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Cowa-Bungee: Jazwares Flick-To-Stick Bungees

jazwares, bungees

Just a few of the Flick-To-Stick Characters in the Jazwares Bungee Universe.

Flipped Out…
This year’s “HoliDay of PLAY” event, sponsored by Woman’s Day Magazine and Toy Insider, offered a great opportunity to discover some new toys to report on. One particular line, JazwaresFlick-To-Stick Bungees, drew my attention immediately for it’s miniature game pieces and turned out to be more than met the eye.

In their cartoon universe the various Bungee characters attempt death defying acrobatic feats to capture their appointed discs. Here in the real world Bungees are collectible game pieces that mesh some tried and true modes of play from marbles to Pokemon with escalating competitive possibilities. At it’s simplest, contestants attempt to gain the highest number of points by flicking their magnetic bottomed Bungees onto metal discs. Players are rewarded with the highest points for landing on their own character disc, but points can be gained by landing on other crew members’ discs too. That said, several crews don’t play well together and in advanced scoring mode you can lose points for landing on non-compatible discs.

jazwares, bungees, flick-to-stick

This Bungees Master Arena Affords Many Unique Game Play Elements.

You Know My Name, Look Up the Number…
Each Bungee character comes with a corresponding metallic disc, basic gaming rules, and card that delineates their name, crew affiliation, attitude, point hierarchy. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cards are not just ephemera but are magnetic as well and can be integrated into the game play. A very nice touch. Advanced games use a point system listed on the back of each disc.

One of nicest things about the Bungees universe is a pretty much unlimited selection of ways to play. Game “fields” can be purchased or invented. The Master Arena Set is Jazwares’ ultimate multi-player tournament site. It includes ramps, a clear surround, and a set of flippers to attempt to eject your opponents. Alternately, a set-up of makeshift obstacles like empty coffee cans, cardboard boxes, and stretched rubber-bands for bumpers could offer as interesting a challenge on that disused ping-pong table in your recreation room.

bungees, jazwares, flick-to-stick

Bungees’ Statistics Cards Can Also Be Part of Gameplay

Bouncing Souls…
Though flicking skills will aid your chances of landing on your chosen target, the inherent randomness of which way a bungee will bounce or rebound keeps gameplay unpredictable and entertaining. Speaking of skills, kids will need to get their math heads in gear as score keeping will be done the good old fashioned way, with a pencil and your brain.

Travel is as easy as flipping several bungees and their related discs and cards in a zip lock bag. No electricity required. A nice respite from screen only competition.

SkeletonPete Says…
As an “only” I was always looking for games that didn’t necessarily require group play. Bungees offer the opportunity for single-player “woodshedding” sessions to build skills between group matches with just enough unexpected outcome to stay engrossing but not frustrating.

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Into The Woods: Folkmanis Hand Puppets

Wanna Talk Turkey? You can with this Folkmanis hand puppet.

Wanna Talk Turkey? You can with this Folkmanis hand puppet.


This past weekend CBS2 Sunday Morning News in New York featured Toy Insider Mom and Founder Laurie Schacht’s presentation of playthings of note for the 2014 holiday season. To keep Black Friday commandoes fore-warned and fore-armed with information Laurie spotlighted a cross-section of goodies from the electronic and ergonomic to the eco-friendly and economic.

Along with the ubiquitous singing Queen Elsa from Disney’s Frozen there were fun entries from Crayola, Dora The Explora, the new Flick-n-Stick Bungees game, Paw Patrol, the Nintendo Amiibo toy-based video game and the Kurio Xtreme Tablet especially curated for kids. I was especially happy to see she included some examples from one of my favorite toy producers Folkmanis Puppets.
Lend A Hand…
Puppets are a wonderful method to give the young entertainer in your house a voice for their imagination. Think of them as non-digital avatars. From behind the theater curtains, or more likely the living room couch, your kids can stage any number of creative scenarios.

Just a small sampling of the menagerie of friendly faced Folkmanis puppets.

Just a small sampling of the menagerie of friendly faced Folkmanis puppets.


Folkmanis has an expansive line of puppets that range from finger to dual hand styles with hyper-realistic to fantastic designs. The baby owl puppet featured on the CBS segment reminded me of how much fun it was to peruse the beautiful Folkmanis display booth at Toy Fair with its cornucopia of engaging creatures peering out from every nook and knothole in their fantasy forest setting. I’m always tempting to bring a sleeping bag and just move in. Take a peak at the images below and I think you’ll agree.

