Beyblade Toys Have Kids Heads Spinning

Each week approximately one million viewers watch Beyblade Metal Fusion, a Japanese television series imported to North America that follows a group of kids that form teams and “battle” one another with customized spinning tops – Beyblades. The show, which is launching its second season on Cartoon Network in the fall of 2011, is just one facet of the spinning-top universe.

In 2010, more than 15 million Beyblade Toys were sold. This figure also includes the accessories for a battle, such as a a plastic stadium and launching gear are required as well as the tops.

The VP of Marketing at Hasbro said the company is going beyond the phenomenon imported from Japan.

The toy company has created 25 different tops that are customizable, and the fact that there are so many different ways to play is certainly the key to the success of the Beyblade toy line.

Bladers have tournaments at every level, from regional play, which begins in late summer, to the national level, where winners will be sent to Comic Con New York in October, to the World Beyblade Championships, which will be held in spring 2012.

At the world forum, 22 countries will be participating, with similar time frames and competition levels.

Nelvana and Hasbro are also working hand-in-hand to promote the toys online., where kids can compete in online tournaments and further customize their tops, received 3.2 million visits globally from May 2010 through November 2010.

“The toys that allow kids to actively remain engaged stays around for long time,” said Stephanie Zhuang, a brand manger for Beyblade, “We’re not an in-and-out brand.

The Breast Milk Baby - A Baby Doll That Teaches Young Girls To Breastfeed

At least according to Berjuan Toys. "Little girls need to learn to breastfeed" according to the doll's website. The site goes on to say "

the company that has always supported the development of small children by producing interesting, engaging dolls, continues its tradition with the release of this innovative baby doll, The Breast Milk Baby."

The San Fransisco Chronicle's featured an article on "The Breast Milk Baby" saying "The Breast Milk Baby represents a revolution in design by teaching children the nurturing skills they'll need to raise their own healthy babies. Just put on the fashionable top included with each Breast Milk Baby, bring the baby's mouth up to the pretty flower, and enjoy the closeness, the loving bond between mother and child." also goes on to say that "The Breast Milk Baby toy lets young girls express their love and affection in the most natural way possible, just like mommy! The Breast Milk Baby represents a revolution in design by teaching children the nurturing skills they’ll need to raise their own healthy babies. Just put on the fashionable top included with each Breast Milk Baby, bring the baby’s mouth up to the pretty flower, and enjoy the closeness, the loving bond between mother and child."

What's your opinion?

Is this a great thing to teach at such an early age? Or is this toy just a bad idea?

