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thepolarbearclan "dad of boys" RSS Feed (Boulder, CO)

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TurboTax Home & Business 2014 Fed + State + Fed Efile Tax Software + Refund Bonus Offer - Win [Download]
TurboTax Home & Business 2014 Fed + State + Fed Efile Tax Software + Refund Bonus Offer - Win [Download]
Price: $99.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Sad to see such a fine product encumbered by poor ..., March 26, 2015
Sad to see such a fine product encumbered by poor corporate decisions. Each time pushing more and more customers to their competitor. As a long time turbo tax user it saddens me to watch this years mistakes unfold. In additional to the now retracted decision to not include schedule-D turboTax MAC version can't print to a local printer without an internet connection back to intuit. This looks very much like a company bent on data warehousing as much information regarding people as possible.

Beyblade Gravity Destroyer AD 145 WD BB80
Beyblade Gravity Destroyer AD 145 WD BB80
Offered by ToyWiz
Price: $49.99
4 used & new from $49.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BeyBlade with super cool name and launches left and right!, December 7, 2011
BeyBlades are great stocking stuffers and my kids love getting them. The recent (September 2011) release of single pack BeyBlades by Hasbro consists of Gravity Destroyer, Twisted Temp, Cyclone Herculeo, Rock Zurafa, Evil Befall, Mateo L-Drago etc. All of these are readily available at local toy stores and department stores for $7.99 (MSRP) upto $8.99. We picked up the first 4 of the above at $5 at a local department store today.

Of all the 6 mentioned, Gravity Destroyer is the coolest of them all. A super cool name and all black in appearance - Hasbro even coated the fusion wheel (metal wheel) black. Maybe this Bey is supposed to be a black hole and drain the energy of other Beys? The greatest feature I think is that this BeyBlade can be launched with a left spin launcher (comes with this set) and a right spin launcher (the more common one). Prior to this, only the L-Drago series can be launched with a left spin launcher. Gravity Destroyer is a Defence Bey, while Ultimate Gravity Destroyer Attack Beyblades Metal Masters Attack Battle Top #BB97 Ultimate Gravity Destroyer Attack is an Attack Bey.

Stars for the different parts (red = attack, yellow = defence, green = stamina)
Energy Ring - Destroyer == 2 red, 5 yellow
Fusion Wheel - Gravity == 2 red, 5 yellow
Spin Track - AD145 == 1 yellow, 2 green
Performance Tip - WD == 5 yellow, 2 green

I just know my kids will be fighting over this one! Highly recommended!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 7, 2011 10:37 PM PST

Melissa & Doug Deluxe 100-Piece Rainforest Cardboard Floor Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Deluxe 100-Piece Rainforest Cardboard Floor Puzzle
Price: $11.59
37 used & new from $8.27

4.0 out of 5 stars Huge puzzle, good details, December 6, 2011
100 pieces, 48 inches tall and 18 inches wide; so make sure you have the space to work on the puzzle. Recommended for age 6 and up but my kids could complete this easily at 4.5. The pieces are big and sturdy and fit well together. The picture is nice and the color is vivid.

This is the only children's rain forest puzzle I could find. The scene is supposed to show the different layers of the rain forest with the different plants and animals found in each layer. Just remember to tell your children that there are a lot more species than those depicted.

Highly recommended. Should cost around $12.99.

Melissa & Doug Four Seasons Cardboard Floor Puzzle
Melissa & Doug Four Seasons Cardboard Floor Puzzle
4 used & new from $14.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy puzzle that teaches seasons, December 6, 2011
Rated for kids 3 and up. Made of sturdy cardboard and should last a long time. The pictures are nice and the colors are bright and clear. The pieces fit well together. Each season has 12 puzzle pieces and all 4 seasons are in the same box. Kids learn to separate the pieces for each season by looking for snowflake (winter), flower (spring), sun (summer) and leaf (fall) picture at the back of a piece, which I thought is a rather clever idea to help kids associate something with each season. After the puzzles are done, my kids like to slide the puzzles around and arrange them. So, this puzzle had helped my children learn the order of the seasons.

