I would much rather help someone else out than ask for help. Nevertheless, I do need to ask a favor of my blog readers.
I’m a finalist in a contest called “The Rule Breaker Awards.” It’s an appropriate marketing award because anybody who knows me knows I do like to break rules. Or at least bend them a little.
The person who receives the most votes wins a bunch of cool prizes, including a trip to New Orleans. The problem is the contest judges want me to sing my praises online, tweet about it 24/7 and put up a billboard on Hollywood and Vine. I’m just not comfortable doing any of that.
Since this is the Rule Breaker Awards, I’m going to break their rule about self-promotion and refuse to show off with a verbal selfie. But I’d still like your vote!
If you decide to help me out, please go to their voting page:
Type my name, Jack Goldenberg, in the Search Box, then click Search Entries.
Then click the vote button. I’ve always hated these contests until now that I actually have a chance of winning one.
If you are receiving this and have no idea who the hell I am, my about.me page is at: https://about.me/jackgoldenberg
Thanks for considering this.
Today we’re going to cover a lot of ground, so fasten your seat belts. Here’s a rundown on what you can expect:
1. First up, a description of “The Toughest Job in the World” You may be under the assumption the Toughest Job in the World was held by the man who explained the Weekly Reader to former President George Bush. But even that job pales compared to the stress and aggravation of this dangerous occupation.
This Job is so tough, no man on Earth could handle it! You’ll see n amazing video of the 27 people in America crazy enough to apply for it.
2. Next, there’s a tribute to my Mom who I imagine is reading 10 Minutes of Brilliance in Heaven. I doubt she’s in Hell or Pittsburgh, because Mom led a good life and was never very fond of those places.
3. Then, there is a piece about having a second Mother’s Day every year. I swear, it’s not a plot by Hallmark Cards. If you read about this on my blog last year, you’re excused.< but don’t leave yet. Stan is about to meet his imaginary Mom.
4. Next, Stan gets a surprise visit from his imaginary Mom he never knew he had!
5. We pause for a short 10 Minutes of Brilliance True or False Pop Quiz.
6. And finally, there are some wonderfully ironic photos I thought you’d enjoy courtesy of my friend and former college roommate, Tony Witlin, who borrowed them from some anonymous Internet writers/photographers.)
Last Mother’s Day, a Boston newspaper ran an ad for “The Toughest Job in the World.” Over 2 1/2 million people saw the ad online or in a newspaper. Only 27 people had the stamina and courage to apply for the job
It’s no wonder so few applicants applied. The requirements were a real killer.
And if that weren’t enough to scare you away, The Toughest Job in the World doesn’t even pay a salary. Nada. Nothing! Although three meals a day are included (as long as you cook them.).
If you haven’t guessed it yet, The Toughest Job in the World is a real Mother. No really, it’s being a real mother, a job so tough and only women can handle it. Here’s some footage from people who applied for the job.
If I forget to mention it, Happy Mother’s Day to Moms Everywhere, They’re America’s most valuable natural resource!
A few years ago, I ran my Mother’s Day blog 2 weeks AFTER Mother’s Day. Boy, was my Mom pissed. I felt her wrath all the way from Heaven.
But true to the spirit of my Mom, she took the blame and apologized for my tardiness. She wrote,” PLEASE EXCUSE MY SON JACK FOR POSTING HIS MOTHER’S DAY BLOG TWO WEEKS LATE!
She signed it, “JACK’S LATE MOTHER.” Looks like we both were late!
My Mom always had a great sense of humor. She loved to pose in pictures with famous fictional characters. Here’s she’s with one of the part-time employees from my Dad’s store who was prone to wearing red suits.
I owe my Mom a lot. Besides my giving me my twisted sense of humor, my Mom gave me a sense of wonderment and curiosity about the world. She also had a love of learning, and taught me about the responsibility to stand up for what’s right and call out what’s wrong. It got us both in a little trouble, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
We still have regular conversations, although they’re somewhat one-sided now. Come to think of it, they were one-sided back then! It was just a different person talking,
My Mom lived to be 93 and for most of those years she was full of life. She got her Masters degree in her late 70s. In a wheel chair. I can’t imagine anything that would have stopped her from doing anything she wanted to do. It drove my Dad crazy.
STAN: Why is Goldberg going to go on and on about his mother?
HARRIET: Because this Sunday is Mother’s Day.
STAN: Well, I’m sick and tired of hearing all this cr*p about Mothers. Hey, did you see that? I tried to say the word cr*p, dam* it, but Goldberger bleeped it out! He really s**ks.
HARRIET: Well, this is a family blog, Stan. Now, let Jack finish. And try to remember you’re just an imaginary character Jack dreamed up. Or he’ll bleep out more than your off-color language.
STAN: Off color? It’s blue.
My Mom was also a bit of a rascal. Not a trouble maker, mind you, but someone who didn’t mind giving the world a little “oudgie” when it deserved it.
Here are a few stories that showcase my Mom’s desire to always keep the world on its toes.
Ever since I can remember, my Mom didn’t get along with her youngest brother, my Uncle Donald. She wasn’t hostile or mean to him. She often loaned him money to help him out of a jam. and he got in more jams than Smuckers. But my Mom did think her brother was lazy and stupid and she had no problem letting him and the world know it.
After my Mom graduated college (at 18), she became a substitute teacher. One day she had to substitute for a history class my Uncle Donald was in. She called on Donald throughout the class, embarrassing him again and again because he didn’t know any of the answers.
