10 Hot Toys That Changed the Way People Play

January 1st, 2018

The Fingerling Monkey may be this year’s hottest toy, but its popularity is far from unparalleled. A new must-have toy seems to arrive every holiday season. Richard Gottlieb, the chief executive of Global Toy Experts and publisher of Global Toy News, discussed some of the Hot Toys like the Fingerling’s craze-making predecessors over the last generation.

Popular toys are often like comets across the sky, drawing attention quickly and fading just as fast. “A good fad is about eight months from explosion to collapse,” Mr. Gottlieb said. While few toys outlast the initial hype, the ones he listed have endured as cherished memories from childhood and helped shape play time expectations long after they left the shelves.

They were also big business. Mr. Gottlieb ranked the toys below based on the impact each had on the industry, indicating when they became major hits in the United States. “These products,’’ Mr. Gottlieb said, “became cultural touchstones.”

Beanie Babies Hot Toys

A collection of Beanie BabiesCreditSuzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

1993

Hot Toys #1 Beanie Babies

These pellet-stuffed animals, Mr. Gottlieb said, had an outsize cultural and financial impact. “It became an investment portfolio if you will,” he said.

He described how the company voluntarily limited supplies of these Hot Toys, leading to long lines of customers whenever a store got a fresh shipment. But the bubble quickly burst.

“Lots of people invested a lot of money and time,’’ he said, “but it wound up being worth virtually nothing, what a used plush animal would be worth.”

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Cabbage Patch Kids Hot Toys

Cabbage Patch Kids are shown on display in Boston in 1983. CreditElise Amendola/Associated Press

1983

Hot Toys #2 Cabbage Patch Kids

“It wasn’t a pretty doll, they were strange looking.” Mr. Gottlieb said, “Maybe there’s some appeal to the imperfect for us, because it’s who we are.”

Although these Hot Toys may have appealed to people’s humanity, they did not always bring out the best in shoppers.

“There were fistfights in the stores,’’ he said. “Big, big fights. People were nuts.”

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Super Soaker Hot Toys

Super Soaker’s added a more powerful dimension to the concept of a water gun.CreditAndy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal, via Associated Press

1992

Hot Toys #3 Super Soaker

“Super Soaker I think was revolutionary in outdoor play. It took the water gun to a whole new level.”

The thrill was in the power, Mr. Gottlieb said. “I just remember people were blasting the hell out of somebody with a heavy stream of water.” And now, he said, that enthusiasm is much the same for these hot toys. “People still get excited about the latest, most powerful water gun.”

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Razor Scooter Hot Toys

Jake Smith, 16, of Queens rides his Razor Scooter June 1, 2000 in New York City.CreditChris Hondros/Newsmakers, via Getty Images

2000

Hot Toys #4 Razor Scooter

Mr. Gottlieb said he still sees people riding these metal scooters to work today. Although they have had some staying power, they also represent the dangers of a product getting too popular, too quickly.

Early customers wanted more than retailers could stock, but that trend reversed after the first holiday rush. “You would go into stores and just see pallets and pallets of these hot toys, and it was over.”

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Transformers Hot Toys

A woman shops for Transformers toys, made by Hasbro, in New York in 2009.CreditShannon Stapleton/Reuters

1984

Hot Toys #5 Transformers

“It was a really cool form of play,” Mr. Gottlieb said. Transformers could be manipulated in ways that other hot toys could not. “It’s double the pleasure.”

Since their release, Hasbro has kept the brand alive by expanding the Transformers universe. “It really created an entire category,” he said.

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Bratz Dolls Hot Toys

Bratz dollsCreditMGA Entertainment/Associated Press

2001

Hot Toys #6 Bratz

These dolls, Mr. Gottlieb said, signaled an awareness that dolls that are blonde and white are “not reflective of the culture that we have anymore.”

Some parents criticized Bratz for wearing clothes they viewed as sexualized, but Mr. Gottlieb said sex appeal was not the reason the dolls had staying power. Rather, these hot toys became so popular because America was becoming more diverse, and children wanted to play with a doll that looked more like they did.

“Bratz is the only doll that really ever challenged Barbie.”

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Pokemon Hot Toys

Two friends hold up their favorite Pokemon trading cards in 1999.CreditCharles Krupa/Associated Press

1999

Hot Toys #7 Pokémon

“It started in what I like to call the schoolyard social network” in the United States. Several years after its start in video games in Japan, the Pokémon craze in America centered around groups of children who collected and traded the cards, and local merchants who catered to them, Mr. Gottlieb said.

“I can just remember going to retail stores and they’d have signs in the window saying, ‘we have Pokémon cards,’‘‘ he said. “It was that popular.”

