Scott’s Toy Box: Scent of a Toy
With summer ending, I’ll certainly miss the smells I associate with it. The smell of popcorn that engulfs the movie theatre as I go see a summer blockbuster, the smell of chlorine from the swimming pool, and the smell of hot dogs at a summer cookout. This month in the Toy Box, we have a group of toys that have a certain scent to them.
First off, we have the new Strawberry Shortcake collection. When Hasbro acquired Strawberry, they gave her a makeover. The most notable part was shaving off a couple of feet from her height, now she and her friends are “bite-sized”. Strawberry also works in her own Berry Café, which is the big playset of the Strawberry Shortcake collection. It comes with a big strawberry-like café with tables and chairs, a Strawberry Shortcake figure and lots of tiny foods to serve. And the foods are tiny, so take caution before buying this for a really young child. She and her friends are also available separately as three inch dolls.
Strawberry Shortcake also comes as an 11 inch doll. She has brushable hair and hair extensions, along with stickers, hair clips and a pen that uses water to make makeup appear. The box says that there is a choking hazard, which I guess are the hair clips, even though the size of these accessories is much larger than the ones in the Berry Café playset. All the toys also have the sweet fruity smell that lasts a while. We’ve had these toys in the office for weeks and they still smell as good as they did the day they arrived. You can find Strawberry and her fruity pals in stores now.
Next we have the Candy Land Sweet Celebration Game. In celebration of its 60th anniversary, Hasbro has come out with this new Candy Land game. They have gotten rid of the board and replaced it with a customizable track that you put together. You control how long you want to make the track, so it’s great for a quick game while waiting for dinner or for a long family game night. A spinner replaces the cards that lead you around the track to the different stops where you collect treats to take to the palace. However, Lord Licorice can and will block your path during the game to make it longer and more challenging, although he can be omitted for younger players. With the track changeable, each game feels new and different, and gives players the ability to create their own game. When I played with it, I tried to use every piece of the track, including the end pieces, but it was a little difficult to include them since most of the track is curvy and circles around itself. It would have been helpful to include a booklet of pre-made track designs so you can easily jump into a game and make setup just a bit shorter.
Finally, one toy I’m glad didn’t come scented is Norman PhartEphant. He’s a stuffed elephant that farts. Maybe I’m childish—I mean, I’m 26 and play with toys for a living—but this is one of the best toys I’ve come across. He’s soft and cuddly like any stuffed animal, and there is a button in his tale that releases the sound of passed gas when pressed. This is Fierce Fun Toys’ first toy. One of their mission statements is to promote laughter, and they hit the bull’s-eye with Norman. Everyone in our office has had a good laugh when they’ve played with him. Fierce Fun Toys has a book in the works that will help explain Norman’s gassy tendencies. But even without the book, Norman is perfect for anyone young at heart. You can find him at www.PhartEphant.com.