This appears to be turning into some kind of regular event! We’ve got another gift box from our buddy Derek, The Border Geek, and it was PACKED with awesome items from TMNT, Harley Quinn, Red Sonja, Marvel VS Capcom, Power Rangers, Butchovision, and a super-special EXCLUSIVE item that I guarantee you we will be the one-and-only owners of. XD
We’ve got another Channel Surfin Box Swap today! This time around we were sent a box by Mr Hyper Geeky Johnny Tellez, and we couldn’t have been more excited because we know that Johnny knows us SO well! He totally proved it with this box, that was jam-packed with all kinds of awesomeness that you just HAVE to see. Check it out, and then be sure to check out the videos of everyone else involved! 😀
I’m not even in this video! What the hell is up with this? lol That travesty aside, Jason and little missy got an awesome mail call from our buddy Derek, The Border Geek. Check it out!
This is a little late making it’s way to the blog, but we unboxed a Retro Pop Box 80’s box – a sub box filled with nostalgia! 😀
I’m gonna say one thing right off the bat: I’m a big child, and I love toys, and there are a lot of cool ones around these days, so it’s going to be hard to choose just a few. Therefore I’m going to do three of these toy posts to spread things out a bit. I’m also going to do my best to represent lots of different toy categories, including classic stuff, board games, video games, more affordable stuff, and more pricey stuff. So let’s get started!
I’m a huge fan of Build a Bear for numerous reasons. One is that their stuff is so well-made and nice-looking, not to mention being pretty resilient. Another is that they will re-stuff a previous purchase for free if it starts to get squished or worn down, which is just a nice service to have. A third one is that they make a bunch of licensed characters and they do an absolutely amazing job of making them look like the actual characters as they appear in their prospective cartoons/movies/whatever. Currently available in stores and online are a score of My Little Pony characters, all four modern-version Ninja Turtles, and Toothless from “How to Train Your Dragon”, amongst others. And right now you can even get Rudolph and Clarice from the Rankin-Bass stop motion Christmas classic. A single plush in any category averages between $25 and $30, which sounds like a lot for a stuffed animal, but they are a very decent size and very well-made. And if you want to really make the toy special, there’s a huge selection of clothing and accessories for your recipients’ little buddy. Just be warned: if you start delving into the clothes and accessories the price tag is going to rise very quickly.
Before you say anything, no, I am not bringing this board game up because I got it for free from Influenster. I’m bringing it up because I was genuinely impressed with it, and the fact that my daughter wanted to play it a million times in a row proves that it achieves its primary goal. This board game is a great way to introduce little ones to board games because it is easy to learn, and it is designed for the rounds to take around 10 to 20 minutes, so kids don’t get board or lose interest. There’s even a bit of an educational factor to it, since there’s counting involved, and you can use the game as a way to help teach your kids about money. At $15-$20, I personally think this is a great present that you and your little ones can enjoy together.
Confession time: I haven’t actually seen this thing in action, but I do think it’s a really cute, interesting addition to the LeapFrog family. The LeapBand looks a bit like a smart-watch, and features software similar to the LeapPad “Pet Pals” games. Kids choose from a number of virtual pets, who then guide the child through fitness activities. They’ll be asked to jump, run, hop, roll, and any other number of activities, while the band monitors their motion. By completing activities the child earns rewards for their pet, levels up, and unlocks more games and activities. At $50 it’s not exactly cheap, but if you’ve got a small kid who is already becoming a bit of a couch potato, this might be just the thing to get them up and moving!
Come back tomorrow for more toy gift ideas!
My generation (30ish-year-olds) is currently experiencing a pretty unique opportunity to bond with our children. Over the past few years we’ve been living through a total reboot of our childhoods. All of the things that we enjoyed as kids – everything from the Care Bears and My Little Pony to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Transformers – have come back in a big way, and it makes for an interesting situation. Even if you’re not a fan of the new versions of old characters, you can’t help but feel the giddy sense of joy at seeing your children fall in love with the characters you too were once obsessed with.
