Monthly Archives: February 2017

Get Creative with Elf Johanna

Elf Johanna loves DjecoThis week we move the spotlight onto the newest member of the Entropy family – ME! Yes, it is Elf Johanna here… and I must admit it’s very strange to be writing in the first person. For those who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting (digitally or face-to-face), I am the new(ish) Multi Media Writer and Content Creator.  I have the magical job of looking after our social media platforms, writing and designing the weekly emails, adding new products online and so, SO much more. Each day I am given many tasks, however, being asked to pick my favourite range has got to be the hardest task yet. It was with much consideration and toing and froing I finally settled on… *drum roll* DJECO!!!

Now while I am self-admittedly a very creative elf, my attention tends to waver at even the thought of glitter, sparkles or, embarrassingly, just a pretty array of colours. Therefore, when I first came into contact with the Djeco’s glitter boards and pictures, I knew I had found my victor. In my youth colouring and craft were my favourite pastimes, while my twin sister would lose interest, I was content sitting for hours with my Mum creating. If my craft activities were only half as wonderful as Djeco’s maybe some of my creations would have lasted the test of time. On second thought, probably not I don’t think my skills match my enthusiasm.

Maybe it’s because I am now an art teacher, but when I see a Djeco craft kit, I don’t imagine the final product. Instead, I see children and parents pulled together, crowded over a newspaper covered dinner table intensely discussing colours. I see young children barely able to enjoy their parties because all they can think about is that super cool craft activity they just got gifted. Or, I see the first Lilly pad leap into a lifetime love of art.

The feature I most love about Djeco’s craft kits is their variety. From painting silk scarfs to classic ink pad stamps, they have it all. How anyone leaves Entropy without a Djeco product is beyond me. Furthermore, how I have managed to resist the temptation to not buy the entire range baffles me further. If you haven’t perused the range for yourself, I highly recommend it – WARNING this could be potentially lethal for the weekly budget. I hope that you are in agreeance that Djeco is the most superior range that we stock; if not jump on social media and tell me why not! 😛

Grimm’s is Chief Poobah’s Gold

Deb-WP

This week we shift our attention to Chief Poobah and her favourite range – Grimm’s! Chief Poobah, or Dr Deborah Latouf as she is known by non-elf individuals, is the Founder, Owner and Director of Entropy. Establishing the business almost 10 years ago Deb is the entropy in Entropy. Between raising two beautiful boys is very hands on in every aspect of the business. So with over 200 brands what sets Grimm’s above the rest?

“For a long time, I ummed and ahhed about adding the Grimm’s range to Entropy’s shelves as the price point seemed too high. I started with one or two products, but the value of Grimm’s toys soon became apparent, and not a single customer has been disappointed yet,” said Deb. Our Grimm’s range now grows with each shipment, with two new products arriving just this week.

“Visually all Grimm’s products are amazing. The classic chronological colours, the water-based paint ingrained in the wooden fibres and the tactile feel are my favourite aspects” said Deb. When looking at the product on the shelf or as a stock image, it is hard to comprehend the play potential of these seemingly simple toys. The abstract nature of the toys is almost like an expressionless doll, where it can take on whatever the builder desires – the gnomes house is a great example of this. The Large Rainbow Elements Stacker is my favourite as the opened-ended play opportunities that this toy presents is unlimited” said Deb.

The Grimm’s Instagram page is a treasure trove of creative constructions from children all over the world. A week rarely goes by where we aren’t amazed or astounded by a new construction created with a toy we thought we knew inside-out and back-to-front. Below are just a few examples of how Chief Poobah’s favourite rainbow can be manipulated for open-ended play.
Grimm's Blog Image

 

 

The Benefits of Jigsaw Puzzles

PuzzleToday we are taking a moment to focus on a classic toy that no toy shop could be without – puzzles. A puzzle is a game, toy or problem that tests a person’s resourcefulness and knowledge. “When completing a puzzle, the puzzler is required to put pieces together, in a logical way, to arrive at a correct solution.” While “jigsaw” is probably the first word that comes to mind when thinking of puzzles it’s important to remember that there are also crossword puzzles, word-search puzzles, number puzzles and logic puzzles! Considering that there are so many different types of puzzles and only a limited number of hours in the day we will shift our focus to jigsaw puzzles!
Jigsaw puzzles have been loved by children and parents all around the globe for centuries. They are not only fun and entertaining for children and adults alike, but they are also loaded with educational benefits.

