Dress Up Bratz Dolls

Celebrating over 10 years of Dress Up Bratz Dolls

Dress up Bratz dolls have stirred up more than their share of controversy.  Aside from the criticism that they are an American line that is manufactured in China, there is concern expressed by the American Psychological Association about he dolls’ sexy clothing and any effects that they can have on children.  That being said, there always has to be some people who find fault in female toys, cartoons or movie characters who happen to promote style and good looks!

Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha and Jade were re-released October 2010 for their 10th anniversary with new styles, bodies and looking better than ever.  Really, who wouldn’t want to play with these dolls?  They are glamorous!  In addition to the fabulous four clan, there are 10 new dress up Bratz dolls being Liliana, Carrie, Shira, Shadi, Leora, Ashby, Joelle, Tyla, Adri and Lydia.

Bios for the Dress Up Bratz Dolls

• Chloe – She loves to take pictures of her friends and has a down to earth and flirty personality. Chloe has tons of energy and athletic talent that she shows off playing soccer.  Her nickname is Angel which is fitting with those long blond locks and emerald green eyes and she is a vegetarian.

• Jade – Of all of the dress up Bratz dolls, Jade aka Kool Kat is the ultimate fashionista, jumping on every opportunity she has to start a new trend.  Her favorite color is green like her eyes and she has a super funny sense of humor.

• Sasha – Bossy?  Sasha is merely misunderstood.  She is just determined, confident and knows what she wants.  She enjoys confrontation if it is a meaningful argument and hopes to be a record producer one day.

• Yasmin – Referred to as the Pretty Princess, she is quiet, graceful, feminine and glamorous. She loves to explore alternative trends in beauty, fashion and fitness.

Clothing and Doll Lines

There are plenty of new and extra trendy dress up Bratz dolls to choose from this season.

• Bratz Party Dolls – This line has an abundance of hip clothing and accessories with high-heeled ankle boots, ruffled skirts, vests, hot shorts, hats and over the top jewelry.

• Passion for Fashion Dolls – These dress up Bratz dolls are more simplistic with short dresses, tights, thigh high leg warmers, denim and casual tops.

• Bratz Let’s Talk Dolls – These are the dress up Bratz dolls that you would picture walking the halls of trendy schools.  Fedoras, short skirts, high heels, legwarmers, leggings and plenty of contrasting patterns are seen in this line.

Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Barbie Dolls

Barbie Dolls Never Go Out of Style

Barbie dolls are without a doubt the most long-lived toy that has never lost its popularity.  This American fashion doll was introduced in March of 1954 by Mattel, Inc.  Barbie dolls have played a huge roll in fashion and brought smiles to girls of all ages for many years.  These toys are a staple to American culture as much as Disney World and the Statue of Liberty.  That being said, Barbie dolls have certainly received their share of controversy.

Barbie Controversies

• The main concern with Barbie dolls was always their intoxicating figure.  While most people playing with a Barbie understand that this is a toy, of course, there has to be parents that argue that an unrealistic image is being portrayed.  According to statistics, Barbie was 35 pounds underweight so finally in 1997, Mattel gave her a wider waist.

• In 1968, Christie, the first African-American Barbie was created which was followed by more in 1980.  However, consumers claimed the facial and body features were not correct so in September 2009, Mattel launched the So In Style product line to accommodate expectations.

• In 1997, Share a Smile Becky was introduced in a pink wheelchair.  A cerebral palsy sufferer argued that these Barbie dolls could not fit in the Dream House elevator so Mattel redesigned the house.

• In 2000, there were speculations that Barbie dolls were created from hard vinyl that could leak toxic chemicals.  Technical experts found this accusation to be false.

• When Totally Tattoos Barbie was created in 2009, there were unhappy parents since Mattel suggested that these temporary tattoos could be applied to both the child and the toy.  Parents argued young children would want to grow up and get tattoos.  Obviously, these children have never been to the fair or circus and had fun temporary tattoos applied for the day.

Collector’s Edition

1. Glimmer of Gold Barbie – Created by Robert Best, there are only 999 of these Barbie dolls worldwide which could explain the $1000 retail price.  This Limited Edition doll is dressed up for a very special event in an ivory cocktail dress with golden embroidery.  She belongs to the exclusive Platinum LabelTM Collection.

2. Harley Davidson Barbie – These high-priced Barbie dolls are the first of a series.  She wears faux black leather and her backpack and jacket display Harley logos.  Barbie also comes with black boots, helmet and sunglasses.

3. 50th Anniversary Collector’s Barbie – This blond bombshell features 1959 glamor with a couture twist.  She is part of the Gold Label Collection and positively stunning for her 50th birthday.

