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September 27, 2011 at 5:44 pm Leave a comment

Babies and The Big Toy Book

Baby Stollers, Diaper Bags, Soft Zoo Friends…as we celebrate babies at The Big Toy Book in our private sale community. Stop in, join us, and get great discounts on products that keep your baby warm, cozy, safe and happy.

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 The Toy Insider Mom

October 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Imaginative Play…

Imaginative Play….the best education you can get!!

Imaginative Play….the complete opposite of a “watch me” toy.  A “watch me” toy is really cool for about 5 minutes…but if it doesn’t offer great interaction, well, you’ve just thrown those dollars right down the drown.

But a toy that inspires the imagination, that is loved for years, that is passed down…now that’s value and that’s learning.  Yes, educational toys are an essential part of play…but don’t underestimate the amount of learning that happens when children learn to create on their own.  There is nothing worse that hearing “I’m bored”…when you know there’s a room full of toys waiting.  So let’s figure out how to make them play.

Let’s start with Buzz because he is such a fine example.  Think about Andy (Toy Story) and how he played with Buzz and Woody….it’s exactly how children should be playing with their toys.  He created a world around them…he loved them and they were a big part of his life.  In fact, his toys were such a big part that all of us “adults” cried during the 3rd movie.  What did you have when you were growing up that inspired the same feeling in you.  For me it was Barbie and Ken…and my Dawn dolls were the little sisters (ok…so who remembers Dawn??). 

My kids loved the Playmobil Victorian Dollhouse (and they had every single piece of it, as well as the circus).  They created all kinds of scenes and changed all the rooms.  Because I was a doll lover…all of my girls received dolls on their birthdays from Madame Alexander and Lee Middleton…so that they could share in my love of dolls.  And love them, they did.  Clothes are lost and hair is tattered…as these dolls were loved to pieces.  My middle daughter has (yes, she is 17 and still has) a collection of Corolle Calin dolls (3 of them) but she named them all Lindsey…and went no where without them.  When she travels now, she does leave them behind (but still in her bed)..and we will see what happens next year when she goes to college. 

Imagination is one of the most important things for our children to develop.  They will learn to be creative, learn to inspire, and have the ability to entertain themselves as well.  They will also have life long memories from their favorite toys that helped them sleep through the night and gave them years of enjoyment.

So let’s start with Toy Story 3 Blast Off Buzz (and all his friends, like talking Woody and talking Jessie).  Kids will spend hours upon hours recreating scenes that they’ve seen in all 3 Toy Story movies…and than create their own.  This collection of toys will be cherished…and not just by the kids, but by the grownups who also love everything Toy Story.  This Buzz has light and sound effects and pops out his wings to fly.  He knows when he’s in “fly mode” and when he’s a space ranger or just a toy!   I’m also a huge Woody Fan, and this talking Woody has “hat technology”….you’ll have to just check this out for yourself, but very cool!

While GoGo My Walking Pup normally wouldn’t fit into this category for me, there is a lot that is very special about this dog.  Before I get into the “cool” aspect, let’s talk about the size, because it’s just right.  And while GoGo is for both genders, it will definitely tug at the heart strings of little girls who want a lap dog (like my nieces who love my real lap dog….but can’t have their own…guess what they are getting for the holidays?)  GoGo is a remote control pup so he can go for walks.  He walks straight ahead and to the right and left…so very easy to control.  And he has touch sensors on his body…touch his head or his sides and he will bark and make doggie sounds that you’re kids will adore.  The best part, if you child forgets to walk or feed GoGo, no problem for you, and GoGo will still love your kidsJ

Thomas and Friends:  Adventure on Misty Island:  I love this preschool building set by Mega Bloks.  As we celebrate the 65th Anniversary of Thomas (wow) and the 25th of Mega, kids will be won over immediately by this play set that they build.  Everything here is buildable, including Thomas and his friends.  What I love most about this set is that it’s not a flat surface build….this set builds up!!  Kids will love the dimension and the fact that they build it.  Once built….imagination can take off.  This provides hours of play that can be shared with parents and friends…but also played alone. 

