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Take building to a whole new level with Brackitz

 

Block

Building toys are very popular with most children whether it’s blocks or LEGO bricks. There is just something fundamentally fun about building things.

When I was a young girl I LOVED to play with my Playskool plastic bricks. They were like LEGOS in a way. I would play with them for hours on end building houses and skyscrapers. I wish they still made them today. I would buy a set or two for myself.

Building toys not only spark creativity but they are also good for leaning about shapes, sizes, weights, measures and designs. In a way they can also teach problem solving skills. They are great for tactile (hands on) learning.

There is a new product on the market that takes building toys to a whole new level. They are called Brackitz.

Brackitz are wooden planks and plastic connectors that allow a child to let their imagination run while. Unlike regular building blocks, Brackitz stay together and wall fall apart when a child is building with them.

Brackitz

Brackitz sparks the idea of innovation and the opportunity to engage in creativity with trial and error. It helps children ages 3 and up to build build strong and durable masterpieces.

Here is a little more information about this fun new toy.

Break free from an era where play is driven mainly by technology. I would like to introduce you to Brackitz: an award-winning construction toy system produced in the USA. These newly evolved blocks helps lay the foundation for high-level cognitive thinking, reasoning and problem solving that kids will continue to benefit from long after childhood. Standard sets include interlocking 4-inch wooden planks, and 90° and 120° angle connectors, which can be pieced together to form a wide variety of models and architectural structures.

What makes Brackitz different?

  • Educational – Brackitz proudly promotes STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) techniques for young children to learn as they get older. Perfect for classroom use too!
  • Affordable – Choose from sets including 50, 100 and 200 pieces, with prices ranging from $29.95 – $99.95.
  • Build Up AND Out – Brackitz can be used to construct innumerable creations; the one-of-a-kind connectors can interlock at different angles and directions and allow children to build circles, corners and bendable masterpieces.
  • Durable – While traditional stacking blocks collapse under pressure, Brackitz allow children to build structures as big as they are without falling over. You can even move them around the house and your pets can roam free without causing a falling mess.
  • Safe – Brackitz have been tested and are compliant with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for ages 3+.

Brackiz has won the following awards – Brain Toy from Academics Choice, Toy Man eChoice, STEM Toy Award, and Creative Child Toy of the Year.

I received some Brackitz to try out for myself.

Brackitz 2

The plastic pieces really hold the wooden planks together very well. You really have to pull to get them apart. There is no worry about the wood falling out of them.

I did find that it was a bit hard to get the wood to fit into the plastic pieces at time. Once they have been used a few times it gets easier. I think the wood just needs to “mold” itself to the plastic bracket pieces to make it easier to insert them and pull them apart.

In the beginning trying to put them together hurt my fingers but the more use they get the easier they are to put together.

You can build really tall structures with Brackitz. Depending on your design the structures tend to be sturdy. They won’t easily topple over with makes them a great building toy for little ones.

The age for this is 3+ but I think it would be better suited for a child 5+, only because it takes some figuring out because the plastic connector pieces have the wooden planks going in different directions and a child would need to put the wood in the bracket correctly to get it to go in the direction they want it to (hopefully that makes sense).

Here are a few examples of Brackitz.

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2

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The wooden pieces are a nice thickness. They won’t easily snap unless a child was playing with them incorrectly and purposely trying to break them in half.

Since it’s raw wood I worried about splinters but so far that has not been an issue.

These are different then what kids are accustomed to and for that reason they are fun to play with. I love to see the different structures that are created.

Brackitz are available in different sets (the only difference is the number of pieces). Sets range in price from $29.95 to $99.95.

If you are looking for a great gift idea for a child or grandchild, Brackitz would make a great gift.

For more information visit Brackitz.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (links are found on their website).

What do you think about Brackitz? Do you think it looks like a fun building toy? Feel free to share your thoughts.

weblogo

Kimberly

*I received free product samples in order to do this review. There was no compensation.The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

 

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Check out the Heli Beast – a fun interactive toy from Silverlit Toys

 

The helicopter I rode from New York City to an air field in New Jersey.

