Sunday, November 15, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake Berry Café - Review

I was such a Strawberry Shortcake kind of kid that I even dressed up as Strawberry herself one Halloween. It was the cheapest, most plastic-y costume you could possibly imagine, but I cherished that thing. But aside from what I remember about that sheet of plastic costume, what I loved best about Strawberry Shortcake was her intoxicating smell. They say it was Strawberry, but I'm not sure it wasn't crack.

Since I was such a Strawberry Shortcake fan as a kid, I was thrilled to see her make a massive come back this year. I'm getting a kick out of watching Little L and C play with my little fruity friends.

I have two girls so it almost goes without saying that they go ballistic whenever I present them with a toy that has lots of tiny components. Anything cute, pink, and tiny is an instant hit in our home. My husband goes ballistic also, but for completely different reasons. The tiny bits drive him up the wall.

The Strawberry Shortcake Berry Café is exactly the kind of toy my girls love. It's adorable, comes with a doll, and lots of teeny tiny pieces for lots of fun pretend play. Little L likes that Strawberry can sit on a bird and go for a spin. C likes to set up the café and have Strawberry be the perfect little hostess. I like watching them take a trip to my childhood. And M? Well, he's not a fan of the little pieces, but he does like it when the girls play on their own.

- Fun retro toy with an up to date twist. Lots of fun details, like a blender for iced coffee drinks and a cute little oven to bake the tiny baked goods. Strawberry Shortcake even has a bed in case she needs to take a nap after a particularly crazy morning!
- Not a bad price point for such a large toy - $28.42 today on Amazon.
- Great potential for imaginative play. Since Strawberry Shortcake is the only doll supplied with this set she might have to get to know some of your kid's other dolls!

- I don't know if my kids are singular in this or not, but they don't tend towards mixing and matching their toys. So there's a big chance that in our home Strawberry won't be making any friends until her creators start selling more of her fruity palls.
- The windows and doors on the café don't seal shut so the tiny little pieces can't be stored in it for safekeeping. A ziplock bag takes care of that issue, but it would have been nice to have the set be self-sufficient.
- My treasured childhood smell isn't here for the ride. (It is on some of the Strawbery Shortcake coloring books that we have found.) But the girls don't mind. I'm the only one who noticed!

All in all this is a lovely toy and will make many little girls grin with glee this holiday season!

Please Note: I am in no way affiliated with Hasbro. I was given a Strawberry Shortcake Berry Cafe for review purposes and was in no other way compensated for this review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are mine and mine alone.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sprig Toy Review - Dolphin Explorer Boat

Sprig Dolphin Explorer Boat image
 I'm just going to come out and admit it. I am that mom. The one who lies to her kids. I may have, on many occasions, lied about the fact that a toy didn't make noise. I have yanked batteries before they noticed how it was supposed to work, or let batteries die without replacing them.

What? I believe in the power of imagination!

And then, sometimes I'm delighted to discover toys that don't require batteries and that, by their simple, ingenious designs, are all about promoting the power of imagination. When they happen to be green toys, well, that's just icing on the cake.

Sprig Dolphin Explorer Boat image
All Sprig Toys are eco-friendly and unbelievable adorable. I guarantee that you won't be able to resist picking up the cute little people and I doubt that you'll leave their site without thinking of a few little people in your life who would love to create their own adventures with these toys.

I was fortunate to receive our buddy Captain Owen and his rugged little boat. Is he a fisherman? Is he a dolphin watcher? Depends on the day and who's telling the story.

- Parents will love the eco friendly, made from recycled materials toy. Kids will adore the tough little boat and the adorable dolphins.
- The toys are made from Sprigwood, a mix of recycled plastic and reclaimed sawdust. It's smooth to the touch and very pleasant to handle.
- Two boats! For even more imaginative play.
- Waterproof, so great for pool, beach, or even tub time. Dolphins are the only hollow creatures, but they are well designed with no place water can stay trapped and make the toy moldy. Everything else dries nicely.
- The box is more than just a box! It has cut-outs that add a whole other dimension to the toys inside. 

- Our kids aren't used to having toys that have to be fuelled so far by their imaginations. Captain Owen doesn't even have a face. It takes a while for them to get engaged and start having fun with this, but once they do it's hard to tear them away!
- Price point - $29.99 - is a hair higher than I'd go for a basic birthday party toy, but for a toy with this quality and ingenuity I'd invest for my own children, a close friend, or a family member. (Many toys on the site are more in my birthday party price range!)  

I am a huge fan of Sprig Toys and I was delighted to see that they're easy to find. I even spotted one of the trucks at Baby Gap the other day! They have trucks and princesses and even fun book/toys for interactive reading play. I know quite a few kids who will be getting some rugged chunky little imagination boosters in their stockings this year...

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Sprig Toys. I was given a Dolphin Explorer Boat for review purposes and was in no other way compensated for this review. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are mine and mine alone.

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