PHD's Flying Disk of Fabulousness!

Before we move on to talk about more of the new things that are wandering into LagoonaMagoo & Once Upon a Toy, we want to give some attention to a great little toy with a kid-can back-story.

A few years ago, 3rd grader (and child of one of PHD's founders) Savanna Groft was assigned a craft project at school--  crochet a round tablemat.  It didn't come out quite the way her teacher had intended.  By not adding enough stitches, her tablemat developed a small curled lip on it's outer edge.  One day, on a lark, Chris Larsen, one of Savanna's friend's father and another of the founders, tossed it across a room.  It sailed.  Beautifully.  Wonderfully.  Amazingly.  And the rest is history.

What might have looked like an error in Savanna's project was the beginning of a company that involves two families and several villages in Guatemala.  Dedicated to fair trade practices, PHD is one of those companies the Happy Up stores are delighted to support and promote.  You can read more about their philosophy and commitment to the Mayan women of Guatemala on their website.

So what does PHD stand for?  er... ummmm...  didja know they run a contest about that? 

Toy Fair Finds pt. 3 on it's way soon!


What We Couldn't Resist From Toy Fair 2010 pt 2

Next up on the "Too Fun! Gotta Have That!" list is the Zyclone Ring Blaster.

Spring will be here soon, and with it will come that "gotta get outside" feeling.  Make sure you bring the Zyclone Ring Blaster along with you!
Designed to launch lightweight foam rings, the Zyclone is easily loaded and fired by a wide range of ages and abilities (they suggest 6yrs and up--  I suspect you may be able to go a bit younger if you're willing to help the child launch the first few times). 

The projectiles are round rings, so no poky/sharp edges to hurt your companions (although, just to be clear, aiming at someone's face is still a bad idea).  Made from a tough, rigid, & lightweight foam, the rings can take a serious amount of playtime.  Two come with the launcher, and they'll be available separately, too.  Which is a very good thing when you consider it is possible to launch one over 100 feet!

Using a twisting action, the rings spin off of the launcher and sail through the air amazingly far!  Don't just take my word for it, watch the mildly cheesy commercial from Zing toys:

Too cool, eh? 

While this isn't exactly new (it was a favorite of ours for Christmas), we've got  Djubi (pronounced joo-bee) back in stock!  If you haven't seen it yet, it's like a slingshot you play catch with.  The racket looking thingies are both launcher and catcher for the special ball, the djubi.  What makes the ball special?  It's on a slingy elastic band!  Aimed at kiddos 8 and up, this is a great new twist on playing catch.  And perfect to go in Easter Baskets.  That's a hint, Mr. Easter Bunny!

Stay tuned--  Part 3 of our Toy Fair Finds will be posted soon!


What we couldn't resist from Toy fair 2010 pt. 1

Soooo...  Y'all are just dying to find out what was fab and fun at the 2010 Toyfair, right?  Well--  fasten your seat belts!  Several posts heading your way about the cool stuff Shawnta', Rick, & Neal found on their trip to NY.  So sit back and prepare to be hit by the "o cool i want that" feeling!

First up, we have Buckyballs! 

Made from rare earth magnets, these little spheres are addictive fiddly fun.  Mold them, connect them, snap and slip and slide them to form shapes and sculptures.  Rolling Stone Magazine proclaimed them one of the best new toys of 2009.

We should note that Buckyballs aren't designed for small folks.  Let the little ones have their geomags, magnatiles, and magformers.  Due to concerns over what could happen if someone swallowed one (truthfully, the issue is if you swallow more than one), they're labeled for people over 13 yrs old.  So repeat after me:  Buckyballs are not food. 

It's hard to describe why they're so un-put-downable and twiddly-fiddly fun.  So instead of waiting for me to stumble on the right way to explain them, feast your eyes on this slightly-hypnotic video from Zoomdoggle, the folks behind the buckyballs.  And if you do visit their website, you've got to pinky-swear you'll be patient and get yours from your favorite Happy Up store once we've got them in stock! 

What We Couldn't Resist From Toy Fair 2010 pt. 2 coming soon!


The 3/50 Project

Have you heard of it yet?

The 3/50 project is a group effort to support locally owned businesses.  Unlike many efforts to focus attention on the difficulties mom-and-pop businesses face in our current economy, the 3/50 Project doesn't point fingers or assign blame or insist that there is only one right way to support small businesses.  Here's what the 3/50 Projects asks you to do:

#1:  Stop and think of three locally owned businesses you'd hate to see disappear.  Maybe it's that coffee shop with the local artists' paintings on the wall.  Or maybe it's that bookstore you haven't been to in a while.  Or maybe it's the toy store with employees that always remember you.

#2:  At those three businesses, spend $50.00 a month.  That's $50 total.  $16.66 at each business.  And if you go in for the high-end coffee drinks, that can happen faster than you imagine! 

And that's it.  That's all you have to do.  It's that easy.
So what does your $50 a month at three local businesses actually do?  Well...  Here's a jaw-dropping statistic:  If half of all the employed adults in the US spent $50 a month in local businesses, there would be an additional $42.6 billion pouring into our local economies.  And it isn't just about an inflow of money to one business.  For every $100 spent at a local business, $68 of it *stays* in the local economy.  It stays in the form of wages, taxes, local charities supported, sports teams sponsored, and profits reinvested through purchases at other local businesses. 

That same $100 spent at a chain store only leaves $43 in the local economy.  And purchases made online?  That money goes *poof* and disappears to someone else's town.

Are we asking you to *stop* shopping at chain stores or making purchases online?  No.  There's no need to abandon the big box mega marts or those easy to use webstores.  Just choose a few things, a handful of items, that you'll buy at a store owned by the people down the block.  And stick to it. 

Pick 3.  Spend $50.  Save your town.
For more information or to get your own business involved, you can read all about it here:  http://www.the350project.net/home.html