Firstly, puzzles are a great problem-solving tool. Completing even the simplest of puzzles requires the puzzler to think and develop strategies on how to achieve their goal – finishing the puzzle. The process requires reasoning skills and a cognitive comprehension of the task at hand. Both of these skills can be directly and indirectly transferred into their personal, social and adult life.
Puzzles are also a great way for children to develop and refine their fine motor skills. When putting a jigsaw puzzle together children pick up, pinch, grasp and manipulate pieces until they find their correct position. Young children will start with large puzzle pieces possibly made of wood or with pegs attached (peg puzzles). As the child advances and as puzzles get more complex the size of the puzzle pieces will get smaller.

Unsurprisingly, cooperative and family play is also improved by puzzles. Younger children are put to the test along with their parent’s patience. Whether this is a once a year activity taken away on holidays or an ongoing project, the benefits are reaped by the whole family.

Lastly, how do you choose a puzzle that is right for your child?
If you’re thinking “aren’t all puzzles boldly labelled with a recommended age of play”, you would be correct. However, like puzzle pieces, we are all different and a ‘one-size fits all’ approach isn’t always best. Some children will have an inherent knack at jigsaw puzzles and others won’t. Understanding your child’s abilities and picking a puzzle that will challenge yet not deter them is key. One child aged four may find a 54 piece puzzle hard and need assistance, while another child the same age may complete the challenge with ease. No matter how your child is progressing it is important that children are always being challenged. Once they have completed a puzzle a few times, with ease, it’s time to increase the challenge. So long as you are always encouraging your child to conquer the next challenge it doesn’t matter what the number on the box says.

Colour & Win – A Tiger Tribe Colouring Competition

TigerTribe Colouring Comp

Do you have someone in your household who is a little bit creative? If so, get them involved in our Tiger Tribe Colouring Competition! We have two MASSIVE craft kit bundles to give away to two lucky winners. Please follow the below steps to enter –

Step 1 – Follow Entropy Toys on Instagram or “like” their Facebook page.

Step 2 – Colour in the attached image and upload a photo of your masterpiece to Instagram or Entropy’s Facebook page.

Step 3 – Include #entropytoys and #tigertribecolourcomp in your image description.

>>>> Click to download the colouring template <<<<<

Please note that this competition is only open to Australian residents. Entrants can only enter once on Facebook and Instagram.

For the terms and conditions of this competition please click here.

Elf Sharon loves Schleich

Elf-Sharon-WordPressFavourite products have been a hot topic all week and with some elves still undecided on what they will pick we will move to an Elf whose favourite will never change – Elf Sharon. Elf Sharon is our wonderful “Elf of all trades”. However, she is popularly known for her top-notch craft classes and incredibly fast gift wrapping abilities. Having previously worked as a vet nurse and being a lifetime horse lover it comes to no surprise that the Schleich horse range is her favourite.

While Elf Sharon always remembers having a horse and cow in her backyard, she didn’t have a horse to call her own until she was 12. The beautiful brown gelding was named Danny Boy and has an uncanny similarity to the Schleich Hanoverian Stallion. Elf Sharon now owns six horses, that are as varied as our Schleich range but this isn’t their only winning aspect.

Danny Boy - Sharon Feature

“I love how realistic the horses are and the attention to detail that Schleich puts into each figurine,” said Sharon. “All Schleich products are hand painted so like real animals they are all different in their own special way. When picking out a new horse to join the family, I like to spend some time looking at all the different horses and picking one that resonates with me,” Sharon added.

While Elf Sharon didn’t have any Schleich animals when she was growing up her daughter has a lovely collection. Unsurprisingly, Sharon’s passion for horses has been passed down to her daughter who is an accomplished rider. Elf Sharon’s daughter grew up loving her Schleich animals and used them for many hours of imaginative play in her youth. However, now aged 12 years, the horses are no longer used for play and instead sit in pride of place in her bedroom.

