You all know I loved the new ABC show #TheToyBox! The first episode that aired last week cracked me up! It’s good, clean family fun! In the first week we saw the winning toy maker, Babak Forutanpour and his Arya Ball be the first winner to move to the final Toy Box (scheduled for May 19).
The Arya Ballre-imagines the classic soccer ball by combining it with a football, base-golf ball, putter head/bat and flying disc. One ball is five times the fun. According to their website, their “passion is to help parents turn their kids on to as many sports as possible, as early as possible, in hopes of promoting good health, teamwork, and tenacity so they can lead full and meaningful lives.”
Each week, the mentors and judges are faced with some tough decisions when they are presented with unique toy inventions that include a whimsical dual-sided book, a ballerina doll, pocket-sized cars, sweet-smelling fruit plushes and a piñata in a backpack, on an all-new episode of ABC’s “The Toy Box,” airing on FRIDAY, APRIL 14 (8:00–9:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network.
This week’s toy inventions will include:
Butterfly Book – a unique double-sided book that makes story time even more fun Inventor: Michelle from Naples, Florida
Ballerina Doll – a collection of dolls that articulate into ballet positions Inventor: Tiffany and Mark from Murrieta, California
Snap N’ Roll – pocket-sized cars that launch with a snap Inventor: Greg from Land O Lakes, Florida
Lil Fruityz – fruit-scented plush with their own personalities Inventor: Jason from Hackettstown, New Jersey
Piñata Backpack – a twist on the party piñata in the form of a backpack Inventor: Rebecca and Nicholas from Grass Valley, California
None of us know which toy Mattel will make. We’ll have to wait to see in the final episode on May 19.
Reserve the winning toy!
On May 19, the winning toy from The Toy Box will go from mystery to part of toy history, and Toys“R”Us will be the ONLY place to get it! Reserve the winning toy now and get it May 20–yup, you and the fam could be playing with it the very next day (or, you know, keeping it mint in its original packaging)! Sound good? Don’t wait, reservations are limited!
How it arrives: FREE delivery on May 20
Price of toy: $10 – $100, you`ll find out May 19
Cost to reserve: FREE-you’ll be charged when the toy ships. Select Economy shipping (FREE) in checkout
Order cancellation: Available through May 18
Change your mind? No problem: FREE returns by mail or in-store
I can’t wait to see who moves to the finals in this week’s episode!
I was provided an all expense paid trip to San Francisco for the #ABCTVEvent. All opinions are my own.
A Look at Disneynature’s #BornInChina
I was recently invited to San Francisco by Disney to experience some new films and shows. Part of that event included a special early screening of Born in China, a breathtaking film of family, survival and nature.
Disneynature films gives everyone a look at some of the most amazing and beautiful wildlife in the world. A look at some of the most amazing and beautiful locations in the world. I have always found each film to be educational and interesting. So much of what they produce teaches both children and adults so many wonderful things about nature. Born in China is no different. The film centers around three animal families – a Panda and her cub, a snow leopard mom and her two off-spring and a full clan of golden snub-nosed monkeys.
The film will be opening on April 21 and moviegoers who see Born in China during its opening week in 2017 will benefit World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Based on opening-week attendance, Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to WWF to help protect wild pandas and snow leopards in China.
The film is narrated by John Krasinski (“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” NBC’s “The Office,” “Amazon’s “Jack Ryan”). He guides us on a journey into the wilds of China where few people ever venture and has us following the stories of the three animal families. We are transported via film to some of the most extreme environments on earth and given the opportunity to witness some intimate moments of these animal families.
A doting panda bear mother guides her growing baby as the innocent cub tries to explore and become independent. A two year old golden snub-nosed monkey, feeling displaced by his new baby sister, joins up with a group of free-spirited outcasts (that I lovingly started to refer to as the “lost boys”). A mother snow leopard is the most amazing of all since snow leopards are rarely caught on camera. The hardships she faces trying to raise her two cubs in one of the harshest and most unforgiving environments on the planet is heartbreaking. The landscapes are awesome and beautiful. Born in China is overall a fascinating nature film.
