Plasma Bike Review – Holiday Gift ideas!

Many of you may remember our review of the fabulous PlasmaCar from Plasmart last year. We have had so much fun with this toy that we immediately thought of them for this years Holiday Gift Guide. They have some GREAT new products that we were so excited to try out. The Plasma Bike is a great new balance bike that is perfect for the younger crowd (18 months to 4 years). There are many balance bikes on the market but the Plasma Bike has some unique features that sets it apart from others. The Plasma Bike is low to the ground and has extra thick wheels which makes it easy for young ones to balance. It works great as a training bike/balance bike.  Both my 18 month old and my 3 1/2 year old love this bike!  In fact, my 3 year old has become so good on this balance bike that he is almost ready for a big boy bike WITHOUT training wheels.

“No batteries, gears or pedals – just a fun, encouraging and progressive start to bicycle riding.

Its unique design encourages balance, coordination and motor skill development while offering a fun ride.

Children as young as 18 months can enjoy the freedom of riding without the added complication of training wheels or anxiety of having to hold their balance too long, too early. Unlike most balance bikes, wide wheels assist children in keeping PlasmaBike upright in a stopped or stationary position, giving children added confidence and promoting self-esteem. The wide wheels and limited steering range enhance balancing capabilities and provide a smoother transition to a conventional 2 wheel ride.

Weighing less than 8lbs, it’s lightweight and transports easily to playgrounds or when the kid power tuckers out!

Sleek, unique look designed and made in Europe.

Supports up to 25KG (55lbs).”

This bike has been a lot of fun.  If you are looking for a nice holiday gift for that little one in your life this is a GREAT idea.

The Plasma Bike retails for $78 and can be purchased on Amazon.

“A sample of this product was provided to facilitate my review. All opinions expressed are my own.”

Holiday Gift Guide 2012 – Playmobil Advent Calendar Giveaway and Review

Christmas is quickly approaching and it's time to start thinking about holiday traditions and gifts for the kids!  I just love celebrating the holidays with my kids.  It's just so special to see the excitement and delight in their eyes.  This is why I try to incorporate a lot of family traditions into our holiday season.  One of my favorite traditions is the Advent Calendar.   I always buy one of those cheapo numbers at the store that has a piece of chocolate in it for every day.  This is fun, but I was looking for something a little more substantial and interactive.  Luckily, I ran across  the Playmobil F orest Winter Wonderland Advent Calendar.  This cute little calendar comes complete with a cardboard background and a box numbered with each day.  Upon opening the numbered day your child will discover a cute playmobil character to add to their woodland themed set.  So adorable.

I know that my kids will be so excited to reveal their daily surprise.  It's so fun to build your scene as you go.  The characters in this set are winter woodland themed, so they will be played with long after the holidays are over.  This advent calendar is cute, reasonably priced and a great additional to your family traditions.  You could easily recylce this set year after year by saving the pieces in numbered bags.

The Playmobil Advent Calendars are available in the following themes:

Pirate Treasure Cove, Princess Wedding, Forest Winter Wonderland, Christmas Post Office and Dinosaur Expedition.

I love that I can use this set to teach my children about the season, as well as incorporate counting/learning and tradition into our day!   This set is so cute and whimsical.  Did I mention that there is even a day that has a hedgehog and her baby hedgehog!  Adorable.  I kind of have a thing about hedgehogs.  I love them!

I highly recommend checking out this advent calendar if you have a little one in your house.  It's great for boys and girls.  It retails for $19..99 and can be found wherever Playmobil is sold.

