COMMENTARY: These Valentine’s Day Toys and Activities Have Lots of Heart!

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and many people will give roses, chocolates, and jewelry to the objects of their affections. But lest we forget, toys and games also make fine presents. Looking around the toy industry, it’s clear that a number of companies were aware of potential opportunities, and responded with cool Valentine’s Day-themed products. But I also found some items that, even if they weren’t packaged specifically for the hearts-and-flowers holiday, are still perfect for the occasion. Here’s a brief rundown, though as usual, this is by no means an exhaustive list:

Phil.Feb7Plush dolls, from Aurora World Inc.: These dolls come in all shapes and sizes, and several of them sport that most familiar of Valentine’s Day icons: the heart. For example, Pink Promise, a soft, two-toned elephant, has heart prints all around the insides of its huge ears. There’s also Sad Sam & Honey, a pair of adorably sad-looking basset hounds, each bearing a heart with an “I Love You” message. Aurora World also has YooHoo & Friends, a trio of pastel-colored chimpanzees that not only present Valentine’s Day messages such as “Be Mine!” and “XOXO!,” but squeak when squeezed.

While the dolls I just mentioned are tailor-made for February 14, even if you take away the pink dye and hearts, these are still terrific plush animals. Both Sad Sam & Honey and YooHoo & Friends have big eyes and emotive facial expressions, which make them easy to empathize with and feel affection toward. Pink Promise, on the other hand, benefits from sheer generousness of proportions: It comes in four sizes, one as large as 22 inches from trunk to end. As such, this elephant is a potential pillar of emotional strength, and isn’t that what we all want for Valentine’s Day? Aurora World plush is suitable for all ages. [Read more...]

3-D Puzzle Breakthrough from Mega Brands

Mega Puzzles 3D Breakthrough

Fun for anyone who enjoys arts & crafts, creative projects, or family activities, Mega Brand’s new 3D Breakthrough puzzles provide a new puzzling experience. The traditional jigsaw puzzle gets rejuvenated as the flat jigsaw puzzle pieces use real 3-D technology to make the art pop out.

Puzzlers first put together the 2-D jigsaw puzzle background and then use specially designed clips to construct cardboard pieces into 3-D components. The completed piece becomes a work of art that can be displayed on a wall, mantel, or tabletop for an enhanced 3-D effect.

The 3D Breakthrough Puzzle line is for kids and adults ages 6 and up and comes in easy, moderate, and advanced levels. The puzzles will be available online this fall and in retail stores.