4. Barbie Kentucky Derby Dolls – These 50th anniversary Barbie dolls are part of the Pink Label Collection.  She heralds southern traditions in her party dress, tulle skirt and wide-brimmed hat. She is designed for the adult collector.

5. Glamor African American Doll – These Barbie dolls are also part of the 50th anniversary Gold Label Collection.  She has the same vintage appeal as Glimmer of Gold Barbie except she is African American. Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Buzlightyear to infinity and beyond

What Makes Buzlightyear so Special?

“To infinity…..and beyond!” is usually the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Buzlightyear.  He made his debut as being a special birthday present for Andy.  Of course, like many other toys, Buzlightyear is confused, believing he is the real deal.  Interestingly he also believes that his equipment is functional as well.  Buzlightyear takes part in many fun adventures with Woody and his other friends throughout the trilogy.

His Special Suit

It is no secret that the suit that Buzlightyear wears is part of what makes him so special.  His high-tech apparel features a control panel on his chest as well as a large red button that allows him to fly by causing his backpack to unfold and the boosters to ignite.  Thoughtfully, there are red and green lights on the sides of his wings to avoid collisions in the air.

Buzlightyear has several buttons on his suit on the right side however none seem to have one specific command.  His suit protects him against space and his helmet holds all of the oxygen that he needs for his adventure.  There is a flip-open panel on his left arm that contains a mission log.  This is also a crucial part of the uniform that made him understand that he was a toy because the words Made in Taiwan are found there.

It is unknown how many spacesuits Buzlightyear actually has and this is obvious in all of the variations with toys and collector’s items.  Certain suits come with specific weapons and some are only to be used with rescue missions.

Top Toys

1. Ultimate Buzz Lightyear – This Buzlightyear toy from Pixar comes with a pretty heavy price tag but an abundance of fun features.  He speaks both English and Spanish and can move his arms, legs and head.  Buzlightyear walks, turns, salutes, dances, shoots his arm laser and plays a target game.  He is equipped with roaming control and has an infrared remote control.

2. Blast-Off Buzz Lightyear Toy Story 3 – Here is one of the most popular Buzlightyear toys available today.  He stands about 12 inches tall, speaks 30 phrases and offers other sound effects.  He has poseable joints, a moveable head, retractable helmet, pop-out wings and he looks exactly like his character from Toy Story 3.

3. Toy Story Talking Buzz Lightyear – Created by Disney and Pixar, this 12 inch action figure is highly detailed and considered the most accurate replica.  Buzlightyear has sound effects, he lights up, moves his head when he hears you speak and is fully articulate.  This remarkable toy offers 65 phrases, has pop out wings and green trim that glows in the dark. Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Sylvanian Families

The Craze for Sylvanian Families Continues to Grow

Who could have ever imagined what a phenomenon collecting anthropomorphic plush figures known as the Sylvanian Families would become.  In 1985, Epoch, a Japanese company created these forest friends and since then, numerous companies have distributed them worldwide.

Sylvanian Families are grouped into categories of specific forest species such as bears, beavers, hedgehogs and mice that offer facial expressions and human emotions.  These charming collectibles were part of the 1990s toy craze along with Teletubbies and Beanie Babies, often selling for above retail value for rare pieces.

Most Popular Sylvanian Families

1. Henry-Lloyd Chocolate Dalmatian Family – These peculiar, brown-spotted dalmatians enjoy rowing, sailing and fishing.  The family includes mother Pippa, father Ben, sister Sarah and brother Zac.

2. Billabong Koala Family – This is one of the returning Sylvanian Families that was just reintroduced in 2010.  The set includes mother Matilda, father Rolf, sister Germane, brother Clive and the twin babies Jason and Kyle are sold separately.

3. Fisher Cat Family – This gray-striped family includes mother Isabel, father Schroeder, sister Lauren and brother Linus.  There are also new grandfather Tom and grandmother Diana pieces available that is rare and near impossible to get a hold of.  The twins Eddie and Michelle are sold separately.  This is one of the Sylvanian Families that is from the Calico Critters USA range.

4. Grunt Pig Family – This is a brand new edition to the UK range including mother Constance, father Richard, brother Hugh and sister Mary.  There are also triplets available separate under the names of Minor, Tiny and Little.

5. Waddlington Duck Family – This is another one of the popular Sylvanian Families that was reissued by popular demand.  The set includes mother Wanda, father Bill, sister Jemina and two brothers Sebastian and Quiller.

6. Fielding Field Mouse Family – New for 2010, the Fielding family includes mother Bridget, father Nancy, brother Daniel and sister Helen.