I was also lucky enough to try out the VERY cool Pirate Adventure Island:

Pirate Adventure Island

with fire-code-puzzle to open the treasure cave. The fire-code indicates the place  to look for the magic coins with the RFID-Chips. An adjustable bamboo-maze, dangerous barriers and many secret hiding-places make the hunt more difficult. When placing the  coins in the right order  on the relief with the RFID-detection in front of the treasure cave, the cave will open and you can grab the treasure   Size: 70 x 55 x 28 cm (LxWxH)  Retails $129.99″
I got this set for my almost 4 year old son who is very in to pirates.  I wanted to get him a pirate set that wasn't too scary and this one is perfect.  I always love the look of the playmobil characters.  So cute and kind of nostalgic.  I also like how poseable they are.  This Pirate Adventure Island set is ENORMOUS!  Truly a great value for $129.99.  The box is huge and once opened there are a LOT of components.  This means a lot of fun for your little one, but also a lot of assembly.  I would warn those of you with babies that there are a lot of little pieces in this set, so beware.  That being said, we were able to set this up in a baby free area of our home.  My little guy went to town!  Hours upon hours of entertaintment.  He enjoyed not only the setup, but the play afterwards is immensely entertaining.  Because there are so many components, your little guys imagination can run wild. There are pirates, boats, secret coins, light up components, secret caves and codes to solve.  I personally love the palm trees and parrots.  I will definitely be keeping this set to pass along to my other kids.  Right now, both my 6 and 3 year play together with this toy quite nicely.  A GREAT investment for any child that likes pirates and definitely a holiday recommendation from me!
One of our readers will win their own Playmobil Advent Calendar!!! ($19.99 value)
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“A sample of these items were provided to facilitate my  review.  All opinions expressed are my own.”

Spider Man Mega Bloks

My son is kind of obsessed with superheros. As are most of his friends.  The current focus of the superhero obsession is Spider-Man.  We eat, sleep and breathe Spidey.  My son has literally worn two Spidey costumes until they fell apart, and is fast doing the same with a third.  I don’t mind- especially when we can find cool toys to go along with his obsession that also help develop fine motor skills, creative thinking, and following directions all at once….and can then be used for imaginative play.  Mega Bloks has a whole line of Spider-Man sets that range from small to large and are sure to delight your little Spidey fan as much as they have mine!

We found these Spider Man Mega Bloks sets to be a lot of fun. I can’t tell you how happy *I* was that each set includes its own Spider-Man figure.  These guys are tiny and will get lost, especially when carried around and shoved into pockets of pants and shorts every day.  Having backups is key.  It also helps to have duplicates when friends come to play.  Or mom.

spiderman megabloks

Spider-Man Speeder

Speed to the scene in style with the Spider-Man Speeder by Mega Bloks! When Spider-Man isn’’t swinging past skyscrapers, he is driving around in this ultra-fast roadster. When sleek design is combined with high speed, Spider-Man is bound to succeed!

Ideal for children ages 6 and up!

Features:

  • Buildable Spider-Man Speeder
  • Buildable Spider-Man micro action figure
  • 80 pieces

spiderman-megabloks

Bridge Showdown

Recreate the epic bridge battle between Spider-Man and Lizard with the Bridge Showdown by Mega Bloks! Spider-Man and his Spider Jeep square off against Lizard and his tentacle-enhanced Attack Walker with launcher. As both vehicles collide, Spider-Man and Lizard suffer from battle damage, but you decide who claims the victory!

Ideal for children ages 6 and up!

Features:

  • Buildable Spider-Man Jeep
  • Buildable Lizard Attack Walker with working launcher
  • Battle-damaged Spider-Man and Lizard buildable micro action figures!
  • 250 pieces
My son’s favorite is the Bridge Ambush. He loves the lizard’s attack walker and the creepy day-glow tentacles that go off of it. He spends a lot of time playing with this set!

sewer lab ambush
Sewer Lab Ambush

Discover Lizard’’s secret, underground hideout with the Sewer Lab Ambush by Mega Bloks! Build the laboratory featuring a hidden trap and watch Spider-Man swing down the zip-line as Lizard tries to escape with his Sewer Aqua-Jet. Will Spider-Man stop lab-coat Lizard, or has the superhero finally met his match?

Ideal for children ages 6 and up!

