Mini Eggs Globe Candy Bank by Nestle

Being as we will be taking a tour around the world shortly, we should stock up on some energy food. I suggest a package of Nestle Mini Eggs:

Mini Eggs Packaging

Smart Choice!

Now just where might we find a package of this tasty treat? How about inside a vintage 1990’s tin Globe:

Mini Eggs Container Open

Empty!

A package of candy, like the one pictured above, would have been stuffed inside the tin. It’s probably just as well that it’s missing, being as candy from 1990 might be a tad stale by now!

Mini Eggs Container Base

But fortunately this little globe has other uses, both educational, and practical. Apart from displaying an edited version of our earth, it also doubles as a piggy bank:

Mini Eggs Globe Bank Slot

Larger coins only, please!

This could be a fun way for children to learn about geography while saving up for a trip.

Mickey appears around the world in different ethnic garb. Let’s have a look:

Mini Eggs Globe AsiaMini Eggs Globe Pacific OceanMini Eggs Globe Atlantic OceanMini Eggs Globe Europe

The Globe rotates on the base

Mini Eggs Globe Stand

I hope you learned something today. I learned that the planet is smaller than I thought!

Check out this other globe featured in an earlier post. It is covered with even more Disney characters.

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Robot Mouse

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Children are definitely tech savvy these days! But can we do more to make learning about all-things electronic at the earliest ages more fun? With the Code & Go Robot Mouse, yes we can:

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The Code & Go Robot Mouse from Learning Resources is just about to explode onto the toy market for the 5+ market. But my wife and I had a chance to play with it at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair and enjoyed it even though we are a tad older than the target market!

So what is it? And what is it intended to do for your child? Here is what the official website has to say: “The race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese!”

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Don’t tell him the cheese is behind him!

This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Create your path with 16 maze grids to create a 20″ x 20″ maze board, 22 maze walls, and 3 tunnels for endless possibilities.

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See? The cheese is behind him!

Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse, sold separately (and he’s purple).

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Please enjoy the following video for instructions on how to make the most of the Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set:

I was not compensated for this review. Not even a piece of cheese!

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Developmental Media Lab

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Not all of the exhibitors at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair were promoting hard products for the consumer market. At least one, the Developmental Media Lab, was trying to connect with parents to explain their interdisciplinary, community-focused approach to researching and developing media for young children. I know, that’s a mouthful!

developmental-media-lab-plush

And they were handing out cute little plush bears!

Parents were offered a chance to contribute to the lab’s studies by taking a verbal survey about how their children interact with electronic media. The above plush was the tangible reward!

You can visit the official website for more information. It is there that I found this interesting quote:

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Mr. Rogers.

And what is the full mission of the Developmental Media Lab? Read on:

Children use media. They watch television, read and are read books, play games on tablets, and pull up kitten videos on phones. While media technologies are part of daily life for most children, not enough is known about how media use affects children or what and how children learn from media. We conduct rigorous research into children’s media and the surrounding culture to ensure that parents, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders have the best understanding possible of how and what children learn from their increasingly media-rich environments. We want to go beyond blanket recommendations to help provide specific understanding.”

It was interesting to find a booth dedicated to researching the effects of electronic gadgets on children amongst so many other booths that were trying to sell said electronic gadgets. I hope many parents stopped and took the time to learn about the Developmental Media Lab!

Do you think it is important to monitor the effects of media on children? How can you get involved? The Developmental Media Lab answers: “We are currently welcoming qualified undergraduate and graduate-level researchers to our lab. If you are a parent or early childhood educator, consider participating in one of our ongoing studies or feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more about our past findings or current projects.”

You can click this link to volunteer.

I received a plush teddy to cuddle with while doing this media review

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Baby Paper

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

“Who loves you baby?” On television, Telly Savalas used to deliver this famous line as the character Kojak. Well, we know that parents love their babies! But at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair, one exhibitor helped us to see what babies love: Baby Paper!

baby-paper-logo

And I’m sure they love their parents too!