After class, my Mom wrote a note, sealed it in an envelope and told Donald to take it home to “his” Mother. If you’re following this story carefully, you’ll note my Mom and Uncle Donald had the same mother, a k a my grandmother.
When my grandmother read the note, she was so mad, Donald thought he saw steam coming out of her head. This may just be urban legend, or perhaps a tea kettle nearby. Hard to say.
The note to my grandma said, “Congratulations. Your son is an award winner. He is the dumbest person on the planet.”
Anyway, there was no signature on the note, so my grandma grabbed Donald by one of his big, flabby ears (oh no, wait , that was Dumbo) and she dragged him to school the next morning to search out and destroy whoever wrote that damming note about her son.
When she got to Donald’s class the next day, she saw her daughter, my Mom, standing at the front of the class.
“Bernice, did you write this note?” she asked.
“Which note?”my Mom said.
“The one that said ‘Congratulations. Your son is the dumbest person on the entire planet.‘”
“Why,” Mom said, “Do you have any other children you think would qualify?”
STAN: OK, not a bad story. Not as boring as most of Goldman’s stories. But I still don’t know why everyone makes such a big deal about Mother’s Day?
HARRIET: Don’t you remember good things about your Mom?
STAN: (STAN MUMBLES SOMETHING INCOHERENTLY.) Fhdignet hobad mdtedh!
HARRIET: What? What did you say?
STAN: Fhdignet hobad mothar! (AGAIN, STAN MUMBLES HIS WORDS SO THEY CAN’T BE UNDERSTOOD.)
HARRIET: You said “you didn’t have a mother?” Of course not , Stan. That’s what I’ve been telling you. You’re not real. You’re just something Jack dreamt up to make the blog more interesting,
NOW STAN’S FEELING WERE REALLY HURT. IT WAS BAD ENOUGH TO NEVER HAVE HAD A MOTHER, BUT NOW HARRIET CONVINCED STAN HE WAS JUST A CHARACTER INVENTED TO MAKE 10 MINUTES OF BRILLIANCE MORE INTERESTING.
STAN: That’s it, Harriet! I’m outta here! I QUIT! I want off the blog. It’s obvious I’m not important to anyone here.
HARRIET: No, Stan, no. You’ve got it all wrong. You’re very important to Jack. He never writes a blog without you. To Jack, you’re practically his leading man. His hero. In fact, Stan, Jack thinks “You’re the Tops.
WITH THAT COMMENT, HARRIET BREAKS INTO SONG, SINGING COLE PORTER’S HIT, YOU’RE THE TOPS (If you know it, Sing a few bars to yourself, then read on.)
When I first heard about ANOTHER MOTHER’S DAY, I was pretty sure it was just a plot by Hallmark Cards to get us to spend another $18 billion dollars celebrating Mom. But it’s actually a brilliant idea.
Another Mother’s Day is a not-for-profit organization that encourages people to honor a Mother other than their real Mother. At their site, they tell stories of how some mothers in Darfur spend their entire existence just to put food on their family’s table (Although in the poorest of Darfur homes, a table is a luxury they don’t even have.
In the largely barren land of Darfur, women must walk up to seven hours a day, three to five times a week, just to find a single tree with usable firewood.
They spend more than a thousand hours every year just to keep their family warm. Outside the relative safety of their displacement camps, they are vulnerable to acts of violence and sexual assault. (The hundreds of young girls kidnapped in Nigeria and sold into slavery comes to mind.)
The danger is so great that, in order to avoid leaving the camp, many women pay for fuel by selling some of very food they hoped to cook.
Celebrate your Mother by helping another Mother who has so little. Visit Another Mother’s Day. It’s a great way to honor another Mother.
HARRIET: Wasn’t that a touching story, Stan? You know, a mother’s love for her children is the strongest force in the Universe. It’s stronger than Hate, Greed or Power!
STAN: I guess so. But I still don’t see how it relates to me. I’ve never even had a Mother.
HARRIET: Well, you might have one one day, Stan, you never know. Maybe Jack will write your Mother into this blog.
STAN: Never happen, Harriet. Never in a million years.
HARRIET: We’ll see, you never know. (HARRIET WINKS AT YOU READERS, LETTING YOU IN ON HER LITTLE SECRET.)
Funny Story #2 about my Mom
When my middle sister, we’ll call her Rainy, because that’s her name, was 7 years old, she tried to climb out of her crib and got her leg stuck in the slats. Rainy screamed for help and my Mom came running. “Don’t worry, Rainy, I’ll get you out.” With that, my Mom ran out of the room. A minute later she returned with Old Joe, a neighborhood handyman. Old Joe was carrying a big rusty saw.
My sister Rainy screamed, ” Mom. Mom. What’s he gonna do Mom? He’s not going to cut off my leg, is he?”
My Mom replied, “Well you don’t think I was going to ruin a perfectly good crib, do you?”
My Mom: Funny Story #3
My oldest sister, JoAnn, had an engagement party in New York at my brother-in-law-to be’s apartment. Both families were equally represented and it was the first time anyone other than my sister and my soon-to-be brother-in-law ever had both families in the same room.. Throughout diner, my sister’s in-laws bragged about this book and that book..And this author and that author. This went on all evening, hardly giving anyone else a chance to talk.
Now, my Mom was an avid reader, but she didn’t feel she had to brag about it. Finally, during dessert, my Mom had a chance to speak. Rosalie, my brother-in-law to be’s mother asked my Mom, “Do you like to read,” asking it as if she were talking to some country bumpkin!
“No, Rosalie,” my Mom answered, “we don’t really read books in Baltimore. But we sure like to f*ck.”
