December 1, 2015

#WildKratts LIVE! Giveaway Winners

Just in time for the holidays, here are the winners of my giveaway for tickets to Wild Kratts LIVE! in Florida:

Congratulations! Enjoy the show!

If you did not win but still want to purchase tickets, there are five stops planned for the Sunshine State in 2016:
Meet and greet opportunities are handled by the individual theaters. They are sometimes included in a VIP package, and other times require a separate purchase from show tickets. Click on the links above to learn more for your specific location.

Thank you to every one who entered, especially those who contributed to the fantastic Wild Kratts fan photo album. I loved seeing your kids and the cool animals you encounter in your daily lives. Keep on creature adventuring!

November 25, 2015

#WildKratts Toy Review 2 - The Tortuga, Aviva Creature Power Suits and more are here!

To say my six year-old daughter was excited about the opportunity to review more Wild Kratts toys would be a major understatement. It was all I could do to hold her back while I rushed to snap a few photos of the packaging.

No sooner had I done so than she and my husband ripped into the boxes and got down to the business of playing with all the goodies. I had to drag them away for dinner. I've lost count of all the different Wild Kratts episodes that have been acted out in our home over the past several days.

I love these new additions to the Wild Kratts toy line for all the reasons I did the initial offering:
  • They promote imaginative play
  • They incorporate well with existing toys
  • They function as stand alone toys
As for each of the individual items, you can see them in detail along with my daughter's reaction and my thoughts as a parent in our review video or read on below for a high level overview...

Tortuga Play Set 

I can sum this item up in one word - AWESOME! It is basically the ultimate toy for Wild Kratts fans. It is very lifelike. A great replica of the Tortuga seen on the show. It has a lot of cool features. Is well constructed. And just plain fun. This toy leads to hours of imaginative role play. It is a huge hit in our home, and I can't imagine any Wild Kratts fan not enjoying it. My video review takes a look at all the special features up close, so be sure to watch.

In the video I mention, "glass" several times. Just want to clarify there is no actual glass on this product. It is all plastic. Some of which looks like glass. That is what I meant.

10 Pack Gift Set

As I mention in the video review, I consider this to be an essential item for any personal Wild Kratts toy collection. Along with the Tortuga, it enables hours of play. The whole Wild Kratts gang is included: Chris, Martin, Aviva, Koki and Jimmy. It also includes the villains from the show and a couple of animals with matching creature power discs. These figurines are made from a flexible material. They are bendable and, as my daughter discovered, breakable (story in the video). Fortunately, a little super glue and we were back in business.

Combined with the gazillion animal figurines and toys we already have in this house, we could act out or make up an episode of Wild Kratts in our house every day for months.

Adventure Set

Finally, somewhere to store all those small, plastic creature power discs! I was very excited about that. And my daughter loves the "night vision" goggles. The waist pack is far too large for her, even at the smallest adjustment. I'm not sure who it is supposed to fit. But, she likes to carry it as a purse, so it's all good.

Aviva Creature Power Suit

I did not talk about this item in detail in the video. We reviewed a creature power suit last time around. And I think most Wild Kratts fans are familiar with them by now. SB was very excited about an Aviva suit coming out. As a parent, I love Aviva. She is an excellent role model for young girls (and just a fun character in general).

One thing I did notice is the size of the suit has changed. The body is bigger, both in length and width:

The gloves are actually smaller:

When we received a Chris creature power suit last year, my feedback to the company was that they needed to expand their size offerings. The one from our last review no longer fits my child now that a year has passed. The new one fits well, and has room for growth.

However, given the very wide age range of fans the show has, I really feel taking a, "one-size-fits-most" approach (that is the verbiage used online in the item description) is a mistake. It just does not work for apparel. They should have multiple size offerings on this item. Definitely for toddlers and youth. And, I've heard some people say they would love adult sizes. I might wear one of these if they came in my size...

So those are our thoughts on some of the new Wild Kratts toys. We definitely recommend them for the Wild Kratts fans in your life!

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my awesome giveaway. I've got tickets for all five Florida locations where Chris and Martin will be performing live in 2016! You can enter through November 30. Winners will be announced December 1! Five lucky winners will be able to present tickets to Wild Kratts Live to their favorite fans for the holidays! And speaking of the holidays...

