May 20, 2013
November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11
Awesome Kids Believes in Awesome Kids
Toys in the Boxx Inspire Playful Learning
When Joan de Souza started Awesome Kids (Gift Guide) in 1991, she knew it would be awesome for kids, but little did she realize that by 2006 her product line of six themed toys-in-the-box products would grow to 42.
| Right from the start, Awesome Kids aimed their products directly at specialty shops.
Putting the Toys Away
The idea for the company began when de Souza tired of picking up the toys her son grew bored with after time. She wondered what would really captivate a child’s interest, and not just be another toy underfoot. She pooled her creative resources to devise a product that would be fun, educational and Mom’s helper, by enclosing the products in a “Portable, Packable, Stackable Boxx”® made of clear plastic, called Toys in a Boxx®.
Themes for the boxed sets include history, pirates, equestrian, fairytales and many more — 43 in all. The kits themselves consist of backdrops, figurines and other toys that all fit into a small, clear container that snaps shut.
In particular, the hand-painted Civil War entry has had a new item added — a replica of the Confederate Navy’s CSS HL Hunley, which on February 17, 1864 became the first submarine to sink a warship of any kind. The warship the Hunley sank was the USS Housatonic. The various themes of the Toys in the Boxx® series aid teachers of art, history, geography and sociology.
“We make the themes come alive for children from 3 years to 8 years of age, while subliminally coaxing them to develop their imaginative powers,” de Souza told TDmonthly Magazine.
Also in the line are CDs and animated 48-minute DVDs that can be used for “traditionally wholesome®” entertainment or as examples by teachers to supplement lessons.
Helping Kids Help Kids
Not only does Awesome make room for children of all nationalities with its Awesome Kids characters, it addresses the needs of exceptional kids, too. The stories and play sets suggest to children how to accept all children as being the same and not different, as in "Margie's Journal," a story of a child with Down syndrome who moves to the fictional town of Awesome. This production features Carly Ziesemer, a member of the National Down Syndrome Society, who provides the beautiful voiceover for the animated character, Margie.
Awesome Kids has also teamed up with the Shriver Foundation's Best Buddies program for a fundraiser including a special theme Boxx® and a 48-minute animation.
They are also involved with Mr. Robert Acri, executive director of the Cavalcade of Music Foundation, located in Skokie, Ill. The physical focal point of the Cavalcade is a 150-seat rehabilitated theater that in the early 1900s was a sound stage used by Charlie Chaplin to make silent movies prior to moving west to Hollywood. Awesome will premiere its new full-length animation there to benefit the Foundation, which is dedicated to the preservation of music appreciation and theater for all ages.
“The Mission Statement of Awesome Kids is to subliminally suggest to children the educational lessons needed for everyday living, therefore making them realize that they are awesomely creative and that they know how to use their imaginative powers," de Souza continued. "This allows them to realize that children all over the world must get along to save our planet and enjoy life. If a child has a problem, he or she can stop and ask what the Awesome Kids would do and, hopefully, take that route for himself or herself.”
Specialty, All the Way
Right from the start, de Souza aimed her products directly at specialty shops.
“The customers who shop in the specialty shops are looking for wholesome, entertaining toys to amuse and educate their children,” she told TDmonthly.
For the 2006 holiday season, Awesome Kids has developed a new line called the “Magic Color and Play Series®.” The first two volumes — Cinderella, Volume I and Arthur and the Black Knight, Volume II — are presented in both English and Spanish on an animated DVD.
Also included in these first two volumes is a “Never Ending Coloring Book®” CD. The pages are stills from the DVD that can be colored on the computer screen, or printed out for coloring. The Volumes also include 3” action figures of the main characters in the stories. In addition, the CD contains instructions and cut outs so that kids can build a replica stage out of an old shoe box on which they can act out the stories with the included hand-painted figures. Especially interesting is the fact that the “never ending coloring book” is bilingual and is presented so that English-speaking children can absorb the Spanish translation as they color and Spanish-speaking children can practice their English as they color.
Thus as de Souza explained to TDmonthly, “Awesome Kids is demonstrating to all one of the subliminal educational tool techniques often used in its products.”
Again, all of the pieces fit into the box for easy storage.
Here are two of the latest Awesome Kids releases:
The Magic Color and Play Series — Cinderella by AWESOME KIDS
Enjoy the beautiful classic story of Cinderella in DVD format using the new Magic Coloring process. The story will unfold before your eyes while our narrator tells it and as the magic pictures fill with color before your eyes. Added music and many special effects help the story come alive. So sit back, relax and watch with Mervin and all the Awesome Kids(including you!). Included, on a separate CD, is a “Never Ending Coloring Book®” containing pictures your parents can help you print so that you can color them over and over again! Crayons are included, so you can color as you watch and listen. Included on the CD are instructions to make your own stage out of one of mom’s old shoe boxes and some colored backgrounds for your stage sets. Last, but not least, you will find four 55-mm hand-painted figures of Cinderella in her work clothes and ball gown, the Fairy and, of course the Prince, to re-enact the story on the stage you have made. The Magic Color and Play Series is a great stocking stuffer. 9/25/2006 (MSRP: $12.95)
The Magic Color and Play Series — Arthur and the Black Knight by AWESOME KIDS
Enjoy the action packed story of Arthur and the Black Knight® in DVD format using the new Magic Coloring process. The story will unfold before your eyes while our narrator tells it and as the magic pictures fill with color. Included, on a separate CD, is a “Never Ending Coloring Book®” containing pictures your parents can help you print so that you can color them over and over again! Crayons are included, so you can color as you watch and listen. Included on the CD are instructions to make your own stage, three hand-painted figures of Squire Arthur, Sir Kay and the Black Knight and, of course, a horse for each to re-enact the story. The Magic Color and Play Series is a great stocking stuffer, and is currently on sale at a special Christmas bargain rate of $12.95. 9/25/2006
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