Archive for December, 2010

Cool Toy of the Day: Hansa Grand Dragon

A very expensive crafty Christmas

It’s the last shopping day of the holiday season. So I got to wondering what the most expensive toy on Amazon might be.

So I did a quick search and my results were the award-winning Crafty Christmas costing $726,098.00!


What could possibly make Crafty Christmas that expensive?

A quick look at the description made it clear. The kit includes "holiday stickers, buttons, felt, sequins, sticky gems and more". That stuff doesn’t come cheap!

Crafty Christmas isn’t technically sold by Amazon. Clicking the link actually takes you off-site to the actual reseller. On their site the price is a slightly more modest $29.98, leading me to believe that the price on Amazon is a mistake. (You think?)

So I continued on to try to find the most expensive legitimate toy. The next most expensive was a Modular Playground costing $50,441.40. That price certainly makes a bit more sense, although I wonder what made them add the 40 cents to the price. But it’s not quite a toy.

Next I found the "Estes Apollo Saturn Flying Scale Model" for $14,986.75. Hmmm. I don’t think that’s an accurate price. There was no description, but I found it elsewhere on Amazon for about $70. My search continues.

What I found next is amazing.

The Stunning Hansa Grand Dragon Could be Yours

It’s the Hansa Grand Dragon. The price is $12,499.95. And I think that one is legitimate.

The Hansa Grand Dragon is a full-scale plush animal. It’s 116" long (over 10 feet) 40" wide and 98" high. Hansa plush animals are hand-sewn inside-out resulting in minimization of seams. Their bodies are "sculpted" so you get the impression of underlying musculature. Some of their creations have as many as 240 different parts. Stuffing is done by hand and carefully placed. Since they are not machine made, each one is unique, with slight variations. The Grand Dragon is a special order. Oddly, Amazon charges $8.95 shipping.

Hansa makes more reasonably priced plush and they do look absolutely realistic. Prices are in the more reasonable $10-$50 range. I absolutely love the Plush Elephant Mouse costing just $14.00. And if you’d like to see an amazing example of their quality, check out the Beige Hen, costing $49.75. It’s absolutely worth the price.

Cool Toy of the Day: Robohorse

I was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping today at the King of Prussia Mall. There was a store there selling Robohorses.

What is a Robohorse? Imagine a rocking horse that doesn’t stay in one place, but runs around like a real horse. They’re actually pretty cool. Although I don’t know a lot of people that have enough room in their house to ride a robotic horse around it.

The prices weren’t really to bad. They ran up to about $250.00.

Check out my video from today below.

Toys R Us Marathon until Christmas Eve

Toys R Us will be open 88 hours straight

Toys-R-Us stores will open at 6:00 a.m. this morning, December 21, 2010 and stay open until 10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Toys-R-Us has promised that they will be getting regular deliveries right up to the end so they will be fully stocked.

And they’ll be running specials such as Midnight Specials from Midnight to 6:00 a.m. each day.

If you’re looking for a Toys-R-Us store near you, there’s a store locator here.

As long as I’m on the subject, I’ll take this opportunity to complain about the Toys-R-Us logo. I can’t tell you how much it annoys me that they have their "R" backwards. Kids see that all the time. I’m not crazy about the whole "R" thing to begin with, but then to have it backwards isn’t right. I think we need a petition to make them turn their "R" around.

Cool Toy of the Day: Piggyback Bandz

Piggyback Bandz

Unless you were hiding under a rock, you probably know that one of the big toy fads lately were Silly Bandz.

First I want to say that when I first saw Silly Bandz, I had a "why didn’t I think of that" moment. Then I had a "why didn’t anyone else think of that before" moment.

Now I’m having a "why didn’t the company that makes Silly Bandz think of this" moment.

The toy that made me think that is Piggyback Bandz. They took the shaped rubber band one step further and added an extra little band to the edge. When you wear them, the little extra shape sticks up in 3D on your wrist.

Football Piggyback Bandz

Aside from the usual shapes, they also have letters. The letters are great because you can combine bands and spell words and short phrases with them on your wrist.

Piggyback Bandz come in eight themes at this time: Glam, Football, Groovy, Sealife, Alphabet, Cool Rides, Safari and Extra Letters.

