Friday, March 19, 2010

Time To Play!

For a little over a year now, we have been working hard on our new site, We've also launched a new blog called The Play Forum, and hope you join us there as we cease posting here on

At The Play Forum, you will find all the great toy, video game and fun content that you have come to expect here but way more of it!

So please join us at The Play Forum!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Fun In The Sun at Atlantis

Shannon Eis and The Toy Guy race down one of the eight water slides at the Atlantis Paradise Island resort in The Bahamas. Check it out to see who wins!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This Week's New Video Games

by Jeff McKinney (follow me on Twitter)

The traditional January drought of new games continues but things are looking up for February with a bevy of new games slated for release. Until then, I'm continuing to catch up with all the games from 2009 that I didn't get to spend enough time with and keeping an eye out for the occasional new game in the rough. Following is just such a game.

Fast Food Panic (Wii. rated Everyone)
Game Description:
Create the best restaurant in the world by cooking up yummy dishes, making your customers happy, greeting them when they stop by, and keeping your restaurant squeaky clean in this vibrant and fast-paced restaurant simulation game.

Keeping a top-quality restaurant takes a lot of work, and your waitress will need help-keep the place clean, make deliveries, ring up customers, and more.

Also features three difficulty levels, over 10 additional cooking mini-games, and Free Mode to replay completed levels and try for the top score. Unlock fun cooking mini-games to further hone your skills Three levels of difficulty for beginners and master chefs alike

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Time To Play Video: Minotaurus

Our buddy, Jim Silver, has a new video over at that tells you all about Lego's new game, Minotaurus.

Watch the video here.

For more videos like the one above, please visit the Video Center at

Monday, January 11, 2010

This Week's New Video Games

by Jeff McKinney (follow me on Twitter)

Now that the holidays are over, the gaming industry takes a little breather and only releases a handful of new games each week. That's ok because it gives us a chance to spend some quality game time with the games we received for the holidays or never got around to finishing last year. This doesn't mean that there aren't any new games worth checking out. In fact, this week brings the release of a game that I have been very excited about since I first got a demo of it last year.

Vancouver 2010: The Official Videogame of the Winter Olympic Games (Mac, PC, PS3, Xbox360. Rated Everyone)
Get ready for the Winter Olympics by participating in some of the most popular winter sport events without leaving the warmth of your home. Sega's Vancouver 2010 features 14 events, including giant slalom, snowboard cross, downhill and bobsleigh.
Look for Vancouver 2010 in stores and Online January 12, 2010

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Don't Go Down Shore Without a Lifeguard

By Christopher Byrne (Follow me on twitter)

If you’ve got teens, or even pre-teens in the house, it’s hard not to ignore the reality show “Jersey Shore” now on MTV. Kathy Griffin mentioned it on CNN New Year’s Eve with Anderson Cooper, who claimed to know nothing about the show. Though typically late to the party, the New York Times has become aware of the show’s popularity and its potential impact on the culture.

I became aware of the show when a group of 12-year-old girls were talking about it at an extended family gathering in early December. I was a little taken aback about the language and lifestyle they were discussing, so of course I tuned in.

Yes, these characters are laughable, cartoons of reality. Like so much of the TV of this genre, we know that it is provoked and edited to be as sensational as possible. We’re supposed to loathe these people and look down on them, and the producers have no qualms about showing these young people in the worst possible light—trumpeting ignorance, narcissism and sexuality in about as degrading a way as possible. And it sells, or it wouldn’t be on.

Now I’m no prude, and I believe in freedom of the media. If MTV wants to put that on the air, then by all means they have a right to do so. We can’t stop them, and I wouldn’t want to.

However, it does point out one of the relatively recent challenges of parenting and raising kids in the rapidly evolving media marketplace—playing gatekeeper on a daily or even hourly basis. Because kids have so many different channels to watch, online destinations to surf and access 24/7, it can be a full time job just to monitor what kids are watching. Yet it’s an important one. As parents and caregivers, we can’t control what’s on TV, but we can control the context in which the kids in our lives perceive the material.

Limiting screen time is good. Parental controls on computers are good. Keeping TVs and computers in public areas of the home is good. But at the end of the day, simply banning or preventing potentially objectionable material will only work for so long. Shows and web sites you might ban will inevitably be part of the conversation in your kids’ peer groups. And don’t make the mistake one parent did, thinking that in forbidding her 12-year-old to watch “Gossip Girl,” she was being protected. This young lady knew every plot and designer name. She got if from her friends and saw it at their houses. She simply didn’t tell her mom.

While a steady diet of “Jersey Shore” or most reality shows could make you worry for the future of the human race if it doesn’t bore you to death with its sameness and predictability first, the best idea is not to ban it but discuss it. Watch it with your kids, if they’ll let you, or record it and watch it later. It can be a great teaching tool. It’s not just that you can let your kids know how ridiculous it is for someone to give themselves a nickname like “The Situation” or talk about themselves in the third person; it’s that you can listen to your kids and get their responses to this. In fact, listening, particularly with Tweens and young teens is a good habit to get into. This is one time when teaching can go both ways.

You may discover, as I did with my 12-year-old friends, that they think the kids of “Jersey Shore” are worse than I did. While adults look back and are saying, “How could anyone be like that?” Young people tend to look forward, and say, “I would never want to be like that.” It actually kind of scared them.


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Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy New Year!!

We are slowly getting back into the groove after a wonderful holiday break. We hope you had the happiest and safest of holidays and we all look forward to another fun year of toys, games and good times!