76 Things About Toys You Probably Didn't Know

  1. 1932 LEGO® began in Billard, Denmark and manufactured stepladders, ironing boards and wooden toys.
  2. 102,981,500 is how many different ways there are to combine six 8-stud LEGO® bricks.
  3. Over the last sixty years, the LEGO® company has made more than 320 billion individual bricks. That equates to 52 for every person on the planet.The word "toy" comes from an Old English word meaning "tool".
  4. TONKA® trucks were named after Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota. The word "Tonka" means "great" in Sioux.
  5. TONKA®was started just after World War II, when six Minnesota teachers who wanted to manufacture garden tools founded Mound Metalcraft in the basement of a local schoolhouse. In 1947, they acquired a competing company and inherited a toy steam shovel in the process. This gave them the idea of making toys.
  6. The Mighty TONKA® Dump Truck, the most popular Tonka® truck, was introduced in 1964 and is guaranteed for life.
  7. Silly Putty was discovered when the Japanese invasion of Asia threatened America’s rubber supply during World War II, and chemists at General Electric began looking for a synthetic substitute.
  8. Astronauts took Silly Putty aboard Apollo 8 to stick down tools in zero gravity.
  9. Play-Doh modeling compound started out as wallpaper cleaner. The recipe is a closely guarded secret.
  10. When the Mr. Potato Head television commercial debuted in the early fifties, it was the first ever for a toy.
  11. From 1952 to 1963 parents had to supply real potatoes for the body of Mr. Potato Head, until 1964 when Hasbro introduced a hard plastic body.
  12. In 1987 Mr. Potato Head became the "spokespud" for the Great American Smokeout. He gave up his pipe to Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in Washington DC.
  13. Engineering entrepreneur Joshua Lionel Cowen designed his first electric train as a store window attraction around 1900. When customers asked to purchase the train instead of the product it advertised, Cowen founded the Lionel Manufacturing Company to meet demand.
  14. Slinky was invented in 1945 by Marine Engineer, Neil Tollotson.
  15. The shape of Gumby's head was inspired by the hair of creator Art Clokey's father.
  16. The first box of Crayola crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel and included the same colors available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green violet, orange, black and brown.
  17. The name "Crayola" means "Oily Chalk" in French from the combination of "craie" (chalk) and "oléagineuse" (oily).
  18. All G.I. Joe 12-inch action figures have a scar on their right cheek. They also have an inverted thumbnail on the inside of their left thumb in honor of a production error made years ago.
  19. G.I. Joe was inspired by a TV show called "The Lieutenant" which was created by Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek. The star was Gary Lockwood, who would later guest star on Star Trek. Lockwoods character's middle name was "Tiberius" which was also James Kirks middle name. Some guest stars on The Lieutenant also included future Star Trek cast memebers Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Nichelle Nichols (Uhura), and Majel Barrett (Computer voice and several other characters as well as Gene Roddenberry's wife).
  20. The first video arcade game was Pong, introduced by Atari in 1972
  21. The yo-yo is believed to be the second-oldest toy in the world. The name yo-yo comes from a Filipino expression meaning "come come".
  22. In 1985, Astronaut David Griggs used a Duncan Imperial Yo-yo on live TV from the deck of the Space Shuttle.
  23. Dolls are considered to be the oldest toys in history.
  24. Tinkertoys were invented when Charles Pajeau was watching some kids play with pencils, sticks and empty spools of thread
  25. Hasbro introduced a toy in 1962 called "Flubber" (tied to the movie "Son of Flubber"). It was made from synthetic rubber and mineral oil. Unfortunately, it made people sick. More than 1600 people developed sore throats, rashes and other reactions from contact with the stuff and Hasbro had to recall it. To get rid of it, they buried it and put a parking lot over it. According to legend, on hot summer days Flubber would ooze through the cracks in the pavement.
  26. Clue: The Movie was the first film based on a board game
  27. In the 1960's, Ohio Art used television to advertise the Etch A Sketch®. The response was so incredible that the company decided to continue manufacturing them until noon Christmas Eve 1960. The Etch A Sketches® were then immediately shipped to the West Coast so people in California could buy Etch A Sketch® on Christmas Eve and have them for Christmas.
  28. The Etch A Sketch screen's reverse side is coated with a mixture of aluminum powder and plastic beads. The left and right knobs control the horizontal and vertical rods, moving the stylus where the two meet. When the stylus moves, it scrapes the screen leaving the line you see. The knobs have changed slightly. The new shape has a different edge for easier handling and turning.
  29. Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts (named for the creator's daughter).
  30. Barbie was introduced in 1959 and cost $3. Every second, two Barbie dolls are sold in the world.
  31. If Barbie was life-sized, her measurements would be 39-23-33 (in 2004 the average woman in the USA measured 40-34-43). According to studies done by both Yale and Duke Universities, in order for Barbie's measurements to be "normal" she would have to be at least 7 feet, 4 inches tall.
  32. Nearly one billion Barbie® dolls (including friends and family) have sold since 1959. Placed head to toe, the dolls would circle the earth more than three and one-half times.
  33. Since 1959, more than 125 million yards of fabric have gone into creating outfits for Barbie and her friends.
  34. Early drafts of the original Toy Story (1995) had a Barbie doll in the roll that became Little Bo Peep, but Mattel refused to license the character to Disney. The huge popularity of the movie (and boost in sales for Mr. Potato Head and other featured toys) led them to agree to have Tour Guide Barbie included in Toy Story II.
  35. During World War II the U.S. Armed Forces commissioned ViewMaster reels for training purposes.
  36. Lego's name comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt" ("play well").
