Monthly Archives: December 2012

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Twenty Four – the festively fantastic Haba Nativity Set

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! On our final day we take a look at the expertly-crafted Haba Nativity Set. Well, we had to end on a particularly-festive note! We hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

Whether it’s for the kids to play with to get into the spirit of Christmas, or it’s to decorate your lounge room; German toy guru Haba’s Christmas Nativity Set 2012 is a wonderful and good-looking addition to your celebrations. This meticulously-designed set tells the story of Jesus Christ’s birth, but children can touch and play with the solid wooden figures and use their imaginations to act out the Christmas story with their own twist. The figures are made from beech wood in Germany and include Mary, Joseph, Jesus and his manger, shepherd, standing sheep, sitting donkey, ox, angel with bell, King Balthasar, King Melchior, King Caspar, two palm trees and the stable with a shooting star – basically everything you need for the festivities! With Haba’s commitment to quality, you’ll look forward to taking this collector’s piece out of its box and setting it up year-after-year.

Click on the Haba Christmas Nativity Set 2012 below to find out more.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Twenty Three – the heart-warming (and hand-warming!) Folkmanis Puppets

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we take a look at the wonderfully wild world of Folkmanis Puppets.

Puppet aficionados will fall in love with the enormous range of intricately-detailed Folkmanis animal puppets. The family-owned business (run by husband and wife Judy and Atis Folkmanis) has made innovative and engaging specialty puppets since 1976, delighting imaginations and winning nearly every industry, child development, and kid-tested award – many repeatedly. A gift of a puppet encourages imaginative, open-ended play, endearing hugs, and snugly companionship. Entropy has an extensive collection of Folkmanis finger puppets and hand puppets. Whether you’re going for super cute (think patchwork rabbit, nibbling mouse, mini fawn and harbour seal), imagination-inducing (enchanted tree, three-headed dragon and baby dragon), impressively detailed (great horned owl, lion, peacock and porcupine), or even a little hair-raising (rattlesnake, mini tarantula spider and mini bat); Folkmanis’ puppets truly have it all. As well as stimulating children’s imaginations, the wonderful range is also a fantastic way to teach young ones about the natural world and begin to foster their appreciation, knowledge and respect for all creatures great and small.

Click on your favourite Folkmanis Puppet below to find out more, or visit our website for more puppets in the range.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Twenty Two – the creativity-cultivating Seedling craft kits

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we take a look at the inspiring Seedling activity kits.

Based in New Zealand where a small team designs and fashions all products, Seedling’s core aim is to give children the tools and templates to discover their own ideas and world. Each craft kit is lovingly assembled and has a unique and creative twist. Encompassing a variety of interests including drawing, gardening, sewing, science, imaginative play, painting, model building and much more; each kit is beautifully-presented in an old-fashioned eco-friendly bag or box and has a window so you can peek through to see the high quality contents that’s just waiting to be set free. The kits are wonderfully quirky – kids can do anything from creating their own designer tutu, making a magical cherry blossom tree, and designing a finger puppet theatre, to designing Pop Art badges, learning rope tricks and even excavating a rock to discover wonderful treasures. These kits are certainly not a box full of air; rather, their beautiful contents easily become exquisite creations – things children of all ages will be proud to show-off. Seedling’s craft and activity kits make for wonderful presents and are capable of inspiring even the least creative soul!

To find out more about Seedling’s craft and activity kits click on the images below; or for more in Seedling’s extensive range please visit Entropy’s website.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Twenty One – the refreshingly nutty Nutcase Helmet

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we take a look at the wonderfully expressive Nutcase Helmets…

Developed in the USA, Nutcase Helmets were born out of the desire to combine safety with style. Founder Michael Morrow said he wanted to design a helmet that reflected its wearer’s individual taste and personality. “Most helmet graphics are either cheesy or based on cartoon characters, which means anybody over three is pretty much excluded,” he states on the company website. “I believe there are kids and adults who want to ride their bikes or skateboards in a simpler helmet shape than the aerodynamic cycle helmet style, and would like a product that is more visually fun and expressive than just another black helmet.” And Nutcase Helmets are certainly expressive. Available in styles featuring an 8-ball, checkerboard, animal print, paint splatters, the Union Jack, rainbow stripes, polka dots and much more; it’s so easy to look awesome and be safe. The award-winning Nutcase Helmets provide a high level of head protection for the great outdoors and meet all relevant safety standards. Mum and Dad can rest assured that whether their little nutcase is biking, scootering, rollerblading or even unicycling, that their precious brains are protected with minimal nagging involved.
P.S. Nutcase also makes Big Kid-sized helmets so everyone in the family can look super cool!