7. DeBurg Penguin Family – Not one of your traditional forest-loving Sylvanian Families but a popular choice anyway.  The set includes mother Perma, father Thaw, sister Storm, brother Frost and then baby is sold separately with a blanket and hot water bottle.

8. Buttercup Friesian Cow Family – Here’s another new family to add to the collection this year. The Buttercup family consists of mother Daisy, father Hornbull, sister Annabell and brother Paddlock.  There is also a set of twins, Fennel and Dolly that are sold separately.

9. Dappledawn Fawn Rabbit Family – Back by demand, the Dappledawn family includes mother Theodora, father Herbage, brother Raddish and sister Tily.  New editions to the family for 2010 are Cotton and Dillon, the twins.

10. Slydale Fox Family – This is another one of the Sylvanian Families that you’re going to have a challenge finding.  The Slydale family consists of mother Velvette, father Slick, sister Scarlett and brother Buster.  Sold separately are two other babies being Lindy and Skitter. Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

First Camcorder for Children

Interesting Information About the First Camcorder for Children

The first camcorder for children was introduced by Fisher-Price in 1987.  The Deluxe PXL 2000 Camcorder System was priced right around $200 and well received by New York City’s American International Toy Fair.  At this annual extravaganza, the showing of the first camcorder for children was such a success that retailers remained sold out for the entire calender year.

Marketing

Fisher-Price spent an aggressive $3 million on ad campaigns for this toy that included a 30 second commercial that appeared on Nickelodeon cable and network television.  Also included in promoting the first camcorder for children were print ads in People, Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time Magazine.  While most toys are marketed toward women buyers, Fisher-Price concentrated on targeting men since it has been found that fathers are primarily responsible for buying electronics, especially in separated or divorced families.

Description

The first camcorder for children was black and white and used compact audio cassettes.  When the systems finally became available in retail stores, they were sold two different ways.  One version included the camera, blank tape and power supply while the other included a 4.5 inch portable white and black television to use as a monitor.  Other accessories could also be purchased such as extra cassettes, carrying case and cassette holders.

An audio cassette mechanism, infrared filter, spherical lens, custom ASIC and ACCD image sensor were the main components of the first camcorder for children.  The fixed focus was actually of pretty decent quality.

The camera’s design was put together neatly and user friendly for a child with an effective but unusual grip.  Along the underside are where you find the main cassette controls including play, record, rewind and stop/eject.  The lens is a fixed-focus, allowing the only picture control to be a filter that in bright light can be moved to block the lens.

There is no in-camera playback but the viewfinder is easily connected to its monitor or a home television.  It runs on 6 AA batteries however, external power supply is also an option.

Quality

The pictures resulting from the first camcorder for children are pixelated and grainy and suffer from trailing if the subject happens to move too quickly.  It was reported that many children found the images scary and ghost-like.

Underground Uses

In the 1990s, the first camcorder for children saw a rebirth in popularity with underground amateur filmmakers.  The trailing, grainy image provides for a dream-like weird quality that became something of a cult.

Major film makers including Michael Almarayda and Richard Linklater have used the PXL cameras for their productions.  Because of the cult status linked with this first camcorder for children, they have become somewhat of a collector’s item, often selling for over $500 in auctions. Find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Older Top 10 Best Games

Top 10 older Best Games

What are some of the older best games from a few years back?  If you are asking yourself this because you are trying to decide which one to buy as a gift, join the millions of other confused people wondering the same thing everyday of the year!

1. Halo: Reach – This was a top-pick for Xbox Christmas past.  Players take to the skies using new weapons and jet packs in attempt to defend Reach, the alien world, from the evil covenant soldiers.  This is a first person shooter, fast-paced game with multiplayer option.  Diehard fans should opt for the Legendary Edition with plenty of extras.

2. God of War 3 – PlayStation 3 players put this at the top of the list for best games for  2010.  Players take a heart-pounding path through mythology.  Kratos is quite irritated with the gods and decides to stir up a little trouble.

3. Kinect – This new accessory and assortment of dance, sports and adventure is expected to be the next big thing as players move around by using their body, not a controller.

4. Final Fantasy XIII – This role playing game has not lost its popularity.  Every release seems to draw more and more fans.  Skye and her crew battle villains, monsters and gods.  This game is complex so a strategy guide is highly recommended.

5. La Noire –  La Noire features a setting and graphics that are truly unparalleled.  It is set in Los Angeles in the 1950s where players role play as detectives to solve challenging crimes.