Of course, my Mom, forgetting her manners for a moment, didn’t use any asterisks to express how she was feeling. My Mom was quite a character.
Before reading the next piece, please turn out the lights in your room and hide so we can surprise Stan. Good!
SFX: Knock. Knock.
STAN: Is this a knock knock joke?
HARRIET: No, I think someone’s at the door.
STAN: I didn’t know blogs have doors!
HARRIET: Shut up, Stan, give Jack some creative license here, please. Will you just see who’s there??
SFX: Sound of a door opening
STAN: Yes, how can I help you?
STAN’S MOM: Stan.
STAN HAS NO IDEA THAT THE WOMAN STANDING IN FRONT OF HIM IS HIS MOTHER!
STAN’S MOM: Don’t you recognize me, son?
STAN: Should I?
STAN’S MOM: Stan, I’m your Mother.
STAN: Right! Look lady, I don’t have a Mother.
STAN’S MOM: You do now! Jack just wrote me into the blog.
STAN’S MOUTH DROPS OPEN. HE CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT HE IS HEARING.
STAN: Are, are you sure you’re my Mom? My real Mom? (THE WORDS ALMOST GET CAUGHT IN STAN”S THROAT.)
STAN’S MOM: Of course, Stan, I ought to know my own son, shouldn’t I?
STAN: B-but, how are you so sure?
STAN’S MOM: Your favorite food is steak. You hate asparagus and Lima Beans. And the only time you drink beer is when you’re having hard shell crabs.
STAN: Hard shell crabs?
STAN’S MOM: Yes, with Old Bay.
STAN: How do you know all that?
STAN’S MOM: I’m your Mother, Stan. Of course, I know everything about you. It’s in my job description. Look, if you don’t believe me, just look over here to the right.
STAN’S MOM POINTS TO THE LEFT SIDE OF THE BLOG, WHERE JACK HAS CLEARLY IDENTIFIED THIS NEW WOMAN IN STAN’S LIFE AS HIS MOTHER.
STAN: It’s true! You are my Mom! God, this is the happiest day in my blog life.
STAN’S MOM: Stan, how come you didn’t send me a Mother’s Day card? No card. No chocolates. No roses, No phone call. And when was the last time you cleaned up your room, Little Stanley? Or took a bath? Or ate your broccoli? Or visited your grandmother?
STAN IS ALL SMILES.
STAN: Listen to her. She’s only been my Mom for five minutes, and already she’s driving me crazy.
STAN’S MOM: I love you, Stan.
STAN: I love you too….Mom.
And now we pause for a moment of peace and wisdom!
All right, Brilliant Readers, it’s time for a Pop Quiz. No need to take out a pencil and paper. You can do this one in your head.
1. True or False: The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and his ice cream melted.
ANSWER: False. The microwave was invented when a researcher walked by a radar tube and his chocolate bar melted. Really!
2. True or False: The winter of ’32 was so cold, Niagara Falls completely froze over.
3. True or False: Winston Churchill was born in a ladies room during a dance?
ANSWER: Sorry, Winnie, it’s True.
4. True or False: Leonardo da Vinci invented a primitive hair dryer.
ANSWER: False: But he did invent scissors.
StumbleUpon gathered a list of web pages that were so ironic, we gave our Captions Editor the afternoon off. Then we wrote our own captions, anyway. That’s ironic, in itself, since we don’t have a Captions Editor.
OK, Goys and Birls, that’s it for today. Thanks for stopping by and for staying til the end. It’s because of Brilliant Readers like you that we now have over 20,000 subscribers and 40,000 monthly visitors. Stay tuned for a very special blog, soon. The next time I get another Brilliant Idea!
This is your bloggist, er, blogger, oh what the Hell, it’s me saying goodbye. Good night. And drive safely. Jack
And Now a few words from our sponsor, Me.
If you actually got to the end of the blog, then thank you so much. You’re obviously a homicidal maniac or a very loyal follower,
I have a favor to ask. I’m a finalist in “The Rule Breaker Awards. And I’d love to win a trip to New Orleans in July
I hate to ask, but would you mind voting for me in the contest.
1. Just go to: bit.ly/1KSxCWR
2. Type Jack Goldenberg in the search box.
3. Click Search Entries and my name will come up.4. Vote for me, Save or confirm it.
If you voted for me, let me know and I’ll send you a postcard from New Orleans (if I win!)
Simple. Really, do it now as a favor and I’ll remember I owe you one. Thanks.
Time to Go. Tell you Mom I said hi. Jack
STAN: Liar, liar, Goldenberg’s pants are on fire! I’m so mad, I can’t see straight. I’m going to quit this gig and get a job on a real blog!
HARRIET: That would be tough, Stan. Did you forget you’re imaginary?
STAN: I don’t care, Harriet. I’m sick and tired of being the comic foil for Goldenberg on this blog. Did you see that outright lie he put in the headline? Head of the Earth? Hah, he couldn’t be a Head of Cabbage.
HARRIET: Look, I know Jack’s stories sound preposterous, crazy, almost impossible. But somehow they’re true.
STAN: Yeah, right!
HARRIET: Give him a chance, Stan. After all, he created you. You at least owe him that!
STAN: Oh, all, right, but I’m preparing my resume just in case.
HARRIET: OK. That seems fair.
STAN: You think there are any jobs on LinkedIn for fictional characters?
HARRIET: I bet there are a lot of fictional characters on LinkedIn. Now be quiet, Stan. I think Jack’s gonna explain himself.