Thomas is on a “roll” this holiday season with such a big anniversary, so I do need to mention some other great Thomas items, like the Follow Me Thomas.  New technology allows Thomas to follow the beam of light on the floor.  This makes for an easier and very “cool” radio control experience for a child who is 2+. 

Liv Dolls….I love dolls (could you tell by the beginning) and I especially love the Liv collection.  It’s my Nature is an expansion of the line that began last year.  The story is about 4 teenagers and their lives.  Each of the girls in this collection explore nature and all have an online life featuring daily diaries, fashion and webisodes.  Dolls are easy to pose and girls will give these a life of their own.   Children playing with these dolls can imagine themselves living their lives in school, after school, and out in the world.  They can “Liv” in their world because it so closely resembles their own.

Playmobil has always been a favorite of mine.  As I already mentioned, my kids had the Victorian Dollhouse and the circus…and everything that goes with it.  All of this has been handed to my two young nieces who are now getting just as much enjoyment as my own girls did.. Playmobil toys will be passed to generations of children, and the Play Along Puppet Theater is no exception.  Kids will create their own puppet shows and the stage even has sound effects.  This comes with six different figures and changeable scenes, and everything gets stored in the puppet theater.

Star Wars Imperial AT AT for kids 9+.  Creative thinking and imagination does not stop at 7 or 8.  And if you give kids the right “toys” they will continue to build worlds, create and recreate scenes from their favorite movies, and add to the collections.  The AT AT is a dream of a playset…and while geared toward boys, any Star Wars fan (and even those who are not) will flip when they see this (I did).  This playset stands at over two feet high and two feet long.  Its modeled after the Imperial Walkers from the Empire Strikes Back and has multi levels and compartments to hold figures and vehicles.  Lots of sound effects and motion…this is a winner!!

Remember that the best toys for kids of all ages will encourage them to think and to create.  This starts at the earliest stages but will continue with the right choices.  Think about the last time you sat down to play blocks with your child, or build a gingerbread house (I can get lost for hours in a project like that with my kids).  My daughters all garden with me, we create, explore and imagine and whatever it takes to inspire this is all worth while.  Imaginative learning and creative thinking at a young age teaches our children to branch out and reach for the stars.

The Toy Insider Mom

October 20, 2010 at 2:43 pm Leave a comment

October is…….



Did I scare you?   Sorry…

But guess what, today is the first day of October and Halloween is in the air.   There’s no better place to find Halloween than on  The Big Toy Book.  We have the most amazing costumes for you little ones in our Private Sale Community (and of course they are also at the most amazing prices).

Here’s what I love best about Halloween.  Costumes are NOT used once and then discarded…but they go into the dress up bin for ROLE PLAY.    There’s nothing like giving our children to tools to use their imaginations…and that’s what costumes do.  It lets kids be whoever they want to be.  They can be superheros and princesses…even crayons and pets. 

You should be a member of The Big Toy Book Private Sale Community.  Membership is always free.  We will keep you up to date on all our sales and our great prices, and how to earn credits and big toy book dollars for future shopping.

If you don’t see what you want on our Private Sale site, then shop on to find a large assortment of great Halloween fun.

Remember to be safe on Halloween and to remind your children to always say Thanks!

 The Toy Insider Mom

October 1, 2010 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

The Big Toy Book has Halloween  

Today’s Sales  | Invite Friends & Get $10  | Read Our Blog 

Wonderworld Wooden Toys, Smart Gear Balance Bikes, Paddington Bear, The Little Hungry Caterpillar, & Spy Alley Games Up To 70% Off Ends Today.
Shop These Savings
Before The Events End. Fuzzy’s Costumes
Up To 60% Off | Event Ends 10/1

Halloween has gotten softer and cuddlier. Fuzzys costumes provide great detailing, incredible workmanship, scrumptious fabrics for the utmost comfort and the cutest characters on the market! Too Cute Too Spook Costumes
Up To 40% Off | Event Ends 10/1

Too Cute To Spook features lots of details and fun fabrications that make this line extra special! Includes classic Halloween favorites and several fresh innovative costume designs! They are so adorable they truly are—Too Cute Too Spook!

