Thursday, December 12, 2013

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2013 Holiday Toy Gift Guide on 3G2S

Product samples of some of the items featured below were provided to facilitate this gift guide.  All opinions expressed are our own.

1.  Playmobil Spy Team Command Vehicle  ($64.99) - The Spy Team Command Vehicle comes with a host of accessories and figures to create a complete play experience. The Command Vehicle features an actual combination lock safe, firing missiles, and a secure chamber for locking down the most vile criminals. The set also includes 4 figures, guns, tools, toy money, and all of the accessories one would expect a team of spies to carry on a mission. The tires are grippy rubber and the front suspension really works powering the Spy Team Command Vehicle over the most challenging terrain.

Assembly should be easy for an adult, but a child may need assistance. Assembly requires about 10-15 minutes of your time. The Spy Team Command Vehicle would make an excellent gift for any aspiring spy hunter age 7 to 12.

You can learn more about the Spy Team Command Vehicle and other Playmobil toys at

2.  Dollie & me 18" Dolls by Madame Alexander  ($39.00) - Dollies are 18" fashion dolls made by Madame Alexander, who has been the gold standard in dolls over nearly a century.  Created with young girls in mind, these high quality yet affordable 18" dolls would be the perfect gift for any girl age 3 years or older, especially if you find American Girl dolls to be too costly.  There are currently 8 different dolls available, each with varying hair, eye, and skin color, modeling a stylish outfit complete with accessories.  You could choose a doll that resembles your little princess or perhaps one that looks like her best friend.

Dollie & me Matching Sleepwear  ($25.00 - $30.00) - What better gift to go along with a new Dollie for Christmas than matching pajamas or a nightgown for your little girl and her doll?  This Gingerbread Printed Nightgown is just  one of many styles available.  Dollie & me fashions come in girl's sizes 2T to 12 and the doll outfits fit most 18" dolls, including American Girl dolls.

To learn more about Dollie & me dolls and fashions, visit

3.  Red Toolbox Billiard Table  ($49.99) - This billiard table is fun to use, but is unique because it comes unassembled and part of the entertainment of it is building this table together as a family project. This is a Level 2 project which is slightly harder and requires cutting, sawing, drilling, and other things that require adult assistance. The instructions are simple enough and only should about an hour to assemble. Once assembled, this table is a perfect, mini-sized version of regular pool table and comes with all the items needed to play the game including chalk for the sticks and a brush for the felt table. The Red Toolbox Billiard Table is perfect for any child who loves to make things, be creative, and see the fruits of their labor. Recommended for ages 8+ because of small parts.

Red Toolbox 8 Piece Toolset  ($39.99) - Perfect for building your billiard table or any other project, this child-sized toolset is great for small hands that love to be helpful with crafting and other handiwork. This set includes a bar clamp, hammer, tape measure, hand saw, 2 Phillips head screwdrivers, file, and safety goggles. Each is well-made out of durable materials and will likely hold up for many years.

To learn more about the Red Toolbox building toys, read our review and visit

4.  Playmobil Take Along Modern Dollhouse  ($59.99) - This new dollhouse by Playmobil is the perfect gift for any child 4 years or older who has a big imagination and needs an entertaining toy that can be easily taken along to a friend's or relative's house.  Playmobil sets are well-known for the awesome details in both their decals, as well as the numerous accessories that accompany each toy.  This set requires minimal assembly, but includes quite a few decals.  Be prepared for up to 20 minutes of set-up before this gift is ready to be played with.  Children will be delighted by drawers that open, tiny toiletries, a flat screen TV plus audio and video components that fit perfectly in the TV stand, everything needed to set the table for a meal, and a wide variety of foods to stock the refrigerator.  Also, if you have a child who loves to collect Playmobil figures, then he or she will be delighted with the boy, girl, baby, and 2 dogs that come with this dollhouse.

To learn more about the Playmobil Take Along Modern Dollhouse and other Playmobil toys, visit

5.  Makedo Make Anything Kit for One  ($25.00) - Makedo’s award winning building system takes things that would usually be trash and turns them into hours of creative play. The Make Anything Kit for One contains 1 safe-saw, 29 re-pins, 29 re-clips, 6 lock hinges, and an inspiration poster. You bring the supplies and your own creativity to make anything you can think of. The Makedo supplies are made of high-quality plastic and are completely reusable so once you’re done with one masterpiece, just take it all apart and store the Makedo parts away until you are ready to create again.  This kit would be the perfect gift for a child age 5 years or older who is learning to repurpose and recycle things around the house.

Learn more about this and the other Makedo kits on their website,

6.  Glitzi Globes  ($7.99 - $19.99) - A new toy for 2013, Glitzi Globes by Moose Toys is a collectible toy that is also a mini craft.  Each Glitzi Globe comes with everything a child needs to make a glitter-filled snow globe, including the dome, the base, a character figure, 3 floating charms, and a glitter tablet.  Just add water and assemble the globe.  The finished globes can be used to display, used as pencil toppers, made into jewelry, and more.  Glitzi Globes would make the perfect gift for a crafty child age 5 years or older, who loves to collect cute and sparkly things.  Currently, this new toy line is available in the Glitzi Globes Glitzi Showcase, the Glitzi Globes Starter Kit, and the Glitzi Globes Themed Three Packs.

