Hasbro Holiday PreviewSaturday, October 09, 2010
Several weeks ago, my kids and I attended a Hasbro holiday preview event at the Edelman office downtown. Though let me tell you, their brand new headquarters looked more like a toy store! As we sat in eager anticipation, we had no idea what fun would lay ahead.
Upon entering the toy room, my kids were in complete wonder and awe. They weren't sure what to play with first. Fortunately, the Hasbro representatives and the lovely ladies from Edelman were on hand to show the kids how each toy worked. They were so nice and got along great with the kids which was swell because it gave me a chance to explore the toys and games myself! There were a lot of familiar toys and classic games as well as some new and innovative toys that I hadn't seen before. Is it bad that I didn't realize how many of the toys we own are made by Hasbro?
My son, who is two, was immediately drawn to the Tonka Garage Ricochet Vehicle with remote control. He was too young to operate it properly on his own as it's geared to kids 8 years and up, but it was big and it was cool. With it's Monster Lift suspension technology, I am sure my husband would have tonnes of fun with it. The next thing that caught my son's attention were the Tonka trucks, including the new Tonka Chuck and Friends Chuck's Stunt Park, which is more suited for his age. We had bought a couple of used Tonka trucks at a garage sale a few of years ago and it must be a testament to the durability of these trucks that they are still in great condition and provide my son with hours of play. There were many other toys he enjoyed but the one he loved the most was the Speed Stars Transformers Bumblebee Battle Track Set. Parting from it was such sorrow.
My daughter liked all of the girlie stuff but there was no comparison to the one toy she cries over every time we see it at the toy store - the incredibly life-like (and quiet!) Furreal Friends GoGo, My Walking Pup. Just watching her eyes light up as she got to play with it made me re-consider the painful $69.99 price tag. Instead, I told her that we'd add it to our Christmas wish list. Santa can flip the bill for that one. She then excitedly pointed out the cute My Little Ponies and the Littlest Pet Shop toys before fiddling with the Beyblade Metal Fusion Electronic Top and the cool flying Star Wars Millennium Falcon which includes a charging controller and vehicle battery for up to five minutes of flying time.
There was also one wall-to-wall counter top that was dedicated to games. I was in heaven! There were a number of classics to choose from as well as some of their newest and most popular games. Their aim this year was to re-invent some of the classics by adding a twist and giving players, both young and old, the ability to build the game boards and customize them in a number of ways, such as the U-Build Mouse Trap game. One of the games that caught my eye was the new digital version of Scrabble called Scrabble Flash consisting of 5 letter tiles that you can unscramble to build as many 3- to 5-letter words in a certain time limit. I love word puzzles so this would be lots of fun, especially since I can play it by myself! Another one that is sure to be a hit is version 2.0 of Cranium with an innovative folding game board that can collapse or expand depending on how long you want the game to be. It also comes with 600 question cards containing Canadian specific content. Fantastique!
Heavens to Betsy, there were so many other fantastic toys and games I'd love to share with you! But you've probably already seen them on the shelves. So if you have a question about any one in particular, leave me a comment or send me an email and I'd be more than happy to share my thoughts with you. In the meantime, keep your eyes pealed for my review of the new Trivial Pursuit: Bet You Know It edition which has a neat twist to it. I will also be giving one away, too!
Before I end this, I wanted to thank Edelman for inviting us to the preview and to Hasbro for sharing their newest toys and games, as well as for the samples that my kids have been able to enjoy. I kept the Cuponk for myself, however. It will make for a great game in my French class!
Update (November 2010):
Cuponk has proven to be a huge hit in several of my classes, including grade 2, grade 3, grade 4 and grade 7. It has engaged a number of students, who would otherwise sit with a look of boredom on their face, to attempt answering questions in French in order to have a shot at scoring. The younger ones keep asking me where I got it and where they can buy one, too! Thanks again, Hasbro!