Children, adults and families love to play video games together on various platforms like XBox, Wii, and Playstation. However, for parties and large events in homes, it can be difficult for large groups of people to play at the same time, especially if there is only one television available.
GameTruck Party has made it possible for families and friends to play together, from any location. For special events and birthday parties, families can hire a GameTruck. The GameTruck is a trailer that has 5 televisions, a large couch, and dozens of games to play on multiple gaming platforms. 16-20 people can fit in the truck simultaneously.
Each party includes the service of a Game Coach who responds to the players needs, by changing out games when necessary. The Coach also helps facilitate the game play, by making sure that all participants get equal playing opportunities. Parent also have the ability to pre-approve games for the party ahead of time. For more information, read a more detailed review of a GameTruck Party here.
While we anxiously await the release of Disney Pixar's Monsters University movie within the next few weeks, if you haven't seen them already, these are some of the Monsters University toys available on toy shelves everywhere.
The Monsters University book (compare prices) is recommended for kids ages 5-8, and includes a pair of 3D glasses. The Monsters University game cartridge, recommended for kids ages 4-7, helps children improve their problem solving skills.
On May 11th, 2013, at Walt Disney World, Merida from the Disney-Pixar animated movie "Brave" was honored and inducted officially into the Disney Princess Royal Court by her mother Queen Elinor. Merida was part of a procession through the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella's Castle, riding on top of her horse Angus.
Celebrities who attended the event included British singers Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, TV personalities from the Ellen Degeneres Show and Gymnastics Gold Medalist and All-Around champion, Gabby Douglas. 200 bloggers attending the Disney Social Media Moms Conference were at the event.
For those children who admire Merida and are fans of the movie, these are my favorite Merida dolls and Brave toys that were released in conjunction with the movie last year in 2012.
If you have teenage or tween aged boys, then you most likely have purchased a toy blaster. NERF tends to be the most widely recognized brand of these toys that release and fire various foam darts and discs at friends and targets. Tech4Kids Tek Recon is the latest toy blaster to enter the industry. This concept combines real firing blaster action with a video game experience using a free iOs or Android phone app. The blasters fire their own projectiles, called NRG Rounds, up to 75 feet.
For those of you who aren't familiar with Kickstarter, it's a way for companies developing unique businesses and products to gain financial backing to bring their ideas to fruition. For those of you looking to embrace a fun, new concept and pre-order your Tek Recon blasters, for various financial commitments from $25-$3500, participants may also have the ability to attend the E3 conference or star in a Tek Recon commercial. Tek Recon will be available commercially in August 2013. In addition, here's the link to the Tek Recon Kickstarter campaign.
As parents I think it' s a rite of passage at some point for kids to ask for real pets like dogs, cats, fish and hamsters. As a child I used to take horseback riding lessons. I can still remember 25 years later, vivid memories of the stable I designed in my imagination and its exact placement in a field situated behind my parents house. Children aren't programmed at young ages to have any understanding of the responsibility and cost associated with owning animals. While as parents we do, which places us in a situation where we don't have many alternatives.
With advances in technology, there is a whole new wave of pet toys, that aren't the old fashioned remote control type. These toys have embedded touch sensors, motion sensors and computers. Aside from reacting to being pet or spoken to, many of these toys are capable of learning tricks and developing personalities. Even better, their price tag is generally under $100, proving them to be a much more cost effective way to experiment with having a pet without the mess and long-term financial responsibility.
Here's a list of some of the newest toy pets that include dogs, horses, monkeys, and fish, ranging in price points from $10 - $100. Though it won't satisfy your child's yearning desire for a real life pet, it might save the entire family from any financial stress and arguments over whose job it is to clean a cage or scoop the poop in the yard!
If you were to ask a child these days which types of LEGO toys and sets they are playing with, you might have to stop and listen hard. Though as an adult you might expect them to mention a property you are familiar with, such as Star Wars, don't be surprised if you hear about some of their newest licensed properties like Legends of CHIMA, Speedorz, and Ninjago.
