Toy Insider Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021 - Show Notes

Toy Insider Gift Guide Blind React - Holiday Gift Guides 2021

Friday Nov 12, 2021 (00:18:33)


Here are the products we thought were the most interesting from the Holiday Gift Guide 2021 for Tweens from Toy Insider.

These are some items that don't seem like a great deal.

We also mentioned an interesting product, in response to a chat question, that was part of our CES 2021 coverage.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Allante Sparks

Special Correspondent

Allante - also well known as Wolff - is the newest member and co-host for PLuGHiTz Live! Radio. A gifted artist, he is usually found drawing up a character or two or sketching up whatever comes to mind. Do not think that he is not a hardcore gamer because he is about as hardcore as it gets! His favorites range from fighting games to RPGs, adventure and even a racing game here and there. Fighting games are his forte and he relays this message for all who oppose: You mess with the Wolff and you get the fangs!

Xbox Live - Enigmatic Wolff

PSN - Tsukuyomi_Okami

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Scott Ertz (0:05)

We wanted to start with one that was truly fun. This one is from Toy Insider. So there's not a whole lot on here that's kind of in our category. I will say that Among Us 16-inch Super Soft Plush is going to be super popular.

Allante Sparks (0:23)

Yeah. Because that was such a phenomenon. Who would have guessed that game would have been as popular as it was,

Scott Ertz (0:33)

You know, if it weren't for the lockdowns. And the world kind of changing for the last 18 months? I don't know that it would have been as popular.

Allante Sparks (0:43)


Scott Ertz (0:45)

I think it just happened to be the right place right time.

Allante Sparks (0:52)

It's another one of those games that kind of fits the west of loathing. Genre or you know, like, I'm trying to think of another example. But that whole, like you know, who's-the-killer kind of game? And I get like you said, it just came along at just the right time. And it was just the right thing that everybody needed. Like, Animal Crossing came wrong.

Scott Ertz (1:23)

Right. That came out. Oh, Nintendo accidentally nailed that one.

Allante Sparks (1:28)

Total total accident.

Scott Ertz (1:30)

Yeah. But perfect timing on that one. Also on this list, I see the Artie Max here.

Allante Sparks (1:41)

Oh, yeah.

Scott Ertz (1:42)

Now, this is something I think this is the same company that we've encountered at CES. If I'm not mistaken.

Allante Sparks (1:49)

It's just this one's like a way later.

Scott Ertz (1:53)

Yeah. And I mean, the whole drawing and all that, you know, we did an interview with a company. Well, I mean, it's a did the interview. So that ages it on its own? A number of years ago, that we really, really liked. And this seems to be somewhere in that same category. If it thing company great. If it's not, it looks to be in the same category. That price worries me a little bit. 110 bucks is a lot of money.

Allante Sparks (2:31)

That's pretty pricey. For one. One gift.

Scott Ertz (2:35)

Yeah. But you know, it is. It is an educational toy. It looks like it's programmable, probably at 110 bucks better be massively programmable. So that's an interesting thing. Obviously, we've not messed around with it at all.

Allante Sparks (2:51)

It'd be nice to if you want to send some out Artie Max.

Scott Ertz (2:57)

The BattleBots arena here in the middle.

Allante Sparks (2:59)

Okay, that's cool. but I've sort of feel like this would have been really popular, like 10 years.

Scott Ertz (3:09)

But BattleBots is back and bigger than ever.

Allante Sparks (3:11)


Scott Ertz (3:12)

It's back on TV.

Allante Sparks (3:13)

That's true.

Scott Ertz (3:14)

In our life, we have a BattleBot. And we have a team that were registered as right. So the thing to notice here is that it's the manufacturer's HexBug. This is very physically small. HexBug at one point was owned by RadioShack. And then I think it's now owned by Vex. The HexBugs were about this big. We had a lot of things that were HexBug, we had the little, you might remember a number of years ago, the little things that walked around like this, that was a HexBug. We had little infrared pen, RC cars that were super cool. That was under the HexBug brand. It's grown a lot. As you can see, it's Amazon, Walmart and Target now. So a lot more places than just Radio Shack. Radio Shack is not on that list at all. But the thing to know about HexBug is they are almost indestructible. I have not played with this particular one. But I can tell you the stuff that we sold, we were mean to them. We always had stuff on the counter, and they'd like- this counter. Specifically this counter in fact, they would live on this corner over here that's out of frame. That's funny because this was the front side. So they would live in that corner over there by Allante and they would just jump off the counter. You just pick them up. No worries, keep going. Oh, so they're real hard to kill. So that's a cool gift. I don't know all what comes with it, but-

Allante Sparks (5:03)

What else is in here a bunch of Beyblades? It's weird to see Beyblade stuff in 2021 vibe.

Scott Ertz (5:09)

It really is.

Allante Sparks (5:11)

Which people? There are Twitch channels for Beyblades

Scott Ertz (5:15)

I just have to point out the word coding here is to confuse me. Yeah, it's there to confuse me.

Allante Sparks (5:22)

Yeah, what is happening there?

