Category Archives: Uncategorized

Review & Win – How to WIN a $50 Entropy Voucher

Want to win a $50 Entropy Voucher? Continue reading.Here at Entropy, we are always looking to improve, and that’s why we want your feedback. With over 4,000 toys on our shelves, it’s hard for us to test and trial every product and this is where we need your (our trusty toy lovers) help. We want to hear what you think about our toys – good, bad or indifferent. This is a task that you can sink your teeth into and have a fantastic time while doing so. Your feedback will not only help us, but also your fellow toy lovers make good purchasing decisions. Plus, you could win a $50 Entropy voucher for your efforts!

Each month one lucky toy lover is crowned the prestigious title of ‘Review of the Month Winner’ and is awarded a $50 Entropy Voucher. If you’re up to the challenge and want to claim the title and prize follow the steps below!

1. Sign into your customer account
This is THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP because if you’re not signed into your account, we won’t have any way of contacting you if you’re picked as the winner! If you do not have a customer account, it is free and easy to create one.

Sign into your Entropy Account
Create an Entropy Account

2. Find the product you want to review
Using the search bar (on our website) find the product that you have purchased and click the ‘Add Your Review’ link under the title of the product.3. Tell us what you think and submit
It’s now time for you to tell us what you think. Rank the product, give us your thoughts and summarise the item in one short and snappy sentence.  We understand that some people are uncomfortable with having their name published online. For that reason, you can submit your review under a nickname. Approved and published reviews will only show this nickname – not the name that your account is registered under. Once you are happy with your review, hit the blue ‘Submit Review’ button at the bottom of the page and you are finished!

You may review as many products as you have purchased and at any time. One review equals one entry, and our winners are selected at random. The winner will be contacted on the first business day after the last day of the month. Good luck and we look forward to hearing what you have to say about our products!

Kinderboard or Wobbel What’s the Difference?

Confused on how Wobbel and the Kinderboard differ? Don’t worry you’re not alone! To help you pick the right wobble board for your family we have compiled everything you need to know in one easy-to-read blog. The blog is titled ‘Kinderboard or Wobble – What’s the difference?’ click here to read more.

Wobble boards (or balance boards) are currently the hottest children’s toy on the market. Their simple design keep energetic children engaged in creative play for hours while helping them reach key developmental milestones. You can rock it! Balance on it. Push it. Spin it. Flip it and slide. Sit on it or use it as a foot stool. Make it into a see-saw, a boat or a resting place or a doll’s house – the play opportunities are endless! Here at Entropy, we stock the two leading brands of wobble boards – Kinderfeets Kinderboard and Wobbel. To help you decide which wobble board is right for your family we have everything you need to know right here.

First to the Australian market was Kinderfeets’ Kinderboard arriving in late June 2017. The Kinderboard while being based on a traditional Dutch design was re-designed by Kinderfeets in the USA and is made in China. The board is made from FSC certified and sustainably sourced German Beech wood and is finished with translucent water-based lacquer. Currently, we stock two different colour options – natural wood and white wash wood. The natural wood looks like the images on our website but the white wash is a bit special… It’s washed, but not too washed. All I can say is, imagine an upmarket seaside shack’s fancy-pants hardwood floors.  Holding market share up until now the Kinderboards have had no competition and have sold supremely well. But as Miley Cyrus said ‘… change is a thing you can count on.’

Wobbel landed in Australia last week and in doing so sent a wave of excitement through the toy industry. Entropy Elf Bec and Johanna were lucky enough to not only see but trial The Original Wobbel at this year’s Toy and Hobby Fair back in February. After uploading the below video to Entropy’s social media channels it was clear that you, our wonderful toy lovers, were more than interested and couldn’t wait to get your hands on one. Well now the wait is over The Original Wobbel is FINALLY here.

Like Kinderboard, Wobbel is based off the traditional Dutch Waldorf design. Wobbel (a Dutch company) redesigned and makes their boards in the Netherlands. The Original Wobbel is made from sustainably harvested (FSC) European beech wood (that grows in a 300 km radius of their production factory) and is finished with water based varnish and EKO wool felt.