The brand is having a renaissance now, thanks to the Pokémon Go augmented reality app. “I don’t think in some ways, we want to give up these things we loved in childhood, but we’re told as adults that we’re not supposed to be so enthusiastic. The augmented reality gave permission to re-embrace.”

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Tickle Me Elmo Hot Toys

A Tickle Me Elmo doll in New York.CreditBebeto Matthews/Associated Press

1996

Hot Toys #8 Tickle Me Elmo

Elmo was already a television celebrity when Rosie O’Donnell brought these hot toys onto the set of her talk show. “People just went nuts,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “They loved the way it had that chuckle.”

At the height of its popularity it also drew crowds at retailers. “I’m sure somebody got punched in the nose over Elmo, but I really don’t remember.”

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Teddy Ruxpin Hot Toys

Teddy Ruxpin combined technology and the cuteness of a stuff animal. CreditPRNewsFoto/BackPack Toys

1985

Hot Toys #9 Teddy Ruxpin

“Teddy Ruxpin was kind of the first animatronic plush animal,” Mr. Gottlieb said. Although it was somewhat unreliable at first — about half of the early versions failed and were returned by customers — it broke the mold for how hot toys and technology could mix.

“Technology, part of that was always seen as hard, but teddy bears were soft,’’ Mr. Gottlieb said. “The combination of those things was fairly radical, as well as the notion that technology could be cute and emotionally engaging.”

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Magic the Gathering Card Game Hot Toys

Students, from left, Nick Horne, 6th grade, and Jason Curtis, 7th grade, play the game “Magic: The Gathering” in their free time at The American Boychoir School in Princeton.CreditAaron Houston for The New York Times

1993

Hot Toys #10 Magic: The Gathering

This fantasy-style card game had intricate rules and a huge number of possible paths to the final win-or-lose outcome, and helped bring a small gaming subculture into the mainstream. “It’s a little bit of an outrider, but I included it because it was a real popularizer of the concept of the Dungeons and Dragons gameplay to a wider audience,” Mr. Gottlieb said.

Mr. Gottlieb said that the game genre grew in popularity thanks partly to “Magic.” The play format continues to attract people today.

Original Source of this post is the New York Times.

Star Wars Gifts

December 11th, 2017

With Star Wars The Last Jedi Movie opening on December 15th, you are probably looking for Star Wars inspired gifts? We have been working with Yoda Santa and have summoned the force to bring you some fun and geeky gifts!

yoda-santa

Star Wars Gifts!

May the Force be with all aspiring Jedi cooks as Yoda, Darth Vader and R2-D2–shaped cookie cutters can create 30 sweet and savory treats with the Star Wars Cookbook – Wookiee Pies, Clone Scones, and Other Galactic Goodies!

Star Wars Cookbook at Danna Bananas

Isn’t this cool? The Star Wars Death Star Ice Mold lets you create ice spheres that are shaped like the 360 degree Death Star as featured in Star Wars Episode 4.

Star Wars Death Star Ice Mold Glass at Danna Bananas

 

May the force of the holiday season be with you!

 

Celebrating Kitschmas

December 4th, 2017

Are you looking for the perfect Kitschmas gift for a friend or family member? Well, we have something for you.  This gift is not only kitschy but funny, memorable and believe it or not functional too. The Water into Wine Drink Makers make a great novelty Christmas gift for your wine loving family member or friends. We all need a drinking buddy especially one who is kind to all.

It’s not always easy to remember “whose glass is whose” when enjoying a glass of wine or two(wink) with friends or family.  This festive drinking buddy will protect your drink and keep track of it’s whereabouts. Also, they will ward off the beverage smugglers.

It’s always a party with the giggle inducing drinking buddy!

 

Remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

 

 

Water into Wine Drink Markers for Kitschmas

Ride With the Queen

November 28th, 2017

Congratulations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on your royal engagement! The worst kept secret has become official. It is just been announced that May, 2018 will be the big month for the royal wedding. With the wonderful news that poured out to the world yesterday, why not ride with the Queen and have a heart to heart with Queen Elizabeth about the forth-coming royal nuptials?

Ride With The Queen

Ride With The Queen Car Sticker

 

Nobody wants to be alone in their car. Chauffeur the Queen of England around town and be giddy about the happy couple together. Simply peel off the car sticker and place the Queen’s head on the exterior rear passenger window. Your Majesty will sit on the rear side. Ride with The Queen will attract a lot of attention so make sure your car is sparkling clean.

The Ride With The Queen Car Decal will have everyone doing a double take and will evoke a lot of rip roaring chuckles. To greet the Queen, one must curtsy.  Be prepared for people curtsying on street corners as you drive by with the monarch. One more piece of advice, a spot of tea is recommended for your joy ride.

The Ride With the Queen car sticker makes a great Christmas Gift for the monarchist in your life. Check out more hilarious Christmas gift ideas at Danna Bananas.

