Wednesday, December 30, 2015

TOMS & National Geographic Big Cats Collection

** A Geek Daddy received the featured product for free to review **
My kids have an affinity for"Big Cats" probably resulting from a combination of their dad being a passionate sports fan for two teams that have them for mascots (Detroit Tigers & Lions) and one of our favorite family activities is taking a walk through our local zoo to go see the lion exhibit.  So my daughter was pretty excited when a package from TOMS arrived the other day containing a sample of their new Nat Geo Big Cats Collection.  This collection includes sun glasses, a backpack, and of course what TOMS is known for, shoes that include design elements representing big cats and incorporate iconic photography from National Geographic's image library into their style.

While it is nice to be able to see lions, tigers, and other big cats at zoos wouldn't it be a shame if these creatures became extinct from the wild.  These animals have become symbols of adventurism and ferociousness for all of us so what would become of our own human nature if one day we find ourselves living on a planet where there aren't exotic natural spaces where majestic beasts roam in the wild.  Would some of our own instincts for imagination and exploration die off in a world with no wild animals and places?  Unfortunately this is a very real scenario.  Big cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate.  In fact some zoologists are warning that within a generation wild lion and tiger populations may be extinct.

Fortunately there are efforts to try and avoid this scenario.  Since 2009, National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative has worked to reverse the decline of big cats through on-the-ground conservation and education projects in Africa, Asia, and North and South America. These projects include instituting patrols to prevent lion snaring and poaching and building livestock enclosures to protect endangered cats from retaliatory killing.  TOMS is joining in the effort to save these wild animals and their natural habitats by partnering with National Geographic to support its critical nonprofit work through the Big Cats Collection. National Geographic and TOMS hope that this special collection draws attention to the critical need to protect and preserve big cats in the wild.

Heather Mycoskie, the wife of the TOMS founder and "Chief Shoe Giver" Blake Mycoskie,  became inspired to start the TOMS Animal Initiative when she learned that wild lions are at risk of being extinct.  As TOMS "Chief Animal Lover", Heather reached out to National Geographic to partner with the nonprofit in creating the Big Cats Collection.  Through the TOMS Animal Initiative, TOMS is working with various nonprofit animal conservation organizations to drive awareness and funding for global animal protection.

My daughter received a pair of Nat Geo Tiny Jaguar Classics from the TOMS Big Cats Collection to wear on our next trek to the zoo, camping trip, or nature trail hike.  These shoes feature a jaguar-inspired paw print pattern on the outside and the inside is lined with Jaguar pictures from National Geographic's image library.  In addition to be stylish there are also useful components to these shoes that include an elastic V-notch for a secure fit; a latex arch insert for added support; and TOMS classic microfiber with cushion for comfort.  My little girl adores the style of these Nat Geo Tiny Jaguar Classics and can't wait to wear them out on our next big family adventure.

In addition to a pair of TOMS, my daughter also received some goodies from Opposite of Far which included a unique bobcat mask. Opposite of Far specializes in creating unique animal-inspired masks for kids that are made in the United States. Opposite of Far masks are made from layers of premium Merino wool blend felt and Eco-fi Felt sewn together to ensure a safe, durable high quality product that inspires children to enjoy hours of imaginative play. Opposite of Far has a line of endangered animal masks to help promote awareness for conservation and preservation efforts.

Some of the other items in the TOMS Nat Geo Big Cats Collection include Nat Geo Men's Lion Paseos, Nat Geo Women's Jaguar Classics, Nat Geo Leopard Sunglasses, and the Nat Geo Big Cats backpackCLICK HERE to view the entire TOMS Nat Geo Big Cats Collection.

National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative was founded in 2009 with Dereck and Beverly Joubert—filmmakers, conservationists, and Nat Geo explorers-in-residence—as a long-term effort to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. The Big Cats Initiative supports efforts to save big cats through assessment, on-the-ground conservation, education, and its "Cause an Uproar" global public-awareness campaign. Since its inception the Big Cats Initiative has funded over 80 grants across more than 25 countries to help save big cats in the wild. CLICK HERE if you would like to make a direct financial contribution to assist the Big Cats Initiative. For more information about its mission and accomplishments, visit

A Geek Daddy is a member of the National Geographic Kids Insider blogger program.  Insiders get a behind-the-scenes look at National Geographic’s resources, activities, content and projects for kids and families. They also review copies of books, magazines and toys, and other Nat Geo products plus are offered interviews with authors, explorers and editors. 



  1. Such a great cause & partnership. It's really wonderful that it includes & helps educate kids. It's sad to think of the many species that could be gone in our lifetime. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Such a great cause & partnership. It's really wonderful that it includes & helps educate kids. It's sad to think of the many species that could be gone in our lifetime. Thanks for sharing.

  3. These are adorable and what a great cause!! Your kids seem to be the winners in your blog swag :)

  4. Tons makes such great shoes. These are a great collection and I love the patterns!

  5. Oh, I love this. What a great thing they are doing.