Author Archives: Entropy Toys

Why the Gone Face?

Grapat – 12 Nins Rainbow Peg People


While the shelves at many toy stores are stacked with seemingly endless dolls and action figures based on recognisable characters from the latest movies, TV shows and video games – some toy manufacturers are taking a different approach.

Specifically, let’s take a look at Grapat and their rainbow coloured ‘Nins’ toys. Sure enough, the 6cm tall wood figurines are bright and inviting, but they are also beautifully simple – entirely void of any discernible features, emotion or backstory. 

Why does this matter? Well, Let’s consider a child who picks up a Spider-Man action figure to play with. When they do so, they’ve already been given almost everything they need toward their play session – they know who this character is, what his motivations are, how he usually feels, and even how he’d most likely respond to any given situation or scenario. This is not to entirely discourage children playing with Spider-Man (I personally have a huge soft spot for our friendly neighbourhood web-slinger and it’s why I chose him as an example) but let’s compare this to the Grapat Nins. When a child interacts with them, it is up to him or her to create everything needed for the play session. Who are these characters? What do they want? How do they feel? What are they going to do next?

It’s toys like these that best promote the kind of open and imaginative play that is so beneficial to a child’s development. It allows them to search within themselves and explore their emotions directly through play, uninhibited by any pre-established rules or guidelines. 

With the Rainbow Coloured 12 Nins set your child’s play sessions will be entirely different from one day to the next.

Playing Safe with Micro Scooters

For many of us parents, the idea our children playing out on the streets on a Micro Scooter leaves us with conflicting feelings. On the one hand, it’s incredibly heart-warming to see our kids grow up and be able to achieve new and fun physical activities (and anything involving the outdoors and exercise is always a plus!) but on the other hand, it can be intimidating when thinking about introducing our kids to the potential dangers of playing near roads. So to help, here’s a list of some important things for us to discuss with our children to help them stay safe before they hop onto their shiny new scooters.

1. Never Scoot on the road

Scooters are not allowed to be on the roads. Cars and traffic will not be expecting them, and due to the size of the scooter wheels they can easily catch on drains and potholes, causing the rider to fall into the road. Make sure your child is sticking to the pavement where it is much safer.

2. Stop, Look, Listen, Live

Before crossing the street, always come to a complete stop and dismount the scooter. Look both ways, listen for any potential dangers, and cross when it’s safe. Never ride a scooter when crossing the street for the same reasons as above.

3. Be Aware of your Surroundings 

Observe potential dangers such as doorways, walls, fences and corners that prevent you from seeing what is on the other side. Travel at a sensible speed, and don’t ride too close to people. Give yourself the time and space you need to come to an unexpected stop.

4. Skateparks

It may be tempting to perform stunts and tricks on curbs of pavements, but they are not the safest place to do so. Accidents and falls can lead to a rider landing in the road where they are at risk. Save this style of riding your scooter for the Skatepark, where it is much safer.

5. Safety Equipment

Helmets and pads will help cushion any trips or falls. If your little one is a little reluctant at first to wearing a helmet, you may want to try one featuring one of their favourite characters printed on it. My son loves his Buzz Lightyear helmet!

6. Take Part in the Micro Scooter Safety Program

The Micro Scooter Safety Program is a fun filled session teaching primary school children how to use their scooters safely. Through a successful, tried and tested curriculum of fun practical workshops and games, children learn safety rules they can rely on to ensure their security amongst road users.

7. Repeat These Messages

When was the last time you needed to tell your child something just once? The steps above will be best followed when repeated, and recited together, with your child.


The Benefits of Bamboo Toys

Bamboo children’s toys are beautiful. They have a unique look and shine about them that set them apart from any other types of wooden toy. If you’ve ever wondered why it is, you’ll have a hard time guessing, as the answer is bamboo is not a wood but a grass!

Bamboo is relatively new to the Western world but has been utilised in Asia for loads of different purposes, including medicine, textiles transport and construction for over 7,000 years. Since emerging in the Western market, bamboo has made its way into loads of different industries including ours – children toys.