Secret Santa Gift Ideas

November 21st, 2017

They see you when you’re slacking. They know when you come in late. They know if you’ve been bad or good so be good for your work’s Secret Santa exchange.”

Tis’ the Season for the annual Secret Santa gift exchange

Do you have an office holiday party or other Christmas party to attend where you need to give a Secret Santa gift? Danna Bananas has compiled a list of gift ideas and yes we checked it twice. We have a plethora of Secret Santa Gift Ideas that are very gift-worthy and will suit all ages.  From fun to functional to funny and off beat…everything in between, Danna Bananas has you covered. Your secret Santa problems are solved here! Your co-workers, freinds and family members will definitely approve with apeeling glee.

Fun Secret Santa Gift Ideas

 Christmas Trivia Card Game

This game is the perfect game to brush up on your Christmas trivia facts such as, “All of the other reindeer, how many are there?”  Since this game is compact, it can pack nicely with all the other holiday gifts to travel to grandma’s house or your Uncle Bob’s abode.

Christmas Trivia Card Game for your Secret Santa

Ugly Xmas Sweater Drink Markers

It is a familiar problem, you have a sip, you wonder off to gab and then you forget where you left your drink. Since these drink markers are so ugly, your festive cocktail will definitely stand out in the crowd.

Ugly Xmas Sweater Drink Markers for your Secret Santa

 

Top Spin Pizza Cutter

Yum! We all love pizza, right? And who doesn’t like the sound of music emitting from a turn table?  Let’s give a round of applause to the genius who invented the Top Spin Pizza Cutter. They merged our love of pizza and music and created this cheesy kitchen gadget.

Top Spin Pizza Cutter for your Secret Santa

This is just a sample of gifts. These can also stuff your stockings. Remember you want fun, unique and memorable stocking stuffers that will create a face of awe!

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town! Yes, you Read right!

November 15th, 2017

Let’s gear up for the Ho Ho Holidays!

Halloween has passed and we remembered who died in the line of duty on November 11th.

It is safe to say, we can Make Spirits Bright, Deck The Halls and last but not least: Welcome Jolly Old Saint Nicholas to town!

The Toronto Santa Claus Parade is on Sunday November 19th in person at 12:30. The Original Santa Claus Parade has been an exciting must see jolly, festive event for 113 years. There are floats, bands and happy clowns. There are also letter carriers collecting letters written to Santa. If you can’t adorn your red nose in person, you can always catch it on CTV at 4:30.

“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”

“You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
He’s making a list,
He’s checking it twice,
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town…”
You too can get into the spirit of the season with our festive wares. We have ideas for the whole family: Young, the young at heart and the old(er) wiser folks too.

Santa Claus Approved Gifts

Ho Ho, the Emergency Santa Kit will instantly turn anyone into the jolly old man.

Emergency Santa Clause Kit at Danna Bananas

 

The Santa Mustache Pacifier will turn your little one into Santa Baby. It is BPA free.

Santa Claus Mustache Pacifier at Danna Bananas

Create the most famous reindeer scene of all with Rudolph Reindeer and the original misfits. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Snowland is based on the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer TV special which includes 19 characters and comes in a cute collectible tin.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer from Santa Clause and Danna Bananas

Movember

November 9th, 2017

Movember

 

Movember 2017 is Here!

Mobros and Mosistas read on!  November is here which means put away your razors and let your hair grow in and grow that moustache. It’s time to raise money for prostate cancer and raise people’s awareness about men’s health issues as cancer sucks.

At the end of the month before we shave off our mustaches, we want to plan a celebration and honour your growth achievements.  We can celebrate our manly or womanly (women can participate too) endeavors by having a big party! If you are looking to have your very own Movember themed party then Danna Bananas is the place to find your Novelty Mustache Party Favours.

You will want to celebrate your great growth efforts with some celebratory spirits. This cool Mustache Ice Cube Tray will fit right into your Movember themed party and keep your drinks stylish and on trend.

Mustache Ice Cube Tray for Movember

 

Party games make parties more fun and memorable. It’s like Barrel of Monkeys but with staches! For the win,  how about a moustache themed game called Bucket Of Moustaches?

Bucket of Moustaches Game for Movember

 

 

As for some party food, make a batch of  Munchstaches Cookies. Mustaches aren’t usually tasty but the Munchstaches Cookie Cutters will change your mind and sweeten up the night even more. When your cookie dough is rolled out, stamp them with one of these five different kinds of mustaches: “The Wooford”, “The Imperial”, “The Walrus”, “The Bristle Brush” and the “The Baron”.

Mustache Cookie Cutters for Movember

Of course when you are planning a party, you need to decorate and Stache Up things up a little! The Great Moustaches Magnet Set will attract some hair raising attention. Add some mustachio pizzazz to your photos.