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Flick of the Wrist: Hasbro’s One-Step Dinobot Transformer

A Single Movement Activates Grimlock's Transformation

A Single Movement Activates Grimlock’s Transformation


Really Big Bots…
The Hasbro Toy Company expands their trademarked, tried and true, Transformers line this season with a hefty battle contender, The “Stomp and Chomp” Grimlock. As envisioned in the most recent Transformers film Age of Extinction, Grimlock is the leader of the DinoBots and one sweet ride for Autobot Optimus Prime.

I encountered this behemoth at the recent Big Toy Book event HoliDAY of PLAY and was immediately impressed by its sturdy build and massive size.

The included Optimus Prime figure does not convert but when placed on Grimlock’s back serves to activate a specific set of actions, like lights, sounds and weapon releases. Grimlock is aware of whether an Autobot or Decepticon is on board and reveals different actions in response.
Hasbro_Transformer_ 1
Hasbro_Transformer_ 8
One Small Step…
I’ve always loved the ingenuity of Transformers designs, but being pretty old school I was expecting the usual puzzlement of realigning this the toy’s components into any sensible shape after initial disassembly. Much to my surprise Grimlock’s T-Rex mode was instantly converted into a robot standing 20” tall with one pull of its back handle. Wow! Once he’s upright check the tail for a disguised samurai sword to arm your bot.

Additional figures can be purchased separately, there are several other one step changer transformers in the company’s movie related line.

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Toy Insider Kicks Off 2014 Gifting Season

TI_HoP14flt
Pete & Andy’s Play Date…
On a gorgeous late October afternoon co-editor Adriana “Andy” Melendez (@sylverwhisper) and I joined other members of the press and blogger community on the 44th floor of New York City’s Hearst Building for a grand event to kick off the coming gift giving season presented by the folks at The Big Toy Book.Com, in partnership with The Toy Insider and Woman’s Day Magazine. Dubbed “The HoliDAY of PLAY” the gathering was aimed at affording social media and online reporters a jump on building buzz for the best toy options of late 2014.

Top Toy Tips…
Attendees enjoyed a couple of hours of hands-on experience and information gathering directly from manufacturers with a focus on the annual Toy Insider Hot 20 and Top Tech 12 lists. These lists (broken into age appropriate categories) and the entire 2014 Gift Guide can be found in the November issue of Woman’s Day magazine, as well as at Toy Insider online.

Following an introductory period of play and networking Big Toy Book Founder Laurie Schacht (@toyinsidermom) addressed the group. She delineated emerging trends in the toy industry using onsite vendors’ wares as examples punctuated by a video featuring highlights from last summer’s Sweet Suite event and soundtracked by my favorite EchoSmith tune “Cool Kids.”

HoliDAY of PLAY Attendees Got First Hand Info from Toy Vendors, and Spun Up 16 Million Twitter Impressions.

HoliDAY of PLAY Attendees Got First Hand Info from Toy Vendors, and Spun Up 16 Million Twitter Impressions.


Big Toy Book Founder Laurie Schacht Hoists a Bag-O-Swag for a Lucky Winner.

Big Toy Book Founder Laurie Schacht Hoists a Bag-O-Swag for a Lucky Winner.

Laurie called up several brave volunteers to participate in a couple of only mildly embarrassing competitions, one of which had participants emote their best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle “Cowabunga Dude!” Winners walked away with nicely filled swag bags. She also treated attendees to the first announcement of the 2015 Blogger Bash and Sweet Suite, which will be held on July 16 and 17 at Pier Sixty in New York City. In a little over 3 hours attendees managed to spin up 16 million Twitter impressions for the #HotToys14 hashtag and hundreds of Instagram images.

SkeletonPete & Andy Say…
It’s an anything goes marketplace, with tech and retro play products holding equal footing. We saw choices ranging from the robotics of the constantly expanding HEXBUG line to the return of the much loved 1980’s Pound Puppies from Funrise. LeapFrog offers the movement motivating immersive screenplay of their new console system, while creative stalwart Crayola straddles the classic vs. digital worlds with their Virtual Designer Pro kits.

Those only represent a smattering of the multitude of possibilities which is why the helpful guidance of the annual Woman’s Day/Toy Insider supplement and Toy Insider is so valuable.

Below is a list of the vendors who presented their wares at the event, with live links to their respective websites – you’re welcome. 🙂

Andy and I will be giving you a closer look at some of our favorites in the coming weeks.

Featured Manufacturer’s Sites

Battat
Build-A-Bear
ChizzComm
(representing Tech 4 Kids, Aliquantum International, Bravo Sports Corp. and Zuru Toys)
Cloud b
Crayola
Funrise Toys
Hasbro
HEXBUG
Jakks Pacific
Jazwares
Laser Pegs
LeapFrog
Little Scholar
Makey Makey
Rubie’s Costume Company
Spaghetti Headz
Thames and Kosmos
Toca Boca
Tomy
VTech

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