Tag Archives: moms

Spider-man Extravaganza

Want to know how we’ve spent the past two Sunday afternoons around our house?  Dressing up in Spiderman costumes for special Spiderman toy fun!  The kids love to play with superhero toys, and Spiderman is a mutual favorite.  Well, Max is slightly obsessed with Captain America, but Spidey runs a close second for him.  
We unboxed a total of six toy series, and overall our favorite was the Marvel Superheros Mr. Potato Head Mixable Mashable.  The pieces were very easy for two-year-old Max to manipulate.  When we finally got him to consider mixing up his Captain America, he had a blast creating a variety of Potato Head mash-ups.  Each Potato Head has a different facial expression, so it’s fun to match them to dramatic play.  The boys have also had fun making Play-doh accessories for the guys.  Interestingly, our old original Mr. Potato Head was placed into a donation box last month when we cleared out toys that weren’t being used.  

Our next favorite new Spiderman toy is the Marvel Mashers Spiderman with Sky Crawler.  Max already had a collection of the Marvel Mashers superheroes that he received for Christmas.  The Sky Crawler is our first vehicle for the set, and it’s high action.  There are a lot of missile launching attachments, a custom light-blue colored Spidey, and a bonus Hulk head and hands for mashing.  Most of the vehicle toys in our home are Hot Wheels cars, which of course are tons of fun.  However, Max has been thrilled to have a vehicle that can accommodate his heroes, plus our video editor has been having fun incorporating it into special effects.

Feepy really enjoys the Amazing Spider-man Mega Blaster Web and Water Shooter.  He had a lot of fun creating action stunts for the camera.  The set includes a glove (which he didn’t need with his costume), an arm strap with spray adapter, a can of silly string, and a water bottle.  It took some fumbling to get the can attached correctly, but once it was snapped into place, Feepy could easily aim and shoot the web.  The quality of the silly string was good, not too wet, and not too dry.  It cleaned up easily after the video shoot.  Feepy plans to save the silly string for video shoots (replacement cans cost about $5) and use the water bottle for outside play during the summer.  This toy would be a great final touch for Halloween or other costumed event.  It is a novelty item, and perhaps not much of an everyday play toy.  

We also tried out the Spiderman Titan Hero Series Spiderman with Web copter.   The set comes with a large, 12-inch Spiderman figure and an assembly-required helicopter vehicle.  The doll is nice and sturdy, but the bendable joints were too solid for little Max to manipulate.  The vehicle was easy to build, but the handle attachment became easily detached.  The toy looked so cool, but we were underwhelmed by the function.

The Spiderman Battle Masters got rave reviews from Feepy.  He put it up against his Transformers toys from the same line.  Battle Masters are simple plastic punching characters that snap onto control bases.  Two or more opponents can play a boxing style match.  The control base for the Transformers uses trigger-style action, while the Spiderman uses game-console-style thumb action.  The Spiderman controller seemed easier to use.  
Finally, we rolled out our Spiderman Squinkies dispenser.  This is definitely and item for collectors.  The boys loved it because it was like having a vending machine at home.  The hard-to-find set came with four Marvel Squinkies, to include a super cute Spiderman.  We’re brainstorming more fun ways to incorporate the Spiderman toy dispenser into surprise toy videos!      
Speaking of surprise toy videos, here are Spider-man and Spider-boy opening Spiderman surprise eggs!

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KINDER EGGS ARE A SMASH

Spiderman, Play-doh, Disney Frozen, Peppa Pig… all fantastic material to create a fun and popular toy video on YouTube. However, there is one little item with powerful allure that makes every video better. The Chocolate Kinder Surprise Egg.

In case you’re not familiar with them, Kinder Eggs are manufactured by an Italian confection company (the maker of Nutella) and sold throughout Europe and worldwide. They’re made of a hollow milk chocolate shell that surrounds a white chocolate a shell. Inside is a plastic capsule with a tiny trinket, game, or puzzle – basically a really cool toy. The egg is wrapped in a bright, decorative foil. From the egg unwrapping to building and displaying the toy surprise, Kinder Eggs create Christmas-morning suspense and excellent toy video drama.