A couple of weeks ago my cousin and I had the opportunity to take our daughters to see The Little Mermaid on Stage by Disney Junior, a musical play based on the original movie and performed entirely by kids and young teens. It was an awesome opportunity becdause both of our daughters love the Disney princesses and are fans of Ariel in particular, but if we’re being completely honest here, it was as much for us as for them. When Leah and I were kids we were obsessed with The Little Mermaid. It wouldn’t have been an exaggeration to say that we watched the movie a hundred times or more. We could quote every line, sing every song. When we went swimming we would hold our legs together and pretend we had mermaid fins. We lived and breathed The Little Mermaid. So to get the chance to relive a bit of that old obsession, while also getting to see how excited our girls were to see the show…well, that was pretty damn awesome.
And the thing is, like I said earlier, my generation has been given that opportunity time and again lately. I can snuggle up on the couch with my daughter to watch Ninja Turtles and genuinely enjoy myself because I still love the characters to this day. I can sit on the floor and play with My Little Pony toys with her and make her happy by actually knowing all the character’s names. I can read her stories about the Hulk and Captain America and Spiderman and be able to have actually conversations with her about the characters because I know their backstories. And all of this, of course, makes her happy as well, because she gets to enjoy the things she likes with mommy.
It may seem a little childish on the suface, but I personally think that a little childishness in life can be a good thing. And besides, what better way is there to bond with your child than to share mutal interests? After all, it can be hard enough to close the generation gap between parent and child, so why not take every opportunity that you can? Relive your childhood a little, and help your kids to live theirs with you in it. 🙂
Well, this was meant to be my last Nerd Block since I haven’t been overly impressed with them over the past few months, but I’m glad I stuck with it a little longer. This month’s block was definitely the best one I’ve received, so check out the unboxing vid:
Not too shabby, hmm? So let’s try a breakdown:
“Sounds of the Galaxy” t-shirt: As usual I’m assigning this shirt a value of about $15 since it’s difficult to put a value on something that is never put up for sale (as it turns out, all the shirts that come in Nerd Block boxes are exclusives made just for the block).
Giant Microbes “Chlamydia”: I’ve always thought that these are the strangest thing, but you can’t deny that they’re kinda cute. The original size also goes for about $10. (You can also get “Gigantic” Microbes for $30, and multiple smaller microbes in a “petri dish” for $15, if you’re interested).
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Adventure blind box: These little blind boxes, like most of the ones I’ve found, seem to go for about $10 each, which I personally think is outrageous for something where you don’t know what you’re getting.
Nerd Block 1st Anniversary Stress Ball: This little extra is worth $1 at most.
Marvel Series 1 Mega Bloks blind bag: There are a variety of Mega Bloks blind bags out there, and the Marvel series, like most of them, goes for about $5 per bag.
Ninja Turtles (Classic) Boxos Papercraft Kit: The price on this one varies pretty wildly depending on where you look, but I’ve seen the regular retail price as low as $10, so I’m going with that.
Total approximate value of box: $51
Total cost to me: $35
So the value of this month’s block is definitely there, but as usual that depends on personal preferences. Myself, I would never pay $10 for those blind boxes, and the Giant Microbe is something that I would never normally purchase for myself. The best items for me were the t-shirt and the Turtles Papercraft kit, which are a combined approximate value of $25, so it’s difficult to call the box worth it. Overall I thought it was a good box, but it still has the same problem as the other Nerd Blocks I’ve received, which is that the value of the items I actually enjoy is not on par with what I’m spending on the box. When you’re dealing with mystery boxes like this you can’t expect to love every item, but if I were to take all the boxes I’ve received and add up the value of all the items I’m actually happy with, I know that the number would be nowhere near the amount of money I’ve spent. So in that sense, I feel like Nerd Block is a failure for me. As mentioned in the video I’m going to give it one more month, but that’s only because I suspect that Kevin Smith will choose things that I think are awesome. Fingers crossed!
It’s that time again! Time to review my second ever Loot Crate, which I was so excited to get. I absolutely loved the first one, for which the theme was “Villains”, so I had high hopes for this month, for which the theme was “Heroes”. So first off, check out the unboxing video!
