Sluban? More like SluBAM!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s… Sluban here to save the day by bringing you modern military and historic fun building brick sets! What? “Kajiit,” you think, “what are you talking about? Even that big name building brick company that rhymes with plego doesn’t sell modern military sets, what makes you think this Slubun does?” Well kind stranger, I sell them here and it’s Sluban not Slubun.

Yes, I snuck in a Harry Potter reference. Anyways, back to Sluban. The really awesome thing about their builder sets is they are almost completely compatible with other building brick sets (we’ll get to that almost part here in a minute) and run cheaper than their competitors without sacrificing quality. You wanna build a pirate ship? They got pirate ships. You wanna build a tank? Hunny they gots tanks. Want a cruiser? Well boy-oh-boy do they got a cruiser!

Available in store and online for $79.50, please note it does not float

Now to elaborate on that pesky little “almost” in “almost completely compatible”. See, the figures Sluban offers are completely unique, each face is painted on and has a different look from others, you won’t find two different characters with the same look! These figures aren’t completely compatible with other brick builder companies however: their legs are too narrow for other plates and their head, hands, arms, and torso are a bit more skinny than competitor’s figures.

Sluban doesn’t just do military sets either, they also produce fire fighter, construction, town, aviation, and hospital sets as well. Not just that, there’s also their “Star Dreamworks” line focusing on the life of superstars (we have none of those in store sadly). Please note that if you throw any plane in the aviation set or helicopter in the army set that, when they land, they will not be intact anymore.

Now, maybe you’re wondering why we carry Sluban but not a big name brick builder company that’s much more well known. So, here’s the thing, some companies are so big that they refuse to sell to small retailers like us because we’re less than 0.1% of their income: we don’t buy enough of their products so they decided “no soup for you” haha god I’m old.

Shop in store or online to see what Sluban products we have! There’s too many for me to list and price out but mostly we have military based sets. Pew pew

Chop!Chop! The Mice Simulator Game

Remember all of those “X Simulator” video games that were super popular in 2016 and 2017 that constantly gave people motion sickness because they handled really bad and weird? Well if you liked those games, you’ll love Chop!Chop! the strategy game. If you’ve never heard of anything I’ve talked about here then you’ll still love Chop!Chop! because it’s awesome. So, how do you play this interesting, albeit convoluted appearing, game? What’s with the weird looking tiles? Why am I asking you?

Alright I just spent the past couple hours learning to play this game and I can now say I’m a certified play expert with it (got a cute little pin and everything!) and will now explain how to play. There can be up to five players and should be a minimum of two, the most experienced of which should play the cat while the youngest starts first; the goal is the mice players work together to collect 10 cheese tiles and make it back into their holes while the goal of the cat is to catch all the mice. On their turn, the mice roll the grey dice and move around the kitchen depending on what you roll, keeping in mind that the mice are small and can hide under the table but can’t reach the top of it because they got little legs!

When a mouse ends their turn on a tile, they flip that final tile over to see what’s underneath: a broken plate is worthless and is instead removed from the board, a +1 or +2 allows the mice to move extra spaces, an arrow allows the mice to go anywhere on the board other than a revealed cheese or back into a mouse-hole, a fork lets mice grab a revealed cheese whereas a knife hurts the mice and causes them to lose a turn, and finally there’s the big cheese which the mice are trying to collect.

The cat is too big to fit under the table but can jump to get on top of it; the goal of the cat is to catch all four mice. When the cat ends it’s turn on a tile, all of the effects remain the same but one: when it flips a cheese then the cheese just remains open since the cat isn’t interested in cheese. Turns switch between the cat and the mice and if a mouse is caught, that mouse is eliminated so there’s only 3, 2, 1, or none left. Remember, any turn for the mice allows the players to move any mouse they want: players can just move one mouse at a time if they wish. The game ends either when the cat catches all the mice or the mice get 10 cheese and return home.

