I just returned from my 34th Toy Fair and I am often asked if I still enjoy looking at new products. The answer is Yes! I still get jazzed when I see a very thoughtful toy that was created to teach a skill, to stimulate the imagination or to tickle the giggle factor in life. Toys can be joyful and we spend endless hours hunting down a collection of new and old products that we feel are best of the best for 2014.
I saw some interesting trends that I’d like to share. It’s always fun to see what the newest thing is in each category and it seems that for plush; hedgehogs and foxes are the it animals for 2014 (not including Grumpy Cat)! What does the fox say to this? He says.. Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! If you haven’t seen or heard the YouTube sensation that is “What Does The Fox Say” you may want to check it out. From books to videos to plush, the fox is going to have a good year.
We saw last year how popular Living Sand was and now we are getting the new and improved Sands Alive! Sands Alive can only be described as a fluffy, marshmallow-like dough that can be molded into all sorts of shapes. As you play with Sands Alive you see how it gets its’ name, because it seems to move on its own. If you haven’t experienced the Sands Alive phenomenon you will have to stop in and test our sample which will be coming in any day now.
We saw an overwhelming line up of amazingly good games, which tells me companies know that kids and families still love to play board games not just electronics. Families are going offline for games. A great example of a brain-building game that will only help further a child’s education in technology is Robot Turtles, coming in June. It’s a game that sneakily teaches preschoolers the fundamentals of programming. Imagine, you are giving your child the foundation to possibly create the next new app at age 12. Companies are getting smarter and your child is benefiting from that. How do old toys compete with mobile and smart devices? They don’t, they adapt to them.
We are seeing more and more companies introducing creative toys with an electronic twist. Whether it is a jigsaw puzzle with an app that makes the puzzle come to life or a device that you put your Ipad in to create interactive art.
Even some books are being infused with technology. With the combination of interactive books and augmented reality apps, learning can be a blast for everyone. This new feature turns the book into a window to the world of science and imagination. These types of e-connected toys are only going to further expand a child’s ability to create and imagine a brighter future.
But we still believe that the fundamentals of 3-dimensional toys, games and manipulatives are still the best choice for wholesome activities and play. An abundance of new and exciting baby, toddler, bath and building toys are also on their way. What we are seeing is both new and old toys coming together and working in harmony. We have to keep moving forward and we are selecting the best of the best for your child and our future. We’ll keep you posted on the newest of the new and please stop in and check out the new arrivals.
Do you know all the possibilities?
Do you find yourself wanting an unusual gift? Our buyers have hunted for the best of the best gifts that make you say “ooh-ahh!” We have special orders galore… Artwork, Growth Charts, Plate Sets, Piggy Banks, Music Boxes and Personalized Blankets and Lovies. These are just a few of our favorite things…
Unique is the keyword in these unique baby gifts.
We have a beautiful assortment of artwork that is made even more special by adding your newborn’s name. A personalized growth chart is definitely a gift that grows with your child. Make a child’s first birthday extra special with a plate, bowl, cup set. It is something they can use everyday and will someday become an heirloom. What is more special than a keepsake that a child can keep forever? Most of these gifts take some lead time to special order, but we personalize Piggy Banks right away in our stores. They are perfect for unique names. Another great gift is our handmade Music Box, perfect for the child that has everything.
Birthday Bins make parties easy for everyone.
Do you know about our birthday bins? Does your child have a birthday coming up? Come into one of our stores and we will give you a plastic bin that your child fills with all the things they want. We give you an enclosure to add to your birthday invitations, letting their friends know where to go to pick out a gift. It is easy for you because your child gets what they want and it’s easy for their friends to choose the right gift. Everyone wins! Don’t forget about our party favor bags. Come in and pick out treats to fill our complimentary goodie bags or let us pick them out for you.
You’re all dressed up for the party, why not dress up the gift?
Have us personalize one of our totes for you. We have many different sizes and styles. All you have to do is pick out what you want to go in it and give us the child’s name and we’ll do the rest. We add all of your choices to the personalized container and wrap it up in cellophane. We finish it off with ribbons and our colorful scrunch. It will definitely be the “Wow” gift of the party! So get the party started. Come in to Kiddly Winks today to see what we can do for you!
