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The web opens up a vast toy shopping experience with limitless information, reviews and resources

Posted by Andrea Elliott on Jun 1st 2012

Buying toys is another matter, and at HABA Toys we have carefully selected specialty toy shops and online stores with the confidence that the buying experience will be as good as the toys themselves SKANEATELES, NY – The web is a wonderful place to shop for toys, for a variety of reasons, but a key component of that statement is “shop” – buying toys on the web is a whole different animal with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Whether the access point is a computer browser on a desktop or laptop computer, or through a mobile device like a smart phone or notepad complete with shopping apps, using the Internet to find toys, reviews of toys, peer-group comments, price comparisons, educational applications, warnings, alerts, recalls, or just for something different, is a modern, nearly instant and vast resource that parents of the past could only imagine. But remember, shopping and buying are two different things and Internet shopping can and often does lead to buying at a brick-and-mortar traditional toy shop with just the right toy at just the right price. In the old days, shopping for toys amounted to reading newspapers and magazines with toy stories, perusing toy catalogs that came in the mail, and, of course, visiting toy shops, toy stores and department stores locally for on-site browsing and price comparisons. Savvy parents back then also swapped information with each other about the best toys for play and education, and for such details as durability and safety. Plus, there was always the little ones themselves who got ideas from the playmates, classmates and Saturday morning cartoon shows. All that is available online, but the community from which to draw information is now global and much more interactive. The web contains toy articles and reviews, community forums where toy buyers (re: parents) discuss their experience, and such social media sites as Facebook and Pinterest contain posts from satisfied and even unsatisfied toy consumers that introduce, recommend, review, warn and otherwise enumerate the benefits of all sorts of toys for every age category of children. There are even more than a score of price-comparison apps for mobile devices that compare prices and other costs (shipping) at a wide variety of Internet and physical retailers by simply scanning a bar code or QR code; look to such apps as Amazon Price Check, Barcode Hero, Barcode Scanner, Consumer Reports Mobile Shopper 2012, Google Shopper, and many more made for the iPhone, Android and other mobile devices. Moreover, the web is replete with services like Ask.com that deliver “the best answers from the web and real people - all in one place.” In other words, when it comes to toy shopping the Internet is an almost limitless repository of information that will allow the modern parent to do the kind of due diligence homework that would have been impossible in the pre-web days. For safety concerns and/or recalls for toy safety issues, check out www.cspc.gov, which is the Consumer Safety Site to find out if your toy is included in the recalled toy lists. When it comes to actually buying toys, however, other precautions should be taken. Today’s savvy parent has searched the web to find toys that would be appropriate for the age of the children, safe, and toys that other parents have deemed interesting to their children and of great educational benefit. That doesn’t mean, however, that each and every buying experience will be up to par. Once the brand and type of toy is found, also use the web for reviews, as well as recommendations and alerts, to the retailer itself. Do they perform the way they say they will? Is the return policy adequate and followed? Is the retailer trustworthy? This type of information is also readily available on the web and previous buyers from both perspectives – those with a good experience and those will bad results – are generally not shy in sharing that information. At HABA Toys, we specialize in making toys that children -- from infants through the formative years – love to play with, but also that aid in development. We invite you to search our site as well as the entire web for information about HABA to get the most complete shopping experience. The buying experience, however, is something we control with our network of exclusive HABA dealers at finer specialty toy stores throughout the US, as well as through such authorized online stores as Moukilo.com, Moolka.com, KangarooBoo.com, Oompa.com, ecomom.com, and Padilly.com. We have selected our stores and distributors with great care to ensure the experience is always one that is raved about. For store locations carrying HABA toys go to http://habausa.com/store-locator/ HABA favors wood as its material for most of the toys, as the beech and maple we use are regenerative, the natural markings make it unique, wooden toys flatters the hand, are ideal for children and inspires our designers to create little wonders. HABA is one of the only toy companies that obtained the world renowned PEFC certification. All of our wooden toys that are manufactured in Germany are made from reforested timbers. Interesting to note that in Germany more trees are being planted each year then harvested! We use safe, non-toxic, water based lacquers on our products (not paints), and we use recycled corrugated with as little foam/etc. as possible to package our items. In addition to our wonderful wooden toys, we also make kids room décor, a variety of cloth dolls and toys outside of Germany under strict controls to ensure quality, and we distribute virtually indestructible, colorfast sand, garden and dining toys from another German manufacturer, Spielstabil. Also, we distribute the Danish designed Moover wooden ride-on, construction and role play toys. For complete information on HABA Toys call 800-468-6873 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.