You don’t need to be an expert to see that both of these brands haven’t cut any corners when it comes to quality. However, it does take more than just a glance to understand exactly how these two products differ.

The biggest difference is the weight that these boards can handle. As the boards are designed for adults as well as children this is important. The Wobbel can withstand up to 200kg where the Kinderboard can handle 220kg without breaking into a sweat. The second biggest difference is that Wobbel can be used by children from birth. Meanwhile, Kinderfeets recommend that children be 18 months of age before they start rockin’ and ridin’. There is also a slight size difference. As you can see in the below images Wobbel has a deeper curve (22cm compared to Kinderboards 19cm), is thicker (by .5cm) and is longer (by 1cm). Lastly, the Wobbel boards that we currently stock all have a felt layer on the outside of their curve. This layer protects both the board and your floors.

Kinderfeets - Wooden Wobble Kinderboard White Wash

Wobbel Board Original with Mouse Grey Felt compared to Kinderfeets – Wobble Kinderboard White Wash

So there you have it, that’s pretty much all there’s to know about Kinderboard and Wobbel. If you were hoping to find instructions on how to use these toys I am sorry to disappoint. The nature of these balance boards (and all Woldorf toys) is that there is no right or wrong way to play. If you’re worried that your child won’t “get it” put those thoughts aside and get ready to be impressed with how creative your child is. If that isn’t enough to convince you head over to Wobbel’s YouTube Channel and watch a few clips.

A summary from the Entropy Elves

Kinderfeets Kinderboard The Original Wobbel
Made from FSC certified and sustainably sourced German beech wood. Finished with translucent water-based lacquer. Sustainably harvested (FSC) European beech wood. Finished with water based varnish and EKO wool felt.
Country of Design USA Netherlands
Country of Manufacture China Netherlands
Age Range 18 months* – 99 years Birth – 99 years
Weight Limit 220 kg* 200 kg
Size 82cm long, 29.5cm wide, the edges curve upward 19cm and the board is 1.5cm thick 83cm long, 30cm wide, the edges curve upward 22cm and the board is 2cm thick

*In November 2017 the Kinderboard’s weight rating went from 90kg to 220kg. This new weight rating is valid for all existing boards.

Top Toy Predictions for Christmas 2017

Top Toy Predictions for Christmas 2017 (1)No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. Yes, we’re about to talk about Christmas, and yes ‘at this time of the year’ – but hear us out. Christmas is a mere 16 weeks away and if you work in the toy or turkey industry that is SOON! I would be lying if I said Christmas wasn’t always somewhere in the Entropy Elves minds but now it has pushed to the forefront.

In the last nine months over 700 new products have made their way to Entropy. We understand that these (along with our existing 4000+ toys) make it hard to decide what to put under the tree. To make things a bit easier Chief Poobah has predicted the top ten new toys for this Christmas.

While our top ten picks for this Christmas are all new to the Australian market they are here to stay. These ten toys introduce new and innovative characteristics while echoing key traditional features that are seen in the majority of our all-time-favourite classic toys. This mix of old and new will ensure that each of these toys is cherished for Christmases to come and not forgotten by the time Christmas pudding is served.

Our prediction for the hottest toy this side of Christmas. Rock it, balance it, push it, spin it – let your imagination run wild.

Our prediction as the hottest stocking stuffer this Christmas. As a fidget toy, it’s hard to put down!

Spiel de Jahres winner; this is the highest award available for recognising excellence in game design.

The only four-in-one balance bike and trike on the market all the way from the Netherlands.

Stunning artwork plus 1008 pieces makes these a great present choice for adults and the family on holidays. It doesn’t matter which way you look at these puzzles they are never upside-down.

These construction sets have been made in Austria for over 100 years from sustainably sourced wood and are now available in Australia.

The ultimate corporate gift, equally at home, on an executive desk or in a stylish toddler’s bedroom.

Bring some Zen to Christmas with these stunning block puzzles.

