive Toy Concepts. There’s a foam flying duck and a toy shooter that has an infrared beam to hit the flying duck (yes…the duck flys). You launch the duck, take aim, and fire. 3 hits will bring the duck down. It’s easy, fun, safe…you can play in indoors or out, and while made to attract boys who are 8+, this is family fun. In our office the flying duck swooped into our editors hair…under a desk, and tried hiding from Bryan (who was looking to take it down). Bryan won!

November 18, 2009 at 7:53 pm 2 comments

Hard to find hot holiday toys….

I had so much fun this morning…so check out the link


What will you do to find the toys your kids want this year? Here are a few suggestions:
Use the computer…searching online is much better than driving everywhere, and call stores, especially neighborhood ones that might know you.
Ask friends and family to help out…share your gift/wish lists (I like to get my mom involved in this one)
If you see a toy that will really be meaningful to your child…buy it, it may not be on shelves much longer…retailers were conservative in their buying this year.
Most important…buy it because it will give your child long lasting enjoyment…then it is worth it!

November 12, 2009 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

Retailers to Settle Lead Lawsuit

Target Corp., Toys “R” Us, Inc., and Kmart have agreed to pay $454,000 in penalties to settle a lead claim. The three retailers, along with other manufacturers, were sued in November 2007 after they sold or made toys with excessive amounts of lead, which violated federal toy safety standards.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Target will pay $210,000, Toys “R” Us will pay $175,000, and Kmart will pay $69,000.

November 10, 2009 at 8:50 pm Leave a comment

HOT 20 from the Toy Insider…kids 9 and older (not easy to shop for)

One of the hardest groups to find toys for is that 9+. What do they want, cars (my youngest daughter started asking for a car at 8 actually), cell phones, blackberry’s, macs….Yes, they want it all, so the trick is to remember their age, think about what they like, and put it in front of them. If it peaks their interest, you will be surprised at what the right toy can do.

So from the Toy Insider Hot 20 list, here are a couple of favorites. I have to begin with Screenlife Games, Twilight Scene It? The DVD Game: Deluxe Edition. If your house has Twilight Fans (as mine does…there are 4 of us, my three daughters and myself), than you can’t go wrong. My middle daughter has read all 4 books…I’ve read 1 and 2, my oldest read 1 through 3 and my youngest is reading the first Twilight, so we are big fans. (This is not for my husband…oh well). Anyway, the game… comes with the DVD, 4 collectible tokens, 100 trivia cards, 16 fate cards, and everything else you need to play. There are hundreds of movie clips, trivia questions and on-screen puzzles that are pulled directly from the Twilight film. There are all new puzzles including “Alice’s Version” and “Locker Picks” so it will satisfy both Team Edward and Team Jacob fans. There are lots of bonus activities as well…like “Which Cullen are you”. This game is perfect for hosting a Twilight party!

Style Six Silk Screener is by Jakks and again, we are tapping into the creative/fashion side of girls by empowering them to express their unique sense of style by designing and customizing almost any item of clothes in their wardrobe. The girls layer on cool and trendy graphics to tee shirts and other fashion pieces. This comes with stencils, roll on paint and everything else they need to create their own personal masterpiece that they can wear and show off to their friends.

Check out for more of the Hot 20 items for this age…as well as a host of other toys that will interest your tweens/teens.

Next blog will be the newest…and best place for shopping online!!

November 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

From the Hot 20 list…for the 6-8 kids we love

I am having so much fun with all the Hot Toys in this age group (6-8) and so will your kids.

So I’m going to give you some quick snippets on the toys in the Hot 20 list for 6-8 in the Toy Insider.

Let’s start with Air Hogs Zero Gravity Laser: COOL is the best way to describe this. These guys just push the envelope in creating the coolest in radio control. But wait…is it really radio control..forget that this “wow” toy moves just as quickly on your wall or ceiling as it does on the floor…it’s responding to a laser!! The best way for me to describe this is to mention my dad when he got one of those silly laser flashlights. He would beam it around the house and the cat would go crazy chasing it. The car does the same thing…is as quick and as responsive…and never gives up! this toy. It might be consider a toy geared for boys..but my girls enjoy Air Hogs as much as I do.