Highly recommended. Should be below $15.

LEGO Creator Lighthouse Island 5770
LEGO Creator Lighthouse Island 5770
Offered by School Student Toys
Price: $179.99
30 used & new from $114.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun to build (A Kid's and Dad's Review), December 3, 2011
Creator and technic series are my favorites. Creator series teaches me to see things to model them while technic series allows me to model their functionalities. I have many Creator houses but this is my first lighthouse and it is superb! Thanks Grandma! The lighthouse a fun and rewarding build for me but moderately easy. The lighthouse keeper's house is proportional in size to the lighthouse. Of course, the rotating light that is cranked by hand (two double bevel gears) is fun and sturdy. The blue base is made up of a 16 studs by 16 studs plate, a 6x16 studs plate and a 4x8 studs plate. I wish it was a big solid piece of base plate instead. There are very interesting pieces that I think can be used for other models. I haven't built the other two models because I like the lighthouse too much to take it apart to build the other two.

This set has 518 pieces and comes out to be about 7.7 cents per element. Don't be fooled into thinking this set is a steal - there are a lot of small pieces in this set, which is usually what real modeling uses.

Dad: this is a reasonably priced set, a rare thing for Lego, at $39.99. I think the light brick is made in China as almost all Lego sets with electronic components contain components made in China, if anyone cares. This is probably not a good set to collect in MISB form until your kids grow old enough to play with it because the batteries in the light brick might die or worse, leak... Lego instruction says uses two LR41 watch or button batteries although we haven't tried opening our light bricks yet. Highly recommended.

LEGO City Harbour Marina 4644
LEGO City Harbour Marina 4644
Offered by Austin1414-US
Price: $69.93
35 used & new from $52.95

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun set with lots of play but overpriced, December 2, 2011
At an MSRP of $49.99 and 294 pieces, this set comes up to 17 cents per element. Even though a lot of the pieces are unique and big, and the set has a lot of playability, it is overpriced. The fair market value should be about $35-$40. Look for amazon to have a good sale price for the holidays. We picked ours from amazon and loved it. Components are not made in China, if you care about that.

Has 5 minifigures: wind surfer, lifeguard, sailor, diver and girl.

Kids love the dinghy, surfboard and windsurfer. They terrorized the surfers with shark-creature (Hammerhead Guardian) and manta ray creature (Manta Warrior) from Atlantis sets. They also sent in the pirates.

Some complains are the bridge is not tall enough for the windsurfer to pass under, the surf shop and cafe are tiny compared to surfboard and dinghy etc - obviously Lego was concerned about pricing and trying to keep the piece count low to be profitable. Fortunately, we are able to combine this with another set: LEGO Creator Lighthouse Island 5770 to complete the scene.

In terms of playability, this is one of the best City themed sets in a long time. Definitely recommended, if you can get it on sale.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 9, 2011 2:50 PM PST

LEGO Space Alien Mothership 7065
LEGO Space Alien Mothership 7065
Offered by Imagine That Toys
Price: $44.99
52 used & new from $21.40

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Alien Conquest set so far! Awesome! (a kid's review), November 14, 2011
We love aliens and Lego Alien Conquest sets have been a lot of fun. We got this set on sale today and built it right away. It is super cool! The build is very very creative and interesting, a little repetitive at times. The ring is made out of very rare elements. The alien commander is excellent. There is a lot of playability for this set. It is sturdy enough to hold by the handle and fly around. There is a claw to capture the woman in business suit. The spinning feature is awesome but the sound is annoying after a while, especially when every little movement triggers it. We have figured out how to get the model to spin but not make noise, now we absolutely love this set. I wish we could have 2 of this set so we don't have to take turns and we can take one set apart to build other things. WOW!

