Get Outside – Zing Toys

Get Outside

It’s Summer!! Here in NJ we pretty much went from Winter right to Summer.  Not that we are complaining, now if we could just get rid of the pollen.  The best part about the warmer weather is getting outside and getting active with our kiddos.  We don’t know who had more fun, the kids or us (since we get to be big kids). So go on! Get Outside!

A few weekends ago, we unleashed our inner Katniss Everdeen and launched some arrows with the awesome Firetek Bow by Zing Toys.  If you remember Zing was one of those toy brands that we raved about when going to Toy Fair this past winter.  The toys are not only a blast but they are totally safe.  Only the arrows that are made for the bow can be launched.  Everything is rubber and foam so no worries that you will kill any pets or shoot any eyes out!

Lana has a huge yard so we had some fun with the kiddos launching the Zing Firetek Rocket.

Lana helping Harpo get set up to launch a rocket

Lana helping Harpo get set up to launch a rocket

We schooled the girls on how to properly shoot some arrows with the Zing Firetek Bow.

after I launched the first arrow.

after I launched the first arrow.


Then we also had a blast accidentally shooting arrows onto the roof! Which we set a great example and then Seven decided to shoot them on the roof.

Truthfully we did have as much fun playing with Zing as the kiddos did.  Don’t tell them, we are trying to figure out a way to have a “Big Kids” Capture the Flag. If you’d like to have fun with Zing too, you can find them at any of your local mass merchandise stores such as Target, and Walmart.  You can even find them online at Zing Toy Shop and Amazon.  For a complete listing of retailers visit Zing’s locator.



Disclaimer: We were provided with a Zing Firetek Rocket and Zing Firetek Bow for review purposes, all opinions expressed are our own. 

Jenn GaffneyGet Outside – Zing Toys
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Spring Gifts Friendspired Loves



spring gifts


With Easter this weekend, and the endless other weekends of either birthday parties or showers we are busy little bunnies in springtime! If you are fumbling with some ideas on what to get those kiddos that might have everything, fear no more, we’ve got a lot of great spring gifts to share with you.  Full reviews of all products mentioned will be in the weeks ahead.


Spring Gifts for Your Pet Friends:  Let’s start with those guys, since we cannot forget them.  We love the site because of their extensive variety and fun items for our furry friends.  For Lexi and Reagan, they are currently trying out some Canidae Grain-Free Pure Heaven Biscuits that they love, along with some new tennis balls so we can have a good old fashioned fetch! Double win there, exercise for both of us and gets out all of their energy.


Spring Gifts for Babies and Tots: Our faves are the items pictured above.  The best part is, instead of a traditional basket – why not make it fun and get a cute little wagon, or wheel barrow (you’ll see that below) from American Plastic Toys.  They are super affordable, about the cost of a basket (if not less) and can be found at major mass retailers.

Why not celebrate spring with actual bunnies (well not actual live ones, but cuddley ones) Cloud b has the best bunnies that we absolutely adore.  Glow Cuddles Bunny has a little heart light in it’s belly that lights up when hugged.  It also can play a heartbeat sound, as well as vibrate. Twilight Buddy Bunny which we love for the 45-minute projected light show with actual constellations.

Also pictured is Pep Shine Force from Brobo, she has this little lighted tummy that is controlled by rubbing a sensor on her hand across the face of the light.  With one swipe it’s a bright light, with another it’s dim, and or a third time you can turn it off. It has an auto-off function that activates after 5 minutes.  She’s the perfect toy to play with during the day and also transition to sleep time. Seriously adorable.  Truth be told, Pep helped to pep Abby’s spirits this week while she was sick.


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Spring Gifts for Tots & Bigger Kiddos –  We love Easel Does It from B Toys.  Not only is it perfect for my little one to grow with, but it’s a great way to let kids show their creativity. We also love that not only is it made from recycled material, is in adorable colors, but that it’s not big and bulky.

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Spring Gifts for Grade School Kiddos –  These are featured in a fun American Plastic Toys Wheel Barrow (as mentioned above) which is more for the younger kids.  Inside you’ll find fun robots from Zuru.  There’s Magical Mermaid and Robo Turtle (which is new)! Stay tuned for fun videos of these guys in the coming weeks. They are so much fun on their own, in the bathtub, and we can’t wait for the pool this summer.

