I recently got to play with Tumbles the rollover puppy by Furreal Friends, the cuddly yet animated pets that the girls are going gah gah over. Hasbro has an entire zoo (all the fun, none of the poop) from a Pony (S’mores) to a baby seal, to a fully animatronic dog (Biscuit), there’s a fuzzy something for everyone. I’m going to have video of Biscuit and Tumbles in November, so stay tuned, for the time being, check out the Furreal Friends site for more info.
I do find it funny that all of these animals exhibit “lifelike behavior” except for the bear… I think if you picked up a baby bear and cuddled it, it may be the last thing you do prior to “be digested.” I’m just saying…
Click below to hear me talk about the Furreal Friends with Magic 106.5‘s Jack Logar. Read the rest of this entry »
I’m digging this. The price is a little high, but if the quality matches, then it may be worth it, for the experience.
FAO Schwartz has partnered with Muppet Studios to provide a unique Muppet experience at their New York store! FAO Schwarz will soon open the doors to The Muppet Whatnot Workshop at its legendary flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York. The workshop experience, similar to that of the popular Build-a-Bear franchise, will allow customers to create their very own Muppet Whatnot. Customers will be able to pick a body from various styles; then accessorize it with a huge variety of Muppet parts, accessories and apparel.
For the first time ever, fans will be able to create and take home their very own custom Muppet Whatnot. Whatnots, the long-customary faction of generic extras seen in Muppet productions, are highly customizable creatures with a huge catalog of unique features and accessories. These premium puppets (retailing at around $100) will be classic hand-rod puppets, just like the real Whatnots, in which one hand goes inside the head of the puppet while the other manipulates rods connected to the puppet’s arms. In addition to the in-store experience, creations in the line are also planned to eventually be available via FAO Schwarz’s official website (www.fao.com).
FAO Schwarz is working hard to bring this unique Muppet experience to consumers, and I’ve been told that they plan to raise the curtain on The Muppet Whatnot Workshop this fall (possibly as early as late-October 2008). I will be sure to keep you updated on this exciting new boutique as soon as more details are confirmed.
Do NOT spend more than $60 on eBay. There are 2300 auctions going on now. Call your local store before heading out.
The all new ELMO LIVE hits stores this week. As I’m sure you’re familiar, Tickle Me Elmo caused many a mall riot back in 1996. After being featured on Rosie O’Donnel’s talk show, he became the it toy to have that holiday season. In 2006 the TMX Elmo hit stores, and though there was some madness online, supply seemed to match demand, and everyone who wanted one got him. (That’s the point right?) He was $40 when he came out 2 years ago. Yesterday he was for sale for $15.
So this week is the newest release, Elmo Live. If you haven’t seen him in person yet, he really is worth checking out (he’s in open packaging) I also have some video below. I went to Toys R Us earlier this week to get a bead on how bad the madness would be Tuesday. According to the employee I spoke with, they had 20 preorders, but they had 100 Elmos in stock. Please check out my red box updates at the top of this post.
So I want to hear from you, please leave comments below. Have you picked up an Elmo Live? Were there plenty available? Did you have to go to more than one store? Did you buy online? And had you even heard of this Elmo? I knew of him because of Toy Fair, but honestly, I’ve run into many other parents who had no idea he was coming out today, much less that there was a newer Elmo than TMX.
Click below for a little bit more info, and my video from Toy Fair to see Elmo in action. Read the rest of this entry »
Here are all of the pics of the Play-Doh Ice Cream Shop in our gallery.We recently got to try out the Play-Doh Ice Cream Shop. Appropriate for any age kids that enjoy Play-Doh (however the point is to produce fake looking food, so if you have children who still put things in their mouth you may want to wait a bit on this set), Here is a new “twist” (I can’t believe I pulled out the cheesy puns so early). The centerpiece of the play set is the lever based dispensor that squirts the Play-doh into a rotating cone or dish. Between the nozzles (there are several shapes) and the spinning, you get something that looks a lot like soft serve ice cream. Click below to read the rest of my review, and listen to my discussion of this and the Halloween sets on Magic 106.5 Read the rest of this entry »
Just recently on Magic 106.5 I told Jack about the RC Bounce Back Racer by Tonka. I’m still working on my video review of this RC car that’s perfect for little kids (ages 3 & up) just getting started with remote control cars. Check out this link for more information, and click below to listen to me give Jack Logar the low down.
