Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours

 "Brown Teddy Bear" by Lydia Jacobs
Welcome to the debut edition of, “If it’s Tuesday it must be toys and tours.” Like our sister columns, Thursday’s “Musical Notes” and Friday’s “Popcorn Report,” which respectively features information on music and movies, this weekly post highlights the best in product offerings in the world of toys, games, puzzles, crafts, sporting goods and vacation specials for children and teens, as well as industry news and up-to-date product recalls from United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC). Be sure to check back each Tuesday.

In February, Toy Fair 2011 introduced thousands of new toys, games, books, puzzles and technology items for children and teens.

Today we’re going to preview some of the fine new puzzle arrivals introduced at the Fair from Ravensburger, a quality-driven toy, game and craft manufacturer/distributor that has been serving the children’s market for the last 125 years.

We’ll also share with you some fabulous (date-sensitive) discounts on game apps exclusively from Amazon.com, and take a look at current toy as well as sporting good product recalls that you may have missed.

When available, the manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (SRP) on these products have been provided along with current researched “Best Available Pricing,” at the time of this posting.  It is always suggested that you double check prices with your favorite online as well as stick and brick retailers, as pricing is subject to fluctuation.

Keith Haring: Double Retrospect

Billed as “The World’s Biggest Puzzle,” according to Guinness Book of World Records, this 32,256-piece behemoth features the signature bold colors and free-form artistic design of one of the most important artists of the Twentieth Century, Keith Haring.

   This precision-cut puzzle consists of just six colors plus 
l   black and white, which provides for a considerable challenge. All of the pieces are packed in eight separate poly bags, and when the puzzle is completed (estimated by Ravensburger to be about 400 hours) it measures a visually stunning 17 by 6 feet and weighs 42 pounds. The Keith Haring: Double Retrospect even comes with its very own hand truck.

SRP: is $299.99.  Online retailer, Adventures in Learning currently has best available pricing at $248.00.

 3D puzzlepyramid® Collection

Something different in the world of puzzles, which features a  finished 3-D triangular shaped piece, beautifully illustrated on the outside.  Each puzzle is composed of flexible hinged and numbered (on the inside) pieces that easily snap together (no glue needed).

The puzzlepyramid collection (click on links for images) features five 240-piece designs in the following themes: Impressions of Africa, Sunset in the Desert, Essence of Egypt, Spirit of the Seas and Enchanted Dream World. 

SRP is $25.99 each. Online retailer, Serious Puzzles.com has best available price at $24.95 each.


The company’s innovative puzzleball products present a perfect “canvas” for the artwork of celebrated artist Dick Termes, who has made a career of utilizing spherical surfaces for his designs.  New to Ravensburger’s puzzleball collection is the 540-pc Illusions, which features Termes’ unique six-point perspective to his creations.  A special stand is included.

SRP is: $44.99. Best available price through Amazon.com at $32.99

WASGIJ? Destiny and WASGIJ? Mystery

New 2D, 1,000 piece WASGIJ? Ravensburger puzzles are featured in two collections:
WASGIJ? Destiny and WASGIJ? Mystery.  The WASGIJ? Destiny line (click on links for images) includes Time Travel, Picnic Time and The Sands of Time, and the WASGIJ? Mystery assortment features Drama at the Opera, Stop the Clock and Camping Commotion. 

Each distinctive offering comes with an image on the puzzle box that is different from the scene one assembles, which challenges puzzlers to take their clue from the cover art to construct a future scene with the enclosed pieces.

SRP is: $17.99 each. Best price online is at Puzzle Warehouse at $16.99 for Time Travel and Picnic Time, and for Drama at the Opera and Stop the Clock at Puzzle World for $16.99.


Hurry on this one, Amazon is having a sale on 12 different game applications that are compatible with their Kindle. All applications, which are listed below are $0.99 each and are delivered free via Amazon’s Whisper Net - lots of fun for very little money.

These popular games will be on sale until Sunday March 27, 2011.

Scrabble – the classic word-building game.

Chess- the truly classic board game

Hangman 4 Kids- a word game for children

Triple Town - a puzzle, strategy game made exclusively for Kindle.

Mahjong Solitaire- a matching game for Kindle.

Electronic Arts Solitaire- eight different card games

Sudoku Unbound # 1 – a puzzle collection 


The following is a compilation of notices from the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC)

Below you will find the most recent recalls and product news updates from the CPSC for the last 22 days.

In case you happened to have missed any of the announcements, just click on the following links for complete information on each of the items and breaking news.


March 3, 2011-Rattles” recalled by Rhino Toys due to choking hazard.

March 3, 2011- Manhattan Group recalls “Parents Wooden Activity Toys” due to choking hazard.

March 10, 2011- Kid O Products recalls “wooden puzzles” due to choking hazard


March 1, 2011- Dick's Sporting Goods recalls “Fitness Resistance Tubes” due to contusion and laceration hazards.

March 9, 2011- Baja Motorsports recalls “Dirt Bikes” sold exclusively at Pep Boys due to fire and burn hazards.

March 10, 2011  American Suzuki Motor Corp. recalls “KingQuad ATVs” due to fire hazard.

March 10, 2011- “Rocky Mountain Bicycles” recalled by Procycle due to fall injury. Hazard

March 15, 2011- American Suzuki Motor Corp. recalls “QuadSport ATVs” due to crash hazard.

March 16, 2011- “Pogo Sticks” recalled by Bravo Sports due to risk of serious injury.

March 22, 2011- Ocean Technology Systems recalls “Guardian Full-Face Diving Masks” due to drowning hazard.


March 18, 2011- Government investigation raises concerns about pool and spa drain cover testing and entrapment risks

If you are searching for other consumer product items such as household, outdoor products, utensils, furniture and clothing that may relate to all family members, please review additional listings at the CPSC’s search page.

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