Handmade in Europe using sustainable timbers and natural plant dyes these items are quirky and divine.

Inspired by the 1950s custom motorbike scene, this balance bike is uber cool

Curious to learn what else is new to the Australian toy market or need more gift ideas? We have our own online Gift Guide which is packed with a plethora of ideas. Our Christmas Catalogue will also be available shortly.

10 products we stocked on the day we opened 10 years ago, that we still sell today!

10 products we stocked on the day we opened 10 years ago, that we still sell today.

Today has special significance as it is our tenth birthday! This day, a decade ago, Chief Poobah and her trusty sidekick Elf Bec opened the doors of Elf HQ for the first time. A lot has changed since those days, however, like a leopard we’ve not changed our spots. Toys have come and gone, we have moved to three different stores and onto the World Wide Web, but we have always stayed true to our founding mission.

Chief Poobah’s passion for quality, traditional, wooden and educational toys that get children active (mentally, physically or both) can be seen in every product that has ever made its way to Elf HQ. As it is our birthday, we believe we can afford to relish in some nostalgic feelings. As we are turning ten, it seems only fit to look at ten products we have stocked since the day we opened! In no particular order, here we go!

1. Our Quadrilla Marble Run is probably the most played with item in our retail store. Our shop model is glued together (unlike the real thing which is meant to be pulled apart and rebuilt). Just as well it is glued, or we would have put it together many hundreds of times.

2. “I have always loved the fact that Dobbin and Drum’s drums are made in Australia. We have become great friends with Dobbin and Drum over the years. The parent-friendly and mellow sound of these drums make them a winner”, said chief Poobah.

3. The Fiesta Craft Hand Puppets have had a few makeovers through the years, but these have remained favourites. Combined with the Tellatale Puppet Theatre, they are one of our most popular Christmas sellers!

4. Parents ask ‘what is it?’ when they first see the Bilibo, and children just play with it. There is no wrong or right way to play with this free play toy. We sell hundreds of these every year. Ten years along the track they are still a winner.

5. The Haba Clutch Toy Rattle Flapsi still one of our best-selling wooden rattles. We love the durability of Haba baby rattles, courtesy of the fact that they are saliva resistant.

6. We assembled a Voila Wooden Tool Work Bench as floor stock for in-store play, when we first opened, and it is still going strong today. Made of rubberwood, the Work Bench is super sturdy and pretty much unbreakable.

7. The Schylling Jack in the Box Jester is a classic toy that is still super popular today. “You know what’s going to happen, but you still jump when it does!” – Chief Poobah

8. For a long time, a Wheely Bugs was the ‘go to’ present for a one-year-old. It still is for many families. The ‘move in every direction’ castors is what makes it unique.

9. Haba’s Orchard Game is a classic cooperative game. Players work together to defeat the greedy crow. “My kids played this as toddlers, and still managed to find a way to be competitive with each other”, said chief Poobah.

10. “The Harbour Seal is my all-time favourite puppet from Folkmanis. Its face animates so beautifully. I still love playing with it.” Chief Poobah.

So there you have it, ten products that have been with us for the last ten years and will surely be with us for the next. While all the Entropy Elves and Chief Poobah are gooey with nostalgia, we would like to thank you. Thank you for choosing quality wooden and educational toys for your children and thank you for choosing to shop with Entropy – an Australian owned and operated business. We look forward to the next ten years of business, and we hope that you are with us in some way.

Bring Schleich to Life Competition

Bring Schleich to LifePhotograph your Schleich figurines in the most creative setting to win a Schleich Riding Centre with Accessories (RRP $349). Don’t have Schleich figurines? Get some while we have 25% off the entire range (until July 31, 2017).

How to Enter:

  1. Take a photo of your Schleich figurine(s) in a creative setting. Put your imaginations to work
  2. Upload the photo to Entropy’s Facebook page OR your Instagram page with the name and age of the entrant and the hashtags #EntropyToys #BringSchleichToLife
  3. Encourage your friends and family to like and share the image
  4. Wait for the winners to be announced!

