13Oct/1366

Zooligans – Penny the Penguin Boot Review & Giveaway

ZooligansLogo

Way back in May of 2012, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity of being introduced to a children's brand of shoes called Zooligans. My daughter had the chance to test out a pair of Amanda the Panda Mary Jane shoes. She LOVED her Panda shoes. I mean, she loved them so much that she never wanted to take them off. It was all about the Panda. Now, about a year and a half later, Zooligans has introduced a brand new Fall line that is just as adorable and kid friendly as their previous line. And let's just say, she wore her new pair for three days straight. This brand is a huge winner in my book. (I tell people with young kids about them all of the time via word-of-mouth.)

This time my daughter's eye landed on the Penny the Penguin Boots. "Penquin boots! Penguin boots!!" It was an easy choice for her, and Mommy was thinking ahead to Fall/Winter weather and all of the rain I was sure we'd be getting lately. I requested a pair in size 11. The shoes are supposedly true-to-size, which I found accurate for the most part. Her feet have been growing like weeds so, I'm never sure which size for which brand will actually work best. The only issue I noticed is that with my daughter's pudgy feet (<--- that's a bit of an understatement), is that the area where the foot needs to turn, right by the penguin's stomach, is a little tight. We can get the boots on her when she's wearing socks, however not when she's barefoot. Then again, who wears boots without socks? It's really not a flaw of the product. We've had this problem with every pair of boot that she's owned, and honestly, this is the first pair that has actually gone ON. (We have returned so many pairs of boots just because her stinkin' feet won't feet into them.)

"The Zooligans crew is dedicated to creating an innovative
line of shoes that speaks to the playful side of being a child, while offering up the features that parents look for when choosing healthy shoes for their children's growing feet.
From the soft leather uppers, roomy toe box, adjustable straps and super flexible bottoms to the design detailing from the 
tip of the nose to the end tail; quality, function and fun is 
what drives the Zooligans brand." ~ Zooligans

From my past experience with Zooligans I knew that these were fantastic shoes. Not only are they made from quality materials but they are built specifically for little growing feet. (Or in my daughter's case, massive yet still growing feet.) Just like Amanda the Panda, Penny the Penguin's uppers are made from leather. The soles are rubber and designed with Paw Flex Four Way Flexible Sole. Not only do the soles look like paws, they're meant to flex like them too. You know how it is with little kids. They tend to be clumsy, and without proper footwear (i.e. rigid soles) your kids tend to trip and fall considerably more often.
In addition to the fantastic design of the soles, I absolutely love the adorable details that Zooligans includes in each pair of shoes. Every little detail of the animals appears constructed from individual leather pieces, and the visible stitching creates a unique affect. The color schemes are adorable, with Penny the Penguin in Dark Slate/Arona Blue with pops of color in bright pink.

Penny the Penguin made into this month's Parent's Magazine issue as one of their Top 10 Favorites on their "Must-Have, Must-See, Must-Do" list. That's right. Have to say I was kind of tickled that my daughter had good enough taste to pick out a featured product.

Zooligans can be purchased at several online retailers including Nordstrom, ShoeBuy, and Amazon. Check your local boutique retailers too. Many are starting to carry Zooligans!

You can also find Zooligans on Facebook (they have some awesome fan giveaways) and Twitter.

Zooligans wants to give away a pair of shoes to one lucky DealPeddler reader! Entrants must be 18+ and live in the USA. Failure to complete the mandatory entry will result in disqualification.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I was provided a pair of shoes from Zooligans free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

8Sep/130

Costume Discounters – Power Rangers Megaforce Classic Halloween Costume Product Review

CostumeDiscountersLogo

I still can't believe Halloween is next month. Where did my summer go?! This year I wanted to be a little more prepared for Trick-or-Treating compared to my usual last minute scramble to find or make costumes for the spawn that live in my home. (Hey... they need to go get some candy, because we all know the parents look forward to eating a good chunk of it.)

For this year, Costume Discounters offered me the opportunity to review one of the MANY affordable costumes they carry. Of course my 3-year-old daughter and I had a slight clash of tastes and she managed to show me just how little I know about her random choices in style and costumes. I mean, com'on. She makes me draw Lalaloopsy pictures constantly, and thinks My Little Pony is just the next best thing to eating peanut butter straight from a spoon. Then throw in her love for her favorite shirt (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and her fascination with Spider Man... How was I supposed to know she would have ZERO interest in any of those characters?