LEGO Space Jet-Copter Encounter 7067
LEGO Space Jet-Copter Encounter 7067
Offered by New2You Resale and Consignment
Price: $48.99
36 used & new from $20.45

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish the Jet-Copter was more sleek looking (A kid's review), November 13, 2011
We love aliens and Lego Alien Conquest sets have been a lot of fun. The alien and earthling minifigs are cool and a little goofy. The builds are creative using interesting elements. We have created all sorts of stuff with these elements. For this set, we really like the two aliens' mini transports - we don't have to fight for it. We feel the jet-copter is too blocky and squarish, but it is quite sturdy. Although this new flick missiles shoot a little further, it is still no match for the spring-loaded launchers. Overall, this set is fun and has lots of play. Just wish the Jet-Copter is more sleek looking.

LEGO Star Wars: Darth Maulís Mission (Episode 1)
LEGO Star Wars: Darth Maulís Mission (Episode 1)
by Ace Landers
Edition: Paperback
Price: $3.99
228 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Silly and funny book but very short, November 7, 2011
If you get Lego Jr magazine, you know exactly what to expect of this book. The type of drawing and storyline are just like those 2-page comics in those magazines. This is basically the story of Star Wars I - The Phantom Manace. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan escaped Naboo with Queen Amidala with Darth Maul coming after them. They returned to Naboo where Darth Maul fought Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan and fell into oblivion. As in those magazines, this book does not follow the movie:

1. no mention of Anakin Skywalker and other characters and plots, just Darth Maul, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan

2. I think for the younger audience, Lego chose not to kill Qui-Gon (he was instead locked up in a closet but never seen again) and Darth Maul (who fell into the heart of the power generator(?)).

My kids find the following funny: Qui-Gon to Obi-Wan, "Did you do your homework?" Obi-Wan replied, "Yes, but a wookiee ate it!" They also fine, "Utini" silly and funny. A Jawa person actually said "Utini" in Episode IV when they captured R2D2. My kids ran around yelling "Utini" for a few days.

Minus 1 star for disjointed story. Minus another star for being very short, basically 2 page of material. Still recommended for young die-heard Lego and Star Wars fans - below 8 years old.

Max Goes to Jupiter: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog (Science Adventures with Max the Dog series)
Max Goes to Jupiter: A Science Adventure with Max the Dog (Science Adventures with Max the Dog series)
by Jeffrey O. Bennett
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.87
56 used & new from $0.01

1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting parts, overdoing the fiction parts, November 2, 2011
My son brought this book home from the school library. His school rated the book at 5th grade level. He read it on his own and understood most of the material. His favorite being the space elevator, how Galileo tracked the 4 biggest moon, the explanation on why the same side of the large moons always face the planets, and underwater volcanoes or black smokers (which he already knew). Parts of this book are interesting. However, 3 stars were deducted for the following reasons:

1. The dog Max, portrayed as playful to, perhaps, entice the children to read this book, in my opinion, does not belong in space at all. First Max's ball went into a probe, then Max almost fell into a lava river in Io and Max ran off chasing his ball in Europa. Max's behavior could seriously endanger a mission.

2. The crew landed on Europa and then proceeded to measure the thickness of the surface ice to determine a drilling spot. When they went looking for Max, they found the "thinnest patch of ice anywhere around" a kilometer away from their starting site. Hmm. Again, the authors did not treat space missions seriously to have the crew plan ahead for a good drill site.

3. Some subliminal messages, such as: "The authors of this book believe that wars, crimes, hatred, and other bad things are caused by people who act as though they still think the universe should revolve around them. Perhaps some day....." "So if you ever get sad about the many problems that we face in this world, such as war, hatred, poverty, or global warming, try instead to focus on the great possibilities that await us if we can work together to solve these problems." "For example, the "one laptop per child" project hopes to provide laptops to all children in even the poorest countries." do not belong in this book. Is this copying 2001 and 2010? While the intentions might be good, children need not be reminded of the burdens of life and should just be able to enjoy a book about space. My youngest was not shown this book at all because we didn't want him to start asking about wars, crimes, hatred and other bad things.

While some parts are interesting, this is not a highly recommended book. Definitely not recommended for children below 8 years old.

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