6. Heavy Rain – If you are looking for a really different gaming experience, this is it!  The storyline can be emotional and main characters can die and you have to deal with it.  Heavy Rain is for gamers who are really looking for an experience unlike any other.

7. Madden 11 – The best games for 2010 list wouldn’t be complete without a new edition to the Madden collection.  It features team rankings, rosters and updated graphics.  This is a great game for all age groups.

8. Rock Band 3 – In addition to new instrumentation, the previous titles are compatible.  An unbelievable 83 songs are being added to the list.  They aren’t changing much, just adding a whole lot more fun.

9. Call of Duty: Black Ops – This game picks up where Modern Warfare 2 left off.  Black Ops take you through secret missions where vehicles are now a requirement, not an option.

10. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood –  Ezio has become a master assassin, exterminating some well-known historical figures.  He has moved to Rome and gives you the ability to pick your assassins to complete tasks. find more at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Lego Halos

Why Aren’t There Any Lego Halos?

While there are not any official Lego Halos, that hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from finding a way to create figures, weapons, warthogs and flamethrowers out of basic Lego building blocks.  Gamers who have enjoyed the Halo video game series can bring their favorite elements to life using the same toys that they played with when they were young.

Sources suggest that Lego Halos have never been created because Lego feels the story line and characters are just to violent for kids however, that seems to raise confusion on why they have a Star Wars and Indiana Jones series.  There were rumors several years ago about a Lego Halo video game for Xbox but nothing ever came from it.

Lego Halos Imports

Since Lego did not answer the requests for Lego Halos, Medicom, a Japanese company certainly did.  This imported rare collection can be found in small quantities at Amazon and Ebay.  It is a box set of four Master Chiefs from the Halo 3 video game.  This package includes white, steel, gold and green versions of Spartan Master Chief, with every figure standing less than three inches tall.

Make Your Own

Of course, this small imported box set of Lego Halos is not enough to keep fans happy.  The trilogy has been made into numerous comic books and novels and continues to inspire illustrators and writers who love the game.  You can use these print forms as a guide to create your own collection of Lego Halos.

Build your own battle unit, create customized scenes and design action figures with the vehicles, weapons and equipment you choose.  You can even construct your own Mega Structure to complete you Lego Halos set.

You can find step by step instructions and videos online, helping you create Lego Halos or you can simply figure it out yourself.  All you need to do is get yourself your own set of Lego and start building!

Mega Bloks Halo Wars

Since the world’s favorite brand hasn’t given in to the endless demands for Lego Halos, you may be interested in Mega Bloks Halo Wars that was released by a Canadian toy company.

They are quite similar to Lego and have an extremely large Halo line that exploded in popularity in 2009.  Their line includes a multitude of Halo characters and props including UNSC Turret, Spartan mini figures, Covenant Ghost Assault Vehicle. Warthog, M68 Gauss Canno. Find more great deals at Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Warcraft Cataclysm

Release of Warcraft Cataclysm

The third expansion set for World of Warcraft, an online role-playing game has been developed with a ton of new surprises.  This expansion will be made available as a Collector’s Edition, Standard Edition or as a download from Blizzard’s online store.

The Story Behind Warcraft Cataclysm

There is an ancient evil lying dormant in the Elemental Plane of the Earth.  Deathwing, a corrupted dragon, has been hidden away there in a very secluded sanctuary, slowly recovering from this battle wounds, previously inflicted in Azeroth.  Here he sits with his hatred growing for those who infest the surface realm, waiting patiently until he can cover the world in molten fire.

Deathwing is planning his return to Azeroth and as Horde and Alliance charge to Cataclysm’s epicenter, Azeroth’s kingdoms will feel a shift in power.  Players will have the opportunity to re-experience zones that they have become familiar with such as the Eastern Kingdoms, finding new adventures.

Why the Revisit?

The Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor have always been important to the World of Warcraft and so they shall remain hosting lands to Warcraft Cataclysm.  Although players may recognize the area, the gameplay is completely unique.  You may revisit a familiar zone that the Cataclysm has destroyed to find new development, yet you will still know you have previously been to the area before.

New Features of Warcraft Cataclysm

• Level Cap at 85 – Tap into new talents and learn new abilities.  The raised level allows players to improve their characters.

• High-Level Zones – There are new parts of the world to explore including Grim Batol, Uldum and Sunken City beneath the Sea.

• New Races – Two new races are available in Warcraft Cataclysm.

• Raid Content – This expansion has the highest level of raid content with more challenging encounters as add options.

• Guild Advancement – Earn guild levels and achievements.

• Flying Mounts – Explore the Eastern Kingdoms and Kalimdor like never before.

