Automoblox have been around for nearly 15 years (the original idea goes back to the early 90s), but it wasn't until PlayMonster picked them up a couple of years back that they really started picking up steam. Touted as "A Real Car Brand For Kids," these rides are a modern reinvention of the classic wooden car - but with some stellar upgrades and construction that's built to last. The precision design of each vehicle is broken into sections that become mix-and-match pieces (with hidden connectors), allowing kids to enjoy them right out of the box - or to use their imagination to create fresh new vehicles. You can swap bodies, wheels, tires, windows and more, and the vehicles have some real weight to them. While the original Automoblox are fantastic, I think the Mini range is the stand-out element of the whole collection.
Wonder Crew dolls are something I've been writing about for ages. In fact, I first shared news of these toys nearly three years ago - back in March of 2015. Fast-forward a bit, and what we have is a repeat entry into my annual Holiday Wish Guide™ - a 2016 selection that's back for 2017. Launched independently via a successful Kickstarter campaign, Wonder Crew was eventually acquired by PlayMonster, and they've slowly begun popping up on shelves at more and more retailers as the movement has grown. They're dolls that were designed with boys in mind, but intended for all children... girls and boys alike.
We've been fans of Playmonster's My Fairy Garden collection since we first discovered them a year or so ago. Having placed a fairy garden outside as part of our landscape every year, The Rock Daughters™ always have a habit of playing with the statues out there, and they're not really made for that since they're not toys. My Fairy Garden solves that problem by providing a real garden environment that kids can play with inside. Each kit comes with everything you need to build and grown the perfect spot for your fairy figures, and there's always room to expand, with a wide array of accessories and additional fairies available. Our original garden, the Magical Cottage, is still going strong, and this fall we added a new one to the mix - the Bean Blossom.
It's Chicago Toy & Game Week, and that means we're once again counting down the days until the annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair (ChiTAG) once again takes over Navy Pier. Kids and families can go hands-on with some of this year's hottest holiday toys, get a jump on shopping, or simply come out to play! Tickets are on-sale now (Click here to register with a $3 Off Coupon) for Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20, and as we look toward what aims to be the biggest year yet, I'm throwing down some "Rock Father Picks" for what to check out. I've done this in the past, but this year is the first that we've made it official - I'm a 2016 "Play Influencer!"
Chicago Toy & Game Week is next week, and as all roads point to the annual Chicago Toy & Game Fair, taking place November 19 & 20 at Navy Pier. ChiTAG has become a family tradition in which the kids can go hands-on with some of the hottest toys of the holiday season as toy & game makers put on a show at the largest non-hobby Toy & Game Fair that welcomes the public into the fold. As one of the 2016 Play Influencers, I'm pleased to announce a pre-ChiTAG twitter party on Wednesday, November 9, 2016! Brought to you by #ChiTAG (@ChiTAGWeek) and #30SecondMom (@30SecondMom), I'll be co-hosting (@TheRockFather) along with the Toy Queen, Keri Wilmot (@ToyQueen) and Alison Ray (@SoChicLife).