The only place I’ve found them for sale is on their own website.

Here’s a quick promotional video of them. It’s not a very good video. But it shows the concept.

Cool Toy of the Day: Barbie Fashion Fairytale Palace

Barbie’s Fashion Fairytale Palace

If you’re looking for a great deal on a last-minute Christmas gift for a little girl, head on over to Amazon where they currently have an amazing sale on the Barbie Fashion Fairytale Palace. Regularly priced at $114.99 it’s currently on sale for only $34.99.

It’s inspired by the new animated Barbie movie "Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale" so little girls can act out their favorite scenes from the movie.

Features include pink carpet, a VIP drawbridge, movable dance floor elevator, vanity area, and transforming bed to wardrobe (apparently space is limited in fairy castles).

Since it’s over $25.00 you also qualify for Super Saver Shipping. It will be delivered in 5-8 business days for free.


Food Court Hallelujah Flash Mob

It’s Christmas, and what could be better than an unexpected performance of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus at a mall food court.

On November 13, 2010 over 100 participants took place in this great Flash Mob. Crank up the volume and watch the video.

Thomas Cane, Santa Catcher!

Santa won’t get past this Chimney undetected

It’s Christmas Eve and you’ve decided to catch Santa once-and-for-all. So you camp out on the sofa and wait for the jolly man. But, you doze off and when you wake up it’s Christmas morning and there are presents under the tree and your milk and cookies are nibbled and sipped. Now you have to wait another year to try again.

Well, Thomas Cane, of San Rafael California had enough of the routine and decided to do something about it.

So he invented "A children’s Christmas Stocking device useful for visually signaling the arrival of Santa Claus by illuminating an externally visible light source having a power source located within said device.

He was serious about it too. On August 19, 1994 he filed a Patent with the US Patent Office for the device. It’s patent number 5,523,741.

Here are a few tidbits from the patent:

"Modern folklore includes many mystical entities such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Etc. The most widely recognized and embraced by young children is Santa Claus—a plump, white-bearded and red-suited gentleman who delivers presents to "good" children at Christmas time."

Santa-detecting stocking

"…there are no such prior art arrangements known to applicant which includes a light transmissive three dimensional hollow recognizable character rendition which is capable of being illuminated to signal the arrival of Santa Claus."

"This is particularly important to young children, providing reassurance that the child’s good behavior has in fact been rewarded by Santa Claus."

This is a good one…

"…the presently preferred embodiment of the children’s device… comprises a Christmas stocking having an enclosure therein to accommodate small Christmas presents/treats. The stocking includes a top portion, a heel portion and a toe portion. The stocking is preferably constructed out of a conventional cloth or synthetic material. As will be recognized by one skilled in the art, the stocking may comprise various conventional pliable materials."

Bascially, the way it works is you string ribbon across the fireplace and attach it to the stocking. When Santa arrives, he inadvertently pulls on the ribbon as he attempts to gain access to your home through the fireplace opening, which pulls on a switch, activating lights on the stockings and electronic music, if you’ve turned on that feature. An alternate version would use Santa cutouts rather than stockings which would move his arms, legs and head, doing a little dance. He has covered other holidays as well in the patent such as a version for the Easter Bunny.

Is Thomas Cane trying to catch Santa Clause? Maybe. But his invention is really meant as a product that "Santa" would purposely activate once the kids have gone to bed and the presents have "arrived", so they can check it when they get up in the morning to be sure Santa was there.

I checked online and found other similar items that are available now such as the Santa Evidence Kit. This kit has items that Santa has "left behind" as evidence to children that he was there such as a torn piece of his suit, a sleigh bell, a stencil and magic snow to create a snowy boot print, and more.

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

A little disclaimer
A few things we thought you should know:

Some of the links on our weblog will not take you to Dave's Cool Toys, but to other sites. If you purchase an item from that site we may, or may not, receive a commission on that purchase.

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.

Links to other sites have been checked by us for appropriate content, but we cannot check every page of every site and every link on those sites, and any changes that may have been made to those sites since we visited them. Children should be supervised at all times while surfing the web.

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.