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12/01/16

GameStop easily greatest gift to gaming

If you're old enough to remember the arcades you'd see as stand alone entities or within a mall, you can attest to how you felt the moment home gaming arrived on the scene.

No longer were you cramming next to someone at an arcade, hoping that a game was available or running between lives to get more quarters or tokens.

Home gaming put arcades virtually out of business due to the convenience of being able to play whatever you wanted from the privacy on your living room couch or family room.

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Gaming has evolved so much in the last three decades to the point that consoles, games and game play is staggeringly realistic and even more popular than ever, far beyond what anyone would have imagined from those old arcade days years and years ago.

But with any particular product genre, gaming is only as good as the retailer that ensures you have the products, games, consoles and pricing you need in order to have that entertainment value on your terms.

For that, you should start at GameStop.

GameStop is easily the most recognizable gaming retailer and brand around, and what that means to the gamers, kids or just the casual game player is that you don't have to worry about not having a certain title available when it is released or having to wait feverishly for a console that you want.

GameStop also dabbles in digital content as well when it comes to the Xbox, PlayStation or other consoles as well. What you get when you visit a GameStop in person or visit them online is a sense that you're not dealing with a company that only halfheartedly throws its hat into the ring that is gaming.

GameStop is a retailer that lives and breathes all things gaming, whether you're talking about codes to crack a game, information to customers on release dates or just really interesting products that tap into nostalgia of gaming (such as collectibles) as well as buying and selling used video games to the customers. That point is especially hard to pass on since GameStop will buy your old games and give you money to keep or put toward the next title or product that you buy.
This allows you access to the newest titles, minus a full price tag with a trade in. But even without a trade situation, GameStop scores big with pricing that is second to none, and a selection that is equally impressive.

For even more savings, you can use GameStop promotional codes for free shipping and discounts on products and your entire order when buying online.

Thanks to GameStop, the arcade business is thriving in the home market because of their adept practice of keeping customers satisfied and inventory that leaves you in awe, and totally and utterly entertained.

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06/09/16

ToysRUs: Toy brand remains steadfast in commitment to safety

Few can argue that when it comes to toys and how those products are linked to quality and safety that the first name and brand on the tip of your tongue is ToysRUs.

Their commitment to production centers on a host of different elements that define what a toy brand should be, from price to service, but safety often trumps the discussion when it comes to parents and how they view potential toys for their children.

ToysRUs is easily is the most revered and renowned toy brand in the marketplace and their ability to draw customers and keep them happy is underscored by stores and customer service that is head and shoulders above the competition.

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As sturdy and recognized as the logo and actual physical stores are, ToysRUs has worked tirelessly and diligently to secure more than just a small piece of the online sector when it comes to parents ordering toys online and focusing their work on timely delivery and that the product is received as described.

As parents know, toy buying often can be taxing with so many trends and hot toys that permeate the marketplace, so being able to buy online helps that cause greatly. Parents are extremely busy so shopping from home is key and you can find online ToysRUs promo codes with a simple point and click to not only have the convenience at your fingertips but also a wide selection of products to forgo the trip to the store.

But as "hot" as a toy can be, nothing compares to safety and a disregard to that puts parents in a position to give toys and toy manufacturers the cold shoulder when it comes to buying.

A 2014 report produced late in the year had toy related injuries on the rise, and that is alarming given just how paramount safety should be when you think about toys in general or specifically who they're marketed to and how they're made.

Safety standards are of the utmost importance to ToysRUs, and that fact doesn't go unnoticed by parents and those who have a propensity to purchase toys. ToysRUs focuses its attention to toy safety to the tune of going above and beyond what is asked of them as far as how toy safety is regulated. That peace of mind plays to parents exponentially, as it should, when you consider just how much moms and dads wants to know when they buy a toy it was produced and put together correctly.

ToysRUs manages to meld together the perfect mix of toy safety and product availability and service to ensure not only that its brand and namesake stays intact but also parents can feel that sense of comfort knowing when it comes to satisfaction and consumer loyalty, ToysRUs doesn't play any games.

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02/06/16

Fun control: Why some toys and games should stay on shelves

What is inappropriate for your kids as far as toys and games go? Is there such a thing as toy that can promote violence to the point that it actually takes place?
This debate has raged on for years, the moment video games took a step toward an R rating, and acts of violence by kids and teens took a turn for the worse.
Are video games to blame? Should parents be shamed for every toy gun every bought and sold? Are toys in general to blame for the fact that they've gotten a lot more mature over the course of the last two decades?
I know personally, I've heard this debate for years, as a former writer for a major newspaper who wrote about professional wrestling. I was a kid in the mid 1980s, five years old in 1985 to be exact, and I loved wrestling. 
Hulk Hogan was my idol, and I had all the toys and watched all the shows. But as wrestling hit its high point in the mid 1980s and again the late 1990s, the two didn't run parallel as far as how kids reacted to this form of entertainment.
I don't remember hearing a lot in the 1980s about kids hurting other kids or body slamming them or acting up while wrestling or emulating their favorite superstars. I never body slammed or clothes lined my sister, but the late 1990s saw a rise in violent acts that some tried to pin on professional wrestling.

