Archive for May, 2010

Truth in Advertising: My First Insta-Set Pool

insta-pool fail
Advertising vs. Reality with Insta-Set Pool

I came across this photo comparison of the "My First Insta-Set Pool" today.

We’ve posted a similar one in the past, but this one is a doozy!

The top photo shows the box and the bottom photo shows the actual pool. As you can see, the size is not the only thing inaccurate in this portrayal. The pool decoration isn’t quite the same either.

I was able to find this pool on Toys R Us (I’ll complain about the backwards "R" in their name later). It sells for $9.99 and is listed as being 3 foot x 8 inches. I’ve posted their photo of the box below.

One look at the advertising photo should show that there is no way the pool shown is 3 foot x 8 inches. The water is up to the little boys armpits, even with it filled to the very top, that’s not possible. And it’s certainly larger than 3 feet across.

I also don’t know where these kids legs would be if the pool was 3 feet across. There’d be no way to get 3 children those ages in a 3-foot pool with that much room around them.

I’d also have to say that it would be extremely difficult to keep more than about 5 inches of water in this pool. With, say 7 inches of water in an 8 inch pool, one child sitting down would overflow the pool.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I try to be very careful with our descriptions at Dave’s Cool Toys and it irks me to see this kind of false-advertising on toys.


insta-pool fail
A clearer photo of the box of Insta-Set Pool

Amazing Edible Crayons

Edible Crayons

Person Style Blogger, "Ji" has made some edible crayons and posted the whole process on her blog.

She has made a set of eight crayons, which, as you can see, actually work as crayons. But they are also healthy and edible. The yellow crayon, for example, is made from peanuts, dried veggies, dried bananas, bee pollen, dried pineapple, freeze dried corn, freeze dried apples, chocolate covered sunflower seeds, Fruity Pebbles (yellow ones), and Marshmallow (OK, maybe Fruity Pebbles isn’t that healthy.) One of the main ingredients in all the crayons is melted marshmallows. I’m not sure of some of the taste combinations either, such as peas and blueberries.

The dried ingredients seem to have been ground just like pigments would be, then combined with the carrier and binder ingredients.

Some of the ingredients getting mixed

Clearly these crayons aren’t too practical as either crayons or as snacks, but they are amazing. If you want to try your hand at making your own, Ji has listed the ingredients on her website, Luxirare along with additional photos. I found this Crayon Candy Molds on Amazon, but I’m sure you could find them locally.

If this seems like too much work for you, I did also find these Chocolate Crayons on Amazon.

Ji’s identity is a bit of a mystery. She’s very careful to hide her face in any photos of her on the blog. She prefers to feature the products rather than herself. I must say her photography is absolutely stunning. Every image is a work of art. Even the photos of her ingredients are artfully composed.

Ji is way more organized than I am

Picture perfect crayons you can eat

Cool Toy of the Day: Lots-o’-Huggin Bear

lots o huggin bear
Lots-o’-Huggin Bear

In April I posted about the Lots-o’-Huggin Bear fake retro commercial on YouTube. Lots-o’-Huggin Bear is actually a new Toy Story 3 character and Pixar posted the "commercial" complete with fake video tape noise, washed-out colors, and poor audio as if it were a commercial from 1983.

Well, if that commercial made you want a Lots-o’-Huggin Bear, you’re in luck! He is now available. For real.

The Collectors Edition Lots-o’-Huggin Bear from Disney/Pixar is 14 inches tall and is created from Disney/Pixar’s digital data. He has unique facial expressions and laughs if you tickle his feet. Press his left hand to hear Toy Story phrases and his right hand to hear Come Alive phrases (whatever those are). He responds according to the tone and volume of your voice and when hugged. The description on Amazon says he has Velcro hands and his eyes close when laid down, but the one customer review posted says that is not so, so I’m not sure about that. He requires 2 AA batteries which are included and includes a Toy Story Collection Certificate of Authenticity.

Oh, and he smells of strawberries.

Toy Story 3 is in theaters June 18th! Check out the official site.

Cool Toy of the Day: Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow

chattering teeth

I read an article yesterday about Eddy Goldfarb being awarded the 2010 Toy and Game Inventors of the Year Awards Lifetime Achievement award.

You may not have ever heard of Eddy, but I’m sure you’re familiar with one of his inventions, Chattering Teeth . Orginally called Yakkity Yak Teeth he invented them in 1949 and they’ve been around ever since. Back when I was a performing magician (yes, really), I used to get "bitten" by a pair of chattering teeth in my act. It was always a big laugh.

Among his more than 800 toy inventions, Eddy invented one of my favorite games when I was a child, Ker Plunk (also still available).

But one of the toys he invented that was mentioned in the article caught my attention and I did a little research on it. Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow.

