Posts Tagged ‘toys’
Don’t buy counterfeit toys this Christmas. Generally, that’s a good rule to live by all year round, because knock-off toys usually look bad, and break easily, and it isn’t worth the earache off the kids.
However, there’s more to be concerned about – a number of fakes have been seized and after tests, it was shown that some of them have dangerous levels of chemicals in them, linked to asthma, cancer, and even infertility. A batch of knock-offs based on Disney’s Maleficent characters were found to contain 18 times the legal limit of phthalates.
National Trading Standards officers have prevented around 2.6 million unsafe or non-compliant items from entering the country, but of course, some still get through.
Robert Chantry-Price, of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, said: “It is frightening to think that large quantities of phthalates are still being used in children’s toys, especially when it can cause such serious long-term consequences to a person’s health.”
“Phthalates are carcinogenic, mutagenic and can cause reproductive problems but, despite legislation to the contrary, significant amounts of these substances can be found in a wide range of toys and childcare products.”
If you want to avoid these products, the answer is pretty simple; you should buy toys from reputable retailers, and if it seems remarkably cheap, then be suspicious. Keep an eye on the packaging, and look for boxes that have the distributor’s details on it, and the CE mark.
Toys R Us are putting an end to categorising toys into boys and girls categories. This means that they’ll be selling toys and it’ll be up to your child which ones they want. It is a good move, which ultimately won’t change much in the way of shopping habits, but still, it is nice to open all the toys up to children.
This of course, came about after pressure from a group called Let Toys Be Toys and, thanks to them being campaigners, it means that some people will automatically be against whatever it is they’re saying – that’s how humans work. Group A says “CHANGE THINGS!” Group B complain and reply with “LEAVE EVERYTHING ALONE!”
Either way, you’ll now search for toys by age-group, brand, or type of toy, rather than gender. Of course, some parents will think that this is going to make shopping for their children more difficult, but really, buying toys for kids is a nightmare regardless of how it is offered to you.
Obviously, television commercials and marketing won’t be changing the way they do things, which means Toys R Us changing their system won’t mean that girls will stop being ushered toward dolls, and boys toward diggers, but it is something. And of course, parents will influence what they want their children to play with, but all the same, if you shop at Toys R Us, the shelves will no longer categorise things into things for girls, and things for boys.
If, for some reason, your child refuses to tell you what toys they want this Christmas, or maybe you’re a childless relative who wants to buy a relative’s kids something without mithering them about it, we’re here to help.
The Toy Retailers Association (we assume their office looks like Tom Hanks’ living room in ‘Big’) have released their list of the top 12 toys on the market this year.
This year, the thing that is making children cackle and point at the telly, is Hasbro’s Pie Face Game. If you haven’t seen it, it a game where you put shaving foam on a wet sponge at the end of a lever, you stick your face through a hole and, at some point, someone gets a pie in the face. It is a simple concept, and gloriously daft. We approve. Apart from the cleaning up.
Lego is again, doing well, with two separate toys in the top 12, one is the Star Wars Kylo Ren Command Shuttle, which will set you back £99.99. Pricey. Probably meant for adults really. In fact, Star Wars features a few times this year, as everyone gets excited about the new film.
Of course, you could complain about new toys and say that all the things you played with when you were little, are superior, but to be honest, you’d be a dreadful relative if you gave a child a tangerine or a diablo for Christmas. C’mon. Get them something proper.
Here’s the full list:
1. City Deep Sea Exploration Vessel £79.99, Lego
2. Disney Frozen Sing-A-Long Elsa, £34.99
3. IDO3D Deluxe 3D Design Studio, £39.99
4. Little Live Pets Cleverkeet, £44.97
5. Paw Patrol Paw Patroller, £59.99
6. Pie Face Game, £19.99
7. Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck, £16.99
8. Star Wars Bladebuilder Jedi Master Lightsaber, £44.99
9. Lego Star Wars Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle, £83.97
10. Star Wars The Force Awakens Millennium Falcon, £101.99
11. Thunderbirds Interactive Tracy Island Playset, £80
12. VTech Toot Friends Busy Sounds Discovery Home, £29.99
All the best toy deals you can get this Christmas, can be found here.