Ready to live out Tom & Jerry? Now’s your chance! Chop!Chop! is available in store or online for $43 even.

Snuggle monster

Do you have a hard time getting your kids to bed? Is bedtime a chore that you dread every night? Kiddo afraid of the dark? Well may I offer you the definitely not snake-oil salesman solution of the Snuggle Monster (insert dramatic fanfare here)! Brought to you by Greg Hughes, the Snuggle Monster is designed to help your little one get ready and even excited for bedtime.

Coming in three different colors and designs, the Snuggle Monster also comes with a story book to read to your child and begin the adventure. How it works is before bedtime, you hide the monster somewhere in their room (it can literally be the monster under their bed hahahaha…. look I had to use that joke somewhere) then sit them down and read the included story book with them. When finished, they have to find the hiding monster; after finding him, they have to turn out the lights (monsters are afraid of the light, duh) and get in bed so they can go to sleep. Simple right?

The trick is the marketing. The Snuggle Monster is the buffer, the final game they get to play, before bed. So instead of “it’s time for bed”, which interrupts a child not ready, “it’s time to find your Snuggle Monster” gives them one last outlet and allows them to wind down a bit. Soon, they’re looking forward to bedtime!

All three Snuggle Monsters are available in store and online for $32.30

Random Holidays!

So part of my job in writing these is I look up random holidays and write about ones that I think are interesting, strange, or that I can shamelessly plug what we sell here (muahaha)

In doing my random research though, I stumble across a lot of holidays that I can’t write about either because I don’t want to get political or polarizing (seriously guys this is a page for a toy store, it’s meant to be cute and fun and light and have PUNSSSSS) or because I can’t make them into a whole post. Instead, I’m going to talk about all the weird and fun ones in this post because that’s what I’m paid to do so buckle up you buttercups this is gonna be wild! Also this is all going to be holidays in just June because there’s so many

Random food days: 1st is national olive day, the 3rd is national egg day and world cider day, 4th is cheese and moonshine day, 5th is national donut day, the 7th is national chocolate ice cream day, 10th is ice tea day (which also counts as “sweet tea day” but don’t blame me I’m just sharing information!), the 11th is corn on the cob, 13th is Rosé, 14th is burbon, 16th is fudge, 17th is “eat your vegetables”, 18th is sushi, 19th is martinis, 21st is smoothies, 22nd is onion rings, 26th is chocolate pudding, and finally the 28th is tapioca day! Woof, it feels like a lot when you write it out like that.

Now for just some random ones with little connecting each other:

The 1st is both global day of parents and Western Australia day, the 3rd is global running and world bicycle day so to celebrate it properly you need to run next to your bicycle, the 4th is national hug your cat day (please understand this means YOUR cat, I cannot recommend hugging random cats even though I’ve definitely done it), 5th is world environment day. The 6th has four things: eyewear, yo-yo, Queensland, and Russian Language day. The 7th is Prince’s birthday, the singer not random royalty. The 8th holds national best friend day AND world ocean day so if your best friend is a crab then you’re in luck!

The 9th is Donald Duck day which commemorates when he first appeared on screen in 1934. The 11th is King Kamehameha Day as Kamehameha the Great is credited with uniting the Hawaiian islands back in 1810. The 12th is both national loving day and Philippines Independence day while the 13th is sewing machine day and the 14th is both flag day and the US Army’s birthday. 14th is World blood donors, 15th is elder abuse awareness, 16th is International day of the African Child, 19th is Juneteenth, international box day, and national Garfield the cat day.

The 20th is American eagle, summer solstice, ugliest dog, and wold refugee day but even having four doesn’t beat the 21st with FIVE (technically six counting the smoothie) being father’s, yoga, aboriginal, selfie and world day of music. The 22nd is take your cat to word day as well as kissing day (after you eat aaaallllll of those onion rings) while the 24th is Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Midsummer but don’t worry, you won’t have to kiss any donkey headed men so long as you don’t cheat on your fairy king husband.