Milky the Marvelous Milking Cow

I don’t recall Milky the Cow, and apparently it was very short-lived. Milky was created by Kenner in 1977 through a licensing agreement with General Foods to promote one of their breakfast cereals. Some online sources say that Milky was created by Mattel, but photos of the box clearly show "Kenner".

You filled up Milky’s trough with water, and inserted a little "pretend milk" tablet into her udder before attaching them to her abdomen (weird). Now she’s ready to do her thing. Pumping Milky’s tail caused her to drink up the water. When she’d had enough, she would let out a "moo" and lift her head. That was your cue to reposition the water bucket under Milky’s udders and begin milking her just like a real cow. Milky produced a cloudy milk-like liquid that you couldn’t drink, although it was non-toxic. Supposedly it tasted bad.

Milky must have been at least somewhat popular. Apparently she goes for as much as $150.00 on eBay.

Here’s the Milky the Cow TV commercial.

Cool Toy of the Day: Muno

Muno looking quite happy

I love the Kia Sorrento commercial where the toys sort-of come to life in their fantasy world. The commercial is called "Joy Ride" and was originally a 2010 Super Bowl commercial.

But I was wondering what the bumpy red guy was. So I finally decided to look it up and discovered that he is Muna from Yo Gabba Gabba. Obviously I’ve never seen that show (my kids are older now) or I’d have known who he was. He’s very cool.

If you’d like your own Muno Vinyl Figure, Kidrobot has one on Amazon for only $299.95. Don’t have quite that much to spend? How about a Muno Clip-on Plush for only $8.99?

sock monkey with a tattoo
Sock Monkey gets tatted

One of my favorite bits in the commercial is when the Sock Monkey is getting a "tattoo" sewn onto his arm. Genius! I wonder if they’ll make a Sock Monkey available with the tattoo. I found a handmade one on one website, but it was no longer available. It also wasn’t stitched per se. It looked like felt that was sewn on.

Other than the Sock Monkey and Muno, the commercial features a robot, a Teddy Bear, and Mr. X . I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t familiar with Mr. X either. Although he is not terribly prominent in the commercial. Mr. X is the shaggy guy wearing a bowler hat. He’s also very cool.

All-in-all a great commercial with great toys.

Time to stock up on Bangsite for your Big Bang Cannon

Stock up on Bangsite now for the 4th

The Fourth of July is right around the corner. If you have a Big Bang Cannon, it’s time to get it out and make sure it’s cleaned up and ready. If you have an older cannon you haven’t fired in a many years, go find it and clean it up. With just a little effort, it should work fine. (Check out my prior blog post where I cleaned up a neighbor’s old cannon.)

It’s also time to stock up on Bangsite and Spark Plugs so you’re ready to celebrate.

Big Bang Cannon Flint

Go find your cannon and any bangsite you may have. First check the cannon for any buildup in the firing chamber. If you have lime buildup, I suggest soaking it with CLR to clear it out (it’s available at most grocery stores). A clean firing chamber will give you the best performance.

Next, check the spark plug and be sure it’s still making a good spark.

6F Big Bang Cannon
Our Best Selling Big Bang Cannon

Lastly, check your Bangsite. If you have an open container, it’s probably not good anymore. If it looks like dust or flour, dispose of it. It won’t work. It should look dark and granular. Unopened tubes should still be good, unless they’re very old. If you need Bangsite of Spark Plugs, order them now to be sure you have them when you want to use your cannon.

Dave’s Cool Toys has a great 3-pack deal on Bangsite and Spark Plugs for $27.49. You get 3 tubes and 3 flints.

Be sure to check out our Big Bang Cannon page for other tips and lots of great information.

Truth in Advertising: Poop Up Pool

I came across this unfortunate typo on a wading pool this morning on the web. It’s made even funnier by the body language of the girl in the pool. At least they got the pricing signage right.

poop up pool
Poop Up Pool

Of course this could be a photoshop hoax. I searched Amazon to try to find this pool, but the closest I found was this one. A search of the Web found the slightly different version shown below, which would lead me to think that maybe it is a hoax.

poop up pool
Another version

Then, I found this one as well. Although in this picture, it doesn’t look like a three-dimensional box.

poop up pool
Another version

Hmmm. maybe some field research is needed.


Dave’s Cool Toys Blog Comment Spam, Installment #1

We don’t like it either

Dave’s Cool Toys’ blog gets lots of comments. But you won’t see most of them on our posts. That’s because most of them are Comment Spam.

Comment Spam results from unscrupulous bloggers and webmasters attempting to get link-backs to their site to boost their search engine rankings artificially by posting as much as possible on other blogs by leaving comments. Sometimes they do it themselves, sometimes they use software bots to post for them.

It’s a pain. Fortunately, we use software that does a great job of filtering out this nonsense.