While I believe the film is family friendly overall, is educational, and holds a true message of family bonds, there are scenes of animals in extreme danger and fighting against each other for survival, as well as death that could be scary for very little or sensitive kids. The harsh realities and images of the existence of these animal families living in the wild include seeing a baby monkey being swept up by a hawk, animals viciously attacking each other, and the death of an animal mother. Older kids and parents will likely be interested in seeing this remote part of the world and its inhabitants and not be disturbed because of a better understanding. I also think the film, along with many other Disneynature films, are ideal for home-schooling families. The film ends with some wonderful out-takes that give you a greater look at what went into the making of this beautiful story.
The scenery is stunning and gives us a look at areas of China that most of us will never see. The film will definitely tug at your heart while keeping you interested, amazed and occasionally amused.
Fun Facts to download about the adorable pandas in the film:
Two great clips from the movie that will definitely put a smile on your face!
Disneynature was launched in April 2008. Its mission is to bring the world’s top nature filmmakers together to share a wide variety of wildlife stories on the big screen in order to engage, inspire and educate theatrical audiences everywhere. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife filmmaking, producing 13 True-Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, which earned eight Academy Awards®. The first six Disneynature films, “Earth,” “Oceans,” “African Cats,” “Chimpanzee,” “Bears” and “Monkey Kingdom” are six of the top seven highest overall grossing feature-length nature films to date, with “Chimpanzee” garnering a record-breaking opening weekend for the genre. Disneynature’s commitment to conservation is a key pillar of the label and the films empower the audience to help make a difference. Through donations tied to opening-week attendance for all six films, Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, has contributed to a host of conservation initiatives. Efforts include planting three million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, established 40,000 acres of marine protected area in The Bahamas, protected 65,000 acres of savanna in Kenya, protected nearly 130,000 acres of wild chimpanzee habitat, cared for chimpanzees and educated 60,000 school children about chimpanzee conservation in the Congo. Additionally, efforts have funded research and restoration grants in U.S. National Parks, supporting conservation projects spanning 400,000 acres of parkland and protecting 75 species of animals and plants, and helped protect monkeys and other endangered species in their natural habitats across Indonesia, Cambodia and Sri Lanka.
Check out a previously published post HERE that offers a Born in China Activity Pack. The activity packet is perfect for homeschooling families as well as anyone with a thirst for knowledge, or simply anyone that just loves animals.
I was provided an all expense paid trip for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.
Have Fun in #TheToyBox on ABC! #ABCTVEvent
I was recently invited by Disney to come to San Francisco – the invitation started out like this:
We would like to invite you to a very special Disney, Pixar & ABC hosted event in March – exclusively for our top Bloggers! This trip will include the release of Disney/Pixar’s CARS 3, the new Disneynature film BORN IN CHINA and the new ABC toy-competition series THE TOY BOX!
I’ll be telling you all about my adventure over the next several weeks and will start today with The Toy Box!
Premiering tonight (April 7 at 8 p.m.) on ABC, The Toy Box is definitely something you should not miss! I laughed so hard throughout parts of the episode I screened that the tears were streaming and my belly was aching!
A multicultural singing doll, wacky worm, party cannon and more compete in the first episode for a chance at the grand prize on the series premeire of ABC’s The Toy Box!
The Toy Box is similar to The Shark Tank for toys and kids are the sharks! The show brings amateur toy creators face-to-face with the best toy judges there could be – kids! But first, the hopeful inventors have to get past a panel of grown-up judges who will assess the cost and marketing potential of their product. Each inventor that doesn’t make the cut is given constructive criticism on what to do in order to improve their product. The toys that make it through that first set of judges head into The Toy Box!