Build-A-Bear Workshop have issued a product recall over safety concerns regarding their Starbrights Dragon. Basically, the problem here is that the stuffing might come out, which makes is a choking hazard.
This particular toy was sold from April 2015 ’til August 2015, and if you have one, you need to stop playing with it (or your child from playing with it – good luck with that) and contact Build-A-Bear Workshop for an exchange.
Here’s the recall from the company themselves:
“At Build-A-Bear Workshop, we recognize the great responsibility we have to provide our guests with products that are safe and fun. Safety is a key part of our brand values and has been since we were founded 17 years ago. In keeping with our values, we have issued a voluntary product safety recall of our Starbrights Dragon.”
“While the Starbrights Dragon passed all toy safety testing, it has come to our attention that the stuffing may become accessible due to a weakness of the satin seam on the middle section of the Starbrights Dragon, which could present a potential choking hazard to young children.”
“Although we have had no reports of safety incidents from consumers and we are unaware of any injuries caused by this product, out of an abundance of caution, we are encouraging guests to immediately return the Starbrights Dragon to a local Build-A-Bear Workshop store to exchange for an available furry friend of their choice.”
“If a guest does not live near one of our stores, we ask that they call our product hotline at 0800-432-0779, or visit www.buildabear.com/recalls for more information.”
As you know, 99% of all the advice ever given is thoroughly useless. However, some parents were horrified when their 2-year-old daughter found that her My Little Baby Born Nappy Time doll was dishing out potty-mouthed, but ultimately useFUL advice.
Anthony Burridge and Sarah Williams bought their daughter Emily the toy, and it was meant to gurgle and mutter nonsense, like babies do. However, this doll was saying “f***” and “f*** it” over and over.
Burridge said: “We opened the packaging on the doll and handed it to Emily. She was so excited to play with her new toy but as soon as she pressed its belly, we heard it say the swear word. Sarah and I were gobsmacked. When we played it again, it was clear that it was saying “f***”. We’ve had to take it away from her but it is too late. Emily is only two but already copying the doll.”
“She keeps saying “f*** it” – I don’t know how to stop her.”
Have you finished laughing? The toy was bought from Toys R Us, who of course, aren’t really responsible, but will no doubt be really embarrassed by all this.
Williams added: “Emily has always loved changing nappies and as soon as we got into the shop, she made a beeline for the dolls. Seeing her face light up as she picked the doll made me so happy. The doll was meant to cry every time you pushed her belly button and I couldn’t wait to see Emily play with her when we got home.”
“When we first heard the doll swear, we couldn’t believe it. We had to play it again to make sure we were hearing right.”
Burridge continued: “Hearing our two-year-old daughter swearing every day is just awful. I think it’s disgraceful that Toys R Us have sold us such a dirty toy.”
A spokesman for Toys R Us said they are ‘looking into the matter’, while the company that made the toy - Zapf Creation – said: “Zapf Creation prides itself on making high quality products that children can play with and love and BABY born is one of our most popular brands, having been around over 24 years.”
“With the aim of teaching young children about nappy changing, my little BABY born Nappy Time only makes “baby babble” sounds and does not say any actual words. We apologise if any customers feel that this babble resembles anything inappropriate.”
Anyway, have a look at the Daily Mail’s video where you can watch a toddler swear her little head off.
Barbie is rubbish. Everyone knows that. While other toys enable children to make things fly and explode, or go on wild adventures in their minds, Barbie has a glamorous, yet somehow humdrum life. What does she do? She has a house. She has a horse. She drives around a bit.
No high-speed chases. No saving the world from baddies. She just exists and does menial tasks with expensive stuff.
So with that, it is little wonder that Barbie is on the ropes, with Mattel reporting big losses with its core brand. What isn’t helping is that Frozen is handing Barbie her arse. Children, it seems, are playing with Lego and video games, rather than something designed solely to occupy some pink stuff.
In the first quarter, to March 31st, the toy vendors said that Barbie sales dropped by 14%. Mattel’s loss before tax grewing to £49.1m.
The Frozen franchise saw a 22% jump in consumer product sales for Disney’s first quarter to $1.4bn and with a sequel on the horizon, the fanaticism isn’t going to go away any time soon.
Mattel’s shares have lost over a third of their value over the past 12 months. Maybe it is time for Barbie to retire and finally get some well earned rest in the Betty Ford Clinic.