As soon as we started our YouTube channel, we began research on where to buy Kinder Surprise Eggs. We were shocked by the information that we found. Kinder eggs are banned in the United States, and they have been for decades, citing a 1938 FDA rule that disallows inedible objects within a food item. Recently, other chocolate surprise eggs using modified egg and toy designs have been approved for sale in the United States, but the original (and best) Kinder egg has not. Darn, were we disappointed. We had experienced Kinder eggs in Italy years ago when we were there during military service, and we were so anxious to relive the fun with the kids.

So, who knew…well-meaning grandmas and die-hard Kinder lovers have been smuggling surprise eggs into the US? We read a report that each smuggled egg could be worth a $2500 fine. There’s even a short film about one man’s love of Kinder eggs called “Crooked Candy.”

What were we to do? How could we incorporate Kinder into our videos? Our solution was to order a bulk lot of unopened toy capsules from eBay. Yes, sadly that meant no chocolate shell. We’d have to substitute it with Play-doh or some other fun activity.

Our first video to incorporate the Kinder toy capsules was a real smash featuring Hulk and Captain America.

The Toy Toons Reviews kids were IN LOVE with the Kinder toys. Something about a trinket inside a capsule. I’m sure they’d consider them well worth a possible $2500 fine had the luscious chocolate been included.

We decided to have Max take full reign with the next round of Kinder opening. He was absolutely thrilled, and he did such a great job!

So far we’ve opened 8 of the 35 toy capsules in our lot. An upcoming video includes a couple of repeated toys. All of the toys seem to be modern designs. The eBay description said that some capsules could date back about 20 years. We’re hoping for some vintage Kinder. It’d be really cool if we’d replicate a toy that we remember from our Army days!

MY VERY FIRST PEPPA PIG

She’s finally here, my very first Peppa pig toy!  She’s just a minifigure, but I’m so excited to add her to our Toy Tunes Reviews collection.  I know there are a lot of Peppa Pig fans out there, so I want to create some very special play fun with her.  Be on the lookout!

Peppa made her first appearance in a Hello Kitty surprise lunchbox.

Now, I’m waiting for my first shipment of Kinder egg capsules to arrive.  I have so many fun ideas to jazz them up to create colorful and exciting surprise egg videos.  Kinder surprise toys are so unpredictable.  Silly little trinkets!

Years ago we lived overseas as a military family.  We have fond memories of being introduced to the magic that is the Kinder egg.  Just as folks would collect coins from various commanders, they would collect and display Kinder egg toys on their desks.

Now, the order that I’m waiting for is the unopened toy capsules only.  The chocolate has been removed.  I have some supplies to make home-made chocolate surprise eggs, but I don’t know how many I’ll be attempting to make.

My first egg attempt is still hanging out in the freezer.  Maybe, just maybe, I’ll  wrap it up and put in in a video.  It’s not as pretty as a real Kinder egg.  For now, I’ll just continue to bask in the glory of my very first Peppa Pig!

Jakks Pacific Max Tow Truck Pull Off!

After having a great time playing with the Max Minis from Jakks Pacific for the past week, we were very anxious to finally try out the original, the BIG one, the Max Tow Truck.
The truck looked great in the box.  The boys were full of oohs, ahhs, and manly grunts.  Little Max’s voice dropped an octave and became coarse when expressing his enthusiasm to get going.
The Max Tow Truck is a fairly small toy with big claims that it can pull up to 200 pounds.  It comes with a sturdy plastic tow chain and hook.  The tires appear to be deflated, but the instruction booklet explains that is the method for gripping the ground.  The three operation modes include:  towing, pushing, and climbing.  Towing is activated by pressing a lever on the top/back of the truck.  Pushing is activated by pressing the front bumper.   Climbing is activated by pressing the siren button on the top of the truck.  There are recorded voice prompts indicating when to activate the lever to get the truck moving within each operation mode.  
We took the truck outside for a series of challenging tests.