  37. In January, 1992, The First Years, Inc. manufactured 29,000 blue turtles, red beavers, green frogs, and yellow ducks — called Floatees — and loaded them onto a ship in China. Halfway across the North Pacific a storm knocked the container with the toys overboard, spilling all 29,000 Floatees. After several months, the toys drifted hundreds of miles apart, and first reached North America (2,000 miles away) at Sitka, Alaska. Beachcombers discovered thousands of the toys washed ashore. Thousands are believed to have drifted along Alaska to Japan and then back across the Pacific again. After three years, and 15,000 miles they reached Washington State. Some are believed to have drifted into the Arctic Ocean and into the Atlantic. Others are believed to have drifted south into the Indian ocean. Over the years, sand will bury some, the sun with disintegrate others, and sea life will eat some.
  38. The average child in the United States will wear down 730 crayons by their 10th birthday.
  39. Binney & Smith, maker of Crayola Crayons, produces an average of five million crayons daily and 2 billion crayons each year. If they made just one large crayon, it would be 35 feet wide and 400 feet long
  40. The game of Checkers was depicted on ancient Egyptian tombs.
  41. The oldest set of board game equipment ever found is The Royal Game of Ur. Two game boards were found in the Royal Tombs of Ur in the 1920's. It was played in Babylon for over 5,000 years.
  42. The ancient Egyptian game of Senet is believed to be older than The Royal Game of Ur. It may date as early as the 33rd century BC.
  43. Recent excavations of a sixty piece game set at the "Burnt City" in Iran may be slightly older than the Ur set. At the same excavation, archaeologist discovered the oldest known Backgammon, oldest known dice and the world's earliest artificial eyeball.
  44. The board game Mancala may date back to as far as 3,000 BC
  45. The Scrabble® board game was designed by Alfred M. Butts of Poughkeepsie, NY in the 1930s. In order to determine the quantity and value of each letter, he analyzed letter frequencies in the daily newspapers. His calculations have held up through the years, and today's game is very similar to his original design. There are far fewer S tiles than his calculations would have suggested, because Mr. Butts wanted people to be challenged to think up new words and not just make plurals.
  46. Play-Doh, whose ingredients are still a secret, originally came in only off-white.
  47. Binney & Smith produces more than 1,500 pounds of Silly Putty each day -- that's more than 20,000 eggs.
  48. Silly Putty went to the moon on Apollo 8. The astronauts used it to relieve boredom and to stabilize their tools during the zero-g periods.
  49. According to a Yale University study, Crayola crayons rank 18th among the 20 most recognizable scents to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are first and second.
  50. The Lego Company is the world's biggest vehicle tire manufacturer producing 311 million tiny tires in 2001.
  51. A Chemical engineer named Neil Tollotson accidentally created Latex balloons while trying to make liquid rubber.
  52. There have been five billion Monopoly houses built since 1935.
  53. The record for playing Monopoly underwater is 1,080 hours.
  54. Parker Brothers rejected the game of Monopoly citing 52 fundamental playing flaws.
  55. The standard Monopoly game includes $15,140 in play money
  56. The character locked up in the jail in Monopoly is "Jake the Jailbird". Officer Edgar Mallory put him away.
  57. Wooly Willy, the bald character with the magnetic hair, was created by Donald and James Herzog of the Smethport Specialty Company in Pennsylvania in 1955. Willy was drawn by artist Leonard Mackowsky. His name is hidden in the artwork to the right of the mushroom on the back of the package.
  58. COLORFORMS pioneered the realm of licensed characters with a 1957 Popeye Cartoon kit. By 1991, COLORFORMS had sold over a billion sets.
  59. In 2004, a Beatles COLORFORMS set sold for $520.00.
  60. The first Pogo Sticks were made in Germany and shipped to Gimble's Department Store in New York City. Unfortunately they were all made of wood and somehow rotted on the voyage to NYC. George Hansburg redesigned them with an all-metal construction and patented the toy in 1919.
  61. A Gas Powered Pogo Stick was invented and patented in 1960 by Gordon Spitzmesser. He called it the Hop Along. The patent expired in 1977. They were produced and marketed as the "Hop Rod" in the 60's by the Chance Manufacturing Company in Wichita, Kansas. They apparently ran on a mixture of alcohol and castor oil.
  62. The greatest number of consecutive jumps achieved on a pogo stick is 177,737, by Gary Stewart at Huntington Beach, California, USA on May 25-26, 1990.
  63. Ashrita Furman of Jamaica, New York set a pogo stick jumping distance record of 23.11 miles in 12 hours 27 minutes on June 22, 1997 at Queensborough Community College Track, New York, USA.
  64. There is a story that George Hansburg was traveling in Burma and met a little girl named Pogo. Pogo couldn't afford shoes and had to walk through mud and rocks on the way to the temple to pray. Her father made her a jumping stick to use to get through the mud, which Hansburg saw and which gave him the idea for the pogo stick. Interesting as it is, this story is not true.
  65. In order for a standard deck of playing cards to be poperly mixed up to play with, they should be shuffled 7 times.
  66. In 1968, the Hot Wheels Corvette, a reproduction of the real one, was on store shelves before Chevrolet had their new '68 model at car dealers.
  67. Hasbro was founded in 1923 in Providence, RI and sold textile remnants and later manufactured pencil boxes covered with them.
  68. Mattel began in 1945 by producing picture frames and miniature furniture made of polyurethane left over from the manufacturer of airplane nose cones.
  69. Kenner started in 1947 making soap and soft-drinks.
  70. The number of new toys that enter the market each year and make it to a second year is about 100 out of 2,000.
  71. In 1945 The Ertl® Company began manufacturing the toy tractors from melted war-surplus aluminum aircraft pistons.
  72. 73. 1876 Playmobil® was founded in Furth, near Nuremberg, Germany. The company manufactured locks and metal fittings for chests. In the 1950's they began manufacturing toy telephones and cash registers.
  73. Mattel's name consists of syllables from the names of the founders, Harold Matson and Elliot Handler.
  74. Hasbro's name is from the founders, Hassenfeld Brothers.
  75. More than 1.5 billion Hot Wheels® have been produced since 1968, more vehicles than Detroit's "Big Three" combined, have manufactured.

