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Be the star of the show this Halloween! Dress up in your favorite Disney themed Halloween costume this year. Dress up as Tinkerbell and dazzle everyone around. Looking for something exotic? Jasmine is the way to go! Choose Minnie Mouse or Daisy Duck if you want something traditionally Disney. Want something more “Halloweeny”? There are lots of evil queens and witches just waiting to be picked out. So, read on and get the halloween costume which best suits your personality!

Tinkerbell Disney Costume1. Tinkerbell Adult Halloween Costume

This shimmery green Halloween costume will dazzle everyone around. The Tinkerbell Halloween costume comes with a pair of sheer wings to complete the effect. The Halloween costume has a flared short skirt, a nice neck and short sleeves.


Cinderella Disney Costume2. Cinderella Prestige Halloween Costume

This lovely blue and white Halloween costume is a dream! This floor length adult Cinderella Halloween costume comes complete with glovettes, headband and choker.


Jasmine Disney Costume3. Jasmine Halloween Costume

This purple and gold 2 piece Halloween costume will make you feel very exotic indeed! Wear the foam necklace and the jeweled headband included and feel like a princess this Halloween.

Minnie Mouse Disney Costume4. Minnie Mouse Halloween Costume

Minnie Mouse is resplendant in her red and white polka dotted Halloween costume. The Halloween costume has a comfortable stretch bodice, and has a three layered skirt with a white satin waistband, bow and collar. The cute headband with Minnie ears attached completes the look.


Belle Disney Costume5. Beauty and the Beast Disney Belle Prestige Adult

This truly stunning gown follows the proper Disney tradition of grace and beauty. Belle from the Beauty and the Beast is dressed in a floor length flowing yellow gown, complete with pink rosette accents, Belle character cameo, and a pair of glovettes.

Snow White Disney Costume6. Snow White Queen Halloween Costume

In sharp contrast to the good Disney characters, the Snow White Evil Queen Halloween costume stands out. Purple, black and white are the primary colors of this long gown. The gown comes attached with a cape and a hood with a stand up collar. A gold sash is included in this wonderful Halloween costume.


Sleeping Beauty Disney Costume7. Sleeping Beauty Aurora Halloween Costume

This beautiful pink Sleeping Beauty Costume will take your breath away. Now you can be this vision in pink if you choose to be Princess Aurora from the well loved fairy tale SleepinG Beauty.


Ariel Disney Costume8. Ariel Adult Halloween Costume

Now you can look like a shimmering mermaid in this beautiful Ariel adult costume. This dress includes a bodice, skirt and an attached cameo. This is a free sized costume which should be good if you’re upto a size 14. But, you have to pick up your own shoes as they are not included. This is an officially licensed ©Disney Princess costume.

Maleficent Disney Costume9. Maleficent Adult Halloween Costume

Get ready to strike terror into the hearts of all around! In this magnificient Maleficent Halloween costume, you will certainly stand out from the rest. The Halloween costume consists of a long black cape with purple accents, an attached collar and a foam hood.

Cruella Disney Costume10. Cruella de Vil Adult Halloween Costume

Ooh, if looks could kill…! The Halloween costume consists of a black dress with side slits. Fur, Cruella’s passion, is very prominent with a faux fur stole in white. To top it all off, a two tone wig completes the look.

Halloween is made up of the weird and the wonderful. Everyone wants to stand out from the rest at Halloween time. A great way to stand out is to wear a striking costume. Aliens are fascinating because we know so little about them. This Halloween, pick up an alien Halloween costume and startle everyone around!

Martian G Alien Costume

1. Martian G Child

This cool Halloween alien costume includes a light green plastic alien mask, attached dark green bandana with the “A 51” logo on it, goatee, black eyes with small holes to provide adequate vision and breathing hole in the mouth area, dark green polyester pullover top with “A 51” logo on the front, green shiny collar and a silver-like spaceship medallion. Priced at $29.99, this costume will help you rock on, outer space styl

Parasitic Twin Costume

2. Parasitic Twin Pre-Teen Costume

Imagine having a creepy weird parasite on your shoulder. Scary indeed! This is exactly what you’re kid can get with the parasitic twin pre teen costume. This unique outfit priced at $26.99 includes a very real-looking, dirty, blue sanatorium smock to which your nasty looking alien partner is attached, and a pair of baggy pants makes this comfortable but ghoulish costume complete.

