Thursday, October 16 2014 00:29

Holiday Gift Guide: The WILD KRATTS Toy Collection...

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2014 Holiday Gift GuideIf you've been following my adventures for a bit, then you've probably seen WILD KRATTS featured here on THE ROCK FATHER more than a few times over these last couple of years. As a PBS KIDS VIP (Very Involved Parent), I've often showcased the educational adventures of the Kratt brothers - Chris and Martin - as they teach kids about animals and the scientific aspects of the environments in which they inhabit. "Adventure" is key here, and that's something that the folks at Wicked Cool Toys have captured in their new line of WILD KRATTS toys, a few of which I'm showcasing in my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide - the WILD KRATTS Figures and Vehicles.

Available exclusively from the official WILD KRATTS Store at Ty's Toy Box, or at Toys "R" Us, the figures collection pairs variations on Chris and Martin with various animals through Creature Power 2-packs and 4-packs, or with their own Createrra vehicle. Each set comes with animal-specific "Power Discs," which can be used alongside the Creature Power Suit Vest & Glove Sets (sold separately) for kid-sized role-play action. 

Wild Kratts

krattstagHands-On with WILD KRATTS:

Included in our review assortment were the Cheetah Power 2-Pack (with Martin), the 4-Pack "Runners Set" (Roadrunner, Zebra, Cheetah, Lion-power Chris), and the Createrra with Martin.

The non-articulated figurines were immediately welcomed into my girls' play patterns, no doubt because of their familiarity with the Kratts (for Addie, dating back to Sprout re-runs of ZOBOOMAFOO). Little Finley (vehicle obsessed) was all about the Createrra, which is essentially a free-wheeling Jeep with opening doors and plenty of room for two passengers. 

Replicating the exotic jungles in which the WILD KRATTS often traverse, the girls had their figures climbing high into the sunflower patch, scouring the "forest" floor below, and facing off with all manner of beast in the garden landscapes. While both of my little ones love their WILD KRATTS toys, it's Finn that really identifies with them, and the brothers' Kratt have been seen mingling with other, similarly-scaled toys here at HQ, including characters from SESAME STREET, DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD and more. 

Wild Kratts

Points to Note:

Recommended for Ages 3+, the lack of articulation on the figures is likely a cost-saving measure, as these toys are really affordably-priced (figure + vehicle for under $13), and while they may not have a ton of poseability, they're still a ton of fun in getting the little ones immersed in quality imaginative play. My one point of criticism involves the design of the Createrra Jeeps, in that their doors should be one piece. The hinges attach to a door panel which can (and will be) easily knocked off and might require a grown-up to re-attach.

Rock Father Approved!Overall:

WILD KRATTS continues to pick up steam in it's daily run on PBS KIDS, and with the Kratt brothers doing a lot of live appearances these days, more and more kids are going to want these. As a parent, I appreciate the low-tech approach to these toys, as not everything needs to be a battery-powered source of noise and lights. Observing my own children making up their own adventures makes it easy to call the WILD KRATTS a Rock Father-Approved Holiday Gift Idea.

Wicked Cool Toys' WILD KRATTS Collection also includes an assortment of plush animals and 13.5" talking plush versions of Chris and Martin Kratt.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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