Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trash Pack Collectibles and Giveaway – This Is SOOOO Much Fun

Something for the boys and a giveaway too. One of my favorite new toys this season is Trash Pack. That’s right – Trash Pack. Last week I wrote about the new Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and that prompted many of you to share your memories about them. I like to write about toys that grandparents remember and are new again. But this week I’m mixing it up with something that is completely new – and mainly for the boys. The girls will enjoy this one too.

A few weeks ago I featured Trash Pack in my A Time to Play Showcase roundup and now here is my full product review and giveaway. One of the trends I noticed for this year is that lots of collectibles are being featured. Kids have always loved collecting things - playing with them, showing them off and trading with friends. In my generation it was baseball cards and my son had cases full of ninga turtles.

At  A Time to Play one display that everyone stopped at, picked up stuff to look at, took pictures of and smiled at was Trash Pack. The children who were there - boys and girls - were all interested in playing with the trashies – they are sooo cute. Trash Pack is eye catching and keeps your attention with the big variety of little trashies. The trashies are squishy and stretchable and fun to play with.

The Trash Can is a collectible case with layers of little compartments that hold a single small trash can with a little “trashie” in each one. There are over a hundred different trashies each with a name more gross than the next. There are Mucky Maggot, Rankenstein, Smelly Sock, and Stinky Cheese to name a few. I know it sounds awful but they are actually very cute. The playsets are under $20 and you can buy a small two pack for $2.99. I haven’t seen another toy with these price points anywhere near as much fun as this one.

Like any good collectible item, trashies have different degrees of rarity. There are five different types – common, rare, ultra rare, glow in the dark and limited edition. I guess the limited edition would be like getting a Yankee team card in your bubble gum pack that you paid a nickel for in 1956. Someone would have to have a Yogi Berra, Roger Maris, Elston Howard or Mickey Mantle to trade to let go of that one – (I had all of them.)
I like the idea of collectible sets for grandparents who like to bring a small gift when they visit or their grandchildren visit them. A child can bring their collection to show off or play with when they visit and you can always have the perfect, low cost, and appreciated small gift for them. The two pack of trashies will make great stocking stuffers – for any age. And woo hoo – this is a quiet toy! No electronics and no noise!

Trash Pack items are available in stores exclusively at ToyRUs. They are also available at Amazon and you can click below to go directly to Amazon.

My grandson, Zach, is two years old. I have had my sample to review on the counter in my office and he reaches up for it and then holds it in both hands up to me and says to me “Garbage can - Open it up.” But it is labeled 5 and up so Mommy said no for right now. He really doesn’t put things in his mouth and Grandma thinks he will enjoy the trashies but for now I will have to put it out of the way. He’ll be getting something else from Grandma’s pile -  a Transformer Rescue Bot.  Mommy said he could have that - Check back for that review soon.

Giveaway Details

You can have two chances to win:
1. Leave a comment here on my blog. You can send me your email address when you enter – or leave it in your post. .

2. Follow The Grandma Chronicles on Facebook

Deadline to enter: October 25, 2011 at midnight. The winner will be selected using

Update:  Congratulations Susan on winning The Trash Pack.  I'm sure that your family will have a great time with this oh so cool set.

Full Disclosure: I received a sample Trash Pack. This review is completely my own opinion.

I'll be writing product reviews over the next couple of months, so check back for more opportunities and ideas for great holiday gifts.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Winner of Cabbage Patch Doll and Announcing a Giveaway for the Boys This Week

Wow! I am delighted that Susan Adcox won the Cabbage Patch doll - specifically with her entry liking  @Jakkstoys on twitter.  Susan writes about grandparenting at and you can see her column at  Susan is a former English and journalism teacher and a grandmother to seven grandchildren.  I've never met Susan but I enjoy her columns and learn useful grandparenting stuff all the time from her column.

Thanks everyone for entering this great giveaway and all the enthusiastic entrants who entered in multpile ways.

Check back soon for a giveaways perfect for the boys - and a wide age range......The Trash Pack was one of my favorites at  A Time to Play and I'll be presenting a review and giveaway this week.

Now I have to start cooking...Its my daughter's 7th wedding anniversary and I'm making their favorite - veal parmigiana with Ghiradelli brownies for dessert.  Going to make the brownies right now.

Congratulations Susan and send me your mailing address so that Jakks can get that Cabbage Patch doll to you soon. Email me at


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Perfect Fall Day with Zach

Nothing compares with a perfect Fall day when you enjoy the last breath of summer but it is complimented by a gentle cool breeze and your mind turns to a study of the changing colors of leaves. The crisp air, a bright sun, NO humidity and the quicker step that the cooler weather brings always makes me glad to live in New Jersey. And especially glad to live near a park.