But, there are times when I read through the comment spam just to see what’s there before deleting it and it gives me a laugh. I really must say I don’t understand what they think they are doing at times.

So, I thought I’d share some of the odd comment spam we’ve received recently. This is the first installment. My comments are in italics. I have not edited the comments, so misspellings, punctuation, etc. are as they were written. I’ve deleted or changed links, phone numbers, etc.

Dave’s Cool Toys Blog Comment Spam

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Very cleverly inserting a link in the middle

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Brilliant and well deserved! Enjoy the moment and the prize!
What prize? Did I get a prize?

right now I will come in the picture and join you.

Welcome First time jumped here on your site, found on Yahoo. It really helps to have sombody to talk to other then my divorced parents. Thanks again Mr. Grey.

I am final, I am sorry, but you could not paint little bit more in detail.
At you a uneasy choice
I think, that you are not right. Let’s discuss. Write to me in PM.
Better late, than never.
What charming message
I’ve received several variations of this one such as the next one.

Do not give to me minute?
The word of honour.
Bravo, excellent phrase and is duly
In my opinion it is very interesting theme. I suggest you it to discuss here or in PM.
I can believe to you :)

Don’t hold it in! Tell us more!

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They couldn’t even be bothered to write something, just posted Greek Type

Check this Out!
2 days ago I received a message from 000-000-0000 (number removed) and was convinced the caller was a scam.
I decided to file a complaint with the Gulf Coast Western and complain.
Anyway, I feel like such a fool Gulf Coast Western -an oil corporation- called me back We’re contacting me about employment. Apparently I got the job
Any idea how to uncomplain and fix this????
This has what to do with toys?

I would equal to add your journal to my blogroll gratify bowman me what mainstay should I use?

I thank for the help in this question, now I will not commit such error.
I am sorry, that I interfere, there is an offer to go on other way.
What good question
You Exaggerate.
Not your business!
That was all one post

Im surprised to have found this blog, I though I was the only one writing about this…thanks.
This was on a post about my son making "Dave’s Cool Toys" out of K’nex. Who else would write about this?

Your babble makes me want to poop my pants…

In all, the theme was 121 comments and 120 of them spamskih – well is not that fox?

Many bukaf not mastered, but the author credit.
Hopefully "bukaf" is not slang for something I’m not aware of.

looking for information for propagation of sea sponge, does anyone know of any other articles besides the one i posted.

This is a good and organization site. I like this in internet and here it exist. Ok and good.

Drop the high class, everything need to be flashy and expensive idea. You need to entertain in your budget and your abilities. Make sure that you will enjoy yourself also. If you spend most of your time worrying that your gathering is as great as it should be, you will not be able to have a great time as you should.

If I must say something, then nothing will stop the chatter inside

“Mousetrap Never Works” parodies OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass”

On March 3 we posted about OK Go’s amazing "This Too Shall Pass" video with one of the most incredible Rube Goldberg devices we’ve ever seen. In that post I mentioned that it brought back memories of the game Mousetrap. I also mentioned that we never actually played the game, but just built the mousetrap.

Well, I’m not sure if someone read my blog post, but the comedy troupe, The Station has posted a video parody of OK Go’s video called "Mousetrap Never Works" on YouTube.

Check it out.

Parental advisory: there is some violence toward the end of the video.

Yo-Yo Master is Not Who He Says He is. Meet K-Strass.

Kenny "K-Strass" Strasser

A very strange man has been appearing on morning TV shows throughout the midwest. He is booked as a yo-yo champion and hosts expect to be dazzled by his yo-yo tricks. He claims to be a representative of the Zim Zam Yo-Yo Corp., "the only non-profit, environmentally conscious yo-yo manufacturer in the world". Although some videos say "Zip Zap".

But when he gets on-air it turns out he is painfully inept at the yo-yo, strangely dressed, and awkward in general.

His name is K-Strass, or Kenny Strasser, or Karl Strassburg, or probably something else, and he has duped at least six different TV stations into booking him on their morning shows.

K-Strass sometimes claims to be divorced (twice), a recovering addict, and has family issues, sometimes taking calls from his father in the middle of his segment. His yo-yo "tricks" are often little more than swinging yo-yos around, dropping them, and sometimes hitting himself in the face or crotch. In one video he gets 7 yo-yos hopelessly tangled. He raps (badly), be-bops (badly), and falls down. He also seems to talk much more than play with the yo-yo.

Kenny also talks about going green, and Zim Zam is supposed to be environmentally friendly, however He seems to use plastic yo-yos, so I’m not sure how they are green.

So who is K-Strass? Nobody seems to know for sure. But there is a Zim Zam Yo-Yo website with nothing more than a yellow cap with the date "May 31". Hmmm. But there’s also another Zim Zam website as well. There is also a Zim Zam Facebook page. And, of course, there’s a Twitter feed, which clams that the page is a fake. Whew!

