Create Your Own Fireworks with Uncle Milton’s Disney Fireworks Lightshow Launcher!

My favorite part about the 4th of July (besides the food, the fam, and celebrating ‘Merica) is the fireworks. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve loved them, and have plenty of fond memories watching them on TV as well as in person. So when the folks from Uncle Milton sent me the Disney Fireworks Lightshow Launcher I was pretty thrilled – I mean, I know it’s a toy meant for the kids, but who can resist two of the most entertaining things to watch (Disney and fireworks) when they’re shown together!

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This happened to be one of those rare reviews where I’m not the lonely only testing out a product. Everyone was excited to see and try this toy out themselves! It really is so much fun. The Lightshow Launcher features an on and off switch (yes! all toys should include this, says the person who has been terrorized by toys going off all hours of the night); and 8 built-in Disney fireworks images.

fireworks-show-disneyYou have to turn the red panel to move from slide to slide, but the image quality is surprisingly sharp. Another neat feature is that when you pull back the launcher and release the trigger, the fireworks actually go from being small to large – so they really do look like actual fireworks!

Disney-Lightshow-LauncherThe trigger is not at all hard to pull, which means that little hands and chubby fingers can work this toy and create their own fireworks show! My nephew loves Disney and fireworks too (a kid after my own heart), he’s in love with this toy and I know he can’t wait to “make my own show” with the Disney Fireworks Lightshow Launcher this summer!

For more information on the Disney Lightshow Launcher as well as the other fun toys from Uncle Milton, click here!

Get a Hop on Easter Baskets with Wonderforge! And it’s also a Giveaway!

Every year, after Church on Easter Sunday, my family has our yearly Easter egg hunt and Easter basket handout. We’re a very competitive bunch and our Easter egg hunt is like the Laura Ashley equivalent of The Hunger Games. The same competitiveness rings true through any game we’re playing – our most favorite game right now is the Nickelodeon™ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ Clash Alley™ Strategy Board Game.

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I grew up with TMNT – so I was super excited to get my hands on this game! Although, Shawn (my little brother), didn’t grow up with the Ninja Turtles, he was absolutely in love with this strategy game. On a mission to rescue April, you battle mutants Kraang and Shredder – you get get to recover objects and even pick up pizza! But our favorite part of this game was the 3D aspect – it adds another “layer of fun” as Shawn put it.

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It comes unattached – so you have to set it up. I’m hopeless when it comes to putting things together, but even I managed this one really well (I’m proud to say). The object of the game is to be the first turtle to complete your mission by collection your mission tile and returning to your corner home space. You do this by rolling the three dice which tell you how much you can run, climb, and leap, and you can do those in any order with the goal being to get your mission tile. It’s so fun, and super easy to understand! We played a LOT of rounds, it’s pretty addictive, it’s like a fun combination of action, puzzle, and board game because you have to figure out what moves will work best for you. Very cool!

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Another game, perfect for your younger bunnies, is the Disney Easter Matching Game! It’s so adorable, and a perfect game for young Disney fans. Favorite Disney characters are featured including Mickey (naturally), Donald, Tinker Bell, Minnie Mouse, Belle, Daisy duck, Piglet, Phineas and Pherb, the green aliens from Toy Story, Winnie the Pooh, Buzz and Woody, and more!
I’m gifting this one this Easter to my neice – who absolutely loves Disney! I love how this match game develops the memory of little ones; and thanks to Wonderforge is made out of recycled materials for a smaller footprint on our environment!

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The kind folks at Wonderforge are offering one lucky winner both the Nickelodeon™ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™ Clash Alley™ Strategy Board Game and the Disney Easter Matching Game!

To Enter Please Leave One Comment Per Entry

Mandatory
1. Follow Wonderforge on twitter

2. Follow The NYC Talon on twitter

Optional
1. All of Wonderforge’s facebook followers get an extra entry! If you don’t follow Wonderforge on facebook yet, you can do so here!

2. Follow The NYC Talon on Pinterest

3. Retweet this tweet!

*Wonderforge provided me with product samples in order to facilitate a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. Giveaway open to 18+, US only. Starts 3/18 and closes on 3/26 at midnight EST.