The Toronto Toy House

There are those that can take a hobby a little too far, but this house in Toronto Ontario, Canada is a perfect example. What probably started as few garden gnomes for the garden turned into what can only be described as every child's dream home - or nightmare.

The house in question is a two-story house on Bertmount Avenue, that's lawn is home to hundreds of dolls and figurines of every kind and is renowned all over the city for its collection.

The owner Shirley Sumaisar, told the Toronto Star the decorations were her passion. Besides being a landmark, it helps keep property values in the neighborhood down, creating a type of affordable housing.

And it seems the time of year is no bar to what goes up around the house - Easter, Christmas, Halloween and any other holiday you can think of is represented in the heaving mass of stuffed toys, weathered dolls, novelty signs, plaques and figurines.

All neighboring houses pale in comparison and one resident of the street revealed that a past occupant actually moved out because of it.

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Pack 'n Play

Toy manufacturers discuss what makes a top-selling travel toy, which new items will be taking flight this year and the potential for year-round sales.

Just because the holiday season has come and gone, doesn't mean consumers won't be out shopping for toys. In fact, as returns are being made and winter weather sets in, shoppers have their eye toward warm weather destinations. And for families on the go, that can only mean one thing: toys that stow easily and provide hours of entertainment in the car or on the plane.

Monster Mansion Playspace. $10.
Mudpuppy. 800.670.7441.

Me vs. You

Me vs. You pencil puzzles.
Klutz. 800.737.4123.

