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Fisher-Price Doodle Pro Magnetic Drawing board vs. NextX Magnetic drawing board write and learn creative toy

13 May

Looking for the best magnetic board for your child?

Wondering which one is the best?

I’ve got answers for you! In this post I will compare each of the features and give you my verdict! We will start by watching a short video of each of the toys, and they we will get into the nitty-gritty!

What do the toys have in common?

Magnetic screen

Both toys feature magnetic screens that are comparable in size. The Doodle Pro screen is more gray in appearance and there are markedly noticeable black honey combs visible – even when the screen is blank. They Doodle-Pro screen writes in black only.

The NextX screen is “whiter” and has more the look of paper. There are no black honey combs, small white dots can only be seen once the board is drawn up. The NextX screen writes in colors: blue, yellow, red, and green.

Stylus

Both stylus’es are of adequate size, and both are connected to the toy with a string to prevent the stylus from becoming lost – an important feature that I love!

The Doodle-Pro stylus is attached to the toy in the bottom center. This is terrific because it ensures that both right handed and left handed children have a long enough string to freely draw without battling the string getting in the way. The tip of the Doodle-Pro stylus was a bit thick, this made getting details in my drawing difficult. I would’ve appreciated a finer tip. There is no storage spot on the toy for the stylus – that would’ve been a nice bonus feature.

The NextX stylus is also attached to the toy.  However, it is attached to the right hand side of the toy. Being a left handed person, I found the string to be a little too short, and I battled the string getting in the way while I drew. If your child is right handed, as 90% of the population is, then there will be no issues for your child as this toy is clearly designed with a right hander in mind. But for us lefties, it was a bit of a bummer. I found the stylus tip to be finer than the Doodle-Pro. I felt that I could get a bit more detail in my drawing. This toy has a nice storage spot for the stylus.

Stamps

Both toys came with stamps. I do not think that stamps are particularly important for these toys, but I am an adult who loves to draw. If your child loves to draw, then I’m expecting that they won’t use the stamps all that much. The stamps are of most benefit to the younger users of the boards.

The Doodle-Pro came with 4 stamps: star, circle, triangle and square. There are handy storage spots on the toy for them to help prevent them from becoming lost. I like the Doodle-Pro stamps because they will help kids learn shapes.

The NextX comes with 5 stamps: pineapple, strawberry, eggplant, romaine lettuce, and grapes. Though there is storage for the stylus, there is no storage offered for the stamps. The stamps are fruits and vegetables, also curious to me. Why not feature all fruits, or all vegetables?

Eraser

Both toys offer a slide eraser that is located on the bottom of the toy. They look exactly the same, but they do NOT perform the same.

The Doodle-Pro eraser performs poorly. Watch the Doodle-Pro video at 2:46, one swipe, nope, still there. Then you see me scrubbing away at the image with the eraser trying to get it to “go away”. After I’m done, you can still see a “ghost” of the former image. During the rest of the erases of the video, I cut out the scrubbing  and speed up the whole erase in the edit process because watching me spend so much time and effort to erase would make for a boring video.

The NextX eraser was fantastic! I could not believe that I could erase in only one swipe, and with no “ghost” image!! Watch the NextX video at 3:13 – AMAZING! I did not edit the any of the erasing portions of the NextX video. There was no need to. The eraser is quick and thorough.

What’s the verdict?

I recommend the NextX magnetic board write and learn creative toy.

Pros:

  • writes in color
  • white board
  • exceptional eraser

cons:

  • short stylus string with storage design for right handed people
  • no storage for the stamps
  • stamps could be more scholastic in their shape

Just for fun, here are the pros/cons for the Doodle-Pro

Pros:

  • storage for the stamps
  • scholastically shaped stamps
  • designed for left handed people and right handed people

Cons:

  • poorly functioning eraser
  • gray screen
  • blunt tipped stylus
  • no stylus storage
  • writes only in black

Check out my other Doodle-Pro videos

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Martha Nelson Thomas Doll Babies

31 Mar

 

 

These dolls were purchased in “kits”. The body and head were purchased separately.

