Showing posts with label Toys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toys. Show all posts

Friday, September 24, 2010

TOS Crew Review: Schleich toys

Down on the farm.....

Przwalski's horse,  Dartmoor pony,  Donkey
Swabian-Hall pig

or out on Safari....

Gnu and Gnu calf

Indian Elephant Calf


you are bound to find a Schleich figurine to meet your playtime needs. Oh, and your children's too.

Delicately detailed by hand, these realistic toy animals are a wonder to behold.  I was fortunate enough to review some of the other lovely critters last year, and now our collection has grown.  The beauties you see above arrived nicely packed, and ready to become a part of one of the many imaginative creations my son comes up with.  All but the donkey-because that sweetie is mine.  I have decided I need to get myself a miniature donkey-you know-one that is potty trained, can wipe its hooves on the rug in the entry way, and  showers daily.  So, since that is not possible (darn neighborhood association rules), I have commandeered that sweet thing as my "pet".  But I do play nice and share him with the fam.

Now if you have children, or you yourself have a passion for playtime-why not use animals, action figures and gosh, even Smurfs to jazz up your adventures?  Best yet-these are built to last, are extremely realistic and just darn adorable!  There is a huge selection of creatures to choose from, and now there are even buildings, vehicles and people too. 

These are a hit in our home! I am even going to use them to help with the animal sketches for our art studies.  It is a lot easier to draw say-a gazelle or Okapi, when it is in front of you (and not trying to destroy the house,  you or in constant motion), especially when it is accurately depicted.  Not to mention-when we cover the animals of Africa-it will be a lot cheaper than packing up the family, and heading to the open plains of the Serengeti.  Definitely a keeper set of toys for us.                  

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Schleich Action Figures Homepage
prices vary depending on the animal size. You can find these at many, fine retailers near you, or on some online stores.
OH! And if you visit the site-you can click on the animal of choice, to read some fun facts about them as well.

Don't forget to visit our TOS Crew Review Homepage to see what my crewmates had to say about thisand many other fine homeschool products.

**Schliech Company provided me with a free 8 piece collection of animal figurines to test out, and play with, in exchange for writing this review.  No financial compensation was provided for my honest and playful opinion of these adorable critters.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TOS Crew Review: Schleich Action Figures Toys

"Lions, and tigers and bears-Oh my!
Lions, and tigers and bears-Oh my!"

And that isn't all you will find meandering through the emerald forests, dusty African plains, oceans deep and wide, down on McDonald's farm, over the western prairies, through the lands of the behemoths, around and about the castles of yester-year, under the mushrooms of mythical legends, and all around the family homestead. With over 500 animals, fairies, Smurfs, humans, vehicles, buildings, foliage, dinosaurs and Knights, you will find many, many choices to choose from to build your collection of action figures for your family.

I have been eyeing several of the Schleich critters for years. On many occassions, I spotted them while at our local Tractor Supply store. I am always one to stop to pick them up to admire the high quality, attention to details, and adorable figures they have available. Sadly, since our objective was not critters, but quick missions to buy or esteem manly-man items, I never purchased any. What a all along my kids could have been playing with these beauties to expand and encourage their imagination. Luckily, we received a nice sampling to review for the Schleich company, and are now convinced we need to start building up our collection.

Not only are these well made, they are accurate (so here is your opportunity to discuss the differences in the male and female kinds the Lord created) and they afford themselves to several "teaching" moments that homeschooling folks just seem to think of. What is even more exciting is that Schleich is expanding their educational components (they currently do offer booklets that describe and offer some information regarding some of their animals already) to accompany the products they make. A homeschooler's dream!

My children (and myself) have been playing with our new friends ever since they arrived. I am also very excited to see that I can tie in our new tigers into the Tiger Lapbook we will be making (available for free at Homeschool Share-just scroll down to the tiger one) this coming week! I can think of a lot of different applications for these babies-not just for play time, but for using as visuals for our science, art, history and geography lessons. Those adorable tigers (we received 2) just spoke to us, as we are major fans of this big cat. Our first purchase is going to be the White Tigers they offer, and again-tying those into our lapbook lesson will just weave this together seamlessly.