Also inside is the Buncho Balloons. Which is one of those genius products that you are like, how come I didn’t think of that! We can’t wait to have a water balloon fight, not only do these balloons fill up in a matter of seconds, but they also tie themselves!

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Spring Gifts for Big Kids & Even Bigger Kids – We love games that challenge thinking, and help our kids learn ways to adapt as that’s a part of life.  Laser Maze by Think Fun is such a great and fun way to do that, you have to use  lights and mirrors to make the rocket light up.  Stay tuned for our review on this!

You may remember from Toy Fair I was raving about one of my most favorite toys to try, Firetek by Zing!  This Firetek Bow and arrow set is incredible, as is the Firetek Rocket launcher.  For starters, the bow and arrow set will launch the arrows up to 145 feet, and the Rocket Launcher will launch up to 250 feet.  While these are awesome for the big kids, they are even better for the bigger kids, and by bigger kids, I mean myself!! We need to figure out how to organize a neighborhood capture the flag and you can expect some great video reviews on that, kinda like this one:

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Hopefully these help to give you some “out-of-the-box” ideas on some different twists on great gifts! We look forward to sharing all of our reviews with you.

Disclosure: The products mentioned above were provided for review purposes.   All opinions are mine alone and may differ from those of your own. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”

Jenn GaffneySpring Gifts Friendspired Loves
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Friendspired at Toy Fair – Day 1 Part 2

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So the morning of Day 1 at Toy Fair was slam packed already with some fun great brands.  We had a blast, and you can read more about it here.

Next on our agenda was to spend some time with Imperial Toys.  We remembered meeting them at Sweet Suite at BBNYC.  I was excited to meet up with them again and see what they had in store.  Their big product that will be out in the fall is the R2D2 Bubble Machine.  It’s pretty awesome and interactive. R2D2 talks to you and you can program him on how you’d like him to dispense the bubbles.  Here’s a quick little clip.

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They are the first ever to launch Star Wars bubbles.  They will have collectible tins that will have different character Star Wars bubbles.

We then played with their Poppers, which are a lot of fun.  They are launching the new line with Marvel Characters.  They are adorable little characters that can pop up pretty high. 

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After that we saw their line of different licensed small toys such as the microphones from different tv shows and movies.  Abby will be obsessed with the Little Mermaid one as she’s currently obsessed with Ariel.  The minion one too was very adorable.

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After a quick visit I headed over to Tech4Kids and saw all the new fun items in store for this fall.  They have My Little Pony Squishy Pops that were launched last year with these adorable little charm bracelets that are like a collectors very own version of a little pandora but for ponies!  So stinking cute.


They have this all new 3D Model maker that’s pretty incredible.  It’s this gel material that you can mold on anything.  You stick it in this machine with a UV light and within moments, you have your model.  It comes with molds so that you can make any of the suggested models, or you can get creative and make your own.  They showed us bracelets that they made by wrapping the gel around water bottles. There’s no heat, so it’s safe for the kiddos to use, and you have endless possibilities to get creative.


3D Magic2

We saw all the new fash’ems and mashems.  I love the lines for princesses, Frozen, and the Minions.  So many adorable little collectibles are available. mashems


They also have this amazing new product called Storytime Theater.  It was one of those things that once I saw it, immediately I thought to myself – “Are you kidding? How come this isn’t out yet?” Essentially it’s this projector that syncs with these stories on the wall.  It creates an all new bedtime experience.


Reading is a ritual in our house at bedtime.  We have our standard books that we have to read, but Abby loves books and enjoys lights projected in her room, so this is a no brainer.  They have many different stories, and you have the option for it to just play with no story on the wall – so you can use it for the purpose of a child calming down and drifting to sleep.  It has a narrative function where you can listen to it being narrated to you, or you can record your voice – which is a great option if you are going away and won’t be with a child for bedtime.  We are so excited for this and cannot wait for this product to hit shelves!


