Hop on the Dinosaur Train with Dr. Scott

The PBS television show Dinosaur Train is enjoying a successful run as one of modern preschoolers’ favorite shows. It pairs two of their favorite things—trains and dinosaurs—and follows an adorable young tyrannosaurus named Buddy as he discovers the differences between dinosaur species. During each episode of the show, Buddy and his adoptive family of pteranodons travel on the Dinosaur Train to meet different dinosaurs and explore different prehistoric time periods. But one of the aspects of this show that makes it so great is the depth of actual scientific knowledge it offers for kids. And “Dr. Scott” has a lot to do with that.

Dr. Scott D Sampson is a paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and educator who appears as the trusted expert at the end of every Dinosaur Train episode. After Buddy and his family have had their adventures, Dr. Scott appears on the scene to help young viewers wrap up the content of the episode into a cohesive concept. With the help of a few small children who answer his science questions onscreen, Dr. Scott closes the show with a solid “take it home” element that many children’s shows simply don’t have. It’s nice have an expert on board the Dinosaur Train!

If your kids have not seen Dinosaur Train, check it out! The Dinosaur Train storybook, I Am A T. Rex, is a good introduction to the show’s concept. And, in addition to television programming, you can order a few DVDs here. What kid wouldn’t enjoy learning more about prehistoric animals with the help of both the sweet dinosaurs on the show and the resident expert, Dr. Scott? It’s only a matter of time before your kids become experts themselves and you’ll need them to explain the difference between the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods!

The “lost continent” of Laramidia

Perhaps you are new to Dinosaur Train, or perhaps you are a long time fan. Either way, you should note that the Jim Henson Company released Dinosaur Big City last year.  Dinosaur Big City is a one-hour Dinosaur Train movie, which kicked off Dinosaur Train’s second season.

The first season taught children about paleontology, natural history, and science.  The second season will focus on natural phenomena and exploring the outdoors.  “Big Dinosaur Week” will be featured, and so will the “Dinosaurs A to Z” song.

The movie itself is based on scientific research.  Scientific advisors were sought to help present the research and make the history of dinosaurs more appealing and exciting to young children.  The movie takes place in “Laramidia,” a part of the North American continent, during the Late Cretaceous period.  The “lost continent” of Laramidia was formed when a shallow sea covered the middle part of North America, separating the eastern and western portions of the continent.  The climate was swampy and subtropical and situated in what is now thought to be modern day Utah.

Despite its small size, enormous amounts of dinosaur fossils were found in Laramidia, representing a great diversity of dinosaurs.  Dr. Scott Sampson, a dinosaur paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and author of Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, explains that many species of specifically large dinosaurs existed in this part of North America; a mystery that many paleontologists are still trying to unravel.

The movie itself was incredibly fun and educational. I will give a synopsis in one of our later blogs. In the meantime, feel free to check out our online toy store for some cool stuff. And of course, be sure to pick up a copy of the DVD itself.

 

CGI Animation

What is CGI animation? CGI Animation is a process of combining 2D animation and live-action.  It is computer generated using 3D software. Films like Toy Story began to make this type of animation popular.  Dinosaur Train is the second show to use CGI animation from the Jim Henson Company, with Sid the Science Kid being the first.

Not only does Dinosaur Train use CGI Animation, but it takes two of the favorite interests of many children, dinosaurs and trains, and places them into one animated series.  The main show centers around Buddy, who is a Tyrannosaurus Rex that was adopted into a Pteranodon (think: flying) family.  Buddy gathers the majority of his information from riding the magic Dinosaur Train. The Dinosaur Train circles the whole world and can even transcend time by visiting dinosaurs in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous time periods.

The train cars are customized for every type of dinosaur. That is, the Aquacar accommodates sea-dwelling dinosaurs, windows are available for the long-necked Sauropods, and plenty of headroom was available for the Theropods.

If your child is a fan of Dinosaur Train, look no further than the best online toy store for cool stuff for your kids! Our Dinosaur Train stuff includes clothes, live action figures, playsets, and more. Which kind of children’s shows do you prefer? The newer ones created with CGI animation, or the older ones based upon 2D cartoons?

The Perfect Costume

Halloween is just around the corner.  Perhaps you haven’t yet started looking for a Halloween costume, but you need to get crankin’. If you have small children, you are probably overwhelmed by the variety of Halloween costumes.  Should you go for the latest costume? Like Angry Birds or Captain America? Or go for something more classic? Like a pirate or a princess?  Parents, will you dress up for Halloween?  This is an opportunity to spend some quality time with your child, why not make it fun and dress up too?  Ty’s Toy Box has a vast selection of costumes, allowing your child to participate in the shows that they so often enjoy.  Yo Gabba Gabba is truly a unique TV show, why not go out on a limb and wow all of your friends? Ty’s Toy Box has Yo Gabba Gabba costumes in both child and adult size, and 6 different characters from which to choose.  Will you be Plex or Muno? Toodee or Brobee? Foofa or DJ Lance Rock?  The possibilities are endless.

Not only are the possibilities endless, but your dollar will stretch a little further on Ty’s Toy Box’s website.  You can expect prices to be anywhere from $5-$10 cheaper than the average costumes if you order from our website.

So what if you’re not ready to make the commitment to wearing a Yo Gabba Gabba costume, you might ask? No worries. We have plenty of other costumes to choose from, including Ben 10, Strawberry Shortcake, Super Why, Dinosaur Train, and Olivia the Pig. Mothers and daughters, you can dress alike as Strawberry Shortcake and Lemon Meringue.  For boys we have Ben 10 Alien Force, with a variety of costumes from which to choose.  Don’t let this holiday overwhelm you.  Treat your kids, impress your friends, and trick-or-treat in style!