You have to know too, that I am already thinking ahead to next year's history course, as we will be moving into studying Early America. I was like a kid with a $5 bill at a candy story, when I saw the pioneers, covered wagon and other figurines from the American Frontier Collection. Some of these will be in our home by next fall, to offer up extra visual, and tactile experiences to bring that time period alive. Well, and of course we'll use them to just play with, as that is the most fun of all!

"Lions, and tigers and bears-Oh my!"

"We're off to see the Schleich display case, the most wonderful display case of all..."

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Schleich Homepage
Prices vary depending on size of the animal, check your local retail store for details
Sold at Tractor Supply, Target, Toys "R" Us and other fine retailers

Shop On-Line
Not all available on-line, but I did see the Hippo for $6.49, Tiger $5.49, Gazelle Fawn $2.49, Arabian Foal-grazing $3.99

See what my crew mates have to say about this and several other homeschool products at out TOS Crew Homepage.

**Schleich Action Figures provided me with free samples of their animal product line, The tiger, hippo, foul, gazelle, and fawn, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

TOS Crew Review: One 2 Believe Tales of Glory Noah's Ark Set

One 2 Believe-by now that name should be familiar to you, as I have already reviewed their Nativity Set. I was actually rather sad packing it away for the next Christmas season. I have become attached to "Donkay" and the thought of not seeing his saucer eyes, and goofy expression were a bit disheartening. Oh, but no longer am I disparagingly lonely without him. The Noah's Ark I received, is something to behold-and "Donkay" not only makes another appearance, but he brought along his wife and many new friends too! This is something all right!

Look at those eye-popping expressions!

This play set includes the normal cast of characters one would find in a Noah's Ark set: including-but not limited to; good old Noah (with a shepherds crook, after all he has several animals to keep in line), the sturdy Ark itself (cleverly designed to have the top lift off, so one can store all those critters and their caretaker. There is also a fancy, open breeze-way cabana on top. Oh, let us not forget the all-important ramp, for easy access to the top of the ark), and the plethora of 2x2 animal kinds one would expect to see. Some old familiars show up for a repeat performance-such as Danny and Dolly Sheep; the camel, and my favorite- the donkey you'd recall from the Nativity set. Now, hold on to your rain hats-they didn't arrive alone! As directed from the good Lord, they brought a fellow mate; so you will not only see Casey Camel, but his lovely wife Sundae, and Donkay with this wife Bowbee too. This fine ensemble also includes some dazzling new stars: Cocoa and Nut (chimps), Happy and Taffy (elephants), Pablo and Talian (lions) and Ollie and Strawberry (ostriches)**.

It was a delight to unpack this new play set to see how the children would respond to it. Outside of my excitement about the reappearance of Donkay; the kids took to it in an enthusiastic fashion, and had fun coming up with different scenarios for it. My 19 month old nephew has enjoyed it the before you hit the panic button about that-I removed the chimps, one of the sheep and Noah's shepherd's crook so he could play with it while he is here, and not earn a one way trip to the ER (see my notes about this in the Nativity review). The company and package clearly state this is for children 3 years and older, so please-take heed. I am most relieved now that I have an alternative to my breakable Ark set; which unfortunately bears the tragic scars of not owning a kid-friendly one until now. Sad to say, my zebras are both ear-less, Noah has filed several slip-and-fall lawsuits against me, and the ship itself has acquired it's own battle wounds. This has become a favorite of ours, and since it is a toy which represents a story from the Bible, we couldn't be more pleased.

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One 2 Believe Homepage
Set is $29.99
Check out their fine collection of toys meant to teach and expound Biblical stories.

**these are the names we assigned to our group of critters-you will have the freedom to name them yourselves (just like Adam!) once they arrive at your humble abode.
See what my fellow crew mates had to say about this product and others at our TOS Crew Homepage.