Then she saw it. The Power Rangers Megaforce Classic Halloween Costume in BLUE. Not pink. She absolutely insisted on the "blue one!"

My daughter is not a small child. She's currently in size 6x children's clothing, so we decided to go with a size Medium for the costume. I'm glad we did, because it's a thinner fit, you know, for normal size 7 to 9-year-olds. Because it's a larger size it's very long for her. Not a big deal. I can roll up the pants, and she can keep the costume as a dress-up toy once Halloween is over and done with. I think she might have been able to squeeze into a small, but I'm glad we went with the bigger size.

We loved that the costume includes a mask and a removable plastic belt buckle. They're just neat little features that make the costume that much more fun. The costume is very simple to get on, and Velcros in the back. She LOVES it. I couldn't get her to take it off for a couple of hours during our first try-on. In fact, she loved it so much I actually have had to find multiple hiding spots for it so she doesn't wear it out before she gets to use it.

As a mother who lived in Maine for way too many years, I appreciate that this particular costume is long sleeved and has long pants. It's less fun to dress up when you have to wear a bulky jacket because you can't fit a layer of clothes under your costume. Because we went a little bigger with the costume I can easily get a long sleeved shirt under it, and even a pair of jeans.

The best part, if you want to go all out, there are also affordable accessory options that go along with this costume. The costume itself is also extremely affordable and priced at only $17.97. Not too bad, huh?

Make sure you check out Costume Discounters on Facebook and Twitter too!

 

*I received a costume free of charge from Costume Discounters in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

16Jun/1318

NCircle Entertainment, Hit Entertainment & Fisher Price – Mike the Knight DVD, Activity Book & Toy Set Review and Giveaway

NCircleMikeKnightLogoCollage

This has probably one of my kids' favorite reviews to date! NCircle Entertainment and Hit Entertainment are announcing the release the DVD launch of their popular medieval, CG-animated Nick Jr. series, Mike the Knight™. I had never seen Mike the Knight so this was also a treat for this mom. My kiddos have watched the “Mike the Knight: Knight in Training,” DVD at least 5 times within 48 hours of opening it. In addition to this great little DVD, we also received a pretty sweet Mike the Knight activity book, and a Fisher-Price Mike the Knight Sword and Shield. (The shield and sword has elicited several fights between my son and daughter.)

"Featuring five fun-and-learning-filled adventures, "Mike the Knight: Knight in Training" finds Mike on missions to serve and protect the Kingdom of Glendragon.  Whether it's locating the perfect birthday surprise for his sister Evie, or helping others find their way back home, every day is an adventure with Mike and his friends!  The all-new Glendragon Matching Game, as well as Meet Mike’s Friends! Music Videos and a karaoke version of the theme song are also included. ~ NCircle Entertainment
What I absolutely loved about this little package is that my daughter immediately fell in love with it. Even though I had given the toys to my son, she thought they were the best thing ever. I'm all for gender-neutral toys and shows, and while this I think is slightly geared more toward boys, it didn't phase her in the slightest. She wanted to be a knight, and fight dragons, and live in a castle. I love anything that expands her imagination and introduces her to new concepts of play and pretend. Both of my kids chased after the dog with the sword, and they even played together - one using the shield and one using the sword.

The activity from Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing book has lots of great things to do, include reading along with character introductions, connect the dots, pictures to color, and drawing prompts that encourage your children to use their imagination. The middle even has a poster that the kids can take out (or that the adults can help remove) and hang on their walls. Unfortunately, mine thought this was too good to wait for mommy's help and it ended up in pieces all over the floor. Oops. They're very destructive if you can't tell.

For more information on new releases and giveaways check out NCircle Entertainment on Facebook, Twitter, and Online!

Mike the Knight is a show I would much prefer my children enjoying over various others on TV. I am so glad we were finally introduced to it through this review. I know this will be something my kids will enjoy for several more years, and I think I now have some more Christmas and birthday gift ideas!