Biohazard Collector3. Biohazard Costume

Somebody needs to clean up after all that biodegradable and alien mess out there. The upside is collecting candies and looking so cool and scary in the process. This outstanding outfit retailing at $36.99 includes a creepy futuristic sci-fi mask with wires hanging from the eye sockets, and an attached realistic toy respirator, white fabric fake-bloodstained jumpsuit, fake bloodstained white gloves, and a white matching hood.

Alien Child Costume4. Alien Child Costume

Halloween is not complete without the authentic alien costume for every sci-fi loving child out there. This out of the world outfit retailing at $23.99 includes a black robe with green and silver accents, attached foam collar, and latex alien mask.

Area 51 Halloween Costume5. Area 51 Costume

All the mystery surrounding the famous area 51 has made it more and more appealing. This costume capitalizes on this interest. The Area 51 Child Costume retailing at $26.99 includes a black jumpsuit (Reads: “AREA 51 No Trespassing”), an alien brain and half face headpiece, and a black hood. Talk about authentic.

I often get queries from people wanting to know which toys are “hot” for the year. Invariably, the toy trends for the year are strongly influenced by movies being released that year. Also, almost always, the “hot toy mix” is peppered by a superhero or two! This year, there are some awesome icons vying for our attention – Indiana Jones, the Incredible Hulk, Iron Man and Batman. Aside from these superheroes, the hot toy trends for 2008 also include dinosaurs, robots, musical toys and of course, web connected toys!

1. Indiana Jones Toys

Indiana Jones is really something to look forward to this year. The movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is slated to be one of the hot movies of 2008. It’s no wonder then, that Lego, Hasbro and the rest have jumped onto Indy’s bandwagon! The plot of the movie isn’t yet revealed fully. Still, Lego had some wonderful sets based on Indiana Jones. The Indiana Jones LEGO sets include Indiana Jones Temple Escape, Indiana Jones Race for the Stolen Treasure, Indiana Jones and the Lost Tomb and Indiana Jones Motorcycle Chase. Some of Hasbro’s Indiana Jones offerings include Mr Potato Head: Taters of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones Sound FX Whip and of course Indiana Jones action figures.

 2. Web Connected Toys

We all know and love Webkinz, the pioneer of the “virtual toy” revolution. Webkinz is still doing very well and now has been joined by several other toy manufacturers. Russ’s Shining Stars, TY Girlz, Barbie and now even TY’s Beanie Babies. Aside from dolls and plush toys, there’s a brand new preschool game which nicely incorporates play and technology. It’s called Me2 from IToys. Also worth noting is Clickables, a wonderful line of toys from Technosource. Clickables integrates the virtual world of Disney Fairies with toys for girls. There are a lot of other web connected toys and dolls. My collegue, the Doll Collecting guide, has a great article up on the virtual doll trend.



3. Batman – The Dark Knight Toys

The new Batman movie, The Dark Knight is slated to be released later this year. Mattel has a host of Batman related toys and action figures up their sleeve. The Stealth Batmobile and the Wayne Tech Tri Fire Blaster are must haves. Apart from those two, there are a lot of pretend play options and Batman action figures from Mattel. Lego also has some great Batman themed construction sets for release this year.

4. Dinosaur Toys

Dinosaurs have been around for a while now, (remember the very recent Pleo?), but they certainly made their presence felt at the Toy Fair! Here is one dinosaur which was hard to miss – Kota the Triceratops from Playskool. This friendly creature is pretty tall at approximately 40 feet and is equipped with sensors, which when activated, make him move his head, tail and horns. Kids will enjoy sitting on this playful (and very pricey) creature. Another dino in the spotlight comes to use from Mattel. D-Rex, a remote controlled dinosaur with a lot of different sounds and realistic motions aims to fascinate kids this year.

5. Animated Toys/Robots

Ok, so by now everyone must have heard of Elmo Live, right? Well, the animated toy trend seems to be very prevalent this year with Elmo Live, Hasbro’s Biscuit, Playskool’s Kota the Triceratops, Tomy’s ISobot and more. While I’m on the topic, let me mention that I just previewed an adorable duckling from Hasbro’s Furreal Friends line – it’s too cute for words. Just like me, it seems like everyone enjoys seeing animated animals nowadays!

6. Musical Toys

For the last couple of years, toys based on musical instruments have really grown in popularity. Remember Piano Wizard, Piano Made Easy, I Can Play Guitar, Guitar Hero and the other toys on similar lines? This, along with musical toys based on celebrities like Hannah Montana and hit TV shows like American Idol practically dominated the musical toy scene. This year, the trend continues with some more Hannah Montana toys, new DVD games based on American Idol (KIDDesigns has an awesome American Idol DVD game)  and much more. Stay tuned.

