China Toy Fair


COMMENTARY: Putting It Together

Ever since I was a kid, I have been a huge fan of puzzles. I am, by no means, a patient person, but there is something so calming and relaxing about trying to figure out how 1,000 pieces fit together to create a picture. New puzzles on the market are taking the traditional toy to a whole new level for all ages. With additions like a fourth dimension, augmented reality, or sound effects, puzzles are keeping up with the changing times and adapting for new generations. Here are some of my favorite puzzles on the market, each with its own little added twist.

4D Cityscape History Puzzle - New York City 2013The puzzles from 4D Cityscape are quite the undertaking, but they are definitely rewarding and educational at the same time. The key to 4D Cityscape puzzles are the fourth dimension: time. Puzzle builders put together a 3-D puzzle of a city, and then add the buildings, structures, and landmarks in order according to a provided timeline, learning the history of the city as well as the layout. This 4-D adventure allows you to explore the cities of the world, including New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, and more. A personal favorite of mine is the upcoming 4-D puzzle of Westeros, that was introduced by HBO at Comic-Con International: San Diego (and that I gushed about, along with other great Game of Thrones products, here). Whether you’re exploring the real world or a fictional one, 4D Cityscape puzzles are an entertaining way to travel—without all those pesky airline regulations. [Read more...]

COMMENTARY: Winter Is Coming with New Game of Thrones Products

As an avid reader of George R.R. Martin’s book series and a regular viewer of the HBO TV series, I could not have been more excited to receive HBO’s announcements of their Game of Thrones-licensed products that were debuted at Comic-Con International in San Diego. New figures, books, puzzles, plush and more are sure to delight Game of Thrones fans and collectors. The new products feature favorite characters as well as cuddly versions of even the prickliest of Westeros’ creatures. (There are probably some spoilers from the series, so proceed with caution.)

NedStarkComicConPOP (1)Game of Thrones Comic-Con Exclusive Pop! Ned Stark Figurine: Ever find yourself watching the show and thinking, Ned Stark never would’ve let this nonsense go down? Well, the sad, defeated, yet honorable late Hand to (also the late) King Robert Baratheon is back with the Game of Thrones Comic-Con Exclusive Pop! Ned Stark Figurine, from Funko, that pays homage to the head patriarch of the Stark family that we all miss so dearly. Held together by two magnets, his bloody neck from his beheading in the penultimate episode of the first season is revealed when you remove his head. This iteration of the classic Pop! Ned  Stark Figurine is a great collectible to keep intact on your desk or in separate pieces to honor the memory of our beloved Ned. A limited quantity of this figure is on sale HBO online store. [Read more...]