My ALL THINGS GEEK BEST OF 2017 gift recommendations are listed in no particular order. Basically, I’m swamped this time of year, so whenever I get to take a product for a spin, (I NEVER recommend something me or mine haven’t tested) from the manufacturers, it’s an enthusiastic yay or, I don’t list it.
My four criteria for any editorial review toys & products are:
- “Is it FUN?”
- “Is it COOL?”
- “Is it a good VALUE?”
- “Do my kids LOVE it?”
These products below and others to come make the grade!
When available, I’ve added a handy AMAZON PRIME link for discounts (FREE SHIPPING!). The manufacturers links to glean more info for you kind reader, to make informed decisions in spending your hard-earned and make shopping easy!
As always Geek Nation, I appreciate your continued readership & support!
And now, the second of several carefully curated Best Of Gift Guides!
Imaginext/DC SUPERFRIENDS BATBOT XTREME & TEEN TITANS GO! TOWER GIFT SET
The Imaginext DC Super Friends Batbot Xtreme I previewed when a limited NYCC only edition was announced here’s the link. This doesn’t share the same packaging or paint job but it’s otherwise identical.
It’s the ULTIMATE toy for Batman fans! Based on the Batman Unlimited: Mechs vs. Mutants direct-to-video animated film (My kids watched for inspiration) This bot is over two feet tall and has a three-foot wingspan of tough plastic for rough play!
Hassle-free packaging (no ties to cut) pull it out, get your batteries in, turn the Power Pad that sends it into battle mode, extending its wings and arms and prepare for action! I had Shogun Warriors when I was a kid. This brought those memories back big time!
Missiles in the shoulder launchers really fire! It’s got a hidden bat cycle bay in the foot, elevator in the chest plate for the included Batman figure to reach his cockpit! The coolest feature is the voice changer speakers! This is the ultimate in imaginative play for Batfans young & old!
minimum age: Ages 3 years and up
TEEN TITANS GO! TOWER GIFT SET
Teen Titans Go! is one of my kids favorite Cartoon Network shows so this Imaginext set was a no brainer from the makers of The Batbot xtreme! It’s actually composed of 5 different sets! Teen Titans Go! Tower with Robin & Mammoth, Cyborg & Transforming Battle Rig, Beast Boy and riding Gorilla, Teen Titans Go! Pizza Party Starfire Go Kart & Magic Attack Raven!
It’s a terrific set and combined you get an economy of scale you don’t enjoy purchasing each item separately!
MRSP $79.99 from fisher-price
minimum age:Ages 3 years and up
Build & Imagine / MARINE RESEARCH CENTER:
Founder Laurie Peterson, award-winning toy designer and mom, started Build & Imagine after noticing that the kinds of play experiences she enjoyed as a child (involving building, creativity, and experimentation) were poorly represented in the girls’ section of most toy stores. She now develops building toys with adventurous female characters and rich narrative details to engage both girls and boys. This toy introduces S.T.E.M. skills (science, technology, engineering, and math). Additionally, the rich illustrations and magnetic props act as story prompts, sparking imaginative play that sets the stage for language and literacy learning. There are other sets available from Build & Imagine-
Creative Child Magazine named Marine Rescue Center their Top Building Toy of 2015: “from creating the biology lab to adding magnetic animals, it’s a modern-day dollhouse with a compact twist!” 15 illustrated magnetic panels (dolphin and sea lion pools, operating room, laboratory, ship’s wheel, otter rehab tank, and more); Thea doll; magnetic accessories (marine creatures, jet ski, first aid kit, flotation vest)
Recommended for ages 4–8
for more info go to www.buildandimagine.com
TOMY / LIGHTSEEKERS:
“A fantastical world full of magic and mystery. For years, the Lightseekers have lived in relative peace, but now that peace is being threatened.”
Lightseekers is a next generation mobile and tablet game that integrates smart action figures with lights and sounds, interchangeable weapons you can level-up, motion-controlled flight packs that turn your figure into a game controller, and augmented reality trading cards that give you special in-game abilities. Augmented reality trading cards can also be used to play the standalone physical trading card game.