To find out more about Nutcase Helmets click on the images below; or for more in Nutcase’s extensive range please visit Entropy’s website.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Twenty – the boredom busting Peek, Seek & Find Activity Bags

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we take a good look at Little Beginnings’ Peek, Seek & Find game…

These activity bags are an absolute saviour for travelling. Peek, Seek & Find is an engaging and stimulating way to embark on a treasure hunt, all contained in the convenience of a take-anywhere bag. The bags are soft and bendable so they are great to stuff into the pram, nappy bag, back of the car seat or your handbag, and whip out when your little one needs some distractingly-fun entertainment! Children will love peeking and seeking through the vinyl window of the durable fabric bag to find the hidden items amongst the white beads. A detachable list of treasures is included on the reverse side of each Peek, Seek & Find Activity Bag so seekers know what they’re searching for. And because the list includes pictures of the objects as well as words, children who are too young to read can still match the items; while finders who are learning to read can build-on their literacy skills. The bags come in three themes – ABC, boy and girl (sorry, girl is temporarily out of stock) – each with a different set of items to discover. Another fantastic aspect is children can peek, seek and find alone or with siblings and friends – just think of it as a more sophisticated version of I Spy!

To find out more about the Peek, Seek & Find Activity Bags click on the images below.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Nineteen – the hand-crafted Uncle Goose blocks

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we look at the classically-beautiful Uncle Goose blocks.

Uncle Goose has stepped back over one hundred years in time to hand-fashion classic wooden alphabet blocks in an era of computer games and digital toys. The American manufacturer is in love with learning, design, and creativity, and; of course; absolutely adores blocks. And looking at these beauties you can see why. These gorgeous toys are simple, creative, old-fashioned, and a little quirky – from traditional ABC blocks to language blocks, decorative blocks, number and patterning blocks, and even nursery rhyme blocks. The nursery rhyme version is very cute – each block is embossed with two silhouette images from Mother Goose stories (like Mary had a Little Lamb; Baa Baa Black Sheep; Little Miss Muffet, Little Robin Redbreast, and many more); with the nursery rhyme text on the other four sides. Perfect for creative story telling! The language blocks are wonderful for establishing the building blocks (get it?) of popular languages (like Spanish, French, Greek, Italian and even Hebrew), while also providing a wonderfully-attractive stacking, sorting and building toy that helps to hone hand-eye coordination. Who would have thought a block could be so multi-dimensional?

Click on your favourite Uncle Goose blocks below to find out more, or visit our website for more blocks in the range.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Eighteen – the magical Moulin Roty suitcase toys

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we look at some of Moulin Roty’s remarkable suitcase toys…

The beautiful French brand of Moulin Roty had humble beginnings in an old abandoned mill, focusing more on craft than toys. But since 1972 it has evolved from decorative items to produce a whole range of truly beautiful and unique toys – as they say: ‘Yesterday’s toys for today’s children’. The suitcase toys are particularly appealing in their originality and detail. The Epicerie (grocery) store suitcase swings open to reveal a mini shop: beautifully-illustrated and laden with produce made of sturdy cardboard and draws that open and shut. When little ones are ready to shut-up-shop for the day, all they need to do is pull the doors of the suitcase closed and they pop back into position; leaving a stylish box that can be carried anywhere. Speaking of shops, it’s hard to go past the stunning Suitcase Boutique Les Parisiennes (Paris Boutique). It opens out in a similar fashion to reveal a chic shop with the latest styles and an elegant pink-shoed rag doll shopper. The inside is designed like a high-end boutique and it’s complemented with a mirror, clothes to try, hangers and sliding draws. The detail is exceptional and it’s perfect for little style gurus on the go. The Little Wardrobe Suitcase Dolls are just as amazing. Clip-open the suitcase to find the super-soft Nini the mouse (24cm) and Sylvain the rabbit (27cm) waiting inside ready to be styled. The inside of the suitcase is a wardrobe complete with a wooden hanging rail, draw and – of course – lots of beautiful clothes for the two friends (who happen to both be wearing adorable little boxer shorts… very decent of them!). Slightly off the shopping and fashion track, is the Explorer’s Case: a superbly-designed kit filled with essential items for an adventurer’s next outdoor mission. It includes a small kaki green ‘messenger’ style bag, a drinking bottle, compass, real working cardboard pocket binoculars, string (and knot tying cards), small notebook and a pencil. Just like the other Moulin Roty suitcases, it’s made from very sturdy cardboard and has a convenient metal handle so it will never get left behind.