First, we put Max (the kid) on his Kettler, which is a solid, heavy trike.   The Max Tow Truck chain and hook attached easily, the truck was set to tow mode, and off they went….slowly but surely.  Yes, the Max Tow Truck can tow a lot of cargo, but at turtle speed.  
Next, we hooked up the Disney Cars Lightening McQueen ride-on.  This time Max Tow Truck repeatedly  prompted  us to press the tow lever.  We’d press it to go, and the toy would repeat that activation was required.  Finally, off the truck went, pulling an empty Lightening McQueen.  When Max (the kid) hopped in, the towing capability was brought to a halt.  Max Tow Truck was no match for a ride-on toy with a 30-pound passenger.  We think that if the wheels of the ride-on were free-spinning, towing would be possible, though.
Feepy hopped on his Razor scooter, with hopes that he’d be towed.  Unfortunately, the slow speed of the tow truck combined with cracks in the sidewalk wouldn’t allow him to maintain balance.  He switched to a skateboard, and that worked really well.  Feepy’s quite a bit bigger than Max (the kid) and he was cruising faster.
To test the pushing capability, mom hopped on the skateboard.  The truck nudged the board along fairly well, but again at turtle speed.  The best push test was with Max (the kid) on the Wheelie bug, which is a ride-on toy with highly mobile caster wheels.
The climbing test was somewhat of a disappointment.  The truck handled well over the lawn, some flat-lying rocks, and landscape material.  However, it did not break plane very well.  We set up the skateboard at about a 30 degree angle.  The front tires climbed well, and the truck would appear to almost surpass the obstacle, but when the back tires hit the board, the truck would topple over.  We tried over and over to complete a successful climb, but it just didn’t happen.
We had a lot of fun as a family testing out the maximum capability of the Max Tow Truck.  The toy is built to be tough, and it digs down to perform, but the slow speed at which it tows the maximum load makes the spectacle somewhat underwhelming.  However, the kids were impressed, as they are with most things on wheels.  This would be a great toy for a child who loves tow trucks and wants to create smaller towing play scenarios.  The truck easily pulls and pushes lighter wheeled toys and cargo.  Even though we didn’t feel the Max Tow Truck performed heavy-duty scenarios with big gusto, we think the truck would definitely perform well for everyday kid-constructed play.     

Retro Stomper Truck Put to the Test

Feepy is a child of today’s world.  He loves technology.  He’s always looking for a better solution, a short-cut, and “app for that.”  However, if you were to refer to him as an old soul in any form or fashion, he’d be an ’80s child.  He’s just got that vibe, and man, does he LOVE ’80s movies.

So, we took him back old-school for the latest Toy Toons Review. Check out the feathered hair and turned-up collar.  He was a great sport for the styling, and he was sooo ready to get to work:  Retro Stomper 4 x 4 vs the all new Max Tow Truck Mini.

Feepy came up with some challenging scenarios to put the toys to the test.  He offers a thorough video review.  Check it out.

His dad has a few more retro toy surprises coming up. What are some of your favorite retro toys?  We’d love to uncover more blasts from the past and compare them to today’s toys.  Give us a shout!

Mash’ems, Fash’ems, Squishy Fun with Mixed Reviews

Have you experienced the latest toy collection trend?  Mash’ems and Fash’ems.  They’re popular, licensed toy figures made out of a super squishy rubber material.  They’re sold either in packaging that reveals the toy you’re going to get, or they’re in blind bags or capsules.  We’ve been incorporating the blind bags into our toy reviews, and that seems to be the most popular option for surprise videos.  They are absolutely adorable and they capture the camera well.

Kids love them because all of their favorite characters are included.  The Mash’ems brand includes popular lines, such as:  Angry Birds, DC Comics, Disney Pixar and Planes, Marvel, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Transformers.  The Fash’ems  brand, which advertises as “soft, squishy fashion fun!”, you guessed it, is full of girlie toys, such as:  Disney Frozen, Disney Princess, Doc McStuffins, Hello Kitty, My Little Pony, and Sofia the First.  The toys are the perfect size for little hands to grip, manipulate, and stuff in their pockets.

Little Max has collected three Mash’ems, and they go everywhere with him.  He is particularly fond of his Angry Bird, because he likes to squish it so that its beak protrudes.  He begs me to make sound effects with each squish, and then belly laughs ensue.  He’s somewhat disappointed in his TMNT Shredder character, because part of the helmet has been torn off.  Max is not easy on toys.  Mash’ems and Fash’ems are rated for 4+ years, but they seem to be suitable for slightly younger children who no longer put objects in their mouths.