One lucky reader will also win their very own Royal Prize Package! Total ARV is approximately $30. ($12.99 DVD, $4.99 Activity Book, $11.99 Sword & Shield). To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to legal residents of the USA who are ages 18+. Entrants must complete the mandatory entry in order to be eligible to win.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

25May/130

Build-A-Bear Workshop – Beary Limited Edition Sponge Bob’s Patrick Product Review

BuildABearLogo

About a year ago I had the opportunity to work with Build-A-Bear Workshop on a review of one of their Farmer's Market animals. My kids just adore their Build-A-Bear Workshop stuffed animals. My daughter sleeps with her brother's monkey every night. When she brings it down stairs in the morning it results in a massive fight. This is usually something along the lines of, "That's MINE!" Then she promptly shoves her younger brother to the floor, and he sits on the opposite end of the couch to regroup before going back in for round 2. *Ding Ding Ding* Let's get ready to rumbleeeeee!

On May 17th, Build-A-Bear Workshop just released two new "animals" to their Beary Limited Edition line. Let's welcome Sponge Bob & Patrick! There is also a 8.5 inch Sandy and a 6" Gary in a smaller pre-stuffed size. Know how I said my kids liked to fight over the monkey they have? Yeah, Patrick has elicited the exact same response. That's a good thing though, right? What brand doesn't want to hear that their toys are so popular they start a personal WWIII in the homes where their products reside.
To be 100% truthful, we're not a huge Sponge Bob family. Mostly because I think my kids are too young to watch it. However, I knew they'd love Patrick even if they weren't 100% sure who he is. They've watched the show a couple of times when there wasn't much else on and I needed mommy break. Plus, who just doesn't love the look of Patrick? He's so cute and funny!

Patrick, as previously mentioned, is an 18" Build-A-Bear that comes in a beautiful coral color. He's also super soft just like most of the other Build-A-Bear Workshop products we own. I think the combination of the bright vibrant colors and the texture of the material he's made out of is what really attracted my kids to him. Although Patrick doesn't fit into most of the Build-A-Bear clothing line, they did create a pirate outfit for him. If you have one of those kids who insists on dressing up their Build-A-Bear's it's nice to know that Patrick wasn't been left out. (Sponge Bob also has a pirate outfit you can purchase for him too.)
It's so hard not to fall in love with this new Beary Limited Edition line of characters! (We've also purchased Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony for my Daughter's Birthday. She is a huge MLP fan.) I'm always searching for a great deal on them, so make sure you check out Build-A-Bear Workshop on Facebook. Every once in awhile they release a great coupon! You can also find Build-A-Bear Workshop on Twitter, and Pinterest. If you have an iPhone you can download the Build-A-Bear Workshop app for FREE and get immediate updates.

Build-A-Bear Workshop is giving one lucky DealPeddler reader a $25 Bear Bucks Gift Card! Giveaway will run for approximately a week and is open to residents who are 18+ of the USA. You'll be able to enter [HERE] when it is live.

 

*I received the above mentioned product free of charge from Build-A-Bear Workshop in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

21Apr/130

Momo Baby – Purple Skid-Proof Silicone Place Mat Product Review

MomoBabyLogo

I've really grown to love Momo Baby products since having the chance to review several pairs of their shoes. (You can read about them HERE, HERE, and HERE.) This time around I was asked to try out the Momo Baby Skid-Proof Silicone Place Mat. Of COURSE I chose the color purple. Not sure if it's a favorite of my kids, but I figure if it's going to be on my dinner table, it should be in a color I like. The biggest reason why I was excited for this review is because I have two messy toddlers. I know, toddlers are just inherently messy, however I am so tired of having to make sure their bowls aren't slipping all over the place when it's time to eat. Ever try to let a 1.5 year old eat soup from a bowl that won't stay in one place? It's nearly impossible and ends up everywhere.

"Skid-proof silicone placemat relies on its self-adhesive properties to keep small articles in place, preventing from slipping and vibrating. The placemat can be attached onto any smooth surface without leaving any sticky residue. Attach and remove multiple times without loss of tackiness. Mat is non-toxic, odorless, and hypo-allergenic." ~ Momo Baby

I've used a skid-proof mat from another brand before, and wasn't a fan. It didn't stay put very well, or not as well as I would have liked it to. If I'm going to spend money on a product, it needs to be worth it. This mat really appears to be worth it. It's a heavy silicone so it's pretty durable. (Unfortunately my kids are terrors at times and BIT pieces of it off.) So, don't let your kids get to it if they enjoy using their chompers to destroy things. Otherwise, it's durable. It's also flexible and stretchy. The only negative thing I noticed was that the color of the product on the website didn't quite line up with what I received. That's actually great for me because I liked the color much better once the product was in my hands. It wasn't quite as plain purple, but more of a dark pink-ish purple. (Think more red than blue.) But, as I said, I like the color better.

