Monthly Archives: November 2012

Time-defying favourite toys

Industry magazine Toy & Hobby Retailer recently conducted a poll to determine the top toys of the past 75 years.

You can find these popular classics at Entropy:

Brio (1908)
An acronym of the brothers’ names involved in the family business founded in 1884, Swedish toymaker Brio is best known for its wooden trains, but it also has an array of beautiful wooden push and pullalong toys.

Sylvanian Families (1985)
Created by a Japanese toymaker; all sorts of animal species – from kangaroos to squirrels – live together in a harmonious English country setting of Sylvania. Reaching their peak popularity in the early nineties, the 20th anniversary relaunch of Sylvanian Families has attracted a fresh audience keen to discover the magic.

Schleich (1980)
Famous for its intricately-detailed animal figurines, Toy & Hobby Retailer reports zoological experts are consulted during the Schleich design phase to ensure all of the hand-painted animals are as anatomically correct as possible. This detail even extends down to the soles of their feet to make sure that accurate tracks are left when children trot them across surfaces – they really are remarkable and popular with children and adults alike.Slinky (1945)
A classic toy, more than 300 million Slinkys have been sold since their launch in 1945. Toy & Hobby Retailer says: “During the past 67 years, Slinky has gone on to orbit the space shuttle, had its own postage stamp, has been used as a classroom teaching tool, a radio antenna in wartime and has been named the state toy of Pennsylvania.” An impressive resume for this classic and entertaining toy!

Elf Sarah sets sail with her son’s favourite pirate ship

Let’s be honest – who can resist a good pirate ship? The ideal imagination-igniter; this award-winning Barbarossa Pirate Ship from Le Toy Van is particularly popular for its intricate detail.

Fashioned from wood and beautifully painted, it features an opening stern, working anchor, a crow’s nest with elastic rope ladder and a fully-functioning cannon that shoots balls at rival plundering pirates.

Elf Sarah, mum of two boys, bought her son Riley the pirate ship when he was four and, now aged seven, he is still regularly playing with the beautifully-detailed toy:

“Riley just loves it and gets so much imaginative play out of it,” Sarah explains. “The pirate ship is totally compatible with all the Papo pirate figurines and we have about 10 of those at home; plus he will get the Papo T-Rex – another great toy because it has an articulating jaw – to come out of the water and attack the pirates. The dinosaur will grab a pirate in his jaw, while the other crew members scale down the ladders and walk to the edge of the plank to help with the attack. It has been a fantastic investment and has so many components that really add to the play value, like the spring-loaded cannon, ladders that can be unclipped and lowered, a spinning steering wheel, a removable deck and storage in the hull for all the bits and bobs. It’s really sturdy and – three years on – looks almost as good as new.”

Le Toy Van’s Barbarossa Pirate Ship is $89.95.

Papo has a range of wonderfully-detailed pirate figurines and accessories like treasure chests and cannons, that are perfect for creating an action-packed story.

Top tips for choosing toys that are truly treasured

Here at Entropy we are all about fun, but also the very serious business of helping parents to create wonderful memories for their kids. Just cast your mind back to your own childhood – what was your favourite toy? What adventures did you get up to with it? Did you fall asleep cuddling it? Were there times when Mum or Dad wanted to wash/fix it, and you couldn’t bear to part with your beloved friend?

Toys like that stick in our memories more than any electronic game could. Our Chief Poobah and our Entropy elves are passionate about helping to create those memories, so they have shared three of their top tips below for choosing toys that will be treasured for years to come:

1. Consider play value – can the toy evolve with your child’s intellectual and physical development? Toys that are great for this are the Wishbone Bike (goes from a trike to a balance bike as your little one grows), and the Haba Building Blocks (a variety of shapes means that everyone from babies to master architects can enjoy them).

2. Consider durability – invest in toys that will last; not only so they can be gratefully passed to siblings, but also so they’ll be kept and shared with future generations. We bet, after years of play, this beautiful Corolle Doll will be packed away and given to its owner’s own daughter in decades to come. And this Janod Tool Trolley DIY will last a few knocks and scrapes and be a faithful favourite for the whole family. The same can be said of the Quadrilla Marble Run, which is designed in Germany and has kids of all ages in a twist – even the biggest ones!

3. Choose toys that encourage children to do what they do best – use their bodies and brains! The Mini Micro Scooter is one of our all-time favourite products as it’s ideal for getting children active and is built to last the rigors of childhood races! The multi award-winning Wheely Bug is also a wonderful (and cute) little mover. Plus our Djeco craft kits are extremely popular and really help to hone those creative and problem-solving skills to produce something that children can be proud of.

This gives you a brief guide, but if you need any more help have a little look at our 2012 Christmas Gift Guide (4MB) – a totally independent 15-page document that highlights the best for the year. Happy shopping!

Ten-year-old Connor gives birthday money to charity

Meet our Chief Poobah’s eldest son Connor. At 10 years old, Connor has nearly always had a beautiful boutique toy store at his fingertips – he was just five years old when Deb opened Entropy’s doors (and his brother Reilly was only three). As you can imagine, being surrounded by the best toys in the world is a dream come true for the boys who are both super active and currently love hover soccer, 4M science kits, and Haba’s ball track.

But having more than 4500 toys to choose from has created one issue: what do friends get them at birthday time?! The answer: Ask for money and use it to support charities all over the world. “Connor has been donating all his birthday money to charity since he was five,” Deb explains. “The first year I suggested it, my husband said it was a bit cruel and he wouldn’t understand, but he did and the boys both love picking their charity each year and knowing they’ve done something to help those who are less fortunate.”

Some of Connor’s past charities have included Ronald McDonald House, Townsville Hospital, Unicef (Haiti) and the RSPCA. This year the Year 4 student chose the Umbrella Network (theumbrellanetwork.org) – a children’s disability support charity.

He had $100, but Deb offered to match the amount and supply $200 in toys for the children, which the charity gratefully accepted. The Umbrella Network selected a beautiful Corolle Calin Doll, a doll’s cradle from Fun Factory and the popular Janod wooden garage and accessories.

To find out more about the Umbrella Network see theumbrellanetwork.org

Entropy Elf Michaela says Bruder fire engines are smokin’ hot!

Elf Michaela, originally from the rolling green hills of Switzerland, is a big fan of the Bruder brand and has a multi-functional fire engine at home that her three-year-old girl and five-year-old boy absolutely adore. Designed and made in Germany, it is impressively life-like with flashing lights, siren sounds, an operational water hose and an extending ladder that turns. Any bigger and it could be the real deal!

“It’s top quality and the attention to detail is amazing,” she says in her best firefighter’s outfit. “It has a pump that actually pushes the water three to four metres, which the kids love. They play with it all the time because it does so many things and never gets boring. Bruder are very popular and well-known in Switzerland and we have a lot of Bruder toys at home, but this fire engine is particularly special.”

The Bruder fire engine is in Entropy’s Christmas catalogue for $99.

Entropy launches independent 2012 Christmas Gift Guide – whoot!

Drum roll… after much research, testing, and talking to our wonderfully loyal little and slightly fuller-grown customers; Entropy has come up with our bumper Christmas gift guide for 2012. There are 14 categories from babies, boys and girls; to big kids, ride on toys, backyard beauties and stocking stuffers; so everyone in the family can play. Our gift guide is totally independent of outside influences, so you can rest assured that the featured toys and games are tried and tested (literally) by the harshest of critics. Download your copy by clicking on the image below: