Eco Bears and Other Animals

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Aurora Naturally is Aurora’s recent line of plush animals made from eco-friendly, hypoallergenic fibers. Nowadays, most plush is manufactured with man-made fibers like polyester that are meant to imitate the look and feel of traditional (but more expensive) mohair. Aurora has found a happy medium between mohair and plastic fiber.

Their Eco Animals have "lockwasher eyes and a fabric nose for safety and durability. Aurora ‘Naturally’ plush is made from 100% soy fiber. The stuffing is 100% Kapok, a golden silky fiber known for its hypoallergenic softness. Kapok is a sustainable rainforest crop that comes from the seed pod of the Kapok tree. All Aurora ‘Naturally’ is handmade in Indonesia and come with a recycled paper hang tag and a sewn cotton label."

These guys are soft and cuddly, and surprisingly not priced much higher than similarly-sized bears made of synthetic materials – and they’re not even made in China. Dreamy!

Appletters Game

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Appleletters! It’s Bananagrams with a new apPEEL. The basic version of this game is called "Make a Snake." Lay all the tiles facedown, and draw tiles to play. Unlike Bananagrams tiles, Appletters tiles stand up on their sides so your opponents can’t sneak a peek. Each word must build on the first or last tile of the previous word, gradually building a snake of words. Included in the instructions are more versions of the game that add rules and twists for older players.

Appletters is a great game for young kids. If you played Banangrams, you probably noticed it’s easier for more advanced spellers, and it has an element of frantic calculation that may be difficult for the young’uns. Appleletters is less intimidating because it’s turn-based and focuses on one word at a time. A great game for early spellers! The apple-sized zipper pouch is great for games on-the-go.

Appletters, $17, Ages 5+

Prices and availability may change – call the store for current info.

Made in Texas – Bear Feet Shoes

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Before we opened kidOshoe, we sold shoes at Dragonsnaps for 21 years. Various brands have come and gone, but one company has been with us all along:

Bear Feet Shoes

The folks at Bear Feet make their shoes almost entirely out of US-made materials (crepe rubber soles, leather, etc), and the non-US materials come from Italy and Germany (buckles, thread, and specialty sparkle leather). The shoes are all made in Brownwood, Texas. US-made shoe brands are few and far between, so that’s about as local as it gets.

Their motto is "Bare Feet Are Best!" Each shoe is made to be as similar to barefoot as possible while still providing protection. The soles are made of natural crepe rubber that has a crinkled texture – very flexible and grippy; the inner sole is a soft layer that imitates the feel of walking on sand; and the uppers are all made of high quality leather, top-grain, or nubuck. The baby shoes (sizes 1 to 4) are made entirely of leather, because a softer sole helps ease the transition to walking.

The price of Bear Feet shoes tends to be a smidge higher than our other brands, but you get what you pay for: quality craftsmanship that supports our economy, durability that can be passed down for years, and the most comfortable sole we’ve found.

Read more about their eco-friendly philosophy.

 

Gumball Gizmo is Back!

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Long-time Terra Toys fans will remember the days of the Gumball Gizmo. Two years ago, he stopped working, and we put him in storage. Many of you have stopped by to offer your condolences.

But now Gumball Gizmo is back in action! Come see for yourself. It’s still only 25 cents to see the gum show. Kudos to Steve and Dale in Salt Lake for helping us get the thing up and running again.

L’Amour Fall 2010

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

 

New this week – L’Amour Fall 2010 – Simple, classic styles for school

We chose the L’Amour brand for their classic versatility. It’s a line that’s great for everyday wear and affordably priced around $30-40 per pair.

These girls’ shoes put a few new twists on the Mary Jane. Classic and dressy, but not over-the-top dressy. You could wear them with jeans, or you could wear them with a dress.

The Velcro Mary Janes are easy to wear and easy to adjust.

And – hooray! – we now have some sneakers in stock for boys. The velcro double strap shoes are tennis shoes that aren’t too cool for school – you could probably get away with wearing them with a uniform.

We even have some dapper little darlings for the wee ones.

We hear that L’Amour shoes run a bit small, so you’ll probably want to bring your kids to try them on before you buy them.

 

Bobux Baby Shoes

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Come see these cutie patooties.  Bobux baby shoes are handcrafted from Eco-leather: natural, environmentally friendly, and biodegradable too! The soft, unlined leather keeps feet warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These shoes are great for first walkers because they feel more like bare feet than soled shoes, and they are less restricting. The slip-resistant suede soles are ideal for toe gripping, and they have ankle elastic, so they’re kind of like socks, but they’re not as slippery and they stay on.

And what a relief – they’re machine washable!  You may also notice that while many shoes have designs that face outward, these face in for kids to look at their own feet.

Bobux have a style similar to the popular Robeez brand, which we used to carry when they were still made in Canada. Now that Robeez has moved production to China, we’re looking to New Zealand for soft leather Bobux baby shoes.

Many colorful styles, newborn to 21 months (sizes 1 to 6.5), $28.50. (Can be special-ordered in size 21 to 27 months.)

Available at kidOshoe – price and availability may change, so call the store for current info.

The Other Side by Istvan Banyai (2005)

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The Other Side by Istvan Banyai (2005) is a title that presses readers to explore how its images are connected from beginning to end.  There are no words and no express plot – these are left for the imagination to dream up. 

From the very first page, the illustrations on each following page are somehow related to those on the previous page.  In many cases this is a point-of-view reversal, but in some cases the relation shatters an illusion.  What seemed to be a cat is a child in costume.  What seemed to be an upside-down painting is in fact a shadow cast by the world outside into the house which is upside-down.

Toward the end of the book, the pages seem to be unrelated, the thread broken up into chunks.  But look closer!  There’s something that connects each idea to the next.

Istvan Banyai is a gifted artist, creator of the children’s books Zoom and Re-Zoom, and well-known for editorial illustrations in publications such as The New Yorker.

Prices and availability may change – call the store for current info.

 

City Legal Fireworks

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

 

Hooray for no burn ban this year! Terra Toys is open July 4, 2010 from noon to 6pm. We sell a big variety of city legal fireworks, so come fill your pockets with snappers and sparklers. And in case you don’t make it to the store today, we sell these items year-round.

Available this year:

Sparklers – bamboo, wire, or morning glories $1.00 – 1.50

Booby Traps – tie each end to a different object so someone else gets a snappy surprise (example: door to doorframe, chair to wall, drawer to desk) – 25 cents for 12 pieces

Champagne Poppers – big pop, lots of confetti – 25 cents each

Pistol Poppers – like champagne poppers, but gun-shaped  – 75 cents each

Black Snakes – set fire to a small black pebble; watch it twist and grow into a crazy black snake – 35 cents for 6 pieces

Colored Smoke Balls – light the fuse and stand back for a colorful smoke display; lasts about 20 seconds – $3.50 for 12 pack

Smoke Grenade – pull the pin to light the fuse; smoke pours out for almost 2 minutes – so cool! – $3.00 each

Sliders – sliders are amazing! put the slider on concrete and roll it with your shoe – the friction breaks it into little pieces with a pleasant zip and crackle $1.00 for 10 pieces

Snappers – the classic – a little explosive powder wrapped in paper so it snaps when you throw it down – $1.00 for 50 pieces

Pop-Pops – like snappers but loud like gunshots – new this year, and probably so cool they’ll be banned next year, so stock up now – $1.00 for 20 pieces

 

Prices and availability may vary – call store for current info.