Scott Ertz (5:25)

Say lots of craft things. Disco ball. Game Builder Garage. Okay, that's interesting from Nintendo-

Allante Sparks (5:34)

Game Builder Garage.

Scott Ertz (5:36)

I don't know this product. But if it's from Nintendo, it's probably pretty solid.

Allante Sparks (5:42)

Yeah, and I knew what this was at one point. Game Builder Garage. I don't remember if this is a physical thing, or if it's a video game thing. I mean, it looks like it's a video game thing. But I think this is the thing that had where you can build in programmed something. That's what it looks like. And then make it do what you want it to do.

Scott Ertz (6:08)

Yeah, I mean-

Allante Sparks (6:14)

We had a comment, by the way.

Scott Ertz (6:16)

Best neck massager? Oh, we might come across it. That's what we're doing is we're reacting to other people's gift guides. So we'll see what we see. I won't lie I have been receiving a series of PR emails about I think it's a neck massager. It might be a percussive massager like for your legs. Okay, but I think there's been a neck massager too. If we don't find one of the gift guide, we'll come back to that.

Allante Sparks (6:49)

If we could find a back massager. I'm sure that would help. Everybody.

Scott Ertz (6:53)

Yeah, right. Well, that the progressive one would probably be good for that. But yeah, this looks interesting. I would definitely like to try that one out.

Allante Sparks (7:03)

Full body. Yes, please. Okay,

Scott Ertz (7:08)

So full body. We had an interview at CES 2021. There is, it looks like a big egg. Oh, hold on. Hold on, have to spell our own brand name right.

Let's see. Luckily you guys can't see what I'm doing. Dude, use how quickly I'm scrolling would almost certainly make you sick.

Allante Sparks (7:47)

It's making me a little sick. I'm not gonna lie. I look at those beautiful monster headphones on the bottom.

Scott Ertz (7:58)

So this one here. The Biohacking Orb actually is a full body. And we are hoping that they're going to be at CES this year. And we want to get in this thing if they are. It is wicked expensive. If I remember correctly,

Allante Sparks (8:23)

I would volunteer for that. I liked the name.

Scott Ertz (8:30)

I managed to make a Parks and Rec reference. Sure. And this.

Allante Sparks (8:36)

You sure did.

Scott Ertz (8:39)

So I don't have the price in here. It was a lot. Like I want to say it was several 10s of 1000s. But it's designed to go into like a spa-kind-of-environment. Yeah. So it's not just designed for you to have at home.

Allante Sparks (9:02)

And I mean, maybe if it's if you know if it's out there long enough and is popular enough. A cheaper one could come along, you know, or less expensive.

Scott Ertz (9:14)

Sure. Okay. Super excited about this one.

Allante Sparks (9:18)

Oh, what is happening here?

Scott Ertz (9:22)

I'm beyond this Biohacking Orb sounds like something you launch against your enemies. Indeed, and yes, it has an inquiry button on his website. So it must be expensive indeed. That's great. Very true. So the Hexmods Pro Series Elite Raceway. Here's I've got one in my living room. I literally own one of these.

Allante Sparks (9:50)

I did not realize it was this detail. Yes. Of a device.

Scott Ertz (9:55)

So people who have been around our show for a long time might recognize this story. I recently told it to Allante. It might have been yesterday. So when I was at RadioShack, we used to be slow on Sundays. Again, HexBug you might notice again, because again RadioShack. So they used to be called XMods by the way, and now they're called Hex Mods. Because we sold the brand to HexBug when we sold it off anyway. Yeah, mods with bonus ag Exactly. So the original XMods of which I have a dozen or so in my garage as well. We did a couple of upgrades on them. That's the thing. These things are totally upgradable as you can see, they go together in lots of pieces. But you can do additional upgrades like there was a there was a motor upgrade that we did. You could go to like a Publix or a Walgreens and get this kid's toothbrush that ran on two double A batteries. You did we took the motor out of it, because it was the same motor as the X Mods. And we then also did - all right. Thank you, Adam, for getting ahead of me in the story. Yeah. So we did the the motor upgrade, which ran on two batteries, but we're running it on four but we also did the fifth battery upgrade. We started it. It ran about eight feet, I think. Maybe 10. It did it real quick. And then it caught fire.

Allante Sparks (11:47)

Like a Simpsons.

Scott Ertz (11:49)

Yeah, it was. It was like a cartoon. It was absolutely ridiculous. But there's so much that you can do with these. So yeah, those for anybody who's like a hobbyist, anything X mods or hex mods as this says. But yeah, very cool.

Allante Sparks (12:11)

That's so funny.

Scott Ertz (12:15)

Mario Party superstars of race

Allante Sparks (12:16)

Absolute. And this by the way, Mario Party Superstars is phenomenal. Best Mario Party they've come out with in-

Scott Ertz (12:25)

Generations, decades,

I would say dating back to the '64 was the last one that was this quality. Yep.

Allante Sparks (12:33)

This one is solid. And if anybody wants to play, hit me up. Yeah, guys. I love this guy.

Scott Ertz (12:41)

I want to play

Allante Sparks (12:42)

Yes, peach dough cheats. That's my girl.

