Category: Miscellaneous

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

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As the holidays approach, have you thought about giving the gift of play? Or maybe you have, but your not quite sure what to get the loved ones on your list. Lucky for you, we have put together a gift guide of 20 games from our catalog that would make excellent presents this holiday season. From old favorites to brand new releases, this list is a compilation of everything you would expect from us. We made sure to pack it full of high quality games that are easy to learn and engaging for all ages; we are certain you can find something for everyone. This year help us spread some joy by wrapping up a timeless present that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Little Minds

These games were developed for little hands and growing brains.

Pengoloo_PackLowResPengoloo

Ages 4 & Up | 2-4 Players

Take a trip down to the South Pole with this colorful memory game. Each turn, players roll 2 dice. Then, they lift up 2 penguins to look for eggs that match the colors on the dice. Find the correct egg under a penguin and put both on your iceberg; the first to collect 6 wins!

We love it because…the wooden penguins, eggs, and icebergs are adorable and help kids work on both color recognition and memory.

 

GobbletGobbers_Pack_LowResGobblet Gobblers

Ages 5 & Up | 2-4 Players

This game plays like tic-tac-toe with a little twist. Each turn, you can place a new piece on the board, move an existing piece, or gobble up your opponent’s piece to claim the square as your own. Line up 3 in a row to win!

We love it because…the irresistible cast of characters is a great way to teach simple strategy. (Fun fact: This is the junior version of the first Blue Orange game ever made, Gobblet!)

 

Tumble Tree TinTumble Tree

Ages 6 & Up | 2-4 Players

Build your own baobab tree in this card placement game. Each animal card has its own way to be added to the ever-growing canopy- make sure to place them carefully. Avoid penalties, but most importantly…don’t let the tree-top topple!

We love it because…all the cards fit in the tin, which acts as the trunk of the tree AND the base of the game.

 

EyeNSeek_3D_Pkg_FlatEye ‘N Seek

Ages 6 & Up | 2-6 Players

Spin to win! Flip a card and then rotate the wheel to find its matching icon in the windows. But hurry, it’s a race! Spot the match before your opponents to win the round and get a point. With 6 double-sided wheels, 100 icons, 3 levels, and 6 games to play the searching fun is endless!

We love it because…. you can ditch the cards for an easy on-the-go game and play with just riddles, rhymes, or clues.

 

STEM Games

Inspire and stimulate curious minds with our logic races.

GoGo-Gelato_Pkg_Left_FlatGo Go Gelato

Ages 6 & Up | 2-4 Players

Become a gelato mixing master in Go Go Gelato! In this delicious game of rearrangement, players fill their customer’s orders armed with 4 cones, 3 scoops, 2 hands, and 1 challenge card. Happy customers are the ones whose orders are filled quickly and efficiently, so speed and thinking ahead are a must.

We love it because…. rearranging the scoops and cones is the perfect way to learn the type of logic required to play any of our Dr. games.

DrEureka_Pkg_Left_Flat_HiResDr. Eureka

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Grab a challenge, 3 test tubes, and 6 colorful balls, and then get ready to help Dr. Eureka solve his scientific formulas. Carefully move your materials from tube to tube without dropping them and position the balls exactly as picture on the challenge cards. Each round, the speediest scientist who correctly finds the formula wins!

We love it because…. the logic and dexterity required is challenging enough for both kids and adults without causing frustration. (Bonus: This is the game that started our entire Dr. collection!)

Dr-Microbe_Pkg_Left_FlatDr. Microbe

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Dr. Microbe needs help! Players must race to grab the correct microbes with their tweezers, and then place them into their petri dishes as they try to solve an incomplete challenge card. Make sure to follow the research rules and finish first to impress Dr. Microbe and win!

We love it because…. the tweezers and squishy microbes help develop fine motor skills, and the game pieces promote familiarity with lab equipment.

DrBeaker_Pkg_3D_FlatDr. Beaker

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

In this logic race, players move molecules around the compartments of their beaker to try and match the solutions on the challenge cards. Players must think quickly, and work fast, as they rearrange the molecules at the bottom of the spinning beaker with their stirring rods.