Here are some reasons why we love bamboo toys.

Unlike plastic toys, bamboo will not easily break meaning no dangerous or sharp edges.

Bamboo is stronger than wood, brick, concrete and steel. Therefore, bamboo toys are super durable and can be passed from child-to-child and generation-to-generation without looking like a relic.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet with some species capable of growing 4cm an hour! When harvested the root system remains undisturbed, and a plant can replenish itself within a year.

Bamboo is naturally pest-resistant and requires no chemicals and very little water to grow. The plant improves air quality by absorbing more carbon and releasing more oxygen than cotton or timber.

Bamboo is 100% biodegradable. While it’s not nice to think of the end of a toys life, it’s good to know that Mother Nature can do her thing with minimal impact on the environment when this time comes.

Plus, as mentioned before, it looks fantastic when polished!

One toy manufacturer that has been making the most of bamboo is Kinderfeets. Kinderfeets is an award-winning brand based in San Francisco that produces beautiful bamboo (and wooden) balance bikes, trikes, and balance boards.

The Kinderfeets Bamboo Kinderboard, Tiny Tot and Balance Bike are fantastic examples of what can be done with bamboo. They are mega attractive, stimulate children’s physical and cognitive development and have all the benefits of bamboo!

For obvious reasons, more bamboo products will be hitting our shelves in the coming year so keep an eye out!

Top 2018 Easter Toys

Easter is almost upon us which means it’s time to start thinking of what the bunny is bringing. It also means that toy and gift shops much like us are starting to pump out messages to choose Easter toys over chocolate. While we have participated in this in previous years we’re going to give it a miss for this one. It’s pretty obvious that eating your entire body weight of chocolate over the span of four days isn’t ideal and that there are other options out there. For those who are planning to eat the chocolate regardless, good for you but you’re probably wasting your time here. For those looking for an alternative, you’ve certainly come to the right place.

We elves love cute Easter chickens, bashful Easter bunnies, delightful Easter ducklings and just about anything else that comes in a shade of pastel; so Easter is kinda our thing. Chief Poobah has really treated you (and us) this year by searching high-and-low to find THE CUTEST, SWEETEST and educationally superior new Easter treats. Meaning we have way more than just the stock standard and overdone plush Easter bunny toy.

So here we go, these toys are so hot your little one might actually choose them over a chocolate chip hot cross bun (no guarantees).

Top Easter Toy for this year.

Tender Leaf Toys – Tic Tac Toe Game $24.95

A great Easter Toy for little ones.

Tender Leaf Toys – Wooden Garden Stacking Friends

An educational Easter Toy.

Floss & Rock – Wooden Bunny Cube Puzzle

A bunny themed musical box that's perfect for Easter!

Floss & Rock – Musical Jewellery Box Bunny Rabbit

Le Toy Van – Wooden Play Food Chicky-Chick Egg Cup Set

 A bunny umbrella that will be loved on Easter with or without rain.Floss & Rock – Bunny Rabbit Clear Colour Changing Umbrella
 This Schleich Rabbit Hatch is a great Easter gift that will encourage imaginative play.Schleich – Farm Life Rabbit Hatch 42420

A cute chicken coop from Schleich that would make a lovely Easter gift plus encourage imaginative play.

Schleich – Farm Life Chicken Coop 42191

Folkmanis Puppet – Jack Rabbit Hand Puppet

Folkmanis Puppet – Mini Chick Finger Puppet

Djeco – Shrinky Dinks Magic Plastic Sweet Treats

Djeco – Sweet Rabbit Musical Jewellery Treasure $39.95

Holztiger – Wooden Easter Bunny with Basket

An Easter Puzzle

Ravensburger – Animals of the Forest 2×24-piece Puzzle

So there you have it folks the newest toys on the market for Easter 2018. If you want to browse our entire Easter Toy range, please click here. If you’re currently kicking yourself because you just fell in love and realised that Easter is super soon. First of all blame it on the moving date, and then give us a call (07) 4724 4555. We have a few different postage options so we might be able to make the impossible possible (again no guarantees).