My wife, the unabashed baby lover, was drawn to this booth like a magnet! It was small but had colorful displays:

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But just what is Baby Paper and why was it developed? Here is what the official website has to say: “When my children were young, I would find myself handing them paper napkins to entertain them in restaurants.  Many napkins later, the idea for Baby Paper was born! Small enough for tiny hands to grasp, Baby Paper makes a “paper” sound that keeps babies occupied. So simple, yet so effective! And it doesn’t tear like a paper napkin!”

ctf-exhibitors-013     ctf-exhibitors-014

Small baby-sized version

They also have a larger version designed for adults with nervous or developmental challenges.

Another great feature of Baby Paper is that it’s fully washable. Very important after baby has fully explored it with both messy hands and mouth! Simply hand or machine wash in warm water with like colors.  Tumble dry on low or air dry.

baby-paper-basket

As you can see in the picture above, Baby Paper comes in many different colors and patterns.

Baby Paper was a stand-out at the fair. I thought it was a very simple idea that was well implemented. Be sure to check out their website for more details and purchasing options.

I received a free sample for reviewing purposes

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Monorail Gray Coming and Going

Millions of pictures are taken of the Disney monorails in any given year (don’t quote me on that, I could be out by a thousand or so). It represents a unique form of transportation within Walt Disney World that many see for the first time upon visiting.

But usually in blog posts like this you’ll see glamor shots: Monorails pictured against majestic backdrops. So naturally I’m not going to show you those kinds of shots! Instead, I’d like to give you a day-in-the-life of Monorail Gray as it traverses the concrete beam just outside The Magic Kingdom:

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OK, this is kind of glamorous…

Here we see Monorail Gray leaving The Magic Kingdom terminal on its way to the first stop on the loop: The Contemporary Resort:

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Coming or going?

Actually this shot is deceiving. Monorail Gray is actually arriving at The Contemporary Resort and is parked to allow passengers to embark and disembark before leaving for The Ticket and Transportation Center.

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On its way!

The above shot gives a unique look at the monorail and how it ‘mounts’ the beam. The shot below shows the double beam layout which allows for two monorails to travel the same loop in different directions.

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Over the water

To get the above shot I was in a water taxi heading for The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The monorail would have been heading for its next stop at The Polynesian Resort.

monorail-grey-5

Look up!

I’m not sure if it’s polite to look up at a time like this but I not only looked up but I snapped this picture. While not a beautiful shot is does show some of the mechanism of Monorail Gray that most Disney guests would never get to see.

I geek out over monorails and could spend an entire trip to Walt Disney World just riding and photographing this wonderful form of transportation. I wish Walt Disney’s dream of having one of these in every American city would just come true already!

Don’t you?

Asimo on the Move: From Epcot to The Henry Ford

Once again I have found a Disney celebrity somewhere where you wouldn’t expect to see them. This time it’s everyone’s favorite Honda robot, Asimo:

Robots

Friendly as always with a welcoming wave!

I was fortunate enough to get a film of the whole show at Epcot before poor Asimo was shown the Cast Member exit. He was fun to watch!

Now he is appearing in a National Geographic Giant Screen Experience presentation at The Henry Ford Imax theater. It is free for members, which we are, so I look forward to seeing our old Disney friend again!

The Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney Book Set

Once again the idle thought to stop at a yard sale has yielded yet another great addition to my growing Disney book collection. This time I’ve found a beautiful set of four hardcover volumes from 1965. Complete and with the original cover sleeve no less! This is especially precious to me as that is the year I was born and I love finding things from my birth date.

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 1

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 2

From Golden Press

As mentioned, there are four volumes to this set. And they are:

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 3

This volume starts out with Disney animated and live-action movies that are set in other lands. It then segways into chapters adapted from the motion pictures series ‘People and Places’ and then goes back to Disney’s library of fictitious characters from around the world.

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 4

This volume mostly focuses on Disney animated and live-action films depicting historical characters.