We love it because….rearranging the molecules one-by-one works on fine motor skills and sequential thinking.

 

Fast Action Games

Who said games had to be quiet and calm? Not us!

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Fastrack

Ages 5 & Up | 2 Players

Ready, aim, score! In Fastrack, players use the elastic band to send their 5 discs through a tiny slot to the other side of the track. Players need to work fast and aim well as they simultaneously fire at each other! The player who sends all the discs to the other side wins.

We love it because….it might be the most addicting game in our catalog; it’s impossible to play just once. (We also have an NHL®  version and a mini version!)

FyingKiwis_Pkg_Left_FlatFlying Kiwis

Ages 6 & Up | 2-4 Players

The kiwis want to go on vacation, but they can’t fly! Help the kiwi birds sneak into a fruit crate, so they can make it to their destination, by launching them with ramps. The kiwis like to sit with their friends, so make sure to line up 4 of the same color in a row or a square to win!

We love it because….what is not to love about a game where you get to launch things?!

 

Family Game Night

The all-inclusive gift; games that everyone can join in on!

Kingdomino_Pkg_Flat

Kingdomino

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Explore the land and expand your kingdom! Each turn connect a new domino to your kingdom, making sure that at least one of its sides connects to a matching terrain type already in play. Build up your 5×5 grid as best you can, as the player with the richest lands takes it all. This game won the prestigious Spiel des Jahres award in Germany (“Game of the Year”).

We love it because….it’s simple enough for kids, but the game mechanisms are interesting enough to keep adults engaged.

YamSlam_Pkg_Flat_HiRes

Yamslam

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

In this game, calculated risk and smart strategy will place the odds in your favor. Roll the dice to get a combination that gives you the greatest advantage. Each combination has a different point value, but only 4 chips to let you score, so grab the best ones before they run out!

We love it because….it’s a fresh twist on a classic that everyone can play.

Battlesheep_Pkg_Left_Flat_LoResBattle Sheep

Ages 7 & Up | 2-4 Players

Flock to greener pastures! Each turn, players split their stack of sheep and then move a portion by placing it as far as it can go in a straight line. Plan your moves carefully to fence out your rivals and occupy the most pastures. With multiple game board configurations, it’s different every time you play!

We love it because….it’s another great game to teach strategy, and it has a pretty awesome theme.

Heavier Strategy Games

Gifts that are sure to please any gaming master.

Queendomino_PackagingQueendomino

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Queendomino takes the base game of Kingdomino and kicks up the strategy with additional components and rules. Tax your lands wisely to fund the construction of your towns, pick the buildings you erect carefully, and try to win the Queen’s favor – all while making sure your plans aren’t foiled by the Dragon’s flame. Make sure to strategize and acquire carefully, as others are also competing for the same lands, a stake in the riches, and the heart of the Queen!

We love it because….it takes Kingdomino to the next level, and you can combine both games and either build 7×7 super kingdoms, or have two more friends join you for a 6 player game.

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Photosynthesis

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Plant and shape the ever-changing forest as you cultivate your seeds and your strategy. Take your trees through their life-cycles, from seedling to full bloom to rebirth, and earn points as their leaves collect energy from the revolving sun’s rays. Carefully pick where you sow and when you grow, as trees in the shadows are blocked from light, and from points. High-quality components and beautiful artwork make this a must-have!

We love it because….it’s a strikingly beautiful game that surprises most people with the strategy it requires.

NY1901_Pkg_Flat_HiResNY1901

Ages 8 & Up | 2-4 Players

Discover the game of acquisition, demolition, and construction! Rise to new heights in the famous streets of New York City, as you try to build the tallest skyscrapers in the world. Satisfy your hunger for glory and prestige as you raise your real estate empire to staggering new heights.

 

We love it because….it’s our first “big box” strategy game, and we think it’s a great way for less experienced individuals to enjoy the gaming hobby.