To find out more about the Moulin Roty suitcase toys click on the images below, or to see more stunning toys from the Moulin Roty range visit our website.

 

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Seventeen – the outdoor-enticing Windspeed Kites

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we look at the high-flying Windspeed Kites…

There’s something very liberating about flying a kite – watching it soar against the wind, its ducking and weaving governed by the subtle movements in your hands. Windspeed Kites is Australia’s leading supplier of kites and the family-owned business prides itself on the quality of its colourful products. Windspeed has three separate ranges of kites to suit every age, ability, taste, and budget. From plundering pirates and wiggling jellyfish to the cute Molly the Dog and beautiful Monarch Butterfly, there is certainly a high level of creativity in these sky soarers. Plus there are the more traditional designs (but just as fun, mind you) like the delta, diamond and stinger, and dual-control options for older (and big) kids. There is definitely a kite for every member of the family and they offer a great excuse to take the kids and dog to the beach and enjoy a summer’s Sunday afternoon with a picnic.

Click on your favourite Windspeed Kite below, or here to see more.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Sixteen – the playful Dobbin & Drum Teepee

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we look at the world of adventure contained in the Dobbin & Drum Teepee.

Whether you’re a cowboy or an Indian, little ones will just love Dobbin & Drum teepees and the magic they represent. A Queensland company started by a young couple, Dobbin & Drum makes all its teepees locally and to order. It’s a big advocate of creating toys that last longer than their packaging, producing a high quality product that can be passed from family-to-family and generation-to-generation. Dobbin & Drum teepees are wonderfully creative and designed to help children let their imaginations run wild, while also offering a sanctuary to escape to their own world. The teepees are made of 100% cotton drill with Australian hardwood dowel uprights and ‘spreaders’ to give stability. They are self-supporting and can be assembled and packed away in minutes (they fold-up just like an umbrella). There are Velcro tabs to easily open or close the teepee ‘door’; plus a bell to alert kids to visitors. The teepee height is 160cm and base diameter is 140cm. Plenty of room to play and dream!

Click on the Dobbin & Drum teepees below, or visit our website to see more.

24 Toys of Christmas: Day Fifteen – the knightly Le Toy Van Lionheart Castle

Every day this month we will shine the spotlight on a particular toy in the lead-up to the big day – they’re our 24 toys of Christmas! Today we look at the epic Lionheart Castle by Le Toy Van.

That’s not a castle, THIS is a castle! All seven towers of castle to be precise! Le Toy Van’s amazingly-detailed wooden castle will have little knights lining-up to protect it from invasion from all manner of creatures. The castle is positioned on a sturdy and detailed baseboard with a moat to set the scene. Its high, brick-illustrated walls are its first line of defence against enemy attack, but the Lionheart Castle also has a wind-up drawbridge with portcullis (grilled lattice gate) that offers extra protection. At the front, little knights will also find the wonderful added detail of a knock-out wall, which can be the result of powerful cannon attacks. Send extra reinforcements! The assembled dimensions of this fantastic pretend play toy are 42cm x 58cm x 60cm. Papo figurines work wonderfully well with the Lionheart Castle, offering everything from princes and princesses, to knights, dragons and fantasy creatures, like the Cerberus, Human Bat and Rhino Man. A recipe for a good time!

Click on the Le Toy Van’s Lionheart Castle and Papo’s figurines below to find out more.