The helicopter I rode from New York City to an air field in New Jersey.

I am always amazed by today’s technology. When I was a child I would have never dreamed of the toys that are available for today’s children. Some of them do the most amazing things and seem so realistic.

We live not far from an “airport” (for lack of a better description) for remote controlled airplanes. These are toys for adults (they are super expensive). It’s fun to watch the planes flying overhead when you drive by.

The mini airport (built on top of a landfill – at least they made good use of the space) is across the street from a helicopter pad. As cool as the mini airplanes are to watch, watching a helicopter take off and land is even cooler.

I was in a helicopter once, over New York City. I was flown via a helicopter to an airfield in New Jersey for a hot air balloon ride. It was awesome.

I thought riding in a helicopter would be scary. It wasn’t. It was awesome! I loved it. I wish I could do it again, but next time take my husband and two children along for the ride. Someday…

I’ve seen helicopter toys before. In fact we had a little helicopter that we purchased for our son many years ago. We watched the guy at the mall (selling them from a kiosk in the middle of the mall) effortlessly flying the little helicopter up and down. He made it look so easy.

We knew our son would love it so we bought him one for Christmas. Sadly it wasn’t as easy at it looked. We could never control the helicopter the way the man at the mall did. No matter what we did the helicopter crashed into things causing it to fall to the ground. Our son eventually got frustrated with it and never touched it again.

Since then I’ve been a bit “iffy” about remote controlled helicopter toys. That is until I was sent the Heli Beast remote controlled helicopter from a company called Silverlit Toys.

Heli Beast

Honestly I didn’t have much hope for it after our last helicopter experience, but I was willing to give it a try.

Heli Beast from Silverlit: 2 Channel Radio Control. Includes beast gear for realistic walking action. Launch your Heli with the touch of a button on the remote. Special Propeller system with auto stabilization technology. Precision speed control for a smooth flying experience. Easy to recharge through transmitter. $39.99. Available at Hammacher now and Kohls.com.

I can be “technologically challenged” at times so I left this up to my son and husband to try out. My son actually insisted on doing it himself.

Due to the weather, and the fact we live in a condo with no yard whatsoever. We live on top of a hill. There is no place to “play” out front and the back of our building is “dog poop central” where inconsiderate neighbors walk their dogs and DON’T pick up after them. That means the only place my son could drive the Heli Beast is around the inside of our condo. Ugh!  I was not looking forward to that. I was afraid he’d knock things over or get it caught in the ceiling fan.

To my surprise he was able to figure it out. Yes, it took a lot of “crashes” before he finally got the hang of it. It actually moved very well for a toy of it’s size. It’s much larger than the one we picked up at the mall may years ago. The Heli Beast is significantly larger.

Don’t get me wrong – my son did crash it – a lot – but I think it has to do with figuring out the remote more so than the toy it’s self.

The Heli Beast has two rotating propellers which I think he’s it to fly since it’s larger than the mini helicopters.

The super cool thing about the Heli Beast is that it’s shaped like a robotic animal and it can move similar to an animal too. You can make it look like it’s walking.

My video skills are subpar to say the least (having five cats and a dog ALWAYS trying to sneak their way into videos doesn’t help either). Here is a comerical for the Heli Beast to show you what I mean.

 

Pretty cool.

Fans of the Transformers movie franchise might really like these. They don’t change but they have that same kind of Transformers look to them (at least in my opinion).

I would say this is a toy more suited for older children, ‘tweens and teens. Little ones might have a harder time manuevoring it around. Even with the slighted movement of the remote in one direction can throw the whole thing off.

Sadly my son can’t really play with this right now. Our cats and dog chase it around the condo and have managed to make it come slamming to the ground numerous times. I’m afraid it’s either going to break or injure one of our pets. Not all of our cats chase it – just two. One of them can jump very high and she can be fierce when chasing it. I think our dog chases it just because he sees the cat doing it. We can’t put them in another room either. There are only two room with doors that can be shut – the bathroom and the bedroom.

