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Kids Turn Toy News

Classic Makes a Comeback

Felt Story Board Felt Story Boards and Building Blocks Just Some of Babalu’s Offerings for Holiday 2009

Santa Barbara, CA (September 24, 2009)— Can you remember a time when toys were powered by imagination and problem solving, instead of batteries and computers? Babalu, Inc. does. That’s why they’re bringing back classic toys that evoke feelings of nostalgia for parents, and provide hours of enjoyment for children.

Babalu’s cornerstone product is FeltTales®, felt story boards made from safe, soft and colorful felt. Story boards, which have been around for generations, inspire open-ended play as children use their imaginations to make up endless stories and situations for the characters on the board.

“This is playtime at its best,” said Babalu founder Blair Everett. “The reason our FeltTales are bestsellers year after year is because children truly love playing with them, and parents love to have their children to play with them.”

Each FeltTales story board has at least19 moveable felt pieces and a different theme, varying from princesses to dinosaurs. For children who need a little extra help getting started, Babalu includes a story starter on the back of every FeltTales story board, which provides a starting point for the story.

Felt makes a perfect travel activity too, since it is mess-free and quiet. Children can entertain themselves silently, all while honing their creativity and storytelling skills. Plus, FeltTales story boards have a convenient travel handle and storage pouch for storing felt pieces when not in use.

Since its introduction in 2006, FeltTales have been praised by award agencies. Honors include two iParenting Media Awards, Canadian Toy Testing Council 3 Stars, Creative Child Seal of Excellence and Preferred Choice Awards, Dr. Toy Best Vacation Toy Award and a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.

FeltTales are great for ages 3+, and each has a MSRP of $19.95. Here’s a look at the latest FeltTales story board, and a selection of Babalu’s best sellers:

Felt Story Board

*NEW* Pups in the Park
There’s a runway show at the dog park at 3pm, what will your dog wear? Pick out a crazy outfit, and don’t forget to accessorize your pooch!
Felt Story Board

Dinosaur Days
Take a step back in time to the Jurassic period! Help the Brachiosaurus reach the leaves of a tall tree, or swim in ocean with the Plesiosaurus at sunset.
Felt Story Board

Pretty Princess
Get ready for an enchanting night at the castle. Dress your princess in her favorite ball gown, and add a cloak as the evening approaches. Gather her handmaidens and travel by horse-drawn carriage.
Felt Story Board

Busy Day at the Farm
Have you done all of your chores? It s a busy day at the farm. Watch the pigs roll in the mud. Milk the cow. Feed the bunny some carrots. Gather eggs from the hen. You can even drive the tractor through the corn fields.
Felt Story Board

Pirates at Shipwreck Cove
Can you find the buried treasure? Use the map to find the location. Don t forget to bring a shovel! Is anyone following you? Bring your sword just in case, these pirates mean business.
Felt Story Board

Let s Go to the Ballet
Perform at your very own dance recital. You can dress your ballerina in a variety of brightly colored tutus and dresses. There is even a felt rose bouquet to present to your prima ballerina for her outstanding performance.

Also joining the Babalu lineup are classic toys from WJ Fantasy, a company that Babalu recently acquired. WJ Fantasy has been specializing in nesting blocks, building blocks, advent calendars and books for more than 25 years. Here are some highlights for Holiday 2009:

Building Blocks Shadow Books " Ages 3+ " $14.95
These books each feature a 8 x 8 inch fold-out backdrop for the story, a 26-page book and flashlight. In each story, the flashlight is used to cast shadows on the die-cut pages with images of ordinary objects, the resulting shadow looks a little scary! Through storytelling and fun examples, the child learns that the shadows need not be feared. Comes in Camping Out, Forest Fairies and Time for Bed.

Do-Re-Mi Musical Building Blocks " Ages 4+ " $24.95
Stacking blocks and a musical instrument all in one...what fun! The top of each of these 8 musical blocks is fitted with a metal bar that, when struck with the mallet provided, plays as a xylophone. Each block top also depicts a graphic of the note positioned on the staff, representing the full "C" scale. And, with the accompanying songbook, children can learn to play simple songs all by themselves! One side of the block teaches children about the instruments that comprise an orchestra, another side shows children practicing their instruments at home, the third side features children playing homemade instruments, and the fourth side teaches counting through rhymes and visuals. A medley of fun for everyone! Largest block is 6.5" x 6 .5" x 9.5"; 8 blocks. Includes a carrying case.

ABC Building Blocks " Ages 3+ " $17.95
These imaginative blocks will help children learn the alphabet with the bright and colorful illustrations of artist Sarah Buell Dowling. Children can identify the letter by the picture, "M" is for "Moon" or "C" is for "Clown." Makes learning fun! Largest block is 6" x 6" x 6"; 10 blocks.

My Busy Day Touch & Feel Building Blocks " Ages 3+ " $19.95
Each of the 10 blocks in this set highlights a different part of a toddler's very busy day, from their morning routine, to play time, preschool, nap time, dinner, bath time and finally as they are lulled to sleep by a bedtime story. Included on one side of each block is a familiar object to touch and feel. Soft pajamas, a smooth mirror, a fuzzy teddy bear, and more. Largest block is 6" x 6" x 6"; 10 blocks. My Tool Box

My Tool Box with Four Board Books " Ages 3+ " $19.95
Children will love pretending to help out on the job with their very own tool box. They can strap on the denim tool belt/apron with adjustable waist, and carry the plastic hammer, saw, screwdriver and pliers around in the two deep pockets. Or, children can lug the tools around in one of the two compartments of the brightly-colored tool box. The tool box comes with 4 board books, shaped like each of the four included tools; a hammer, saw, screwdriver and pliers. Amusing illustrations and rich text depict each tool as a character, describing what it does and how it works. Box measures 8.5" x 6.5" x 6.5"

WJ Fantasy s products are available at amazon.com or www.kazootoys.com. Babalu s FeltTales can be found at specialty stores nationwide and online at amazon.com and www.roundtabletoys.com. For more information visit www.babaluinc.com or www.wjfantasy.com.


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ABOUT BABALU, INC
Babalu, Inc. was launched in 2006 to better a classic toy tradition with the introduction of the FeltTales brand. Its founder, Blair Everett, has an exceptional 30-year career in the toy business and he brings that knowledge and commitment to the growing classic toy product with improving play and quality.

In June 2009, Babalu acquired WJ Fantasy, a 25-year-old toy company specializing in a distinctive selection of nesting blocks, toys, advent calendars and children s books. WJ Fantasy and Babalu will operate under two separate divisions until 2010, when they will be joined.