Good to Go
Because today's kids always seem to be on the move - whether they are day-tripping to Grandma's or heading out of town on winter break - their playthings demand portability. Jaclyn DeBlasi, senior products manager for Allstar Products Group (makers of Bendaroos building sticks), defines a successful travel toy as one that is "portable, convenient and engaging. Traveling with children can be a challenge, so it's important for the toy to stimulate their imagination and keep them engaged during those long flights and road trips," she explains. This spring, Bendaroos will be available in Store N' Go Activity Packs, which include 100 building sticks, traceable templates, a crimper cutter and playmat, so kids have all the necessary tools to create and store their work.
"A top-selling travel toy is one with lots and lots of play value," agrees Kem Clark, president of The Wikki Stix Co. "And it needs to be clean ... no mess in the car or airplane." With this in mind, the company offers its Travel Fun Kit, which Clark describes as "easy to put in a purse or carry-on."
Yet another toy in the building realm, Jawbones, comes in a 35-piece travel version. "I wanted a construction toy with pieces that were easy to assemble and easy to take apart," explains Jawbones inventor Philip Shoptaugh of the product's travel-friendly design. Now in its second year, this set is packaged inside a storage jar and includes a 20-page idea booklet for assembling 10 different models.

Flip ‘n Draw activity book.
Mudpuppy Press, div. of Galison. 800.670.7441.

Flip ‘n Draw

Book is a part of an easy-to-read series for children ages 7-11. Features full-color images of landmarks and geography. $9.99.
Arcadia Publishing. 888.313.2665.

Activity cards help keep kids occupied while waiting for a flight. For ages 6 and up. $9.99. Usborne Books. 800.475.4522.

Activity cards
Look Out World

Look Out World gift set comes with soft doll and activity book with DVD.
Look Out World. 201.266.6992.

Lots of Activity
What mom hasn't broken out a pen and paper to keep her kids busy while waiting for a meal to arrive or their flight to board? Several toy companies take this idea up a notch with a variety of activity books that go from basic doodling to detailed drawings.
"A good travel toy has to be able to withstand a lot of use and tossing about," says Brenda Bell, publicity director, Galison/Mudpuppy Press. "Our Flip and Draws are great because you can tuck them in any bag and they won't fall apart if they get tussled a bit." These wire-bound activity books, which will be in stores next month, contain 15 sheets divided into thirds horizontally, so kids can mix and match characters to color.
Aside from keeping a child occupied, travel toys that make for unencumbered play are also a must. Donna Modrell, marketing and operations manager, Peaceable Kingdom Press, visualizes a product that a child can "play with for a bit ... with pieces that can be put away easily and don't have any messy glue or lots of parts that need assembling." In this vein come the Game Time! Write & Wipe Activity Book, including two pens and a clean-up in a carry-on tote, and four new reusable sticker totes: Monster Trucks, My Family/Mi Familia, Mix & Match Animals and Four Seasons.
For the older age set come two titles from the ever-quirky, always engaging Klutz: Thumb Wars: The Ultimate Guide (including a unique Sleeve of Doom for game-playing) and Me Versus You: Head-to-Head Pencil Games Challenge, which makes word games competitive for two players. To help promote the former product, Klutz will be releasing an video "because we know that taking the Sleeve of Doom to the streets ... will be a nail biter," quips Doug Analla, associate director of marketing.


Bendaroos new Store N' Go Activity Pack with 100 building sticks, templates, a crimper cutter and playmat. Bendaroos. 914.347.7827

Magnetic wooden letters. $18.
Mudpuppy. 800.670.7441.


Jawbones 35-piece travel set.
For ages 3 and up. $11.99.
Shoptaugh Games. 510.654.4119.

activity backpack can be colored and recolored with washable markers. $18. Kidzsack. 978.314.4875.

Wikki Stix

Wikki Stix travel fun set includes an eight-page activity booklet, a lightweight playboard and 24 Wikki Stix. $2.50.
Wikki Stix/Omnicor Inc. 800.869.4554.