On to the 25th which has Bourdain, the Beatles, the seafarer, and is national work from home day (ha!). the 26th is take your dog to work day, the 27th is bingo and sunglasses which sounds like the name of an old woman bop band. “Bingo and sunglasses at night, I can’t, no I can’t see because sunglasses at night are really, oh yes really impractical.”

Almost done! The 28th is insurance awareness day; the 29th is hugs, camera, and wimbledon; and finally the 30th is for asteroids and social media! Oh wow never let me do this again.

Duck, duck….. Uncle Goose!

Do you ever find yourself watching sitcoms or movies in which there’s a young child being given a velveteen rabbit or wooden rocking horse that’s been passed down from generation to generation of the family and think “I wish I had something like that for my children”? Well, Uncle Goose Blocks are the answer. Handcrafted in Grand Rapids, Michigan using fast-growing, sustainable American Basswood that grows in the Great Lakes area, each block is like a work of art and – if taken care of – is designed to last you for generations!

Completely untreated, that means there’s no varnish, sheen, gloss, or polish that could hurt your little one’s tummy; even the paints and inks are all tested to make sure there’s no heavy metals or phthalates (stuff added to plastics to make them more durable) detected!

What else is great about Uncle Goose Blocks? Well, they aren’t just your every day alphabet blocks, they come in several different languages including Cherokee, Greek, Hebrew Norwegian, Japanese, Thai, Spanish, American Sign Language, Braille, and many more! Not interested in different language blocks? There’s also other types of learning blocks such as fossils, ocean, birds, planets, nautical, constellations, nursery rhymes, memory, Greek mythology and (my personal favorite) their “Women Who Dared” which showcases 32 women who changed history by daring to dare.

Now, listen, I had to take a couple classes on “the importance of play in childhood development” while working here so I could go on and on about how important block play is or learning new languages or expanding horizons and blah blah but anything I say about it is going to sound like it was pulled from a textbook. Heck, everything I said above (to me) feels like it would be found in just a product catalogue rather than a cute blog for a locally owned toy store. Even though all of it is true, I’m not going to present it that way anymore. Instead, I’m just going to talk about how cool these blocks are and how much of a difference it is to look at pictures online vs coming into the store and feeling them in your hand (we have several different ones out of box just for this purpose). You ready? Let’s go.

If you can come into the store, please take a good look and feel for yourself. For those of you who can’t, I’ll do my best to describe the way the look and feel here:

The blocks feel soft, gentle to the touch almost like a hard velvet; they don’t reek of fresh cut pine with oozing sap but instead have a soft touch of a newly sanded table before you paint or put a finish on it. The smell doesn’t stick to your hands either. Intricate carved details appear delicate, a cut of lace or an individual snowflake before it melts in your hand, yet sturdy enough for you to run your fingers over and over again until you have each raised line – each indented circle – memorized. They’re light, much lighter than I expected really, to the point where having one in you hand just feels like a cube of solid air rather than a block. Curved edges make sure not to hurt as you tumble, roll, and toss them. The details depend on the set you get but I can personally guarantee that every carving and painting looks phenomenal. And yes, I did just do this as an excuse to flex my description abilities a bit rather than just my humor.

Honestly, even if you don’t want to buy them for your kids but are intrigued or find them aesthetically pleasing, get a set for yourself! No shame in that. I bought one just because I think they’re pretty and rolling one in my hand helps me calm down after a stressful day.

General alphabet block sets come in several languages for $48.39 each, our last ocean set is $25.88, and last two “women who dared” are $68.88.

Toothless monster

You’ve heard of the tooth fairy of course, but do you know where the teeth go when she takes them? Why, to the Toothless Monsters of course! You see, monsters can’t grow their own teeth so they rely on the tooth fairy to give them teeth of their own, but only when they’ve earned them by being good.