While children and their parents enjoy building these fun sets, brick by brick, there are contemporary artists designing a whole new wave of masterpieces, using only LEGO bricks.
On June 14, 2013, the largest exhibition of art pieces, created solely with LEGO's will be unveiled in New York City at Discovery Times Square. The exhbition is called The Art of the Brick. Nathan Sawaya, the artist, will debut over 100 works of art, aside from the sculpture Yellow, pictured above, another will include a 20 foot Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaur skeleton.
The exhibition will be on display until January 5, 2014. The Discovery Times Square is open 7 days per week. Tickets are $14.50 for children ages 4-12, $19.50 per each adult and seniors ages 65 and older are $16.50.
This upcoming weekend, on May 11, 2013, in New York City's Grand Central Station in the Vanderbilt Hall, beginning at 10 a.m., TOMY Master Builder Jason Moreno will attempt to construct the world's tallest train layout.
Chuggington is a popular train based television show for preschool aged children that airs on Disney Junior. Builders will be utilizing TOMY's Chuggington StackTrack die-cast railway set (compare prices). The track is designed to be 9 feet 8 inches high. A train, must travel from the top all the way to the bottom.
Families and their children are encouraged to attend this free event. A Guinness World Book of Records adjudicator will be on hand to authenticate the track. Chuggington toy train activities will be available as well at the event. Entertainment will also be provided by Radio Disney.
This particular event is occurring in conjunction with the Grand Central Parade of Trains which will take place during the May 11th and 12th weekend at Gand Central Terminal in New York City.
Today, May 4th is Star Wars Day. Toys that kids continue to crave in traditional Star Wars fashion include action figures, buildable LEGO construction sets, role play gear, and collectible toys like the Star Wars Fighter Pods.
However, a new phenomenon in conjunction with Hasbro toys has been the co-branding alliance of Star Wars toys with Angry Birds toys, which kids are going intergalactic over. The Angry Birds Star Wars toys and app are a huge topic of conversation and excitement amongst boys.
With the Star Wars Angry Birds line, there are a variety of games that bring the app to life such as the Jenga Tattoine Battle Game where kids roll dice, create structures out of blocks, place the space pigs in the correct location and try to knock the tower over using the slingshot with Luke Skywalker Bird. New games also include the Millenium Falcon Bounce Game (compare prices). Using Star Wars Angry Birds themed ping pong balls, kids bounce the balls towards the game, gaining points for knocking over pigs as well as entering their ball into the side cockpit, or the center target. Last but not least is the AT-AT Attach Game (compare prices), pictured above. This game includes 21 different blocks and 12 Angry Birds Star Wars flying figures. Whether kids play the game as it's designed or not, they will love building and constructing with these characters.
No matter how you or your kids like to celebrate, may the force be with you on Star Wars Day!
Iron Man 3 is the latest of the Marvel movies, which will make it's theatrical debut, Friday, May 3, 2013.
Though I haven't seen the movie yet, Carey Bryson, my colleague, the Kids Movie and TV Guide at About.com, has included all sorts of important information for parents in her review coverage of Iron Man 3, including an interview with Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios.
In conjunction with the release of the movie, Hasbro and LEGO have included a lot of fun, new Iron Man 3 toys that include construction sets, firing role play masks, and new Iron Man action figures, so children can re-enact scenes with their favorite Marvel characters.
In addition, here's a link to additional Marvel Avenger's toys.
In honor of Earth Day, I started thinking about companies that use sustainable materials within the toy industry to develop and sell eco-friendly toys. However, it seemed like such a broad topic. While to some it might mean a wooden toy that's made from natural materials, to others it might mean looking for toys that don't include harmful toxins like BPA or pthalates.
So I decided to create a poll about what the term "eco-friendly toy" means to you.
At the very least, even though not all of us may pay attention to purchasing eco-friendly toys, instead of filling up our landfills, I would suggest donating toys when it's possible, to all do what we can to preserve the future.