One of the Dads I converse with online is Marissa’s dad, he run’s a blog called, well, MarissasBunny.com. His daughter Marissa, has Infantile Spasms, something that is not very well known, but is starting to get some awareness. He asked me to help him spread the word a little bit, so I want to share the following with you. Check out his blog (which is also in my blogroll to the left).
One in Eight
Annandale, VA September 30, 2008.
Stand warned, there’s mathematics and drama ahead.
• There are approximately 305,297,000 people in the USA
• 14.02 children are born (and survive three months) per 1000 people in the USA every year.
= 4,280,000 babies will be born and survive to three months old
Infantile spasms prevalences in research are variable and depend on which source you refer to. I’m going to estimate conservatively and assume a 1:1 male to female ratio, and use 1:4000 for males, and 1:6000 for females, averaging out to 1:5000 births afflicted by infantile spasms. The ratio is actually 1.05 to 1 male to female, so the actual number of IS kids is a bit higher.
So, with 4.28 million babies and a 1:5000 infantile spasms affliction rate:
• 856 kids a year are diagnosed with infantile spasms.
Infantile spasms resolves itself into something else at approximately 2 and a half years of age. Following that logic:
• 2,140 sufferers of infantile spasms currently less than 2.5 years old.
Infantile spasms is fatal in 1 in 20 of these kids before age 3, not due to accident. That makes 42 kids a year. ACTH treatment mortality ranges depending on the literature between 1:20 and 1:30. For the sake of argument, we’ll say 1:30, and that will account for both kids that go on multiple courses of ACTH and kids that never do. That’s still an additional 29 kids a year.
• 42+29 = 71 kids die a year from infantile spasm related causes
Removing all mortality statistics from IS kids, that’s 786 kids that survive to age 3. Accidents from drop seizures following IS resolution claim some more before adulthood at age 18. The numbers on accidents are fairly staggering depending on your source, but I’ll call it 1:20 again, for the sake of conservatism – this number goes very high in some studies. That’s another 40 kids before age 18. 746 kids survive to age 18. Overall mortality before age 18 is then about 12%- one in eight.
One more time, and in bold. One in Eight.
Look around your town, your supermarket, your place of work. Would you notice one in eight people gone? In what world is a 1 in 8 mortality rate un-noticeable or inconsequential? How many of these kids can be saved with better research, quicker or more accurate diagnoses, more community awareness, or a better support mechanism? I’m sure it’s not all of them, but given the current state of research on IS, a small improvement would make a huge difference.
IS kids have had one voice in the past- Danielle Foltz talked to the Joint Economic Committee in July about the price of rare disease drugs. Penny-arcade.com helped me reach over 60,000 more people, but it’s still not enough. I’m not Superman. I can’t sweep across the country bearing a red cape and talk personally to the parents of all 2,140 kids with infantile spasms, I can’t even catch the new diagnoses. It’s asking a lot of the parents of IS kids to be a public voice for their children individually.
Even with everything else going on in our lives, I’ve started the wheels in motion for a foundation for promoting awareness and providing support to IS parents. This is going to take time and money, so be patient with us. A week or so ago, I spoke with Mike Bartenhagen, another face in the battle against infantile spasms, about this and we’re both on board with this idea. As a group, we’re stronger and louder than we’d ever be individually.
If you want to help, please contact us. If you’re a parent of an IS kid, and feel you can offer sympathy, support, or advice to other IS parents in the future, especially the ones with new diagnoses, please let me know. Financial help is always welcome- please donate through the front page. These are the early, fragile days of any new foundation-to-be, and any and all help is welcome.
ABOUT MARISSASBUNNY.COM Marissa is a baby girl who was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms on February 15th of 2008. Infantile Spasms is a serious pediatric epileptic condition that could leave it’s mark on her for years to come. Fairfax is Marissa’s Bunny – a shared name for stuffed rabbits that are traveling the world trying to spread awareness of her disease that has no reliable cure and is hard to relieve. Marissasbunny.com is a website dedicated to spreading the word about infantile spasms, with the goal of better diagnoses and enhanced support for parents with infantile spasm suffering children.