 

Stocking Stuffers

Games that pack big fun into small packages!

dicestackDice Stack

Ages 7 & Up | 2-6 Players

Pile up your points with this colorful take-anywhere travel game. Roll the tilted dice and then carefully stack them up in numerical order. Stop at any time while  building the wobbly tower and win the sum of the values you have stacked. Carefully place the dice and don’t let them fall, or you’ll lose it all!

We love it because….the wacky colorful dice are fun to roll, stack, and touch!

RalllyRoll_Pkg_FlatRally Roll

Ages 8 & Up | 2-6 Players

Roll the dice and rack up your points! On your turn, roll all the dice and score points based on the color of the biggest die. Decide to bank the points you have won, or take a chance and roll again! If no dice match the big colored die, you must forfeit all points won in that round. Are you ready to roll?

We love it because….it’s a quick travel game that is perfect for large groups.

TellTale_TinOnly_LowResTell Tale

Ages 5 & Up | 1-8 Players

The pictures that are worth a thousand words! Players weave wacky and whimsical stories using cards that show a variety of settings, characters, and objects. Play cooperatively, create a storyboard, or twist up your bedtime stories- the possibilities are endless.

We love it because….there is no wrong way to play!

Uturn_3DPkg_Flat_HiResU-Turn

Ages 7 & Up | 2 Players

In this game, each player picks a color and then both players take turns adding to the growing figure, one piece at a time. Adjust your strategy as it grows in 3D, and remember that each added piece affects future game play. Make sure you are the first to surround a dot of your color on all 6 sides from a bird’s eye view.

We love it because….the 3D puzzle can fit in your pocket, and is the perfect brain break to play with a friend.

 

You can find all of the above games in stores and online. As a company that supports small business, we encourage you to stop by your local neighborhood toy or game store this holiday season. To find the store nearest you that carries Blue Orange Games, check out our handy store locator.

Check out the rest of our games on our website for more great gift ideas!

Add Some Gaming Spice to Dating Life

Add Some Gaming Spice to Dating Life

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Got a gentleman or lady you want to impress? Or are you looking to spice up your dating routine with your significant other? Why not try a board game? A board game offers creative quality time for communicating and having fun with your partner. In April, DateBox included Yamslam in their game date box theme. They said later in their article on dating games, “Our absolute number 1 favorite date night game is Yamslam… We can tell you that it’s fun, addictive, and you can play over and over again without getting bored.” Games are a perfect way to spice up a date night for couples across the board, whether it’s their first date or fourth anniversary. But Yamslam isn’t our only epic matchmaker. We have five more games worth breaking out on your next romantic evening.

Table for Two

Not every game requires a crowd, and often the best games are limited to two. Here are three games that will spur some competition between you and your one and only.

NiyaNiya
From its sophisticated design to its small set of rules, Niya sets the mood for some intimate quality time mixed into some strategic game play. Each tile you draw influences your partner’s next move, opening perfect strategic opportunities to test how well each player knows the other. While on the surface it might be a matter of lining up four tokens in a row, in truth, just like in garden conspiracy, your victory may lie in how you relate with your opponent across the board.

U-Turn

U-Turn
Blue Orange Games’ newest on-the-go strategy game doesn’t leave room for an awkward pause when waiting for dinners or movies. U-Turn’s easy portability serves as a perfect kickstart to a conversation in the car or in the theater. Whether you and your partner enjoy the mental thrill of piecing a strategic puzzle together or you simply enjoy snapping together a sculpture, U-Turn is the perfect puzzle to spark some spontaneity during your special night.

Fastrack

Fastrack
If you enjoy scoring goals, making baskets, or kicking up a race with your partner, this is hands down the best challenge to bring on your next date. Fastrack is a high speed, head-to-head race perfect for couples who thrive on the thrill of the phrase “best two out of three”. It’s addictive with intense competition that will rev some fun into your evening before bonding over that candlelit dinner.

 

Make it a Double

While it’s important to set aside time for just your one and only, some of those most special moments can be found in a crowd of friends or alongside another couple. Here are a couple of double date hits in our game collection.

