Be a brilliant gift-giver with Brilliant Sky Toys & Books

Sponsored postAre you as overwhelmed with toy shopping as I am? You’d think I would be good at it by this point considering I hear about toys even before they hit the market. But, sometimes even I have a child on my list that I have a really hard time buying for. Those times I’m very grateful for neighborhood toy stores with a diverse and eclectic mix of high quality toys that won’t be abandoned in just days for the next new fad.

Stores like Brilliant Sky Toys & Books offer that and more at their 17 locations {and counting}. By offering amazing and personalized service, and more than 10,000 high-quality specialty products, it allows you to “discover, experience, explore, interact, and enjoy” in a fun and relaxed environment. Store
But wait, before you get overwhelmed with the idea of 10,000 different products to choose from, you should know that Brilliant Sky understands how you feel. That’s why they announce their annual Brilliance Awards every year before the holiday season to make shopping that much easier for their guests.

The 5th annual Brilliance Awards were just announced and again I’m wowed by the amazing BS_Winner Label_LRcollection of toys and more that they have chosen to highlight. In fact, we own many of their top  picks this year, and they are the ones we return to over and over again.

This year's 2014 award list features 12 products with price tags from $9.99 to $129.99 with most toys running about $24.99 to $29.99. And, with the exception of the Sphero 2.0, these picks are surprisingly low-tech and classic, which I know I appreciate. By using this brilliant list as a guide for all your holiday shopping you can be a brilliant gift-giver and do all your shopping quickly and easily.