Meet Monte (blue) and Meli (purple), the two Toothless Monsters! They come in individual box sets, each with their own beautifully illustrated hard cover books and magical teeth set to go along with the monster themselves!

How does it work? I’m glad you asked, imaginary other half of this conversation. You see, when the kiddo loses a tooth you sit them down and read the Toothless Monster story book with them. The book explains why not having teeth is a big problem for monsters and how them losing teeth actually helps THEIR monster gain teeth. The book also comes with instructions on when to stop reading to continue the magic in person: to give their tooth to their monster, your child has to place their tooth in a special pouch under either Monte or Meli’s tongue then go to bed. While they sleep, the tooth fairy takes the tooth and brings it faaaaaaaaaar far away to their home in the jungle. While she delivers the tooth, you snap one of the plastic teeth into place where Monte or Meli put it.

The next morning, your kidlet will find not only whatever the tooth fairy leaves them but also that their monster friend gained a tooth! Keep it up and eventually their monster will have a really big smile and a lot of gratitude. No matter if it’s their first tooth or their tenth, Monte or Meli will be so so happy to receive such a kind and compassionate gift from their favorite human.

Not only does helping the monsters get teeth teach compassion and charity, the book also comes with tips from the monsters on good dental hygiene so your child can keep those teeth nice and healthy before they gift them to a monster in need! Also included is a tooth chart so you and your kid can keep track of which tooth was lost when.

Both Monte and Meli Toothless Monsters are available at Toy Quest either in person or through our E-commerce website for $42.99 and packets of glow in the dark teeth are also available for $6.39. Want to read the book before you buy it? Visit us in store, we have a signed copy of Monte’s adventure out of box for you to look through and see the amazing art and story for yourself! Happy brushing.

Go Fish!

Hey all you swimmy fishies! It’s been a while. It is also really hard to create a fish with just the icons on a keyboard, like seriously, this is the best I can come up with|>{^-} kinda cute actually. Could be in a really low budget Pixar knockoff film as Namo, the fish with one abnormally large fin who gets lost and who’s dad, Melvin, has to go on an adventure with a fish named Dowy. (please disney don’t sue it’s a joke)

Look at that majestic little face! I just wanna boop it.

All of that incoherent rambling has a point by the way: June 18th is national fishing day! I don’t have anything witty that I’m allowed to say here about it but barracuda with me (you’re welcome) as I string you along for a fintastic adventure. Haven’t you missed my puns? I missed subjecting you, random reader, to my puns.

Man, if the Finding Namo joke doesn’t get me in trouble, this will. #noregerts

So, this Thursday, you should head down to the local pond and toss out a line maybe aim for a raft full of college kids I was told I can’t suggest you target people but if they happen to be in the way that’s juuuuust a coinki-dink 🙂

Kids too young to go fishing? That’s a straight up lie. Don’t feel like dealing with the mosquitoes? Yeah that’s legit but don’t worry! We have fishing for at home available in our magnetic fishing puzzles!! “Oh my goldfish,” I hear you say, “there’s magnetic fishing puzzles?” Yes we do and no I’m not done with the fish puns!

Get hooked on fun with these fun fishing games from the comfort of your own home. Move it up to hard mode and try to play them with a fish! Toy Quest does not recommend playing these with a fish. Method act to get the best results: eat worms, swim without legs, flop around on land. Toy Quest cannot express how much you should NOT do any of the things listed. Toy Quest does, however, suggest buying toys. Flippity Flop I need to stop. Have a goby day!

Mother’s Day is coming!

What’s up you buttercups today I’m here to remind you all that Mother’s Day is approaching! Sunday, May 10th, you need to be prepared. Now, we’re closed on Mother’s Day because it is a Sunday but also because – let’s be honest – it’s parent’s buying stuff for kids here so there’s little point to it. But!! Don’t you worry because we still got you covered for this year’s Mother’s Day presents (look we know a lot of people out there rely on school projects to be gifted but school isn’t in right now so what is a significant other to do?)

