We spent about an hour at the party - some of which may have included me and Chris chatting together animatedly while Amy was stuck talking to a toy manufacturer...sorry, Amy! At most of the parties you are given a gift bag on departure. This one was no different and it was already the second swag bag we'd gotten related to the conference - remember we have only been in town for about 4 hours at this point... We lugged them back to the hotel room. It was so efficiently packed with toys that I knew I would not be able to get them back in again if I took them out. I let the kids tear in to it when I got home and here are our favorites from the event and gift bag.
We love these Fruitominoes by BananaGrams. We have played them several times now and although my older son is really good with his numbers, the fact that these use fruit, makes it really easy to play. My younger son got a little distracted and just pretended to eat all the fruit but I know if I gave him less sugar, he might have been able to focus long enough to match up like fruit to like fruit.
If you have boys, you probably already have HexBugs. My boys are surprised that I will let these in the house considering my aversion to all things buggy. Some editions glow in the dark and the new multi-level "habitats" that they shared at the party were amazingly cool. Although we have a few of the "bugs" these habitat kits are going to be on the Christmas lists for sure.
My son is a lego maniac. He has a ton of sets and themes and will talk with anyone about legos, at length. But he's not a snob. He'll play with a faux lego set - no problem. Anything that is a building brick but not an actual Lego is deemed a "lego not lego." I knew he was going to love this Hasbro Kre-o set of "lego not legos" especially because they are Transformers themed. Like the Lego Creationary sets, from one box of bricks you can create a few figures and they are similarly priced. He really liked them and even told me "they have a lot of good details." He's 5. And totally my son.
Leap Frog has a few cool new things out (or coming out). This Leap Pad resembles an Ipad and the graphics are really good! So much better than some of the other Leap Frog handheld devices. Not only can you play fun and learning games, you can also take photos and edit them. I think they said it would retail for about $99 and is available August 15, 2011. I will be buying one. The marketing info says ages 4-9 but my 2.5 year old would be all over it. And how rad is this book to go along with the tag system?! My 5 year old is a rocker through and through so anything with guitars and having to do with music interests him. These graphics are cute and I just wish all the Leap Frog tag books could be this cute. I'm pretty sure learning to read does not require a dorky character to teach it, so update the early reading series, would ya?!
This last item is from Shoulder Buddies. The silver disc contains a magnet that you put under the shoulder of your shirt to get the little troll/ducky looking guy to sit on and stay put. My oldest son loves this thing and likes to dazzle people with its "magic." I think you can tell by the face of my younger son in the photo above that he is a little unsure of this thing. Do you hear, "I always feel like, somebody's watchin' me-ee" as you look at that picture? Luckily I had a fast shutter speed. Super fun stocking stuffer or package topper.
all photos are mine
I was not paid by any of the companies mentioned above to talk about their products. I received a sample of the Fruitominoes, the Kreo, the HexBug and the Shoulder Buddies but all opinions are mine.