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4M Crystal Growing Kit — Sparkling Crystals Form Right Before Your Eyes reviews a science kit from 4M.

This is a great little “Crystal Growing Kit” that you can find on Amazon for around $10. The key here is to follow the directions very carefully, which not only ensures the success of your crystal growing but it provides a strong foundation for learning about science and teaching kids to follow instructions.

We tested this kit with a six year old and an eight year old, and I would say it was perfect for them, although you could even go a little younger if you are prepared to assist with the project. Everything you need is included in the kit except for water. We began by dissolving the powdery crystal mixture in hot water and letting it sit for 15 minutes. Then we transferred that to the clear crystal display case and waited another 30 minutes for everything to settle. Next we put in the multi-colored crystal seeds, and according to our watch, the preparation process took about 60 minutes.


Posted in Building, Crafts, Learning, Novelty

Wind-Up Toys : Making a Comeback

Z WindUp looks at the latest in plastic wind-up toys from Z WindUps.

When you think of wind-up toys, your mind sometimes takes you back to toys that were being produced in the 1930s and 1940s. Well, it might be time to change your thinking, because we have come across a collection of wind-up toys that brings back not only the nostalgic days of years past but also are very much relevant for today. These wind-up toys are produced by Z WindUps and they will certainly have universal appeal not only to wind-up toy enthusiasts, but also to anyone who has been looking for a toy with unique designs and functions. We play tested 7 different wind-up toys from Z WindUps, representing just 3 design categories. We actually counted around 167 different wind-ups in the entire product line.


Posted in Figures, Novelty

Special Double Feature: A Fun Pair from Patch Products

Stinky Pig 1 reviews two unique items from Patch Products.

First up we are going to look at a great party game for ages 6 years old and up called “Stinky Pig.” With a name like that, it sure sparked our interest, and we were not disappointed. “Stinky Pig” is actually a squeezable pink pig that stands just over 4 inches in height. When you press on his belly, he hums a version of “pop goes the weasel” which ends with a short but very identifiable toot. The toot, of course, is intended to sound very much like the audible discharge of intestinal gas. We all know the sound.


Posted in Baby and Toddler, Games, Learning, Novelty

AREAWARE: Fun Creations for All Ages

Cubebot reviews a pair of wooden objects from David Weeks Studio and AREAWARE.

We are big fans of most anything from AREAWARE, which is best known for manufacturing some of the most unique items around. Their full line of products is both playful and thoughtful, with considerable appeal to all ages. Today, we are going to look at the new multi-colored “Cubebot,” as well as “Hanno Jr., the Wooden Gorilla.”

Cubebot 2Although the “Cubebot” itself is not really a new offering from AREAWARE, the multi-color version was recently introduced and is a great addition to the line of available “Cubebots.” Designer David Weeks was influenced to create the “Cubebot” from Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles that originated in Japan. In English, Kumiki means to “join wood together, and Shinto is the indigenous religion of the Japanese people. The result is a wooden puzzle in the shape of a cube (with 2.5 inch sides). If we counted correctly, there are actually 15 wooden parts, each attached to another using carefully hidden, but amazingly strong, elastic bands.


Posted in Learning, Novelty Update – New Site and Content Migration

cropped-cropped-Toys1.gifThis site has been up and running for more than four years, and we have been asked by a few people why we have never updated the design. The short answer is that the site worked, and we’ve learned before that if something works online, don’t mess with it. But the time has finally come for a refresher, a new design and layout that provides a host of benefits for readers.

First of all this new site will load much faster. The previous site was code heavy and a bit of a patch work Frankenstein job that accumulated a lot of excess size over the years. This new site is optimized to run much faster.


Posted in Apps and Video Games, Baby and Toddler, Board Games, Building, Card Games, Christmas, Doll, Electronics, Figures, Games, Girls, Information, Learning, Nostalgic, Novelty, Outdoor, Remote Control, Riding, Sports, Uncategorized, Vehicles

Novelty Item Review – Stinkerz – Collectible Cards with a Strong Scent looks at one of its most unusual items.

Stinkerz1We thought it might be fun to look at some novelty items from time to time, and here is the first one. We found some stinky sticker trading cards called “Stinkerz.”
The cards are sold in traditional packs, and each pack contains 5 cards, one of which is a “scratch n sniff” card that gives off a terrible odor when scratched. The cards measure 2 ½” x 3 ½” and there are currently 20 cards in series 1. The stickers can be peeled from the card and will stick anywhere.


Posted in Novelty

Novelty Item Review: Beard-O, the Geeky Garden Gnome & Much More looks at some crazy items from Big Mouth Toys.

The Toys Bulletin staff just could not resist mentioning the wild, yet creative products at Big Mouth Toys.  We took a close-up look at “Beard-O, the Geeky Garden Gnome,” who stands about 9.5” high, and retails for around $20.00.  His photo accompanies the review.  The gnome was of high quality and it certainly brought a smile to our faces here at Toys Bulletin.  It would make quite the conversation piece.

We wanted to mention some other products sold by Big Mouth Toys.  We could not begin to review them all, but there is a surprisingly strong market and demand for humorous products.  I still remember going into “Spencer Gifts” at a local mall for the first time, and spending at least an hour in there touching, laughing and eventually buying some gag gifts that I had not seen anywhere before.  I never forgot that experience.


Posted in Novelty

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