The place mat actually STAYS on the table. It's almost impossible to move unless you lift it up. There is NO sliding what-so-ever. Bowls, cups and utensils also stay put when placed on the mat. It's super easy to clean, however it does attract pet hair like nobody's business.
Minus the snafu of my kids thinking the mat was food, I really am happy with this product. I think it has made eating a lot easier for the kiddos and a lot less messy for mommy. I love that it's hypo-allergenic (not that we have allergies, but ya know, we could have other kids over), non-toxic, and doesn't have an odor. You know how awful it is taking a new children's product out of a box and it just smells like... chemicals. Ick.

Make sure you browse through the Momo Baby website. They also offer maternity clothes, feeding items, and additional styles of shoes for your growing kiddlets. You can also find them on FACEBOOK!

 

*I was provided a product free of charge from Momo Baby in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

8Mar/130

Momo Baby – Leather Sneakers with Flexible Sole Product Review

MomoBabyLogo

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of writing about Momo Baby's Leather Shoes with Flexible Rubber Soles, and today I have the equal pleasure of writing about Momo Baby's Leather Sneakers with Flexible Rubber Soles. Back in December Momo Baby reached out and asked if I'd like to try out their two new lines of baby/toddler shoes, and of course I said yes. I loved their soft sole baby shoes, and they were large enough that my son STILL wears them. He picks out what shoes he wants to wear every day, and they're always one of the Momo Baby pairs of shoes.

"We have carefully designed our shoes to protect your child's feet, while incorporating many beneficial attributes to promote quality foot quality. Momo Baby Leather Sneakers with Flexible Rubber Sole feature high quality genuine leather with fashionable looks and excellent durability. Easy-on, easy-off design double straps with Velcro are designed ensure the best fit. Leather and mesh upper/textile lining/rubber sole." ~ Momo Baby

Momo Baby offers 6 different designs in their Leather Sneakers, and I decided to go with the Dinosaur in Tan style in size 6.5. As I said in a previous review, in these styles of sneakers and shoes, the biggest size offered is 6.5. I still wish they offered larger sizes so I could keep my kiddo in Momo Baby shoes even longer. But, they fit perfectly for now, and I can tell they are very comfortable for him.

In addition to the awesome sole which makes it very easy for him to maintain his balance while toddling around, they're very light weight. There's no holding him back now! I also loved the dual Velcro straps. I can adjust the tightness of the shoe in two areas which is fantastic for anyone who has a child with fat feet. (Yes, it happens. My daughter's feet used to be MASSIVE and the only shoes she could wear for awhile had to be like the Momo Baby soft sole baby shoes.) I also loved that the strap closest to the ankle is sewn down in the middle, and Velcros on either side. Getting these shoes on and off is a cinch! They're great for the colder months, because even though they do breath with the nice mesh, they are completely closed shoes, and come up relatively high on the ankle. They will easily fit a warm pair of socks in addition to the little feet they cover. The treads are also a very nice touch to the overall design of the shoe. These allow him to walk on slippery floors without slipping and sliding all over the place. He can easily transfer from our wood floors, to the carpet, to going outside and walking around in the dirt, fallen leaves, grass, and sidewalk.

Features:

  • Rubber soles with deep tread pattern increases slip-resistance
  • Flexibility of the sole enables a better natural shift of weight from the back to front of the shoe when walking
  • Durable mesh for lightweight construction while allowing maximum breathability
  • Fan-shaped toe box resembles the shape of child's foot, allowing the big and small toe to move freely
  • Removable, anti-bacterial, breathable insoles keep feet comfy and dry
  • All lines of Momo Baby footwear has recently been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association's prestigious Seal of Acceptance.

I absolutely adore these shoes for my son, and with recently receiving the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of Acceptance, I believe my son is getting a quality shoe that will support and protect his growing feet.