Spending a good part of a day with Zach on such a fall day really makes it a perfect day. Fran, my daughter and my grandson, Zach, and I have a routine for days like this. We go to the park. First we walk around the lake twice with Zach in his stroller. Near the end of the first lap, we take the lower level path and hope that Zach will be interested in the ducks and geese in the lake – and sometimes right next to us on the path – and not turn his head to the left, see the playground and start to point and say “Play, Play, Play”. Then we pick up the pace for a second lap and head to the playground.

Zach loves the playground and being with other children. Recently, he has been able to expand his horizons and go up to the higher level on the gym. He is now one of the “big kids” and he enjoys running back and forth on the springy ramp, crawling through the tunnel, taking the stairs without any help, and hanging out with the guys “in the castle” – that’s under the highest level. Fran and I position ourselves in different ends of the gym but we are just watching – he doesn’t need the kind of supervision he did just a couiple of months ago.

Next, he’ll lead the way to the swings and we spend some time there before Zach lets us know it is time to stop. Next stop – maybe – tennis courts. If no one is playing tennis, it is a great place to run around, perhaps find a tennis ball, or an adult with another young child who you can join. Zach loves hitting a tennis ball and next summer he will have his first racquet.

When we are all exhausted, we head back to our place for lunch and Pop takes over. Zach goes to our garage and clearly says, “Open the garage.” There are treasures there too. Out comes the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, balls, bats, etc, etc.

Finally - lunch! By this time Zach has worked up quite an appetite and eats a hearty lunch. Grandma usually provides strawberries to top it off. Fresh fruit for dessert - ummm. By this time Zach is ready to go home for a nap and I am ready to move onto jobs that have waited patiently all morning – but now with a smile on my face.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A New Cabbage Patch Updated Doll and Giveaway!!!

If you had girls in your life thirty years ago you remember Cabbage Patch dolls. They were a must have doll. You “adopted” the doll and each came with her own name. You could buy Cabbage Patch doll clothes and accessories. Little girls would walk their Cabbage Patch dolls in strollers like little mothers themselves. Grown women fell in love with them and collected them. Grandmas sewed up fancy outfits for them. It was more than all the craze - it was a phenomenon. I can see you smiling and remembering your own story.

Well, Cabbage Patch kids are back, updated and cuter than ever. This Fashionista collection are not baby dolls and they each have a theme. There’s Girly Girl, Sporty Girl, Preppy Girl, Artsy Girl and more. There are a total of 12 dolls in the collection including two boys and multicultural choices. Of course, each has a name just like the original. Mine is Brianna Mika. The doll comes with a birth certificate and adoption papers creating the same feel of uniqueness that the original doll did. There also is a code and instructions to download a build a family tree program for your doll.

Here's Brianna Mika
Here’s my Cabbage Doll story – a little different than most. My daughter was in third grade when they were on almost every girl’s holiday gift list. I emphasize almost. Fran, my daughter, frequently marched to another drummer. Every store was sold out. Some specialty stores bought new ones from individuals and sold them for 2 -3 times the sticker price. I was lucky. I wasn’t one of those frantic mothers desperately seeking a Cabbage Patch doll. But as Christmas approached, I became worried that Fran would want one at the last minute and I would have no chance at getting one. It was so much easier the year before when she wanted Rainbow Brite.

I put my name on a waiting list at ToysRUs. My number was three hundred something. Fortunately, Christmas came and no request. Now I was worried that once vacation ended and she saw that everyone had one then she would have to have the Cabbage Patch doll. ToysRUs to the rescue! Several days after Christmas they called and had them in. I had 24 hours to pick it up or they would move down the waiting list. $29.95. List price. Available now and no mark up. I bought the doll and put it in the attic waiting to have it when she asked. She never did. The following year I donated it for the silent auction at the school fundraiser and it was gobbled up quickly.

I love toys that bring back memories. When you give a child a gift like a Cabbage Patch doll you also have the opportunity to share your stories and build bonds across generations. Watching children play with something that brings back memories is enjoyable for grandparents too.  The Cabbage Patch Doll is made by Jakks Pacific and the retail price is $34.99.

Giveaway Details
You can have up to four chances to win. You can have multiple entries by doing each one of the following:

1. Leave a comment here on my blog.

2. Like the Cabbage Patch page on facebook - and leave a comment here to let me

3. Follow @JAKKStoys on Twitter and leave comment here to let me know

4. Follow The Grandma Chronicles on Facebook

Deadline to enter: October 13, 2011. The winner will be selected using Make sure to to check back to see if you won – I’ll need your address if you won. Or you can send me your email address when you enter – It will remain confidential.

Full Disclosure: I received a sample Cabbage Patch Doll for review purposes. This review is completely my own opinion.

I'll be writing product reviews over the next couple of months, so check back for more opportunities and ideas for great holiday gifts.

If you are a fan of dolls, you may be interested in my review of a new line of sports oriented rag dolls. 

Enjoying the Olympics – Sports Dolls for a Girl’s Favorite Sport