• Archaeological – In Warcraft Cataclysm you have the opportunity to master a secondary profession to earn unique rewards and find valuable artifacts.

• Seven New Dungeons – Grim Batol, the Halls of Origination, the Lost City, the Vortex Pinnacle, the Stonecore, Throne of the Tides and Blackrock Caverns are the seven new dungeons waiting to be explored.

• New Towns – There are an abundance of new towns and roughly 3,500 new quests that will be found in Warcraft Cataclysm. See more in Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews.

Benefits of Using Strategy Guides

The Benefits of Using Strategy Guides

While playing a video game through the first time blind is exciting and challenging, you simply have to agree that using strategy guides is the only way to unlock a game’s full potential.  Of course, you may choose to use them the first time that you approach the game to finish before all of your friends too!

Using strategy guides empowers you with all of the hints for every solution to unlock every level, weapon, prize and character.  Quite often, it is like playing a game over for the first time because so much can be missed on the initial run.

Strategy Guides vs Walkthroughs

There seems to be a little confusion on using strategy guides vs walkthroughs.  While a walkthrough can be helpful in assisting you through that screen you can’t get past, they are not official and do not contain everything that you need to know about the game.  They are simply written by helpful, advanced gamers who have cleared the game and can offer a bit of guidance to others.

On the other hand, using strategy guides that are marketed as official are created by the game distributor who knows every detail of the game.  After all, isn’t playing video games all about comparing your game with your friends and bragging about accomplishments?  There is no way your friends can know how to unlock and find certain things unless they are using strategy guides as well.  Therefore, there is a good chance that you could be the only person who knows all of the secrets of the game!

Contents

While using strategy guides may vary from game to game, there are some typical contents that most will provide.

• A map of the entire game that displays where every item is found, even the hidden ones.

• Very detailed game-play information.  You will usually find maneuvers or combination moves that you probably would not figure out if you weren’t using strategy guides.

• Instruction in great detail for how to address every location.

• Puzzle explanations and how to solve them.

• Enemy details including their weapons, powers, tricks, maneuvers and how to beat them.

• A checklist of all of the collectable items.  Of course, the more you collect, the more interesting the game becomes.

• Thorough walkthroughs of every level.  If you memorize these you can really show off to your friends!

• Strategy advice for multi-player function.

Using strategy guides just takes any game to a whole new level.  They are also a great idea to pick up if you have an older game that you’re already cleared, it’s almost like playing a whole new game again when you unlock all of the secrets! See more in Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews

Toy Story 3 Video Game

Toy Story 3:  The Best Video Game Yet

Released on June 15, 2010, the Toy Story 3 video game is full of adventure to satisfy any age player.  If you are a fan of the movie Toy Story 3, you will enjoy playing this game in story mode but don’t overlook the opportunity to check the game out in toy box mode as well for a sandbox full of surprises to play with.

While the first Toy Story game was limited with its available platforms, Toy Story 3 is found on Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, Wii, Sony PSP and Windows Vista/XP.  Developed by Avalanche Software, enthusiasts have certainly welcomed the impressive graphics in the game.

Should you choose to start the game in story mode, you have the ability to play as Buzz, Woody or Jesse with each character offering their own playing style.  In this mode, there are eight platform levels with every one bringing a fresh set of graphics.  Each level is very distinct from the others with a generous amount of achievements to be awarded and collectibles to find.

While the Toy Story 3 video game is not exactly like the movie, you do have the chance to visit many of the same places as well as meet quite a few of the characters.  Most have reported that a few of these scenes in story mode may be a bit challenging for some of the younger players so parents should be prepared to help a bit.

Toy box is the other play mode of the game that opens the way to a new world and allows your imagination to soar free.  This mode does not at all follow the story line of the movie but rather is based around the intriguing idea of how an environment is perceived by toys while someone is playing with them.

There are an abundance of activities to participate in while you play toy box mode such as finding hundreds of collectibles, complete different missions for various characters, customize buildings and people, race in an assortment of vehicles and more.

As long as you’re not in a hurry to complete a mission, you are always able to customize and decorate the town however you please as well as alter costumes worn by the townspeople.  If you are a fan of the Toy Story 3 movie, you’ll be  pleasantly surprised with the many familiar faces you’ll encounter.

Toy Story 3 is an ideal game for the family.  It is basically an open world playground beginning in the Wild West Town.  Choose who you want to be sheriff and then watch for characters like Hamm the Piggybank and Slinky Dog to give you missions.  Complete missions earn you plenty of rewards and when you’ve cleared the game, you can start over as a different character. Dublin Dun Laoghaire Reviews