September 27, 2010 at 9:10 pm Leave a comment

The Big Toy Book has Abby Cadabby!!! Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street
38% Off | Event Ends 10/1

Is your little girl a three-year-old fairy-in-training? She can have fun pretending to be Abby Cadabby. Abby’s magical powers are limited to popping in and out of thin air, floating when she’s happy, and turning things into pumpkins. Which is perfect for Halloween!

September 27, 2010 at 9:08 pm Leave a comment

Thomas and Friends a HOT 20 Pick on The Toy Insider

Mega Bloks (R) Thomas & Friends
on Toy Insider Hot 20 List
Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island Gets Recognized as a Top Holiday Toy for 2010

MONTREAL, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – MEGA Brands Inc. (TSX: MB) is excited to announce that Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island from the Mega Bloks(R) Thomas & Friends(R) construction toy line was named one of the ‘HOT 20 TOYS’ for the 2010 holiday season by The Toy Insider. The HOT 20 serves as the opening section of the Toy Insider and will run in full in over four million copies of the November 17, 2010 issue of Woman’s Day magazine, on newsstands November 2 through out North America.

Fresh off the heels of many prestigious accolades for the product line, Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island is yet another buildable playset from the Mega Bloks(R) Thomas & Friends(R) line to be acknowledged for its outstanding quality and play value. Impressive honors for other products in the line include The National Parenting Center’s 2010 Seal of Approval, 2010 iParenting Media Award and just last week, Toys”R”Us(R) 2010 Holiday Hot Toy List.

“Over the past year, the Toy Insider team reviewed and evaluated the toys that will be available this holiday season to determine the most compelling and hottest new products to help gift givers get an early start on their holiday shopping,” said Jonathan Samet, Group Publisher of the Toy Insider and Adventure Publishing. “Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island caught our attention as it offered the ever-popular Thomas & Friends(R) adventures through the perfect combination of creative building fun, engaging features, and character play for young preschoolers.”

Based on the movie Thomas & Friends(R): Misty Island Rescue, Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island allows even the tiniest of engineers to join Thomas and James as they travel through the mysterious mountains of Misty Island. Preschoolers ages three and up can build and rebuild to new heights as Thomas and James race on unfamiliar tracks from sea level to high up in the mountains. They can take Thomas and James through eerie tunnels to get to their destination. With included accessories such as winding buildable ramps, Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island is a super-sized playset that will delight every Thomas fan.

“We are honored to have Mega Bloks(R)’ Adventures on Misty Island recognized by Toy Insider for its great design, innovation, and building play experience,” said Adrian Roche, Vice-President Preschool Toys & Global Licensing at MEGA Brands. “Adventures on Misty Island gives preschoolers the opportunity to be imaginative and build their very own Thomas & Friends(R) adventures with Mega Bloks(R).”

About MEGA Brands

MEGA Brands is a trusted family of leading global brands in construction toys, games & puzzles, arts & crafts and stationery. They offer engaging creative experiences for children and families through innovative, well-designed, affordable and high-quality products. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @megabrands.

The MEGA logo, Mega Bloks, Rose Art, MagNext and Board Dudes are trademarks of MEGA Brands Inc. or its affiliates.

About the Toy Insider

The Toy Insider is THE SOURCE for the hottest toys and gifts for the holidays. Now in its fifth year, the Toy Insider is an annual guide featuring toy and gift recommendations broken down by age categories. The 2010 guide is jam-packed with 96 toy recommendations from more than 50 different manufacturers, each of which were carefully selected by a team of experts with years of experience in the toy industry. The Toy Insider is published by Adventure Publishing, publisher of leading industry trades The Toy Book and The Licensing Book.

About Adventure Publishing

Adventure Publishing Group Inc. ( is the leading publisher of magazines for the toy and licensing industries since 1983. Its portfolio of magazines include: The Toy Book, The Licensing Book and Specialty Toy & Gifts. The Toy Book provides retailers with the latest in merchandising, trends, licensed products and new marketplace introductions and is published monthly. The Licensing Book focuses on character properties, brands and trademarks with topical features, editorials, legal advice and exclusive retailer information. Two Adventure Publishing-produced newsletters, The Toy Report and Total Licensing Report are weekly newsletters that keep their readers up to date on all breaking news and deals in the toy and licensing industries and are available in email format.


September 27, 2010 at 8:53 pm Leave a comment

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