The grown-up panel includes Jen Tan, Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products; Dylan’s Candy Bar owner Dylan Lauren; and, toy guru Jim Silver. Each episode is hosted by Eric Stonestreet (Cam from Modern Family) and nothing can prepare you for his comic come-backs and interaction! The kid judges are: Sophia Grace Brownlee (The Ellen Degeneres Show), Aalyrah Caldwell (Uncle Buck), Toby Grey (The Unexpected John Cena Prank) and Noah Ritter (The Ellen Degeneres Show).
Let me tell you about my favorite kid – Noah Ritter! This little kid has the ability to make you laugh until your sides hurt! I foresee a great future for this child!
The kids get to decide which toy moves on to the finals. The toys and their creators get to showcase their product for an opportunity to bring their toy to life with Mattel. The winner of each episode will move to the finals and in the last episode all the winners will compete against each other to have their toy concept be the final chosen product! The final winning toy will be manufactured by Mattel and available to buy right after the finale airs exclusively at ToysRUs.
What I absolutely fell in love with is the fact that this show is true family entertainment. While I watched and laughed, I knew my granddaughter would fall in love with the show. I also knew my husband would love it! I know we will have a great time watching each episode together and it’s because it’s good, honest, open, family fun. I like the idea that it’s going to create an emotional connection to a toy. Knowing who created it, what they sacrificed to create it, and how they came up with the idea makes you care about each inventor and cheer them on.
This week’s episode of inventions includes:
Arya Ball – a reimagining of the soccer ball with special surprises inside. Inventor: Babak from Carlsbad, California
Wacky Worm Racing Game – a racing game where players dressed in a worm costume race to cross the finish line. Inventor: Cedric from Orlando, Florida
Niya Doll – a multicultural doll collection who sings and speaks in multiple languages. Inventor: Darla from Columbia, South Carolina
Swurfer – a backyard swing inspired by a surfboard. Inventor: Rob from Charleston, South Carolina
Party Cannon – a party game that launches toys, prizes and candy. Inventor: Rick from Miami Springs, Florida
No spoilers here, I won’t tell you who moves forward in the competition but I will tell you the inventor I was rooting for didn’t make it. I guess I don’t think like a kid! (insert heavy sigh!)
After screening the episode that premieres tonight, we were fortunate to spend some time chatting with Jen Tan, Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products and one of the adult mentor judges. What a delight she is!
A graduate of the two year toy design program at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, Jen began her career with Disney Consumer Products, and after one or two other spots landed at Pixar. She became involved with the show when the producers approached Pixar looking for someone to be one of the mentor judges.
Jen let us know that when judging the toys, she looks at what she would like for her own daughter. She looks for the toy that allows creativity and imagination in children. Toys that aren’t all high tech. Toys that just let kids have fun. Toys that will stand the test of time and a child will be happy playing with over and over again. What a great way to look at it. So many of today’s toys are techie type toys that don’t allow children to grow with creativity and imagination so knowing that this is something Jen looks for is exciting.
As one of the first level of judges on The Toy Box she is required to make a decision on the spot. She gets no previous look at the idea, the person or the concept before taping. This is something she found difficult since you are listening to a toy creator talk about investing his/her life savings or his/her child’s college fund into the idea. She found it very emotional at times after hearing some of the stories behind the creations to make a quick decision as to whether or not the inventor would move forward. Fortunately, the exposure itself, even if a toy creator doesn’t move forward, may help some of these creative inventors!
The Toy Box is from Mattel, Hudsun Media and Electus. Michael Rourke, Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Richard Dickson, Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, Julia Pistor, Susan House and Hamilton South are executive producers.
I hope you will all take the time to watch this new show tonight! I know you won’t be disappointed! After watching, be sure to come back and tell me what you think!
I was provided an all expense paid trip to San Francisco for the purposes of this review and event. All opinions are my own.
Yo Ho-Yo Ho! A New Featurette for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
I’m a huge lover of all things Jack Sparrow! POTC is without a doubt one of my favorite series of films. I feel as if I’ve been waiting for his return for the longest time. The life and times of Captain Jack started out almost 14 years ago and it often feels like an eternity before the next installment. Dead Men Tell No Tales is scheduled to open on May 26 – six years after On Stranger Tides, but if feels like a life-time. In my imagination so much could have happened to Jack during those 6 years! But – the wait is almost over!