Here’s where the toy review get sticky (pun intended).  They are highly “collectible” – of dirt and pet hair.  It doesn’t take long before Max is asking for help with cleaning his toys.  Fortunately, warm water and a very small amount of soap will clear away the debris.  I also recommend washing them right after opening the package, as  I’ve noticed a couple of them have had somewhat of a strong odor.  According to the manufacturer, Tech4Kids, the odor is non-toxic and will dissipate quickly, but I’ve found that washing the toy removes it immediately.  While I was researching the odor, I also checked into the material of the toys to confirm that it is not a skin irritant.  They’re made of a substance called thermo plastic rubber, which is rated non-toxic and not a latex or rubber allergen.

We’ve established that Mash’ems & Fash’ems are super cute, fun for kids to tote around, and easy to clean.  So what’s the downside?  Well, they’re a bit pricey, especially if you want to collect them.  I picked up the our blind bags at Walgreens on sale Buy One Get 50%, so the price was around $2 each.  However, if you’re in search of Disney Frozen Fash’em, those things can go for nearly $15 each!  Just check out the Amazon reviews.  The one-star ratings poo poo the price for a 2-inch squishy toy.  The five-star ratings describe the squealing little girls’ delight to open a blind capsule revealing an adorable little Queen Elsa.

And what are my thoughts?  Well, I’m a mixed review.  If you’re looking for a cute stocking stuffer, fun surprise reward toy, or plastic egg filler, Mash’ems and Fash’ems are the perfect items.  I’m pretty sure your kids will love them.  However, if you’re looking for some bang for your buck in a long-lasting action-figure or doll, these are not the toys for you.  You might just want to direct your kids to a fabulous YouTube video unboxing a whole case of their favorite licensed brand.  I need to save my pennies, because I would love to open up a bunch of Disney Frozen and Hello Kitty Fash’ems for y’all very soon!

How Many YouTube Views Should I Have in One Month?

We’re two days away from the one month anniversary of launching our YouTube toy channel.  So far we’ve posted 46 videos, awarded prizes for two giveaways, and garnered 95 subscribers and nearly  than 1500 views.  At times, we feel like we’re making daily progress to grow our project, and at times we feel unnecessarily overwhelmed.  Well, that’s how the grown-ups feel.

And the kids?  Well, they’re lovin’ it.  Feepy is eager to share his matter-of-fact take on all of the toys he unboxes and reviews.  This month he has added a SickBricks collection to his toy shelf and he has a few new Lego minifigures and Marvel trinkets on display in his room.  He has opted to put many of the Play-doh surprise egg prizes back into our Toy Toons Review treasure bowl.

Ah…the treasure bowl.  Boy do I recommend one of these if you have a little one!  When we started Toy Toons Reviews, we collected many of the trinkets we currently had around the house and in the kids’ toy bins.  We also invested in lots of blind bags, Mashems, Squinkies, and other cute little figures for Surprise egg material.  After the eggs are open, the kids usually keep their treasures in their hot little hands all night.  Two-year-old Max typically will finagle Feepy’s toys away from him.  The trick is, when Max has let go of a goodie, we pick it up, and it goes back into the treasure bowl.  The treasure bowl comes in handy for little rewards and to just keep Max busy.  He likes to wrap the toys in Play-doh while we prep our videos.  He incorporates a dialogue into the play…obviously rehearsing for his time on camera.

That leads us to what Max really loves about the videos.  Yes, he is just crazy about the fact that we’ve substantially grown our household trinket collection.  However, he is thrilled to be a host on Toy Toons Reviews.  He actually cooperates when we get him ready for a shoot.  He willingly puts on a clean shirt, has his face and hands washed, and brushes his hair.  That’s more than we can say about any other time of day!  I even shot an impromptu video on the iPhone when our pro camera man wasn’t available.  I couldn’t say no to his enthusiasm to open a Captain America Play-doh surprise egg.

So far, the biggest playset that the boys have earned through their work is the Max Tow Truck Max Mini Off-Road Playset with the Mini Hauler loop and Mini Rev n’ Go.  Don’t let Feepy’s serious demeanor fool you, the playset is a lot of fun.  He had a friend play with him over the weekend.  They set up tons of obstacles and towing scenarios for the little cars.  He had a few issues with the Mini Rev n’ Go.  We had to glue on a bumper and a wheel.  Otherwise, the Max mini line seems to be a solid set.  We have a full-size Max Tow Truck on the way, and we’re very excited to put it to the test alongside the minis.  We had eyed the big truck around Christmas time, but opted to put Marvel Mashers under the tree instead.

