An Interview With Santa – December 2013

An Interview With Santa – December 2013

It took some doing, but I finally managed to catch a moment of Santa’s time before the big day! He and Mrs. Claus were kind enough to share their time answering questions about the business and charitable works of a professional Santa team.

You might wonder what it takes to be a professional Santa.  He recommends attending some of the schools that are available nationwide such as the Charles W. Howard Santa Claus School in Midland, Michigan or the various School 4 Santas by Tim Connaghan that are held around the country.  Santa sports a real beard and a real belly and he wears red pretty much year around since he is able to serve outside of the typical Christmas season in any number of roles from comfort and support to master of ceremonies at a store’s grand opening.  House visits, corporate parties, parades, mall photo businesses are all fertile territory for the professional Santa.

It’s not all business though.  As the very embodiment of selfless generosity, Santa favors many civic and charitable organizations.  He is particularly fond of the Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Philadelphia.

Santa also made mention of the National Christmas Center Family Attraction & Museum as a resource that’s local (to me) and has tons of fantastic Christmas stuff.  If you don’t live too far away from Paradise, PA you might want to stop through and see the collection.

Disney Infinity (Product Review)

Product Review – Disney Infinity

Combining real world toys and objects with video game platforms has become one of the more popular trends of the last year known as the transmedia gaming movement.  A number of consoles and systems have been released and they range from simplistic systems to complex, involved experiences.  Disney Infinity is one such system that offers a wide array of components and seems complex but is, in reality, one of the simplest and best transmedia systems available.

Let’s take a look at some of the features

The depth and variety available is one of the main attractions of Disney Infinity. The base of the system plugs into most current gaming platforms, including the Nintendo 3DS and Windows XBox 360.  There is a wide variety of available figurines that can be plugged in to and change the experience. This system doesn’t need a character to be plugged in to work. It enters Toy Box mode which gives you the ability to create completely new worlds within the game. Characters can be plugged in and they have their own worlds based on their respective movies.  Players can collect power discs that can be connected to specific figurines that will customize those characters. For instance, plugging Buzz Lightyear’s rocketpack disc will give him the rocketpack in the game. Players can also mix and match the discs to give one character’s equipment to another.

How Much?

The system was released in August of 2013 and costs $75 for the base package. Additional characters cost $12.50 each or $30.00 for character pair sets and will include each character’s power discs.

Things We Like About Disney Infinity

You can have tremendous fun completing missions, fighting monsters, and exploring the world with Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Incredible from The Incredibles and Sulley from Monsters, Inc. The ability to mix and match power discs promises to add a breadth of fun and creativity unmatched by any other available product. Toy Box mode lets players create worlds within the Disney universe letting players truly stretch their creative muscles in highly customized play.



Things We Did Not Like About Disney Infinity

What can you possibly dislike about Infinity?  Collecting and trading power disks between characters provides the potential for limitless creativity and fun.


Who Would Buy Disney Infinity?

Fans of Disney would leap at the chance to play their favorite Disney characters with Infinity!



While not officially announced, the system will almost certainly have a thorough warranty protecting against defects and similar issues.

Is Disney Infinity Worth the Money?

With the sheer amount of included content as well as the potential for continued expansion, $75 seems a small price to pay.

Where Can I Buy Disney Infinity?

Infinity is available at all major retailers including Walmart and Amazon.

More Customer Reviews for Disney Infinity

Rave reviews have been submitted for this game system and the character packs.

Get your favorite character




Boom Boom Balloon (Product Review)

Boom Boom Balloon (Product Review)

Kids are huge fans of games like Old Maid, Hot Potato, Don’t Break the Ice and Jenga. These games are suspenseful and enthralling as the players wait to see who is going to get stuck with the losing hand or toppling the carefully made structure.  At the same time, all kids love balloons, but what many of them love even more than mere balloons is popping balloons.  As one might assume from the name, Boom Boom Balloon combines those two loves into a fun, tension filled (no pun intended) game!

Let’s take a look at some of the features

Boom Boom Balloon operates on a very simple concept. The game comes with 10 balloons, several sticks, and a frame. Users blow up one of the balloons inside the frame and tie it off, and then insert all of the sticks into the holes in the frame. Players then roll the 6-sided die and push a stick or sticks of their choice in, depending upon their roll. As the sticks go further in, the surface tension is increased on the balloon, and the loser is the one that makes it pop! The game is very simple and easy to understand.

How Much?

Boom Boom Balloon will have a suggested retail price of $19.99 upon release in the fall of 2013.

Things We Like About Boom Boom Balloon

The game is rated for children ages 8 and up, but the concept is so simple, nearly any age can understand it, though younger children may be put off by the loud burst. Even adults can have fun waiting with baited breath for the strained balloon to finally burst. The frame includes a very handy tie-off system that relieves players of tying tiny, awkward knots, and all of the included parts are sturdy and well made.

Things We Did Not Like About Boom Boom Balloon

While Boom Boom Balloon is undoubtedly a fun and simple concept, the only drawback is that merely 10 balloons are included. Certainly, replacement balloons are very inexpensive and can be purchased almost anywhere, but it would have been nice to have had more included.

Who Would Buy Boom Boom Balloon?

Boom Boom Balloon is a game the whole family can play together, and nearly everyone loves popping balloons!


It is unknown if the game has an official warranty, though it likely protects against workmanship defects and similar issues.

Is Boom Boom Balloon Worth the Money?

Considering the fun the whole family can have watching and waiting for the balloons to pop, $25 seems a small price!

Where Can I Buy Boom Boom Balloon?

Boom Boom Balloon is available from online retailers like Amazon as well as major chain stores like Walmart and Target.

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