The Entropy Christmas Guide: Cool Rides

With ride on toys, your children will never be idle again and can put their boundless energy to good, fun use! Ride on toys are about as active as you can get and can provide hours of entertainment, both within the house and outdoors. With ride on toys, your child is the engine and the sidewalk is the raceway. Here are some of the coolest and most colourful rides we have in stock this season! Enjoy!
Click here to download this Gift Guide.With ride on toys, your children will never be idle again and can put their boundless energy to good, fun use! Ride on toys are about as active as you can get and can provide hours of entertainment, both within the house and outdoors. With ride on toys, your child is the engine and the sidewalk is the raceway. Here are some of the coolest and most colourful rides we have in stock this season! Enjoy!

Cool-Rides

Haba Beach Competition

Summer is fast approaching and we want to give you a good reason to get outside and soaking up the sunshine. The Elves have deliberated and all agree that there is no better way to do this than with almost $200 worth of Haba beach toys!

If you want to make your next beach trip spectacular and win these awesome toys you’re going to have to work for them. We have five beach trivia questions for you to answer. Get them all correct and you will go into the draw to win.

To answer the questions, please follow this link – https://goo.gl/2fuxMD 

You may answer the questions any time before the competition closes. If you have entered and want to change your answers, please fill out a new entry form. We will only take your most recent entry into consideration.

One lucky winner will score  –

These riddles are designed to be fun and enjoyed by your children.

Good luck and have fun toy lovers!


TERMS & CONDITIONS

T&Cs
This promotion is conducted by Entropy. Entry into the promotion constitutes acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. By entering the promotion, entrants accept and acknowledge full responsibility for their decision to participate in the promotion and to take a prize if they are drawn as a winner.
All entry instructions and prize information published by the Promoter forms part of these Terms and Conditions

Eligibility
No purchase is necessary to participate.
To enter, you must be at least 13 years of age and living in Australia.
Entropy employees and their immediate family members are not eligible. Immediate family includes only spouses, parents and children.
Entry to the Give-Away opens on Monday, November 27, 2017. Entries close on Sunday, December 3, 2017, at 11.59pm AEST.

Prize Draw
The winner will be determined by Entropy. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the decision.
The winner will be selected and announced on Tuesday, December 5, 2017. The winner will be contacted via email.
All winners have seven days to reply and claim the prize. Once this period expires, if the prize has still not been claimed, the promoter has the right to select a new winner. All prizes are non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-replaceable. Prizes cannot be transferred for cash or credit.
Prizes must be collected in-store for local residents or will be posted to customers in other parts of Australia at Entropy’s cost.

Inappropriate Content
Obscene, provocative or otherwise questionable content will not be considered. We retain sole discretion as to what constitutes inappropriate content.

Rights
Entrants consent to the Promoter using their name, likeness, image and/or voice in the event they are a winner (including photograph, film and/or recording of the same) in any media for an unlimited period without remuneration for the purpose of promoting this promotion (including any outcome), and promoting any products manufactured, distributed and/or supplied by the Promoter.
By entering, all entrants agree to be added to Entropy’s mailing list and sent a weekly E-newsletter (and may unsubscribe at any time).
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook or Instagram. Information participants provide is provided to Entropy, not to Facebook.

Please email us with any queries.

The Entropy Christmas Guide: Wooden Wonders

There’s nothing quite like the smell, feel, and durability of wood. It’s something every child should experience during play time! At Entropy we are all about the traditional wooden wonders, so it’s only natural to want to share some of our very favourites. Here are some very special toys that will last for years and years. Enjoy!
Click here to download this Gift Guide
There’s nothing quite like the smell, feel, and durability of wood. It’s something every child should experience during play time! At Entropy we are all about the traditional wooden wonders, so it’s only natural to want to share some of our very favourites. Here are some very special toys that will last for years and years. Enjoy!

Wooden-Wonders

The Benefits of Play Food & Purchasing Tips

When it comes to toys, play food is a staple. In addition to being a heap of fun, toy food is a great way for children to reach their developmental milestones. For this reason (and many more) play food can be found wherever there are children. Much like fresh food there are lots of play food items on the market. Therefore, it can be hard to know where to start and what to buy. To give you a hand on how to get the best bang for your buck and for some tips on where to start we are here to help. To learn more read on - and as always don’t shop hungry!When it comes to toys, play food is a staple. In addition to being a heap of fun, toy food is a great way for children to reach their developmental milestones. For this reason (and many more) play food can be found wherever there are children. Much like fresh food there are lots of play food items on the market. Therefore, it can be hard to know where to start and what to buy. To give you a hand on how to get the best bang for your buck and for some tips on where to start we are here to help. To learn more read on – and as always don’t shop hungry!

The Benefits
Physically handling play food is a great way for children to improve their dexterity, fine motor skills and visual recognition of shapes, colours and patterns.  Food is a great way for adults to socialise and communicate and this also goes for children. Even alone, children can hold dinner parties or host cooking shows which encourages them to utilise their vocabulary. Play food also kicks children’s imaginations into a high gear encouraging them to think outside the box and get adventurous. Of course we’re talking sardines on cake adventurous – but believe me, it is better that this happens in their cooking domain and not yours!