Hey new Readers of 10 Minutes of Brilliance. I know what you’re thinking. (No, really. I know what you’re thinking. I have STP!)
You’re thinking I was just joking, maybe even lying, when I said I was once Head of the Earth.
Well it’s true. I was. And as far as I know, I was the first person to suggest that Earth Day should be an international event.
Up front, I’m not claiming I came up with the original idea for Earth Day. U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson is credited with raising the environmental consciousness of the inhabitants of Planet Earth. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, and it was a huge success.
A year later, in 1971, an even more successful Earth Day was held, mostly in the United States, although not everyone who showed up on Earth that day actually attended the event.
But by 1972, many of Earth’s inhabitants were already tired of hearing about the environment. They viewed the first two Earth Days in ’70 and ’72, as a “Been There, Done That Twice” kind of deal.
However, I had the feeling back than that we hadn’t really solved all the Earth’s problems. (Good thing we’ve solved all those problems by now, huh?)
As I figured it, we still had a lot to do to tidy up the planet and put everything back where we found it.
So, I did the only thing a sane, sensible and caring person could do. I appointed myself Head of the Earth. I had business cards printed, stationary, the whole 43 million yards* (*circumference of the Earth x yards in a mile).
You might question who or what gave me the authority to become Head of the Earth. Well, the position was open. And there were no other applicants.
Besides, I was young and figured it would look great on my resume.
Next, like any great adman, I carefully studied the field I was about to enter. I wanted to learn all I could about the Earth, endangered species, plant life, pollution, green marketing, population control, water and energy conservation, recycling and the myriad efforts needed to Save Our Planet.
About an hour later, I figured I’d learned all I needed to know, so I called a friend of mine, a wonderful illustrator named John Safrit and asked him if he would design some new business cards an stationery for me.
“John, I’ve just been made Head of the Earth. Would you design some new business cards for me?”
“How many colors do you want on the logo?” John asked without acting like he heard anything out of the ordinary. John’s response was not all that unusual. Did I mention it was the 70s?
I was serious about helping Mother Earth. With the the third Earth Day fast approaching, I got busy announcing Earth Day International!
I produced ads that were run in free newspapers (Would someone please explain to Millennials what a newspaper is?) One of my favorite ads was headlined, “The Earth is a Mother.”
I got radio stations across the country to tell listeners about “The 100 Things You Can Do to Save Planet Earth.” I convinced governors to announce International Earth Day proclamations. I got citizen groups to hold International Earth Day Awareness events. I even convinced a talent booker on The Today Show to interview an expert on the continued importance of environmental awareness and conservation.
How did I get so many people to follow my lead. Simple. I told them all, “Hey, I’m Head of the Earth, and you breathe the air. Or use the airwaves. We need your help.”
My stationery was on recycled paper, so people must have figured I was for real.
But my biggest accomplishment was getting the support of the United Nations.
STAN: OK, Harriet, there he goes. I believed everything Goldberg said up ’til now. But getting the UN’s attention? I’d love to hear how this one turns out.
I remember my first phone call to the UN. It went something like this.
“Is this Whitman Bassow, Senior Public Affairs Officer at the UN?”
“Yes, it is,” Mr. Bassow replied, “How can I help you?”
“I’m Jack Goldenberg, Head of the Earth. We need to talk.”
Without questioning my authority, Whitman Bassow laughed and said, “When would you like to come in?”
I can understand why you might not believe this actually happened. It’s impossible to get the UN to do anything, right?
Hell, the UN is so dysfunctional, they would’ve never pulled off UNICEF if it hadn’t been for millions of kids pulling their international ass out of the fire.
But I lucked out because, as it turned out, Whitman Bassow was the one person at the United Nations who actually had a sense of humor to go along with his sense of decency. And when I met with him, he championed my idea. He wasn’t just humoring some crazy 25-year old who claimed to be Head of the Earth. He was in from the start.
He even sent me an official UN letter to prove it. (NOTE TO MY YOUNG READERS: A letter is like an e-mail that’s written on…Oh, never mind, you’d never believe it!)
But I still have the letter from the U.N. from 1972 to prove it.
Somehow, I got the UN to acknowledge that I was Head of the Earth and they even gave me permission to use the UN’s name, logo and slogan from their “Only One Earth” Conference on my “Tickets of Admission to the Earth.” I wanted to charge people for coming to the Earth on Earth Day, 1972. A dollar for adults. 50¢ for children 12 and under.
As I saw it, while it wasn’t mandatory to have an Earth Ticket to show up on Earth on April 22, 1972, it sure would be a nice gesture, though. And I wasn’t planning to abscond with the money. All donations were earmarked for Friends of the Earth, Friends of Animals, the Sierra Club and two other environmental groups.
Was my campaign for International Earth Day successful? Well, yes and no. The Earth is still here, but even with all the recycling, conservation, pollution control etc, we’re still fouling up our home planet.
And even with the icebergs melting, drought on the West Coast and far too many other harbingers of environmental doom and disaster, there are still far too many powerful people denying climate charge. They have a name for people like that. Republicans. Well, the extreme right wing of the Party of No, just to be more exact.
A few years later I wanted to proclaim myself “Master of the Universe.” But some damn toy company beat me to it.
HARRIET: There, Stan, now are you satisfied? Jack really was Head of the Earth.
STAN: I don’t care. I’m still getting out of here. I’ll write my own damn blog. And I’ll make Goldberger the but of all my jokes.
HARRIET: Stan, you can’t write. You can’t think. You can’t even spell the word butt correctly.