Now you can probably tell that I was pretty damn happy with the box in general, but lets do a little breakdown just to show the “worth” of the box.
Exclusive “Groot” Funko-Pop Figure: This particular figure retails for approximately $10, but we have to keep in mind that it is a Loot Crate exclusive variant (that you can’t get anywhere else) that glows in the dark. For the exclusivity of it, I’m adding $5 to the value, since it’s not like you can just run out and get this exact figure at Walmart.
Leonardo’s Mask sunglasses: I believe these are a Loot Crate exclusive item, so I’m assigning them a value of $3 based on what I feel the quality of the item (in other words, they’re cute, but a little cheaply made)
Donatello Kidrobot Figure: These cute little figures retail for $10
“Schwings” Shoe Wings: Believe it or not, these things come in a wide variety of colors and designs, and range in price from $9 to $15. The pair that we got with this Loot Crate goes for $9
Mega Man Air Freshener: Making your car smell like Mega Man will set you back about $5
Chimichang’os Magnet: This appears to be another exclusive item, so since it’s just a small magnet I’m assigning it a value of $1
“Heroes” Collectible Pin: Keeping with last month’s breakdown, I’m assigning the collectible pin a value of $1“Digital Loot” downloads card: The card tells me that it’s worth a value of $10, so I’ll go ahead and accept that at face value.
Total estimated value of the box: $54
Total cost to me: $30
So, so far the Loot Crate boxes have been very similar as far as cost analysis is concerned, with the value of the box being a bit less than double the cost. That’s not bad at all, right off the bat. But more important than the estimated financial value of the box is the personal value of the items. So far Loot Crate has more than exceeded my expectations with the quality of their items. They’re picking great, fun, quality stuff that I am thoroughly enjoying. Even the little “junkier” things like the magnet and the Leo glasses are cute and fun, and I can’t say that I was terribly disappointed with anything in either of the two crates I’ve gotten so far. Probably the only item that is something I never would have bought for myself if given the chance was the Schwings, but I can see how some people would love them, so it’s all good.
All in all, I’m definitely impressed and Loot Crate gets two big thumbs up from me so far.
In closing, just in case you didn’t actually watch the video: if you’re interested in trying out Loot Crate, please click on my referral link:
You’d be helping me out a ton and I’d love you forever. ^_~ Thanks!
It’s subscription box time again! Today I’m talking about the original Nerd Block for July 2014. First, please check out my unboxing video:
Now, a quick breakdown of the cost value of the box’s items. Remember, these are prices based on what it would cost me, personally, to purchase these items in Nova Scotia, or to have them shipped to me if they are only available online.
Plush Star Wars X-Wing Fighter: approximately $10
Nerf Zombie Strike Ricochet toy gun: $8“Turtle Power” t-shirt: I think this is a Nerd Block exclusive shirt, so I’m assigning it an approximate value of $15
Comic-Con Episode VI dvd w/ Figures: the only pricing I could find listed for this shows it for $40. Since the dvd is a few years old and also a dvd, I refuse to accept that and I’m downgrading the value to a maximum of $20, but I still wouldn’t pay that myself
Star Wars Insider magazine: apparently these go for $12 a piece. I find that extremely hard to believe. Who the hell is paying $12 for a single magazine?
Total approximate value of box: $65
Cost to me: $33
Okay, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, a quick review:
This month’s Nerd Block original was much better than last month’s, in my opinion, but I’m still a little bit bemused. The shirt is pretty nice, but although my husband will probably wear it I’m not impressed that Nerd Block didn’t pick up on my shirt size change (which I applied in PLENTY of time for this month’s block). The Zombie Strike gun is cute and I like it, but not terribly nerdy…it’s just a very common kind of toy, after all. The Comic-Con dvd is interesting, but it seems a bit weak that Nerd Block would send us something like this that is several years old. And the Star Wars Insider magazine is probably pretty cool to some people, but I don’t feel like magazines are the kind of things that should be in a box like this…it feels like a bit of a cop-out to me, to be honest. The only thing in the box that I felt was genuinely cool and cute was the little X-Wing.
