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Dog/Cats & Rugrats: Nickelodeon Holiday Gift Guide 2017

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We know you haven’t had a chance to even think about a Halloween costume yet — ok, maybe not true for some – be honest, you were ready way before the Back to School sales started. No judgments here, but let’s face it, holiday gifting season is right around the corner. Not for me of course, I do my shopping in a blind panic the night before Christmas, like some deranged lunatic football player on the field dodging other equally deranged last-minute shoppers. This is NOT recommended, but I digress… as I often do…

It’s never too early to know what Old Saint Nick could be dropping down your chimney this year and what your family is desperately hoping to see when they tear off the wrapping paper. Forewarned is forearmed. To that end, Pete and I will be reporting on the newest and best-reviewed items we encounter at events like today’s Holiday of Play held by the play mavens at The Toy Insider.

First, let’s begin with a look at a special preview held by Nickelodeon that had us knee deep in new goodies.

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We predict coal-fired pizza crusts in his Xmas stocking this year.

Networking with Nick…
While the streets were still summer simmering, we got a very cool look at what’s in the works at the Nickelodeon Holiday Gift Guide event. Perched high above Shubert Alley, in the heart of New York City’s legendary Theater District, Nickelodeon gave us quite a show of their own. The range of branded merchandise from dolls and action figures to sneakers and toothbrushes was dazzling, even dizzying. Where to look first…

Raising a battle cry of “Stay 90’s”, we were back to the future with favs Rugrats, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles, and SpongeBob SquarePants, joining relative newcomers like Shimmer & Shine and Paw Patrol, and so much more.


Genuine Genie Genius…
I kept returning to this display over and over – the bright colors – purples, blues, and hot pinks drew me in. Shimmer & Shine might be out of my age range now but when I was a little girl I think I would have loved the animated series, toys and clothing line. Dancing dolls, dollhouses, slippers, and accessories galore – you name it, your little Genie will love it.


Give Me Those Puppy Dog Eyes!
If your kids have been bugging you to adopt a pet, perhaps consider getting them something from the Paw Patrol line instead. From oversized puppy pillows to the snuggable and huggable Beanie Boos, you can’t go wrong with this adorable line of toys.


Party in Your (Square) Pants…
For your bigger kids (or the kid in you), why not check out this fun line of Spongebob Squarepants inspired clothing? Slippers, t-shirts, shorts, flip flops, and pajamas – I have at least one friend’s birthday and holiday gifts covered.

Andy Says… 
With so many choices coming at you, it’s hard to know where to turn, luckily, we’re here to help, and let’s face it, it’s fun for us too. For more goodies, check out the photo gallery below, and don’t forget to stop by to see our favorite picks for the holiday season in the coming weeks.

Click Any Image to Launch the Gallery

Sugar, Spice and Rockin’ Good Times: The Beatrix Girls Are More Than Meets the Eye

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When I was growing up, the message I heard over and over again (and hear all too often, even now) was, “Girls can’t rock!” It was all too clear. It was OK for boys to be bass players, drummers, lead guitarists and frontmen, but my aspirations to become the next Ann Wilson, Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, or Freddie Mercury were frowned upon. After all, you can’t play rock and roll and still be a lady, right? Wrong… so very wrong. Ultimately, it didn’t stop me from joining a band when I was in college (playing with both male and female musicians), but I wonder how much sooner I might have pursued my dreams had I been encouraged, rather than completely disregarded.

What They Are…

Media executive and cartoon veteran Sherry Gunther Shugerman (SimpsonsFamily Guy) must have wondered the same thing when she came up with The Beatrix Girls.  The Beatrix Girls are 12 inch fashion dolls, with brightly colored hair and cool outfits. These adorable dolls are definitely made to appeal to young children, and while still feminine, they’re not too adult (suitable for ages 5 and up).

Why They’re Cool…

What sets this line apart is the fact that it is driven by original music (featuring the writing talents of some of today’s top pop stars), which kids can collect. Each doll is a member of a rock band. The Beatrix Girls band members are Brayden (Guitar), Ainsley (Drums), Lark (Bass) and Chantal (Keys). Each Beatrix Girl has a unique personality and look, as befitting a budding rock star. The Beatrix Girls even have their own fan club and webisodes.

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The idea behind The Beatrix Girls line is to empower young girls to be so much more than just pretty faces. Though fashion-conscious, The Beatrix Girls were created to encourage girls to discover the joy of music and to inspire them to create their own as well. Through friendship, collaboration, hard work and determination, The Beatrix Girls gig, work and play together. Pretty ideal if you ask me.

As if that weren’t enough, the line has partnered with Peavey Electronics to create a customized Peavey-branded guitar geared toward smaller frames (reminiscent of the Daisy Rock line of guitars).

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The Beatrix Girls collection initially hit stores in the Fall of 2013. This Fall 2014, we’ll be seeing The Beatrix Girls London Collection, inspired by the British subculture Mod Movement of the 1960s.

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Andy Says…

I love this concept and hope to see more variety as the line continues to grow. I can only imagine, since the girls have their own webisodes, soon they’ll be starring in their own cartoon. If you liked Jem and The Holograms, or Josie and The Pussycats, why not The Adventures of the Beatrix Girls?

I truly enjoyed getting a closer look at these beauties, and others, at my first Blogger Bash, SweetSuite 2014 Toy Event in NYC last week. Thanks to The Big Toy Book and SkeletonPete for inviting me to the event. Hopefully, it won’t be my last.

The Beatrix Girls are available at Toys R Us and Amazon.com and their songs can be found on Pandora, iTunes and Spotify.