Thursday, July 30, 2009

Party Time!

Tonight is the Delaware Today Magazine's Best of Delaware party at the Chase Center at the Riverfront. We're totally stoked to be going - for a bunch of reasons. Which are:

1 - We're the Best of Delaware! Woo-Hoo!
2 - Um, it's a party...with free food & liquid happiness.
3 - The party benefits some of our favorite causes - Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware, The Delaware Children's Museum and also the Light Up The Queen group.
4 - The party has lots of our favorite places Dogfish Head, Harry's, Orillas Tapas, Pizza By Elizabeths, Sweets to You by Ginger, Grassroots, Hansel & Gretel & dozens more! (A complete list is here)

If you need a ticket, the door price is $70 a person, but if you click this button, you can save $15 off the ticket. If you're going, stop by (rumor has it there's some free yo-yos). If you're not going, follow Joe's Twitter updates from the party.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Yo-Yo's make the national spotlight...

Just over a month ago, the Washington Post did a cover story on yoyoing, spotlighting former YoYo Joe's employee Tyler Severance as well as other YoYo Joe's Yo-Yo Club members. If you missed it, check out my blog post here.
Since then, yo-yos have been prominently featured on the cover of last Friday's Wall Street Journal and also on Monday's edition of the Today Show.

Dog Days, indeed...

For those who are fans of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, there's reason to rejoice. Today, the cover art of the anticipated 4th book in the series was released. The new book is titled 'Dog Days,' and has a release date of October 12th. Based on the success of the previous titles, it's a safe assumption this will be a very good selling book.

Check our previous posts on the Wimpy Kids books and check out this picture of our son, Ethan, with Jeff Kinney - the author of the Wimpy Kid series.

Consider Me Ignited...

Civic pride in Wilmington usually amounts to jokes about how the city closes at 5 pm. Last night, however, at the studios of the Archer Group something exciting took place - the first Ignite Wilmington event.
I initially heard about this event thanks to our friend, photographer Laura Novak and her Twitter feed. It sounded good, so Emily and I headed down last night.

First, a little about the history of the Ignite events. I took this from the Ignite webpage:

"If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then 100s of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC."

Sounds intriguing, right?

Last night's initial Wilmo event was emceed by Mark Mobley, the Director of Community Engagement at the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. There were 12 speakers - each with a 5 minute presentation. As it was the first Wilmo event, the speakers had varying successes meeting the 15 second slide rule. Some missed entire slides as their 15 seconds went way too fast, others waited for the slides to change.

The presentations covered a wide range of topics - ranging from IT stuff (cloud data) to brewing your own beer to Wilmington artist Jeff Schaller comparing and contrasting his career path with that of David Hasselhoff (his presentation was entitled 'Me and the Hoff' which was exactly as funny as it sounds) to Chris Winburn relaying his tales of the dizzying heights and bottomless pits of riding the 90's internet boom and bust to San Francisco & back. To finish it off, we all took a quiz on just how 'White N Nerdy' we were (Chris won an eronomic keyboard for being the whitest and nerdiest).

The presentations were entertaining - no matter what the topic it never gets boring listening to someone talk about their passion. They were also informative. They gave me ideas - they sparked my creative juices - which is precisely the idea behind the event!

Perhaps the most exciting part of the event was the vibe. Yes, this REALLY was taking place in Wilmington - AFTER 5 pm! Yes, these were all Wilmingtonians jazzed about their city. Every presentation was greeted by cat-calls from the audience in support.

We rounded out the evening by heading a couple blocks up to one of our new favorite Wilmington restaurants - Orillas Tapas Bar. What a great night to be a Wilmingtonian!

Don't miss Ignite Wilmington #2 - which will be coming up - check for details.

Thanks to the people who put #1 together and to the Archer Group for hosting it and to Laura for informing us about the event.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hot Games, Cool Planet...

The first booth we visited this year at Toy Fair was the booth for Blue Orange Games. I was wearing my brand spanking new YoYo Joe's hat and the first thing someone at the booth said to me was, "I like your hat." I was flattered, as he obviously appreciated our wonderful logo. It took me a couple seconds to realize that our store colors are blue & orange and it was our colors he was referring to. C'est la vie.

Today, Bertrand, from Blue Orange games paid us a visit. Each year, someone from Blue Orange travels coast to coast - from San Francisco to Maine - visiting each of their retailers. It's hundreds of stores and takes them weeks, but I think it's a great idea as it gives them a chance to explain how to play any games that we don't know and also to address any questions we might have about their products. Plus, he dropped off an awesome Blue Orange games t-shirt (That's Bertrand wearing one above) and he also dropped off a HUGE Chickyboom game for us to demo. (That's the Chickyboom game demo below next to the actual size of the game.)

Blue Orange makes awesome games. Their games are made of wood, and built to last. They're also environmentally aware, having been awarded the 'Green Toy Company' award thanks to their policy to plant two trees for each tree they use in production of their toys. And, last but not least, their games ROCK!
As a matter of fact, four of their games will be in YoYo Joe's holiday catalog. Two of their newest games - Yamslam and Chickyboom as well as their advanced 'Shut the Box' game called 'Double Shutter' and their new twist on their old classic 'Gobblet Gobblers.'

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tell Me a Story...

Know what feeling I love? When I find an item I love, and our customers love it too! Sometimes, I find something that I think is awesome, and it doesn't sell very well. Other times, I have mixed feelings about something and it flies off the shelves. Every once in a while, it's the magic mix of finding something that's awesome, and it sells wonderfully.

That's the case for something I found at the American Specialty Toy Retailers Association (ASTRA) Show in June. At the eeBoo booth, I found something they'd introduced at Toy Fair in February, but I missed. The product is called Tell Me a Story Cards. They're 36 beautifully illustrated cards that revolve around a theme. All of the cards have illustrations, but no words. The words are up to the storyteller. String together a set of cards and tell a story. Great for helping children explore their imagination and creativity. Also great for parents who want to tell children a bedtime story and could use illustrations for their stories. Available in four different themes - Circus Animals Adventures, Fairytale Mix-Up, Mystery in the Forest and Little Robot's Mission. All are $9.99.

It's a win-win situation!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Will Jared be the first to finish the Yo-Yo Club Trick Chart?

YoYo Joe's Toys & Fun Yo-Yo Club meets each Saturday from 4-5 pm. Since Yo-Yo Club started in January, over 100 people have tried their hands at the Yo-Yo Trick Advancement Chart - Jared is the first person to get to the final trick - Slack Trapeze. Can he finish it? Will he be the first inducted into the YoYo Joe's Wall of Fame?