Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Toy Insider Christmas

Being a member of the Toy Insider's Parent Panel has been an incredible experience!  I really enjoy being a regular contributor to their website, participating as a panelist for the Toy Insider Twitter Parties, and serving as a promotional ambassador for the annual Sweet Suite toy expo.  Serving on the Parent Panel has led to me interacting with some wonderful people and provided my family the opportunity to have a lot of fun reviewing a variety of amazing products.

The holiday season is an especially enjoyable time to be associated with the Toy Insiders because their is such an interest in games and toys during this time of the year.  The Toy Insiders always do a stellar job showcasing toys they've researched throughout the year and believe would thrill children to receive as presents through their HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE which is printed within November's issue of the Family Circle magazine and can also be viewed online at thetoyinsider.com.  They also get the Parent Panel members involved by having us do a blog post with each of us highlighting our favorite toy included within the Toy Insider's HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE selections.  Click here to see what each of us picked.

Each of the parents on the panel were also asked to have their kids go through the HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE and create a wish list of their favorite items presumably to be highlighted in a similar write up to the one us adults had recently done.  My kids enthusiastically scrolled through the Toy Insider's online gift guide yelling out toys they'd like Santa to bring them this year.  They're really going to be excited to find out though that instead of using those ideas as part of a blog post, our family had a huge box delivered to the house filled with giftwrapped presents for my son and daughter.  How amazing was that of the Toy Insider for them to do that?!

I'm going to keep these presents a surprise from my kids and we're going to have an extra special Toy Insider Christmas this year.  To avoid my twins getting duplicate gifts from relatives, Santa or mom and dad, I did peel open the wrapping and peek inside each of the gifts.  Do you want to know what was inside all the presents from our Toy Insider's gift box?  Ok ... just between us I'll let you know what I found:



My eight year old boy is infatuated with magic tricks so he's going to be thrilled to get this MAGIC HAT set from Thames & Kosmos.  It provides the opportunity to learn and perform 35 different magic tricks. There are more than 40 props and instructions to learn tricks, such as making a magic wand float, bend, and grow.


My son is also really into the Netflix VOLTRON animated series so he'll definitely be excited to unwrap this diecast lion figure from the show.  Playmate Toys sells the 5 lion vehicles featured in the Netflix episodes individually and they can all be combined to create a robot warrior.


He has been obsessed with the LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE all year long so my son is going to be delighted by this GREEN NINJA MECH DRAGON from LEGO.  I know this toy is going to get a lot of use once it is put together!  The 544-piece mech features articulated snapping jaws, a fully poseable body, a wheel-activated swooshing tail, two leg-mounted stud shooters, and two hidden pop-out thrusters. Plus it comes with four Ninjago mini-figures with assorted weapons.



LEGO toys aren't just for boys and my daughter loves playing and building with them just as much as her twin brother does.  She's going to have a lot of fun playing with this winter themed play set. Build the ultimate winter sports resort, featuring a working ski lift, a rock climbing wall, a ski slope sliding function, and more. The 585-piece set includes two mini-dolls and a bear cub figure.


My passion for Star Wars movies has rubbed off on my daughter.  She went as Rey for Halloween one year and will be so happy to unwrap a doll featuring her favorite Star Wars character.  The 11-inch sized dolls in the Hasbro Forces of Destiny collection are articulated with soft clothing, rooted hair, and battle-ready action moves.


My daughter already has a lot of fun playing with the HAPPY PLACES toy sets she already has; so I know she's going to appreciate being able to add some furniture to her collection from one of her favorite movies, Beauty & the BeastMoose Toys has created Disney-themed furniture and home décor to add a special touch to HAPPY PLACES rooms. This play set features two rooms and exclusive Belle home décor accessories.

Have yourself a Toy Insider Christmas by perusing their HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE as part of your holiday shopping routine.  In addition to an overall list of suggestions broken down by age groups (Infants & Toddlers / Preschool / Grade School / Tweens), the Toy Insider also has specific recommendations on the HOT TOYS of the year, plus highlights items specifically in the tech and STEM categories.  Each toy has an informative description included with a picture as well as symbols that designate skill sets that will benefit from playing with it such as motor skills, school readiness and social interactions. Plus you won't be surprised if a toy needs batteries or not because each listing clearly identifies whether or not they are needed.  The Toy Insider website is a great resource to help you find the perfect gifts for the children in your life.

Don't just visit thetoyinsider.com during the holiday season though! They publish informative toy reviews by trustworthy expert staff throughout the year on everything from action figures and dolls to remote control cars and video games.  As well as feature articles by good ole me! Did I mention they also regularly host some fabulous contests and giveaways too!  The Toy Insider's website is one you definitely should bookmark because it is a valuable resource to take advantage of.  You know they have A Geek Daddy nod of approval!

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