Make sure you browse through the Momo Baby website. They also offer maternity clothes, feeding items, and additional styles of shoes for your growing kiddlets. You can also find them on FACEBOOK!

*I was provided a product free of charge from Momo Baby in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

25Feb/130

Momo Baby – Leather Flexible Rubber Sole Shoes Product Review

MomoBabyLogo

Way back in August, I had the opportunity to review a pair of soft sole baby shoes from Momo Baby, and we really loved them. In fact, my son just wore that pair yesterday. We still receive so many compliments on them whenever we venture out. Recently I was asked to review two more pairs of Momo Baby shoes; Rubber Sole Leather Shoes and Rubber Sole Leather Sneakers. Because these are two different products, and for the sake of keeping my review on the shorter end of things, these two products will be reviewed separately.

"We have carefully designed our shoes to protect your child's feet, while incorporating many beneficial attributes to promote quality foot quality. Momo Baby Leather Shoes with Flexible Rubber Sole feature high quality genuine leather with fashionable looks and excellent durability." ~ Momo Baby

While I think just about all of the Momo Baby styles are super adorable for the Rubber Sole Leather Shoes, we decided to go with the Rainbow Caterpillar in Tan. My kids are huge "Very Hungry Caterpillar" fans, so I thought this might be a cute way to add to the fun of a book they love so much. My son is growing like a weed, so after measuring his foot with a ruler, we decided size 6.5 would probably be our best bet. The only thing that I noticed was that 6.5 was the biggest size they offered. It's kind of a bummer because, while my son's feet fit in the shoe, he won't have very long in them, and these would be perfect through the majority of his toddler years.

Anywho, the shoes fit perfectly. They're so soft and easy to put on. With a wiggly toddler, the easy way is the best way? You know what I'm talking about. You have about 2.5 seconds to get each shoe on before they're off and running, or flipping themselves over, or squirming out of the seat like a melting scoop of ice cream.

Features:

  • Rubber soles with deep tread pattern increases slip-resistance
  • Flexibility of the sole enables a better natural shift of weight from the back to front of the shoe when walking
  • Fan-shaped toe box resembles the shape of child's foot, allowing the big and small toe to move freely
  • Adjustable straps with Velcro makes it simple to get on and off
  • Genuine leather lining enhances breathability and removable, anti-bacterial, breathable insoles keep feet comfy and dry
  • All lines of Momo Baby footwear has recently been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association's prestigious Seal of Acceptance.

Now that my son is completely mobile, having a rubber sole is a necessity. He likes to walk everywhere, and some places definitely need thicker bottoms (like in our yard), and treads (like in our muddy yard). My son walks effortlessly in these shoes, and I feel great knowing that the soles of his feet are protected, and that they won't slip off.
The Velcro strap is a fantastic touch. I love that I can quickly adjust how tight the shoes are based on whether or not he's wearing socks that day. Having a closed toe is great too. Even though I wouldn't consider them summer shoes, they're still wearable because they breath well, and they're light weight so if we go on any trips into the city, or hikes, he can definitely get by with these shoes in the warmer months.

Right now you can get these shoes on SALE from Momo Baby! They're currently only $24 instead of their original price of $49!

Make sure you browse through the Momo Baby website. They also offer maternity clothes, feeding items, and additional styles of shoes for your growing kiddlets.

 

*I was provided a product free of charge from Momo Baby in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

24Nov/120

Thermal-Aid – “Tiny” Zoo Elephant Product Review

ThermalAidlogo

Back in June, I was super excited because Thermal-Aid sent me their "Buckley" bear to review. I had been dying to try one out, and while I knew it was still a pretty great product, I didn't have the opportunity to really test it thoroughly since neither of my kids were injured or sick at the time. Since then, both of my kids have used "Buckley", and so have I. It's been great for bumps and bruises if used as a cold pack. Because it never freezes solid, I can use it on my children in areas (like the forehead) that would normally end up uncomfortable with a frozen solid ice pack. My daughter slept with "Buckley" a few times when she was running a fever. It seemed to help cool her down a bit, and kept her from becoming too restless, and it also was closer to a toy she'd rather cuddle with. I even used "Buckley" as a heat pack on my neck, which felt fantastic.