Here are three examples from when we ran the competition in 2014.
SchleichGood Luck and have fun!

Click here to read our terms and conditions.

Haba Games Night Give Away

haba games

Take your family games night to the next level with SIX fantastic Haba games! These games will turn your games cupboard into a thing of envy and make you popular amongst your friends and family. If you want to win we want to hear why! Share our Facebook post, leave a comment and show us a photo of your family playing a game. Anything from Tag to Tenzi or Bananagrams to Bocce will do – as long as you look like you’re having fun!

One lucky winner will receive the prize of six Haba products. Competition closes 11.59pm July 14, 2017.Open to Australian residents only.

The winner will receive the following games (RRP $251.70)

Haba – Guessing Game Who Am I?
Haba – Rhino Hero a 3D Stacking Game
Haba – Game Dancing Eggs
Haba – First Cooperative Game Flower Fairy
Haba – Game Monza Car Race
Haba – Game the Orchard

Follow this link to read the Terms and Conditions.

Sylvanian Families

Sylvanian-Fam-HeadingOur mid-year sale has just kicked off. If you haven’t already heard, we have 25% off Sylvanian Families, Schleich, Ravensburger, Playmobil, Siku, and Melissa & Doug until July 31st. To celebrate, the elves decided it would be a very good idea to delve further into these six brands to learn more about them. For the next four weeks, we will focus on a different brand, revealing all that you need to know about them and MORE.  To kick things off, we are going to put the limelight on, Sylvanian Families.

Sylvanian Families is a range of collectable anthropomorphic (i.e. having human characteristics) animal figurines made of textured plastic. The world ‘sylvan’ is a Latin adjective meaning ‘of or from the woodland’. Sylvanian Families were created by the Japanese gaming company Epoch in 1985 and distributed worldwide by a number of companies.

Originally named Pleasant Friends of the Forest Epoch System Collection Animal Toy Sylvanian Families, Epoch sensibly shortened the brand name to the brand we know today – Sylvanian Families. The first releases of the Sylvanian Families dollhouses and playsets were made from porcelain, with wooden furniture pieces. Later versions of the products replaced these materials with plastic and metal. By 1988, Sylvanian Families had become a major success around the world, winning the British Association of Toy Retailers award for “Toy of the Year” three years consecutively, in 1987, 1988 and 1989 (the only brand to ever do so).
Sylvanian-FamIn 2014 Sylvanian Families announced that since inception the brand had produced 61 different families, 37 different houses, 66 theme items (199 including medium sized items), and 368 furniture and accessories pieces. The total number of Sylvanian Families figures sold worldwide since 1985 is approximately 120,000,000; which is equal to about three characters per second!

The characters are grouped into families. Most families consist of a father, mother, sister and brother; many continue to add family members such as grandparents, babies, and older siblings. The biologically diverse range of figurines, originally just depicted typical woodland creatures such as rabbits, squirrels, bears, beavers, hedgehogs, foxes, deer, owls, racoons, otters, skunks and mice. The brand later expanded to include other animals such as cats (Persian, silk and “Celebration”), dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, penguins, monkeys, cows, sheep, pigs, elephants, pandas (red as well as giant), kangaroos, koalas and meerkats.

All of these animals “live” in a fictional village Sylvania; which is based on 1950’s Great Britain.  The majority of the families that live in Sylvania are rural middle-class, who own their own family business or have a white-collar job. These families can live in large houses, or small dwellings, that are designed highly realistically. They also indulge in many stereotypically middle-class leisure activities such as sailing or horse-riding, and often host garden parties or go on short camping holidays.

Sylvanian Families has a friendly appeal that attracts people from different age groups. Based on three concepts, nature, family and love, children are encouraged to explore the power of their imaginations while learning to care and share with one another. The play value of the Sylvanian Families range is huge as children can interact with the dolls in a number of different ways, such as playing-doll, decorating homes, collecting furniture and changing outfits. Sylvanian Families products are brilliant tools to help children acquire essential social skills while promoting wholesome play and developing thoughts and emotions.