 

Pictures above is the body kit. Included was a pre-sewn doll body,  instructions for hand finishing, how to stuff the doll, and how to affix the head to the body. Because these dolls’ “soft-sculpture” traits, ( belly buttons, bottoms, elbow, knees, fingers, toes ), were constructed by each individual who purchased the kit, quality of craftsmanship will vary vastly according to the skills of each doll maker.

 

The doll maker would need to purchase the DOLL BABY head, flesh colored polyester thread, ball point sewing needle, and fiberfill stuffing. The doll baby head was made out of durable vinyl. The doll heads were 4.5″ tall.

There were 5 heads available:

  • 3108 pigtail baby
  • 3107 bald baby
  • 3109 ponytail baby
  • 3110 curly hair baby
  • 3111 short hair baby

The hairstyles were available in the following colors:

  • 01 blonde
  • 02 dark blonde
  • 03 brown
  • 04 rusty red
  • 05 light brown

The DOLL BABY head came with the birth announcement, certificate of authenticity, a name tag, care instructions, and the doll baby story.

 

Finally, these dolls were made to fit infant clothing size 3 months – which is really a really easy way to obtain cute, properly fitting clothing for your doll!!

The doll baby story

Kentucky native Martha Nelson Thomas is the creator of the original doll baby. She began making dolls as a child and says, “that’s the way I played. I’d make the dolls and my sisters would play with them”. Her mother, a seamstress, taught her to sew, and her three sisters and four brothers provided her with a deep understanding of the importance of fantasy in the minds of children.
Pursuing a career in art, Martha enrolled in the Louisville School of Art. During her senior year there, Martha created her first life-sized painted doll. From that first soft-sculpture doll, Martha began developing what is now known as her DOLL BABY.
Various features of her DOLL BABY have been developed over the years. Martha comments, “ when I hit upon a nose that I liked, I stayed with it; and when the toes developed, I kept them”
Martha’s philosophy about dolls is simple…..they are meant to be loved, cuddled, slept with, and most of all, played with. She feels that too often we seem to forget that it is the children who gives life to the doll and not the reverse.
DOLL BABIES create priceless childhood memories with their unique charm. Created with love, a DOLL BABY makes a very special addition to your family. Martha Nelson Thomas’ DOLL BABY is the original…..there is no other.
Care instructions:
Since all DOLL BABIES are meant to be played with, cuddled, and loved, chances are they will get a bit dirty every now and then. Don’t worry….this is a natural thing! Our doll head is made of high quality, durable vinyl and if you made your body following our instructions, it will be made of 100% polyester interlock knit fabric. Both of these materials are washable! To begin washing your baby, you must first undress it, ( oh well, babies love to change clothes, they usually wear a size 3 months, so they are usually pretty easy to fit ). Put a shower cap over your babies hair to keep it from getting wet and then give your DOLL BABY a sponge bath using lukewarm mildly soapy water, (Katrina’s toy blog recommends Woolite). Air dry the doll – no hair dryers or dryers. Just lay the DOLL BABY down for a nap while it’s drying. Once your baby is dry, sprinkle a little baby powder on it’s tush, that’s what makes BABY smell right!
By the way, DOLL BABIES are allergic to dog bites and sauerkraut!

Other DOLL BABY products

Even though these dolls were designed to fit any infant clothing sized 3 months, quick and easy clothing kits were also sold to make designer outfits.

The kits included:

  • All fabrics and trims needed, even buttons
  • Fabric pieces were pre-cut
  • instructions

 

Other DOLL BABY products:

 

Gallery of DOLL BABIES:

 

 

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Who is Martha Nelson Thomas?

31 Mar

Have you ever seen a doll head, like the one below, for sale on eBay and wonder who the heck is Martha Nelson Thomas and why has she ‘copied’ the Cabbage Patch kids?

