Thursday, September 27, 2018

What's in Your Toy Chest? - Weirdest Toys Series - #1

Here it is!  This is the first in a series of posts on the worlds weirdest toys!  Believe me there are a lot to choose from!  Look for a new post on a weird toy from the past or present every week!  What would you pick as the world's weirdest toy?  I'm sure you could come up with a list just like I did.  It was even harder choosing which weird toy to feature this week.  Well, here goes...

This toy was actually introduced to be my my oldest brother.  He is several years older and played with a lot of strange toys, so I may have to use him for source material!  I love you big bro!
However, when my brother ended up chipping a tooth with this toy, I learned quickly to stay far away when he or my dad would play with it.


Yes, for those of you who haven't had the joy of meeting this toy, let me introduce you to Clackers!

Clackers are simply two acryllic balls on each end of a string allowing a person to hold the string in the middle using a loop or small handle and "clacking" or bouncing the balls together as shown in the following video...


Quite the brilliant idea, right?  They appeared on the market in 1970.  The concept was loosely based on a bolas which is an Argentinian weapon used in hunting.  The bolas would be thrown at the target animal and the balls would wrap around the animal entangling it's legs so it couldn't flee.

In the case of my brother, it became a tooth chipping device.

Fortunately due to the accumulation of reports of children becoming injured while playing with them, Clackers were taken off the market in the United States.  Injuries occurred by one of the heavy, fast-moving acrylic balls striking a child or by one of the balls shattering and causing abrasions or lacerations.

Clackers resurfaced again in the 1990s and were featured on two different teen comedy television shows on the Nickelodeon channel in 2008.

Today they can be found on several popular online retail websites.

Did you or a family member ever own Clackers in the 1970s?  Do you have any good Clacker stories?  Post them along!

Monday, September 24, 2018

Weird Toys for Your Toy Chest


A reader suggested that I can't have a weekly series in the ToyChests.com blog on "super toys" without counteracting all the hype by having a similar weekly series on the worlds weirdest toys.  What do you think?  Many strange toys have been produced over the years.  What is the weirdest, most bizarre toy you can think of?  Pet rocks?  Do you remember Pogs?  How about Poo-Dough?  Maybe all strange toys start with the letter "P."  I guess there are always Hula Hoops!  Actually I've done a little research and I think some of the strange toys I've found both in the US as well as from other countries would be fun and interesting to share.  So stay tuned to a periodic post in this blog on the World's Weirdest Toys!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

What's In Your Toy Chest #1

Welcome to the first post in the "What's In Your Toy Chest?" series!  This blog series will focus on a different "super toy" each week!

First a few hints to see if you can guess what the toy of the week is.  Don't scroll down until you take your best guess.

1. The toy selected for this first weekly post was patented in 1958.

2. This toy began in a workshop in Denmark.

3. This toy is named after a phrase that means "play well" in Danish.

4. This toy has inspired TV shows as well as full length movies.

5. This toy has theme parks named after it.

6. There are board games and video games based on this toy

7. This toy was taken into space and used on the International Space Station in May, 2011.

8. The Danish company Kabooki has a licensed clothing line named after this toy.

9. The developer of the popular Minecraft game loved using this toy as a young boy.

Have you guessed it yet?

10. Books have been written about this toy.

Is the suspense killing you?

Scroll down for the toy of the week!

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Almost there...

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If you thought "Legos," you were correct!

Not only is Lego the biggest toy company in the world with annual revenue exceeding $2.5B, but in 2015 Lego replaced Ferrari as the prestigious Brand Finance's "World's Most Powerful Brand!"
It doesn't take much thought regarding the games, movies, theme parks, models, robotic kits, books, and more to realize that Brand Finance knows what they are talking about.  In addition to the millions of Lego blocks produced each year, the Lego accessories built for inclusion in the various Lego kits is tremendous.  Take Lego tires as an example.  With over 300 million small rubber tiers produced each year, Lego is the worlds leading tire manufacturer!

Lego defined the "potential of playthings," allowing kids to build permanent structures from scratch in all kinds of shapes and sizes and take them anywhere they want.  Lego has had a huge impact on the toy and gaming industry as well as on the minds of the children who used them.  Countless people have become architects or engineers because of the love they had for the Lego kits they spent hours with as a child!

Does your Toy Chest contain any form of Legos?  What was your favorite Lego set?  Did Lego construction inspire you in any way?  What is  your Lego story?




Thursday, September 13, 2018

What's In Your Toy Chest? [Favorite Toys]


Beginning this week, this ToyChests.com blog will feature a periodic post entitled "What's In Your Toy Chest?" This weekly blog post will focus on a toy from the past or present (and maybe even the future) that stands out as a "super toy!"  Perhaps it will be a nostalgic toy from the past.  It could be a toy that has taken the toy market by fire.  Regardless, we will select a toy each week to spotlight.  We look forward to your comments about your experiences with the toy of the week.  Also, if you have ideas about what you think we should select for a future "What's In Your Toy Chest?" post, let us know by emailing us at media@toychests.com and perhaps your idea will be selected for an upcoming weekly post!  What will the toy of the week be this week?  Stay tuned.  The excitement is building....




Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Retro Toy Chests

I got a real kick out of an article I came across in Southern Living magazine about the contents of toy chests form the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.  Do you remember Chatty Cathy or Furby?



How about Slinky or Duncan YoYos?  Polly pockets?  Tickle me Elmo?  Check out this cute article by clicking here!  Especially if you were a child growing up in any of those decades!  What favorite toys do you remember loving?