We are a family-owned, independent toy store that has been in business for 28 plus years. Our merchandise is thoughtfully selected with an educational or creative component in mind. Our 6,000 square foot stores have a huge selection of great toys, books and games, unique gifts for newborns, and our colorful, free, “talk of the town” gift wrap. We provide amazing customer service as well. We have employees with decades of experience that are here to help you pick out the perfect gift for your special kiddo!
It is important when your shopping for toys to have someone to guide you in the right direction. You lose that when you walk into a big super toy store. What if you don’t really know the child you are shopping for. It is hard enough to just find an employee in one of those stores, let alone ask them to help you pick out something. Most people wander around and choose a toy not because they think it is the best choice but because they have been looking for an hour and they just want to get out of there. You don’t have a friendly face waiting to help you with your every need. At Kiddly Winks our toy experts go above and beyond to make sure you leave feeling good about your selection. Why would you want to shop anywhere else?
So, Saturday is my favorite day at Kiddly Winks! It is birthday party day!!! It is a “I have 20 minutes till this party and I need something fast” kind of day. This is when our expert skills take over. We not only help you find the perfect gift, but we will wrap it in record time. Kiddly Winks is the only place you should be shopping for your children’s needs. So stop in! Shop local! Let us help you find the perfect gift to make someone’s day extra special.
Visit one of our locations in Longmeadow, MA or The Shoppes of Farmington Valley in Canton, CT http://www.kiddlywinks.com/IBS/SimpleCat/Locations/asp.html
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Sunday afternoon, as I was wrapping gifts for a customer, she shared a sweet story. Her child perused through our Holiday Catalog. He carefully cut out all of his favorite items and placed them in his treasure chest next to his bed. Then, he gently placed the catalog under his pillow and went to sleep.
There can’t be a better commentary of this year’s selections! We are truly honored!
The trucks have been delivering toys for weeks. All of the Kiddly “elves” have been ticketing toys, stocking the shelves, decorating the stores and readying for holiday events. When the decorations go up and we turn the lights on, I still get as excited as I did 27 years ago when we had our first holiday season!
We have chosen what we believe are the best toys of the season. We have tried to edit out the stuff that is not made well. We have chosen fun, intelligent and creative products that will help your child grow, be challenged, laugh and have fun.
Please join us for Adult Shopping Night to preview the latest and greatest products. Our sales representatives and experienced toy team will be there to guide you through toys, games and books while you enjoy wine and hor dourves, jazz music, raffle prizes and free gift wrapping. This is an adult only event. So, get a sitter or have a friends night out. We promise to delight and entertain. We think you will feel good about your toy decisions. And guess what… you will have so much of your checklist done; supported a local business and have “talk of the town” gift wrapped packages ready to go. What a fun evening!
Adult Shopping Night will be Thursday, November 15, 2012 in Longmeadow and Friday, November 16, 2012 in Canton. Both events are from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Space is limited so please call either store to make a reservation.
For days before this powerful hurricane we all experienced, I watched thoughtful, loving Moms & Dads come into the store to buy games, puzzles, books and arts & crafts to get their kiddos’ minds off the storm knowing full well that their days & nights would not going to be filled with TV, computer games, videos and XBox if they lost power. Occupying time with enriching, productive toys is a pleasant choice for those parents. As they left the store, I reminded them to build pillow forts, create puppet shows, write poems, face paint and, don’t forget, eat chocolate pudding for breakfast. These times mark a special place in time for a child. It creates memories for your family. It is a time for everyone to slow down and just be… Be together without all of the outside pressures of school, jobs, sports, lessons, phones and computers. It is a time that your kids might remember forever. “October, 2012 we lost our power but we had so much fun with flashlights and snuggling the whole family in our living room in sleeping bags.”
So the hurricane passed, lights came on so I thought I needed to pass on this advice to all of you… I spoke with a Dad just before the storm hit. He took a deep breath and thanked me for reminding him to enjoy the moment rather than stressing about what he was missing at work. The lesson is not to wait for a natural disaster to stop and turn off the technology – just make a date with your family. Turn the lights off and create a new tradition, new fun and special family memories for your kids.