Monday, July 23, 2012

Are you in The Locals Club?

'Cause we are! Check us out for great deals at, or text landistoys to 90947.  We will be posting different ones from time to time, so stay in touch with us!  This is a fantastic way to shop for the best local deals. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

History of the Toy Part Two: Play-Doh

 Who doesn't feel a twinge of nostalgia when you smell a fresh can of Play-Doh?  It's one of our bestsellers, which is hardly a surprise.  Non-toxic, easy to mold, and safe for 2 years and up, it's the perfect toy for toddlers.

But, just like Coca-Cola, its original purpose was more utilitarian than fun (Coca-Cola was originally a syrup designed to relieve headaches, but since it was delicious with soda water, it became something else entirely).   Play-Doh was designed to be a wallpaper cleaner, but inventor Joseph McVicker remembered as a child loving modelling clay, but finding it difficult to use due to its stiffness.  Because his concoction was non-toxic and extremely malleable, he sent it to a friend who taught at a local school, and soon, he was supplying Play-Doh to all of the schools in Cincinnati!  One year later in 1956, he and his brother started Rainbow Crafts and began to sell Play-Doh, then only available in off-white, to Woodward & Lothrop Department Store in Washington D.C.  One year later they expanded the product to include colors (blue, red and yellow).  The formula changed slightly in the product's early years to make it even softer, but for the most part it has remained the same.  After several company mergers, in 1991 Play-Doh finally became part of the Hasbro family who still produces it today.  Play-Doh has over 871,000 fans on Facebook, and it even has its own 'day', which if you're interested is September 18th.  It just goes to show you that the simplest toys can have the most longevity and the most play value.  

Let's talk about tweens/teens...

This sounds like a PSA, but it really isn't.  It's a chance to introduce you to what we currently have for our "older" clientele... the ever-tricky-to-shop-for tween/teen.  We've gotten loads of requests for more products for them, which we will be on the hunt for in the next few weeks at the L.A. Gift Show.  But, in the meantime, don't fear... we actually do have items suitable for tweens/teens already in the shop that you may have overlooked!

Hot off the presses, we have Shwings.  What are Shwings, you ask?  They are super-cool wings that you can attach to any lace-up shoes to give your kicks some extra POW!  And they're based right out of Larchmont Village, so you're supporting local vendors by sporting these shoe accessories.  They're only $6.95. so they're a great way to re-vamp an old pair of shoes without breaking the bank.  Available in 23 different colors at both of our shops, come in and pick out your favorite (mine is gold) one and get ready to show off your shoes as never before!

 Also new to the shop, we have the ever-popular Might Wallets from Dynomighty.  Made from one piece of Tyvek paper, they are tear (as in ripping, not crying.  Okay, they are crying-free, too.) resistant, water resistant (Drew at the shop took his in the ocean and emerged triumphant with an intact, still new-looking wallet), and they have great designs.

We just did a huge reorder of Buckyballs, in the original nickle, colors, and the cubes.  These have been a big hit, but remember, these are designed for those of you who are 14 years old and up.  If you're wondering why, all you have have to do is perform a quick search online and you'll see why.  But for teens and adults, these guys are a great desk toy and will provide you with hours of fun.

We also have a line of keychains and necklaces in from Natural Life called Junk Market.  The idea is simple, we have a bunch of charms, initials, etc. that you can sort through and buy each piece individually and create your own unique necklace or keychain.  Very fun and a great gift!

If you've never heard of Lavishy, well, here's your chance.  Lavishy is a company based out of Canada that makes vegan leather wallets.  What is vegan leather?  It's not leather, but a synthetic material that mimics the feel and quality of leather without harming any animals.  It can be put in the garbage once you're done with it and it will start to decompose after about 10 years, so its impact on the environment is minimal.  Not to mention, their designs are beautiful and well-made (I have one that still looks new after 8 months).