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I, as a writer, wasn't interested in defending wrestling unless I thought it necessary, and most of the time when I heard of such violence acts, my first though was: where were mom and dad? In some cases, they weren't around at all.
Now, I'm not blaming parents at all, but I do know that when I watched wrestling, I didn't do it alone. I also know that if I was "horsing around" with my sister, that I was told to calm down.
I realize 2016 is a lot different than 1985, especially how toys and video games have started to become more realistic and less about playing and more about acting out scenarios of sorts.
But I do believe that toys don't lead to violence, and games don't either, for one very important reason: parents don't allow it to happen. Whether that means not buying the toys or all or giving the toys to kids with a disclaimer that they're toys and nothing more. I realize this conversation with your kids might seem a little odd given that they're, well, referred to as "toys" but that doesn't mean handing a child a toy machine gun shouldn't come with rules, too.
As a child, I had toy guns, too, and I would run through the house and pretend to shoot people. I also was told that shooting people is wrong and this is just pretend. Did that help? I'm assuming so, but I don't know if those conversations or reprimands are as consistent as they should be.
I don't think banning toys is the answer, as much as it is parents asking and answering questions about violent games and toys, especially if the answer is "no," when kids ask if they can have something in the toy or game vein they shouldn't.

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11/27/15

Friday, bloody, Friday: Remembering hot toys that took us by storm on Black Friday

Before doors to most retailers opened on Thanksgiving night, "Black Friday" was the main event when it came to shopping and, for parents, aunts, uncles and anyone else who was buying for children, the moment in time they had to secure the hottest toy of the season.
You remember the countless "Black Friday" headlines, the ones that involved moms pulling hair, dads throwing punches and consumers content on finding the last remains of the hottest toys left on the shelves; those are what showed up in the newspapers and online on Saturday morning following "Black Friday." 
Hard to believe just one little toy created such a stir when it came to consumers and customers alike who knew that Christmas and the holidays wouldn't be the same for their kids if they didn't open the gift that everyone wanted.
Those gifts have ranged in variety relatively speaking, based on the type, age, gender and everything else you could imagine. Transformers ruled the world in 1984 with kids, mainly boys, making it the hottest selling toy nearly 32 years ago.
The idea of robots turning into cars and vice versa was all any little boy could imagine, and the toys from three decades ago spawned a series of superb movies that grossed hundreds of millions of dollars.
In 1984, however, "Black Friday" wasn't the hot commodity that it is today.

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The turn into the 2000s also brought another must have toy, and by then "Black Friday" was red hot and so were Bratz Dolls. In 2001, Bratz Dolls were the best selling toy over the holidays, and younger girls of all ages couldn't have the 2001 holidays come or go without having one of these fashion dolls. Bratz arrived on the scene in 2001 and continued to have great success, but nothing matched that first year of remarkable success.
Five years before Bratz were born, Tickle Me Elmo was the number one toy on the market, and those dolls were easily the most wanted toy in the history of the holidays. Some of the toys were in such demand that they would sell on the secondary market for more than $2,500. The reason being is the toy was in such demand because very few were made when it arrived in the mid 1990s.
Every year has its toy, mostly depending on supply and demand but always driven by what kids want and how parents have to try to find out a way to get it.
Minus the fist fighting and "Black Friday" masses taken into consideration.

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11/18/15

Dolled up: Why new Barbie commercial is long overdue

I played with Barbie's when I was a kid, circa 1985 or so There, I said it, and it wasn't that big of a deal then. And, it certainly isn't now.
I had a younger sister, and we played with them all the time. We would take turns playing with our respective toys. I had a slew of World Wrestling Federation (now Entertainment) wrestlers. These larger than life rubber wrestlers were all the rage in the mid 1980s, and Barbie has always been a staple, and my sister had what seemed like every Barbie every made, dream house included, cars and anything else that made Barbie, well, Barbie.
I was six year old in 1985 and my sister was five, and I never once even then thought it was weird or awkward to play with "dolls," much the same way my sister was totally fine playing with "action figures."
That's probably why I'm not overly shocked or blown away at the news of the Barbie brand releasing its first commercial that features a boy in it.
Truth be told, that seems long overdue.

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For years, toys always were gender specific, at least most of them. But it wasn't as if girls never played with G.I. Joe or boys didn't partake in anything that wasn't "boy related." The issue was more about how toys were marketed, and that is more about commercials or toy catalogs, more so than what kids were interested in at any given time in history as it pertains to toys.
Today's child doesn't have to be saddled with stereotypes or pigeon holed into being told exactly what they should be asked to play with or to have purchased for them by their parents.
Instead, if a little girl wants to play with Captain America, then so be it. If she wants to tackle Thor or be Iron Man for Halloween, let her.
If a little boy wants to play with Barbie, or so called girl specific toys, then what is the big deal? There isn't one, and that's why this commercial, while groundbreaking in some respects because it has never been done, shouldn't be viewed as the exception.
Now, it's the rule, and should have been a long time ago.
You can't make up for lost time, and those kids, like me, in the 1980s who played with Barbie's alongside their sister or other girls, similar to what is portrayed in this commercial, grew up to be open minded parents who see a boy in a "girl" commercial and barely bat an eye.
And that's exactly how it should be.

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