Argos have found themselves in a row. A RACE row about dolls. So they have.
The original click and collect front, have a white doll priced £10 more than their black and Asian offerings.
The white ‘Maria’ doll, made by French company Corolle Calin, is being sold on the Argos website for £34.99, while Asian and black dolls ‘Yang’ and ‘Naima’ are for sale for £24.99.
All the dolls are, like, the same and beautiful inside and of the same dimensions and on the manufacturer’s website all three are sold at the same price of £23.
A mum of three named Lisa O’Reilly from Lincs reckoned: “It’s unacceptable for children to think white is better or more desirable. It’s wrong for our youngsters to grow up thinking non-white skin colours are worth less.”
“There’s enough prejudice in the world already without battling against racist toys.”
Argos blamed it handily on a genuine pricing error and said it was urgently rectifying the problem. Why, even a spokesman chipped in with “[We] can confirm all three dolls will be priced at £24.99″.
So that’s alright then. Nothing like checking these things BEFORE they’re uploaded, eh.
The Consumer Electronics Show is the gift that keeps on giving this week, as thousands of nerds descend on all the latest gadgets at a huge conference that inevitably smells like Lynx Africa and cider.
Now comes word of a new learning tool that will allow users to build LEGO with the eyes. THEIR EYES.
Eye-tracking software developer The Eye Tribe showed off an interface that allows users to build LEGO sets using just their eyes at the show.
And it’s not just fancy-dan futurism either, as the software has been used to control mobile devices, computers, gaming consoles and TVs. Now, they’re working with LEGO to provide a new way to build LEGO
“We’re extremely excited to be back at CES and to show how quickly we’ve advanced our products for mobile form factors,” said Sune Alstrup Johansen, CEO of The Eye Tribe. ”With our solution, OEMs can fast-track integration of real eye tracking. We want to bust the myth that it is an expensive and complicated affair.”
Martin Tall, chief technology officer of The Eye Tribe, added: “Our vision is to transition eye tracking from being an expensive lab equipment into every day products. Soon this technology will be integrated into a wide range of devices such as tablets and smartphones.
“It will enable you to interact with devices in ways that you only dreamed were possible. Devices will behave more intuitively, games will become more immersive.”
Yeah, impressive, but not as much fun as annoying other people as you rattle through a tub for particular pieces though, eh.
She started a petition to get the collectibles off the shelves, because they’re related to a violent TV show about crack cocaine. Of course, these figures could only be found in the section designated for adults, but there you go.
The stars of the show aren’t best pleased about it either. Aaron Paul who played Jesse Pinkman tweeted: ”Wait, so @ToysRUs pulled all of the Breaking Bad figures from their shelves and still sells Barbie? Hmmmm…I wonder what is more damaging?”
He added: “And what about all of the violent video games you sell @ToysRUs ? Do you still sell those? Florida mom really messed it up for everyone.”
Toys R Us said in a statement: “Let’s just say, the action figures have taken an ‘indefinite sabbatical.’”
Bryan Cranston tweeted his ire too: “Florida mom petitions against Toys ‘R Us over Breaking Bad action figures.’ I’m so mad, I’m burning my Florida Mom action figure in protest,” adding: “Toys R Us puts Breaking Bad toys on ‘indefinite sabbatical.’ Word on the street is that they were sent to Belize. Nicely played Florida Mom.”
So there you have it. America, where you can’t buy toys from a toy shop, but you can get a free gun when you take out a loan. Crackers.
The legendary Danish toymaker has been expanding its appeal beyond the bricks and mini-figures, and recently released the amazing The Lego Movie, which has taken $183 million at the box office since it’s release four weeks ago.
The company also threw in for good measure, the news that it had recently hired 1,355 workers.
The market for the brick-based activity is increasing in China, whereas the markets in Europe and North America had weakened.
Lego is the world’s second largest toymaker, behind Mattel, the maker of Barbie. Even philosophy loves Lego. In Sophie’s World (a book that teaches you all about that stuff), it is referred to as “the most ingenious toy in the world.” Hard to argue with that, seeing as you can make beautiful things with it… or a massive phallus. The possibilities are endless.
If you need a good excuse to go and see The Lego Movie, here’s Batman’s song from it.
