When I was a kid, nine out of ten times my mom wouldn’t let me buy a toy when we were out shopping, she would let me get a book. So, I had a legion of Little Golden Books around my house. Star Trek fans with kids will want to be ready to pick up the Too Many Tribbles! Little Golden Book when it arrives next year.
There have been other Star Trek Little Golden Books before; this one was inspired by the classic “The Trouble With Tribbles” episode of the original Star Trek series, and is sure to be packed with the troublesome little fuzzballs. The book was written by Frank Berrios, and illustrated by Ethen Beavers.
The synopsis reads: “Captain Kirk and the crew of the starship Enterprise come face to face with adorably fuzzy Tribbles in this exciting and fun-filled Star Trek Little Golden Book!
Captain Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are ready for almost anything–except tribbles! When these small, furry creatures invade the ship, Captain Kirk and the crew must act quickly, before they are buried in fur balls! Star Trek fans of all ages will love this action-packed Little Golden Book featuring Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the rest of the crew from the classic TV series in a unique retro art style!”
Sounds like a fun, tribble-filled adventure for the kids. You can pre-order a copy of Too Many Tribbles! on Amazon for just $4.99 now, and it’ll show up as a pleasant surprise in July 2019 when you’ve completely forgotten you ordered it.
We’ve made a pretty seamless transition from hard cash to digital money, but there’s still one form of payment that hasn’t really changed yet. The allowance. Unless your kid owns an ATM card and a bank account (I didn’t until I was 18), allowance has always been handed in banknotes or coins that found their way into the symbolic piggy bank.
As we move into the digital age of virtual currency and cashless payments, Pigzbe ditches the piggy bank in favor of their new ‘piggy wallet’ virtual realm too, allowing parents, relatives, and other elders to go cashless with their children… but the Pigzbe is much more than just a digital wallet for children. It’s also an education in finances, budgeting, earning, saving, and making sensible expenditures.
Designed to look like an abstract pig, Pigzbe is a small rectangular card-shaped device with two buttons (that double up as the pig’s cheeks) and an LED screen between them that lights up with a pig’s face on it. The Pigzbe accepts international currencies as well as cryptocoins, and comes powered by Wollo, a secure blockchain based token that allows you to send money globally and quickly. When you transfer money to a child’s Pigzbe, they get notified as the money gets deposited in their account, to be used digitally. The wallet actively tracks transactions, letting children know, through the display on the front, how much they’re earning, spending, and saving.
Pigzbe comes with an educational component too. Developed by Primo Toys, the guys behind Cubetto (the toy that taught preschoolers the basic tenants of coding), Pigzbe comes with a partner app too that helps visualize the child’s finances in a gamified way. The app introduces children to much more advanced financial concepts like saving, currency-conversion, and even setting budgets. They can earn money either through allowances, gifts, or even by completing tasks. The Pigzbe device stores and keeps track of everything that comes in and goes out, while the app allows kids to be financially aware and even learn to be fiscally responsible, from as young as six years old!
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Is there any kid’s toy more classic than the ol’ bouncy ball? Kids have enjoyed them for generations, bouncing them around the house, breaking lamps, losing them in sewers, and just having fun. But kids of today don’t want some random color they get from the quarter machine- they want to design their own style balls. They can with the Creative Kids DIY Magic Bouncy Balls kit. There’s enough materials in here to make about 43 balls, so it’s great for party favors and for the kids who constantly bounce them over the fence into your mean neighbor’s yard.
The set includes 25 bags of powder crystals in varying neon shades and 5 ball molds. The process is quite simple- just pour the mix into the molds, submerge in warm water to harden, and then the hardest part (for kids anyway)- wait 10 minutes for it to harden. It’s safe and non-toxic. Unlike other craft projects that end up sitting on a shelf or stashed away in your basement, these are actually usable and fun when complete. So bounce away.
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We recently told you guys about LightZilla, a sweet giant-size Lite-Brite that I wish I could have in my game room. Alas, I can’t afford one for my house, but I did recently get a chance to play with a LiteZilla up close and personal, and it’s pretty awesome. I headed up North of Chicago to the awesome Abt Electronics to meet with LiteZilla founder and Chief Illumination Officer Adam Butlein to go hands on with the jumbo plaything, and to learn a bit about what makes the LightZilla special.
While the first prototype of the LiteZilla was something Adam built for his own home, he quickly realized that he’d have to spend some serious time and money refining the design if he wanted to build something that could hold up to countless kids playing with it in doctors’ offices, museums, toy stores, and other public places.
Rather than using plywood, each LiteZilla’s peg board is made from thick sheets of HDPE, a durable thermoplastic that can be cut more precisely than wood, holds up better to wear and tear, and can be drilled more smoothly. The latter is critical for preventing nasty splinters when a kid sticks his or her finger into one of the holes – which they surely will do. HDPE is also far less likely to hold onto germs, and is easier to clean than wood. Each hole is precision drilled using CNC machining, to ensure perfectly placed peg art every time.
Behind the face sheet of HDPE is an impressively large light box, which perfectly diffuses bright white LEDs so each peg is evenly lit. Then there’s the pegs themselves. Each one is precision cut from colorful acrylic, then flame-finished so they transmit light smoothly from end to end. The result is brilliant, bright color from every one of each LiteZilla’s pegs, which can be made in every color of the rainbow, as well as neon colors and opaque black for blocking out light for design flexibility. The pegs are also big enough that they don’t pose a choking hazard for kids.
Each LightZilla offers convenient storage bins at the bottom for spare pegs, and its power transformer is smartly placed behind a screw-off front panel, just in case it ever needs to be serviced. The whole LightZilla can be mounted directly on a wall using heavy duty Z-clips which are designed to take up to 4x the weight of the whole system, for added safety around kids.
LiteZilla sells its sweet light-up pegboards in seven standard sizes: 4’x5′, 6’x5′, 8’x5′,8’x6′, 12’x6′, 16×6′ and an enormous 20’x6′ version. Prices start at $9,999 for the smallest model, and go up to a whopping $45,999 for the biggest one. I’m sure a big chunk of that cost is making thousands of colorful pegs. They can also customize the board with a company logo, and custom colored pegs to match your logo as well.
At these kind of prices, the LiteZilla probably won’t find its way into too many homes, but it’s a great idea for public places of play and interaction. So far, the company has done numerous installations for doctors’ and dentists’ offices, churches and temples, children’s museums and they just did an amazing store window display for Hammacher Schlemmer in New York City, which is sure to draw lots of attention.
If you’re looking for an awesome piece of interactive art for any place where kids of any age congregate, you should definitely consider a LiteZilla. For more information or to place an order, check out the LiteZilla website, or call them at 1-833-LITEZILLA.
Pikachu has stolen your heart and now everyone’s favorite Pokemon will steal your coins. Don’t worry you’ll get them back in the end, if you’re nice to him. The Pikachu Coin Stealing Bank looks like a (somewhat) normal box when it’s closed. Just put the coin into the proper position atop the bank, and watch as the box opens and Pikachu’s face appears, he says “Pika Pika Pikachu” and he sticks his little Poke paw out and grabs the coin and drags it into the bank. The lid closes and everyone’s happy. Except for Snorlax, he’s still very hungry and very sleepy.
Now of course this would have been super ideal if it was spherical like a Pokeball but the laws of physics don’t really allow for a coin to easily be balanced on a rounded surface. Maybe it’s different in Pokemon World but we’re living here on Earth, so a box shape will have to suffice. This super cute novelty bank will make a great gift for the Pokemon fan in your life.