Ryan the Toy Buyer and DanTheToyMan went to the 12:30 puppet show . . .
Canada’s turning 142 years young this Wednesday and I think it’s just about the right time for a party! Here at the office I’m anxiously awaiting our BBQ and all the yummy treats that are sure to be there!
And what’s a birthday without friends and family fun!? Canada Day is a great day to be outside (crossing my fingers on the weather), be merry, and celebrate with our fellow Canadians! (I’m abusing the exclamation mark a little bit here but it’s hard not to get excited!) If you’re in Toronto look for me trying out my Gunther Model Sailboat
or racing around with my Hyper-Dash down by the Beaches.
Also, make sure you check out our website,www.mastermindtoys.com, because we’ve already kicked off July’s Hot Deals; theJump Smart Electronic Trampoline($20OFF), and the Mookie Swingball($10OFF)! Be sure to check them out.
Also, look for my daily tweets at www.twitter.com/MastermindToys
DanTheToyMan here with my favourite summertime toy pick! Personally I was a curious kid (that’s code for science geek) and I loved to explore. That’s why my pick is the Backyard Safari Bug Habitat (Mastermind Toys Number 69077), and the Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum(Mastermind Toys Number 65153). These fantastic toys allow you to collect bugs (without having to touch them!) and put them into their very own habitat. It also comes with its own convenient magnifying glass for you to look at them! (*The vacuum comes with 4AA batteries so you don’t have to worry about going out to buy some!)
How it works is you use the vacuum to suck up the bugs (don’t worry it won’t kill them as long as you don’t hit them with the vacuum). The bug is then trapped in a plastic container which can be easily detached from the vacuum. Place the plastic container over the hole into the Safari Bug Habitat and voila! You have your bug for as long as you’d like. Although once you’ve satisfied your curiosity it’s nice if you could let it go home.
What better way to get out of the house and explore your surroundings? It’s great for at home AND the cottage. It’s sure to entertain for hours! See how many different kinds of bugs you can collect. Who says you have stop learning just because schools over? And who says learning can’t be fun!? If you see any of those people just send them my way and we’ll set the record straight. That’s all for now, happy collecting!
The game of Labyrinth is a-MAZE-ing! Right? Right everyone? Groans?
Seriously though, if you're looking for a game for kids aged 8+, then this is a classic that you shouldn't miss. Ravensburger (the company that also makes fantastic puzzles for kids) is one of the world's greatest game makers. When we travel to the Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany, the Ravensburger booth is astoundingly huge... and filled with some of the most innovative puzzle, game and toy ideas that you can imagine (fact: you can get lost in the Ravensburger booth. Ryan knows this from sad experience).
Now labyrinth is a maze board game that has been one of the staples of Ravensburger's game lineup for years. It is such a cool idea: on each turn, the maze, and thus the game board, changes! This forces kids to think ahead, plan their moves... and to "think outside of the board."
We made a video on the subject that I think does a great job of explaining why this game is so cool... check it out:
Check it out at Sweetmama.ca (also, this is a very cool site!):
Hooray! The birthday kickoff is almost here! I can almost taste the delicious cookies!
So for those of you who may have missed our last post, we're holding a great event in our stores this Saturday June 20th to kickoff the celebration of our 25 years in business at Mastermind! We have some "25"-themed fun planned:
First: When you spend $25 or more this Saturday on anything in-store, you get a FREE commemorative colouring T-shirt kit!
Phew! That's a mouth full; let me explain. The T-shirt has a really fun drawing of our Mastermind birthday party, and it comes with special markers. The idea is that you colour it in to decorate it yourself; but the REALLY cool thing is that when you put it in the wash, the colour washes right out... and you get to colour it again! It's a different T-shirt every time!
Now, you can get 1 of these free on Saturday if you spend $25 or more (the kit itself is a $15 value, too!) and 2 of these free if you spend $50 or more, but the limit is 2 free shirts per family. However, we know there are families that have more than 2 kids, so you can also buy extra shirts for the special one-day price of $5. We will limit these purchases, however (no stocking up for loot bags!), because we want to make sure as many people as possible get the opportunity to receive the shirts! We have a lot of shirts for each of our stores, but it is still while quantities last, so the best bet is always to come early!
