Rumor has it that a half dozen new Harry Potter Lego sets will be coming later this year (2010). We have not seen any Harry Potter sets in the Lego store in a long while, which is shame especially because the Harry Potter sets were one of the few themes that appealed to girls as well as boys. My daughter has a couple of them. Some of the new sets may be mostly be re-working of prior models, but at least it is something on the shelves.
4736 Dobby’s Release
4737 Quidditch Lesson
4738 Hagrid’s Hut
4840 The Burrows
4841 Hogwart’s Express
4842 Hogwart’s Castle
If you hear anything more about the new Harry Potter Lego sets let me know. Meanwhile, although Harry Potter Lego sets are tough to find in stores, Amazon has a diverse selection.
If you ever buy Harry Potter Legos, or any other Legos for that matter, keep the pieces together and try to keep the box. I’ve found these sets retain their value. If you grow tired of them, you can often sell them for more than you paid (if the set is complete). I’ve never re-sold though, cause they are just too fun, and they are timeless. The kind of toy you can hand down to the next generation.
Toy Story Legos Review: Fun that Retains Value in More Ways Than One!
Legos are my all-time favorite toy. My sons loves them. And I do not even mind spending a small fortune on them. Legos are well made: they fit together perfectly, rarely break, and last forever. Legos inspire creativity, and more than that, they make kids think. I am always amazed at how my son uses pieces from different sets to engineer something totally new.
On a recent trip to the Big Shop in Legoland I was surprised to see a new genre of Lego sets based on an all-time fav kid movie: Toy Story! How cool is that? Classic Toy Story characters like Woody, Buzz, Jesse and Bullseye, and Stinky Peet, and even the little green army men and Zurg are now minifigs! If you are a Toy Story fan, you are gonna fall in love with them.
Introducing new Toy Story Legos is yet another smart move by Lego Company, which has flourished despite a down economy. According to a recent Wall Street Journalarticle, Lego has had a sharp revival: in the first half of 2009, while “jittery consumers sent global toy sales down 5%, Lego increased its sales 23%.”
Another thing I like about Lego toys is that if you keep a set in good condition and keep the box, the toy retains its value. I learned that when my son wanted Star Wars Lego sets that were no longer in stores . . . and found you could get them on Ebay or a number of specialized Lego re-sell sites, but you would have to pay sometimes double or more the original price. Even a rare minifigure alone without the rest of the set could go for $50 or more.
Like Star Wars, the 1995 Pixar movie Toy Story is a timeless classic loved by both kids and adults with sequels. So I would expect that the original Toy Story Legos sets may someday be collector’s items. Hmmm. Maybe these aren’t toys, but fun investments?
Some collectors buy two sets: one for play, and one for the closet to be brought out at a later date and sold. Hey, isn’t selling old toys in original boxes a part of the whole Toy Story theme?
Toy Story 2 came out in 1999 to even bigger success than the original. Toy Story 3 is scheduled to be released in June, 2010. So I bet more Lego Toy Story sets will be out in time for the movie’s release.
If you have a kid who likes Toy Story, check out the new Toy Story Legos, and if you want one of the original sets, I would act sooner rather than later. You don’t want to pay more on Ebay because you waited.
Another cool thing about the new Lego sets is that the instructions can be found online at lego.com. Now that we have Toy Story Lego sets, I wonder if Legos will show up in the next Toy Story movie. If you get a Toy Story Lego set, let me know what you think of it.
My favorite of the new sets is Toy Story Woody’s Round Up Lego Set 7594 as it has Woody, Jesse and Bulleye (the horse) as well as Stinky Pete. Plus it has a gold mine wired with dynamite, a jail, a sheriff’s office, a safe, and a catapult trap in the sidewalk.
When my daughter started figure skating, I had a hard time finding gifts that related to her sport. Local stores at the mall had no gifts for ice skaters. So I searched online and found the best sites from which to buy the best skating gifts. I am putting the ideas and links up here as well as some ideas for gifts you can make and even a few you can just pick at Target or another local store.
