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Check out Bloomsbury Lane Toy Shoppe for the 'must-have' holiday toys

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | November 15, 2012

LANCASTER- With Christmas shopping starting earlier each year, Tracy Diegelman, owner of Bloomsbury Lane Toy Shoppe, has already filled her store to the brim with unique toys, gifts, and books for the holidays. Hand selecting each toy and making sure they are fun and educational; every toy in the shoppe will inspire a child’s creativity.

Christmas could be six months away, but that doesn’t stop millions of children starting to think about what they want in their stocking come Dec. 25th. Every year, there's a must-have list of toys that all children are desperate to get their hands on, so what will be the big hits of 2012?

Destined to be the next hot thing, Loopdedoo, a spinning tool that uses ordinary embroidery floss to create friendship bracelets in just minutes, is a great gift idea for girl’s ages eight and up.

It comes with 18 different colored skeins of embroidery threads. You wrap the threads around the device and turn the knob while you guide the threads through.

Diegelman said they can make necklaces, anklets, belts, and more. It has won four awards this year, including ASTRA's Best Toys for Kids 2012 Award and it has been featured on the Today Show.

“Last year, around Thanksgiving they were sold out,” said Diegelman. “I couldn’t get anymore; you couldn’t get any more for the holidays. This year we have them. It is not like your typical friendship bracelets. They’re pretty cool.”

Also, another good gift for a girl is called Color Rox Hair Chox, also an award winning toy. It adds temporary hair color where you want and it is washable. There are also beads, hair rubber bands, and a styling tool to help complete your new hairdo.

To add to your new look, Diegelman also has Duct Tape for girls.

For those a little younger in age, Diegelman has a new line of dolls called Sophia Dolls.

“I found them at a show in New York. I wanted them to be compatible and comparable to the American Girl Doll line. The face is the splitting image of the American Girl Doll. She is 18 inches tall and I have a line of clothing to personalize them.”

Winning the 2012 Major Fun Award, Q-BA-MAZE is a great gift for boys. It is a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. Kids can create marble maze sculptures in the form of animals, geometric shapes or any other design. Configurations are unlimited, allowing for unpredictable action when steel balls travel the various routes.

“It is a cross between art and science. It uses the right brain and the left brain so it is not only fun, but it is educational. It’s everything in one box. I like this one a lot. It is different,” remarked Diegelman.

Diegelman added the next toy on the list she has received many requests for. It is called Snap Circuits Jr., and is an award winner.

“This is very popular,” she said. “The directions are very easy to follow and when they are done with the 100 projects, and they will do them all, they can go online and get more projects.”

Winning five awards, including Creative Child Magazine’s 2012 Game of the Year Award, Pajaggle is the perfect family, fun game or it can be played individually.

Pajaggle is a game that thinks it's a puzzle. The object of the game is players try to fit their pieces into the board sockets as fast as they can. You can purchase more than one board so you can then play all of the Pajaggle Board games.

“It is like the game Perfection and anybody can play it,” commented Diegelman. “It looks easy, but it is not. It is difficult.”

“Families can play together,” added Diegelman. “That’s what I like to do. That’s what we do here, we play. The parents have so much fun here. The kids have so much fun. That’s what makes me feel so good.”

Another family fun activity or if you have a young artist in the house is called Master Kitz. Customers can choose from Vincent Van Gogh’s masterpiece, “The Starry Night,” or Gustav Klimt’s “Tree of Life” or Claude Monte’s “Water Lilies,” or why chose, get them all.

“The kit gives you the rollers, canvas, stencils, and paint to make one of the paintings. So, it is going to be a replica of the master, but with your own twist on it and this is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s an heirloom. Once it is done you can frame it and put it in your home. It is great.”

Still popular this year, the Spooner Board can be compared to a skateboard or surfboard that can be used indoors on hardwood flooring or carpet or outdoors on grass or snow.

“It can be educational and it gives them exercise,” said Diegelman. “It teaches them balance and develops coordination and it is so much fun,” said Diegelman, as she demonstrated her ability to do a 360 and a 180 spin on the board.

Customers can pick from two different sizes at the toy store, a smaller board for those who are four feet and below and a larger board for those who are taller.

“Anybody can use this board,” said Diegelman. “I like to find a lot of indoor things, especially for this time of year.”

Designed for young sledding enthusiasts ages five and older, Zipfy, is a fast and exhilarating downhill sled that has rails on the bottom of the sled giving the rider the ability to zigzag down the hill while a lever provides stability and helps with turning.

Diegelman said the sled goes very fast and the whole family can use it. It was Creative Child Magazine’s 2012 Product of the Year.

Using rare earth magnets, Doinkit Dart set is the best playing magnetic dart set on the planet, said Diegelman.

“They give you a true shot,” added Diegelman. “I love it.”

In addition, Diegelman said Nanoblock’s are still popular this year and she has expanded her selection. There are also some new Nanoblock’s such as the Statue of Liberty and a space shuttle.

Also, some other fun toys include Perplexus, a 3-D labyrinth that challenges players to carefully flip, shift, and twist a transparent sphere as they try to maneuver a small marble around 100 barriers. Perplexus will entertain both children and adults alike as they think in 360 degrees, exercise their fine motor skills, and improve hand-eye coordination.

For those on a limited budget, there are also some $20 games that can be purchased at the shoppe. They include Fast Track, Nowhere to go, and Airzooka, which blows air up to 20 feet away.

“Airzooka is a must have for this year, I think,” said Diegelman.

The shoppe carries Mudpies, Playmobil, stuffed animals, books, and ornaments as well.

Children can also once again adopt an elf at the toy shoppe this holiday.

“This is a special place to adopt an elf rather than a big box store. We wrap it up and explain the story and its just better,” said Diegelman.

New this year, Diegelman added a teacher’s section in her shoppe. Children can select an ornament, cups, or dishware for their teachers.

“My toys are different from the big box toy stores,” remarked Diegelman. “These toys focus on a child’s creativity and how they play with them. There’s more play value in these toys than the box stores, because you actually have to play with the toy and be creative. There is something to be said about that.”

Lastly, Santa will be visiting Bloomsbury Lane Toy Shoppe from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 and the following week he will be there from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. every Friday and noon to 3 p.m. every Saturday through the holiday season.

Bloomsbury Lane Toy Shoppe, located at 1 West Main St., in the Village of Lancaster, is opened from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and closed on Sundays.

For more information call 684-0821 or visit www.bloomsburytoys.com.

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