7. Science and Nature Related Toys

I noticed a large variety of Science Kits and nature themed toys at this year’s Toy Fair. Elmers (the glue company) had some really cool science kits represented by Bill Nye, the science guy. Scientific Explorer had a lot of fun kits to offer where kids can experiment with fascinating stuff like bubbles, perfumes, volcanoes and more. The biggie in the science category is none other than EyeClops from Jakks Pacific, which has updated versions(read night vision and higher magnification) available. Also, Uncle Milton of the Ant Farm fame had some cool Indiana Jones based products to show.

8. The Incredible Hulk Toys

The Hulk was at a lot of places at Toy Fair 2008. I specially loved the Kid Designs line of Hulk laptops and learning toys. Hasbro has a fantastic lineup of Hulk toys including the much awaited Hulk Smash Hands, a plush animated Hulk toy, conventional Hulk action figures, a Hulk power glow electronic mask, a Hulk dart blaster and much more. Looks like “green” is popular in more ways than one!





9. Speed Racer Toys

                                                             Speed Racer is another big movie franchise on which Mattel has a great lineup of toys. I know that Hot Wheels has a Morph Mach 6 vehicle and an interactive helmet to offer as well as the Speed Racer Sky Jump Track Set among other toy vehicles. The movie should spark off a craze for racing and toy cars which is going to be huge. Lego also had some great Speed Racer kits on display at Toy Fair. Personally, I think this is THE franchise to watch out for.

10. Iron Man Toys

Hasbro has a fantastic line of action figures based on the Iron Man. This is another movie franchise for this year which is going to be popular with Marvel fans.

Introducing children to new cultures is a great idea as most kids are extremely receptive and perceptive at a young age. Many people feel that, in the not so distant future, China and the Chinese economy will exert an enormous influence worldwide. Keeping this in mind, the DVD series The Adventures of Walker and Ping Ping is a wonderful way to give your kids their first glimpse into China and the Chinese culture. The charming and well animated stories are narrated from the perspective of a child. Children will enjoy the simple, yet powerful stories and pick up some basic Chinese along the way.
  • Great way to introduce kids to Chinese culture
  • Helps kids learn the Chinese language
  • Nicely paced storyline holds viewers’ attention
  • I wish the DVD was longer than 25 minutes


Guide Review – The Adventures of Walker and Ping Ping

The Adventures of Walker and Ping Ping is a refreshing and educational series of DVDs based on China and Chinese culture. One of the main characters, Walker, is an American boy who lives with his parents in Hong Kong. His little Chinese friend, Ping Ping, teaches him Chinese and is also his partner in their many adventures together.The storyline provides fascinating insights into what life in China is really like from the perspective of a child. The sights and sounds of Hong Kong and other places in China, including the streets, the people and the food are beautifully rendered in the DVDs. The details are fabulous and I actually felt like I was transported into China. A very big plus is that the DVD introduces kids to basic Chinese words. Young children have the uncanny ability to pick up new words and pronounciations perfectly, which is an asset which should not be allowed to go to waste.

It’s wonderful to learn about and appreciate new cultures. I fell in love with these charming DVDs and highly recommend them. As awareness about China and Chinese culture continues to grow worldwide, it is a good idea to have your children watch The Adventures of Walker and Ping Ping.

Green toys are so “in” this year! It’s no wonder that everyone is focusing on healthy and safe green play. The “green” theme is predominant with many toy firms promoting their eco-friendly green toys. Green toys are great because they are made from recyclable and renewable materials and are environmentally friendly. Green toys are toys with a nature friendly theme. You’d be surprised at the wide variety of green toys available. Take a look a these wonderful Green Toys!

1. Plan Toys Click Clack Wooden Toy

Plan Toys Click ClackPlan Toys
I simply loved the Click Clack wooden toy from Plan Toys. Click Clack is made from 100% replenishable rubberwood and it contains only non-toxic and kid safe materials. It’s a fascinating toy to watch and everyone who saw it, loved it. Click Clack has wooden balls which roll over the tracks onto the next level below. It’s great for developing your child’s hand-eye co-ordination and visual skills. If you’re a parent who is concerned about buying quality and truly green toys for your child, you can close your eyes and pick up a toy from Plan Toys.

2. Insect Lore Earthworm Nursery

Insect Lore Earthworm Nursery may not appeal to everyone, but it sure was a hit with the younger kids I showed it too, especially the boys. You can actually follow the life cycle of an earthworm from the cocoon stage right upto the fully grown earthworm stage. The kit itself is simple, straightforward and easy to do. Read the review of Insect Lore Earthworm Nursery.