Battle Strikers Turbo Tops Tournament Set…so until now, I have never played with tops or cared about them one way or the other…until now!! I saw this first last October 2008 in Dallas and flipped over this. But before I go there…there are so many elements that make this a hot toy that I feel the need to share.’s an action toy. This is another item I recently had on the road with me and the boys went wild. Battle Strikers never sat alone…and there was always a line up of kids waiting to play and compete. There are 16 different tops (and they are all calibrated differently so some are more offensive, some are more defensive)…but that also makes them collectable. Construction is another element as the kids build the tops. The tops go onto the Turbo Charger…it revs them up to 6000 rpm’s (sounds scary to me..but it’s not) and then once on the ground (or in the arena), the kids put on the finger control and can actually use strategy and have control of their tops…so it’s not luck, it’s skill!! Battle Strikers is an “hands down” winner.

Moxie Girlz: A simple thing for a mom to love about her…she is the “anti bratz”. Moxie has a great appealing look…those cool eyes, a great wardrobe..and lots of added play with each girl. Her clothes are hip, but appropriate. Her message to little girls…be true to yourself. Art and fashion is a key theme here, but again I will reiterate, she is an age appropriate doll. If your little girls want to dress like Moxie, you will smile and say ok. Girls can be like Moxie…and they can be themselves.

Printies is a fabulous new craft line that I would love to shout out to the world. While I’m not going to name the stores in the mall that cost $100 for a single stuffed animal that takes 5 minutes and barely any thought process from you or your child (except adding up the bill you’re going to get), Printies let’s our kids become their own toy designers. They get to make their very own stuffed animals. It begins online at the Printies Studio. Here kids create using millions of art assets and design tools that are provided. They can create clothes and even use their own photos on the designs. Their work can be saved, deleted, they can make so many samples until they decide which will actually become a toy. When they are ready, they put their Printies cotton fabric paper in their printer…and print! Out comes their design, ready to become their stuffed animal. The stuff it, put on the shows, and behold their own special toys. There’s no cutting, no glue, no mess. Each set comes with enough to make 6 different stuffed animals. Hours of fun and creativity for under $20. Another winner on our Hot 20 List.

Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Jewel Factory: So what is better than candy? Nothing And what is better than jewelry? Nothing. Put this together and we have a recipe for pure success for little girls. They get to create, bake, wear and finally eat their beautiful jewelry. Everything needed comes inside to make rings, necklaces and bracelets, so they can create delicious treats to show off to their friends…and eat together. I love to eat the candy, but my nieces love to create!

November 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm Leave a comment

Hot toys for 3-5 from the toy insider mom

Today we’ll look at some of the great holiday toys for ages 3-5 from the Toy Insider Hot 20 list.

Let’s begin with 1-2-3 Stomp by Wild Planet. This is a fun game for kids three and up. It works their bodies and their minds…and while there’s no reading…there is listening. The kids step on the “Stomp” and all the numbers go flying out. They then have to listen to directions and find the number (ie, 2 + 2 is) and they have to find the 4 and put it back in the correct spot. If they do, the game continues…if not, it lets them know to try again.

Tightrope Terror for ages 5+ is a challenge for me…but once I get started, I can’t stop!! These GX Racers ride a tight rope over 10 feet long and then down the hill (and I’ve managed to get it to go across a few times…but the kids get it much quicker). It’s a lot of fun and the boys will stay busy.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Optimus Prime is a might warrior. He has electronic speech and light up eyes and chest. Once you get him into truck mode there are great engine and racing sounds to go along with it. For Transformer fans…this figure is a must!

Now on to my favorite….Liv Dolls! Liv is a new collection of fashion dolls…but the packaging alone will stop you in the isles. There are 4 dolls in the first collection, and they are beautiful teenages, with clothes and stories that your own daughters will relate to. They each come with a wig for some fantastic hair play (and all are interchangeable), great wardrobes, both real and online. And of course, each comes with a secret code to get online and follow their lives. Each Liv Doll keeps a secret diary and of course the code unlocks fabulous games, activities, and accessories. Girls get to LIV in their world….as the mother of 3 girls, with 7 neices, and a sister, know that when I say Liv is IT…she is. I love this line.

See all of the Hot 20 for the 3-5 age group at
and remember…..the big toy book shopping site will be available soon!!!

November 5, 2009 at 6:00 pm 1 comment

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