Archive for the ‘ Favorite Things ’ Category

Exclusive: A New Elmo Toy for 2014!

Friday, January 31st, 2014

We’re excited to host the exclusive unveiling of the newest Elmo toy– Let’s Imagine Elmo. Jessica Hartshorn, Senior Lifestyle Editor at our sister magazine Parents, got a sneak peek and is our guest blogger:

Elmo is wearing many hats this year! During an Elmo the Musical segment and on episodes of Sesame Streetour furry friend dresses up as a new character each show, taking off on music- and math-filled adventures. In the toy aisle this fall, Hasbro’s new Let’s Imagine Elmo plush will play different games depending on which of three hats kids place on his head: a sea captain’s hat cues Elmo to play a “Sounds of the Sea” game; wearing the cowboy hat makes him play a “Countin’ Cowboy” game;  and donning the crown results in “Prince Elmo Says.”  The toy we got to preview was still a prototype, but it seems like the hats are easy to fit onto Elmo and that a child can goof around with setting them on his own head.

At 13 inches, Let’s Imagine Elmo is smaller than last year’s Big Hugs version, but is only two-thirds the price: he’s $40 and geared for kids ages 2 to 4. And he has all of his usual charm—even without a hat, he reacts with joy when tickled, bounced, or playfully squeezed.

As with all the previous talking Elmos, Let’s Imagine Elmo will require batteries (four AAs) and will be sold at all the major toy outlets this fall as well as Elmo loves the holidays, and we suspect little Sesame Street fans are going to love this toy!

Last fall, Elmo and Murray stopped by the Parents office to film a video series with us entitled “Sesame Street Lessons.” Here’s one of the videos:

Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends
Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends
Sesame Street Lessons: Getting Along with Friends

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Oscar Nominated Best Animated Short

Friday, January 17th, 2014

Oscar nominations were announced yesterday, and I was excited to see one of my family’s recent faves, Room on the Broom, receive a nod for Best Animated Short. Based on the picture book by Julia Donaldson (author of modern classic The Gruffalo), the quick flick tells the tale of a cheerful witch, her faithful feline companion, and three helpful animals they meet. The cat’s not so thrilled to share precious broomstick space with the new critters but finds that they must ultimately work together to save their beloved witch from a hungry dragon. The sweet soundtrack and beautifully rendered characters hooked my kids, ages 3 and 6, after just one viewing, and they’ve asked to watch the 25-minute short again and again. Given the lovely lessons the film imparts—the rewards that come from making new friends and cooperating with your peers— I’m more than happy to oblige.–Beth Honeyman, Research Chief

For more great film picks, check out all of the nominees for this year’s Academy Awards.

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Cool Pop-Up Book

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Have any Transformer fans on your holiday shopping list? If so, be sure to “roll out” and pick up a copy of Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe by Matthew Reinhart.

We love how the pop-ups bring the characters to like.

For an added bonus, check out the author’s instructions for making your own pop-up Bumblee and Optimus Prime. Transformer holiday cards, anyone?





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FamilyFun’s Toy of the Year Awards on TV

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Good Morning America aired a great segment on FamilyFun’s Top Ten Toys of the Year this weekend. Not sure who enjoyed the toys most–the reporter or the kids! In case you missed it:

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Fun LEGO Website for Families

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Our friends at LEGO have a great website for families,, which is chock-full of building directions (a Brickinstein and Brickzilla!), games (blindfolded building), and news and events (such as fire safety tips for Fire Prevention Month).


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