Features:

  • Buildable street-level sewer entrance, Sewer Lab and Sewer Aqua-Jet
  • Attachable zip-line for real spider-swinging action
  • Spider-Man steps on Lizard’’s hidden trap to activate an action-reaction feature!
  • Spider-Man and Lizard buildable micro action figures
  • 247 pieces

There are 12 sets available from MegaBloks with the Spider-Man theme, ranging in price from $6.99 to $39.99 so they are totally affordable and a great gift option- the holidays are coming SOON!  They are recommended for ages 6+ although my 5 year old spends many, many hours of his time building with bricks like these and is able to follow the instructions almost on his own.

Directions are clear and concise, easy to follow, and color coded- kids don’t have to be readers to follow along- which is great- instructions can and do get frustrating for early readers.  These do take some time to assemble, especially the larger sets- but that’s kind of what the fun and draw of the building sets ARE, in my experience.  It’s a great way to spend some quality time with your kids, nephews, grandkids, etc.

Samples of these Spider Man Mega Bloks sets were provided to facilitate the review. Opinions are our own.

Leapfrog’s Touch Magic Toys (Party)

leap frog touch magic rockin guitarLeapfrog has been a go-to brand for many kinds of toys since my oldest was a baby.  The Leapfrog Learning table has been purchased by us many times for gifts, and probably will continue to be for a very long time.  It isn’t the only thing we’ve loved by Leapfrog, but it’s one of the earliest…and will always have a place in my heart. We recently got to check out the new Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar and Touch Magic Learning Bus from Leapfrog, and I have to tell you, these are MARVELOUS toys.

touch magic rockin guitar

Look how the surface is so flat- so easy to clean, so easy to free of germs!!

Basic info about the products:

Rockin’ Guitar: Ages 3+, $24.99 SRP

Little touches. Big learning.™
• Amp up the learning fun and create and perform music while building motor skills and confidence!
• Includes guitar, percussion and special effect sounds—even applause.
• Ten different learning songs let little musicians layer in sounds and create their own unique music.
• The Touch Magic Rockin’ Guitar is appropriate for children ages 3+ years.
• Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path for customized learning insights and ideas to expand the learning.

leapfrog touch magic learning bus

Learning Bus: Ages 2+, $24.99 SRP

Little touches. Big learning.™
• Hop on board for fun with the alphabet, early vocabulary, motor skills and learning songs!
• Make a movement or touch a sensor to activate the bus and get the learning journey rolling.
• Switch between 3 modes: Learning, Letter Exploration and Music, which includes fun sing-along songs about the alphabet, motion and more.
• The Touch Magic Learning Bus is appropriate for children ages 2+ years.
• Parents can connect to the online LeapFrog® Learning Path for customized learning insights and ideas to expand the learning.

My take, and that of the other moms at my party, and who I’ve told?

The WHOLE Leapfrog Touch Magic Line? A germ-obsessed mom’s dream toy line.  I heard this over and over, and thought it myself.  With a flat top, and virtually no buttons “raised” up to get icky or germy, cleaning these toys is simple, and will really, really stay germ free.  I found it funny when we had our party and again as I write this how the germ thing came up over and over.  Sure, the technology is super cool, the volume is adjustable (and Leapfrog, trust me, when I tell you this is appreciated by any parent EVER)….but no little cracks or crevices for dirt, and sticky stuff, germs and goo to get stuck in?  You have hit a parental goldmine, folks.   I know I’m being silly, but I’m so serious.  A line of toys we can let the kids share with other toddlers, and preschoolers, without cringing at the germ sharing.  Parents, rejoice!

The Rockin’ Guitar is cool, simply because it’s a guitar.  With a strap.  Just like one for grownups. You can do all kinds of cool “stuff” with the guitar, and while the music is kid-friendly and appropriate, kids feel like they are really “rocking out.”  Safety is on the minds of Leapfrog- the strap detaches quite easily so that when your kids are fighting over whose turn is next, the strap will release without hurting your little one’s neck.  Leapfrog toys are always built to hold up to energetic play, which is good, because I foresee many, many future rock stars jumping off of couches, chairs, tables and furniture to embellish their rockin’ ways.  It’s a good thing I like the song Rockin’ Robin because it seems to be the one that the kids like to play over, and over and over and over…and over again.  It’s all fun, and the kids get so excited to be rock stars, I don’t mind it.