How bad is K-Strass? Check the videos below. Warning: some of K-Strass’s videos have been removed by their TV stations, so I can’t be sure how long these will be available.

2010 Illusion of the year. We agree!

The amazing video below is of the 2010 Illusion of the year as named by the 6th Annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest held by the Vision Sciences Society.

The illusion was created by Koukichi Sugihara at the Meiji Institute for Advanced Study of Mathematical Sciences, Japan.

The coolest thing about this illusion is that it is a 3-dimensional model. Everything that’s happening is actually happening while it’s being recorded. No, it’s not magnets or anything tricky like that. Watch the video and at about 25 seconds in it will show you how it works.

The illusion clearly only works from one very specific angle. Any other angle shows how it works.

Check out the Illusion of the Year site for the other winners and other great illusions.

Want to build your own? The creators have plans you can download here.

via Gizmodo

12-year-old Greyson Chance signing the Lady Gaga song “Paparazzi”

Check out this video of 12-year-old Greyson Chance signing the Lady Gaga song "Paparazzi". It was recorded at his school talent show in Edmond, OK. No word on whether or not he won the talent show (I certainly hope he did), but his video has had over 8 million views as of today.

Due to the popularity of his video, he is appearing on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and spoke by phone with Lady Gaga herself!

Watch for this kid in the future.

Watch Greyson on the Ellen show here.

Cool Toy of the Day: Bubba the Bottom Feeder

Bubba the Bottom Feeder

Following in our current theme of pool toys, today’s Cool Toy is Bubba The Bottom Feeder
. This is another interesting pool diving toy that makes diving to the bottom of the pool more interesting than just retrieving things.

Place the empty Bubba on the bottom of the pool. Players take turns choosing a little goldfish and diving down and "feeding" it to Bubba. Once Bubba is "full" he floats to the top. The first player to make Bubba float, wins! Each of the little fish are weighted differently, so every game is different and you won’t know how many fish it takes to float Bubba up to the surface. You can play in either the shallow or deep end of the pool

Bubba gets fed

Bubba comes with eight gold fish and his mouth snaps shut to form a self-contained carrying case.

Bubba The Bottom Feeder Pool Toy. Ages 5 and up, 1 or more players (best with 2-4). $11.95-$17.99

The Worlds Most Useless Lego Machine

Useless Lego Machine
Useless Lego Machine

In January I wrote a blog post about the world’s most useless machine (I want that).

Today we have a follow-up with a very similar toy made of Lego. I stumbled on a YouTube video of the World’s Most Useless Lego Machine. It’s basically the same machine I posted about before, but this time made of Lego.

The creator made about 10 prototypes before completing the final version shown here. He used a clockwork motor for the action rather than electric, so it has a small hole to wind it.

When I see videos like this I wonder what kind of Lego collection these folks have. A search on Amazon for “Lego” came up with 4,868 items! That’s quite a variety of Lego to build things with.

This type of machine is sometimes called “Shannon’s ultimate machine”. It is named for Claude Shannon, an American mathematician and engineer who had many interests and kept a machine like this on his desk that switched itself off. Interestingly, he also build a machine that could solve a Rubik’s Cube, which we just posted about a Lego version the other day.

How much would you pay for this “rare” toy?

Rare wind-up doll. Is it Betty Boop?

I came across this item as I was browsing eBay. It is listed as "MUSEUM Celluloid & Tin ULTRA RARE Toy Japan BETTY BOOP?"

The listing says it is Japanese and made of Celluloid & Tin, completely original from the 1920’s, "untouched", with a built-in key to wind it. The listing does mention some skipping and a missing rod for head action. She is 6.5 inches high and "Made in Japan" is marked on the bottom.

The asking price? $19,001.00. Or you can make an offer. For your money, you get free courier delivery to anywhwere in the world.

It is listed as possibly being Betty Boop. But nothing about this doll looks anything like Betty Boop to me.

And although it lists it as being complete, it certainly looks to me as though there should have been a dress over it. That would explain the way the arms are attached.

If you are interested and you have $19,000 laying around that you don’t know what to do with, check it out here. There are much more photos in the listing.

UPDATE – 5/24/10
The price on this item has been dropped to $11,001.00!

Dave’s Cool Toys Blog
We post news about new toys on our site, new toys in the market, general toy information, or stuff we just thought was cool (usually toys).

We welcome your feedback and comments.

Be sure to check out our toys at Dave's Cool Toys. We work hard to find toys you won't find at the big box stores. Now go out and play!

Dave Ference

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All toy reviews are honest and will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly, even if it's a toy we sell. We receive no compensation for any toy reviews.

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We've done our best to make sure that information on our weblog is accurate. Some items may be rumors, gossip, or hearsay. We will do our best to make it clear when it is, and will correct anything we find to be wrong.