Scott Ertz (12:46)

I can't say the thing but anybody from the 3000 Brigade or any fans of the 3000 Brigade know the words that are in my head. And it's based on that. Master Chef game not gonna lie. Kind of want that. Interesting. Monopoly Builder. Interesting. Nickelodeon Crazy Sand.

Allante Sparks (13:09)

What is that? Nerf gun?

Scott Ertz (13:12)

Oh, yeah,

Allante Sparks (13:14)

Holy moly. Ellipse shots.

Scott Ertz (13:15)

Uh huh.

Allante Sparks (13:18)

That was wild.

Scott Ertz (13:19)

It's not quite the Gatling gun. I got hit by.

Allante Sparks (13:26)

Oh yeah. I had a revolver one. When I used to work at GameStop eons ago, and we got into the best in our fight.

Scott Ertz (13:36)

We agree with a Nintendo Switch as well. Just Oh, you know,

Allante Sparks (13:40)

I don't know about OLED. But well,

Scott Ertz (13:43)

I don't care about OLED. It's gonna be hard to find anyway.

Allante Sparks (13:46)

Yeah. If it's your first switch, then OLED is totally worth it.

Scott Ertz (13:50)

Yeah, it's not worth upgrading. Ryan's World, Ryan's Dart Tag, Ryan VS Combo Panda. There are 10 winners. Three of them are Ryan, we're gonna continue. Okay, that's a pinball machine. I would like more information on that. Okay, if we're dealing with kids, which is obviously what this gift guide is all about, the Snap Circuits Code Journey. We used to sell the Snap Circuit stuff at RadioShack. This is a great way to get started with physical electronics. Because unlike, you know, doing bread boards and stuff like that, where you've got jumper wires and stuff, this is literally just like this is snaps like on your jeans. And you can use, he's got a speaker up there. And you can see in the back there's all kinds of connections between the processor board and stuff like that. So you can learn how the circuits themselves work and build a thing with it without having to worry about soldering and breadboard and jumper wires and all that stuff but you can see that the jumper wires are there anyway. You can see the jumper wires in the back. So you understand what it is you're looking at. So you're not missing it. But you're also not worrying about breaking wires and stuff. Because I believe they're fake.

Allante Sparks (15:16)

I'm wondering about this pinball machine. That's kind of cool.

Scott Ertz (15:19)

It does look interesting. It's from the same company too, then almost certainly, it's an interesting. That's snap circuit seems expensive. Well, so kind of, I will tell you significantly. No. Yeah. So everything in this is reusable. Everything in this can be turned into something else. And as you can see, this kit is an actual movable robot. So for less than 100 bucks, you're not going to get a Vex kit for less than 100 bucks for a moveable robot, which is the other one that I would recommend. If you're doing more complicated stuff, the Vex kits are really good. If you're doing more. This sits somewhere between like a full start from scratch Vex kit, and Lego. This sits in the middle because it explains the circuits to you. Not just-

Allante Sparks (16:22)

Just building the thing.

Scott Ertz (16:23)

Yeah, exactly. Well, that's definitely a glowing scooter. I'm going to keep going Space Invaders

Allante Sparks (16:30)

Scooters are not great. I thought they were gonna like die high

Scott Ertz (16:33)

I hoped they would.

Allante Sparks (16:37)

First chemistry set.

Scott Ertz (16:42)

Yeah, this is like your first chemistry set. And Vax is like the one you get after you've already blown yourself up a couple times.

Allante Sparks (16:48)

Pretty Yeah.

Scott Ertz (16:49)

Because this one is gonna keep you from blowing yourself up. And it's gonna keep you from electrifying yourself.

Allante Sparks (16:55)


Scott Ertz (16:57)

All right. Yes, that's Tamagotchi. I had heard that Tamagotchi stuff was coming back.

Allante Sparks (17:02)

That's wild. And Bandai. Well, I guess. No. I knew that. I knew that. It has to go away. Yeah, I don't need that part of my childhood coming back.

Scott Ertz (17:13)

Another plastic video game turned into what appears to be a board game. I don't understand.

Allante Sparks (17:20)

Tiny TV Classics.

Scott Ertz (17:24)

I don't know what to do about that. My guess is going to be skipping. Yeah, that's that's my initial.

Allante Sparks (17:33)

What fun let's play with old TVs that aren't actually old TV.

Scott Ertz (17:37)

I don't know that. I want to build a 3D Jigsaw Puzzle of the Titanic. That seems like a disaster.

Allante Sparks (17:43)

Why a jigsaw puzzle?

Scott Ertz (17:46)

Nothing about my disaster. Comment.

Allante Sparks (17:51)

I'm out. No, I'm sorry. Hey, you need to be. Stop it.

Scott Ertz (17:57)

And there's my proof that I was correct that we sold HexBug to Vex because there's a Vex Robotics Excavator by HexBug. Yep. I thought I remembered that correctly. Didn't James Cameron already do that? Here's the thing about the excavator. That looks like a skid.

Allante Sparks (18:20)

I agree with that shark.

Scott Ertz (18:24)

Okay, so that's it for Toy Insider.

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