With so many play and educational benefits, it’s not hard to see why Sylvanian Families has always had a home here at Entropy (ten years this coming August). I hope that this entry has provided you with more of an insight into the world of Sylvania and the animals who call it home. Our mid-year catalogue sale finishes up on July 31st. If you would like to introduce Sylvanian Families to your child’s play or add to their growing collection we recommend you do it before then! Until next week,

Our Mid-Year Catalogue is HERE!

Mid-Year Catalogue = Mega Savings!

Our mid-year catalogue is here – yippee! Enjoy 25% off Schleich, Sylvanian Families, Ravensburger, Playmobil, Melissa & Doug, and Siku until July 31st. These brands boast with awesome toys for children of all ages. Believe it or not, but Christmas is only 25 Fridays away, and there is no such thing as being too prepared.

If you would like to peruse out Catalogue specials there are two ways you can do this. Firstly you can view our Catalogue Specials on our website – there are over 500 products to choose from! Or, you can view an electronic copy of the mid-year catalogue by clicking on the image below.

5603_ITSA Catalogue 2017-cover

Townsville Families – The Hardings

The 2017 is zooming by. It’s hard to believe that we have already heard from four fantastic Townsville families. We hope that our Townsville readers have become inspired to head out to enjoy some of the excellent local public places and events. For our readers who are located elsewhere in Australia, we hope that you have enjoyed learning more about Townsville and the people who call it home. This week, unfortunately, marks the end of this series of blog posts, for now. To finish this series off with a bang, we have interviewed the head of the Harding household – Natalie!

Natalie is a full-time working mum, who just returned to work after finishing up her maternity leave. Her husband, William, also works full-time and the couple are just starting to grasp the concept of juggling the “9 to 5” with prep and day-care. With three beautiful boys under the age of five in the house, Natalie has a hard time keeping their bottomless tummies and her fridge full.
The Harding BoysWilliam is a runner who loves to spend time with his boys while getting active. Of a morning William barely has time to sit down after his run before one of the boys is asking to be taken out. Natalie and William’s oldest boy Henry, 5, takes after his Dad. Henry is a very reserved character who is intrigued by all that surrounds him. He would like to be a researcher when he grows up, so he is constantly collecting leaves, dirt and anything that looks interesting. Robert, 3, is an easy-going happy child. He will happily talk to anyone, always has to say “hello” and is full to the brim of charm. Much like his father, Robert loves getting active. He loves to run, ride his bike or scooter and, much to Natalie’s dismay, climb trees! Last but certainly not least is John, 1. John is a perfect mix of both his brothers; he has completely skipped the baby stage and wants to be doing everything his brothers are doing. He is always smothering them in cuddles instead of the other way around. Whether John is playing with them or not, he loves just being around his brothers. While the boys are all very different, the one thing they have in common is that they are on the go and never sit still from the moment they wake to when they pass out.

The Hardings are a Defence Family who first came to Townsville for work. The family lived in Sydney for a period of time, where two of the boys were born, before they chose to come back to Townsville. “Although we liked living in Sydney we knew we wanted to come back to Townsville. Having such active boys, and wanting to be outside all the time, the thought of being able to access places like the Strand, Riverway, parks and so many paths appealed to us. Also, having the weather to facilitate so many outdoor activities also helps”, said Natalie.

“We love everything about Townsville. I love how diverse our weekends can be without spending a lot or travelling too far. We will spend one weekend at the Museum of Tropical Queensland and Perc Tucker Regional Gallery. The following weekend at the Strand playing on the beach, the next weekend at Riverway on the bike paths. Then finish the month off at the Heritage Range Tea Rooms bushwalking and having a relaxing meal while the boys play”, said Natalie.

So how does this super mum do it all? Here are a few hints and tips that Natalie would like to share with you –

1. Think outside the box when trying to entertain kids, especially if you’re on a budget. Townsville has amazing parks spread all around – even in some random suburban streets. Park hopping is a fun way to fill in the weekend. Plus a great way to get kids looking and reading maps.