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Choosing The Right Ride on Toy For your Child

Toddlers are young explorers who learn everything by doing. Play is important to every toddler as it gives him or her, an opportunity to develop and learn new things at his or her own pace by following his interest. Ride-on toys for toddlers vary from effortless rocking horses to kid-sized power-driven vehicles.

All these toys offer a lot of benefits to toddlers as they grow.

Matching toddlers to the right type of toy makes it easy for the kid to enjoy playing with the toy as well as preventing injury during play.

The following are tips on how to choose ride on toys for toddlers.

Safety features

The first thing that you should consider when choosing a ride on toy for your child is safety. How safe is your child riding on this toy? It is important to understand that all ride on toys for kids pose some risk of falling, colliding with other obstacles and tipping over.

Therefore, before you choose any type of ride on toy check the safety features of the toy. For example simple toys lack brakes but they are slow enough to allow kids to stop them on their own. If the toy is battery powered the battery should be concealed to prevent the kid from accessing it.

However, it is important to ensure that your child wears protective clothing every time he or she rides on these toys.

Age factor

Not all ride-on toys are appropriate for toddlers. There are some that are applicable and can be used by toddlers while others are not. This depends on the age limit and the skills of the kid.

For example wagons, and sleds can be used by toddlers of all ages including grown kids; rocking toys can be used by toddlers who can push using their own feet especially between the ages of 1 to 2 years.

However, kids should always be supervised by an adult when they are playing just to ensure that nothing goes wrong.

Test for balance

For a child to be able to operate a ride on toy, it is essential that he or she balances on the toy without tipping over. Therefore, when buying ride on toys for toddlers it is important to test for stability and balance.

Choose models that have a low center of gravity and whose wheels are spaced wide apart to offer stability and support the kid's weight. Let your kid have a test drive before you purchasing ride on toys just to ensure that he or she is balanced and is comfortable riding the toy.

Size

On top of being balanced and stable, a ride on toy should be sizable. Sizable here means that the toy should be spacious enough for the child to ride it comfortably.

For example ensure that the kid's feet reaches the pedals or the floor comfortably in case of self propelled vehicles and in the case of battery powered toys, ensure that the kid's knees are clear of the steering wheel. Some toys can be adjusted as the kid grows therefore go for toys that allow for growth of the toddler.

Individual interest and needs

Each toddler has something he or she enjoys doing or seeing. Therefore when choosing ride on toys for toddlers, ensure that the toys match up the child's interests as well as needs.

For example, a boy child would enjoy riding in a battery powered car while a girl child would love riding on a horse back (rocking toys). Therefore, understanding what your kids love doing or playing with or their interests are important when selecting the best ride on toys for them.

Go for toys that encourage your toddler to be active

Toddlers are known to engage in different kinds of physical activities and tricks. For you to allow your toddler to grow and develop in a healthy way it is important to purchase a ride on toy that encourage your toddler to learn new skills and develop them.

For example three wheeled scooters, wagons to fill and pull as well as pull-toys are ideal for such purposes.

In summary, ride on toys for toddlers encourage creativity; enhance balance and coordination among toddlers.

However, to ensure that nothing goes wrong with the toddler, it is important to put all the above factors into consideration when choosing the right ride on toy for your toddler.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Toy Chest

I believe you can tell a lot about a person by the things they select and purchase to use in their daily life.  A toy chest is no different.  While toy chests are mostly purchased for children, I confess that I have my own toy chest and I don't let my children use it.  They each have their own toy chest and they know that mom's toy chest contains mom's treasures!

So what can you tell about me from my toy chest?  Let me first give you a picture of what my toy chest looks like:  Voila!

Pink Chaise Lounge Toy Chest
For starters there are the obvious things:

  1. I like pink.  I grew up loving the color pink and to this day I like to add a pink flair to many things that I do. 
  2. I like having a place that I can sit (or lay down) that is my personal space.  Nobody gets to sit on my toy chest unless I invite them.  It's my own space where I can be alone to think, read, look at pictures, etc.
  3. I am a closet diva.  I don't act like a diva normally, but in my dreams I like to sometimes picture myself as a famous singer who has adoring fans and an extravagant lifestyle.  In real life I'm only allowed to sing in the shower and sometimes have to cook a creative version of mac and cheese more than once a week to feed the family.  But I do have my dreams!
Some of the less obvious things that you can tell about me from my toy chest are:

  1. I prefer cabinets to boxes with lids.  My children have toy chests with a lid on top, but I prefer having a toy chest that I can open from the front.  This allows me to set my treasures inside the toy box in a way that I can organize them the way I want to.  While I do have a couple of toys in my toy chest, I also use it to hold my most treasured family photos and heirloom gifts that I have received over the years, so the front opening works very nicely.
  2. Another reason that I chose this toy chest is a very sentimental one.  My mother was a family counselor most of her life.  She is now retired.  But growing up she had a room in our home that she used with some of her clients.  In the room she had a chaise lounge.  When I was having a problem at school or was worried about something or just needed to talk, my mom would invite me into that room and I would lay on the chaise lounge and we would talk.  I loved the time my mom would take time just to talk to me and help me with life.  This toy chest reminds me of those times with my mom.  When she visits even she will sometimes comment on those times when she sees my toy chest.  My toy chest represents some very fond memories!
So what do you think?  Do you have a toy chest that reveals things about you?  If not, what kind of toy chest would you select?  Today's toy chests go far beyond the simple "wooden box."  I've seen toy chests for pilots, musicians, firefighters, farmers and more!  In a future post I will discuss what I have in my toy chest and what that might reveal about me.

I'm curious about your thoughts and any toy chest stories you may have.