Always in Season
Despite what some retailers may think is a seasonal business, travel toy manufacturers are confident that their products can provide steady sales throughout the year - and at non-traditional venues.
eeBoo Corp., makers of travel-size memory games, has product in various zoos, museums, airport shops and resort gift shops. "We see an uptick in the summer and fourth quarter, but our strong sellers do well all year long," says owner and creative director Mia Galison.
Other manufacturers have carved out their own niche markets in resort boutiques. "Depending on the location, travel toys can either be seasonal or year-round business," explains Tina Hill, owner of Kidzsack. Her color-on activity totes garnered strong sales last summer at a Cape Cod, MA, resort, but she doesn't expect a reorder until next summer. "Resorts that are busy year-round, because they are in warmer locations, are ones that I count on for reorders," she adds. She counts the Beverly Hills Hotel, Four Seasons Maui and Atlantis Resort among her other customers.
Peaceable Kingdom Press, which does big business at airport stores and hotel gift shops, also has a presence in the resort arena. "Resort gift shops can pick and choose styles that are appropriate for their niche," says Modrell. "For instance, the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas does well with our Sea Life and Mermaid reusable sticker totes."
Also successful in airport and train station retail channels, Mudpuppy has gone so far as to custom-brand its travel products for specific clients. Most recently, the company created a travel/reading journal for US Airways to give to its fliers. Additional projects were completed for Amtrak and Marriott.
Regardless of venue, Bell agrees that travel toys can be a perennial best-seller. "They are not just for summer travel, but parents like to entertain their kids on a daily basis - whether they are going to Grandma's or the grocery store," she affirms.

Crazy Critters For Kids Of All Ages

From unlikely companions like the misunderstood bedbugs to critters found only in the imagination, today's furry friends go way beyond bears.

Pax Studio Edition is from the Monsternauts collection. $30. Monster Factory. 416.913.6673.

Pax Studio
Nibble the Bed Bug

Nibble the Bed Bug comes with an animation flip book and an action-pose sticker. $12.95. GIANTmicrobes Inc. 877. MICROBE.

New Basheeshee Ugly Doll is the little brother of Big Toe. 12". $20. Pretty Ugly LLC. 866.HEY.UGLY.

New Basheeshee
Rob the Rabbit

Rob the Rabbit is from the Zombie Zoo line designed by children's author/illustrator Neecy Twinem. 12"-15". ZombieZoo 505.281.0525.

Beginners Guide To Collecting Action Figures

Collecting action figures can be a wonderful and rewarding hobby.

Firstly, you should pick a niche. There are hundreds of lines of action figures to choose from. Whether it's Batman, Superman, Spiderman, sports figures or anything else, try to select something you like, not something you think will grow in value. Your favorite movie, comic book or sport are good places to start.

Decide what, within that line or genre, you are going to specialize in collecting. For instance, there are Batman collectors who only buy Catwoman collectibles. Are you only going to collect mint, carded items or do you plan on opening them for play or display? If you plan to open them, you may be less concerned with the condition of the packaging then someone who only wants to collect mint, carded or unopened toys.

Do you want to cross collect? Do you want to acquire anything featuring your chosen line of figures? This could get out of control depending on the merchandise and popularity of your figures.

It may also help to set a limit on how much you wish to spend on your hobby. Some porcelain figures can cost hundreds of dollars. If you're going to collect mass market toys that's a pretty inexpensive area, but some collections require considerable amount of funding. Whatever your situation, try to purchase the best items you can afford, and upgrade when you can afford it.

If your collection is featuring mint, carded or boxed figures, there are a number of things to pay close attention to, so it is best to do some independent research. Here are some pointers:

* Are the corners mint or soft? Soft corners detract from the value and typical disintegrate more over time further reducing the monetary value of your item.
* Are there any creases, however faint, in the card?
* Don't just look at the card head-on. Turn it at different angles to the light and look at it in daylight as well as store or office lighting. There are typically creases running down from the hanger area to the bubble that develop over time from the weight of the item pulling down on the cardboard. Creasing is a major detraction from the value of the item, whether you collect for financial gain or pleasure.
* Check the bubble for creasing and cracking, and other damage. Check the bubble's edges for how tightly they are glued to the card. Loose edges or sloppy glue may indicate the bubble was resealed. Do not purchase anything that makes you have doubts. Look for signs of tampering as some people have been known to slice through the bubble and use model glue to close the opening in the bubble.
* Check the card version[s]. Some lines, typically Star Wars have an item number and a card version number ie. 9321.00 or 9321.01. Again, doing some independent research will help you with this.
* Do not buy packaging errors or flukes expecting to reap large financial gains. Some collectors collect these "flukes" but most regard them as mistakes and worthless. Be skeptical of these "rarities".