Here’s what you do: make your own art projects at home for Mom! See, we got a buuuuuuunch of art stuff for you to use: everything from finger paints, crayons, colored pencils, drawing paper, painting paper, coloring books, clay kits, models, generic paint, and a bunch more that I’m not going to list because you can just go to our online shopping website to look for yourself! Just check under the “Art” tab and search from there.

Well now that the kids’ gift are covered, what about you? Well how about that old standby of flowers? Yeah suuuuure you could get her a dozen roses from Fred’s at the last minute if they still have any, but how about some flowers that actually have meaning? Three really come to mind: the day lily, pink carnations, and orchids. In China, the day lily is a symbol for motherhood while the orchid is a symbol for “many children”. The orchid was also a strange part of the culture of ancient Greece: if the father ate large, new orchid tubers then the child would be a boy, if the mother ate small orchid tubers the child would be a girl. They are edible by the way but I don’t personally recommend it, they taste nasty. Finally, the pink carnation: often considered to carry the greatest significance to Mother’s Day. According to Christianity, the pink carnation first appeared from the Virgin Mary’s tears after she wept for her son, symbolizing a mother’s undying love for their children.

Yeah I know this is a long one but bear with me it’s definitely worth it. Okay, the last gift I have for you is a recipe for my toffee chocolate chip cookies (seriously people love them so much that’s all anyone asks for when I go to a bar-b-que). Don’t worry they’re actually very simple to make. Here we go!

So, you’ll need to melt 1/2 cup of butter in a medium to large bowl. After it’s melted, add 1/2 cup of white sugar, 3/4 cup of brown sugar* and a teaspoon of salt, mixing until the butter is combined then add one egg. Beat until it’s a nice paste-like texture. Add vanilla extract (I never measure but at least a teaspoon), and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Combine. Add 1 and 1/4 cup of flour, fold until combined (it’s gonna be very thick so it might take a while to get all the cumblies). Add chips to flavor. Let chill for at least 30 minutes to bring out the toffee flavor in the dough**. Bake at 350 for 6-12 minutes (seriously, start with 6 and work up, don’t just go to 12) until edges are just starting to turn gold. Let cool for 2 minutes before removing from pan. Each batch makes 11 – 15 cookies depending on size.
* – feel free to use either light or dark brown sugar depending on taste, dark brown will have a richer toffee flavor. If you don’t have dark brown but want to add more flavor then mix in a teaspoon of molasses.
** – if you don’t care too much about the toffee flavor then feel free to skip this

Don’t worry, you got this! So long as you remember the day: this Sunday, the 10th of May. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some cinnamon rolls to make for my Mama.

Cinco de Mayo

Literally meaning “Fifth of May”, this Mexican holiday is naturally celebrated on May fifth. Originally, Cinco de Mayo was meant to celebrate the victory of the Mexican Army over the French in the Battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862. Often confused with Mexican Independence Day (September 16th for anyone wondering) or even Día de Muertos (October 31st through November 2nd), for the most part Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, more so in the US than in Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States originated in California. During the 1960s, Mexican-American activists used the day as a mark for Mexican pride during the civil rights movement. Celebrated with parades, traditional Mexican folk dances, food, and other festivities, Cinco de Mayo is an earnest show of patriotism for many Mexican-Americans.

How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo? I’m glad I made you ask random person reading this. In Mexico, most Cinco de Mayo celebrations occur in Puebla: the battle is reenacted and parades are thrown with people dressing in traditional attire, street vendors selling patriotic clothing or amazing food, and in general a good time is made of it. In the United States, we celebrate in a similar way – minus the battle reenactment – with dancing, folk music, and feasts! Oh my word I would kill for some flautas with refried beans and from El Puerto’s.

I really shouldn’t write while hungry.

However you celebrate, just remember to stay safe and have fun! Also that if there’s any excuse to skip your diet then this would be it. Yummy!