ALL PIRATES MUST DIE!
Dead Men Tell No Tales!
This newest installment of the story of Captain Jack will bring us some new faces and well, some old friends too! The newest TV spot will make you sit up and take notice and have you double checking to see who and what (or who) you think you can spot. I’ve watched at least 10 times and keep seeing something new with each viewing!
Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea . . . including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas. Fortunately for the forever lucky Captain Jack, he will be aided by a number of familiar faces from the past, including Will Turner, Barbossa, and Joshamee Gibbs as well as a few new faces like Henry Turner and Carina Smyth.
I love this newest featurette with some great behind the scenes looks at making the film.
I know what I’ll be doing on May 26th – what about you?
PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES opens in theaters everywhere May 26th!
#PiratesLife – #PiratesOfTheCaribbean
California Here I Come! I’m Going to San Francisco for the #Cars3Event!
As a blogger and social media influencer it’s always exciting to be scrolling through your e-mails in the morning and see in the subject line “Disney Invites You…” It’s even more exciting when the subject line is: “Disney, Pixar and ABC Invite You….” In the blogging world there is one thing that we all know – Disney (and any organization under Disney) knows how to treat bloggers to an unbelievable experience so that we can share with all of our readers everything they need to know about upcoming movies, features or events. All Disney invitations come with lots of pixie dust and amazing adventures and I know this trip to San Francisco will be no different.
The official itinerary isn’t finalized yet but the tentative schedule looks like this:
Monday, March 27th: Arrive into San Francisco and attend a reception that evening at Pixar with footage from CARS 3 (opening in theatres on 6/16) and a screening of the short film LOU. Did you see that part that says – AT PIXAR!!!!
Did I tell you – I’m going to Pixar!
Tuesday, March 28th: Attend a press day at the Sonoma Raceway for CARS 3 including interviews with Director Brian Fee, Producer Kevin Reher and variousanimators, take a lap around the racetrack in a real race car, learn how to quickly change out a tire at a pit stop and go on a tour of the garage. That night we will screen the upcoming Disneynature film BORN IN CHINA (opening in theatres on 4/21)!
Wednesday, March 29th: We will head back to Pixar to learn all about Pixar in a Box followed by a special screening of the series premiere episode of “The Toy Box,” the ultimate toy-competition series, which will provide talented designers with the chance of a lifetime: an opportunity to bring their toy concept to life with industry-giant Mattel and to the shelves of Toys ”R” Us the day after the series finale. Inventors present their toy concepts to a group of mentors that include Pixar Creative Director of Consumer Products Jen Tan, who will be available for an exclusive Q&A after the screening. The eight-episode series hosted by Eric Stonestreet (“Modern Family”) premieres on Friday, April 7th at 8/7c on ABC.
Somewhere in there we will also get to see an adorable new Disney Junior show – “Puppy Dog Pals” which stars fun-loving pug puppy brothers Bingo and Rolly, whose thrill-seeking appetites take them on adventures in their neighborhood and around the globe. Whether helping their owner, Bob, or assisting a friend in need, the pugs’ motto is that life is more exciting with your best friend by your side. Premiering April 2017, the series features two 11-minute stories that showcase Bingo and Rolly’s similarities and differences and demonstrate positive lessons about friendship, problem-solving, collaboration, creativity and adventure. Following the screening, Sean Coyle (executive producer) and Diane Ikemiyashiro (Disney Junior creative executive) will participate in a Q&A. #PuppyDogPalsEvent
Oh wait – did I tell you – I’M GOING TO PIXAR!
Follow along on social media March 27 to March 29 to get all the latest news on Cars 3, Born in China, The Toy Box, Lou and Puppy Dog Tales – #Cars3Event #TheToyBox #PuppyDogPalsEvent #BorninChina #ABCTVEvent #DisneyNature #DisneyPixar