When I find a company and product I love, I try to stay up-to-date on new product releases. I tend to "Facebook stalk". Thermal-Aid has been gearing up for the release of their new Thermal-Aid Zoo animals for the last several months. Approximately 3-4 weeks ago, they were finally released and made available for purchase. Thermal-Aid offered to send one of their new zoo animals for a review. My daughter decided to go with "Tiny", the pink elephant. Elephants have always been kind of her mother imposed "theme", so I have to admit I was tickled she chose that one. In addition to "Tiny", they now have "Ollie" the light grey koala, "JoJo" the tan monkey, "Baxter" the dark blue bunny, and "Happy" the dark grey hippo. How cute is that?

Now, if you're not yet familiar with Thermal-Aid, make sure you keep reading.

"Our researchers worked closely with milling engineers from the largest agribusiness companies in the world to create a line of products, using a unique process, which allows a specialized corn to hold temperatures for long periods of time. This process removes the germ from the kernel, thus removing virtually all the moisture and preventing mold or fungi from forming. The entire process hardens the corn segments, causing an even temperature in each segment, and creating extended temperature retainment (hot and cold). This also extends the life of the corn beyond that of the material it’s sewn into!" ~ Thermal-Aid
As I alluded to earlier, the Thermal-Aid animals have two functions. They worth both as a heat pack, and a cold pack. If you want to use it for aches and pains, just throw it in the microwave for the suggested 45-60 seconds. I found I needed mine to stay in the microwave closer 75-90 seconds in order to get it as warm as I wanted it. I might just stick with the suggested time for the kiddos too. If you think you're going to need it as a cool pack, just throw it in your freezer for about 5 hours. I leave my in continually (although I'm not sure if this is bad for the product). I've found over the last several months that I've needed our "Buckley" bear as a cold pack more often than a heat pack. So, now that we have "Tiny", we'll be able to have one reading for heating, and one already cold.

I think my daughter was just as excited about receiving "Tiny" as I was! She wanted to take it out of the box immediately, and even though this isn't meant to be used as a toy, it's great to know she has something she loves that will comfort her when mommy and daddy can't. I did want to mention that while using "Buckley" as a cold pack we were able to reduce the amount of Tylenol we normally give her while she's running a fever. I absolutely LOVE this because I hate giving my kids medications like that.

Thermal-Aid also makes products specifically for adults and pets, so make sure you check out their web site. The adult Thermal-Aid packs are "...clinically proven to reduce fever, sunburn, earaches, back & neck pain, flu symptoms, sprains, bee stings, headaches, sore muscles, growing pains, insomnia, and much more."

Thermal-Aid is also offering $5 OFF your purchase when you use code PEDDLER at checkout! The code will expired 12/21 at midnight, so get your order in now! These would also make a fantastic holiday gift for any new moms, experienced moms, or even for the kids themselves.

If you haven't yet, make sure you find Thermal-Aid on Facebook and Twitter. They're very interactive with the fans, and host a lot of great giveaways.

In addition to this super awesome discount, Thermal-Aid is giving away a "Tiny" the elephant! Giveaway will run for approximately 1 week, and is open to legal residents of the USA who are 18+. Once the giveaway is live you'll be able to enter [HERE].

*I received a product free of charge from Thermal-Aid in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

20Oct/121

Rockboard – Original Scooter Product Review

RockboardLogo

What do you get a 10-year-old for Christmas that isn't an electronic device? Sure, you could go the usual route with clothing, a new bike, books, toys, movies, etc. However, that all gets rather boring pretty quickly, goes un-played with after 10 minutes, and most aren't exactly a great way to encourage the kiddos to play outdoors.) I was browsing the interwebz for ideas for this year's Christmas and happened upon the Rockboard Scooters. What really caught my attention was that the original Rockboard Scooter was a Toy Of The Year Finalist in 2011, and the Rockboard Mini was a Toy Of The Year 2012 Winner. How cool is that?!

I had initially contacted Rockboard to see about reviewing the Rockboard Mini, but found out that the product has only a 100lb weight limit. I wanted my step-daughter to be able to use this for several years, so we decided that the Rockboard Original Scooter would probably work for her best. It says it's for ages 8+, and has a 200lb weight limit. That means even I can ride it!