 Where to Start
If you think starting your play food collection will be as “easy” as your weekly grocery shop, I’m sorry to disappoint. Picking up individual food items willy-nilly can leave you with a lot of oranges and no apples – not that devastating unless you want to make an apple pie!  For this reason, we recommend that you keep it simple and start with the basics. Food crates from Le Toy Van and Fun Factory are fantastic as they include multiple items from the same food group. For example, (my personal favourite) the Le Toy Van Honeybake Baker’s Basket which includes a croissant, a pretzel, an iced bun, a swirl bun and a pain au chocolat – drool.

If you’re looking for a real bargain, check out this set of crates from Fun Factory.

Once you have assembled a handsome food triangle (or as much as the food triangle as you wish), you have completed your mission, and your child can enjoy hours of play food fun. However, if you want to get the best dollar value for your play food items we recommend that you turn up the play value.

Heat Up the Play Value
Heating up the play value of your play food is the best way to get value for money. Play value refers to the essential value of a toy; or more plainly put, the amount of play you can get out of a toy. When talking about play food, you can increase its play value by adding extra appliances and accessories that encourage children to play with the food items longer. Imagine making that apple pie (once you source the apples) to find that you have no oven to bake it in! Or better yet, think of all the opportunities that a singular oven represents – savoury or sweet you can have it all and warmed by your imagination – delicious.

Get the whole Family Involved
We see a lot of group gift purchases here at Elf HQ. Normally, a mum and dad will grab a kitchen, a market stall or an oven and the rest of the family contribute by adding some play food or cooking equipment. This is great for a few reasons. Firstly, the play value of each item added by each family member increases. Secondly, it’s easy for you when relatives call asking what your child would like for their birthday or Christmas. Plus it’s nice and easy for your friends and family members – win-win! Here are a few bundles that we elves would be thrilled to find under the Christmas tree this year.

We see a lot of group gift purchases here at Elf HQ. Normally, a mum and dad will grab a kitchen, a market stall or an oven and the rest of the family contribute by adding some play food or cooking equipment. This is great for a few reasons. Firstly, the play value of each item added by each family member increases. Secondly, it’s easy for you when relatives call asking what your child would like for their birthday or Christmas. Plus it’s nice and easy for your friends and family members – win-win! Here are a few bundles that we elves would be thrilled to find under the Christmas tree this year. Honeybake 2-in-1 Shop & Cafe ($229) with five Honeybake Market Crates ($24.95 – $26.95 each)

If you’ve suddenly developed an appetite for some play food then now is a great time to satisfy your craving as we have 20% off our entire Play Food Category. If you think that a group gift centred around a kitchen or market stall is what your child would like for Christmas, then contact the rellies and tell them to get shopping before this sale ends. Bon appetit toy lovers!

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.

Everything you Need to Know about Marble Runs

Marble Runs have been loved by children, teens, and even adults for generations, and it’s not hard to understand why. The satisfaction of rolling a marble down a track that has been built with your own hands is a fantastic feeling – no matter how many times you’ve done it before. There are several high-quality marble run systems available, so we understand it might be difficult to know where to start. As always the Entropy Elves are here to help.

Marble Runs have been loved by children, teens, and even adults for generations, and it’s not hard to understand why. The satisfaction of rolling a marble down a track that has been built with your own hands is a fantastic feeling – no matter how many times you’ve done it before. There are several high-quality marble run systems available, so we understand it might be difficult to know where to start. As always the Entropy Elves are here to help.

When considering marble run systems, think of them as the ultimate building toy that will be used throughout childhood and beyond. Marble runs are designed to be built up and broken down, each time with a different objective and each time improving children’s (and adults) creativity and problem-solving skills. As children grow and develop, their marble run can do the same.

At Entropy, we stock three major wooden marble run brands. They are Hape’s Quadrilla system, Haba’s Ball Track and Wonderworld’s Trix Trax marble run system. Each of these brands is fantastic (obviously or else they wouldn’t have a home here at Entropy) and has specific features. In no particular order, we’ll give you our thoughts on them to help you decide which one to choose.

Everything you need to know about Hape Quadrilla Marble Runs

The main distinguishing feature of the Hape Quadrilla range of marble runs is that they are built to a specific plan. You need to follow the plan precisely in order to make the marble run work correctly. If you are even a quarter of a turn out with the orientation of a block, your marble can spit out somewhere it is not meant to. For this reason the Quadrilla system is great for problem-solving but is less ‘open-ended’ than other systems. Quadrilla blocks connect to each other using a peg-like mechanism which means they create a sturdier structure than other systems. If you knock it accidentally though, it will all come apart (often spectacularly). Quadrilla uses traditional glass marbles, which are pretty small. For this reason, younger children might not have the fine motor coordination needed to play initially, but they learn this quickly! The age recommendation is from 4 years, and at this age adults will need to help with the build.