The Learning Bus is very cool, and geared toward the younger friends.  It didn’t get as much playtime, because everyone wanted their hands on the guitars, but it’s an excellent toy also holding up Leapfrog standards.  Lots and lots of ways to interact with the toy, parents can check in and see what their child’s been learning, and really, just a whole lot of fun to play with.  The littler ones who have come to play do like to play with it, although if there are two or more kids here, they kind of just start pressing the screen like crazy.  But that’s how toddlers are anyway!

I have already decided we are going to get one of our little pals the Touch Magic Counting Train, because he’s in love with trains and his mom hates germs.  It’s like the perfect present for both of them.

Thanks to Leapfrog and MomSelect for sending the party supplies for our Touch Magic Party.  We had a blast and so did our friends who joined us! 

Nickelodeon’s Winx Club Deluxe Dolls & Accessories

This post brought to you by Winx Club Deluxe. All opinions are 100% mine.

 

Nickelodeon has a new toy doll line- Winx Club Deluxe, available at Walmart and Walmart.com.  My oldest recently turned 7 and has become obsessed with fairies- of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  I've been hearing so much about Nickelodeon's Winx Club Deluxe with the new DVD coming out in a few weeks , and the dolls, accessories and clothing, that I had to investigate further.  

Winx Club Deluxe is Nick's first animated series targeted for girls.  The show tells the stories of 6 friends- Stella, Flora, Bloom, Musa, Tecna and Aisha, and follows their journeys and adventures while attending fairy school at Alfia College.  I predict that we will be seeing a lot of Winx Club Halloween costumes this fall!

If you aren't yet familiar with this new toy doll line, check out the page on Walmart. com for Winx Club Deluxe- there are even videos so you can see the dolls in action.  These fairies are fun, they are hip, and they are rockin.'  They are also not geared toward the "baby sister" age, as my daughter refers to her 3 year old sister- they are for older girls, with themes and activities meant for the 6-11 crowd.  The fairies are dressed in bright, vibrant colors, with just a touch of sass (in a good way) and so much FUN!   You'll want to bookmark this site, too, because there are going to be even more products coming soon (apparel and accessories- perhaps in time for back to school?) and some free coloring sheets for your Winx Club fan. 

Check out your local Walmart store for these fun new Winx Club Deluxe dolls from Nickelodeon!  

 

The Amazing SpiderMan Prize Pack Giveaway

We hear a lot about Spiderman in our house.  Spiderman, Spidey, Black Spiderman, Peter Parker…it’s a common theme to any conversation with my soon-to-be 5 year old son and his friends (We literally just got home from his best friend’s Spiderman themed birthday party…including a trip to a make your own stuffed animal place…and the boys had Spiderman costumes on their new stuffed friends!)  With The Amazing Spiderman coming to theaters on July 3rd, even *this* mama has gotten a little excited to see the new movie- and I have to say, the toys and products coming out to go along with this movie are awesome.

Spider-Man World Premiere Event BannerWorld Premiere Event: The Amazing Spider-Man™ Never-Before-Seen Footage

Watch a never-before-seen preview of The Amazing Spider-Man™ on June 15th and 16th only! All you have to do is visit your local Walmart to catch 10 minutes of exclusive footage. How’s that for making your friends jealous? It gets better! Take home The Amazing Spider-Man comic for only $2.96! Don’t forget, it’s only at Walmart! Check out the site for what times you can catch the previews.
Spider-Man Wallpapers
Download Spider-Man Wallpaper Patterns

Are you rooting for Spider-Man or the villain, The Lizard? Regardless, you can show your support by sporting one of six Spider-Man wallpapers for your desktop, laptop, or mobile device.
Spider-Man Coloring Pages
Entertain the Kids with Spider-Man Coloring Pages

Looking for a classic source of entertainment? Coloring pages! Have the kids color in their favorite Spider-Man pose! It’s as easy as printing out one (or all) of the 8 different coloring pages. You can even show them the wallpapers for inspiration.
Augmented Reality App
Spider-Man at Walmart

Prep for The Amazing Spider-Man release on July 3, 2012 by getting your Spider-Man shirts, pajamas, and accessories at Walmart. Shop Walmart for your Spider-Man apparel to get everyday low prices!