"Propulsion is achieved with each rock, wasting zero energy and allowing the scooter to reach speeds up to 10mph. The patented Rockboard Scooter comes fully assembled and can be folded to a compact size for storage." ~Rockboard

We were sent the Rockboard Original Scooter in the Orange on White color scheme. They aren't kidding when they say "no assembly required". The scooter came in a large box, and the minute you opened it, the product was ready to use. It did take us a little minutes to figure out how to get the scooter in the position in order to be able to use the "rocking" feature. Even after reading the instructions for whatever reason we still had a little difficulty. However, after checking things over, scratching our heads, and trying what the instructions said a few more times, we were able to figure it out. (It really shouldn't have been that difficult now that it's super obvious how it works. Definitely a user issue, and not a product issue.)

I tried hopping on the Rockboard Scooter while it was still in my house, and I was a little nervous that it was going to be a little heavy and awkward for a 10-year-old girl to handle. It's a very heavy duty product, but I suppose that means it's also great quality and could possibly hold up through more than one child using it over the years.

My step-daughter and her dad went next door into an abandoned parking lot to give it a whirl. She already knows how to use a regular scooter, so we were most interested in having her try it out by "rocking" the foot base back and forth. I just can't get over how cool that seems to be, and such a unique way to propel yourself around. After a few tries and working on getting her balance, my step-daughter had the hang of it no problem. She didn't wipe out ONCE. Even at her age I was a bit clumsy, and was definitely expecting a few bumps and bruises during the acclamation phase.
The Rockboard Scooter is very easy to change from one mode to the other.  The handle bars have two different settings depending on which mode you want the scooter in, and easily change by loosening a little black knob, adjusting the handle bar pole (moves forward and back), and then tightening it up. See? Easy peasy. The handle bars also have a height adjustment so younger children who are generally shorter can use it, and adults who are considerably taller can also use it comfortably. Underneath, by the coil on the bottom is a "quick release".  After you pull that, you can lift the front of the board up and bring it into "rock" mode. They even threw in a little kickstand so the scooter will remain upright. (I tell ya, it's these little features that seem to matter the most.)
My step-daughter couldn't get over how "cool" and fun the Rockboard Scooter is! She said she had a blast, and looks forward to the good weather days when she can head over next door to ride it. I like that it encourages her to play outside. Usually she spends 5 or 10 minutes riding her bike before the boredom sets in, or before she manages to wear herself out. However with the Rockboard she goes and rides it for an hour or so at a time, and doesn't complain about being exhausted. She's also been asking to ride her bike to school this year, and I think the Rockboard would be a better option considering it doesn't require very much energy to propel it forward.

There were several other features we loved in addition to having something as simple as a kickstand. The base where your feet go is non-slip, and the handlebars have a nice padding to them. However, I think one of the features we liked the best just for the sheer convenience, is that the Rockboard easily folds up so you can store it in a smaller space. We don't have any closets, or a garage, so when folded up, the Rockboard easily fits under my step-daughter's bed. This is not an inexpensive product, but I think the weight limit paired with the adjustable height for the handle bars makes up for it. This is a product that will grow with her instead of one that will need replacing every other year.
We really thought this was a great gadget, and would make the perfect Christmas present for any kiddos (or adults) who like to scoot around, and who like to do it in style. I can tell she's super excited to get to show the Rockboard Scooter off at school. I've heard her on the phone telling people all about it. "Oh! Do you know what a Rockboard is? I HAVE ONE!" It's too funny to listen to - she is just so darn excited.

Make sure you checkout Rockboard online. You can learn more about the Rockboard Scooter Original, Rockboard Mini, as well as their Rockboard Radiate, and Rockboard Descender. (These look like some pretty spiffy products too!) Rockboard can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

 

*I received a Rockboard Scooter Original free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

23Sep/124

Mongoose – Youth Mutant Boys’ 16in Freestyle Bike Product Review

MongooseLogo

My daughter is a giant. I think I've said that before. She'll be 3 in November, and is already wearing size 5/6x clothes. She's just that tall. Last year for her birthday my mother bought her a nice little tricycle, but by the end of this Summer she had already outgrown it. She adores her bike, so it looked like it was time for an upgrade. No more tricycle, it's time for training wheels!

