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Wednesday, 29 June 2011

How to play touring England

Touring England is game of fun for up 4 people as you take a tour around England.

The idea of the game is to take a tour around the map of England visiting various towns on the way and returning to the starting town. The first to complete their tour is the winner.

Decide your START/FINISH Point. Everyone starts and finishes at the same town. The start and finish point should be selected as the town on the board which is EITHER the nearest town to where each player lives OR the nearest town to where the game is being played.

Sort the TOWN cards into 4 separate piles of the same colour.
Give each player 2 cards of each colour ( 8 cards in total ).
Each player plans his route, starting and finishing on the agreed town and visiting each of the 8 towns on the TOWN cards he has been dealt.
He must decide which route will be the best and shorter possible, visiting the towns only once.
Cars are placed on the board at the starting points and each players takes turns to roll the dice and begin his journey around the board.
The first player to complete his journey and return home wins the game.

Each player must throw a 6 start his journey.
The correct number must be thrown to land on the town square for which a player holds the card. If the correct number is note thrown on the approach to a town you must wait on your present marker until you can land on the town square. After landing on the town a player can continue on his journey. If a player lands on a town square for which he does not hold the TOWN card he must miss a turn.
Two players can land on the same point at the same time.

Events in Looe during July

There are a few events coming up in Looe throughout the month of July one being the 7th Looe Festival of the Sea with the weekend of July 9th and 10th being very busy with the RNLI having an open weekend. Different activities will be happening around the town and seafront with various dancing and entertainment and the Looe Valley Singers performing at the Boathouse at 7pm those evenings. There is also the 'Taste of the Sea' with the quay lined with stalls selling local foods, drinks and produce and of course there will be links to the sea and seafood.

Probably one of the most popular and hilarious is the raft race. This is going to be taking place on Sunday July 10th starting at 1.30pm from Looe beach. They are called rafts but anyone who has seen them knows they probably wouldn't like to be in one in desperation at sea if their boat was sinking as many hardly make it past launching! A weird concoction of barrels, wood and miles of rope seems to be the general appearance and I think the only rule is that there aren't any, as bags of flour and water pistols show in abundance.

I understand they will be paddling, no engines allowed, from the beach out around the Banjo Pier and then up the river under the main bridge and finishing, well those that do, at the Millpool slipway. If I am not working then I will try to get down to Looe and watch it but do be warned the seafront and riverside does get busy. I think next year we should enter and it will give us a year to design and build the ultimate boat so come on Toyday.

Looe Carnival weeks commences on July 24th with a week of activities including Fun runs, Boot sales, Floral dance, and of course the carnival procession through Looe on Saturday 30th.

Do try to come down to Looe whether you are on holiday or live around here and support all these events and if you do make it then I am sure you will be a great time.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Toyday Large Wooden Garage Review

This large wooden garage is a 39 cm x 60 cm three storey garage made from painted wood complete with cars, light posts, trees and petrol pumps. It also features a moving lift and two plastic ramps.

The garage comes flat packed and was quite tricky to assemble, we won't be taking it apart again in a hurry. Once constructed it is quite heavy so it is positioned in a spot in my son's bedroom where he can access it to play with it whenever he wants. I would say it's not easy to store for this reason but it is attractive and adds' to the decor of the room. If the girls have a pretty dolls house in their rooms then this is definitely the equivalent for boys.

The garage has a lift that can be moved between levels by turning the handle but this is a little hard to do for very small hands. There are two ramps which you can drop the cars on top at the top of each level and let them roll on to the level below. The petrol pumps are on strings and can be slotted in and out of the petrol station so that children can pretend to fill up all there cars. The cars that come with this garage are nicely finished in painted wood and you get several of these in various different colours..

My son has had this from the age of 1 despite the fact that it is not recommended for under 3's. It's the only toy that he played with then that he still plays with now and he is coming up for 4. Nowadays though he tends not to play with the wooden cars that come with it and instead uses all his diecast ones such as hot wheels cars and where he used to just like watching the cars roll down the ramps he now goes into this whole imaginary world driving the cars around and refueling them. It's a really sturdy long lasting toy, the only weakness I would say is the plastic ramps which could snap of if the child climbs or leans on them but compared to an entirely plastic garage (which from experience didn't last five seconds) it is certainly a good buy.

Pro’s and Cons

- Long Lasting
- Attractive
- Lots of features

- Tricky to assemble
- Not easy to store
- Plastic Ramps

How Much Is It?