The 2014 Brilliance Award Winners are…

•        Tree Top Adventure from Manhattan Toys – 12mos+ – This wooden activity center that features 4 quadrants with a variety of activities so that multiple children can play at the same time. So many baby toys are eyesores that are abandoned after a few weeks, so I love the classic design of the Tree Top Adventure that even my older kids would love… even if it was meant for our new arrival. Tree Top Adventure
•        Squigz Starter Set from Fat Brain Toys (24 pieces) – 3+ – Squigz are a crazy new building toy that breaks all the rules. Simply apply pressure to two Squigz and watch as air rushes out and they connect to each other, or to any solid, non-porous surface. These flexible little guys assemble to become rockets, vehicles, a cushion for the cat, and jewelry while defying gravity. Squigs
•        Plus-Plus Mini-Basic from Geared For Imagination (480 pieces) – 3+ – What on earth is Plus-Plus? Picture two plus (+) signs joined together and you will get this simple building tool with endless possibilities. You can connect Plus-Plus building bricks to allow kids to create mosaics or 3-D designs. This new Plus-Plus Mini-Basic set contains 480 bricks as well as instructions to make 3 specific models, but you won’t need instructions to have fun because the real giggles happen when you start building creatively. Plus Plus building•        Sphero 2.0 from Orbotix – 3+ – The Sphero is the only hi-tech toy to make the Brilliance Award list, and for a very good reason. The Sphero 2.0 pairs to your device via Bluetooth with a range of up to 100 feet and rolls at speeds of up to 7 feet per second. Powered by induction charging, Sphero 2.0 comes with 2 ramps, is pet proof, waterproof and is ready for any adventure your kids {or you} can dream up. Calling this a toy might be a bit of an understatement considering that many teachers are utilizing Sphero robots to help teach science and math to kids after seeing all the learning possibilities. Sphero Play•        Lottie Dolls from Schylling – 3+ – My daughter is very clear about her love of dolls of all kinds, shapes and sizes. But, as for me, I’m very picky about what dolls she has access to. No scantily clad fashion dolls and no gothic-inspired figures are welcome in our toy box, which is why I love the British Lottie Dolls. All Lottie Dolls are modeled after storybook heroines, which makes them great models for girls growing up today with their positive contemporary values. At only 7” she is easy to take with you for travel, and thanks to bendable joints she can stand and assume different poses. Plus, aren't they adorable? This is the Snow Queen and the Spring Celebration Ballet Lottie and they are both exquisite. Lottie Dolls•        Doodle Quest from Blue Orange – 6+ – We love our games around here, and I love when I find one that is unlike anything else I’ve seen before. For that reason I love Doodle Quest that has multiple layers of fun. While playing you can dive below the deep blue sea where there’s fish to gobble, treasure to discover and divers to save and you can complete each quest with the power of your pen, drawing your way through underwater scenes on the quest cards. Players draw on separate transparent sheets and must trust their eyes in order to meet targets and avoid obstacles. This unique drawing game includes 36 illustrations and two levels to master. Ideal for 1 to 4 players.
•        Create Your Own Storybook from Creatively Ever After – 6+ – For as long as I can think of I have wanted to write a book. Of course, I was incredibly excited when my daughter shared this dream with me and I love hearing her talk about what kind of book she would create if she could. Well, that’s exactly what Create Your Own Storybook does. Simply have your child write a story and it'll actually become a book — bound and printed. This kit includes everything, just add creativity. Place all the completed pages into the postage paid envelope and drop in the mail and the finished 12 page book with story, pictures, and your child's name, book title, and dedication will be sent in 4 to 6 weeks. Create Your Own Storybook
•        Super Stadium Baseball Game from International Playthings – 6+ – Create a realistic ball park where you get to strike out your opponent with fast balls and curve balls. A unique magnetized infield creates ball movement when the pitches are thrown. There is a spring-loaded bat, counter for balls, strikes and outs and you can even choose to bat right or left-handed.  
•        LoopDeLoom from Ann Williams – 8+ – Weaving looms are incredibly popular this year for teens and tweens, and most girls I know have them on their wish lists. But now weaving got faster and even more fun with
the Loopdeloom, which is a spinoff of the popular Loopdedoo. By utilizing spinning pegs, it makes weaving effortless and puts a new spin on weaving. Make purses, cuff bracelets, headbands, cell phone and tablet cases, potholders and more. Kit includes spinning peg loom, 120 yards of yarn and detailed instructions.
•        Sew Cute Sets from University Games – 8+ – My daughter is obsessed with learning to sew, so I’ve been slowly easing her into learning over the past year. The Sew Cute Sets are my favorites for teaching her because of the easy-to-follow instructions, plastic kid-safe needle, pre-cut felt pieces, and the stitching holes are pre-marked so it’s easy to create something adorable on your first try. But, what I love even more is that each stitch is carefully explained so she’s actually learning practical stitching and skills that will help her at the next level of sewing. Since everything is included, it’s a great road trip activity or plane distraction, which worked out very well on our 12 hour day of flying home from Turks & Caicos last week. Sew Cute Kitty•        Illustrated Adventure Stories and Illustrated Fairy Tales from Usborne – 8+ – It’s no secret that I love reading, and reading with my children is one of my favorite ways to end the day. But sometimes the books they choose are just plain awful and I feel like banning them from that whole section of the library just to avoid having to ever read that book again. So, when it comes to books for the home, I’m pretty picky because I know I will have to read it over and over again to the kids. For this reason I love the Usborne books that allow us to choose classic stories from their adventure collection or their fairy tale collection that have been retold for easier reading. The illustrations are amazing and the artwork changes with each type of story, which I think makes it really cool to flip through. And, as far as reading with the kids, the stories are just long enough to really pull you in, but not too long that I can’t finish each story before bedtime. Usborne Books•        Paint Your Own Porcelain Bowls from Mindware – 8+ – My kids love to paint pottery, so I love the new Paint Your Own series from Mindware that allows them to paint and oven-bake their creations at home. Instead of the sets that the paint chips away from as soon as you’re done painting, the fact that they are oven baked makes them so much cooler in my eyes and makes for a glossy, permanent finished product that you can display proudly. Paint your own bowlsNow, isn’t that an awesome list? If you’re stuck on what toys all the kids on your list will flip over, simply purchase directly off this list and you will be fine. Brilliant Sky Toys & Books truly did pick the most brilliant of the new toys this year and compiled them into an easy to shop from list that would make everyone thrilled this holiday season.

Keep in mind that these are just a few examples of the great toys waiting for you at Brilliant Sky Toys & Books. With concierge-style customer service, free gift wrap and a wide range of amazing toys, games, books, and learning toys, this is one toy chain that goes well beyond expectations to make your gift-giving experience amazing.


If you're lucky enough to have a Brilliant Sky Toys & Books close to you, it's definitely worth a trip in to see what's in store. Even if you don’t have a store near you {you can check if you do here}, you can still visit the Brilliant Sky Toys website for all your gift-giving needs. And, be sure to check out the FREE Brilliant Sky Toys & Books app to get savings and more right on your smartphone.

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Leanne Signature 2A big thank you to Brilliant Sky Toys and Books for sending a few samples as well as compiling this amazing list. As always, all opinions are ours alone. This giveaway open to US only. Void where prohibited.

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