In a desperate attempt to revive their flagging fortunes, Mothercare is launching a new range of royal baby themed clothing and toys. They include playsets including corgis and the Duke of Edinburgh being racist about the Japanese, and awful bibs with ‘When I grow up I want to be a Princess’ embroidered on them by tearful Bangladeshi factory workers.
And, if you’re a real royal bellend, you might even be able to buy a pram in the style of a horse drawn carriage, which will look dead classy when you’re pushing it around 99p Stores with a fag on the go.
Mothercare are the first of many retailers who will be launching a range of goods to cash in on the royal foetus, which is due in July. But chief executive Simon Calver insists it’s not cashing in per se.
‘We’re looking to commemorate, celebrate, to have a bit of fun. Babies are going to be the thing people talk about this year.’ He said, not rubbing his hands together with glee at all.
And what better way to commemorate the beginning of a new life than with idiocy?
Have you ever heard of phthalates? A potentially dangerous chemical that can cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men? Well you should have. It is dangerous.
Phthalates are used to soften plastics, and should be kept away from people who don’t want cancer, unborn children and fertile men. They should also not be given to children to play with.
However, dolls containing the poisonous chemical have been found on sale in shops in the West Midlands. The dolls have been imported from China, and photographs of the dolls, some of which have fruit shaped heads, can be found here.
Sandwell Trading Standards have advised that dolls should always have a CE markig to prove it meets EU safety regulations.
But dolls are not the only toys that could suffer from phthalates. Anyone who was watching Em and Lo last night will know that adults should also ensure their toys are phthalate free. Take this cheeky number from Ann Summers. Not only is it on sale, it is also totally phthalate free, meaning you can slap and tickle “harder and for longer”. Good job, when we are talking about proximity to fertile men and inborn children eh?
However, in even more distressing news, there are no such reassuring claims on the rampant rabbits.
Children’s dollies are consistently weird things. They have ones that shit themselves and ones like ‘Cricket’ who waddle around, telling you jokes and never once blinking.
And a new doll on the market, which has the Daily Mail’s knickers in a twist (showcasing the wonderful word ‘Breastapo’), is The Beast Milk Baby.
The Mail goes on about the “unspoken criticism from ‘friends’” about the fact the writer has “chosen not to breastfeed my child.” And of course, this doll is just the latest thing to ‘brainwash’ us all into thinking breast is best. Unsurprisingly, they call it “repulsive and disquieting on many levels.”
This doll enables children to play at breastfeeding, which granted, is a bit weird. For a start, why would a little kid want to make-believe a scenario which involves sore, cracked nipples?
The toy has a bib that comes with it featuring flower ‘nipples’ and then, when you attach the doll to it, it makes sucking noises. Then you have to burp it. Because there’s nothing like tedium to make children go nuts! Seriously. Get into robots and dinosaurs. Raising children is about as exciting as hanging washing up.
Either way, this doll is clearly a propaganda tool from the Breastapo, so toy makers should balance things out by making a Baby Formula, a dolly that cries at the sight of tits.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the list of must-have toys for this Christmas, as compiled by the Toy Retailer’s Association. Now comes the tricky part – do you assume that these will all sell out by the middle of this month and snap them all up? Do you buy extras in the hope that you can flog them on eBay in the middle of December and make a few Christmas quids? Or do you go back to your knitting and do nothing?
Here’s the list…
Cabbage Patch Kids, JAKKS Pacific, RRP £29.99
Furby, Hasbro, RRP £59.99
InnoTab 2, Vtech, RRP £84.99
Jake and the Neverland Pirates – Pirate Ship Bucky, Mattel, RRP £49.99
LeapPad 2, Leapfrog Toys, RRP £89.99
Lego Friends: Olivia’s House, Lego, RRP £69.99
Lego The Lord of the Rings: The Mines of Moria, Lego, £68.99
Mike the Knight’s Deluxe Glendragon Playset, Character Options, £29.99
Monster High Ghouls Rule Dolls, Mattel, RRP £22.99
My Moshi Home, Vivid Imaginations, RRP £39.99
Nerf N-Strike Elite Hail-Fire, Hasbro, RRP £44.99
Twister Dance, Hasbro, RRP £26.99
Web Shooting Spider-Man, Hasbro, RRP £34.99