Our Marvel Mashers videos were numbers one and two for upload to our channel.  Marvel Mashers Hulk vs Spiderman leads our viewer board with 181 views.

 

Feepy and I had a lot of fun battling the toys together, but my favorite role play fun was the Barbie Flippin’ Pup Pool!  The boys and I had a blast playing toys that day.  I desperately want to boost our girl toy viewership so that I can legitimize my selfish desire to get Frozen Elsa and Anna dolls.  There are some really cute doll kiddie soap opera YouTube videos out there.  I want to produce them!  We’d love to have you check out our playlists.  Let us know the types of toy videos you and your kids enjoy.  Subscribe to our channel.  Thanks guys!

Monthly Giveaway – Max Tow Truck Mini Haulers Tow and Go Pack

We are sooooo excited to offer some of our reviewed toys as giveaways! We love toys, and we know you do, too! We’d love to share our toys with you! Keep reading to find out how you can enter to win.
Announcing our third amazing giveaway. We’ll be giving away an awesome prize to one lucky winner.

Prize Pack:  Max Tow Truck Mini Haulers Tow and Go Packs Blue Tow Truck with Tire Accessories. New in the Package!


Absolutely free to enter. Must be 18 years or older to enter. Contest is available to entrants world wide.  No postage necessary. We are not responsible for missing or lost items. Expect prize to arrive 2-6 weeks after delivery depending on location.

Monthly Giveaway 1

What’s in Feepy’s Head?

Our Feepy is a guy who just wants to enjoy life.  At times that makes for some power struggles, but often it’s a good wake-up call to slow down and savor the little moments.  We’re really enjoying watching him take the reins as host for Toy Toons Reviews.  He’s settling into a groove, letting his quirky sense of humor shine, and learning how to project himself.

To highlight Feepy’s effort on our family project, we crafted a Play-doh surprise egg to resemble him, but with Spider-Man eyes.  He really got a kick out of it.    As he put it, “now you’re going to be able to see what’s inside my head.”

Well, Feepy’s head contained a Roxx Power paxx, a Power Rangers Megaforce series blind bag, and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mashems.

We found the Roxx at Walgreens on clearance for 30 cents.  The package contains three top-like toys with game cards with instructions for simple sliding, spinning, and tossing games.  Feepy thought they were sort of cool, and he played them outside with his friend after school.  Both of our boys love squishy toys, so the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mashems was a hit.  Feepy kept referring to it as a Mashie, so we put a funny bleep over his video narration.  Last but not least the Power Ranger Megaforce blind bag.  Our little guy was ready to confiscate the contents as soon as Feepy had reviewed them.  We’ve never had a Power Rangers toy in the house before.  Thank goodness it was a red one.  A little heart was set on getting a red Power Ranger.  Mom is hoping this renewed interest in Power Rangers doesn’t pique interest in the one item we do already have in the house, a Power Rangers Guidebook.  That’s a tedious read.  Until then, we’ll thoroughly enjoy every moment of the kids’ super hero play.

Sup Dog! Creeper Play-doh Egg

Now that we’ve been at this Youtube video business for a couple of weeks, we’ve started to evaluate our viewer trends.  For now the Play-doh surprise eggs opened by Feepy seem to be the winners.  The Sulley egg has surpassed 100 views.  Yay!  So we decided to keep with the trend and try another design.  Feepy is a huge Minecraft fan, so mom modeled a creeper egg.  Feepy says that creepers are cool because they explode.  It’s so interesting to listen in on kids’ conversations about the Minecraft game, the book collection they all seem to have, and the associated toys and trinkets.

Prizes inside the Creeper egg include:  an Ironman bobble head, a Thor miniature, a Hot Wheels surprise, and duplicate of the Carpenter Lego Minifigure from Series 13.  We’re hoping to reach out to Lego Collectors because we’re giving away all of our duplicate minifigures.  We’re looking for Lego forums, fanclubs, etc. to spread the word.  We’d love to here from you, Lego fans!  Leave us a comment to let us know where we can join you in discussing all fun things Lego!