My position on toys is...
If you are interested in having me review your product on my blog please email me at thetoysnob(at)gmail(dot)com!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Boy Toys

I noticed a lot of my readers have boys between the ages of 0 and 2. As I was reflecting on my son's favorite toys at that age, I was reminded of this Zoom Around Garage from I-Play. We gave him this when he was 18 months old, although the recommended age is 12 months and up. He loved it and still pulls it out of toy storage to play with it once in awhile and he's three now! It comes with three really chunky, easy to hold cars that connect magnetically. It does take batteries, but I suggest taking them out, they only make 2 sound effects and it won't affect the play if you remove them. This is also extremely sturdy and well made, he would stand and sit on the top and it held up well. I love I-Play, they make great toys. Shop around for a good deal, but trust me, it is worth the investment, your little boy will love it!

HOORAY! New Haba Toys Are Here!

Oompa and Maukilo have pieces from the New 2008 Haba line! These are a few of my favorites, but you have to check them out for yourself, so cute!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alternative Thursdays

On Thursdays I will be featuring a plastic toy, and it's alternative, non-plastic options. Please email me ( or comment here about what plastic toys you would like to see alternatives for, it will be a fun challenge for me to see if I can find some!

Drums for Baby On Up

Plastic, electronic drum vs. Remo Kids Percussion Tom Drum

When my son was little I bought a used electronic drum, very similar to the one featured here. It played a song and sang the alphabet while the letters flashed on the "screen" on top. While he loved it, I was annoyed that it couldn't just be powered by him. About a year ago I stumbled across these Remo percussion drums at a local store. They are beautifully made and have a wonderful, natural drum sound to them. Babies and big kids alike will be rewarded with a resonating, acoustic sound by pounding the Fiberskyn 3 drumhead. It's a great way to teach rhythm, too. Here's a simple game you can play with toddlers on up: Start with a simple pattern and have your toddler repeat it. Gradually make it more complex each time he masters the pattern. This is a great way to teach your child how to fine tune his listening skills while teaching rhythm.

The Remo drum is a wonderful addition to our musical instruments. And learning letters, well, it can wait, six month olds (age recommendation for plastic drum) don't need to learn them anyway.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Green Pomegranate Vintage Dresses

So, I know this blog is supposed to be about toys, but I just have to show you this darling couture dress line called Green Pomegranate, designed by my very own Aunt Karen! Each dress is hand made and features a vintage hand towel, table runner, or handkerchief as the pinafore, creating a unique style on each dress, no two are exactly the same. Sizes range from infant to eight years. If you think this dress is cute in the picture, it's even more beautiful in person. I had the opportunity to help iron these dresses out before a show this summer and my cousins and I oohed and ahhed as we saw each unique design. My aunt is so talented, so check out her line at I'll let you know when she'll be here again to do a show.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

No Screen Required

Right now on the top of my wishlist of toys for my son is the GeoSafari Laptop by Educational Insights. For ages 3 to 7, it comes with 63 double-sided cards and an advanced pack of cards is available for 8 and older, so it's a system that can grow with your child. The basic concept is that you put one of the cards on the laptop, enter the code so it knows which card you are using, then "play" the game on the card. You can even set it to two-player mode. Your child will think it is so cool they have their own "computer." I had a GeoSafari similar to this one when I was younger and absolutely loved it compared to my brother's flashy, fast-paced computer games.

The laptop is a great alternative to CD and internet games your kids play on the computer. The reason? There are no moving images which doctors are worried mess up the synapses in young children's brains causing attention problems and behavioral difficulties. We've all been told to keep screen time to less than 2 hours a day for children over the age of 2. This learning device is a great way to cut down on that screen time, but allow your child the fun of an electronic game at the same time. You can feel good about letting them play this for as long as they want!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Love is in the Air!

Since everyone has their Valentine's stuff out, I thought I'd post a few gift ideas for the kids-the loves of your life!

Valentine's Day is fast approaching and that usually means hearts. Hearts usually mean pinks and reds, and those are associated with girl colors. Unfortunately the pickings are slim for boy valentine gifts and accessories, I did my best.

Okay for either gender:

Vilac Hearts Jump Rope
Yes, they are red and pink, but it is Valentine's Day

Haba Memo Hearts is a fun game to play the month of February

If you are still unconvinced that your boy will love hearts,
here is the alternative Haba Horse Memo game,
at least it comes in a heart-shaped box
And, if hearts just aren't your thing for boys, here is
a red Colorama Ball from Crocodile Creek

The Smart Snacks Sweet Heart Sayings and Hide 'N Peek Chocolates from Educational Resources are good ideas for either gender.

I love Pottery Barn Kid's plates and tumblers they design for each holiday.

Here are some very "girly" ideas:

The Sarah Necklace from Haba

Little Hearts Bag, also from Haba

Pink Heart Beauty Set from TatiriFlower Heart Pillow from Blabla

And for Baby:

Or, how about a cuddly Breton Bear from Jellycat,
a good idea for boys, too!

Wishing I had a girl...

This Castle Sheet Set and Duvet make me wish I had a girl to buy them for! Oompa now carries the bedding sets from Boodalee. The sets have really modern designs that come in Circus, City or Space, to name a few.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sales going on! (Updated)

For those of you who shop throughout the year, there are some great sales going on right now that you won't want to miss! The stores include (if you know of any more, please leave a comment and I will be sure to include them):

Gifted Imaginations*

*Check out the new site I'm posting about: Gifted Imaginations. The owner contacted me via e-mail after stumbling across my sight. She seems very nice and carries a wide range of those European toys that I love so much! Right now everything in her store is 20% off!

Also, before Christmas one of my readers sent an e-mail asking if I knew when new Haba toys would be out. Maukilo has posted a Haba preview of their 2008 line on their website. Their first new shipment is scheduled for February. I can hardly wait to see the rest!


These sights are also having great sales! Thank you to my readers who passed this along!