Spring’s Here! Bring on the Toys!

Spring is Tulip Time at Keukenhoff in the Netherlands

Winter’s on the way out, which probably means it’s time to bring in some new toys. It’s a great time to refresh the toy box–and you can do it without breaking the bank.

In recent years, there’s been a boom in toys for Easter baskets as well. The Easter Bunny used to bring just candy and eggs, but even that guy’s gotten a bit more health conscious lately, and so toys have been added into the mix. And why not? Any time is great to play.

And if you don’t celebrate Easter, there are a lot of great play experiences just waiting for you. So, let’s hop to it.

Dolls & Stuffies

It’s a great season to make new friends…and toys count. Whether for cuddling, playmates, or making a style statement, we’ve got some great options. Check out these new arrivals:

Decora Girls Dolls from Cepia
For ages 4 years and up.
$9.97 and $21.97
Where to Buy (Exclusively at FAO Schwarz, coming soon to Amazon and Walmart)

The 5-inch Collection

We’re really excited to be giving you the first look at this innovative new doll concept. When we opened the box, we went, “Wow!” If you don’t know about the Decora Kei fashion trend, you will soon. It’s Japanese street fashion and it’s coming to toys. It’s all about over-the-top self-expression with bold colored stickers, accessories and much more. Cepia brings it all to kids with two different dolls that are so bright and so much fun, you’ll want to collect them all. There are two different ways kids hop on the Decora trend with these dazzling dolls:

The 11-inch Dolls

Decora Girlz 5-Inch Collectible Mystery Dolls–Sticker and style your way to an outrageous fashion statement. These adorable, small dolls come with colorful rotted hair, accessories, outfits and, of course, stickers (!!!!) that celebrate the joyful Decora Kei trend. There are nine different dolls to collect in the first set, and kids are going to want to have them all!

Decora Girls 11-Inch Dolls–Eye-popping colors and incredible style make these the “it” dolls of the spring. Completely posable and customizable, they some with clothes, accessories, and those wear-and-share stickers that make each doll totally unique and a bold celebration of kids’ personalities.
Seriously, we haven’t seen a line that’s made us smile so much in quite a few seasons!

The original poppin’ pal.

BumBumz from Jawares
For ages 3 years and up.
Where to Buy
We’re not sure we’ve ever seen a curious collection so soft and collectible. And these aren’t your usual stuffed pals. They’re whimsical characters that bring to life everyday items with a super huggy sense of fun. Love your popcorn? Snuggle up to it? In need of a sunny day? Well, the Lemonade Bumz are waiting to brighten your world.
These are gently under-stuffed and they’re filled with beans, so they’re remarkably tactile, and once you pick one up and start to cuddle, you’re probably not going to want to stop.
The link above takes you to all the current collections–and there are many more coming soon. We’re predicting that this will be the next stuffie collectible craze. So, we suggest you stock up now and avoid the BumBumz Rush.

Happy Hedgehog Easter.

Cool Quills Hedgehog from Build-A-Bear
For all ages.
Plush Toy $30; Gift Set with Outfit $57.50
Where to Buy
Hedgehogs are hot. Seriously, they’re popular as real pets these days. But this cutie from Build-A-Bear is a bit more home friendly…and so much more cuddly. (Plus, you don’t have to clean up after it.) The bright pastel quills are super soft, and when you order online, you can personalize your pal with sounds, scents, and outfits.
We think this might make a great Easter gift for anyone who likes a stuffed animal friend–no matter what their age.

A little birdie told us it’s playtime.

Gabbers from VTech
For ages 4 years and up.
Where to Buy
Now you really can have a bluebird on your shoulder…or a white owl or pink finch. These guys are super cute and respond to their owners with talking, singing, and more.
Plus, they can perch right on your shoulder. Simply slide the fabric egg under your shirt and place your Gabbers on top.
We love the interactive play, and, of course, the magic of having your own birdie friend to go wherever you do.

Get Bizzy!