For now the toy is sitting in the bedroom closet. When the weather is nice again I’ll take my family to a local park and let my son and husband fly the Heli Beast there (preferably far away from trees). That way they can enjoy it in peace and not have it get knocked down by one of our pets.

The Heli Beast from Silverlit is a cool toy and it works well. Just make sure you have a yard or a place to fly it.

For more information about this and other Silverlit toys visit www.Silverlit.com. You can also find the brand on Facebook and Twitter.

Silverlit Toys Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“Frozen” inspired apparel just in time for the holidays (giveaway ends 12/14/14)

 

Olaf

Walk into any store these days and there is no doubt you’ll find a product (or products) featuring characters from the mega-popular hit Disney film Frozen.

Just yesterday I was in Toys R Us and saw that they had a Frozen section AND so many Olafs that they were practically spilling on to the floor. :-)

I don’t blame people for falling in love with the film. It’s a wonderful film that both young and old alike adore – maybe a little too much. LOL!

I like that they have Frozen toys. It sparks a child’s imagination. They can either recreate the film or come up with the own adventures featuring Elsa, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven.

I even saw some fun accessories that would be great for pretend play.

My daughter used to love to play dress up. She even dressed my son up once in a princess outfit when he was little (he’s 2+ years younger than her). We have pictures of them dressed up together. We figured we can spring it on them when they are older. Ha Ha.

Children learn by imagining and doing. The process of pretending builds skills in many essential developmental areas. Dress-up play is vital to a child’s development. According to licensed child psychologist Dr. Laurie Zelinger, “It fosters the imaginative processes, and allows for play without rules or script. Dress up allows for experimentation, role play and fantasy.”

Pretend play is not just fun, it’s vital to a child’s development.

Language Skills – Pretend play requires children to invent and tell stories and since almost all children narrate their pretend play experiences, they train their minds to transform ideas into words. Children usually mimic words and ideas from parents, teachers, daycare or what they hear on TV. This repetition builds vocabulary and helps kids visualize what they say, especially when adults offer feedback to help kids better understand the words they use.

Problem Solving Skills – Role playing games lead children to face situations that far exceed kids’ real-life experiences. Children work out confusing, scary, or new life issues. Through these role plays, children become more comfortable and prepared for life events in a safe way. Children often use pretend play to work out more personal challenging life events too, whether it is coping with an illness in the family, the absence of a parent or divorce, or a house fire. Although kids may not always act logically during tough pretend dilemmas, the very process of problem solving becomes habitual.

Pretend Play

Social and Emotional Skills – Through cooperative play, children learn societal rules such as how to take turns, share responsibility, and creatively problem-solve. Character play means that the child is “walking in someone else’s shoes” and it encourages teamwork along with an interest in peers. The child also learns to negotiate which helps teach the important moral development skill of empathy.

Self Control – During pretend play, children have to take a role and play within those boundaries, especially when other kids are involved. Studies show that children control their impulses significantly better during pretend play than at other times.

Self Esteem – By giving your child complete control in their pretend world and accepting them as a silly character, you are enhancing their self-esteem. For example, pretending to be Batman or Wonder Woman allows a toddler to feel brave and invincible, which helps them develop self-confidence.

I think it’s important to allow children to dress up and let their imaginations run wild. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money. You can find inexpensive props at stores, or even around your home. You can also give children some of your things (dresses, ties, shoes, jewelry) to add to their pretend play scenarios.

Of course it’s always nice to have a few key pieces too.

With Frozen being super popular I’m sure there are plenty of little girls who want to pretend that they are Elsa or Anna.

Just Pretend Kids offers a few Frozen-inspired apparel items for the holidays, including a gorgeous Elsa-like dress, wands, tiaras, tutus, wings and super adorable party supplies. You can find plenty of fun pieces on their site that would make great gifts for the holiday season.