These are just a few things that we have!  We also have great boardgames, jewelry, nail polish, keychains, and much more in store for you all.  Come in and check it out and let us know what else you'd like to see.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

History of the Toy, Part 1- Mr. Potato Head

We've had a lot of customers in lately who aren't regulars to the shop, but who just love walking around and remembering the toys they had growing up. Which gave us the idea to start posting some mini biographies of some of your favorite toys. 

First up...

Mr. Potato Head!

Yes, that really is a Mr. Potato Head set, but not the way we see them today!  Mr. Potato Head was the brainchild of George Lerner, who created essentially a bunch of pushpins with facial features/body parts that he envisioned being stuck into an actual potato to create 'Mr. Potato Head'.  Mr. Potato Head's head was an actual potato, that the lucky recipient of this kit had to provide (potatoes were not included in the kit... if you're wondering why, have you ever smelled a rotting potato?  It is disgusting.).  After shopping his creation around, he found two brothers, Henry and Merrill Hassenfeld, who loved his concept and agreed to produce it.  Their company went on to be known as Hasbro, the very same company that produces Mr. Potato Head and his good lady wife today.  This was in 1951.  A little over a decade later would come the plastic potato head/body that we can recognize today.  There have been a few revisions throughout the years, most recently last year when Hasbro put Mr. Potato Head on a diet and brought out a slimmer version of the potato we all know, but the general idea of the toy is still the same as it was over 50 years ago.  It's one of those toys that nearly every child in America has held in their hands at some point, and will go on to delight for years to come!  If you want to read more about Mr. Potato Head, I highly recommending checking out, which is probably the most comprehensive guide to Mr. Potato Head on the internet.  Have fun, and if you would like a Mr. Potato Head of your very own, stop on by Landis' Labyrinth and check out our selection of Mr. Potato Heads.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Starry rooms and suggestions

So there are two points to this post.  The first is that we have those plastic, stick on the wall with adhesive glow in the dark stars/moons.  You all have been waiting for these for a while, and we have a good amount of them in now, but if they sell as quickly as we think, they'll be gone before the summer is out!

And the second part of this is a friendly reminder to give us your suggestions for what products you want to see more of.  Especially for tween/teen products, since we haven't carried much of that before and that seems to be one of the biggest categories that people want us to expand.  So give us some ideas!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Summer Sounds for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl Giveaway!

We know how much you guys like reggae (our Putumayo Reggae Kids Playground CD is one of our best-sellers), so we're pleased to announce that we will be raffling off a family 4-pack of tickets to Summer Sounds World Music for Kids July 20th event with David Kirton performing (here's a link to his website so that you can check out his music  This is a fantastic chance to introduce your children to reggae, if they aren't already huge fans, and to experience a great performance at the Hollywood Bowl that the whole family can enjoy.  So come on in to either of our locations, spend $40.00 on some cool toys and games, and enter for your chance to win! Good luck!

PLAN on coming into Landis' Labyrinth for a line you've been asking for :)

In case the title of this didn't give it away, let's clarify.  Landis' Labyrinth is now carrying PlanToys at both shop locations.  We'd tell you why they're awesome, but I rather like their own write-up about their company, so here it is, direct from their website:

PlanToys® is proving that it is possible to maintain superior quality and safety standards in addition to following a path of environmental and social responsibility. We are committed to maintaining the highest standard of ethics while creating innovative educational toys for every developmental stage of childhood. These toys inspire children's imagination as well as promoting their physical and intellectual development. PlanToys® are made from non-toxic, natural materials such as organic rubberwood. Our toys enable children to play, learn and become closer to nature. 

PlanToys makes everything from instruments to dolls to play food.  They have a very European-feel to them, but are produced in Thailand, at a facility that is run by PlanToys.  They have total control over what they produce, and chose to produce their products where the supplies (rubberwood in particular) occur naturally.  The wood is NOT chemically-treated, and the glues and water-based paints they use are non-toxicThis is a very unique line, and one that we hope will become a must-have in our shops.