Although this garage is £73.99 it is certainly worth the money for the number of years it's lasted and how much it gets played with and will continue to be played with for years to come. It is also reasonable compared to the price of a dolls house of the same size.

In Short

Price - £73.99
Value for Money – 8/10
Enjoyment Rating – 9/10
Recommended Age – 3-7 Years
Recommended Sex - Male
Overall Rating – 8/10

Saturday, 25 June 2011

New Film Club at Dartington Barn Cinema!

Dartington's Barn Cinema is to host matinees for kids on a Saturday. Dartington's first ever film club! This sounds like a great opportunity for children to get involved in something different. If you sign up you'll get your own membership card, fun newsletters, the chance to become their very own Film Critic and great exclusive offers to workshops and events!

BarnKids Film Club launches in September 2011 and has a fantastic introductory rate where the first 6 months of membership are completely free if you join before 1st September 2011- something not to be missed! Even after that annual membership is only £5.00.

To join, just complete the form on their website!

Friday, 24 June 2011

What is a Toydarian?

For those of you that don't know, a toydarian is not just a Toyday employee, but also the species of a character on Star Wars.
Republic credits? Republic credits are no good out here.  I need something more real! I’m a Toydarian! Mind tricks don’t work on me! Only money!
Watto is a mean tempered yet lovable toydarian, who made his first appearance in Star wars Eposode 1 : The Phantom Menace, and again 10 years later in the Attack of the Clones. He is the greedy owner of a second hand junk - dealing shop on the planet Tatooine. He has a great haggling ability and can also resist the persuasive Jedi mind trick!

Fortunately, our staff are a lot more friendly, smarter and less husky than Watto, although I could certainly do with his mind trick resistance with our sales reps!

How to play Jacks

The traditional game of Jacks has been played for centuries and has been a playground game enjoyed by children throughout generations. It is also known as Fivestones and Snobs and I find that even today it is still being bought mainly by adults to teach their children a game which can help with counting and co-ordination.

To start a game, hold the jacks, 16 in total, in the palm of your hand, maybe over a table or on the floor and while throwing them gently into the air catch as many as you can on the back of your hand. Place these to one side for the minute. Leave the Jacks scattered about and now take a ball and bounce it, and attempt to pick up a Jack with the same hand and catch the ball before it bounces again.

Do this with the remaining Jacks until you have collected them all or you fail to catch the ball. Your total will be the number of Jacks you have successfully collected. If you have succeeded in collecting all the Jacks without dropping the ball then you must repeat the game but picking up two Jacks at a time and if you are really clever and do that then its three at a time.

The winner would be the person with the highest number of Jacks collected.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

How to Play Dominoes

The game of Dominoes can be traced back many centuries and is a traditional game that is still as popular as ever. There are many variations of the game although the most commonly one played is known as the ' Block Game'.

Most of us would be familiar with the Double Six game of dominoes but when you have four people or more playing it is possible to extend the pieces in the game by playing with a double nine, double twelve, double fifteen and up to double eighteen set to make the game more difficult as with the greater number of pieces and spots then the more combinations of play.

As I have said the 'Block Game' is the more popular and using the double six set of dominoes. In this game there would be one domino with a six spot at each end ( double six ). The remainder of the pieces have the spots arranged as like a single dice although there are some pieces with a blank at one end and also one piece with no spots at either end this being the double blank giving 28 pieces in a Double Six set.

With the Block game and two players the pieces are placed face down, shuffled and the each player would take 7 pieces and keep them facing away from his opponent. The remaining pieces would be left to one side for later. One player would begin by laying one piece down face up. The other played would then lay a piece next to it with a matching spot value and thus begin a line of play. Should the player not have a piece with a matching spot value to lay down he would have to take a piece from the pile remaining at the start and keep doing this until he could go.

The game ends when one player has used all of his pieces and his opponent is left to count the number of spots left on his remaining pieces and this would be his score. After an agreed number of games the player with the lowest score would be declared the winner.

It sounds complicated but once you have played the game it all becomes clear and for the younger competitors we also have a Farm Animal game of dominoes which has brightly painted farm animals at each end to match up rather than spots.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Mixing Jelly with Toys

Sounds messy doesn't it but you can actually produce some fun effects combining the two. Jelly is a must for all kids party's and you could produce something to fit with the theme.

For a beach themed kids party you could take our castle bucket set and produce a jelly sand castle, possibly this would look best in lemon jelly to represent the sand. You may need to experiment before you are able to pull off the perfect jelly castle to ensure all the turrets stay attached. Try lining the bucket with cling film for easing the jelly out once it has set. There are also sea creature moulds in this set which you could do to place around the edge of the plate.