FYI.. the last day to place our order in time for Christmas delivery is December 19, 2014.

Just Pretend Kids can be found on all the social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…). All the links are found on the bottom of their home page.

Ice_Princess_Dress

Just Pretend Kids has generously offered to give a lucky reader a beautiful Frozen inspired dress (pictured above). Thank you Just Pretend Kids! The winner can select the size they want.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional.

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Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted. Just Pretend Kids will be providing the prize. 

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Radio Flyer’s 25 Days of Holiday Giveaways starts TODAY!

 

Photo Source: Radio Flyer

Photo Source: Radio Flyer

Did you have a little red wagon when you were growing up? I’m referring to the classic Radio Flyer red wagon like the one pictured above.

When I was a little girl I really wanted one. I could picture myself taking my stuffed animal friends, seating them in the wagon, then taking them along with my on my many adventures.

There was also a book I loved to have my mom read to me (and later on I would read it) called One Kitten for Kim. Since my name is Kimberly I was drawn to the book that was “named after me”. :-) (even though in the book Kim is a boy).

In the book Kim took some kittens around town in a little wagon helping them to find their “forever homes”. I wanted to have a wagon to carry my things around the neighborhood too.

Sadly Santa never brought me a little red wagon. I did have a Radio Flyer tricycle. If you look in the background in the photo below you can see it “parked” in the driveway.

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As silly as it sounds I will one day get my little red wagon. I might not need it anymore to tote around my fuzzy plush friends, but maybe I can use it as decor for our home. I’m a very sentimental person and I love to fill my home with things that bring back great memories of my childhood.

My kids never had the chance to experience any of the fun toys that Radio Flyer has to offer. We live in a top floor condo with no property (except a parking lot with maniac drivers) and A LOT of stairs. It would have been too much to lug the tricycle or wagon up and down the stairs whenever the kids wanted to play with them.

Radio Flyer has been around for almost 100 years. They have produced many well loved and cherished toys over the years.

I was sent an adorable Radio Flyer toy to review. I was sent the Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Coupe.

Oh my goodness! I love it! Even my teenage son said he wished we would have given him a car like this because it’s exactly what he wanted growing up. He did have a ride on car his great-grandmother gave him but it didn’t have all the “bells and whistles” that the Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Coupe does.

Here is some details on this sweet little coupe.

Coupe

 

Steer & Stroll Coupe

Your child will love this versatile red coupe! Designed with realistic details, this timeless car offers both safety and style.

  • 3 ways to play: adult push, kid push, kid scoot
  • Child seat belt for added safety
  • Entertaining and realistic lights and sounds
  • Push handle adjusts to both adults’ and kids’ heights
  • Door opens and closes like a real car
  • Innovative sliding footrest for comfort and added versatility
  • Batteries not included, requires 3 AA

Price: $119.99

Website: http://www.radioflyer.com/steer-and-stroll-coupe.html

This is darling!

I didn’t have a little one around to take it for a test drive for me, so all I could do was play around with the features. Kids will LOVE all the fun sounds the car makes and it lights up too. I’m surprised we didn’t burn out the batteries we installed to try it out. My husband and I kept pressing on everything. LOL!

As a parent I love that it has a seat belt for safety. Not that a kids would go THAT FAST in it, but you never know. We’ve seen people with the same car in our condo complex. We have very steep hills where we live. If a parent accidentally let go of the handle the coupe could zip very fast down the hill.

The seat belt also keeps little ones from jumping out of the car when being pushed around. It’s made so that a child could not easily get out of it.

steer-_-stroll-coupe-lifestyle-2-model-74a

I love the handle. Oh how I wish my son’s car had something like that. It would have saved my back from having to bend over and push him around. It would have been more comfortable to stand up right and push him. The handle is adjustable too.

I like the footrest. That is an ingenious idea! When your little one is being pushed around you can rest assure that their feet are not being dragged on the grounder underneath them. All you need to do is push the footrest up and your child’s feet will rest safely inside. When your child is older and can scoot around in the car on their own you can push the footrest back.

