Stretching potential

Posts tagged ‘Spielwarenmesse’

Introducing: Oogi – a funny little figure

After being back from the Nuremberg Toy Fair for a good few weeks I have yet to see a review of Moluk’s latest offering – so here is mine.  Meet the the cutest and most flexible (in many ways) little figure at the fair: Oogi!

Oogi is made of silicon.  He has extra-long arms and his head, hands and feet are little suction cups. When hurled from a distance towards any smooth surface, Oogi grabs hold with his head, a hand or foot, leaving him dangling there like Spiderman. His long arms are also very expressive, and can be tied, crossed, stuck or joined to make this little guy come alive.

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Oogi also has friends, and like any little person, the more the merrier.  When Oogi’s friends come to play, the options multiply. By the nature of the design, Oogi likes to hold onto his friends and forms a great play companion to the Bilibo or Bilibo minis.  Oogi is available in red and blue, and in two sizes, Oogi and Oogi Junior.

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Here are some of the reasons occupational therapists love Oogi:

  • Great for creative play and imagination;
  • Can be used to talk about and imitate emotions;
  • The silicon is easy for little hands to manipulate.  Tying his arms teaches the starting knot for tying shoes;
  • Throwing Oogi across the room towards a flat surface is great for loosening the shoulders and can be used for over- or under-arm throwing, improving eye-hand coordination;
  • It’s a great unisex figurine – limited only by the limits of the child’s imagination;
  • Safe for a large age-range of children, from toddlers to adults;
  • Great for group play; and
  • A great fidget toy!

One of my favourite activities with him is using Oogi against a mirror to make patterns, learn about left and right and play in the shaving foam.

What are your Oogi-ideas?

Nuremburg Toy Fair: Retro trends

In the same way that we can all remember our favourite toy as a kid, parents usually want their children to experience the same joy with those toys that they did.  Did you have Cabbage Patch Dolls or My Little Pony?  Did you collect Forrest Families? Were you constantly terrorising your sister with a slimy stretchy hand or collect Micro Machines? Do you have a box of your toys in a cupboard somewhere or do your kids get to play with them?  One of the hot trends identified at this year’s Spielwarenmesse was Retro Mania – toys that we grew up with and toys that look like they come straight from the 50s!

The first was this new and improved version of the Tamagotchi – and I was shocked to think that this is a retro toy.  Tamagotchi’s sparked a craze in the 90s. 17 years after their first release they are now available as Tamagotchi Friends. Bumping them against each other allows them to communicate, they can go on “play dates” and have an iPhone and Android app.

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The next retro toy was a mini radio which the child can assemble – and it really works!

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Or how about this stove from Grandma’s?

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IMHO I don’t really think that a digital take on an old toy qualifies as a retro trend, but what if the toy was digital to begin with?  What do you think?

If you’d like to take a trip down memory lane, why not visit this blog for slinkies, snap bangles and sticky hands?

Happy playing!