STAN: Butt, does it really matter, Harriet ? Maybe I was talking about a different kind of but.
HARRIET: Stan, you are a different kind of butt.
STAN: Thanks, Harriet. Thanks for noticing.
HARRIET: All right, say Goodnight, Stan!
STAN: Goodnight, Stan,
HARRIET: Good night Readers. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll sign up for the blog or come back next time when Stan will attempt the impossible, to write his own blog without Jack’s help.
Once a year, toy makers and toy buyers of the world get together in New York for a 4-day extravaganza called Toy Fair. It is a showcase of the latest and greatest playthings for kids of all ages and an opportunity for retail toy buyers to make their predictions for which toys they think kids will prefer.
What they buy determines what will be under the Christmas tree, Chanukah menorah and everybody’s favorite, the generic, non-religious, holiday evergreen.
This much-anticipated event is held in the cavernous Jacob Javitz Center in New York. By my estimate, over 100,000 people attended. I think most of them were on the subway car I took to get there.
I’ve attend Toy Fair every year since I was 20. That’s over 300 years in dog time. I go there to see the new toys, meet colleagues, and pick up projects for my branding agency, Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg.
I used to go to Toy Fair to see some of the toys I helped launch…
…toys I marketed…
…and toys I created…
I also go there to research my once-a-year Best of Show – Toy Fair Awards.
One year at Toy Fair, I had to promote a lesser known toy from a small company with little or no budget. I was challenged to create traffic for a 13″ action figure named Little Dracula. Our budget was smaller than the toy.
Challenges like that are when the most creative ideas percolate. I knew dressing up one character as Dracula was going to look like, well, one guy dressed up like Dracula. But three men dressed up as Dracula, now that was a little scarier!
So I settled on hiring five guys to dress up as Dracula. In the toy business, you can never have too many Draculas!
Not many people know this, but the very first Toy Fair was held in a cave in Mesopotamia in 24,342 B.C. The first show was so poorly attended, only one toy maker and one buyer showed up. And it was the same person. A caveman named Og.
Og the toy maker said to Og the toy buyer,”I want to show you this year’s hottest toy.”
Og introduced fire. Og was not impressed.
STAN: Hey, Harriet. Goldberger must be losing his touch. He’s written about 10 paragraphs and only cracked two or three jokes.
HARRIET: Not counting you, of course.
STAN: I don’t get that.
HARRIET: Didn’t think you would. Stan, I think it would be a good idea if you didn’t talk during today’s blog.
STAN: Why is that?
HARRIET: Well, Stan, for one, you’re not real. You’re just a character Jack made up.
STAN: And your point?
HARRIET: We have a lot of new readers checking out the Best in Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards. It’s a little confusing for new readers if you keep interrupting Jack.
HARRIET NOTICES JACK IS ABOUT TO GET BACK ON THE BLOG.
HARRIET: Shhhh, quiet, Stan. I think Jack’s back.
Where was I? Oh, yeah, I was announcing the winners.
In the the two days I attended Toy Fair, 10 toys were so unique, creative or so cool they won a Best of Show – Toy Fair 2015 Award. Without divulging too much, here’s a rundown of the Winners.
1. Slime Baff: This toy turns bathtub water into slime!
2. IO Hawk: Another toy is a real personal transporter that can whisk you from here to there.
3. Pet Dino: It’s alive! A dinosaur toy filled with live one-celled bacteria that glows in the dark.
4. Loot Crate: A mystery toy. You never know what you’re getting, but you’re getting a lot!
5. Goldie Blox: A building toy for boy? No, girls!
6. Übertüb: A classic toy. Reinvented.
7. Chocolate Picture Maker: A delicious toy you can eat.
8. Insta-Snow and Sick! Science Kits: Two scientific toys that are amazing!
9. Crush It! and E-Z Grip Ball: A re-invented baseball bat and a ball that bounces on sand!
10. Air Pogo Xtreme and Zipline Fun Xtreme: High flying fun! A pogo stick on a rope and a make-over of the zipline.
SPECIAL NOTE TO ONE OF MY READERS: Darryl, this blog is very long. Don’t try to read it all tonight. Just paly your cards!
Kids love the uglies! The more disgusting, the better. Kids love gross-out products for one simple reason. They know their parents will hate them. And when you’re a kid, that’s reason enough!
Slime Baff is a true-gross out product–it turns bath water into SLIME. But the makers of this thoroughly unique toy, Gelicity, a skin technology company, have added clean-up and safety features that parents will approve of.
Here’s what kids will love about Slime Baff. It comes in three yucky colors: Gunky Green, Oozy Red and Goo Blue. You pour the packet into a tub filled with water. At first it starts off gooey, but the more you churn the water, the slimier the water gets. And the slimier it gets, they more kids will enjoy it.
Here’s what parents will appreciate. In the past, parents had trouble getting kids into the tub. Now, it’ll be a struggle to get them out!
And when the fun is done (and the kids are clean), you just turn the water back on to dilute the slime. Slime Baff has passed all the required safety and toxicity tests and it doesn’t leave a residue, smell like the town of Elizabeth, NJ (although it is much better now!) or make a ring around the tub.
Slime Baff is environmentally friendly — which is more than you can say about some kids! Slime Baff sold six million packages overseas and it’s just being sold now into America. Bath time (or Baff Time) will never be the same! Congratulations, Slime Bath on winning a Toy Fair 2015 Best of Show Award. Here’s a commercial that shows Slime Baff in action:
And summer is a great time to play with Slime Baff outside in a kiddy pool. Just dump it in the pool and watch the slime begin!
