Toys

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First look: Playmobil showroom at Delafield's Smiley Barn

Published Nov. 15, 2019

There are just two Playmobil showrooms in the United States and, of course, one of them is at New York's legendary toy palace FAO Schwartz, now located in Rockefeller Center. The other? At Delafield's The Smiley Barn, of course.

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Toy tips: Choosing the right last-minute holiday toy

Published Dec. 12, 2018

Don't get caught up in the hype of "Hot Toys," the "smartest" toys, the "must-have" toy or the best toy lists. All of those ideas are not necessarily the right pick unless you do you own research to make sure the toy matches three keys.

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Unique Boutique: BC Modern

Published Nov. 26, 2018

Owner Eric Lewis refers to his Walker's Point store as "a really eclectic pop-up shop" that features furniture, home goods, art, clothing, toys, knick knacks, records, stereo equipment, classic signs, holiday items and more.

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Holiday hoverboard havoc

Published Dec. 30, 2015

Even since the "Back to the Future" sequels, we've dreamed of having hoverboards. But not like this. The holiday season has been menaced - and, thanks to Twitter, very entertained - by these rolling deathtraps.

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Growing up in the golden age of action figures

Published Dec. 17, 2015

Not everything sucked when we were kids. I know this because my daughter plays with a bunch of the toys my parents saved from my childhood. As the new "Star Wars" opens this weekend, I'm reminded that we grew up in the golden age of action figures. Before video games and technology turned them into something else.

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Black Friday brawls suck the holiday spirit from shopping

Published Nov. 26, 2015

The Black Friday shopping experience is a big, mixed bag of savings and safety issues. Milwaukee's Melanie Rice and Bryan Zysk know this first-hand. One even suffered a broken foot in a brawl over a DVD player.

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Sydney b. opens in Shorewood

Published May 6, 2015

Sydney b., a boutique for children, opened in Shorewood today. The shop, 4529 N. Oakland Ave., offers unique clothing, shoes, accessories and educational toys for kids ages 0 to 12 years old.

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The popularity of Funko's Pop! Vinyls and why I can't stop collecting

Published March 4, 2015

I haven't seen anything like Funko's Pop! Vinyls before last August.They're only 3.75 inches tall when standing up. They have an oversized, nearly squared head with pupil-free black eyes, a tiny nose and no mouth. They look more so like anime characters than anything else. Over the course of the following six months, what started as a quick impulse purchase had that led into a near obsession of collecting these figures.

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Toy buying tips for the holiday season

Published Dec. 9, 2013

Don't get caught up in the "hot" toy hoopla or must-haves that you think your kids won't be happy without. Choose smart toys that kids will play with over and over. A good toy is one that is age and skill appropriate that holds a child's current interests. The more you personalize a selection, the better the play experience for your child. Read on for more tips.

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It's time, LEGO, to bring back LEGO Sports

Published Dec. 3, 2013

Think about it. Camp Randall Stadium. Cameron Indoor Stadium. Allen Fieldhouse in Kansas. Ohio Stadium. Notre Dame Stadium. Bird's Nest soccer arena in Beijing. Miller Park. All made out of LEGO bricks.

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First toys for infants

Published Sept. 17, 2013

For all children, toys are props and the process of play is valuable in the development of physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills. The toys an infant plays with today may help shape the skills a child masters tomorrow.

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Local kids nab national award for HoodiePet invention

Published Dec. 12, 2012

With the help of their mom, Alexia and Seth Kempe invented the HoodiePet. Hasbro and the Chicago Toy and Game Group nominated the children for a "Young Inventors of The Year" TAGIE award that recognizes toy and game inventors from around the world. And they won.

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A toy story

Published Dec. 5, 2012

My 4-year-old nephew came for a visit recently and helped his uncle rediscover his childhood.

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Five retro toys every kid must have

Published Sept. 13, 2012

The lists of hot holiday toys for 2012 came out with a vengeance this week but I'm a firm believer that some of the classic toys we grew up with are still the best, along with the large cardboard box which is still a kid favorite.

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LEGO KidsFest to make Milwaukee debut

Published April 14, 2012

LEGO KidsFest is a massive, traveling LEGO expo and it's coming to Milwaukee's Frontier Airlines Center, June 15-17. This is the fourth year of the tour, but the first year the show will stop in Milwaukee.