Fun Fact: This volume has a picture of Br’er Rabbit on the cover who is from Disney’s ‘banned’ Song of the South movie. What is even more interesting is that it contains the Tar Baby story which is one of the main reasons the movie will never be released. There are so many examples of bits and pieces of the Song of the South being released in video compilations and in print, so why not just release the movie?

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 5

This volume focuses on creatures from the ‘True-Life Adventures’ series and also contains chapters containing pictures of many strange and unusual animals.

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 6

This volume contains mostly stories from Disney’s animated fables. Here is the title page:

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 8

Each volume has a similar title page as well as a contents page with a forward like this one:

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 9

Each of the four volumes have the same inner sleeve design:

Wonderful Worlds of WD Books 7

 All in all this is a very nice set which must have delighted children back in 1965!

Fun Fact: This set of books contain stories that have been published before and after its production date. One such duplication is the stories of Mother Goose done over with a Disney twist. To read a review of that book, please see the post entitled Book Review: Walt Disney’s Mother Goose. I guess if a story works, why not keep publishing it?

Top 5 Reasons for Disney Top 5 Lists

Who doesn’t love a Top 5 list? Throw Disney into the mix and you’ve got yourself a piece of Internet Heaven on a stick. Or… something really, really, good!

So sit back and be amazed at the Top Five Reasons you didn’t know existed for every website and blog in the universe to continually post Top Five Lists:

Reason Numero Five-0

Counting Practice

Counting

With the deterioration of today’s educational system, more and more children are finding it hard to do even the most basic of academics, such as counting. But thanks to the draw of Disney and Top 5 Lists, children the world over can now count to five!

And thanks to Disney Nouns, and our Top 5 Lists, they can do it backwards too!

Reason Numero Four-0

I Got Nothin’

Nope. Still nothing.

Reason Numero Three-0

Education

Education

Who has time to break out the old Encyclopedia Britannica set in this busy day and age? And one can only Google so much! So Top 5 Lists are a perfect way to get a small piece of highly-biased information about a nonsensical subject in just two minutes or less.

You’re welcome, Internet!

Reason Numero Two-0

Fun

Fun

Hey, if Walt Disney says it’s fun… it’s fun dagnab it! Of course, for this reason to be valid, you have to replace ‘family park’ with ‘Top 5 List‘. But you can work with me here, right?

Reason Numero One-0

Traffic

Traffic

Let’s be honest, we bloggers are egocentric glory-seeking megalomaniacs with a desperate need for attention and… you guessed it: Traffic!

We don’t care why you come to our sites as long as you come! So we’ll post a Top 5 List about anything. Seriously. Anything. But only a complete nut would post a Top 5 List about the Top 5 Reasons for Top 5 Lists!

Hey, at least I’m honest. However, if you’re interested in a more serious Top 5 List, check out Top 5 Mistakes Walt Disney Made and Top 5 WDW Things We Want Everywhere or type Top 5 in the Search Box and enjoy!

Book Review: Disney’s Wonderful World of Reading

This series of books consisted of new stories and adventures and special adaptions of the Disney classics. Many favorite characters were used to assist youngsters in exploring the wonderful world of reading (appropriate, eh?)

By using simple vocabulary and exciting new illustrations that fully explained the text, these books were designed to encourage youngsters to read by themselves.

I have two from this series to share with you today. First is a continuation of the world created in the Devil’s Bayou for The Rescuers:

WWoR Books 001

The swamp folks return

This story rewrites the ending of the original movie to leave Madame Medusa and Mr. Snoops in the Bayou, still looking for treasure.

WWoR Books 005  WWoR Books 006

Beautiful artwork

Let’s have a look at the story as it unfolds:

WWoR Books 007

Still looking for treasure, no matter who it hurts

As the dastardly duo dig here and there, they uproot and/or bury the swamp folks! This must stop…

WWoR Books 008

Evinrude flies again!