 

Moustache Magnet Set for Movember

 

Get growing! Participants collect donations from family, friends or work-mates for their efforts. Participate at Movember Canada.

 

Taco Tuesday!

November 6th, 2017

Happy Taco Tuesday Eve!

Let’s Taco ‘Bout it…this Mexican food staple!

Stuffing your tortilla with tons of scrumptious toppings like salsa, guacamole and veggies puts a smile on most people’s bellies.

Tacos are not only nutritious, delicious but an easy work week meal idea as planning what to eat is a tedious task. You can eat them with meat or without – it’s whatever your tummy desires. As for vegetarian tacos, there are a lots of recipe ideas that substitute meat with fish or beans.

Here is the problem: You prepare your fillings, you stuff your shells and then voila…the TACO falls over, everything spills out and your shell cracks in half. Not a good start to dinner and not only is this frustrating for you, but imagine how little ones feel.

The Tricerataco Taco Holder will save the day, we mean your meal. Kids and kids at heart will roar with approval.

I bet you never expected an extinct dinosaur would assist you in the kitchen. This BPA Free Tricera TACO Dinosaur Taco Holder stands on four stable legs and is ready to be stuffed with your favourite toppings. No need to go back for seconds as it will carry not one but two tacos.

With the holidays fast approaching, you maybe looking for some Christmas Gift Ideas, foodie gifts at that.

Never say no to Taco Tuesdays with this taco holder!

Tricera TACO Taco Holder

Day of the Dead

October 23rd, 2017

Every year, Day of the Dead is celebrated around the world on November 1st and 2nd but the holiday itself originated from the Mexican culture with many rituals and traditions marking this day and commemorating the dead is a true celebration of life.

The belief is to remember and honour your deceased loved ones.

“The gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.”

On this day, there is a big fiesta with lots of food, drinks and feting.

Candles, flowers skulls and photos of loved ones decorate altars. Drinks are mixed as quenching the thirst of the dead after their spirits return is practiced. Favourite meals and sweets of the deceased are placed on the altar as well.

 For the sweet offering, why not bake up a batch of skulled themed cookies.  The Sweet Spirits Cookie Cutters are great for your Day of the Dead celebrations.
This cookie cutter set comes in 4 spirited colours: blue, green, orange and purple.

 


Day of the Dead cookies

Wonder Woman

October 4th, 2017

The top grossing movie of summer of 2017 was Wonder Woman. It raked in $406,838,875. Probably many people didn’t predict this movie would hold the top crown but when you have a summer of sequels, let’s face it, audiences just want fresh material.  Not only was the lead a female (Gal Gadot) but it was written and directed by a female (Patty Jenkins) as well. Way to go ladies!

Being a fan of the original TV show that aired from 1975 to 1979, I knew it would be awesome and it even exceeded my expectation.

This is how the movie should have ended laugh out loud…spoiler alert: If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t click on the video below:

How Wonder Woman Should End

This isn’t the only Wonder Woman movie taking over the box office this year. Another one that is set to release is called Professor Marston and the Wonder Women. Not knowing much about the roots of Wonder Woman, this is “The unconventional life story of Dr. William Marston, Harvard psychologist and inventor, and the relationship between his wife and his lover, who became her lover after his death, that inspired the iconic super heroine Wonder Woman.”

Wonder Woman Trailer

Wonder Woman Gifts

With Wonder Woman being so popular and if you are Christmas shopper keener and are looking for Christmas Gift Ideas and Stocking Stuffers, you may want to buy some Christmas Gifts that are Wonder Woman inspired. Here at Danna Bananas, we have put together some holiday gift suggestions.

1. Wonder Woman Through The Years Mug: The Wonder Woman Through The Years Mug pays tribute to the most adored female superhero, Wonder Woman, by displaying her character’s evolution through the years, from classic to contemporary. This mug is bright, colorful and made out of glossy ceramic. It features comic-book artwork.

Wonder Woman Through the Years Mug at Danna Bananas

2. This Calls For Wonder Woman Heat Change Mug: This Calls for the Wonder Woman Transforming Mug to the rescue! This mug, when hot liquid is poured into it, will transform Diana Prince into the Amazonian princess, Wonder Woman! Perfect for any comic book fan.

Wonder Woman Heat Change Mug at Danna Bananas

3. DC Comics Dress Up Napkins: Are you a super slob that needs to protect your wardrobe? Even if you are not, meals will be more entertaining and clean too with these DC Superhero Napkins: Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman and Robin. Tuck one into your shirt and become your DC superhero, they need to eat too.

Wonder Woman Napkins at Danna Bananas

 

Good news…just in case you were wondering, Wonder Woman 2 is due out in 2019.