So all in all, it wasn’t a bad box, but didn’t strike my fancy that much. That’s two months in a row now that I was less than enthused, so I’m giving Nerd Block one more month to wow me before I cancel the subscription.
Do you receive Nerd Block original? Did you enjoy this month’s block? Was this unboxing/review helpful to you? Please let me know!
Yesterday on Facebook an old classmate of mine posted a link to a list entitled, “31 Things No One Tells You About Becoming A Parent”. Every entry on the list made me either nod enthusiastically, laugh, or kinda cry a little (for various reasons), so I thought I’d list the entries here, along with my own personal response to each one.
1. At some point you will accidentally hurt your kid and you’ll feel like the worst parent ever.
The first time this ever happened to me was when I was clipping my daughter’s nails when she was an infant. She wasn’t even squirming, but somehow I positioned the nail clippers (infant nail clippers, even) in such a way that I clipped off a piece of skin at the tip of her finger and she immediately started crying. The crying only lasted about twenty seconds, but I felt like the worst person ever for quite a while afterward.
2. You will know a lot less about this: [insert image of a newspaper showing important world news]
I’ve never been all that up on what’s going on in the world, but I can definitely state that since becoming a mother I rarely, rarely know what the hell is going in the world. My world has gotten a hell of a lot smaller, after all. 99.9% of the important things to me begin at the top of my daughter’s head and end at the tips of her toes.
3. And a whole lot more about this: [insert an image of a bunch of special figure toys]
I’ve always been the kind of person who knows more about things like toys and video games than “adult” things, but that knowledge has increased tenfold since I became a mother. I swear I know the specs, available colors, and price tag of every toy available at stores in this province.
4. Your Netflix account will eventually only suggest kids’ shows.
My husband and I don’t actually have our own Netflix account, but my husband’s parents do, and I can let you know that, yes, their account has decided that there are nothing but children in the house. Between my daughter and her cousin, Netflix shows pretty much nothing but My Little Pony and Ninja Turtles.
5. Your pet will no longer be your top priority.
Sometimes I genuinely feel bad about this, but yeah…my cats have become less than second fiddle since my daughter was born. In fact, most of the time I want to lock them in a room somewhere just so I don’t have to deal with them.
6. You will gain 15 pounds.
Hahahahahahahaha…. This one is supposed to be based on the fact that kids eat junk, and thus you will end up eating junk as well. That’s definitely part of it, but I also submit that while you may spend a good part of your day chasing around a super-fast little lunatic, you will then ultimately spend any time when they’re asleep lounging on the couch in pajama pants and stuffing yourself with whatever food is closest to your hand.
7. The backseat of your car will be nasty.
I considered taking a photo to back this one up, but I didn’t want any of my readers to lose their lunch. The saddest part is that I clear out our back seat actually quite regularly, but it ends up back the same way within a day or two.
8. You will eat 95% of your meals either incredibly fast or with one hand. Or both.
This phenomenon has been slowing down as my daughter grows up a bit, but it’s still pretty common for me to eat with one hand (usually the wrong one) because she wants to sit on me during supper time. And don’t even talk to me about meals like breakfast. Usually I just eat them from the kitchen counter as fast as I can because otherwise she sees and wants me to “share”.
9. You’ll basically become a ninja.
The quote that goes with this one is “When you need something from the baby’s room late at night you’ll be able to slip in and out without upending a feather” and I can absolutely confirm that. My daughter goes to bed at night with one of her TV shows on and usually rolls around so much before falling asleep that she ends up without a single blanket on her. As a response to that I “ninja” into her room every night to wrap her back up in blankets and turn off the TV. To date I’ve only woken her once or twice.
10. Despite your best efforts, your kids will get their hands on your iPhone.
Yes, yes, yes. Once, my iPhone ended up locked for over an hour because my daughter failed to properly input my code a ridiculous number of times.
Also, my photos folder is full of adorable toddler ‘selfies’.
11. Parenting is harder than you think it’ll be, but you won’t really notice.
The author of the list states that parenting will continuously get harder and harder but you won’t really realize that it’s happening. The more I think about it the more I agree. Though the days of being up all hours of the day and night and being at my daughter’s beck and call every second of the day are over, things have gotten harder in other ways. But, as the list’s author states, I haven’t really acknowledged that difficulty increase. It’s just kinda the way it works, I guess.