Please let me know if you have other ideas for ice skating gifts. I would love to hear from other skate moms who found good figure skating gifts. If you are a figure skater, let me know your favorite skate gift ideas to add to the list.
I tweet when I find good skate deals so follow me on Twitter.
Every figure skater wants a ZÜCA bag , the stylish little suitcase with a frame sturdy enough to double as a seat. And there are so many hot designs out there now! The frames and bags are sold separately so even if she already has one, get a second bag for a new look. They are expensive, but worth it. By the way, these things never seem to go on sale anywhere, but Amazon does seem to have a fair price.
Wowee! Check out this gold and diamond skate charm! This pretty ice skate charm is crafted from solid 14 karat gold and decorated with genuine diamond accents (1/10 cttw). Offered in your choice of white or yellow gold, it features a lobster-claw clasp that attaches easily to just about any chain or bracelet.
Gotta have the sterling silver figure skate earrings dangling from your ears.
Figure Skate T-Shirt
Sometimes you want to show the world you skate. It’s hard to find skating-themed t-shirts in stores, but most print-on-demand online shops have a ton of choices. Anyone can submit designs at these places, so you have to sift through quite a few amateur designs before finding the good ones. When I get time I plan to try to come up with a few of my own designs. Meanwhile, here are some from Zazzle.
Check in your neighborhood to see if an ice show is in town.
Ratty old tights are OK for practice, but a new pair of skate tights can make you feel like you are skating in a competition, even if you’re not. Maybe they can even make you skate better. Amazon has a ton of styles both over-the-boot and under-the-boot.
Skaters carry their own music to the rink to prepare for competition. Give her a glittery cd case to keep her music scratch free. Maybe put her name and phone number on it, as these tend to get left behind. I could not find any extra specialones online, but look at Target or Best Buy etc.
You may use it more than she does if you are the one who watches her practice, but this fleece throw with ice skates on it is comfy and warm. This one is great or look at the local fabric store . . . . there is an off chance they have material and you could make on.
Pick up a few pretty hair scrunchies at the local Target or beauty supply. Drug stores often have good ones. Heck even the dolar stores sometimes have OK ones. If you sew, these are easy to make just using basic elastic and pretty fabric.
Books about Skaters (and bookmarks, too)
Books about Skaters and Skatingfrom Amazon will show you a ton of books. If you buy anything from Amazon, please use my link (I am an Amazon affiliate). Bookmarks with a skate theme make a good gift as well if you can find any. I am going to design some and put them up for sale soon.
Christmas Tree Ornaments with Skate Theme Cool Christmas Tree Ornaments with Ice Skate Theme will link you up with some great holiday ornaments you can order online. Ornaments is one area where the stores do seem to have a lot of choices, so look at Hallmark or stores in the mall. I find Kohls has great ornaments.
Brand new skates and a new competition dress are great gifts as well, but I think the skater has to try these on. So you might consider making up your own coupon for these gifts. By the way, some of these ideas would work as a great holiday gift for a skating coach as well. Good luck finding the right figure skating gift and let me know if this list helped.
A knicknack in really bad taste can be a great gift simply because of its ironic value. Small tasteless, inexpensive items can be so goofy we find them oddly appealing. The Chia Pet, that terra cotta sculpture in the shape of a sheep that spouts chia seeds, has endured for more than two decades as a classic campy gift.
Although Chia Pets started out as a Chia Ram, over the years the company has offered lions, bunnies, donkeys and even licensed cartoon characters like Scooby Doo and Shaggy, Sponge Bob, and Homer Simpson.
Now I learn from an article in the LA Times that we are being offered an Obama Chia. In fact, we can get three presidents: Chia Obama, Chia Washington, and Chia Lincoln.
According the the Times, however, the company is having a tough time getting stores to sell the Obama Chia because stores are afraid people will think it racist.
