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Toys for Tots needs your help …

by James

The Marines have been collecting Toys for Tots since 1947. Semper Fi!

Just a reminder that the US Marine Corps Reserve is in full swing with their annual Toys for Tots drive. Created in 1947 by Marine Corps Major Bill Hendricks and a cadre of reservists in Los Angeles, Toys for Toys collected and distributed 5,000 toys for needy kids. Since then, the United States Marines across the nation and around the world have been collecting unwrapped toys worth at least $10 to distribute to needy kids at Christmas time. In the beginning, he Marines collected both new and used toys, but beginning with the Christmas in 1980, they have only collected new, unwrapped toys for distribution. And with time, the Marines courted famous names to further their cause, even Walt Disney has the honor of being the designer of the Toys for Tots train logo. But also big names like John Wayne, Doris Day, Tim Allen, and even former First Lady Nancy Reagan have devoted considerable time and clout to helping the Marines accomplish their mission of giving every needy child a toy for Christmas.

And it’s grown far beyond and extra curricular activity for off duty Marines. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved making the annual Toys for Tots drive an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. Over the last 62 years, the US Marine Corps Reserve have distributed over 400 million toys to more than 188 million needy children and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation has added to the toy collections by purchasing nearly a half billion dollars in toys to insure that no child gets left behind at Christmas.

And this year, as with any year, the campaign needs your help. You know the mission – pick up an unwrapped toy for a boy or girl and look for one of those dashing jarheads sitting next to a collection box near the entrance to the store. Or, you can Swing by http://www.toysfortots.org/ to make a cash donation to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation. While at the site, you can find more information on a toy collecting center in your area.

Semper Fi and Merry Christmas!

Cool toy: 4D CityScapes by Mastermind Toys

by James

4D Cityscape time puzzle is a very cool puzzle toy that teaches kids not only about architecture, but also history of a city. The puzzle includes puzzle pieces for the street layout, but also ads building pieces. But what really sets this toy apart is it incorporates the added dimension of time …


Here’s how it works. After building the city layout with puzzle pieces, players can then use the included time reference sheet to add buildings according to when they were actually constructed. So the CityScape expands as you travel in time. It’s a really cool concept. The London set, for instance, begins in the year 1074 and builds out until 2014, when buildings that haven’t even broken ground yet are to be finished.

Other sets include, Chicago, Toronto, Rome, New York City, Washington DC and Las Vegas, (a challenge considering Sin City loves to demolish old hotels) This teaches kids city planning, history, architecture, and more. And it’s a very engaging way to pass the time and stimulate the mind. Sure beats a regular old puzzle!

Cost is around $30 with free super saver shipping.

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