TimeToPlayMag.com – Toy Reviews
I had the opportunity this week to have lunch with three of the people behind TimeToPlayMag.com: Chris Byrne, Jim Silver and Shannon Eis.
They were visiting Dallas for a toy show and invited bloggers and Website owners to meet them for lunch Dallas Market Center.
I enjoyed meeting them and hearing about their experiences in the toy business over the last 25-30 years.
During the lunch, one of my “hooray!!!” moments came when Jim mentioned that many toy manufacturers are doing away with those annoying plastic covered wire twists that secure products in their packaging. Those things that look like this:
The manufacturers use them to keep their products in tact during overseas transit, but they are extremely frustrating to the consumer. We will still see products that use these twist things, but hopefully over the next few years, more manufacturers will move to the hassle-free alternative.
I had to leave the lunch before it ended in order to pick up my daughter from school, so I missed some of the discussion. But just before I left, I asked for suggestions about toys and games for children without siblings.
Since my daughter is an only child, I was interested to hear what toys they thought would keep her occupied while I cook dinner or clean the house. I was also interested in hearing their suggestions for toys that might be fun for adults and children to play together.
There are some nights when the last thing I want to do after working all day is play with Polly Pockets, but I will sit and play cards or board games with my daughter. Obviously the answer to this question will vary by individual due to personal preferences, but I was curious to hear what they would say.
Chris suggested that my daughter create a play for her dolls or puppets to perform – either for me or with me, once I am finished cooking dinner, cleaning or whatever I need to do. I loved this idea! My daughter takes theater classes so she is familiar with the process and loves when we make up songs, dances, and stories together.
Chris also suggested either buying or making a small stage on which the dolls or puppets can perform. My daughter will spend hours drawing and doing crafts, so the idea of making the stage sounded like something that would appeal to her. We will get started this weekend by making a stage using a cardboard box. I see all sorts of creative possibilities with this suggestion. Thanks, Chris!
Have questions about toys? Contact TimeToPlayMag.com!
Chris and Jim have several decades’ worth of experience in the toy industry and are eager to share their knowledge with you. In addition to having a large selection of written and video reviews for toys, movies, books and video games on their Website, they also welcome questions from readers, so don’t hesitate to contact them!
Check out some of these areas of their Website:
You can also catch them live on MomTV every Friday at 12PM Eastern, or watch taped episodes.
At the end of the lunch, Chris handed me a bag of toys geared toward different age groups. I wasn’t expecting to get this, but I appreciated receiving it.
My daughter wanted to play with several of the toys, but we agreed that they will be donated to the 2011 Children and Arthritis Jambalaya Jubilee raffle in addition to any advertising dollars I make through my blog. Whoever wins these toys in the raffle will be thrilled!
A few quick tips from me for saving money on toys
There are many toys out there that are cheap, but aren’t worth buying. And then there are more expensive toys that will provide long-lasting value. How do you decide what to spend your money on? Here are some of the things I do when buying toys:
1. Shop the twice-a-year Target 75-90% off toy sale
2. Buy items that are durable and have a high resale value at kids’ consignment events like Just Between Friends
Think LEGO, LEGO Duplo, Barbie, Leapster, Little Tikes, Step 2, Disney Princesses, etc.
3. Don’t rush to buy the hottest new toy that your child asks for.
4. Check the Public Library First and “Try Before You Buy”
5. Set up “Deal Alerts”
6. Follow Toy Stores and Toy Companies on Facebook and Twitter
Also, some toy manufacturers offer printable coupons on Coupons.com (Leapster and Hasbro, for example), so be sure to look for them. I have gotten some cheap toys using these printable coupons during store sales or by finding the product on clearance.
How do you save money on toys?
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