Mongoose offered to send my daughter their 16" Mutant bike for her to try out. It's technically a boy's bike, but we try not to differentiate between "boy" and "girl" products in our home, so this worked out perfectly. I figure my son will be able to use it in a few more years when he's tall enough. My husband and I also weren't sure if the 16" would fit her. I thought it would, he thought perhaps a 12" would have been better. However, my daughter grows like a weed, and I really didn't want her to be out of it before she really had the chance to ride it. I had informed a good friend that my daughter was getting a Mongoose, and his response was hilarious. "Holy sh*t! She's getting a MONGOOSE?! I'm jealous. I always wanted a Mongoose as a kid!" Then I told my husband, and he said he also had always wanted a Mongoose as a kid, because they were THE bike to have. Apparently all the cool kids owned a Mongoose brand bike.

The bike arrived disassembled in a giant box, however I didn't notice any instructions in the box. Maybe I just overlooked them in my excitement. (I wanted to get the bike put together before she woke up from her nap.) The bike was very easy to assemble, and really didn't need instructions. There weren't a ton of parts either. The handle bars, pedals, 1 wheel, training wheels, and the pegs were the only parts that needed to be bolted onto the bike. It was all pretty self explanatory, and really if you're purchasing a bike in a store you won't have to worry about assembly. The one thing that I did notice was that bike is extremely HEAVY. She's at that weird age where she's tall enough for the bike, but she may not be strong enough. However, I figured getting her used to being on a real bike instead of her tricycle was a good start, and by the time next Summer rolls around she'll probably be a training wheel champion.
Features:

  • Special Features: training wheels, front pegs and handlebar pad
  • Riding Style: children's sidewalk bicycle
  • Frame: scaled-down freestyle
  • Frame Material: steel
  • Handlebars: steel
  • Gearing: single speed
  • Seat: Mongoose screen-printed
  • Brakes: rear coaster brake with front and rear caliper brakes
  • Brake Levers: resin bracket, steel lever
  • Wheels/Tires: 16" x 2" tires with 36-spoke steel wheels
  • Rims: orange steel
  • Pedals: black resin with steel axle
  • Assembly required
  • Weight: 28 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 44" L x 22" W x 29" D

My daughter's first reaction when she saw her bike was, "Oh WOW!" She was enthralled, and couldn't wait to get herself on it. We kept it in the house for several days so she could get acclimated to it. She'd hop on and just sit there for 10/15 minutes at a time. One morning the FIRST thing she did was beg for help to sit on it. That's all she wanted to do. I showed her how to safely get herself on it, and how the brakes worked, and we'd peddle it through the hallways of our house.

After several weekend of rain making it more difficult to get out of the house with the bike, it was finally time to have my daughter test out the Mongoose Mutant. The Mutant is meant for children starting around age 4, which might be why this bike is a little heavy for her. But after making sure all of the bolts were tight, and readjusting the handle bars so she could reach them better, we took it outside and let her see what she could do.
I started her off in the grass, just because I realized we don't have a helmet for her, so we had to borrow her older sister's. (Oops!) She had the chance to re-explore, and then have a refresher course on how to get onto her Mongoose. We also went over again how the brakes work. She loves this bike just as much as she loved it the day it arrived. And, other than the weight of the bike (28 lbs), I think it's pretty darn great too. There was no aesthetic detail spared when it came to the graphics and design. The handle bars move easily, the brakes work well, and the pedals (once she gets that part down), rotate smoothly. The wheels feel like quality, and should last the entire time she's able to ride this bike. The seat, handle bars, and the training wheels are all adjustable. I think the pegs are more for looks than for function especially if this bike is meant to be ridden by 4-year-olds, but whatever. It looks super cool! And what kid doesn't want a cool looking bike?!
After her refresher course it was time to move her into our driveway. I had her face downhill to help with some of the weight, and we really worked on pedaling. She's still learning, but she's getting it. I think it finally sunk in that she has to put extra pressure on the pedals, and rotate her legs as the pedals turn. She'll get there!

It has been so much fun teaching my daughter how to ride her first bike with training wheels, and it has been awesome to work with Mongoose. We can't thank them enough for sending us the Mongoose Mutant 16" Freestyle Bike!

You can find Mongoose on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube!

 

*I was provided a product free of charge from Mongoose in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.