Hot Toy: Bloxels – Build Your Own Video Game

With Bloxels, you use physical blocks to build customizable video games on your iOS, Android & Kindle tablet or smartphone.

Create a layout on the gameboard. Capture it on camera. Customize it in the app, test it out and make it awesome. Then, challenge your friends and try to beat each other’s creations.

Click here to buy Bloxels: Build Your Own Video Game

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Gift ideas for travelers

Aside from the obvious possibility of buying them expensive luggage, there are other necessities that travelers may need.

  • Travel bottles – If they plan on carrying liquids in their carry-on bags, they’ll need some <100 ml bottles. These can be found as cheap as $1 from your local dollar store.
  • Cable organization system, such as a Grid It. If they travel with a lot of tech, no doubt they have a bunch of power cords and charging accessories. Something like the Grid-It can be customized completely and can be used to hold many different things, not just limited to cables.
  • Packing cubes or packing folders. For people who normally travel without packing cubes, it’s hard to wrap your head around the concept that smaller bags within your larger bag will help you save space. Packing cubes can be a great way of compartmentalizing a non structured bag and can help in making luggage more organized by having a cube for different purposes. You can put whole outfits in one, or use each individual cube to hold different items like shirts in one, pants in another, underwear in another, etc. And if TSA ever has to search through someone’s bag, if they had packing cubes, their underwear wouldn’t be on display for the rest of the people going through screening. It’s also easy to just pull out one cube and use it as a personal item in case the luggage ends up being over weight restrictions.
  • Luggage identifiers can come in handy for travelers who frequently have to check a bag. These can be anything from using something like washi tape that comes in a unique pattern, or buying a colorful compression strap (this not only helps to compress the luggage, but also makes it easy for identifying at baggage claim), or tying on a colorful scarf or bandana. Anything that helps make the luggage stand out from the sea of similar looking bags will definitely save them time at the airport!
  • Portable luggage scale. They might not have access to a scale at their destination, so a portable luggage scale would be handy to have if they plan on picking up any souvenirs and want to make sure their bags stay under the weight limits.

If the traveler you’re shopping for already has all of these things, it’s still nice for them to have multiple options because they may not always bring the same bag when traveling. It’s also great to have multiple sizes of packing cubes, depending on what needs to be packed and the size of the bag being used.

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Star Wars gift idea BB-8 droid

With Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens premiering in theaters next week, fans are already lining up to see it on opening day.

If you’re looking for a gift to give for the Star Wars fan on your list, check out Sphero’s BB-8 Droid:

Sphero’s Star Wars BB-8 App Enabled Droid – Available at many retailers, including Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Brookstone, Walmart, and more. The BB-8 is controlled via bluetooth by a free app for iOS and Android devices. The app will also be made available to Windows Phone users. Make sure your device meets the requirements for using the app, if you’re an Android user:

Android devices, while having OS 4.4.2 or higher, must have all of the following hardware in order to operate with BB-8. Without this hardware, the Sphero BB-8 app will not show up for download in the Google Play store.

  • Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth LE
  • Front Camera
  • Microphone
  • Distinct Multi-touch Landscape Touchscreen
  • Hardware sensors including gyroscope and accelerometer
  • WiFi capabilities

Here’s a video of it in action:

If you don’t want to use an app or don’t have a compatible device to use the app, there’s also the Target exclusive, remote control BB-8, made by Hasbro. This doesn’t have advanced features that the app enabled droid has, such as being able to react to your voice, so it’s available at a more affordable price than the app enabled BB-8.

Either version of the BB-8 would make a great gift for Star Wars fans. The remote control version would probably be more suitable for younger people who may not be able to use the app enabled features.

Here’s a comparison of the Sphero BB-8 and the Hasbro BB-8:

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Tips to find the perfect gift for kids

Chances are, if you’re a parent, shopping for your own child is easy since they’ll constantly let you know what they want, but gift shopping for your niece, nephew, or other youngster who isn’t your own child can be a difficult task – browsing the many aisles in stores, or clicking through different categories online at stores such as Toys R Us, Amazon, WalMart, etc. wondering whether they’ll like whatever you end up buying.

Sure, you can give a gift card or money, but it’s always a good feeling to see that a gift you’ve given careful thought into buying is a hit.

Here are some tips to hopefully help you find the right gift:

  • Ask the kids themselves or their parents. The parents would know their child the best, so they could probably tell you exactly what to get. Just make sure you don’t end up buying the same gift as their parents.
  • Pay attention to their favorite shows or movies – their favorite characters, or the songs they’re always singing from these shows or movies. If you don’t know what the song is or who the character is, ask them where it’s from. Ask if there are other characters that they like. Favorite shows and characters can change constantly depending on the current shows and movies that are out. They might be into Frozen one year and Minions the next, so try to keep up with current popular kids shows and movies.
  • Look at what toys or video games they constantly play with.
  • See what their room is decorated with.
  • Listen to what they can’t stop talking or laughing about. This might not always help because it could be about the latest viral video on YouTube or something, but if there’s a hobby or activity they absolutely light up about when telling you about it, you might be able to find something related to it.
  • Take them shopping with you and if you’re on a budget, give them a maximum of what you’re willing to spend. This might spoil the surprise, but they’ll still be excited to receive it since they’ll know exactly what they’re getting and had to wait to open it.

What if the thing they want is a really expensive item? When I was growing up, I’ve had aunts and uncles give a combined gift from all of them when something was really expensive, so that’s definitely still a viable option today.