We then were introduced to Painting Lulu.  Which seems to be a pretty awesome solution for those tech crazed Tots.  Stay tuned for a full review on this during our Tech For Tots feature.  Essentially you can take the fun of coloring and transfer it to your devices, and even send or share it online!  You use regular crayons and color a sweet picture, then with your device, you download the free app and then scan a photo of your coloring page.  Once it loads you use their “crayon” which is a thicker stylus for little hands and you can continue to color your artwork on your device.  What I love about this is that the littles will have to use the crayon and hold it not just their finger.  We meet such resistance when we try to get them to write or draw because they don’t want to hold any writing instrument, they are used to just using their fingers to touch things on devices.  The best part, when your child is done – you can send their artwork to anyone!

We then were introduced to Zuru, which we had the pleasure of seeing briefly at HoliDAY of Play this falll.  They have these adorable little robot water pals.  Magical Mermaid, Robo Fish, and their newest addition, I cannot wait to get our hands on – Robo Turtle.  He can walk on land and swim in a cute little environment. We love turtles, but what we love even more about Zuru’s great products is that our kiddos can have pets – without having the real responsibility of taking care of another pet.  It’s a pet that they can practice to care for!  I also think it’s going to be really fun to add them to bath time or in their little kiddie pools this summer.

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Zuru also makes this awesome “why didn’t I think of that” invention Buncho Balloons.  Essentially you stick the product on the end of a hose, and BAM you have water balloons in seconds.  I love this!

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Next up was The Maya Group – where I learned for the first time what Orbeez were.  When I was recounting my fun to our sitter’s 13 year old daughter, she looked at me like “seriously!?” since I had no clue what they even were. orbeezmade


I learned that they were really neat.  They are these little gel balls that you can use to do lots of things with – have spa treatments or even create art.  It’s definitely those products that the tweens go crazy for.  They had some fun things like a pedicure tub and manicure station.  Then these adorable little crafts where you crush the orbit and then you can make little stained glass artwork – which besides looking pretty were completely reusable.  You can just open them up, clear out the old orbeez and then start over again.

After that I was excited to spend some time checking out one of my favorite pastime toys – Colorforms!! They have these all new packs that are great for on-the-go and travel with all kinds of great licenses for the characters that our kids love.  I love creative imaginative play that they could do for hours at a time.  Truth be told, I think I need a set for myself for some therapeutic play!


I then visited Uncle Milton – which was another one of my favorites!! Besides being the creator of the Ant Farm (which there will be a special edition one for The Ant Movie being released later this year) they have some pretty awesome products. I’m telling you the BIG toy for Star Wars fans this year is going to be their Jedi Mind Trainer 2.  It’s beyond incredible, I sadly did not take any video or photos of me experiencing it, but I do have some to share.  Essentially like the Jedi Mind Trainer 1 – it measures your beta brainwaves and level of concentration to help you find The Force.  The first one had a plastic tube that you had to concentrate on to move a ball up it.  But this one, blows that out of the water.  It’s a hologram that’s projected and there are different challenges you have to complete based on your concentration level again.  Your beta brainwaves help you to  move the Millennium Falcon out of a swamp, build a light saber, or fight off the bad guys.  It’s beyond impressive and I’d like to say that the force is strong within me.

They also have the Jedi Force Levitator that you can use to hone your force.

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Another set of products I loved from them was their fireworks projectors.  They have this one that you can set up and program an entire show, then watch it go on your walls.  So very cool. As a family that is very big lovers of projected lights and images this will be a HUGE hit in our home.


They are also the creators of the “Moon In My Room” Which I love that it syncs with the real moon outside.  In fact, I think I need it for my room.


Last, but certainly not least – Bandai where I was in Power Ranger heaven.  For starters, I think it’s pretty incredible that Power Rangers is still around since it was huge when I was a kid.  But the different levels of their stories is pretty incredible.  Power Rangers Dino Charge is the latest craze.  I love how they integrate these new dino ones with tech.  They have their own special code that you can scan with your device to collect them and play games, etc. Upon leaving, I was able to grab a photo with the gang – which my little friend Karter was pretty excited to see.

That recaps Day 1 Part 2, stay tuned for day 2 and if you’d like to read about Day 1 Part 1 you can click here.


Jenn GaffneyFriendspired at Toy Fair – Day 1 Part 2
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