Looking online, however, I see a number of stores, including Amazon, are selling.
My husband teaches in the politics department of a liberal arts college and he has several shelves devoted to his campy collection of political busts. Over the years he has bought or been given dozens of busts of leaders throughout history. His birthday is in November and last year I got him a President Obama bobblehead right after the election. I’m trying to decide if the Obama Chia is the proper tone of tastelessness to enhance his collection. Is it just stupid? Or is it cool? Still thinking about it.
And if I do decide to get one, which version should I get?
Need to add some spice to school spirit day on Friday? Check out creativezazz Chaparral Roadrunner t-shirts. Fun, colorful, retro style t-shirts featuring a roadrunner. A percentage of profits will be donated back to Chaparral Elementary in Claremont, CA. I’m putting the designs on bags, mugs and other items as well.
Let me know if you have other ideas you want me to work on to help support our school.
I have designs up at my Zazzle shop. Zazzle sometimes has coupon codes, so do a Google search or Twitter search using “Zazzle” and “Coupon Code” before ordering. I put up codes on the creativezazz twitter account when I hear of them.
Just Out: A Must-Have Book for Every Star Wars Lego Fan!
This book is sure to become a collector’s item . . . and it comes with a special mini-figure!
Just out in time for the holidays is a new visual dictionary of Star Wars Lego. My son’s room is filled with Star Wars Legos sets, and he is going to love this book when he unwraps it. The book has lush photos of all the Star Wars sets and mini-figures.
I got mine at the Lego Store the day it came out and was very impressed. The store had promotional games and even people dressed up in top-notch clone trooper costumes. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a Lego Store nearby, but it also at bookstores, Lego.com and Amazon. If you know a kid who loves Star Wars Legos, get this book and get your holiday shopping done early. The book is reasonably priced as well.
The book comes with a cool mini figure. The mini figure and the book itself are bound to become collector’s items.
In true DK style, LEGO® Star Wars Â™: The Visual Dictionary elucidates, illuminates, and
excites even the most discerning LEGO Group, Star WarsÂ™, and minifigure fans around the
world.. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Yoda, Luke Skywalker, and more are brought to life with
dozens of little-known facts and hundreds of photos, as are accessories, vehicles, weapons,
and even the Death Star! Learn about the history, manufacture, and construction of the
minifigures of the Star Wars galaxy, and come away a LEGO® Jedi Master.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning book, Love it!, October 7, 2009
By L. A. REED
Very nice hardback book with lots of stunning pictures of what else? Star Wars Legos!
We are big fans of Legos in general and this book did not disappoint. It came with a bonus Luke Skywalker mini-figure. As with all DK books, you get great pictures, thorough descriptions, and just a generally enjoyable book to collect or read.
I bought 2 copies of this book, one to read, and one to collect.
The only thing that bothered me a (very tiny) little bit was how the Luke Skywalker mini-fig was packaged. At first glance it looks like a much thicker book, but about half of the thickness is a spacer placed inside the book to make room for the mini-fig, so it lays flush with the front cover. I posted some pictures on the main item page if you want to see what I mean. Nothing that I would knock a star off for though.
Overall, we are VERY happy with this book. Great price for a quality book that will not disappoint young and old!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for Lego Star Wars Fans and Collectors, October 7, 2009
By Wendy Woudstra “PublishingCentral.com” (Ontario, Canada) –
My son adores Lego, and the Star Wars sets in particular. When this book arrived in our mailbox, he was gone for hours, hiding in his room poring over all the sets he has, the sets he wants, the sets he missed out on, the evolution of the various mini-figures, everything else included in this volume. While this book would NOT be appreciated by someone who isn’t a die-hard fan of the LEGO series, for those who collect, play with, and love the sets, it’s a great book at a great price.
The only problem with the book is that it will be out of date as soon as next season’s Lego Star Wars sets are announced.
On a final note, I didn’t realize when I ordered that it also came with a unique minifig, which is already selling on Ebay for more than the discounted price of the book.