Next: Each shirt also comes with a voucher good for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more this July!
Each shirt comes wrapped with a label that doubles as a voucher for July! If you bring it back in July (to pick up some great pool toys when it gets mega-hot outside, or anything else that you need) you can redeem it for $5 off a purchase of $25 or more.
So let's do the math here: With a $25 purchase, you get a T-shirt kit worth $15 AND a $5 voucher... not bad!
And finally, a birthday event needs treats! How about Gourmet Chocolate Chip Cookies!
We are also having some DELICIOUS chocolate chip cookies brought in from Robyn's Cookies, a gourmet cookie shop in North Toronto. If you like cookies then these will blow your mind. They're the kind of cookies that you could eat ten of at one time. I may or may not have done this.
Now, the cookies aren't guaranteed nut-free (there is one ingredient, caramel, that may have come into contact with nuts) so we're also going to send a view non-cookie treats to our stores as well.
So that's the plan! Cookies and freebies... a great way to kickoff months of birthday fun! We hope to see you there!!!
The A Channel segments were a lot of fun (I don't have the video yet but we'll post it when we get it!). A Channel has a very laid-back studio (which is great when you're nervous for your live TV appearance!) and a talented group of hosts. We arrived early for our first segment, which was at 7:55AM, and we set our toys up in the studio to prepare. It seemed like everyone who passed by HAD to take a look and play with the toys! The best was Bill Welychka, their weather host (many of you will remember him as Much Music's longest running VJ), who played with each and every toy that we had. He also got so into the spirit that during our first segment, he hopped on the Master Pogo Stick and pogo'd onto the set. Now, if you've never pogo'd before, it's best to do so in a wide-open area because it takes a few hops to master your balance. A jam-packed TV studio? Not the easiest spot to learn. Bill learned this the hard way. He fell off the pogo on live TV! The host who was doing the segment with me, Kurt, thought it was hilarious, and made them show slow-motion replays throughout the rest of the show. You have to love live TV!
We then hopped down the road to Rogers Daytime Ottawa, the morning show that airs on the Rogers channel in Ottawa. You can watch the segment here. The hosts, Derick and TL, were awesome, because they were basically two big kids. Before the segment started, they were tearing around the studio playing with the toys and screaming with delight. I am not even exaggerating!
These were really fun segments, because it's great when the hosts really get into the process and actually PLAY with the toys. So thanks to everyone on our Ottawa trip!
I'm hitting the road, traveling along the 401 to Ottawa here in Southern Ontario to show some of our hot summer toys on the A Channel morning show!
Seriously we are totally on fire with our TV appearances this summer... I guess people like the fact that we come with a truck full of toys and then go wild! We're all big toy people here at the office, and the thing is that we really do play with the toys that we carry. I think that translates on screen.
Also, we are part of a secret government experiment. Years back government scientists saw the movie"Big" starring Tom Hanks (where a 13 year old gets to inhabit the body of a much older man and then gets a job testing toys at a toy company) and they decided to create an experimental team of kids inhabiting adults bodies, and then start a toy company with them. Those experiments are now the Mastermind Toys buying team.
Check us out if you're in the Ottawa area, Wednesday morning at 7:45 and 8:45 AM!!
Hey friends of Mastermind! More TV toy fun for everyone!
Head toy buyer Jon will be on CH Morning Live this coming Monday morning (June 8). He'll be demo'ing some of our great toys live from our Oakville store here in the Greater Toronto Area. Check us out if you're in the area!
And yours truly, Ryan the Toy Buyer, was recently on the CTS network show "Real Life with Sharon Caddy." They wound me up and cut me loose to demo some of our hot summer toys for younger kids!
Check it out:
OK here's a quickie toy post for you: want to impress your friends? Check out the FunFly Stick Magic Levitation Wand! (It has a long and complicated name but trust me it EARNS the title).
The FunFly uses simple static electricity to float a foil shape in midair. What's more is that you can CONTROL the floating shape with your charged-up magic wand! You direct the shape around the air like a magician!
You really have to see it to get it; check it out on this video here. The music is a *touch* creepy but it's worth it...