Cup of BluffCup of Bluff
Can you pull a poker face on your partner? For new and old couples, Cup of Bluff is a great game to flirt with deception and score some points. Test how well you and your partner can catch each other’s tells in a date night bluff battle between each other or on a double date with your friends.

WinkWink
What better game for a double date than this silly wink-fest? Craft alliances in secret with the wink of an eye to score points while avoiding the suspicious glances from your opponents. Wink is an amazing game to laugh and bond with your better half, and friends, over silly faces and deceptive competition.

While dinners and movies can create intimate moments and important quality time with that special someone, it’s good to remember that sometimes the best date ideas are as simple as pulling fun out of a box with a well-crafted board game. What better way to spend your night than to roll the dice and play your cards with the person you care about most?

8 Awesome Garden Crafts for the Summer Time

8 Awesome Garden Crafts for the Summer Time

June is just around the corner, and with it brings the three-month-long summer vacation every child can hardly wait for. However, the new task of entertaining and occupying the children’s time may be daunting for a parent since there’s no classroom to keep those mental cogs turning. Games are a great way to get the family together and away from the TV, but even game-lovers understand the healthy benefits of getting involved in the summer outdoor fun.

A simple and fun way to engage the young ones in outdoor fun is with a crafty activity for the backyard. Below are 8 awesome garden crafts that will get your little ones out of the house and enjoying the summer sun.

1. Pinwheel  by Kate Stewart

Photo by Geoffrey Ross
Photo by Geoffrey Ross

This is a family fun classic that will have children running around the backyard, trying to make their pinwheel spin.

Supplies:
Paper
Scissors
Glue stick
Tape
Needle nose pliers
Ball pins or map pins
Seed beads
Ruler
Pencils, unsharpened with an eraser on the end (or a cookie or cake pop stick)

 

By Meaningfulmama
By Meaningfulmama

2. Sand Castles that will Last  by Jodidur

Children can play in the sand and create beautiful sculptures to decorate the flower beds.

Supplies:
1 cup sand
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tsp alum (sold in the spice section of the grocery store)
3/4 cup water
Shells and rocks (optional)

3. Turtle Herb Planters  by Lorie

Photo by Reading Conetti

Kids can grow their own plants in a cute planter of their own creation.

Supplies:
Soil
Basil seeds
Acrylic paint
Hot glue
Googly eyes
Pom poms
Plastic herb container (or any small plastic bowl)

 

 

 

Spouge House4. Grassy Sponge Houses  by Sharon

This project is a perfect way to show children the science behind growing plants.

Supplies:
4 new standard kitchen sponges (approximately 4 1/2 by 3 inches) in orange, green, blue, and pink
Ruler
Permanent marker
Scissors with a pointed tip
Large plastic food-storage container (a clean rotisserie chicken container works well too)
Spray bottle
1/2 cup of grass seed, preferably one labeled “fast-growing”
-Sewing pins (optional)

5.CD Wind Spinners  by Jackie

CD Wind SpinnersLooking for something to spice up the porch? How about this cute, dazzling craft?

Supplies:
Old CDs or DVDs
School glue
Craft gems, jewels and sequins, buttons etc.
Fishing line

 

6. Painting Rainbow Pots  by Jacquie Fisher

This craft’s a great way to bring more color to your flower pots.

Supplies
Clean terracotta pot
Variety of acrylic paints (at least 4 colors)
Wax paper
Newspaper
Smock

 

 

7. Flower Panels  by Krokotak

Photo by Krokotak
Photo by Krokotak

Children will love hunting and searching for the best flowers to use for this neat idea.

Supplies
Plastic wrap
Cardboard box
Box cutter or scissors
Tape
Flowers

 

 

Popped Bubble Art

8. Bubble Art  by HappyMomma

Make a masterpiece out of bubbles with this art lesson!

Supplies
Bubble mix
Bubble wands
Food coloring
Paper

Enjoy these awesome crafts and spend some time in the summer sun with your little ones!

Blue Orange Supports Mini-Transat Competitor Pierre Chedevielle

Blue Orange Supports Mini-Transat Competitor Pierre Chedevielle

Pierre
Pierre Chedeveille

Exciting news! Blue Orange is sponsoring Pierre Chedeveille in the 2017 Mini-Transat.