Evinrude flies to the affected folks and promises to go to The Rescuers for help. A change from the original movie is that this character can now talk…

WWoR Books 009

Captain Orville at your service

So Bianca and Bernard race off to the Bayou once more to see what they can do…

WWoR Books 010

“Thank you for flying Albatross Air!”

So as not to spoil the book for you and your youngsters, suffice to say that Bianca and Bernard are able to foil and chase away Madame Medusa and Mr. Snoops so that the swamp folks are safe once again. Until the next book anyway!

WWoR Books 011

Time to leave

All’s well that ends well! To see more of The Rescuers, check out this earlier post featuring a read-along book.

Now let’s have a look at the second book:

WWoR Books 003

Another fine mess he’s gotten himself into!

Mr. Toad just can’t help himself! He’s always getting into trouble and hurting his friends along the way. This book is about a bicycle, some hurt feelings, an apology, and maybe a new beginning for Mr. Toad…

WWoR Books 012  WWoR Books 013

Again, nice simplified artwork

So the story all begins with the need to mail a letter…

WWoR Books 014

That’s not his bike!

Even though Mr. Toad is warned that MacBadger’s bike has no brakes, he just can’t resist the call of the open road…

WWoR Books 015

And it doesn’t end well!

After having wrecked MacBadger’s bike, Mr. Toad faces the loss of his friend…

WWoR Books 016

Mr. Toad tries to do his own paperwork

Soon Mr. Toad realizes just how much he needs his trusted friend…

WWoR Books 017

It was a dark and stormy night

Mr. Toad heads out into the Wild Wood to find MacBadger and bring him back…

WWoR Books 018

Time to apologize

Mr. Toad convinces MacBadger to come back to Toad Hall…

WWoR Books 019

Will he or won’t he?

After buying MacBadger a new bike, Mr. Toad is tempted to steal it again, but he doesn’t… for now!

Both books are well done with nice artwork and simple stories that are fun and educational. I would give them a 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

There are literally dozens of these books in the series, as the lady I picked these up from (at a yard sale) said she had over 70 in her collection. These two were doubles she was selling off to buy more she didn’t have yet. You can still find these books on eBay and Amazon.

These books came from The Disney Book Club back in the day, and this club is still going. Simply click the link and you can get your youngsters started in the wonderful world of reading today!

Book Review: Life – Special Magazine on Walt Disney

I saw many of my friends on social media publishing pictures of the cover of this magazine, but wasn’t really planning on picking it up myself. I have so many hard-cover books on Walt Disney, it’s hard to find any contemporary publication that can offer me anything new.

Life Mag 1

At $16.99 CAN, it had better be good!

But one day I had to wait for my wife and found myself trolling a magazine rack in a local pharmacy and there it was. So I broke down and picked it up. But seriously, $16.99? It had better be ‘special’ indeed!

Obviously the magazine basically contains an overview of Walt’s journey, as reported on in the pages of Life Magazine over the years. So every reference comes from Life archives. A main source of quotes comes from an author and animator named Stephen Cavalier. His bio reads as follows: He has worked in the animation and games industries for two decades. An animator, writer, and director, he has worked as an Animation Director for Disney TV shows and been part of the animation team at Steven Spielberg’s Amblimation. He also works as an animator, writer, and director through his own company, Spy Pictures.

I found his insights to be a bit critical, with even positive comments being followed with a negative point. Of course, Walt was no saint, so one expects this in any publication about him.

Again, I’m always looking for that one image I haven’t seen, or fact I didn’t know. Here are some of the few new things, for me, from this publication:

Life Mag 2

Walt Crockett and Son

Life Mag 3

Roy E. Disney in 1950 with awesome merchandise

Life Mag 4

Pinocchio Walt

The last picture was worth buying the magazine for on its own! It features Walt Disney dressed as Pinocchio as he tells the story to his two daughters. Pure cuteness, and a side of Disney we don’t always get to see.

Overall, a sound publication. I’d give it 4 out of 5 Stars, as it does give a competent overview of Walt Disney’s journey. But it doesn’t offer many new things for the seasoned Disney fan. And the price was ridiculous!