Martha Nelson Thomas is a dollmaker from Kentucky. In the early 1970’s she was making amazing soft sculpture dolls-complete with birth certificates. She was doing this while Xavier Roberts was still in High School. Martha’s soft sculpture dolls looked very much like Xavier Roberts’ Little People that arrived on the scene just a few years later in the late 1970’s. HMMM……….now, who has copied who?

A Martha Nelson Thomas of Louisville sued Roberts in early 1980 claiming that the idea for the dolls was hers. Was Martha Nelson Thomas just a parasite looking for 15 minutes of fame? Or was she telling the truth? Martha Nelson Thomas was selling her special soft sculpture dolls at a Crafts show in 1976. Xavier Roberts saw the dolls. He liked them so much that he later tried to make a deal with her to carry them in the gift shop he worked for. (Court records include a letter Roberts wrote suggesting he would, “carry your type of dolls.”) So what happened? First, Roberts and Thomas were unable to agree upon a price and the deal was forgotten. Roberts made his own dolls – over $500,000 worth in 1978 alone – and by 1979 Thomas took notice. Second, Thomas filed suit in January of 1980 alleging infringement on her design. The defense conceded that Roberts had seen her designs and had produced something similar but the initial claim was rejected in 1983 because she had not filed for a copyright on her dolls.

Thomas produced her own line of “copycat” CPK dolls (though it is clear now who was copying who) called the Original Doll Baby, whose box emphasized that Thomas had been making them since 1971. This time she copyrighted them. Katrinastoyblog hopes that Martha was able to yeild enough money from the Original Doll Babies to make a comfortable life for herself and her family.Martha passed away in Spring of 2013.

You may read her full obituary here: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/louisville/obituary.aspx?pid=165037699

Please visit her facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Martha-Nelson-Thomas-Doll-Artist-741241162557648/

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Mr. Smarty Bear Interactive talking animatronic plush toy by Galoob 1985

22 Sep

video courtesy of Jeremiah Johnson

Smarty Bear! The most loveable, smartest bear in the world!

Mr. Smarty Bear by Galoob 1985

Mr. Smarty Bear was released by Galoob toys in 1985. This was the same year that the more popular and well known Teddy Ruxpin bear was released by Worlds of Wonder. It is believed that Mr. Smarty was meant to compete with Teddy Ruxpin for the childrens’ affection and their parents dollars!

Mr. Smarty is 20″ in height. He has his little topknot, red plaid vest, bow tie and eyeglasses. The inside of his mouth is red felt. He has darling faux fur eyebrows that raise and lower when he talks. His big blue eyes open and close and his mouth moves.

Invented by Ralph Baer, this bear was designed to interact and talk to his friends on the screen of a TV set, while playing a VHS cassette (not included) containing interactive data. The 1986 Galoob Smarty Bear Interactive Video System  came with all of the components you would need to connect Smarty Bear to your VCR for interaction with TV.

At least four different VHS tapes were available for use with this system:

  1. Smarty and Argyle See the USA
  2. Argyle goes to Hollywood
  3. Who’s at the zoo?
  4. Argyle and Smarty’s First Case

Without the interactive video system, Mr. Smarty would only talk, he would not be animated.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

He talks, his eyes, his eye brows, nose and mouth moves when he talks.  Talk to him and he will talk to you!

Mr. Smarty will say the following phrases:

  • Positively!
  • Hey! I like to be picked up!
  • Ha Ha Ha!!
  • Hey turn me over!
  • For Sure!

Video courtesy of Elizabeth Lewis

video courtesy of the Strong Museum

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Maggie and the Ferocious Beast

9 May

Maggie and the Ferocious Beast is an animated TV series based on the books by Michael Paraskevas and his mother Betty. It currently airs on the Canadian channels Disney Channel, Teletoon, Treehouse TV, and Knowledge.