To celebrate the upcoming film arrival, one lucky reader will win an Amazing Spiderman Prize Pack including: 

  • A $50 Fandango gift certificate for four movie tickets to see The Amazing Spider-Man in theaters on July 3
  • Spider-Man Special Edition DVD
  • Spider-Man 2 Special Edition DVD
  • The Amazing Spider-Man Mega Blaster Web Shooter with Glove toys

 

 

 

 

Javascript must be enabled to enter this giveaway. Learn how to activate Javascript by clicking here.
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This post contains sponsored content.  Opinions are my own. 

Happy 60th Anniversary Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head!

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head have been living happily ever mash-er for 60 years! Can you believe it?  I wish I had one of the original Mr. Potato Head toys.  I love them- my kids love them.  Such a fun, versatile toy.  And look at the adorable  MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD 60th Anniversary MASHLY IN LOVE Set from Playskool!

mr and mrs potato head mashly in love

Seriously, is this not the cutest set?  If only it had been around last year before my nephew got married.  How cute for a flower girl gift!

mashly in love, mr potato head

I love it.  It’s Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head as we all know and love, but they are dressed to the nines and are holding hands!!  Super cute.  Super fun.  My kids think the potato head toys are hilarious for the tushy storage- hard to blame them, especially with the Toy Story movies featuring them…but oh, do they love stuffing the tushes!

Wow! Years ago, these sweet spuds knew they were a perfect mash for each other and decided to share their lives together. It’s time to celebrate 60 spudtacular years! How time fries when you’re having fun! Today they’re still two spuds in love and want you to join them in their mix and match celebration!

Double your famous potato fun with the MASHLY IN LOVE set! Get 2 spuds and all the funny parts you need to make the perfect potato couple, MR. & MRS. POTATO HEAD! Put MR. POTATO HEAD and MRS. POTATO HEAD together with their funny features and pants. You can have a wedding with MR. POTATO HEAD figure in his top hat and your MRS. POTATO HEAD figure in her headband. Then mix up their parts so you can’t tell which is which! Store their parts in each potato figure’s TATER TUSH™ compartment. With these two lovestruck spuds, the potato-and-parts fun never ends!

MR. POTATO HEAD body comes with arm with wedding band, 2 ears, mouth, pants with feet, top hat, eyes, nose, mustache and bow tie. MRS. POTATO HEAD body comes with 1 pair of arms holding hands, headband, lips with teeth, arm, nose, eyes, hair, 2 ears and pants with feet.

Ages 2 and up.

You, too can live happily ever after with Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head for about $14.99 at most retailers.

I received a sample of this product to facilitate my review.  Opinions are my own.

 

 

Fijit Friends® Newbies

Fijit Friends® Newbies are “pocket” sized, interactive friends that are just beyond adorable.  When you squeeze their cute little bodies, they purr and giggle.  Get them near a Fijit Friend, and get them giggling and purring- you just may see your Fijit Friend® dancing right along! There are 8 of the Newbies and each has it’s own look and own personality.

I think the kids love these for the interactive features- it’s almost like a pet and a friend in one, but also because they can fit into their (larger)pockets…easy to travel with.  I don’t know if your kids are like mine but they are forever tucking small toys into pockets and bags, nooks, crannies, cupholders— and as a mom, toys that occupy for any period of time that keep kids happy AND are easy to travel with earn bonus points in my book.   The Newbies actually fit right into carseat cupholders perfectly- and with the ears and tails, they won’t get wedged in and stuck.  (These are the things that matter to me when looking at new toys!!)

We were only recently introduced to the Fijit Friends® andFijit Friends® Newbies, and they are so much fun!! I tend to forget to look into interactive toys like this when purchasing for my own kids, and I have no idea why- they always love them!