BizzyBoo Easter Bags from Vango Toys
For ages 2 years and up.
Where to Buy
We think these are so cute and so much fun. They ideal for baby’s second Easter. (Who ever thinks of that? Vango, apparently; these are for 2 years and up.) We love the soothing tactile nature of manipulating the beads in the colorful bags. Plus, kids can use the attached card to find the different shapes inside. (You’ll want to leave that attached as it provides a guide to what the different shapes are.)
We like the soft fabric and the squishy feel. Plus, it’s easy to take along in a pocket of diaper bag to keep kids actively playing.

Cool New Toys

We all scream for this toy!

Kinetic Sand Soft Serve Station from Spin Master
For ages 5 years and up.
Where to Buy
Visitors to The Toy Guy know how much we love playing with Kinetic Sand. And Kinetic kudos to Spin Master for adding brand new, and really fun, play experiences to the mix.
Food toys–and especially make-believe ice cream makers–are always a hit, so we were really delighted to see and play with this new set.
It comes with blue, pink, and white Kinetic Sand. Place the sand in the top of the unit, give it a plunge and you’ll create a realistic, let’s pretend, treat. You can also create cones with the scoop, decorate with sprinkles you make with the grater, and much more. When you’re done, squish it all up and start all over.
Our pro tip: For best results, warm up the Kinetic Sand in your hand a little bit before putting it in the mold. We found that letting it drip into the hopper gave us the best-looking results. But play around and experiment!

Fun…and no mess!

PEEPS EggMazing Egg Decorator from Hey Buddy Hey Pal
For ages 3 years and up.
Where to Buy
For several years running, this has been our hands down favorite Easter toy. It’s been a best-seller on Amazon and wherever it’s been sold. It’s a revolution in egg decorating…literally!
Now, it gets even better with the iconic Easter brand PEEPS. The decorator looks like the classic PEEPS bunny, but it still works the same way. Place a hardboiled or wooden egg in the unit, turn it on, and it will spin. Use one of the PEEPS-colored, non-toxic markers and touch the tip to the spinning egg to make your masterpieces.
Everyone wants a turn–and the no-mess alternative to coloring eggs is what’s make this a huge hit with kids and families.

Game Time!

Fast and furious fun…

Pickleball Blast from Moose Games
For ages 8 years and up.
Where to Buy
This game is dill-lightful. (And that’s the last of the pickle puns you’ll get from us.) Seriously, though, the on-court craze becomes a home game phenom with this high intensity skill-and-action game from Moose. Set up the tabletop court and then smack the “Screamin’ Pickle” (We don’t name these.) Back and forth over the net so you can smash the pickle jars and make them flip.
What we discovered in playing this is that you have to be pretty darn aggressive to make the pickle smack the other side and flip the lids.
We’ve had a lot of fun playing this game, and we think you’ll net out with a great family activity. (That wasn’t a pickle pun.)

We love saying this name!

Hurry Up Chicken Butt from Exploding Kittens
For ages 4 years and up.
Where to Buy
This game is a much fun to play as it is to say its name. Start the clucking chicken timer. Shake it, and reveal one of the activities on the card. Do it, and pass the chicken. But don’t get caught holding the chicken when the timer goes off of your lose that round.
We love the silliness, which we think anyone can get into…especially if playing with kids who love to laugh.
We also love how this game came about. It was developed by the company founder with his 4-year-old daughter. Together they came up with a game that will appeal to all ages…and the idea for a whole line of Kitten Games.

Tease your brain.

Kanoodle Ultimate Champion from Educational Insights
For ages 7 years and up.
Where to Buy
The Kanoodle craze shows no sign of slowing down–and now you better speed up to win. The Ultimate Champion version includes 500 puzzles…and a timer. Now you can race against yourself or your friends as you hone your skills to be the ultimate Kanoodle wizard. his brainteaser game for ages 7-107 practices problem-solving, visual and spatial reasoning, and critical thinking. Includes 12 Kanoodle pieces, battery-powered timer, and guide.

Outdoor Fun

As the weather gets warmer, kids will be itching to get outside. Here are some great ideas as days get longer.