You can download the free game app here.
Smart toys, weapons packs & trading card games combines the collectibles, personalization and play anywhere gaming that kids love!
Redwood Ventures / SMOOSHY MUSHY:
Each Smooshy Mushy bento box comes with an exclusive, scented Smooshy pet, collector stickers, three mini scented “besties” (one of which is blind) and a super cute display tray. Comes with a try-me package so you can “feel the smoosh”! Also includes a collector poster with a hilarious “find your Smooshy name” game. Bento boxes are themed in a variety of ethnic meal times, from American, to Mexican, to Italian and beyond. Let the smooshing begin!
LASER X / LAZER TAG:
Laser X Laser Tag goes a long way to bring the Laser Tag Arena experience to your backyard with three main products- Laser X Two Player Gaming Set 2 Laser Blasters & 2 Receiver Vests for 4 players, Laser X Laser Tower & Laser X Long Range Blaster:
LASER X TWO PLAYER GAMING SET
Blast your opponent’s Receiver Vest from up to 200′ away. Full Color Lighting Effects let you keep track of shots and hits Interactive voice coach gives tips, feedback during the game. Plug in headphones and hear the Laser X Soundtrack and Sound Effects Compatible with all other Laser X sets. Play as teams or as individuals.
LASER X LASER TOWER
Challenge your speed and accuracy playing solo or compete with another. Use the tower as a remote-controlled blaster and play high-tech capture the flag. Laser X Game Tower for solo or head to head play Laser X Blaster and receiver vest required to play (not included) Includes one laser X gaming tower Compatible with all Laser X sets
LASER X LONG RANGE BLASTER
Blast your opponent’s Receiver Vest from up to 400’ away. 25 Shot Rapid Fire Haptic Feedback (Blaster Vibrates) when you are hit! Full Color Lighting Effects let you keep track of shots and hits. Interactive voice coach gives tips feedback during the game.Super-Fast Reload Plug in headphones and hear the Laser X Soundtrack and Sound Effects Compatible with all other Laser X sets. Play as teams or as individuals.
Chalk of the Town / CHALKBOARD T-SHIRTS
It was a pleasure to meet Sondra Gross Mansfield, Chief Chalking Officer at PLAY FAIR in NY. My son & daughter LOVE their Chalk of the Town shirts! My daughter is modeling the Raspberry Heart T-Shirt Kit:
– Short sleeve t-shirt: 100% combed ringspun fine cotton
– White chalk marker
– Emoji stencil sheet
– Erasing cloth
These unique washable chalkboard t-shirts are fantastic! Free Shipping from the manufacturer with offers over $30!
Follow on Instagram @mychalkofthetown
ZING / STIKBOT ANIMATION STUDIO
Stikbot is the social-sharing easy to post figurine! It’s stylish design allows for easy posing for photgraphs and stop-animation filming! Includes tripod to quickly and securely set up your smartphone for filming stikbot! Create , Animate and Share! Stikbot Studio Pro one sets include 1 tripod , 2 stikbots (solid red and solid orange color) , 2in1 stage green and blue screen. Check out Stikbot Central on YouTube for a look at the vast stikbot creative community!
With green screen , you can capture the best photo and video and save time editing
Easily cut and edit footage to create the sequence you need by using green screen
You can digitally recreate the background of your scene!
K’NEX / THRILL RIDES WEB WEAVER SET & IMAGINE POWER & PLAY BUILDING SETS
K’NEX, the construction toy company where creativity clicks™ is thrilled to announce two Toy of the Year (T.O.T.Y.) finalists; K’NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Building Set and K’NEX Imagine Power & Play Motorized Building Set.
The Toy of the Year Awards, also known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry is the premier toy awards program. Finalists have been nominated from within the industry and are being voted on by toy companies, toy retailers, and consumers.