Photo Source: Radio Flyer

Photo Source: Radio Flyer

The image makes it look like it can house a lot of stuff. I don’t think it’s that big and I couldn’t see a little one putting stuff inside of it, but maybe some kids would. None the less it’s a great idea.

The coupe also looks like a “real” car. It even has a place where you can put “gas” in the car.

I wish I was a little kid. I would love to drive around in something like this.

Radio Flyer will be giving away a Radio Flyer toy EVERY DAY as part of it’s special Radio Flyers 25 Days of Holiday Giveaways. Perhaps you might be the lucky winner of this adorable Steer & Stroll Coupe or another wonderful Radio Flyer toy. 

From Monday, November 24, 2014 (TODAY!) until Thursday, December 18, 2014, Radio Flyer will be giving away a FREE toy everyday for 25 days. All you need to do to enter is sign up EACH DAY on RadioFlyer.com for your chance to win the toy of the day.

You MUST enter each day to be eligible for that day’s toy  (it’s not a one-time-only sign up). You can sign up each day for the 25 days, or only sign up on the days you want to win the specific toy that is being given away. It’s totally up to you.

If you haven’t checked out Radio Flyer lately you should look over the site and see what great toys you could possibly win including trikes, bikes, scooters, ride ons and even the little red wagon or the Steer & Stroll Coupe (if it’s part of the giveaways).

You can also check out Radio Flyer on all the social media channels. The links are found on the top left of their website.

What do you think about the Steer & Stroll Coupe? Cute, isn’t it?

Do you have a favorite Radio Flyer toy or memory of a Radio Flyer toy?

Do you plan on entering the Radio Flyers 25 Days of Holiday Giveaways?

Feel free to share your thoughts. I love to hear from readers. And if you do enter – good luck! Let me know if you are one of the lucky winners.

Radio Flyer Logo

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample for review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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PBS Kids and Whole Foods Market partner to roll out assortment of sustainable toys in time for holiday season

 

PBS KIDS WHOLE FOODS MARKET TOYS

 

The holiday season is a crazy time of year. We’re always on the look out for the “perfect” gift for those on our holiday shopping list. This is also the time of year that people like to support charities.

Imagine if you could find wonderful gifts for the special people in your life – like your child or grandchild – and help out a wonderful charity at the same time? Now, through a partnership between PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market you can.

PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Market have teamed up this holiday season to offer Whole Foods Market shoppers wonderful toys from PBS KIDS including soft plush animals and classic wooden toys. They will be available at all Whole Foods Markets nationwide in the Whole Body department.

PBS KIDS’ new line of products is designed to inspire creative curiosity, while supporting the development of healthy, happy kids. One-hundred percent of PBS KIDS’ net proceeds will benefit the media brand’s mission of empowering children through knowledge, critical thinking and imagination, while Whole Foods Market will donate one percent of total sales, up to $25,000, to Whole Kids Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving children’s nutrition and wellness.

“We are excited to work with Whole Foods Market on a program that fosters our shared commitment to education and child development, while giving holiday shoppers an opportunity to give a more meaningful type of gift this holiday season,” said Lesli Rotenberg, general manager, children’s programming, PBS. “Open-ended play is an integral part of a young child’s development, and the new PBS KIDS toy line provides children with the opportunity to explore and learn in a safe and fun way.”

Panda Plush

The great things about the toys being offered is that they are made with safe, non-toxic inks and materials. Even the packaging is made from recycled materials. The plush animals are made with phthalate-free and PVC-free materials. The race cars are made from recycled milk bottles and all of the toys are made in the USA from sustainable materials, responsibly harvested from local communities.

“PBS KIDS is known for creating fun, educational content that encourages kids to learn by exploring the world around them,” said Jeanne Tamayo, Whole Foods Market’s global lifestyle buyer. “And that’s the exact goal behind this new line of toys — to help our shoppers find new, exciting ways to teach their children through play. Whole Foods Market is proud to offer these toys to families exclusively this holiday season.”