From all of us Entropy Elves and Chief Poobah have a very happy Easter.

2017 Top Ten Christmas Toys

We (the Entropy Elves) always have a heap of fun predicting what will be the hottest toys each Christmas. However, with so many quality toys to choose from, and new ones arriving almost every day, it’s no simple task. So with bated breath, the moment we have been hanging out for all season is finally here. The numbers have been crunched, the results have been checked and double checked, and it is with great pleasure that we give you THE HOTTEST CHRISTMAS TOYS OF 2017.

Kinderfeets Kinderboard was our top selling toy for Christmas 2017. Read our blog to see what other toys made top ten. Wobble Board Kinderfeets Kinderboard Natural
The Wishbone Bike was the second most popular toy for Christmas 2017. To see what product took the number one spot read our blog!Wishbone bike balance bike 3-in-1
The Wishbone Mini Flip Mix and Match was our third most popular toy in Christmas 2017. To learn what product took first and second place read our blog!Wishbone Mini Flip Mix and Match The Mini Micro Scooter Aqua was the fourth most popular Christmas toy in 2017. To learn what toys took first, second and third place read our blogMicro Scooter Mini Micro Deluxe Aqua
The Kinderfeets Kinderboard White Wash was the fifth best selling toy for Christmas 2017. To see what else placed that year, read our blog!Wobble Board Kinderfeets Kinderboard White Wash The Djeco Geoform Magnetic Puzzle was the sixth most popular Christmas present in 2017. To learn what took out first, second and third place read our blog.Geoform Magnetic Educational Puzzle Djeco
 The Bilibo was out seventh most popular Christmas present for 2017. To learn what toys took first, second and third place read our blog!Bilibo Free Play Toy  The Le Toy Van Wooden Doctor's Set was a bestselling Christmas toy in 2017. To see what other toys made the cut read our blog.Le Toy Van Doctor’s Set
 Tenzi has been picked as the most popular game for Christmas 2017. To see what other toys made the list read our blog.Tenzi Dice Game  Fat Brain Toys Tobbles Stacking Neo

It was no surprise to anyone that the Wishbone Bike, Mini Micro Deluxe and Bilibo made the count. These all-time favourites appear in our best-sellers list almost every year and it’s no wonder why. If you’re not familiar with these toys check them out – you won’t regret it!

Our clever Chief Poobah was right on the money when she predicted way back in August of 2017 that the Kinderfeets Kinderboard would be THE toy of the year. Elf Sharon and Gaby gained some impressive muscle mass wrapping and packing these boards over Christmas – action video below! Much to our delight, the New Year hasn’t hampered the boards’ popularity and they are still zooming out of Elf HQ at an incredible rate.

We saw a large surge of doctor and medically related toys in 2017 – another trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down. But Le Toy Van’s gender neutral, educational and free play Wooden Doctor’s Kit, came out on top over the Christmas period. Like all Le Toy Van products, the quality and detailing of this toy is unsurpassed.

We hope you spied something on this list that made it under your Christmas tree in 2017. If not, you now know what tried and tested toys are loved nationally. Keep them in mind for upcoming birthdays or next Christmas – if you’re that organised.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair – Day Three (Last Day)

Today was my third and final day at the 2018 Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair, and was my last opportunity to make sure I had dotted my i’s and crossed my t’s. As I spent my time re-walking the halls I had passed down previously in the last two days I wasn’t prepared for the surprises I found. With fresh eyes and fresh feet I uncovered some fantastic gems that I’m excited to share with you now.

Early in the morning, in the last ally way, in the last hall I found a fantastic company called Robotime Technology. Robotime Technology specialise in complex wooden construction toys that are gender-neutral and suited to older children (12 – adult). Below are a few photos of their products; my personal favourite is the DIY Houses.