Remi - Sharon Feature

 

Elf Ang thinks Fagus is Fab

WordPress-ImageWhen you work in a toy shop all-day, every-day and so close to so many great products it is very hard not to have a favourite. So we decided to ask the Elves and Chief Poobah what brands they have a particular weak spot for and why. Over the next six weeks, you will not only learn more about the magical staff members that make Entropy what it is, but hopefully, a lot more about some of our awesome products and brands.

Kicking things off for us is our magnificent front counter Elf – Elf Ang! For those who are located in Townsville and visit the shop regularly, you might know that Elf Ang is bonkers about Fagus. Whenever a new Fagus product arrives in stock noise and excitement level reach maximum capacity. This week was more extraordinary than most with THREE new products arriving at Elf HQ (the Container Tipper Truck, the Speedy Race Car and the Hay Wagon).

When first asking Elf Ang what she most likes about Fagus “old-school”, “classic” and “proper toys” was her immediate response accompanied by elaborate hand movements. After explaining that online customers, who can’t come in and feel the products, might need a bit more info she said. “Fagus products are how all toys should be – simple, unadulterated, tactile and with a special story behind them”. For those who don’t know all Fagus vehicles are handcrafted without the use of nails, screws or staples and are instead interlocked, dowelled and glued together. Better yet, they are made by people with special needs who work under the instruction and guidance of specially trained artisans.

The only thing that Elf Ang doesn’t like about Fagus is that she didn’t find them earlier. As a mother of two boys, she wishes that she had known about them when entering motherhood. “Each piece is timeless and has its special feature that sets it apart”, said Elf Ang. Her nine-year-old son was gifted a Fagus Dumper Truck last year and religiously uses it to transport his extensive collection of Papo Dinosaur Figurines around the house and to display them. Ang assures us that this Dumper Truck will become an heirloom piece in her family that will be passed down through generations.

Entropy Named Australian Toy Retailer of the Year

Australia's 2016 Toy Retailer of the YearIf you haven’t already heard, we have been crowned Australia’s Toy Retailer of the Year, and we couldn’t be more excited.

The Retailer of the Year Award is an annual accolade conducted by Toy & Hobby Retailer Magazine where industry peers vote on who and what has made the biggest impact in the world of toys in the last 12 months. The fact that we were voted number one blows us away and also gives us a really good excuse to reflect on 2016.

Firstly, loads of new products from many different locations around the globe found a new home on our shelves. Just to name a few, we introduced Meiya & Alvin, Caaocho, Hape Rail and Kinderfeets – who was named 2016 Preschool Toy of the Year. These products added to our already diverse range of quality, wooden and educational toys giving our customers an even better reason to shop with us.

We also held a record number of competitions, where we saw our customers get super excited about winning some very cool prizes. Our Easter and Christmas Wish List competitions are traditionally our most popular competitions, and if you didn’t get involved last year, we recommend that you do this year. All competitions in 2016 were run via our social media accounts meaning that toy lovers all around Australia could get involved.

Toy lovers proved that they are well and truly social in 2016. We had heaps of interacting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest; at all times of the day and on every topic under the sun. If you want to be one of the first to know about what is happening at Elf HQ follow us on a social media channel that suits you!

Lastly – the parties. If you haven’t noticed elves like to party, and I don’t mean to brag, but boy-oh-boy do we do a good job. In 2016 we threw heaps of parties which attracted old and new toy lovers. Unsurprisingly our Christmas and VIP party drew a sizable crowd; however, the biggest attendance rate was drawn by our teddy bears picnic. Honestly, I’ve never seen so many stuffed animals covered in craft glue and sprinkles in one location!

Importantly, none of this would have been possible without the support from our wonderful suppliers, business partners and associates. They willingness to bend over backwards to support us and our crazy ideas is invaluable.  We sincerely look forward to many more years working together to ensure we continue to create cherished childhood memories through providing the very best in wooden, educational, and traditional toys.

We hope you are strapped in and ready for another amazing year full of heaps of new and exciting twists and turns. We’re not entirely sure what the next 11 months will look like, but we promise it will be worth the ride.