For a creepy crawly bug themed birthday party or Halloween party use a green or red coloured jelly in a mould or bowl and suspend one of our plastic insects in the middle for some added gore. You could also do the same thing with a plastic dinosaur for a dinosaur theme. You could create your own creepy moulds by pressing a stretchimal (these come in snakes, lizards or frogs) into some Plasticine and them covering the mould with cling film before pouring your jelly in.

With all the different flavoured jelly available why not try making a rainbow jelly. You just need to put your jelly into the fridge until firm before adding the next layer on top and so on until you have as many colours as you choose. Try floating sweets in it to add some extra excitement.

Play around with different moulds. Your could use scooped our orange halves as bowls, create little sailing boats with cocktail stick and paper sails, the possibilities are endless. You really can get creative with jelly and jelly certainly shouldn't be boring.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Totnes Rickshaws

With Toyday being at the top of the high street in Totnes and the majority of the car parks being at the bottom of town, we often wonder if people give up on coming all the way up the hill once they've got as far as the market square or the castle.

The Totnes Rickshaw Company have a way of avoiding the uphill struggle with some imported Indian rickshaws to take you through Totnes' High Street and Fore Street! Following recruitment of a number of new drivers, the rickshaws will be running on Saturdays, offering visitors and residents a ride to the top of the town.

The rickshaws run on bio fuel and are believed to be the most fuel efficient motorised transport around. They are always keen to hear from anyone interested in becoming a volunteer driver or a local business looking to contribute their waste cooking oil to their community fuels project!

So why not take a ride in one and come and give us visit!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Save up to 90% off our clearance toys

Since we started clearing old lines on ebay, some of our customers have bagged some real bargains. One customer won a children's thirteen piece enamel cooking set with a value of £20.99 for just £2.20!
It just had a damaged box, but the contents were brand new and complete.
Enamel cooking set - won on ebay for £2.20

Other recent Toyday clearance bargains have included:
If you have a keen eye for a bargain, then head over to our ebay auctions at toyday_clearance and see what you can win.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Roll Up Roll Up for the Toyday Looe Window Circus

This month in Looe we have created all the fun of the circus in our shop window.

Diabolos seem to be the latest playground craze and they fit in with our window theme perfectly along with our other juggling toys which you can see in the top picture. We have loads of diabolos in wood and plastic ranging from £2.99 up to £7.99 so it was hard to choose which one to put in there. In the end I just went for the brightest colour. I also need to point out are brand new Toyday cotton bag to store your marble collection in. We have had these bags printed with a traditional image of a boy and girl playing marbles.

We spent hours painstakingly creating and painting our very own weasel ball circus arena so come on down to Looe and see the Amazing Weasel Ball!!

The most fun I had when creating this window was playing with the magic plastic. This is a tube full of goo that you blow into bubble like balloons and you can spot them in a couple of my pictures. It's easy to take for granted the fun you can have working in a toy shop.

In the bottom picture you can just see a glimpse of our new style hula hoops with even more colours in them than the last type as well as a few classics that I hope will never change.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Alessandros trip to England

My name is Alessandro, I am 18 years old and I come from Italy. I am living in Totnes for a month in a nice host family: during the first week, from 27th May to 3rd June, I went to school at 'Language in Totnes' and then I will be working at the 'Toyday toyshop' for the other three weeks. I was given this great opportunity thanks to 'Leonardo project', a project financed by the European Union that allows students to travel to another country and stay there for a month. I am here with other eighteen students coming from my school, we always meet after dinner to go for a stroll around the town, sometimes we go to a pub. In the weekends we usually go for a trip in a bigger town or a place that is worth visiting, we like going sightseeing and having fun together. My main purpose is improving my language, my pronunciation and broadening my English vocabulary, and I hope I will achieve my goal by talking to my host family as well as selling toys and having a chat with the owners of the shop. I will have to face all the possible problems on my own so this is a great chance to become more independent and self-reliant. I will definitely have a good time here, I like the town and my work and I hope I will come back home with both a great English and a lot more experience.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Retro Sweets

It started with popping candy and now Toyday is stocking more and more retro sweets. With so many people looking for party bag fillers from our traditional toy range they really needed some old fashioned sweets to go in their party bags too.

Our strawberry Space Dust popping candy comes in 70's style packaging with 5 sachets in each pack so it can easily be shared around. The crackling sensation in your mouth is like no other and if you've never tried it you really should give it ago. Many of the posh restaurants use it on their icecreams and desserts as a little bit of fun and excitement after a meal.