For creating a way for kids to have good, clean fun, Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg awards Slime Baff our Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Award.
Until Captain Kirk’s Star Trek transporter is fully developed, you’ll have to make do with a more down-to-earth version, the IO Hawk. This intelligent, high-tech personal mobility machine has been described as the love child of Segway and a high-tech skateboard.
To move on the IO Hawk, you lean forward or backward. Mashable aptly described the ride as “strangely wonderful.” The fat tires give you a smooth ride and one battery charge will give you 10-12 hours of riding time.
You know the IO Hawk has to be a show stopper when comedian Seth Myers made sure he visited the IO Hawk booth so he could take it for a spin.
The IO Hawk can transport one person who weighs up to 280 pounds or four 70 lb kids standing on each others’ shoulders. (Kids, don’t try this at home!)
Just be advised you not only need to be upwardly mobile to ride the IO Hawk, you need to be upwardly mobile to afford it. The current retail price is $1799. Company officials informed me they are working to bring down that price.
Everybody and their Smothers’ brother in the toy business are making toys based on Universal Pictures Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World. While the movie won’t be released until this summer, international toy manufacturers aren’t waiting to jump on the dinosaur bandwagon.
Here’s the official movie trailer from this summer’s sure-to-be blockbuster movie, Jurassic World.
Hasbro has a wonderful line of collectible Jurassic World creatures, including a fierce new dinosaur named Indominus Rex. Lego plans a line of Jurassic World toys lead by their lead dinosaur, Diabolus Rex.
And countless other manufacturers will license the Jurassic World movie logo for everything from backpacks to video games.
Dinosaurs are always a perennial favorite at Toy Fair, so there were also a slew of non-licensed dinosaur toys in plush, rubber and metal. And inflatable and puppet dinosaurs, too.
But only one dinosaur is so completely unusual, so fantastic, so revolutionary, he’s won one our Best of Show Toy Fair Award!
I’m putting my dinero on a dinosaur named the Dino Pet. I guarantee you’ve never seen anything like it!
The Dino Pet is a new kind of pet that photosynthesizes during the day and glows brilliantly when you play with it at night. The alluring blue light emitted by the Dino Pet is made from a living creature called dinoflagellates — a type of single-celled plankton — found in oceans around the world and in the toy’s dinosaur-shaped micro-aquarium.
By using sunlight, water and nutrients, instead of batteries and electricity, the Dino Pet allows you to hold one of nature’s most magical occurrences in the palm of your hand. Every year, thousands of people travel the world to experience the magic of bioluminescence in nature. The Dino Pet lets you bring this beautiful phenomenon into the comfort of your own home, and enjoy it night after night.
In a way, the Dino Pet is a lot more than a toy. It’s a contemporary living art piece, a biological magic trick, a conversation starter and a science lesson that instills wonder in people of all ages. It’s available online from Bio Pop and sells for around $60.
For being more interesting and unique than the thousands of licensed Jurassic World toys, Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg awards Dino Pet a Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Award.
Loot Cate is more than a toy. It’s a bunch of toys and accessories and the premier subscription service for geeks and gamers.
Remember the old Grab Bags? You bought nondescript bags without knowing what was inside them. (Like arranged marriages.) And you could have a wonderful surprise or a disappointment, depending on the toy you got.
Well, instead of a bag, these surprises come in a box. A big box called the Loot Crate. It’s filled with 8-10 (or more) toys and video game accessories. You buy a subscription to Loot Crate for as low as $11.95 a month (for a year) or a one-month subscription for $13.95 (plus $6/month shipping and handling). And the retail value of each month’s toys is guaranteed to be $40. Or more!
Loot Crate was founded in 2012 by an entrepreneurial team of geeks and gamers who thought online retail was missing the sense of community, interactivity, and mystery geeks and gamers fell in love with at shows like PAX and Comic-Con. Each month, Loot Crate ships a themed mystery box of the best geek, gaming, and pop culture gear to a subscriber base of over 100,000 Looters. They include gear from some of the most respected entertainment and consumer product companies in the world.
How can Loot Crate offer so many toys for such a low subscription price? They steal them. No, no, of course, they don’t. They make incredible deals with manufacturers who want their products to get into the hands of geeks and gamers so they can act as brand ambassadors, spreading the word about how cool or hot something is.
Goldie Blox set out to prove building toys were not just for boys. So they created and successfully expanded a line of fun construction toys for girls.The toys were not only fun, they had a higher purpose: to teach girls about engineering, inventiveness, solving problems and to inspire girls that they can do anything they set their minds to. (Similar to how Sisterhood of the Pantsuit empowers girls and women on its Facebook page.)
You have to admire the creators of Goldie Blox. In a world where instant gratification has become the norm, these toys are designed to encourage girls to want to build the future. Father knows best? Not!
When Founder and CEO of Goldie Blox, Debbie Sterling, was in engineering school at Stamford, it wasn’t hard to notice how girls were underrepresented among her classmates. She figured the best way to change that was to create a line of building toys aimed at girls 4-9.
When she contacted toy stores, she was warned off trying to change the status quo. Toy stores buyers are not a very adventuresome bunch. They’d rather buy toys that knock off last year’s big hit, than chance it and try to sell something that was truly unique.
But after Goldie Blox ran a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $150,000 in the first four days, it became evident the company was onto something. Sure, girls “wanna have fun.” But they also want to build something today and make something of themselves tomorrow.
For creating a gender bending line of fun construction toys for girls and inspiring them that the only limits one has are the limits you place on yourself, Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg is honored to present Goldie Blox with a Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Award.
