Sunday, September 18 2016 17:32

Bringing Creativity to Life with Bunchems Alive!

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After what felt like a little bit of a lull, the past couple of years have delivered some fantastic new ways to foster hands-on creativity. One company that's been leading the charge is Spin Master (an outfit whom you've no doubt heard me mention on occasion), and this year they've got a new spin on creative play with Bunchems Alive!, the latest iteration of Bunchems - winner of the coveted 2016 Activity Toy of the Year Award, presented by the Toy Industry Association. These little balls stick together, allowing for endless possibilities in what kids can create. Squish, connect and create the creatures, characters, structures and vehicles shown on the box, or just free-form to create your own - this is open-ended imaginative play... with NO MESS. And now, with Bunchems Alive!, kids can add motion to their creations, bringing a whole new element into some already rockin' play.


With hair pulled back* (very important - more on that below), The Rock Daughters™ have been spending quite a bit of supervised time with their Bunchems Alive!, mixing-and-matching pieces to create a variety of different items. Addie's been big on the cutesy stuff like puppies, bunnies, etc., while Finn has been all about the more mechanical - vehicles and robots. By building with the Motorized Stick 'Em Ball, now their Bunchems creations can shake, wobble and "dance." Check out one of Addie's:


With Halloween fast-approaching, we've also been working on things like "The Pumpkin King" (a crown on a pumpkin makes it Royally-official) and some little Goblins. In fact, one such creation made its way into our official photo spot in The Toy Testing Facility at Rock Father HQ™:

Bunchems Alive! 

*Now, it is important to note that Bunchems function much like a natural bur (seed pod) like you might come across outside - something that our seven-year-old was quick to point out, a comparison also made in the instructions. That said, it's important that kids and grownups with long hair (I chopped mine a few years back) have their long locks tied-back and away from the Bunchems. You'll also want to do these on a nice, flat surface, and make sure not to place them on carpet or furniture (anything fibrous) that they might attach to. This includes pets. Here's what Bunchems look like up close:


In the event that you do get caught, Spin Master has a video available to help you: How to get Bunchems out of Hair. There are also warnings in several places on the package, but as with any project such as this, I recommend supervised play.


THE ROCK FATHER™ was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all that of James Zahn.

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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