Our other new additions to our retro sweet range include candy necklaces, candy sticks, sherbet straws, lolly's and candy floss. The next time the sweet van comes around though I'll be sure to buy even more.

If it's a candy necklace your after, you best be quick as Blake loves these and as they are only 15p each he usually has his request granted.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Looe Lugger Regatta

This weekend sees the Lugger Regatta festival in Looe again and with fair winds and blue skies it is probably going to be one of the best yet. I parked at Hannafore this morning and the Luggers were in the bay and it was spectacular to see them with Whitsand and Rame Head in the background.

These old classic fishing boats have been arriving over the last few days and I believe some of them are 100 years old and tied up in the harbour they make a wonderful sight but when they are under full sail it is truly amazing and you could be forgiven for thinking you were a scene from the Pirates of the Caribbean!

At the turn of the century these sailing luggers were the main fishing boats along the south coast and although some of them now have engines fitted this weekend will see them racing under sail. It is hard to imagine how hard it was working on them for the fisherman compared to today's modern craft and our technology but seeing these sailing luggers again in Looe certainly turns back the clock to a bygone era and I expect there are still people here in Looe that can remember those days.

Probably one of the more well known Luggers and one of the largest working from Mevagissey is the 'Ibis'. She was already out in the bay this morning when I walked along the quay but this board gives an insight into her history.

The races are being held today, Saturday, and tomorrow afternoon and the best vantage points will be on the seafront, the Banjo Pier and Hannafore but it will be very busy so come early and I hope you enjoy them.

Toyday Dream Home Building Bricks Review

My Dream Home is a building brick set made up of 323 pieces of LEGO® compatible bricks made by M.Y. Probably better suited for girls, they can build a home with everything they could ever wish for.

This set provided us with a really enjoyable activity and kept us busy for a couple of hours. However, we did find it could be quite tricky for younger children to attach the smaller pieces together, especially fiddly parts like the steps and palm tree.

The set comes with an 18 step-by-step guide to making the Dream Home, which is broken down into manageable stages and clearly tells you the pieces you require for each step. We did find that the first 8 steps were slightly harder and much more fiddly than the last 10 - patience is the key here.

What impressed me most is the variety of pieces and figures this set includes. M.Y have specially designed pieces for the front gate so that it can be open and shut and the seesaw can be pushed up and down, which means children can interact more with this set.

Pro’s and Cons

- Instructions easy to follow and broken down into a step by step guide
- You get a lot of different sized bricks in the set
- It can keep children occupied for hours
- Comes with a variety of figures

- Some of the pieces are quite fiddly to put together, which could be quite frustrating for a younger child.
- Could be packaged in a handy container
- Leaflet could include other things to make with the pieces

How Much Is It?

This set was £15.99, which in comparison to the cost of LEGO®, is fairly reasonable. It is definitely worth the money in terms of "play value", as many other things can be made using these pieces, but building the Dream Home alone is perfect for keeping young ones busy for hours. There are many other sets available at www.toyday.co.uk, which include a Space Explorer Set for £14.99 or a Police Helicopter for only £4.99, which would be better suited for the boys.

In Short

Price - £15.99
Value for Money – 8/10
Enjoyment Rating – 7/10
Recommended Age – 8-10 Years
Recommended Sex - Female
Overall Rating – 8/10

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Half Term in Looe

This week is half term and Looe has been extremely busy and the weather has been pretty kind to us all. On Bank Holiday Monday we had face painting in the shop and as you can see in the photo it wasn't just for the children. Seriously though its good fun and I thought if the children can walk around like it then so can I and I am sure I didn't scare too many children. Well maybe just the one or two.

On Friday June 3rd during the day the RNLI are having a street collection to raise money towards their funds. I think the RNLI, wherever they are stationed do an incredible job and if you are able to, then please give generously. I don't think a week goes by during the summer when they are not called out to help someone in trouble. Also on that evening the Porthpyra Singers will be performing at the Boat House on the seafront. It is quite a unique setting to hear them sing with the river as a backdrop and with the forecast being fine and dry I will be there if I can.

There are several events to look forward to in July in Looe including the ever popular Raft Race, which is more like a poor mans version of the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and a huge laugh and of course Looe carnival and I will post more information on these things nearer the time.

There are still a few more days to go of the bank holiday so if you have some spare time then why not pop to Looe and have a few hours in the town and of course this shop will be open to come and explore.

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