Monday, April 14, 2014

Having fun in Rush Hour @ThinkFun

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy in exchange for a review. Think Fun didn't pay me for saying great things about them. All opinions are my own. 

Hey guys it's Dr. Fronkensteen here with another great Think Fun Brain Fitness Game. Have you ever thought that other puzzle games and apps were just a little bit too easy for you? Do you have a kid in the gifted range that is just bored with your ordinary puzzle games. Well here is a game that not only is challenging it's approved by MENSA, an organization for people with genius level IQ's. (You know it's going to be hard then)

Inside this box is the hardest game you've ever seen. 

I only point this out because it seems like this game was invented by evil geniuses. I remember saying in my last review that Chess Solitaire was a breeze and I was on the expert level in a matter of hours. When it comes to Rush Hour, though, I'm still staring at the intermediate levels and smelling the smoke of my brain shifting gears without the clutch. It sounds relatively easy. First they set up one Red Hero Car up in a play parking lot in a straight line to the only way out. And then the evil geniuses at Think Fun devised over 80 ways of putting other cars in the way and leave it up yo you the find the way to move them to get the red car out. It sounds relatively easy but once you get to the intermediate levels what seems like an easy task seems as hard as taking a little ring into the fiery pits of Mordor.

And that's the part that I actually like. The greatest part about this game is that it's insanely hard and that you can feel your brain getting better every time you play. The core motto of the Think Fun Brain Fitness line is to "Cross Train Your Brain" and the fact that the game is insanely hard at the easiest levels even for the most avid puzzle solvers means that no matter what your level your brain is getting a real work out!

Another thing that I love about this product is that even though it's hard it's so fun to play that you don't get the "rage quit" that I've found on other games. Rage quitting is where a game is so hard that you give up at a certain point before finishing it and throw it away. Even when I'm completely exasperated at the game and even tempted to cheat by looking at the answers in the back I'm not picking up the game and throwing it at the wall. And I even find myself looking at the box and wishing I had more time to play. So kudos to Think Fun for creating a game that I just have to play.

So do you really think it's time to take your brain to the gym and make it a fine toned thinking machine? Then pick up this great game and see if you can get farther than me!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Three Great Toys from @HogWildToysLLC

Disclaimer: I was given stuff by Hog Wild Toys LLC to review. All opinions are my own.

Dr. Fronkensteen here, channeling my inner child. Hog Wild Toys sent a huge box on my doorstep. Inside of it were three of the coolest new toys. So awesome that I couldn't split them up into three separate posts. They're their own little cornucopia of kid fun! So here we go!

Zip Stix

Test your aim with these Babies!
Do you remember the slap bracelets we used to have when we were kids? Well what if instead of a fashion statement you could get a launcher and shoot those things at small cones or take to the air with cool ramps? Awesome right? Well wait no more because Hog Wild Toys brings you Zip Stix. These rigid little stix come with their own launcher. You just press a little bit and off they go with some wicked speed.

I love them because even though they can do some great tricks and get some real speed going you can shoot them anywhere and they're totally safe. You can give these to your kids and drop them off at your mother's china shop and still be assured that they won't break everything.

Poppers

Take me to your leader. And Pop my eyes out!
Have you ever wanted to let your younger kids play with a toy dart gun but feel that's it's not the best for their age group? Have you ever wanted to give them a toy that can shoot things across the room that won't hurt the cat? Welcome to poppers! No only are they cute little collectible toys but when you squeeze their tummies that ball shoots right out their mouth and clear across the room. And the coolest thing about them is that they're totally safe.

I work at a nursery with little kids all the time so I know how to test toys the way that kids will play with them. And let me tell you these Poppers will take a beating. You can squeeze them as hard as you want and they're still ready the next day.

The Flash Stache

These whiskers get extra sparkly!
Have you ever seen a toy that you know will be popular but you just don't know why? Welcome to the Flash Stache. It's just like your regular fake mustaches except that when you press a button on the back it lights up! I think it would be a cool thing for kids who like to do activities in the dark or have glow in the dark parties. (Flashlight Tag anyone?)

I would show you a picture but with my real mustache already getting long enough the fake one kind of disappears. But for those kids that love creative dress up or cool flashing lights this is definitely a must have!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Think Fun Chess Solitaire @thinkfun

Disclaimer: I was given something for free in exchange for a review. Think Fun didn't pay me to say nice things about them. All my opinions are my own. 

Did you ever look at the peg solitaire game at Cracker Barrel and wish that it was just a little more exciting? Do you or your children love chess but never have anyone to play with or need to hone up on their skills? Or do you just want to have your child learn some extra problem problem solving skills? Then Think Fun has the perfect game just for you! Meet Chess Solitaire the deceptively fun and addicting game that will ensure hours of fun and a more efficient brain at the end of it.