In the show, four-year-old Maggie creates her own map of her imaginary world Nowhere Land. She imagines that her stuffed toys Beast and Hamilton Hocks come to life. The show also features friends like mice, cows, and rabbits.

The Ferocious Beast is warm and cuddly, like an oversized puppy dog,
who thinks that playing with Maggie isn’t just good, it’s “GOOGLY MOOGLY!”
He takes great pride in his red polka dot spots, and those dots seem to have a life of their own. Whenever Beast sneezes, the polka dots fly off in all directions! Sometimes his size gets him into trouble, although he never means any harm, and his soft, warm tummy is like a giant comforting blanket that you’d love to cuddle.

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Sesame Street 11″ Chatters talking Elmo plush toy

17 Apr

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This is a Sesame Street 11″ Chatters talking Elmo plush toy. This is the coolest toy ever! Shake his body and his mouth will open and close with fun character phrases and unique giggle. Takes 2 AAA batteries. Shake once for a giggle or word and shake repeatedly for full phrases.This would make a great gift for any Sesame Street loving child or collector.

 

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Thinkway Toy Story 10″ Star Command Dancing Alien

15 Apr

The Aliens are a series of green, 3-eyed rubber aliens. They could squeak and are a part of Andy’s toys after the events of Toy Story 2. In Toy Story, Buzz finds a giant, claw game in Pizza Planet, thinking that’s the spaceship Woody was talking about, along with the “Ready To Launch” sign. When Buzz jumps in the spaceship, he sees hundreds of them. In Toy Story 2, a trio of them is hanging above the dashboard in the Pizza Planet truck. Buzz groans when he sees them, remembering them from the claw game. They tell Potato Head to “use the wand of power”, which is the driving stick. They nearly fall out the window, due to the sharp turns from Buzz trying to catch Al in his car. Fortunately, Mr. Potato Head saves them. The aliens are thankful and hand him his ear. Throughout the rest of the movie they frequently say “You have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful”, much to Potato Head’s dismay. They reappear in Toy Story 3 as the “henchmen” under One-Eyed Bart and One-Eyed Betty, and serve as the getaway drivers during the western opening sequence and drive Barbie’s corvette. The car is destroyed by Buzz’s laser and they are transported to Dr. Porkchop’s aircraft. In the present time, the same trio continues to express their gratefulness to Mr. Potato Head. When Andy’s mom thinks that the trash bag the toys are in is trash, she puts the toys on the curb, but they manage to escape the garbage bag. They are donated to Sunnyside along with the rest of Andy’s toys.

Thinkway Toy Story 10″ Star Command Dancing Alien

You are looking at a Disney Thinkway Toys Toy Story 10″ Star Command Dancing Alien. He is 10″ tall and 10″ wide. He is made of plastic. He dances and talks when you turn him on. Antenna lights up. Great toy for any Toy Story collection!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watch this Toy Story Alien slide show – you’ll also see many of the other characters!

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Teddy Ruxpin-the talking bear!!

15 Nov

Teddy Ruxpin is an animatronic talking plush bear. He was first produced in 1985 by toy manufacturer Worlds of Wonder.Teddy would move his mouth and eyes as he read stories via a standard cassette tape deck built into his back.

These Cassette tapes were not the typical cassette music tapes that you remember; they were square measuring approx. 2″x2″. A normal (non-Teddy) cassette tape is designed for stereo playback with two distinct tracks on each side for the left and right speakers. In contrast, a Teddy Ruxpin cassette uses the two tracks differently: the left track contains the audio, while the right track encodes the toy’s movements. A special hole in the top of the cassette tells the teddy bear that the right track contains movement data. This hole is similar to a standard cassette’s write protection notch, but closer to the center.

Vintage Teddy Ruxpin Figurine and 4 cassette tapes

Be sure to visit my toy store! We specialize in toys ranging in age from at least 5 years all the way up to 60 years old and older! We carry dolls, bears, Disneyana, cars, action figures, puppets & more! Let us help you find that rare and special item to add to your collection!

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