Summer Toys…Ready to Play!
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
3w ago
We’re on a mission at The Toy Guy this summer! We want kids to party like it’s 1966. Okay, that’s kind of a joke. However, there are several things we are advocating. First, while we absolutely have nothing against screens, now is the time to put them away–at least for a good chunk of every day. Summer is a time to be physical, social, creative, unstructured, and, yes, perhaps even a little bored. Speaking of that, we want to put in a plug for “boredom.” The worst thing a kid could say to Mrs. Byrne (mom) was, “I’m bored.” Her response was invariably, “No, you’re not. You’ve got your toys, yo ..read more
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Spring’s Here! Bring on the Toys!
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
4M ago
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 ..read more
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Fun with Toy History
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
6M ago
Lots of fun stuff in there. Hope you enjoy ..read more
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Arts & Crafts: Serious Fun
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
11M ago
Of all the classic play patterns—and toy categories—arts and crafts is one of the most enduring. People naturally love making things—and that includes kids. Binney & Smith added color to their wax marking sticks in 1903, thus creating Crayola Crayons. Paints, construction paper, modeling compounds, markers, and more are staples of the toybox and the classroom. Art and crafts play is important developmentally as well. It emphasizes process, learning, creative visualization, planning, open-ended play (often), and motor skills. At the same time, the pride of making something helps build conf ..read more
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A Fine MESH
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
11M ago
If you’re a parent, caregiver or toy buyer, you’ve probably heard people talking about MESH (Mental Emotional Social Health) toys. At The Toy Guy, we support these, and we’ve got some great ideas for you in this area. But first: a little caveat emptor advice designed to make you a better and more discriminating shopper. Beware of Buzzwords Once an idea or concept gains some level of traction in popular culture, marketers jump all over it. For better or worse, MESH is now in that category, so you’ll want to make sure the toys you choose really do help kids develop and refine skills ..read more
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Barbie Comes into Her Own
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
1y ago
The New Movie is an Instant Classic…With Classic Influences Leaving the theater after seeing Barbie, the Movie, I was upset. This is a good thing. Great art, particularly when it deals with challenging themes, is supposed to be unsettling. It’s supposed to stay with you and stimulate reflection. Well, Greta Gerwig’s brilliant movie certainly does that, and on reflection, this is far more complex and sophisticated work than one might assume from its antic energy and patina of bubblegum colors, beach bro banter, and fashion for days. In fact, if one really looks at it, Barbie, the Movie stands ..read more
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Back to School…Back to Fun
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
1y ago
The author’s mother, always a reader year’ round c. 1925 The back-to-school season is on us, and for the second year since the pandemic, kids are really going back—to real schools, in classrooms, with each other in person. That means a lot of household spending on goods related to the season, making it one of biggest retail seasons of the year. It’s also a big time for toys. There may be a few more weeks of play left in the summer, but we’ve seen over the years how important the “balanced toy box is.” A lot of people think that “learning toys” is a dirty word, but we’re out to change that. Mos ..read more
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Toys for Easter and Spring 2023
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
1y ago
Welcome, Spring! Spring is−and has been across cultures and millennia−a time of rebirth. One of my favorite myths of the season is the story of Persephone who in working out a challenging relationship between her husband and her mother ended up spending half the year in Hades and half the year on Mount Olympus. When she was in the underworld, it was winter, but when she surfaced again, mom Demeter shone on the world and crops grew again. This demonstrates two things. First, cultures always try to explain phenomena through myths consistent with their understanding of the world and second, no ma ..read more
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Games for the Fall 2022
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
1y ago
Our family’s much-loved, much-played Scrabble set. Cooler weather? More family time? Pull out the games! Anyone who reads this site knows how much we love games. They provide a unique social experience, a great way to bring people together, and of course, fun. Recently, I had the chance to rediscover a board game with my family that we hadn’t played for years. It was a Parker Brothers game called Probe, and it’s a word game. Probably a precursor to Wordle, where you have to guess letters to figure out your opponent’s words. It was fun by itself (We’re all word geeks.), but it went beyond that ..read more
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All Play Is Learning (And Learning Can Be Fun)
The Toy Guy Blog
by ChristopherByrne
2y ago
As we prepare for another school year, the first full year in the waning days of the pandemic, presumably, anticipation is high that this is going to be a “normal” year…whatever that is going to mean. Honestly, we don’t know. After all who had Monkeypox or the resurgence of polio on their 2022 bingo cards?Whatever the year brings, however, it’s always to make time for play. While there will be a lot of pressure on teachers and parents—and students—to make up for lost time, that’s not always something that can be accomplished easily. Kids develop at the speed at which they do, and there’s not m ..read more
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