To learn more about Glitzi Globes, read our review and visit

7.   Words With Friends Magnetic Game and Message Board  ($19.99) - You can now play Words With Friends, the popular mobile game app, at home! The Words With Friends Magnetic Game and Message Board contains a metal game board, 104 magnetic tiles, a tile bag, 4 metal tile racks, hooks, a dry erase marker and eraser, and all the parts to mount it right on your wall. Play goes just as it does on your mobile device, but you can instead play with the members of your family and even write little messages to each other. It is well made, fun, and sure to delight any word-lover you know.

Learn more about this magnetic version of Words With Friends here. This game can be purchased at most major retailers nationwide.

8.  B-Daman Crossfire Toys  (starting at $8.99) - B-Daman is a television show on the CW, which has been made into toys in which players launch marble-type balls into one another using their B-Daman launcher. This fast-paced game requires precision, skill, and fast fingers to defeat your opponent. B-Daman Crossfire’s vast line of toys is sure to appeal to children ages 6 and up (due to small parts which present a choking hazard). Whether they play alone or with others, they are sure to be delighted.

To learn more about B-Daman Crossfire Toys, read our review. To see their full line, visit

9. Disney Planes Blu-ray/DVD Combo & Disney Planes Toys  ($4.99 - $29.99) - If you have a Disney Pixar Cars movie fan to shop for, then the Disney Planes movie might just be the perfect gift or stocking stuffer you're looking for.  Filled with action, dynamic characters, and important life lessons, Planes is a wonderful choice for a family movie.  This film teaches children to not be afraid to dream big, the importance of fair play, not to judge others by their appearances, and so much more.  Of course, what gift would be complete without a Planes toy or two to bring those movie characters to life?  The collectible and affordable die-cast figures would make fun add-on items to your movie gift.

To learn more about Disney Planes, visit

10.  Keekee the Rocking Monkey  ($24.99) - Blue Orange Games has done it again with this fun game designed for 1-6 players ages 3 and up. Keekee loves juggling balls and trying to balance herself on her favorite banana rocker. Players take turns placing balls in Keekee’s arms, on her head, or on the banana and try not to let Keekee fall over. This game is simple to set up and to play, but not so simple to master, making it a fun challenge. Keekee the Rocking Monkey would make a great gift for any child as young as 3 years old because the concept is easy to comprehend and reading is not required.  This game is also sure to please parents who are fans of wooden battery-free toys.

You can learn more about this and other Blue Orange Games products, by visiting

11.  Breyer Chalkboard Horse  ($14.99) - Breyer is best known for its collectible model horses, but also offers playsets, activity sets, and other horse-themed toys.  Whether a child has already started their Breyer Horses collection or is looking forward to owning their very first, the Breyer Chalkboard Horse would make a fun and unique gift.  This 9.5" black horse comes with 4 pieces of chalk for drawing and a small sponge that can be moistened to clean off the horse when it's time to start a new design.  When the weather is too cold or too wet outside for drawing with chalk, this chalkboard horse would make a fun quiet rainy day activity.  This horse comes in a ready-to-wrap box and is recommended for ages 6 and up.

To learn more about this and other Breyer products, visit

12. Wok ‘n Roll  ($21.99) - In this entertaining game from the Therapy Shoppe, players use tongs to remove colorful plastic food from a wok while the surface vibrates, gyrates, rocks, and rolls. This fun game requires fine motor skills, visual motor skills, sorting, color recognition, and counting, but hones these skills without children realizing it. Designed for 1 to 4 players ages 3 and older (because of choking risk with the “food” pieces), this game would be a fun gift for any child, but especially those who need to develop those skills. This game does require 2 “AA” batteries, so be sure to include them with your gift and it’s worth noting that the game needs a solid, stable surface in order to function.

Learn more about this and the Therapy Shoppe’s other amazing products at

13.  Glow Pets  ($29.95) - From the makers of Pillow Pets comes Glow Pets. Glow Pets are plush animals that double as comfy pillows and they glow! These plush toys come with internal LED lights that are just bright enough to make the dark a little less scary.  The internal lights are also easy to turn on and off with a handy button and each one comes with a built-in 20 minute shut off timer, in order to avoid wasting batteries or burning out the bulbs while children are sleeping. In addition to the Glow Seal, Glow Pets are also available in a Bear, Zebra, Turtle, Unicorn, Pup, Penguin, and Snail.  This plush toy (approximately 15") would be the perfect gift for a child 3 years or older, who is afraid of the dark or just needs a little extra security during the night.

You can learn more about Glow Pets by visiting

14.  Blingles Glimmer Glam Styler Studio  ($19.99) - Blingles is a line of gem craft kits that was introduced in 2012.  For 2013, they have expanded their line to include the new Blingles Glimmer glitter kits.  The Glam Styler Studio has all the tools a child needs to create gem-adorned glitter stickers, which can be used to decorate phone cases, diaries, notebooks, and almost anything with a smooth flat surface.  It comes with 4 wells of colored glitter, clear gems, a glitter brush, a gem pen, plus several sheets of specially designed stickers.  The Blingles Glimmer Glam Styler Studio would make a delightful gift for a child age 6 years or older, but would especially be perfect for tweens.  You could also pair it with the Blingles Bling It Beauty Case ($14.99), which comes with a locking mirrored beauty case that can be decorated with both Blingles gems and Blingles Glimmer stickers.

To learn more about Blingles and Blingles Glimmer products, read our review and visit

More fun gift ideas in toys will be added to this Holiday Gift Guide through December.  Remember to check back often and to follow @_Karen on Twitter to keep up with what's new!