The Mini-Transat (or the Transat 6.5) is a one-man-crew transatlantic race on a sailing boat 6.5 meters long. You heard right! Individuals race their small vessels across the open seas without anyone helping them! The race was created in 1977 by Bob Sandman, and has been organized every other year since.

“Aside from the around the world race, I do not know any other race more extraordinary than this one. There are as many winners as there are contestants,” said Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, second at the 1979 Transat.

In order to be able to qualify to enter this race, you need to participate in several races during the 2016-2017 seasons. You also need to do a solo trip of 1000 miles without stopping.

Talk about intense! The race proceeds as so: the sailors depart in France then stop for ten days in the Canary Islands or on Madeira Island before continuing to the French Caribbean Islands where the race ends. We asked Pierre a few questions about his preparation for this daring trek, and he was kind enough to grant us his thoughts. We’ve translated his words from French to English below.

My name is Pierre Chedeville. I’m 29. I’m an officer of the Marine Marchande. In September 2017, I will embark across the Atlantic Ocean in a 6.5-meter boat in the Mini-Transat. I have dreamed of this project ever since I participated in the Mini-Fasnet Race, a race for small boats in South Ireland, several years ago. I was born in a small village in Brittany, where I grew up surrounded by sailing and nautical sports. I started sailing with my parents during family outings. Later, I became a certified Sailing Instructor, and taught sailing for many summers in Brittany. I’ve windsurfed, surfed, and kite surfed all my life. I am fascinated by the ocean, and that is why I decided to make my career in the Marine Marchande.

My physical coach prepares me for the water, and my mental coach gives me advice to relax before the race like how to fall asleep quickly. Sleeping is the nerve of the war (it’s the most important part for solo sailors). Often you will have to spend several days without sleeping on this type of boat, and naps usually do not exceed 20 min because you need to keep the boat on course and watch out for competitors or other boats that you can cross with.

I was lucky to meet Julien Mayot and his wife (co owners of Blue Orange) when my boat was baptized last summer. They were on vacation in Brittany at a mutual friend’s house. When they saw the boat and heard what I was trying to accomplish, they became very enthusiastic about my endeavors right away. Knowing that I was looking for financial partners, Julien told me about Blue Orange and promised to support me. We got along right away and shared many mutual passions like kite surfing and sailing (of course).

Pierre SailingThe mini Transat will be the accomplishment of a 2 year sportive goal, 2 years during which I will invest myself to the fullest to achieve this dream. I don’t have any predictions as far as where I will rank, but the goal is to cross the ocean without breaking the boat and arrive happy and healthy in the Caribbean. It’s a solitary project which I want to share as much as possible with people around me who support me: my girlfriend, my family, my friends, and Blue Orange who supports me financially and all who will follow my adventures.

 

Staff Holiday Gift Favorites

Staff Holiday Gift Favorites

Blue Orange Staff’s Holiday Gift List

Working at Blue Orange Games is amazing because we are always surrounded by fantastic gifts! See what our personal favorites are and who we’re giving games to this holiday season!

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“I will be giving Ring It! to my nephew because it is the perfect game for the whole family to enjoy!”

Martin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

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“I will offer King’s gold to my young cousins. They are little pirates and the game will introduce them to strategy while having fun.”
Max, Sales Intern

 

 

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“I choose Ring It! I will give it to my grandfather, because he is ultra-competitive and once I will have taught him my secret skills, he will beat all his friends at the bar.”

Hoël, Sales Intern

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“I will offer Thumbs Up! to my nieces: it’s a great party game mixing both dexterity and speed. Kids have the most fun playing Thumbs up!”
Alex, Sales Intern

 

 

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“I’m giving Spot It! Giants to my friend because he is a huge Giants fan and the tin is a beautiful and portable collector’s item, as well as containing a super fun game!”

Gina, Marketing Intern

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“I’m giving Prohis to my sister because she loves bluffing and she will be really good at this game!”