Wildlife & The City, a Safari Review & Giveaway!

I’m a sucker for awesome toys – especially when they double as great decorating tchotchke’s! Safari was cool enough to send me the Eastern Screech Owl replica that I fell in love with at Toy Fair, and I still can’t get over the amazing detail and life-like appearance! Actually, when I went to take photos of it at my local park an older gentleman who was walking his dog thought my sister and I were taking pictures of an actual living owl – how crazy is that

Safari Eastern Screech Owl
I’ve loved owls since I was little when my mom used to call me her “night owl”, I’ve seen a few in person, and even named The NYC Talon based off of an owl’s talon – and I own a fair amount of owl-motif items, and I’m so excited to add this one to my collection! Right now it’s residing as a decorative end to my bookshelf, although an errant ring will occasionally find itself hanging off one of it’s prominent ear tufts – I really love it!

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Safari also sent me the coolest TOOB ever! The NYC TOOB! You guys know how much I love my city – after all this is The NYC Talon! I was going to keep them on my shelf, but now I think I might also use them as photo prop pieces for my blog store when I re-brand and revamp it.

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They really are all so amazingly detailed, I was turning them over in my hand and was shocked with how beautifully made they were – and every piece was a fitting tribute to the big apple!

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Safari has been around for over 30 years now, and are dedicated to sharing the unique beauty of wildlife with children through their professionally sculpted and hand painted (and often to scale) replicas of wildlife! But they also have the most awesome historical themed replicas as well as humans, fantasy themed pieces, and more!

Safari would love to share this mission with you and are offering one super lucky NYC Talon reader a replica OR a TOOB of your choice – and will include an extra surprise for the winner if he/she is following them on all their social media accounts! Pretty awesome, huh?

To Enter – One Comment Per Entry

Mandatory

Visit Safari and let me know what replica or TOOB you’d choose if you won!

Optional

1. All of Safari’s Facebook followers get and extra entry! If you don’t follow Safari, then you can do so here!

2. Follow Safari on Twitter

3. Follow Safari on Google+

4. Follow Safari on Pinterest

5. Subscribe to The NYC Talon via email – just enter your email address in the sidebar!

6. Follow The NYC Talon on Twitter

*Safari provided me with product samples in order to facilitate a review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own. Giveaway open to 18+, US only. Starts 3/16 and closes on 3/23 at midnight EST.

The Big Toy Book’s Biggest Day of Holiday Play Event Recap!

I love toys, and a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to take Juliet (my little sister) to The Big Toy Book’s Biggest Day of Holiday Play event! Together, we both got a sneak peek at the hottest toys that are hitting the shelves.

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As a 90’s child I was thrilled to see the presence of a few old school toys – of course they’re all re-imagined to accommodate the taste and lifestyle of the modern child. But the purpose of toys like the Spirograph and the Slinky will always remain – and it’s to have fun!

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Some of the awesome toys that Juliet and I got to get our hands on to try were Hex Bugs – which I featured on The NYC Talon’s 2012 Holiday Gift Guide! In fact, both my little brother and sister received HexBugs for Christmas (they had an awesome sale in Target, so Santa couldn’t help himself *wink, wink*). I just love HexBugs, they’re just so much fun – and completely reduce me to a nine year old kid again.

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Lite Brix was definitely one of the popular toys at the event. Personally, I’ve noticed how increasingly popular light up or glowing toys are amongst kids. Juliet loved playing with them, and was dying over their “super cool light up guitar” that Lite Brix had bought along for the event.

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One of my favorite toys, which I had never heard of up until TBTB BDH event was the Boogie Board – which apparently means that I’ve been living under a rock or something. I’ve been telling everyone about this super useful, fun toy – and during Christmas break I mentioned it in passing to one of my grandmother’s and she was like “Yeah, I love the Boogie Board! I’ve had it for a while; I use it to write down item numbers when I watch the home shopping network”. So much for being “in the know” lol!

Koosh was also super popular – the kids LOVED playing with them! But I think the adults loved them even more – their one of the toys that appeals to “kids” of all ages, which I love.