The more your child interacts and plays with their Newbies, the better the Newbie becomes at their song.  With Kira, our Newbie, when you squeeze her body, her ears bend forward as she interacts with you.   The Newbies are also great to interact with one another, AND with Fijit Friends.  What this means to me is that this toy isn’t one dimensional- it can be used in many ways.

Mattel has made packaging less frustrating with the Newbies.  Look how easy it is to remove them!

Also, and this is kind of important, the tail comes NOT attached to the Newbies.  It’s on the back “wall” behind where your Newbies is placed on the display box.  Trust me on this, you don’t want to dig through trash and recycling to find this later while your child sobs next to you.  Save yourself the trouble.  I’ve even included a photo for you!

These are not quiet toys.  They are cute, they are fun, and oh-so-very-adorable, but they are not quiet.  Unless you are able to muffle the speakers, this isn’t a toy I’d recommend sending to school on the bus, or bringing to a restaurant.  I would like them to be a tiny bit quieter, or have a volume level to adjust.

Introducing Fijit Friends® Newbies™!
Before Fijit Friends® talked or danced, they were once Newbies™ – pocket-sized singing Fijit Friends®! When you squeeze your Newbie™, her floppy ears fly forward and she begins to sing. You can pet and tickle your Fijit Friends® Newbie™ to reward her for her sweet tunes. The more you nurture her, the better she sings! Fijit Friends® Newbies™ can sing with each other in a duet, or you can collect them all for a truly singing sensation! Her skin is squishy and fun to squeeze! And, they even interact with your Fijit Friend®!

 

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Mattel and received two Fijit Friends Newbies and one Fijit Friends to facilitate my review

Disney Fairies Fairygolds Exclusive Previews $100 Walmart GC #Giveaway

Disney Fairies 300x250 BannerCheck out the new Disney Fairies page at Walmart with a never-before-seen  preview from Pixie Hollow! Every week there will be a  NEW Walmart-exclusive Pixie Preview to enjoy!  This week’s preview is “Rosetta’s Garden Lesson 1″ and I can’t wait to see what comes next.  We’ve waited so long to have some new fun with our friends from Pixie Hollow!

If you have a little one who loves the Disney Fairies like mine do, you’ll definitely want to head to http://see.walmart.com/disney/disney-fairies to check out the fun, FREE crafts, and be sure to check out the Disney Fairies merchandise available for sale at a great price!
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Fairygolds Pixie Playtime Craft Kit: Download a variety of cute Fairygolds Pixie crafts to turn playtime into Fairytime. Print Pixie crafts like fairy name tags, wonder wands, and a Pixie bouquet.
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Fairy Photo Frame: Want to surround a special photo with Fairy friends? Upload your picture to create a lasting memory within a Fairy Photo frame.
Disney Fairies 300x250 Banner
Letter from a Fairy Friend: Celebrate your child’s accomplishments and birthday by sending her a Pixie-perfect note signed by Tink herself! Customize the letter for your fairy fan to make it as special and unique as she is.
To celebrate the Fairygolds, one lucky reader will win a $100 Walmart Gift Card!
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Rebates on select Veggie Tales toys

This is kind of perfect timing with Easter just around the corner!! The Veggie Tales friends are fun and funny and I’m thinking the Veggie Dough playset may be in my littlest “bunny” Easter Basket this year!!

Here is a $3 rebate on select Veggie Tales toys!

Toys included are:

Veggie Dough Playset ($15.99 at Amazon)

Larry’s Silly Suits ($15.99 at Amazon)

Veggie Xylophone ($14.99 at Amazon)

Veggie Bus ($14.99 at Amazon)

Veggie Drum ($14.99 at Amazon)

LarryMobile ($19.99 at Amazon)

You may submit for (1) rebate per toy all in the same request.

Original recipets are needed (but nothing specifying that they can’t be ordered online – just include your email receipt or packing slip from the box if it includes price)

Purchases must be made from 9/1/11 to 3/30/12.

Check out the list of Veggie Tales toys eligible for a $5 rebate also!

Thanks Saving Toward A Better Life!