Xavier, West Coast Sales Manager

 

 

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“I’m giving Wink to my brother because he can’t wink so I know I will win!”

Bart, Sales Intern

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“I’m giving Sushi Draft to my friend because she loves sushi and this is a fun and portable game!”
Keyva, Accounting Assistant

 

 

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“I’m giving Gobblet Gobblers to my 4 year old nephew because everyone can play it with him and it will teach him strategy”

Yann, Regional Sales Manager

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“I’m giving New York 1901 to my best friend because she loves New York City and I know her family loves to play gateway board games”

Corinne, Marketing Manager

 

 

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“I’m giving Pengoloo to my nephew because it is a high quality game that will help his color recognition and memory skills”

Renaud, East Coast Sales Manager 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you got some great ideas for fun games to give this holiday season!

 

Happy Holidays,

The Blue Orange Team

 

Information and Tools for Educators

Information and Tools for Educators

As a mother to a school-aged child, I’m always on the look out for what would help my little boy at school. And with a child with special needs, you could say that I get hyper-focused on stuff like that. I’m amazed at what his teachers and therapists will recommend to better aid him in the classroom.

Kindergarten Classroom_3

I was so pleasantly surprised with a phone call from Katy at GlobalEducator Institute, a new organization looking to aid teachers in the classroom. They have a robust blog and are committed to providing information and tools for educators. In fact, they are looking for teachers to help pair them off with great products for review. Learn more about Global Educator Institute below.

 

 
geiGlobal Educator Institute— is a new organization with a mission of evaluating educational products and improving education. The goal is to pair great products with great teachers, who then test them with their students for at least six weeks and provide us with valuable feedback and recommendation. Teachers have a voice in determining which products are elevated to becoming endorsed and receive our GEI Seal of Endorsement.

If you are a teacher or know of anyone that is (pass along), it takes 5 minutes to sign up and create a confidential profile. To sign up to be a member, simply visit:  http://geiendorsed.com/how/teachers/

GEI will then start sending FREE product to evaluate for GEI.

Rocking Horse Toy Company is our October Store of the Month!

Rocking Horse Toy Company is our October Store of the Month!

At Blue Orange Games, we can’t take all the credit for our hot games! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our fabulous retailers who give us feedback and put energy, passion, and time into their businesses every day. This space is dedicated to a very special retailer each month in order to highlight the stores and individuals that bring Blue Orange games from shelves into homes and that do us the honor of introducing us to families in their area. We are pleased to announce that our Retailer of the Month for October is none other than Rocking Horse Toy Co in Petoskey, MI!

rocking horse toy

Rocking Horse Toy Co started with…you guessed it…a rocking horse!

Owners, Andy and Kathleen Bultman, were originally elementary school teachers. They were on the quest to find their daughter, Sara, the perfect rocking horse for her 1st birthday. No rocking horse on the market fit the requirement. Thus Kathleen asked Andy to make one instead. Andy’s rocking horse creation created a stir and requests were made by the community for other wooden crafts. Andy later added homemade wooden toys to the inventory. The business expanded to other things such as toys and games and Andy eventually stopped making the wooden toys. 34 years later, there are 3 locations throughout Northern Michigan.

The Petoskey Location!
The Petoskey Location!

The buying season at Rocking Horse Toy Co is different from most stores. Whereas most stores experience huge sales in the 4th quarter holiday season, they have Christmas in July! Their store locations are primarily in resort areas so they experience a huge influx of vacationers looking for toys and games during the summer months.

Andy and Kathleen credit their success to their backgrounds as educators. They purchase toys and games they felt their customers could really benefit from and not just what is the most popular. They also take the time to train their employees. Arielle, is the buyer and general manager for Rocking Horse Toy Co and really makes sure their employees are well-trained to talk with the customers.

After 34 years, Andy still loves coming to work. He loves the change of seasons, the change of environments, and even the ups and downs. He still looks forward each year to attending the annual NYC Toy Fair and searching for new trends in toys and games. This love of toys and games definitely translate into their success!

Thank you  Rocking Horse Toy Co for all that you do for your community and for Blue Orange Games!