“K’NEX is so excited to have 2 TOTY Finalists in the running,” said K’NEX President and CEO, Michael Araten. “Our entire team, from design to marketing and beyond, have put their heart and soul in to our 2017 product line. Receiving this honor from the Toy Association makes it all worth it. We encourage toy fans of all ages to log on to toyawards.org and vote. Together, we can show the world there is more to building toys than bricks!”
A Finalist in the Construction Category:
THRILL RIDES: Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set
What a wicked web you’ll weave when you set out to build this awesome coaster that goes from horizontal to vertical in an instant! The K’NEX Thrill Rides Web Weaver Roller Coaster Building Set includes 439 K’NEX parts and pieces, including glow-in-the-dark track and an air propelled, motorized spider-themed coaster car! Full-color, easy-to-follow building instructions are also included, plus download building instructions for a second coaster on knex.com!
Suggested retail price is $69.99. Ages 9+. Models can be built one at a time. Available now on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide.
Finalist in the Creative Category:
IMAGINE: Power & Play Motorized Building Set
The Power & Plawy Motorized Building Set comes with a motor, 50 unique building ideas and a reusable suitcase style package! Use the included full-color instructions to construct models that really move such as, cars, planes, robots and more, or use your imagination to create your own exciting models. 529 classic made-in-the-USA pieces are included in this set. Most models can be built one at a time.
Suggested retail price is $49.99. Ages 7+. Available now on knex.com and at toy retailers nationwide. But deep discounts on Amazon Prime!
Playmates / BEN 10 “RUSTBUCKET” TRANSFORMING ALIEN PLAYSET
The iconic vehicle from Ben 10 turns into a giant 3-level playset that is over 2-feet tall. The playset has many features and accessories such as the Alien-Vator, Alien Transformation Chamber, grabbing claw, extending bumper and winch, plasma cannon, and much more. YAK & Upbeat James of Cartoon Network Uk have a hilarious unboxing video and it hits all the points I would have so you might as well watch it!!
Ages 4 and up.
Blankie-Tales / THE ORIGINAL MERMAID TAIL BLANKET
Premium-quality, extra-plush, double-sided minky fabric that looks and feels MER-mazing! The unique design lets you climb inside (like a sleeping bag without the bulk) and put your feet all the way into the gorgeously sewn tail. The adult and teen size measures 30″ W x 69″ H and is recommend for mermaids 4′ 11” inches and taller.
Blankie Tails mermaid tail blanekt for adults is a best-seller worldwide!
All Blankie Tails are machine washable and easy to spot clean.
Your Blankie Tails order ships with love from Pennsylvania.
Free shipping on orders in the U.S. over $50
Shipping on all other domestic orders is $2.95
International shipping starting at $19
30-Day Moneyback Guarantee
PERFECT WAY TO:
- Stay cozy at night while looking like a gorgeous mermaid
- Have fun with friends and your kids while lounging around the house
- Make movie nights a luxuriously comfortable experience
- Stay warm and stand out when you travel on planes, trains or cars
- Avoid the air conditioning chills when you slip into an adult mermaid tail blanket
Playmobil / PYRAMID
Unlock ancient secrets and mysteries inside Pharaoh’s Pyramid. The five chambers within hide precious treasures protected by tricky puzzles and sneaky traps. Discover the room filled with jewels and golden riches or climb the stairs to enter the tomb chamber complete with mummy. Just watch out for the booby trap waiting to drop you below! Remove the pyramid walls to discover even more ways to play. You can sneak through the revolving door, but be careful. There might be some skeletons or spiders hiding in the shadows.
The set includes three figures, tomb, mummy, two skeletons, treasures, spiders, fire pots, hieroglyphics, and many other accessories. HIstory buffs of any age will love the details and can proudly display this fun and educational toy.
Recommended for ages six years and up. Dimensions: 18.1 x 14.8 x 10.6 in (LxWxH).Warning. Choking Hazard. Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.
I even recived some more toy gems after my deadline so I’ll have the best of the rest in Guide number three! Stay tuned Geek Nation!
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