There are multiple sets available ranging from entry-level models to challenging structures. Each main set has an instruction booklet to introduce you and your child to the basic principles of playing with Quadrilla. The booklet also includes a variety of tricks and tips on how to make connections between blocks and tracks. A single Quadrilla Marble Run can be rearranged in a number of different ways. The included booklet shows how to make up to 20 different builds, and encourages the builder to create more using their imagination. All Quadrilla Marble Runs can be joined together to make fantastic larger runs, just let your imagination run wild! Quadrilla also offers loads of cool extenders and accessories to add to your track.

If you’re looking at starting your Quadrilla marble run adventure, our recommended choices are The Cyclone or The Challenger set. You really want to choose a set that has a combination of straight tracks and circular elements (like whirlpools). This gives you the best bang for your buck. Our experience at Entropy is that those that start with smaller sets than The Cyclone or The Challenger nearly always add to their collection quite quickly.

Everything you need to know about Wonderworlds ball runs

As the name suggests, all Wonderworld Trix Track marble run sets include both tricks and tracks. Each set has a lot to offer with multi-level play and a trick that exemplifies cause and effect. All Trix Track sets feature wooden runs, a wooden ball (it’s bigger than a traditional glass marble) and plastic risers. The dimensions of these three elements are consistent across the entire Trix Track range making all sets compatible with each other. A single Trix Track ball run is designed to be built one way. However, add another set, and the building opportunities are only limited by your imagination. The plastic risers and wooden tracks in this range connect (the plastic risers have pegs that fit into specially designed holes on the underside of the tracks).

Wonderworld sets are made from rubberwood which makes them very sturdy and suitable for younger builders. The wooden marble is bigger at 3cm, and easier for younger hands to manipulate. They are relatively easy to build and quite stable. These features make them a good choice for child care and family day care environments for children aged 3 and over. If you’re looking at starting your Wonderworld ball run journey, our recommended sets are:

Everything you need to know about Haba's Ball and Marble Runs

Iconic German toy manufacturer Haba have an extensive choice of wooden marble run sets, which can be broadly broken into the ‘My First Ball track’ range, and the standard ‘Ball Track’ range.

The Haba My first ball track range is designed for children aged from 18 months, and this is a key distinguishing feature. This age rating is possible due to the large building blocks used and the size of the wooden balls (they are 5cm diameter meaning they are larger than a standard small parts choking warning). The low-to-the-ground runs and robust wooden pieces offer stability and easy building for young children. If you’re looking at starting your Haba ball track collection for a child under the age of three years, we recommend that you choose anything from the My First range.

Haba’s Classic Marble Range (from 3 years)
Haba’s Classic Ball Track Marble Run Range is designed for ‘children’ aged 3 to 99 years. This range is all about speed and momentum. Haba’s marble run sets consist of wooden building blocks, wooden marble runs, glass marbles and, depending on what run you pick, plastic clamps. The building blocks (which are used to raise the wooden marble runs) and the wooden marble runs do not ‘interlock’ but are instead either stacked or in some kits secured with cleverly designed plastic clamps. All Haba wooden construction toys are designed on a 4x4x4cm block design. This means that Haba marble runs are compatible across the range, but also with Haba building block sets (additional clamps can be purchased separately). For example, if you start with a Haba wooden building block set, you can later integrate it with a Haba ball track set. This feature offers great play value and longer-term value for money.

The My First Range is also designed on this 4x4x4cm design. However, as the wooden blocks are much larger, they must be added to the end of the marble track when being integrated with a Haba Classic Marble Run Range.

Our recommendation for a starting point with the Haba ball track system is this large set. It has everything you need to get started.

So there you have it, we know there is a lot of information there, but let us try and summarise it for you:

Quadrilla: build to a plan, less open-ended, better choice for older children, teenagers and adults.

Wonderworld Trix Track: sturdy, larger wooden balls, good choice for younger children and multi-child environments.

Haba: fantastic quality, great play value as the systems are compatible with wooden block sets, open-ended and creative.

And a final piece of information from us, please note that these marble run systems are not compatible across brands; but within each brand they are.

A summary from the Entropy Elves

Hape Quadrilla

Haba

Wonder World

Made from Rubberwood, plywood, beech wood, TPE, PA, ABS, PET High-quality beech wood Environmentally-friendly rubberwood
Country of Design Germany Germany Thailand
Country of Manufacture China Germany Thailand
Age Range 4 – 99 years My First Range Classic Range 3 – 10 years
18 months – 3 years 3 – 99 years
Marble Size & Material Glass 15mm Wooden Ball 5cm Glass marble 15mm Wooden Ball 3cm
Build to Plan Yes No No Yes
Free Build (with one set) Yes No Yes No
Compatible with other marble runs in the same brand Yes See above for details Yes Yes
Cross compatible with other brands No No No No
Extension & accessory sets available Yes No Yes No

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.