12. You will have to sneak candy like it’s a contraband substance.
This one really made me chuckle. Every year after Halloween my husband and I go out and buy a ton of discounted candy, which we keep in a closet on the main floor of our house. And whenever one of us wants a piece of that candy, we have to sneak around like thieves in the dead of night in order to make sure that our daughter doesn’t see us, especially if she didn’t eat her supper that night.
13. You will laugh more than at any other time in your life.
Young people without kids would never believe that this one is true, especially when they’re watching people with kids running around, chasing them, yelling at them, and looking like they haven’t slept in a year. But it is true. My daughter does so much stuff on a daily basis that makes giggle like a fool or laugh like a lunatic. Kids are the world’s little jesters.
14. You’ll be awakened at 2 a.m. to fetch a glass of water only to find your kid passed out when you deliver it.
I’ll admit, this one rarely ever happens to me. Not the “awakened at 2 a.m.” part…that happens almost every night. But the part where the kid passes back out before you can complete your task? No, that’s not me. When my daughter wakes up, she’s up. That said, there was one night that she banged on her door and when I walked in the room she was drowsily rubbing her eyes and complaining that she wanted her TV show on. I tucked her into bed and set about trying to find the right show, but in the thirty or so seconds that took I turned around to find her snoring on her pillow. I then employed number 9 of this list.
15. You will see your own faults reflected back at you.
Hahahahaha…oh my, yes. A big one (which I think is common in my neck of the woods) is the swearing and/or saying mean things. My husband and I have a very bad habit of telling each other to “shut up” when we’ve lost an argument. We don’t say it in a mean way…it’s actually a bit of a playful thing…but every time the daughter hears it she repeats it, which we obviously don’t want.
Also, stubbornness, temper, impatience, and a gluttonous sweet tooth. Yeah. She’s like a damn mirror.
16. Folding kid and baby clothes is torture.
I’ve pretty much gotten a handle on this one at this point, but my husband definitely hasn’t, and I don’t either of us will be able to properly fold the daughter’s underwear until she’s grown a few dozen more sizes. Those things are ridiculously small.
17. It’s impossible to feel manly when folding said baby clothes.
Obviously I can’t judge this one personally, but I can definitely say, without hesitation, that it is impossible to look manly when folding baby clothes.
18. The power of cute is more formidable than you realize.
The power of cute could rule the universe, I’m certain. Since the day she was born my daughter has been using the overwhelming powers of cuteness to diffuse situations and get out of trouble. How can you stay mad at a kid when she looks up at you from under her eyelashes and says – with a big frown – “I sowwy, mama”?
19. You will find talking to your friends without kids more difficult.
At this point in life more of my friends have kids than don’t, but yeah, I can definitely agree with this one. You don’t realize how much your kids have become your entire world until you try to have a conversation without bringing them up. Because, let’s admit it, your friends without kids really don’t give a rat’s ass about your kids, and you don’t want to be one of those parents, but then, what do you talk about? Because honestly, you haven’t done much more than cook, clean, change diapers, and watch Treehouse TV for the past year.
20. Kids become actual people and not baby blobs way sooner than you think.
Tell me that the wording of that one didn’t give you a chuckle.
It’s amazingly true though. It feels like it was just yesterday that my daughter was sleeping fifteen hours a day and couldn’t even hold her own head up, but now she’s this little individual with likes and dislikes, attitudes and tempers, and a unique personality. She’s a person…just smaller and slightly more difficult to understand.
21. Something you love will get ruined.
I’m patiently waiting for the day this one happens to me, but I can honestly say that it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve had glasses broken (eh, they were cheap glasses anyway), drinks spilled on bedsheets (washed and dried and perfect again), and my daughter has an affinity for getting all manner of disgusting fluids and crusty things all over the screen of my tablet (that’s why we buy screen protectors!), but to date she hasn’t destroyed anything that I love. This is one thing on this list that I seriously hope to foil.