I’ve always been a fan of classic toys. Like the ultra-classic red wagon, the Radio Flyer. The flying Frisbee. And the gyrating Hula Hoop.
Classic toys keep their cool without electronics or batteries. They don’t run down until your energy runs out.
Inventors of Übertüb, Steve Miller and Scott McCrindle, were just trying to solve a family problem when they reinvented a timely classic, the humble inner tube. A toy that was never branded was suddenly brand new fun!
The Übertüb can be pumped up by a gas station air pump, a portable compressor, or a foot/hand pump. And if you don’t have any of those handy, it comes with its own manual pump. (Brilliant Readers Note: There was a kid in my high school named Manual Pump. He sat right next to Jose Canusee and near Patti O’Furniture).
Remember how the air used to leak out of inner tubes when you screwed on the cap? Or deflate in rubber inflatable toys?
Not with Übertüb! A check valve keeps the air in place until the cap locks in place. And when the fun is done, it’s simple to deflate the tube and slip it into the dry mesh bag that is included.
Übertüb comes in five bright colors, red, white, yellow, pink and blue. And if you prefer basic black like the inner tubes of days gone by, that’s available, too.
Übertüb offers all the fun of yesteryear’s childhood, with none of the drawbacks that made floating on your back soaking up some summer sun a little less than perfect.
Kids love toys and kids love chocolate. Wouldn’t it be great if some toy maker could combine the two? Well, that’s exactly what a company called i-Spy has done. Kids can create their own personalized chocolate bar, decorate it any way they’d like, then eat the fun they just created. How cool!
Chocolate Picture Maker comes in three delicious flavors of pure Belgian chocolate. Eighty grams of milk, white or dark chocolate. And kids don’t even need an oven to “bake” it. Just warm tap water.
With Chocolate Picture Maker, a huge part of the fun is designing the chocolate bar. A child can design his toy freehand by spelling name or a message like “Love You,” or use one of the included stencils to add a spaceship, ghost, butterfly and many more, even licensed character like Mickey Mouse.
The delicious chocolate bar you can create with Chocolate Picture Maker contains no nasties. No artificial flavors, color or preservatives and it’s gluten free.
For creating the Best Toy a Kid Can Eat, Einstein da Vinci and Goldenberg is excited to award Chocolate Picture Maker our Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Award.
Back when I used to work for Hasbro Toys’ ad agency on GI Joe (“Knowing is half the battle”), Transformers (“More than meets the eye”) and Weebles (“Weebles wobble, but they don’t fall down.”), we would often hold focus groups for kids and parents (separately) to ask them what they liked and didn’t like about a toy.
My favorite response was when we asked a mom why she didn’t like Weebles. She replied, “Because they ain’t educational.”
Sesame Street (TV show and toys) has done a miraculous job for generations educating kids and, at the same time, making learning fun. While they continue to mash up fun and education, the new leader in that field in the toy arena is Be Amazing Toys. Their toys are so incredibly fun, interesting and educational, I felt I had no choice but to award them 2 Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards. making them one of 3 companies to win two Best of Show awards.
Be Amazing Toys was started in 2002 by Steve Spangler, described in Time Magazine as, “The science teacher you always wanted to have in school.” The science toys he developed both teach and inspire. While an imaginative team of creative toy designers and inventors now have added their genius to the toy line, Spangler continues to develop toys for the company.
I saw their demonstrations at Toy Fair and was mesmerized. That’s why we’re awarding Be Amazing Toys two Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards for The Most Fun You Can Have With Science, for Insta-Snow and Sick! Science Kits.
The genius behind Be Amazing Toys is that they’re fun experiments that actually work and they stimulate a child’s curiosity. After performing a seemingly miraculous experiment, kids ask themselves, “Wow! How did that happen?”
Kids can use technology (taking a picture of a QR code with a smart phone) to access a video link that explains the science behind the experiment.
Now I know Winter 2014-15 has brought inordinate amounts of show to the lower 48 (Hey, I can see Sara Palin from here), but once those mountains of snow melt and spring blossoms into summer’s heat, kids are going to be Jonesin’ for more snow. And they’ll get the closest thing to the real thing with Insta-Snow.
Climate change aside, no one makes more snow than Insta-Snow. It’s a dry white powder that creates an amazing reaction when combined with simple tap water. Insta-Snow is a compact, super absorbent polymer (I used to have shirt that was 100% polymer) that quickly drinks up a lot of water, then erupts instantly into an avalanche of fake, but realistic-looking snow 100 times its original size.
It’s very fast and very visual. Here, watch for yourself!
Millions of people who watched YouTube videos of volcanic reactions when Mentos were added to bottles of soda pop will look back on those videos as prehistoric compared the the videos created by Be Amazing Toys for their fascinating family of toys called Sick! Science Kits. Over 100 million people have tuned in to view company founder Steve Spangler on his various YouTube channels. They no doubt agree with the company’s assessment, “Sick! Science toys are insanely cool!”
Sick! Science takes science to a new fun, dynamic and educational level. Each kit has a QR code kids can click on to access a short video of their upcoming science experiment. Part of the magic and interactive nature of these kits is that the initial video doesn’t explain the science behind the experiments, it leaves kids to wonder, “How does that work?”
After conducting the experiment and experiencing it firsthand, kids can watch a second longer online video where “Science Professor” Spangler explains the science behind the experiment kids just performed. Be Amazing Toys’ Sick! Science Kits are sure to ignite the wonder, curiosity and brain cells of future scientists.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s what seven year-old Presley says about one of her experiments with Sick! Science Kits. You’ve gotta take Presley at her word. After all, the kid’s already got her own YouTube channel. On one of Presley’s introductory videos, she charmingly answers a question posed by one of her viewers, “Yes, I am a girl,” she replies.
