Friday, December 21, 2012

Need a few more ideas before Christmas... we've got some!

I know, I know... the last thing you need right now are yet more possibilities to consider for gift-giving.  But we're rather generous over here at Landis' Labyrinth, and we like to make sure that you all are as fully informed as you can possibly be!

We study the lists of "must-have" toys that nearly every news/blogger/organization write up in the months before the holidays, and usually, they are pretty spot on (Monster High was indeed a huge hit, and we are now sold out), but the one characteristic that really makes our shop truly unique is, of course, our customers!  And while you all pay attention to what's popular across the country, you definitely have favorites of your own that deserve to be listed out.  So, if you're wondering what is popular at Landis' Labyrinth this holiday season, here's a quick rundown of those items.

For the babies:
Rubbabu:  We just got this line back in stock, and we anticipate a quick sell-out based upon past sales history.  Soft, squishy, firm, and fuzzy, these toys, available in vehicles, balls, and other shapes, are a textural delight designed to entrance its young owners and encourage safe and fun play.
B-Toys: One of our favorite lines, these toys are all designed to really engage children and give them replicas of their parents' most used items, such as phones, keys, etc.  They also make some awesome musical toys like the Meowsic keyboard and microphones.  And the really cool thing is that they don't go the pink or blue route.  Every toy is a mix of colors that can appeal to both boys and girls, so if you want a more gender-neutral toy, they've got them.
Sophie the Giraffe: "The" teether to have.  Soft, squeaky, and adorable, Sophie makes both parents and babies smile.  That's really all that we need to say!

For the toddlers:
Green Toys: Made in America out of recycled plastic, this is one of the few plastic toys that 'no-plastic parents' will buy for their children.  Safe and available in a variety of vehicles, food, and bath toys, there's something here for every child.  They've gotten a lot more press in recent months thanks to some well-done campaigns on their part, and we couldn't be more thrilled that more parents are becoming aware of this brand.  They have toys starting from 6 months, and all at prices you would expect to see from a made in China brand.  Bravo, Green Toys!
Melissa & Doug: Everything they do is top-quality, and with products from classic wooden toddler toys to art to learning, it's rare to have a customer come in that does not own one of their products.  We love their wooden puzzles and responsibility charts, as well as their sticker books which offer hours of sticker-sticking fun for $5.95.
Lego Duplo Story Books: Don't be fooled by the somewhat lackluster packaging... this is one of the best products Lego has ever put out, in my opinion.  It's hard to dislike this product;  designed for 2 years and up, you get a story book with pictures in it of objects made with Lego Duplo bricks, as well as the bricks to actually make these objects.  Simple enough for a toddler to follow, this line encourages reading, following patterns, and dexterity/coordination.  Don't pass this one over!

Girls 3-10:
Calico Critters: Probably our best-selling line of toys for this age since we opened back in 2009.  The attention to detail of these animal-dolls-figures and accessories are what truly make them stand out from similar lines.  Also known as Sylvanian Families abroad, these cute critters are sure to make any little girl happy with their adorable, classic look.  And parents love them because they encourage imagination and have a timeless quality about them.  
Alex Art Kits:  Alex isn't as well-known as some of the other arts and crafts lines out there, but we love that they do craft kits that we just don't see other companies doing, like silk-screening, washable-colorable plush, and pottery.  They also have a wide range of craft kits for younger children, which can be tricky to find, so if you want something creative and unique, check out this line of arts and crafts.

 Boys 3-10:
Superheros:  Really, anything Avengers, Spider-man, or Batman-related has been flying off our walls. The Avengers and Spider-man are best for the younger children (they love Captain America even more than ice cream), and Batman has done well for some of our older customers.  We even have some of the Movie Masters action figures from The Dark Knight Rises in stock right now, so everyone in the family can enjoy some superhero fun.  For stocking stuffers, check out the 2" Avengers action figures series.  
Lego:  Well, naturally.  We have the Hobbit line in, as well as tons of City products which are great for 5+ years, Star Wars, and much more!  

Spot It: We love all of our Blue Orange Games, but Spot It is the best seller for both the company and us.  Honestly, I enjoy playing this game just as much as the 6 year olds do.  It's a great game for a ton of ages, it doesn't take up much space (it's basically a round card game in a tin), and it has 5 different ways to play so you can play for a while and not get bored.  It's all based on spotting an image before your opponents do and calling it out.  It's that simple, but when you're on the spot, it's easy to get beaten by a 6 year old.  Trust me.
Any ThinkFun game: If you're shopping for either an only child or a child that loves to solve puzzles, ThinkFun is your brand of games.  Rush Hour is our most popular, but don't overlook Turnstile or Tilt, which are great for kids who like video games as the gameplay is similar (according to our resident videogamer).  Solitaire Chess is another great game for chess-lovers... even if you already can play chess, this is basically a single-player chess game that will give you different insights on the game.  And if you're a novice, it's a great way to pick up some strategies.  
Hasbro card games of popular board games:  My personal favorites are Battleship and Monopoly Deal, but Scrabble Slam is tied with Monopoly Deal as the favorite boardgame turned card game.  Even if you love the original, it's worth getting the card game version.  Why?  It's much more portable, easier to learn, and best of all, shorter than the originals.  Monopoly Deal was redone this year to be Monopoly Deal Millionaire.  I have both, and I was very skeptical about the new version as I loved the old one, but after one round I was hooked on the Millionaire one.  It feels much more like the boardgame and the whole goal is to be the first to have one million dollars in the bank.  You can literally bankrupt a player in one round, and have them come back two rounds later to win.  It's quick, and while it can get ugly, it's a lot of fun :)
Perplexus: We just got this shop favorite back in stock TODAY!  A three dimensional puzzle ball that is both frustrating and addictive, get this game before it sells out for your favorite adult OR child.

And our favorite category, Miscellaneous!:
Cubebots: We like our puzzles, especially when they go from being a cube to a robot.  Made of wood with some elastic, these desk toys have been just enrapturing nearly every customer that has come up to our counter.  Fun to solve and hard to put down, these are great co-worker gifts or stocking stuffers.
Bozo the Clown Bop Bag: That's right, we've got him in stock!  And they aren't always available for us to order so act quickly.  
Magic 8 Ball: We always sell a ton of these right before Christmas, so we ordered a ton in the hopes that we'll have enough for you all.  
Science goodies: I remember getting loads of science kits at Christmas, and much of what we have in stock are items that most parents will remember as well.  We're getting low on them, so if you love it, buy it :)
Penny Wooden Tops: It's a wooden disk with a penny in the middle of it as a point/spinner.  This is a terrible description, but they're selling like hotcakes so they're obviously a lot better than my last sentence.
PRETTY MUCH ANY CLASSIC TOY: Paddle Balls, Jacks, Jump Ropes... if you remember playing with it as a child your child will no doubt love it as well.  Go with what you know!

Obviously, there are many, many more awesome gifts awaiting you at Landis' Labyrinth, so stop on by and see what we have that's perfect for YOUR recipientCall us at 323-465-7998 if you have any questions, and have a happy holiday and a safe new year!

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