Clockwise Two DIY Construction Houses, a Bunny and a Cat DIY Pot Plant and a DIY Moving Ferris Wheel

My next discovery was Elou – a Portuguese company that makes all their products from cork. Portugal has many Quercus suber trees (aka cork oaks) in the south of their country and they do a lot of inventive things with the material. Fortunately for the trees, Elou only need a bark to make their products. Therefore, the trees continue to grow and provide a safe habitat for animals while Elou create brilliant toys for us! Below is a snap of their stall.

Elou Stall

I finally managed to get into the popular and therefore very busy Hape stand to see what new and exciting things we can expect to see this year. It’s fair to say I was not disappointed and I don’t think you will be either. Firstly, the Quadrilla range is getting a facelift with new packaging AND a whole new range of accessories (musical components included). Secondly, they have created a fantastic new railway station that has some very impressive features along with three new engines. Finally, they have also brought out a new range of outdoor bamboo products! You can expect to see all of these at Elf HQ in the near future so keep your eyes peeled. For now here is a sneaky snap of Hape’s epic Quadrilla display.

Hape’s impressive Quadrilla Display

Unfortunately that concludes my experience at the 2018 Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair. Overall it was a fantastic event, and I feel like one very special elf to have been given this brilliant opportunity. While my feet are sore I’m already looking forward to our next toy fair! Thanks for reading and bye for now,

Elf Johanna

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair – Day Two

After today I have decided that the phrase “time flies when you’re having fun” need to be amended to “time flies when you’re at a toy fair”. Today was another whirlwind of colours, toys and fabulous suppliers! After spending all day yesterday meeting with new potential suppliers, I used today to catch up with the manufacturers of the brands that already call Entropy home.

As we’re sure you already know, the brands that we know and love are always creating fantastic new toys. Visiting these brands at Toy Fairs (such as the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair) gives us the opportunity to see these new toys are and give them the Elf tick of approval.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, however, I think one word covers the entire Manhattan Toys Company range – CUTE! Below are just a few of the companies newest items.

Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair 2018 - Manhattan Toy Company

Clockwise – Musical Activity Chicken and Tiger, Flopsies Plush Toys, Jellybean Princesses

Obviously, the same word applies to the Moulin Roty range. Both these companies had beautiful stalls, made even more so by their products.

Moulin Roty Stall

I was very excited to find the Le Toy Van Stall. Their iconic soft aqua and bright red made me feel right at home, along with their extremely friendly staff. Keep an eye out for their new Popcorn Machine, Alphabet Blocks and Rainbow Cloud Walker – I’ve got these picked for our next best-sellers.

Le Toy Van Stall

To end the day on a high note I visited our good friends at Micro. As always they have lots of exciting things on their way, the most being their new eMICRO – an electric scooter! Below is a video of me taking it for a test drive.

Tomorrow is, unfortunately, my last day at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair and I have lots planned. Stay tuned to hear all about it!

Greeting from the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair – Day One

Hi Toy Lovers, this is Elf Johanna checking in from Hong Kong where I just completed my first day at the Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair! The Hong Kong Toys & Games Fair is the largest of its type in Asia with over 2,500 exhibitors, and millions and millions of fantastic toys. With the important task of sniffing out the newest and greatest toys in the market, you can be assured that great things are on their way to Elf HQ.

While I was prepared for a Toy Fair of epic proportions I was gobsmacked by the sheer size and amount of toys I saw today. The halls seemed innumerable and never-ending, and I look forward to attempting to try to tackle them in the coming days.

Today was an extremely busy and formal day with meeting after meeting with new potential toy suppliers. It’s such an experience to talk to so many people from all around the world so passionate about their products. From traditional globes, to new-age science kits and baby toys in every shape, size and colour you can think of, it’s hard not to feel star-struck. Speaking of stars, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have my photo taken with the incredibly handsome Hape Dog.

The Hape Dog and Elf Johanna

With lots of formalities to attend to today, I didn’t get a heap of opportunities to take photos. However, I intend to make it up to you tomorrow and the day after, so keep an eye on our social media channels. Below are a few snaps of my favourite stands.

Traditional Wooden Games and Toys from Thailand

Loads of beautiful Speedsters