Don’t look back. There could be an Air Swimmer gaining on you. (Photo: Lunch)
For those of you who’ve left the bulk of your Christmas shopping ‘til the last minute, don’t fret. I spoke with Kim Harris at Minky Monkey Toys and Dave Leonard at the Booky Joint about some of the most popular items they carry at their respective businesses.
They said it couldn’t be done.
The bad news about the hottest new toy for 2011 was that you supposedly couldn’t get it to work at altitude.
The good news is that Dave Leonard has been able to get Air Swimmers to work at 8,000 feet. The proof is currently flying around his store.
Air Swimmers are helium-filled Shark- and Clownfish-shaped balloons which one can operate by infrared remote control.
Translation: You can fly Jaws around the house.
Air Swimmers are about 3-4’ in length. If you want to check out how they work, just Google it. There are plenty of videos posted online. Or stop in to the Booky Joint for an in-house demo.
Other ideas from Booky Joint Owner Dave Leonard:
-Webkinz. These fluffy animal stocking stuffers can be had for as little as $5 and come with a web component. They all come with a code which you can enter on the webkinz website and play with your new friend online.
-Books by Lane Smith, the latest “it” children’s book author.
-Melissa and Doug. The Booky Joint has its usual, vast assortment on Melissa and Doug toys, many priced under $10, such as the “Decorate Your Own Piggy Bank.”
-Winnie the Pooh. Dave’s a fan of the latest Winnie the Pooh DVD which pays homage to the old school artwork of the original animations.
Owner Kim Harris says that some things never change. More specifically, Legos still rule.
“Star Wars Legos,” she said with an elfin grin. “Star Wars, Star Wars … “
Also look for the Legos Mini-Figures – collectible characters. Kind of like baseball card packs. You never know what you’re gonna get.
The most clever item Harris had on her shelves was something called “Elf on the Shelf.”
The tradition begins when Santa sends his scout elves out to Elf Adoption Centers. Waiting for their families to bring them home, these patient elves hibernate until their family reads The Elf on the Shelf, gives their elf a very special name, and registers their adoption online. Once named, each scout elf will receive its Christmas magic and become a part of the family’s Christmas each and every year.
Excellent listeners and even better observers, these scout elves are the eyes and ears of Santa Claus. Although they cannot be touched, or else they may lose their magic, the elf will always listen and relay messages back to Santa. Taking in all the day-to-day activities around the house, no good deed goes unnoticed; these scout elves take their job seriously.”
Basically, the whole thing is a behavior modification tool. A Trojan Horse, pure and simple.
I’m glad they hadn’t thought of this when I was a kid.
Other ideas from Harris:
-The Sassy product line for infants/toddlers.
-Various snow toys, including sleds and snowball makers.
-French-designed Corolle dolls
-For the boys, the ever-popular Rubber Band guns and Z Curve bows. Tech Decks (Finger Skateboards), Flick Trix (Finger Bikes) and accessories.
She also carries a bunch of fun science projects, including the soda-geyser powered car.
You’ve probably seen the clips on YouTube. Add Mentos candy to soda and you’ve got serious combustion on your hands.
Hazmat team not included.