Here’s some great tips on finding the best gifts for a volleyball coach. Affordable gifts for a volleyball coach, and a few that cost a bit more as well. Let me know if you have other volleyball coach gift ideas.
Looking for cool volleyball t-shirts or gifts? Creativezazz volleyball designs are up at my CafePress shops. Each design has a separate shop.
Just click on an image below to go to the right CafePress shop. Creativezazz CafePress shops include volleyball t-shirts and volleyball water bottles and volleyball mugs along with other great volleyball gifts. All designs are copyright creativezazz. Colorful, fun styles make great gifts for volleyball players or coachs.
You can also find my designs on t-shirts at Printfection and at Zazzle. All the shops have t-shirts, but each has some other items as well. Shop from the site that has the best promotion and save.
To go to a CafePress shop, click on the image you like below.
CafePress often has coupon codes. Check here to see if there is a current coupon at CafePress
Here’s how to make deluxe bookmarks that look like they came from a upscale bookstore. Personalized bookmarks make a small extravagance perfect for a gift or party favor.
I made these baseball bookmarks to give out to the members of my son’s Little League Team at the end-of-season party. If you bought these at a bookstore or gift shop they would run $3 to $4 a piece. They take a little time to make, but the cost breaks down to less than 50 cents each in supplies.
Step One: Make the Art
Using photo imaging software (I use Photoshop) create your artwork to fit a 2″ x 6″ area.
These are printable bookmarks. You can print them yourself if you have a good printer. Or you can have them printed at a photo place. Remember that when you get photos printed, the edges often get trimmed a bit. So do not include any vital art in the edge border.
Open a new file that is 4 x 6. Duplicate your artwork and position 2 copies inside the new file so that you print two bookmarks on one 4 x 6 photo.
Have your photo printed on lustre finish (not glossy). Lustre is more durable and does not show fingerprints.
bookmark printed two-up on standard 4 x 6 photo
Step Two: Back and Trim the Bookmark
Once your photo is printed, you will want to back it with acid-free cardstock. You can buy cardstock in 8.5″ x 11″or scrapbook paper works as well. Plain or a pattern will work. You can get paper at craft stores or online.
Back the bookmark with acid-free paper. Use an acid-free gluestick to glue it to the paper.
Carefully glue down the photos. If you do happen to get glue on the front of the photo, use rubbing alcohol to wipe it off. Next use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.
Use an Exacto knife and straight edge to trim.
Separate the two bookmarks
Separate using Exacto.
Bookmarks with rounded corners look more professional. Luckily it is easy to make them with a handy corner punch you can pick up for a few dollars at a craft store or online.
Use a corner punch to round the corners.
Step Three: Attach a Tassel
Use a hole punch to make a hole in the top. You can use a standard hole punch, or use a simple shape. I used a star punch for this bookmark.
To attach a tassel, loop it through the hole as shown in the following photos. You can use store-bought tassels or make your own.
Put loop through the hole.
Insert end of tassel through the loop.
Pull tassel tight.
Et voila! You now know how to make a bookmark that looks like you got it in a bookstore. My daughter and I make these and sell them at craft fairs. We also give them as gifts. I like to add them to a present in place of a gift card.
Now that you know an easy way to make bookmarks, get inspired by checking out some of my other bookmark designs. If you are a scrapbooker, you can probably find lots of paper, stamps, and punches to come up with interesting bookmark designs.
I’d love to hear your ideas about custom bookmark designs. I think they would make a creative party favor for a wedding, Bar Mitzvah or birthday party.
If you like these names, show your support by “digging” this post. Just click the digg button above.
Follow me on twitter for new names, great deals on volleyball stuff, and news about volleyball in Claremont CA.
Check out my t-shirt designs at Printfection and atCafepress and at Zazzle. These shops often have coupon codes, so check for codes by googling the name of the shop and the word “coupon code” before ordering.