Disc golf comes home.

Wingman Hitman from Waboba
For ages 8 and up
Where to Buy
We love this flying disc target. Set it up is easy, and you can practice your skills solo, or create all kinds of games. Aim to get your disc into the target, or if you’re working on accuracy, see if you can knock over the target at the top. It comes with ground stakes and a carrying gab, and it’s great for beach, backyard, park, or even indoors (with enough space). Nice design and stable construction will stand up to lots of active play.

Can you dig it?

HandTrux from TenTonToys
Ages 5+ $13.99-$17.99
Where to Buy
These are some of the most awesome sand toys we’ve seen. Kids use the power of their arms on these sturdy toys to dig, build and play in sand. You can own the beach building fun with these. Plus, there’s lots of imaginative play as you use the original scoop, bulldozer and dump truck. The engineering is inspired, and kids are able to use a lot more leverage and a lot more power to build bigger and dig deeper. Kids always love fantasizing about having the power to be a machine, and this is the first toy we’ve ever seen that lets the kids be the machine!

Get silly!

Throw Throw Burrito Extreme from Exploding Kittens
For ages 7 and up.
Where to Buy
The original dodgeball card game will have you laughing out loud–while you throw gigantic, inflatable burritos at one another. The fast-paced card game is all-play pandemonium as you try to make three-of-a-kind matches. When you match battle, war, or duel, you have different ways to try to take out your opponents. It’s silly fun. The big version includes 36-inch, inflatable burritos and oversized cards.
Don’t forget the original version, which is great for indoor play and uses soft, squishy, foam burritos. You can buy that version here.

Color your world.

Crayola Sidewalk Chalk from Crayola
Ages 4 and up
$4.99 and up
Where to Buy
There’s probably only one other summer toy as classic as sidewalk chalk. Crayola consistently gets high marks for the array of colors, the durability of the chalk sticks (i.e.: They don’t break or crumble as easily as others we’ve tried.), and, naturally, for the creativity they inspire. They come in a wide variety of package sizes, and we love the non-roll, square design that keeps everything close at hand. We’ve linked to the glitter version, but you can find lots of different styles virtually anywhere you shop. One of the relatively new designs are chalk pucks. They’re great for small hands to grasp, are less likely to break when kids apply pressure, and they lay down a lot of brilliant color. The Crayola chalk cleans up easily with a squirt from the  garden hose, or just let it fade and wear away, which it will.

Riftball, anyone?

Riftball from Creative Brainworks
For ages 8 years and up.
Where to Buy
Pickleball is all the rage, and this portable outdoor net game has all the fun of that sport with a twist that will keep you engaged and challenged. This specially designed game system – combines metal construction with elastic within the poles to keeping parts together and allows for quick set up and take down.  Riftball is ready to be played right out of the box with quick set up.  The set comes with 1 Riftball Game system that includes the top pole, 2- game nets one for top section and one for bottom section.  2 – Riftball game paddles, 2- game balls, 1 heavy duty nylon carry bag, and set up and game play instructions.
Set up is super quick, what makes this game unique is the adjustable net that lets you create the challenge that fits your skill level. Challenge yourself and get more proficient. It’s a fun, outdoor game for the whole family.

Toss one off…or more

Bean Bag Bucketz from Creative Brainworks
For ages 8 and up.
Where to Buy
We have had a blast playing this game. It’s a challenging, yet easy-to-learn, outdoor or indoor game. The game features a game tower with 7 bucketz, 16 bean bags and carry bag. Toss the bags into the buckets and score points, and the first team to score 21 points wins the game. Or form teams, and make up your own games. The game is super easy to put up and take down, so you can have a game almost anywhere you go from the backyard to the beach. This is classic fun, and if you add beverages to make it more interesting, well, that’s on you. What we like most about this, all joking aside, is that everyone can have a good time playing, and that’s the point of play any time!

One of the fun things we get to do at The Toy Guy is update this list as new stuff comes in. So come back and play with us often!


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