**One 2 Believe provided me with the free Tales of Glory-Noah's Ark toy, in order to test and use it with my family, so I could write this review.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

TOS Crew Review: One 2 Believe-Tales of Glory Nativity Set

With Christmas fast approaching; most of us are starting to plan out what we'll be doing, where we will be celebrating and how we'll be decorating our lovely homes. One tradition that I started, several years ago, is to give each child a small Nativity set. My hope is that when they venture out on their own, they will have a mini-collection of Christmas "chachkies" that depict the real reason for the season. As for myself, I have collected a couple large sets, which I place about the house soon after Thanksgiving.

My favorite Nativity set is made of porcelain, so I am always ushering the children away from playing with it, to avoid the inevitable-the depopulation of the set- leaving an empty stable and nothing else. As a side note, my older teens have resorted to strategically moving the sheep from spot to spot when I am not around, just to tease me-but I am considering that a new tradition around here. For a long time I have contemplated purchasing a Nativity set that is designed for play. Something that can withstand the use of active children and hold its own. One 2 Believe has provided me with just that.

Opening the large package was like Christmas morning-in October! Plastic and wire tiebacks flew threw the air as pieces were quickly arranged for all to see. What we found was a large set containing the expected cast of characters. Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus (complete with a manger), the three wise men, a ram and ewe, a bail of hay, two shepherds, two angels and a "Cheshire" grinning camel, and the ever faithful donkey. All though I must admit, this one made me laugh quite a bit...its expression is rather comical in nature, and my mind instantly went to the scene with "Fireball" from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer-you know the one: the pal of Ruddie who sported a nice tuft of yellow hair and had saucer-sized eyeballs upon seeing Ruddie's red nose! Oh, and a palm tree and stable as well. To top it off, they include a mini-booklet that gives a brief description of the events surrounding Jesus' birth. This is a great springboard for further discussion on this world changing event.

I also had the pleasure of coming across a few of their toys (at Walmart) from their Messengers of Faith collection. They are a good size, seem more "ethnically" correct than the Tales of Glory toys (remember though, these toys are intended for younger children and fit perfectly with what captures their attention) and could be used in a variety of ways to reinforce your Bible lessons. I believe Sunday School rooms stocked with a variety of these dolls and sets could be most beneficial to retaining lessons as well.

Overall, I am pleased with the One 2 Believe, Tales of Glory Nativity set. It is made of thick plastic, that is sure to withstand many years of play. I do not really recommend it to homes with small children who still mouth toys, mainly because of the small parts-but also because they are made of PVC material. Please do your homework to make the best decision in regards to this matter (O2B has tested their products and assure us that they meet safety standards for this type of toy). More notably, the box clearly states that it is intended for children 3 years and older, so I advise that you heed that warning. Frankly, I highly doubt you will be taken seriously as you dash through the ER doors screaming, "My child has swallowed baby Jesus!". It is just common sense to wait until the "littles" are not so little anymore, before purchasing this set.

One final point to mention is that One 2 Believe is a rather bold company. They claim we should be "taking back" our kids' toy box. What an interesting concept. With a statement like that, I had to dig deeper to see where they were going with this. I couldn't resist posting their vision for their company, as you will read, this is a great concept that deserves further contemplation:

Our Vision
one2believe's passion is to help children learn important Bible lessons and to have them come to faith in Jesus. Our goal is to provide fun ways of teaching children about the greatest people who ever lived. Through the toys that we design children will learn and play out exciting stories about real people. Our toys teach children that there are real superheroes they can believe in!

one2believe has a great desire to support parents in their battle for their children's hearts and minds. We pray that parents will take the lead by engaging their children in faith and get them excited about Jesus. In Phillipians it speaks about pressing on, at one2believe we believe that we will either influence the world or the world will influence us.

So dear friends, isn't it time to reclaim your toy box this holiday season?

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One 2 Believe main page

Tales of Glory Nativity Set:

These available for $24.99 through them, but I have seen it available at CBD for 17.99 and some toys are available at Walmart this season.

For further reviews of this product, go to the: TOS Crew Review Homepage