waterfront

Cool Toys for the Beach and Pool

Mar 22, 2019
Photo by: Pat Johnson Farias manager Anthony D’Ambrosio holds one of the ‘Surfer Dude’ boomerang toys that won the 2015 Toy of the Year award.

Surfer Dudes were the breakout Best Toy of the Year in 2015, and they are still going strong. Every shop on LBI that caters to families or surfers has these for sale at the suggested price of $19.95.

Anthony D’Ambriosio, co-manager of Farias in Ship Bottom, was only too happy to show off the 6 different Surfer Dudes. Each cool dude and gal stands its own awesome surfboard. “It’s a boomerang toy,” he explained. “You throw it in the water and it surfs back to you.

“And it’s super easy to assemble, with just four pieces.”

Surfer Dudes are featured on YouTube by toy reviewers, and the kids in the video are so excited they can hardly get the words out about the tricks their dudes can do.

On surferdudes.com, each “Dude” and “Gal” has its own super-surfer biography, mantra and advice for grooms. “Aussie” Alice, Grew up in Australia. Totally fearless, thrives on adventure! Tore up waves at Shipstern Bluff and Cyclops at just 14 years old. “Bali”  Bobbi, Born in the Philippines as Roberta. Learned to surf at “the Park” in Real, Quezon. Spent every vacation she could at Baler in Bali. “Costa Rica” Rick,  “Donegan” Doolin,  “Hossegor” Hank  and “Sumatra” Sam all have similar surfing tales to tell; don’t be surprised if your kids learn every surfing hot spot on the planet.

If another game of Marco Polo in the pool just doesn’t cut it, here are some fun toys found at Target and also available locally: for ages 3 and older, the SwimWays Squid Disk is simple and goofy enough to entertain an occasional adult. It’s a “Squishy, funny feeling water toy” that has these simple directions: “Simply dunk the Squid Disk underwater to saturate, then launch it! Watch the flying disk as water sprays from its body and tentacles as it flies through the air.” Cat-like reflexes come into play. it’s made of PE foam; the suggested price is only $4.99.

For those a bit older who already know how to hold their breath (ages 6 and older), the Splash Bombs Play Day Treasure Hunter Dive Pack Set is just the ticket. It’s a 30-piece set that includes a sunken treasure chest, 25 treasure coins, three dive jewels and a dive bag. “This set helps to teach and strengthen underwater swimming and diving skills. The diving game begins once the treasure chest sinks to the bottom of the pool! See how many coins and gems you can gather at each dive using the diving bag to collect your treasure.”

Made of polypropylene, polyester and nylon, it has a suggested price of $9.99.

Youngsters who are hip to the plight of the terrapins can play save the turtles in their backyard. Taffy Turtle Catch and Hatch play set is from the esteemed Melissa and Doug toy company.

The set consists of a series of 10 numbered turtles in blue, green, yellow, orange and red that sit within a small plastic hatchery tray. Toss them into the pool and then let the games begin. The set also includes an instruction guide, but let their imaginations take over. Suggested age is 6 years and older, suggested price $13.49

The Pool Master Toss N Splash game is a bit like corn hole in the water as it tests your aiming and throwing skills. The set includes a floating game with nine score pockets and 10 game balls. It’s made of lightweight, inflatable 10-gauge vinyl and can be used on the lawn, deck or water. This is suggested for ages 8 and older with a suggested price of $13.99.

Now this toy is cool for the older kids: Instead of the traditional beach ball (yawn), toss around a Watermelon Ball. Instead of floating on the surface, this neutrally buoyant ball made in the shape and colors of a real watermelon can be dribbled on the bottom of the pool, kicked, passed and bounced – all underwater.

You just fill it up with water and a little bit of air to match the density of the surrounding water, and it stays suspended in the H2O. Make sure to play responsibly – no dodge ball, guys. Suggested price is $19.95.

Of course, inflatables come in every creature imaginable,. Last year Acme Market in Beach Haven Park had a giant lobster that caught the attention of a plein air painter; she won first prize for her painting.

Again at Farias, two creatures caught our attention: the Narwhale by Kololo for ages 8 and older, and a Unicorn by Floaty for ages 1 and older.

Make some extra magic for the kids this summer that won’t break the bank. But if you want to splurge, buy an inflatable theater screen and stream TV and movies (about $200)  – just watch where the wires go.

— Pat Johnson

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