Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hut Highlights

Whether you are struggling to find the perfect toy for the child (or, hey, adult) who seemingly has it all, or you like to keep up with all the new goodies your favorite manufacturers are dreaming up, here are some of our newest and finest.

The much-loved and ever-popular Melissa & Doug expands its magnetic dress-up doll line with Best Friends Forever, (ages 3+), which has four wooden dolls and (I kid you not) 51 stylish individual clothing items. Come check it out in our doll corner, alongside Mudpuppy's themed magnetic doll and scenes (City Girls, Ballerinas, Sporty Girls) and Madame Alexander's collector's dolls from Charlotte's Web, Winnie the Pooh, and Eloise.

Shure delivers gorgeous painted building blocks in its ArchiQuest sets (ages 5+), with historical themes like the Byzantine's Czars and Domes, China's Dragons and Pagodas, and Rome's Empires and Arches. Each set, consisting of 50-70 pieces, comes with a hardcover book with historical and cultural facts and tips for building designs. Find them in our building and transportation section with our Nuchi Tracks, Automoblox, and Sesame Street K'nex.

The Color Magic Sticker Play Book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art is Colorforms meets Taro Gomi's Doodle books: part finish-this-picture activity book, part resusable, geometric transparent stickers--all around learning fun about mixing colors. (Now, I'd just like to hear the folks who designed it repeat its name five times fast). This book's place of honor is currently on our new titles rack.

Since you can never have enough accessories, Jane O'Connor and HarperCollins have given us Fancy Nancy's Let's Get Fancy Together, a toteable "purse" of glamor tips and accoutrements, from butterfly hairclips and sparkly sunglasses to a King's Crown Pizza tiara and fabulous party invitations. This purse goes great with her latest book, Fancy Nancy's Favorite Fancy Words: From Accessories to Zany, for those times when "ordinary" will just not do! Harper has a video sneak peek of Nancy's purse. You can also scroll through for videos of Rob Scotton's Splat the Cat and [gasp!] Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, if you haven't checked it out yet (for shame!).

Little Miss Matched, a clothing and accessories brand that prides itself on its adorably, deliberately non-matching items, now makes Baby Kimonos. The colors are bright and the patterns bold on sets of pants and wraparound t-shirts. Ever since we put a pair up on display, we've gotten near-constant requests for them! Find them in the baby room with Best of Chums baby tees and Nine Red Balloons infant socks.

The chapter book room hosts many kinds of building and model sets, most notably from Lego, Bionicle, Goobi, and K'nex. Lego's Star Wars series (ages 8+) are frequently seen on our Curious George wish lists, as are the Bionicle Mistika figures. Bionicle sets in particular come in various sizes, for budgets of all sizes.

We also stock the latest in espionage equipage: Alex's Spy Scope and Motion Detector Alarm are surefire standbys for Bond-wannabes. For the commited Daniel Craig, Toysmith carries Spy Science: Secret Message Kit, (ages 8+) which includes a morse code handbook and flash, cipher wheel, and a message capsule (yes, like in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code!). This kit is intended for a pair of kids, so it's great for friends or siblings. Once they are masters of ciphers, they just may need Toysmith's Invisible Journal to record their secrets. The pen's invisible ink only shows up under the blacklight torch!

This is only a sampling of our new goodies, so check back regularly to see what we'll feature next!

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