Friday, November 09, 2012

neighborhood toy store day 2012…

Did you know there was a day to honor neighborhood toy stores?  Well, now you do – and it’s tomorrow – Saturday, November 10th.  This day is meant to introduce families to the fun of shopping locally and celebrates each toy store’s commitment to the community.  The annual even is coordinated by the non-profit organization ASTRA (the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association). 

Please check out the new website (HERE) to see which toy stores across the country will be hosting activities, events and offering special discounts for children of all ages! Hopefully you’ll find a participating store near you and join the fun!  And while you’re at their site, be sure to read some of the features and articles with expert advice on toys and play for children of all ages!

Why shop local?  For every $100 spent in local, independently-owned stores, $68 returns to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more – in contrast with only $43 when consumers spend their money at a national chain.  In addition, independent toy stores often carry many of the high-quality, boutique and specialty products not typically found at big box stores.

In honor of tomorrow’s celebration, I received three toys for my kids to try out – the types of toys that you might find at your local toy store.  Here’s what we received and what we (well, mostly my boys) said about them.

The Nanoblock Electric Guitar

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This building set invites kids to create a detailed 3-d electric guitar with micro-sized building blocks.

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And when I say micro-sized, I mean it! Here’s a look at how tiny these pieces are.

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Josh was more than happy to put the guitar together.

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He is super patient (unlike me) and didn’t have any problem at all building this cute creation.

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Josh is 13, and the recommended ages for this toy is 8+.  MSRP is $12.99.

Mindware: Mine Shift

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This one wasn’t our favorite.  The boys tried to play it without an adult and couldn’t figure it out.  They wanted to learn, but got frustrated and put it away after a while.  I sat down and read the instructions and it doesn’t seem super hard – but definitely one of those games that might take some time to figure out.  I think once we get a round or two under our belts, it will be a family favorite.  We’re having some snowy weather today, and looks like it will be a great weekend for staying inside by the fireplace to keep warm – a great time for learning new games, for sure!

E-Ranger Headquarters by Playmobile

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This toy was a favorite with every single boy in our house – including my husband.

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They all worked together to build the Future Planet and had fun figuring out the high-tech features which even involved solar power!

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This is a toy that is recommended for kids 7-12, but I think kids of ALL ages would enjoy this one.

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It’s a little on the pricy side, MSRP is $129.99, but would make a great family gift!

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All of these toys received ASTRA’s Best Toys for Kids 2012 award – for their ability to promote open-ended and creative play, their creative design features and exceptional safety standards.  All of these toys can be found at independent toy stores nationwide.

{Disclosure: ASTRA, the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association, sent us these toy samples to review and share (via Team Mom)}

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