Hopefully you’re able to use some of these tips to find a great gift. Happy shopping!

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Black Friday deals on Amazon devices – sale is over

Fire TV Stick

Fire

Kindle Paperwhite

Echo

The sale is now over! Sorry if you missed it!

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Gift ideas at holiday central

If you’re looking to give a gift for the holidays, holiday central is a good place to start. You’ll find electronic gift ideas, toys, handmade gifts, tools, automotive, even gifts for your pet, and more. There’s also a countdown to Black Friday deals.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Click here to get your holiday shopping done early.

Gift Idea: Pie Face Game

Pie Face Game

This Pie Face Game by Hasbro is sort of a new take on hot potato. Each person turns a handle, and you score a point each time you don’t get hit by the pie. It’s sure to be a hilarious hit with the kids!

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Gift Idea: Zoomer Dino

Winner of the 2014 Toy of the Year Award in the Innovative Toy category, Zoomer Dino by Spin Master would make an excellent gift for this holiday season.

Zoomer Dino Boomer, the Zoomer Dino is an interactive, remote controlled dinosaur that perfectly balances itself on two wheels.

Boomer’s eyes change colors to represent the different moods and he has different dinosaur movements and roars. He can be trained to do tricks and responds to touch – petting him will make him happy!

He can be controlled either with or without a remote control. Three AAA batteries are required for the remote. Using True Balance technology, he’ll roam around the house in all directions on two wheels and can also dance, and spin in circles.

Other versions of Zoomer Dino are also available.

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Gift Idea: Big Hero 6 Action Figures

If you’re looking for action figures from the movie Big Hero 6, here are a few of the top rated toys.

Big Hero 6 Deluxe Flying Baymax with Hiro Big Hero 6 11″ Deluxe Flying Baymax with 4.5″ Hiro. Comes with 3 AAA batteries. Baymax plays sounds depending on how you tilt him. Press a button to deploy his wings. Below is a video review of this figure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pictured to the right is the Big Hero 6 Nurse Baymax Funko- Disney Big Hero 6 Nurse Baymax

It is a 6-inch tall vinyl figurine that glows in the dark!

No batteries necessary to make it glow, just sit it out in light or sun for a little while and it will glow when brought into the dark.

Sold exclusively on Amazon.

Big Hero 6 Baymax 6-inch POP! POP! Disney: Big Hero 6 Baymax 6 inch POP! Save the city with your very own Big Hero 6 Armored Baymax Pop! Vinyl Figure. This armored Baymax stands approximately 6-inches tall and comes in a window display box. Fans of Big Hero 6 and Walt Disney Animation won’t want to miss out on this Baymax Pop! Vinyl figure! Baymax pop is 6 inches tall.

Click here for more Big Hero 6 toys.

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Gift Idea: WowWee Robots

If your child is interested in robotic toys, WowWee, best known for their RoboSapien, makes some robots that your kids might enjoy.

WowWee MIP Black and Silver The WowWee MiP – Black and Silver has been compared to a Segway due to the fact that it can balance itself on two wheels, much like you can on a Segway. The MiP responds to hand gestures and has 7 different modes that will keep your child entertained. These modes are Dance, Roam, Stack, Tricks, Cage, Tracking, and MiP. It does NOT come with its own remote control, but can be controlled via an app available for iOS and Android devices. The app features: drive, path, dance, boxing, battle, stack, and cans. The package includes 1 MiP robot, 1 balance tray, 1 stand, and 1 tray sticker sheet.

Amazon also has exclusive MiP Deluxe Packs, available in both black and white versions. The black version includes a black MiP with silver trim. The white MiP includes a white robot with black trim. Both exclusive deluxe packs have the following extra items: rechargeable battery pack, a teeter ramp, a set of off road tires, and a set of blue rims.

WowWee Robosapien X Robot Kit The Robosapien X Robot Kit is WowWee’s successor to their popular Robosapien. It requires 3 AAA batteries for the remote and 4 D batteries for the robot itself (sold separately). It includes the Robosapien X, a remote control, and also a dongle for use with an iOS or Android device.

It has fast, full function arms with two types of grippers. It has multi-speed, fast, dynamic walking, running, and turning and 6 different kung fu moves. There are 67 preprogrammed functions: pick-up, throw, danc, kung-fu, fart, belch, rap, and more with 3 demonstration modes. It is fully programmable via remote control and can also react to touch, pickup, kicks, or sound. Up to 84 steps can be programmed from the remote control, while the iOS & Android app allows for unlimited program steps.

WowWee Roboraptor X Dinosaur Robot The WowWee Roboraptor X is a dinosaur robot that is powered by 6 AA batteries (not included) and 3 AAA batteries (not included) for the remote control. Roboraptor has different moods: hunting, playful, and cautious. It also has tail, chin, and mouth touch sensors.

The remote can control: hunting gait, walking gait, running gait, backward movement, turn left & right, walk left, walk right, stop. The remote also lets you move its head clockwise or counterclockwise, move the tail left and right, or bite. There is also a demo mode.

Roboraptor also has a free roam mode. If left alone for three minutes, it will autonomously explore its environment. He uses his infrared sensors to avoid obstacles. There is also a guard mode – in this mode, Roboraptor uses his infrared vision sensors and stereo sound sensors to guard the area around him. If he detects any sound or movement, Roboraptor will react with a roar and become animated.

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