Products like the Slinky, Spirograph, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were complete throw-backs for me. I loved seeing them there alongside newer lines like AppGear, Tech4Kids, ArtSee Studio, and FlyLine RC (who are one of the awesome sponsors for The Dragyn’s Lair and The NYC Talon’s #Tweetin13 twitter party!). Juliet spent the majority of her time though with the folks from The Bridge Direct – she now wants everything she saw in that suite especially the Waverly and the Magic Seashells line, Glo Glo Inkoos, and Looney Toons stuffed animals. Meanwhile, I absolutely loved the Annoying Orange dartboard. She loved the Hello Kitty Shoulder Buddy one of the super nice ladies from The Bridge bestowed upon her, she insisted that I instagrammed it (you can see it here)!

We had a complete blast – and I have successfully solidified my reputation as one of the coolest sisters ever!

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* All opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon and are not influenced in any way. I did not receive compensation for this post. I did receive a gift bag at the event, for more info please see my PR tab above.

Playing Football on Top of the World and Making it Epic : My Zamzee Review

This summer the whole family has spent a boatload of time being active outdoors. But getting out and about while the sun is blazing is never an easy task. In fact, most kids (and adults) would prefer to spend their time chilling in a room being blasted with air conditioner. But to get the kids- and by kids I mean my awesome younger sibs who will be hereafter known as Juliet and Shawn- excited about moving I turned to Zamzee!

What is Zamzee? The Zamzee is a meter that measures physical activity, and works with the website to monitor and provide kids with an interactive online experience that makes moving a fun and rewarding activity. Which basically means that your kids (or nieces, nephews, younger siblings, etc.) get a meter, join the Zamzee website, create a profile and avatar, wear their meter, track their progress, and can actually earn rewards towards cool prizes!

Juliet and Shawn were really excited about their Zamzee’s- and had a blast creating their avatar’s. Minutes after opening the package, we had their accounts successfully set up and their Zamzee’s fully running- which I was really pleased about. If you’ve ever struggled with removing a Barbie from her box on Christmas morning, or pulled out your hair over complicated packaging, start-up instructions, or a million get started steps, then you can understand how invaluable a really easy seamless set up is.

I really wish I had one of these as a kid! Juliet and Shawn insist all the time now for me to take them out to the library or park, and to sign them up for challenges, and upload their Zamz. They are determined to score something really cool from the Zamz store!

Zamzee was established in 2010 by HopeLab, a nonprofit research organization that uses the power and appeal of technology to improve the health of kids. The goal for Zamzee was to create a profitable business, while also achieving their social mission of getting kids and families moving more. Zamzee targets an audience of kids mainly between the ages of 9 to 15 – that rough spot where physical activity begins to decline, and kids are forming lifelong habits.

Click the image above for access to my Zamzee Britely book!

I really admire the idea of a company whose product is designed around an admirable social goal. I’ve found that the Zamzee’s appeal to the competitive and fun-seeking nature of kids. They want to run more, they want to go out, and they want to work towards their own goals. Here’s what Shawn and Juliet had to say about the Zamzee meters:

Juliet:

“I liked it because I got to customize my avatar, and when I exercise I’m working towards getting something. I also like that you can get awards and become “friends” with other kids on the Zamzee site- what can I say? I’m a social butterfly!”

Shawn:

“I like the rewards, it gives you something to work towards. I also like making Whamz whenever I upload my points- you can make really cool ones like ‘Football on top of the world and making it epic’.”

The Zamzee is definitely the most favorite accessory in my home right now. I would definitely recommend as a birthday, or Christmas present, or even as a tool to start getting your kids excited about moving!

For more information about the Zamzee, their history, and how it works – click here! You can also follow them on facebook or twitter. If you have any questions about the Zamzee or our experience with the Zamzee- feel free to leave a comment below, I promise I’ll answer ASAP!

Update: The super kind folks at Zamzee are now offering a discount code to my readers (that’s you!) that will take 25% off your Zamzee purchase on the website! Just use the code “LUVZZ2012″ at checkout!

*Disclaimer: I received two Zamzee’s to review. No other compensation was provided. My opinions are always my own, if I didn’t love it I would blog about it – for more info on that check out my PR tab above. Thank you!