What you get is a little section of the chess board and 80 challenges at different levels. You set up your pieces on the board and make it your mention to capture every piece until only one piece is left standing. Sounds easy right? Well you would think so. But as you get out of the relatively easy beginner challenges and move into the harder levels you start to stare at the board and look to the heavens and yell "why me"! No worries though, whenever you get stuck Think Fun has provided answers to all the puzzles in the back of the book. If you can actually go through the whole game without looking at the answers you are a certified genius! But the epic thing about it? Once you start it you can't put it down!

When you open this box don't plan anything to do for the next few hours.

I think that this game is one of the most addicting games I've ever played. DragynAlly can tell you that when I first got it that I was thoroughly engrossed. I started playing at the beginner level and when I looked up it was three hours later and I was staring at the advanced pages. I think it's a great game for your kids that are often bored with easier games or excel in the critical thinking and problem solving arena. The motto of the Think Fun Brain Fitness Line is "cross train" your brain. And it is a workout. After you get done with playing this a while you can start feeling like your brain has been lifting weights.

I liked how this game can not only teach you how to solve problems quicker but can also help improve your chess game. The only criticism that I have is that after I solve all of the puzzles I'm gonna be left feeling like I need an expansion pack or something with new challenges or even a bigger board. This is a game that I really got hooked on. But as someone with TS who's not a linear thinker I know that other children with disinhibition disorders will be able to use this tool to help them think even more creatively.

So do you think you can prove that you aren't an ignoramoose? Why don't you grab your own copy of the game and give it a try?

Monday, March 31, 2014

Win the Ultimate Easter Basket of Awesomeness! #Giveaway


Hi all! When DragynAlly heads to events like Toy Fair always comes home with so much stuff! Case and point the picture above. It's insane how much there is. And here's the kicker, that's just the stuff she saved for you guys. Yes one of you will win this entire Ultimate Easter Basket of Awesomeness! It is filled to the brim with fun toys and other things to make your Easter (or just spring) super special.

A few rules: The winner must take the basket in it's entirety. No substitutions no exchanges. You won't know what's in the basket but I promise it will be awesome!

Rules in the rafflecopter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 28, 2014

Honest Characters Trump All

Hmm...Interesting

So I've heard enough arguments in my life as a playwright over who can write what race or gender of characters. Can a white man be allowed to write black people. Can a man write women well or can a woman even be allowed to write a man? It goes on and on with any number of permutations. And after a while I've gotten tired of it. So here's my two cents to add to the argument and we can move on with our lives...

To solve the problem of what race to write your characters try this first. First try to write honest characters and the rest will be easy. That's it. No one has ever gotten mad because someone wrote a complex, gripping character. If when you start out to write your play you're starting with a story that hurts you to the bone and spend the time to write characters that are so real they could be sitting right next to you then no one is going to care at all.

Now you can achieve this honesty in a few ways. First write what you know. A musician that only plays strings doesn't try to compose a tune for a bassoon. Think of Stephen Adly Guirgis' work. His plays have people of all colors and all walks of life. He is white but no one has called his characters into question because these are the people that he knew living in Hells Kitchen New York. The second way to approach this play is to do your research. To follow my music analogy the person doing strings can write a song for bassoon if he reads up on what the instrument can do and how it sounds. Whenever you're trying to write about a culture that you don't know do your research. And always have a reason why you're writing this play. What is so special about this story that you just have to write it?

And lastly please don't go about trying to write a "black" play or a "white" play or etc. Just worry about writing a good and gripping play first and the rest will follow. I think sometimes the theatre has gotten too compartmentalized recently and while a balance is great good stories are kicked to the curb because they don't fit a certain mold. Find a good story and share it with your audience. If you truly engage them they'll follow you everywhere.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Rethink Bullying #TFNY #TF14

Hey Guys and Dolls it's DragynAlly again. This is my last Toy Fair post in the Lounge. I know. You'll miss me. But you can always visit me in the Lair!


Today I want to talk about something kind of serious. Bullying. I was bullied as a child and some of that still affects me today. Even though I am stronger now I wish my childhood self could've avoided some of the pain.



What if I told you there is an app that not only helps kids talk about being bullied but also help kids realize that their behavior could be hurting others? Alicia Keys and Bento Box developed an app called The Journals of Mama Mae and LeeLee Mookey. It talks about how it isn't right to mistreat others just because they are different.



It is a fabulous app and at only $1.99 in the app store it is a great resource at a great price. What I love most about it is that it is colorful and well animated. I also love the in app games and other features. But most of all I love that it helps kids (and adults) talk about bullying in a new way. It isn't about blame or punishment. It is about understanding yourself no matter what side of bullying you are on.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring Edition Skylanders #TFNY #TF14


Hello Guys and Dolls! It DragynAlly here with more Toy Fair goodness. How many of you have started thinking about what to put in your Easter baskets? Or how about a fun a cool gift for springtime? Well Skylanders has you covered! They are coming out with 3 spring figures that work with your Skylanders game. My favorite is Trigger Happy who's pictured at the bottom. When he enters the Skylanders game he is the same springtime (Easter) pattern you see on the figure. Bonus he used the egg shaped missile as a weapon. He is bright colorful and full of springtime destruction. So what do you think? Are you going to get one (or all 3)? Which is your favorite?