3. Stonees Nature’s Building Blocks

Stonees is an unusual toy indeed by anyone’s standards, green or not. Stonees are actual rocks which are colored with natural pigments. You may wonder, what do you do with rocks, of all things! Well, these rocks have clever contours on their surface which means that they can be stacked up and used to construct all kinds of structures limited only by your imagination. Stonees are a perfect example of open ended play products. They’re different and happen to be “green” as well.

4. Idbids Plush Toys

Idbids toys are three extremely cute, cotton plush toys which have a real purpose – “to teach children the “iddy biddy” steps they can take to keep the Earth happy, healthy and green”. They consist of Scout the cloud, Lola the Flower and Waverly the water drop, all made of Egyptian cotton that is organically grown. With an Idbid starter kit, you get a storybook, a field guide and a organic cinch sack for your child to dress up in. All the materials used are eco-friendly. These are green toys with a purpose.

5. Plan Toys Tower Pounding Toy

Plan Toys Tower PoundingPlan Toys
I’m very happy to say that all the toys from Plan Toys I’ve had the opportunity to test out have been both eco friendly as well as practical for the kids. The superb toy design as well as the high quality standards established by Plan Toys makes this line of toys a must buy for all parents who wish for truly green toys for their kids. That said, I absolutely loved the Tower Pounding toy from Plan Toys. My little one loves to pound and he took a real fancy for this colorful wooden pounding toy. He started pounding and was quite fascinated when the ball actually began to move and then roll down the ramp.

6. Xeko Trading Card Game

This wonderfully packaged Xeko trading card game is eco-friendly from the word go! Right from the recycled packaging (which looks lovely, by the way) to the very theme of the game, the Xeko trading card game is environmentally friendly. But wait, there’s more! The Xeko game teaches your kids lots of interesting stuff about the earth and it’s inhabitants. I absolutely love the look and feel of this game. Kids who tried this game found it totally cool. It may be a good idea to introduce this trading card game to your kids, especially if they display an interest in their environment and like math and science. The Xeko trading card game has themes like Mission Costa Rica, Indonesia and Madagascar. All trading cards are interchangeable.

7. ImagiPlay Puzzles

It’s a different sort of fun playing with wooden toys. They’re sturdy and last for a long time. However, it’s important that the wooden toys your child plays with are safe. ImagiPlay is a line of wooden toys which are naturally earth-friendly, being made from renewable, plantation grown, chemically-free rubberwood. The makers of Imagiplay vouch for the fact that their wooden toys do not contain lead paint. These toys are available in natural finish as well as brighly colored safe paints.

8. Green Toys Tea Set

Nothing could be more perfect for this green toys article than the company named “Green Toys”! I spotted Green toys at this year’s Toy Fair and though I just stopped by for a few minutes, they left a lasting impression. The selection of toys from Green Toys is simple and sweet. The fascinating part about these toys is that they are made from recycled milk jugs! The select few products from Green Toys include a tea set, a sand play set, a cookware set and an indoor gardening set. Check them out.

Everybody loves grandma’s stories. This is the premise for the Nana Star series founded by Elizabeth Sills and Elena Patrice who wanted to share their grandmother’s simple but poignant stories with the world. Old fashioned values of friendship and love are desperately needed in today’s fast moving world where everyone seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere. These simple stories with values such as kindness, generosity and compassion not encourage but provide also for wholesome entertainment.

Music is one of the essentials of our lives, now more than ever. Kids these days have big dreams of making their own music and making their mark in the music business especially with the advent of shows like the American Idol. It’s not really surprising that merchandise relating to music is flying off the shelves.

The Guitar Hero Air Rocker from Jada Toys Inc is the latest addition to this music mania. The Air Rocker allows kids and adults alike to emulate their favorite rock idols. A patented technology is used in Air Guitar consisting of guitar pictures, an awesome belt buckle and a portable mini amplifier. With an air guitar in hand, the user waves the picture over the belt buckle sensor to determine the tempo of the song, which can be heard through the mini-amplifier. An Air Cartridge is included which features ten signature guitar riffs with the skill levels ranging from 1 to 5.

Also included are epic hits that have appeared throughout the Guitar Hero franchise and five original Guitar Rocker riffs. A demo mode is also included which allows users to listen to the tracks first, and then master the riffs on their own. Plugging this baby up to an external speaker system will lend an authentic mind blowing experience. Now anyone can step into their favorite idol’s shoes and experience the rock star thrill.