Toys (for young & old)

Westminster Abbey Made of LEGO

Ardent LEGO fans never need much of an excuse to create with their favorite building blocks. So the much-hyped royal wedding between Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton provided more than enough excuse for an enterprising group of English enthusiasts to construct a scene from the wedding in Westminster Abbey out of LEGOs.

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Scrumptious, Sculptable Dough

Much of what kids play with eventually ends up in their mouths. That’s especially true when what they are playing with is a brightly colored and has a consistency that’s somewhat food-like, as is the case with Play-Doh. So when possible it can be a good (and potentially hospital-trip averting) idea to let kids play with something they can safely eat, as is the case with Yummy Dough.

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Make Your Own -Opoly

No board game has as many take-offs as Monopoly. You’ve probably seen local Opolies for sale in tacky tourist stores while on vacation. There’s Londonopoly, Tokyopoly, New Deli-opoly, Cape Town-opoly, Hollywoodopoly and even Lubbockolopy (as in Lubbock, Texas). Among the multitudes of other Monopoly verstions are Photo-opoly, Christmas-opoly, Chocolate-opoly, Ice Cream-opoly, Wine-opoly, Earthopoly, Ocean-opoly, Farmopoly, Puppy-opoly and Beagle-opoly (though not, to our knowledge, Puppy-Beagle-opoly), Gardenopoly , Waffle-opoly, Princessopoly and Pirate-opoly, not to mention the counterculture Anti-Monopoly.

If those aren’t enough choices for you—or if you’d like to add a personal touch to your Monopoly-ing—Spot Cool Stuff has an answer for you: Make Your Own-Opoly

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12 Cool LEGO-Themed Products

A sad irony of life: the sort of man who is most likely to crave a LEGO wedding ring is also least likely to get married.

With sufficient LEGO pieces and a healthy imagination you can build pretend versions of anything. The popular line of plastic building blocks have also inspired the design of many real products. Here’s a look at 12 of them:

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Story Cubes Spark Imagination

Once upon a time . . .

That’s how many a story begins. But what comes next?

Rory’s Story Cubes can help come up with an answer. And do it in a fun way.

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Sledding Becomes Cool Again

As a kid we used to sled on a wooden Flexible Flyer. As a college student we used sled on food trays we, um, “creative acquired” from the school cafeteria. That’s what sledding was like back then. This is sledding today:

The Hammerhead Sled.

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The Website Where Kids Design Their Stuffed Animals

Spot Cool Stuff laments the general direction children’s toys have taken away from requiring imagination. Surely, part of the issue has been the proliferation of online gaming websites aimed at kids.

But if websites have been part of the problem maybe they can be part of the solution? That’s the idea behind the Israel-based start-up Shidonni.

Shidonni has a variety of fun, imagination-enhansing online games for children. Kids can draw animals, for example, upload the drawing to the Shindonni site, and then have their animal creation roam around the virtual Shindonni world for others users to see.

And here’s our favorite part: On Shidonni you can take a child’s drawing of an imaginary creature and then turn it into a real life stuffed animal!

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Become a LEGO Architect

Spot Cool Stuff admits to being a LEGO purist. We like the basic plastic interlocking LEGO bricks that haven’t changed much since 1958, the ones that can be built into virtually any construction that can be imagined. We generally aren’t as big fans of many of the LEGO model sets (the trains series being a big exception) because their pieces can really only be used to build a specific shape, or specific plane or specific whatever. So it was with some surprise to us how great we found the LEGO’s newest series: LEGO Architecture.

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