Tucker Toys mantra is they want to “transform play.” When you see what they’ve done with a bouncing ball and baseball bat, it’s evident they’re not just ahead of the game, they’ve created entirely new games. That’s why they’re one of three companies to win 2 Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards.
The E-Z Grip ball bounces high. But so do a lot of balls. And that’s where the comparison to other balls ends.
It’s got a patented super grip, so kids can catch it with one hand. It has a soft, but tough outer web and a durable, inflatable inner ball. On any playing surface, it provides high bounce performance, a great grip and a fun, unique look.
But what makes makes the E-Z Grip ball so ultra cool is that it also bounces on water, grass and sand! So it’s an incredible ball to take to the pool, beach, or really anywhere.
The E-Z Grip ball will put some real bounce in kids’ play. No matter where they’re playing!
When something is cool, people sometimes say, “It’s a home run.” The Crush-It! baseball bat is a home-run! Literally. Tucker Toys has redesigned the baseball bat and it definitely transforms the way kids play.
Crush-It! is the adjustable bat for high-powered hits and the only bat that offers the lightweight power of a tennis racquet. It has high tension strings that provide a spring-action bat that can smack a ball far, and even farther with its adjustable Power Knob!
The Power Knob allows you to adjust the string tension for playing on a large baseball field or a small backyard. It even provides its own sound effects making a “whoosh” sound when swung. It comes with a high-performance Foam Ball.
It is with much excitement that I am awarding Tucker Toys with two Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards for The Best Sports Toys Reinvented, for their products, the E-Z Grip ball and the Crush-It! baseball bat.
Adventure Parks, a newly organized company that markets a collection of classic outdoor adventure toys, won two Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards because they redesigned two classic outdoor toys, a pogo stick and a zipline. Now, moms and dads can join their kids in backyard family fun. Adventure Parks was one of three companies who won two Einstein da Vinci and Goldenberg Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards.
Air Pogo Xtreme is like a pogo stick on a rope. It lets kids take a big bounce on air instead of on a concrete driveway or pavement. You just suspend the rope from a tree limb, deck, wooden swing set or any other sturdy overhead support that’s at least 8 1/2 feet high. Kids love bouncing up and down and with Air Pogo they can swing, twist, twirl, dive, float and fly to their heart’s content without hitting the jarring ground.
It has been redesigned it so Moms and Dads can now bounce around on Air Pogo, after their kids’ turn is done. While the previous limit was up to 90 pounds, Air Pogo Xtreme can now handle up to 250 pounds.
The original zipline was introduced for family backyard fun about 40 years ago. Like Air Pogo, the parent company has improved Zipline Fun Xtreme, so kids and parents can enjoy flying through the air together, one at a time, of course.
Weight limits have increased from 80 pounds to 200 pounds on the entry level Zipline and it has a 90 foot cable. The top of the Zipline can accommodate a 400 pound weight limit so parents and kids can still enjoy their Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with cheese (in moderation, of course!) without negating their ability to zip along in their backyard.
We are very honored to award Adventure Parks two Einstein da Vinci & Goldenberg Best of Show Toy Fair 2015 Awards for Air Pogo Xtreme and Zipline Fun Xtreme.
It is with some sadness that I have to report that the worst selling toy at Toy Fair was the 4,500 pound Jacob Javitz statue. Is it an action figure? Apparently not. A backyard toy for the kiddie pool? No way.
No one can quite figure out who the target audience is. So for the 10th year in a row, no toy buyers have ordered this monument to the man who created a great hall and exposition center and the $8.00 hot dog, hold the mustard.
Thanks, Readers, for joining us for our annual Best of Show Toy Fair Awards. We hope you’ll check out the many unique toys we’ve honored. They’ve earned a place in toy history and we appreciate that you were a part of it.
STAN: Well, did I keep quiet enough?
HARRIET: Yes, I was very impressed. So, I suppose you’ve given up your plan to be the STAR of this blog.
STAN: Yes, but I’m replacing that idea with an even more diabolical plan.
HARRIET: What’s that?
STAN: I’m going to publish my own blog.
STAN: Here! I’ll post it right here under Goldenwasser’s nose.
HARRIET: But how can you write a blog? You’re not real.
STAN: I’ll hire real people to do it for me.
HARRIET: So, you’re a man with a plan, huh, Stan?
STAN: That’s right And I plan to make my blog more interesting than this one. ‘Course that won’t be hard.
HARRIET SCOFFS AT STAN’S ABILITY TO PULL IT OFF.
STAN: Plus, my blog won’t have some idiot interrupting the blog’s writer to make his own asinine, stupid comments!
HARRIET: But you’re the idiot!
STAN: A detail, Harriet. A small detail.
STAN: So, Readers, look for my new blog, right here. But whatever you do, don’t tell Goldenberg.
HARRIET: Hey, you got his name right for once.
STAN: Lucky guess.
HARRIET: That’s quite enough. Now, “Say goodnight,” Stan.
STAN: Goodnight, Stan.
HARRIET: Goodnight, Brilliant Readers. Thanks for joining us today for our annual Best of Show – Toy Fair Awards. I’d invite you back to see the next 10 Minutes of Brilliance blog, but I’m just not sure what Stan has up his sleeves.
STAN: Both arms.
HARRIET: Here we go again.