22. You will turn into your parents.
No comment. Move along. lol
23. Very little will embarrass you.
I can remember before I had my daughter, whenever I would see a kid throwing a tantrum in a store I would (after I got over the annoyance of having to listen to a kid scream) feel sorry for the parent. How embarrassing, I thought, must it be to deal with that kind of thing in public, surrounded by judging eyes.
I can tell you now that, for me at least, it’s not embarrassing at all. When my daughter is being a little brat in a public place I literally throw her over my shoulder and just keep going about what I was doing while she kicks and screams and whines, and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest if every eye in the room is on us. Kids throw tantrums sometimes, people. It ain’t a circus act.
Also, as a mother, once you’ve shown up to playgroup with bed hair and no makeup because you were too focused on getting the kid ready and totally forgot to get yourself ready, nothing can embarrass you anymore.
24. You won’t be able to watch movies where kids are killed or kidnapped.
This one started for me when I was pregnant. It’s seriously just not possible. My heart physically hurts now if I see a kid die in a movie. Before I’d feel a little sad, but hey, it’s not real, that kid’s an actor. Now I feel like someone is stabbing a hunting knife in my stomach and twisting it.
25. You won’t want to spend money on yourself because you’ll know every dollar spent on yourself is a dollar you could’ve spent on your family.
I know quite a few parents who are the exact opposite of this, but I can say that, yes, some parents definitely fall into this category. I occasionally spend money on myself, usually in the form of some small treat. But for the most part I spend 2 out of every 3 seconds spent in stores looking at kids clothes and toys, thinking about all the things I want to buy my daughter. If it weren’t for the tiny inkling of restraint that I do have, our house would be a ball pit of toys and not much else.
26. Buying your kid something will make you way more happy than buying yourself something.
Christmas is a testament to this now. I love Christmas, and I’ve always loved both giving and receiving gifts, but now that I have a daughter 200% of my attention is focused on her when it comes to presents. I get a little thrill of giddy happiness every time she opens a present, I really do.
27. When your kid is little, every trip out of the house will feel like getting ready to go to the airport.
Once, when my husband and I both lost our jobs and had to take a trip to New Brunswick for job interviews with another company, I didn’t think our Corolla was going to make it because it was so loaded down with the gear we needed for the baby.
28. You will love to watch kids’ movies.
I’ve always loved kids movies, to be honest, but these days I even love watching them if I’ve seen them eighty times already because nothing is better than snuggling under a blanket with my daughter and listening to her reactions to a great movie.
29. You will cram your entire adult life between the time your kid goes down and you go to sleep.
If you put a spy camera in our house you would see this one in action. Sure, I write during the day, sure we get chores and the like done while the little Missy is up and running around our ankles. But things like watching (non-kid) movies together or having a couple of drinks? Yeah…that stuff starts around 9 pm and ends around 11 pm.
30. For a while, only you will be able to understand them, so you’ll basically become their interpreter.
My husband is better at this one than me, but it’s true and also hysterical. My daughter’s grandparents can never figure out what she’s saying, especially my husband’s father, so it’s up to us to regularly translate every line. The other day my daughter was singing a song to my mother and I had to keep shouting out every second word so that my mother could repeat it.
31. And lastly, it’s all worth it.
Some days it won’t feel like it. Sometimes you just want to jam a pillow over your head and pretend that the world outside your personal bubble doesn’t exist. Sometimes your kid will go on and on and on and on and all you’ll want in the world is for them to shut their yappy little mouth for five minutes. And sometimes you’ll seriously consider installing dead-bolts on all your bathroom doors because JEEBUS CHRIST, CAN I PLEASE PEE IN PRIVATE?!
But the other times, the times when your kid says or does something that truly amazes you, or the times when they come to you with tears in your eyes to ask you to kiss a boo-boo better, or the times when they come up to you for absolutely no reason at all to give you a hug and a kiss and tell you that they love you…yeah, those times make it 100% worth it.
How about it, fellow parents? How much do you know about toys these days? Have you gotten your black belt in ninja stealth yet? When was the last time you saw any actual upholstery in the back seat of your car? Please share your own thoughts and stories! 🙂