2. Life is so crazy and stressful. So much more seems to be expected from everyone; kids, parents and especially mums. Try (easier said than done) to slow down and spend as much time as you can with your children; they do grow up so quickly.

3. After being asked to sit for this blog, I realised we have no family photos! I have lots of images of the boys, lots of images of William and the boys and myself and the boys. However, not a single photo of all of us together. Make sure you take a family photo often.

With that, sadly our Townsville Family Series has drawn to a close. I would like to thank our five Townsville families for sharing so much with us and thank you for reading. If you would like to read more on a certain topic send me an email (johanna@entropy.com.au)!

Townsville Families – The Stephensons

The Stephenson FamilyIf you weren’t aware last month, we held an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea event and raffle. We set out to raise $300 and with the support of our wonderful toy lovers we raised just over $1,000. The winner of this raffle was a local woman Kellie Stephenson who scored herself $500 worth of toys and a spot in this week’s family feature!

Kellie is the head of the Stephenson’s home, mum to three gorgeous boys, wife to husband Corey, daughter of two amazing parents, sister and a friend. Kellie is the runner of the household, making sure everyone is organised, clothed, fed and healthy.  She works casually at a local university (James Cook University), helps her husband run their Concreting Business and runs her own business ‘Support Local Townsville’. How Kellie does it all I have no idea, however, she assures me that she likes to keep busy!

Corey, Kellie’s husband, is the ‘yin’ to her ‘yang’ as he brings the ‘zen’ to the family and helps restore the ‘crazy’. Together the couple has three boys: Zac, Brett and Will. Zac, eight, is head chief and the couple’s oldest child. Kellie describes him as a rule follower, who is a terrific big brother and helps to keeps the little ones occupied. The next in line is cheeky Brett, two, who is the Stephenson’s “spirited child”. Will is the youngest of the boys; he turns one next week and while being young is very serious. “He is an old soul who seems to take everything in, doesn’t give much away.  Makes you work for a smile, but I tell you what when he gives you one it is heart melting”, said Kellie.
Stephenson Family
Kellie and Corey lived in Charters Towers (a rural region of Townsville) for just over six years before they embarked on a journey of a lifetime. The couple sold everything and decided to travel around Australia. They fell pregnant with Brett while on their travels and came back to Townsville for his birth. During this time they fell in love with North Queensland all over again and decided to stop travelling ‘pull up stumps’ and make Townsville their permanent home.

“There is so much to do in Townsville and so many great locally owned businesses.  From the school holiday programs, the parks, the weather, we find that there is always something to do with the kids and there are always options that suit every budget (just look at the list of activities that Entropy organise).  Our Southern friends are very jealous of our winter lifestyle, and I love that kids can be outside and play every month of the year”, said Kellie.

So how does this super mum do it all? Here are a few hints and tips that Kellie would like to share with you –

  1. “My biggest tip to Mums in Townsville is you never have to feel alone. Being a very transient town with Defence and FIFO population, I have met a lot of mother’s that have expressed they feel alone because they move here not knowing anybody.  There are so many groups, activities, etc. that welcome all Mums, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.”
  2. “To mums across Australia, you are doing an amazing job. Speaking with different Mums from all walks of life through a blog my sister and I run ‘OMG I’m That Mum’ we come across so many Mums who feel judgement and criticism, I want to reassure you that you are doing a wonderful job.  It’s ok to have a rough day from time to time, nobody is perfect.  Trying your best is enough, you are enough. Let’s rally behind every Mum and instead of bringing other Mums down, raise them up and know that they are amazing, #lessjudgementmoresupport.”

To finish things off I have a tip/treat for our Townsville readers. If you aren’t already following Kellie’s ‘Support Local Townsville’ pages then you are missing out. Kellie does a fantastic job at unearthing local business and encouraging others to support the local economy. Her social media platforms are always full of fun and helpful treats for locals. I hope you enjoyed learning about another local family, I know the elves did! Until next week.