It's finally here! The premiere of WILD KRATTS: A CREATURE CHRISTMAS is today on PBS! Check your local listings for details! 

Encore presentations on Nov 26, 27, 28 & 29; Dec 7, 18, 20, 24 & 25

Disclaimer: I received samples of Wild Kratts toys in exchange for this review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. See full disclosure statement here.

November 18, 2015

Race Around The World With The #WildKratts - A Review

I had known for some time our favorite TV show, Wild Kratts, would be coming out with additions to its toy line from Wicked Cool Toys this fall. As I was browsing the new selection online recently, I was surprised to learn there is a also new board game from Pressman Toys.

In Race Around The World, players move through a variety of habitats, trying to receive creature power suits and discs for each one. Collect them all and get back to the Tortuga first, and you win!

SB has played the game regularly since we received it and really enjoys it. And we have had fun playing together as a family.

But in order to garner feedback from more members of the game's target audience, we decided to have a few of SB's friends over to play. We invited kids age 4-8 who we know are enthusiastic Wild Kratts fans to come over and check it out.

In preparation for the get together, we modified some of the great ideas we found in this post from PBS on hosting a Wild Kratts-themed party. SB had blast making our version of the lion veggie dip:

And after the kids had played Race Around The World, we went out on the deck to enjoy some delicious dirt cups!

We had two groups of players at our party. The younger ones had a hard time getting started because they found it tedious to listen to all the rules. They played with the assistance of their moms.

The older players just let my daughter explain how the game works, and decided they would refer to the instructions if they ran into any snags or had questions along the way. They had fun playing, and had completed a round of the game before the younger group even got started.

The kids all loved getting to be one of the characters from the show. The girls were especially pleased to have Aviva and Koki as options.

Everyone liked the different habitats and animals. The kids, however, were less than impressed by the "Wow Facts" on the back on the Creature Power Suit cards, since it was all information they had already learned from the show. It might be more fun - and educational - if the Wow Facts offered new information about the creatures.

Some feedback all of the moms, including myself, had was there are too many rules. It takes a long time to read through them all before beginning play the first time, and an adult had to refer back to the instructions often during the game.

The box says, "5+", but I'm not sure the average five year old has the patience for this game. My child is almost seven, gifted, and plays games considered well above her level. And even she finds Race Around The World frustrating. Then again, she has that reaction to pretty much every game she plays sooner or later.

Since the point was to gather feedback from the kids themselves, I asked each what she or he thought of the game. The responses ranged from, "It was pretty fun," to "Cool!" and "Fun and exciting!" They all gave it a thumbs up and said they would like to play again. When we held a drawing at the end of the party to give away a copy of the game, the five year-old girl who won was thrilled. She clutched the box to her chest like a special treasure.

The Race Around The World game is available from most major toy retailers and is reasonably priced. If your kids love Wild Kratts, they will have fun getting to Race Around The World as one of their favorite characters from the show. And if they enjoy collecting creature powers via the online games and apps, this board game will give them the opportunity to do the same outside a virtual world.

As an added bonus it enables you to do the same, and have the experience be an interactive one for the whole family.

If your child has a short attention span or struggles with patience, this might not be a good fit. I believe it is better suited for older kids, but every child is an individual. You know best what your child will and will not enjoy.

We are a family that really enjoys board games, and this has been a great addition to our game "library!"

But, if I ever want to get to be MY favorite character from the show, I'll have to play the game sometime when my child is not around...

Stay tuned for an upcoming review of the new additions to the Wild Kratts toy line. And if you haven't already, be sure to check out my awesome giveaway. I've got tickets for all five Florida locations where Chris and Martin will be performing live in 2016!

Watch the premiere of WILD KRATTS: A CREATURE CHRISTMAS November 25 on PBS! Check your local listings for details! 

Premieres November 25; encore presentations on Nov 26, 27, 28 & 29; Dec 7, 18, 20, 24 & 25

Disclaimer: I received samples of the Wild Kratts Race Around The World board game in exchange for this review. However, all opinions expressed are my own. See full disclosure statement here.

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