We don’t have a Whole Foods Market near where I live. For many years I have been hoping and wishing for a store to appear. Sigh… Hopefully one day we’ll FINALLY see a store in our area.

Whole Foods Market sent me one of the plush animals from the collection. They sent me a Panda. Oh my goodness! She is incredibly soft and plush. She’s also very realistic looking. She even comes with a baby Panda. I love it! The mama and baby Panda plush is sitting next to my desk on top of our love seat. Every now and then I’ll pick them up and give them a squeeze. They are so soft and snugly and exceptionally well made.

My plush Panda is pictured above.

Another one of the toys that they offer (I did NOT receive to review – I just love it) is a wooden truck/shape sorter toy. Not only does it look like a fun toy it also helps children identify shapes. It’s fun and educational.

Shape Sorter

In addition to finding the new line of PBS KIDS toys at Whole Foods Markets nationwide, consumers can purchase products online at shop.pbskids.com.

If you would like to learn more about PBS KIDS visit their website, PBSKIDS.org. You can also find them on Twitter and Facebook.

To find a Whole Foods Market near you please visit WholeFoodsMarket.com. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites.

What do you think about the line of toys? Do you think you’ll stop by and pick up some gifts for those on your holiday shopping list?

PBS Kids

WFM

Kimberly

*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Super Race Set by Mega Bloks Hot Wheels Giveaway (ends 11/30/14)

 

Mega Bloks Hot Wheels

With the holiday season fast approaching there is no doubt that many little boys and girls are quickly filling up their holiday wish lists in hopes that Santa (or on Hanukkah) they receive some of the toys and games they really want.

I’m going to show my age here but when I was little I looked forward to the day the Sears Wish Book showed up in our home. That was the highlight of my year! I used to go through all the pages and “dog ear” the pages of stuff that I wanted, then write up a list (usually a very long list) of gift ideas that I wanted not only for myself but also “dream gifts” I’d like to get my family members. I was a little kid so I didn’t have money, but if I did I would purchase gifts for my whole family.

I went so far as to write down the page and item number so Santa knew specifically what I wanted. :-)

Sadly I rarely received anything off my lists. Maybe one item at best. It’s OK though. I always received nice gifts for the holidays.

I know many young boys – and girls – enjoy building toys. Cars are also a popular wish list item. Thanks to Mega Bloks and Hot Wheels your child (or grandchild) can have the best of both worlds in one set.

Introducing the Super Race Set by Mega Bloks and Hot Wheels.

This awesome set allows you to build up to eight mini cars with a variety of assorted pieces. You can mix and match to create your own customize car then take them apart and rebuild them a totally different way. There are infinite possibilities.

Check out this brief video that shows you some of the ways you can build these mini cars.

 

How cool!

The set comes with instructions to build eight race cars but you are free to get as creative as you want with them.

The set also combines with all Mega Bloks Hot Wheels sets for endless stunts and races.

Hot Wheels Rebuild

This set is ideal for children ages 5 and up – or “big” kids (aka – adults).

I tried to put together one of the cars (the one pictured above) but its still a work in progress. My fingers are not as nimble as I’d like them to be and I have a hard time (compliments of my Carpal Tunnel) working with little pieces. I’ve asked my husband and son to help me but they have yet to get around to it… so… I’ve taken it upon myself to get it done. Once I finally build it I’ll post he photo here.

If you would like to learn more please visit the Mega Bloks Hot Wheels™ Official Site or go directly to the Super Race Set 8-in-1 Product Page. In addition you can also follow Mega Bloks on Twitter and Facebook.

Mega Bloks Super Race Set

One lucky winner will win the Mega Bloks Hot Wheels™ Super Race Set 8-in-1. This would make a great gift for the upcoming holiday season.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on November 30, 2014 at 11:59 PM (EST). The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you’d like to win this prize?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries wont’ qualify (I do check). Extra entries are optional. 

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Kimberly

*I received a free set in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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