As we get down to the wire and frantic-ness sets in, it is a lot easier if you just go to one store, preferably a locally family owned one (keep the money here in town) where great customer service is the rule.
I’ll mention 3 places, Kidlink for award winning toys, JRC for discount toys, and then Le Panier for gifts for the adults (unless they want some of these cool toys!).
Kidlink, 5604 Monkland Ave. NDG corner: Oxford Tel: 514-482-4188 Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 10-5
1- Spooner Board ($55 for children, $65 for adults) – If you’ve ever thought you’d like to try skateboarding but were afraid of the risks, the Spooner Board is a safe way to do all those tricks right in your living room. There are no wheels but you can spin, flip, pirouette and more. It doesn’t scratch wooden floors and is great for kids or adults. You can watch videos on YouTube to learn different kinds of tricks. This is one of the the #1 sellers this year.
2 – Mind Flex ($99.99) – Okay I’m going to admit that I don’t believe this works but it must as they are selling tons of them. This is a futuristic toy which started out in science museums. You put on a pair of headsets and just concentrate. Your brainwaves are “read” and can levitate a ball which you try to move through an obstacle course. Kids can somehow make this move faster than adults who have no faith it will work.
3 – Ukloo ($14.99) – This card game was invented by a Mom whose kids didn’t like to read. It teaches kids to read using a treasure hunt series of cards. It takes about 10 min. to set it up in the house. The child has to “read” each card in order to find the next one. This game won lots of awards.
4 – Ice Cream mugs (9.99) – These come as penguin or polar bear cups where you put in ice and salt and then your flavor (chocolate milk, orange juice, lemonade). Then you close the top and shake shake shake for about 10 min (this way you burn up the calories you will consume) and voila – instant ice cream.
5 – Speaker Creation ($15.99) – A local company has developed this toy. There is a boy or girl model and it’s for kids 8 and up. You take a assembled speaker (which has really decent quality) and put it into a white cardboard box which you then decorate and personalize. You can hook up an iPod to it. ($15.99)
6 – 6-in-one Solar Kit ($19.99) – A no battery toy, imagine that. For kids who like to build, this bunch of parts can be made into a solar windmill, plane, airboat, etc. Adults might even enjoy this one.
7 – Lamaze Northern Lights Soother ($44.99) – Move over Ocean Wonders. This musical toy also soothes baby to sleep while hanging on the crib however this one you can load with YOUR songs. Baby activates it with a touch and shuts it off with another touch.
8 – Got Milk? ($3.99/6) – The fastest chocolate milk in the world. You place a straw which is filled with tiny flavor balls into your milk, and as you suck, it becomes chocolate milk – or strawberry or banana or vanilla, or cookies and cream.
JRC Toys, 5589 Royalmount at Devonshire, Snowdon Tel: 514-342-6979 Hours: www.jrctoys.com
Monster High dolls: Deuce Gorgon and Cleo de Nil – Reg. $44.99 JRC: $24.99
Crayola Cars Color Fillz model magic, press and fill art project – Reg: $12.99 each or JRC: 2/$10
Barbie Laptop Computer for learning letters, numbers, shapes, music, Spanish – Reg: $49.99 or JRC $29.99
Mr. Potato Head‘s whole family – Reg $29.99, JRC $19.99
Leap Frog Tag reading system with pointer and book – Reg. $ 58.999 JRC $29.99
Transformer Optimus Prime – Reg $59.99 JRC $39.99
Bakugan 2 player game Battle Brawls – Reg. 39.99 JRC $19.99
Alex Rub a dub Car Wash bath toy Reg. 32.99 JRC $19.99
Fairy Box sticky mosaics makes a jewelry box Reg $16.99 JRC $9.99
Air Hogs remote controlled Zero gravity Nano car climbs walls, goes upside down – Reg $34.99 JRC $19.99
Le Panier, 200 Bord du Lac, Pointe Claire Tel: 514-695-7038 www.lepanier.com
1 – Singing Justin Beaver plush toy $39.99) – Squeeze his toe and he starts “Baby, baby, baby….”
2 – Chocolates filled with ice wine ($9.99) – A Canadian flavored treat
3 – Pook toque-sock hat ($19.99) – A cute way to stay warm in winter
4 – Dog tie ($10.99) – Got to get them ready for the holiday galas
5 – Crayon Necklace ($9.99) – Kids can wear it wherever they go and have an instant activity
6 – Corksicle ($24.99) – If you want to chill white wine quickly – just keep this in your freezer and after you uncork the bottle, slide the Corksicle in, and the wine stays chilled through your meal.
7 – Turkey Timer ($16.99) – No more guessing when the turkey is done, just stick this into the bird and when it’s ready, it pops up.
8 – Scarf with jewelry magnet ($29.99) – You don’t need to know the secrets of knotting your scarf “just so”. Slip the scarf around your neck, click the jeweled magnet and voila!
9 – Whiskey rocks ($23.99) – Don’t want watered down whiskey? Just keep these in your freezer and drop them into your drink to keep it chilled.
10 – That 70’s mix candies (11.99) – Whatever era you grew up in 50’s, 60’s 70’s, 80’s, there’s a box of nostalgic candy for you.
11 – Fishing pole BBQ lighter ($19.99) – A cute way to start up the grill
12 – Red-neck wine glass ($14.99) – A mason jar attached to a wine glass stem. People smile when they see it.
And if that wasn’t red-neck enough for you…
13 – Red rear flap longjohn PJ’s – These come in all sizes for the family – from kids to Daddy