Zoozoo rakhi and other merchandise

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After making their dazzling debut on television during the Indian Premier League (IPL) second edition concluded earlier this year, the highly adorable and popular egg-headed Zoozoos have found their way onto birthday cakes, T-shirts, shoes, comic strips, newspaper mastheads, wedding cards, key chains and now even rakhis. Smart local and Chinese marketers are fast cashing in on their rapport with fans.

E-commerce site Indiangiftsportal.com stocks products that feature the Zoozoos. In a span of fortnight, the website sold over 100 Zoozoo rakhis, according to its MD Manan Sharma. The Zoozoo rakhi costs Rs300 and includes a handmade box, a card, along with credit card and courier charges. The cute Zoozoo characters are made and sourced from China, whereas the attractive rakhi ribbons and threads have been added here.

Meanwhile, their original creator Vodafone Essar will soon come up with official Zoozoo merchandise in collaboration with retail chain Shopper’s Stop. A senior official from the shopping chain was quoted as saying in The Mint publication that they are already in discussions and are very close to finalizing the deal.

The development was confirmed by a sr. advertising executive, according to whom Shopper’s Stop was scouting for reliable suppliers to make quality Zoozoo merchandise. Shoppers Stop is most likely to manufacture as well as market zestful Zoozoo T-shirts, clocks, dolls, bags, mugs etc. These are sure to be among the most popular gift items once they are released in the market, depending on their price range.

The merchandise should be possibly within a couple of months, the report mentioned executive creative director (South Asia), O & M, Rajiv Rao, as saying. Incidentally, Rajiv Rao created the much fancied Zoozoo campaign.

Shoppers Stop has already produced branded accessories and apparel for films like Om Shanti Om and the Saif Ali starrer Love Aaj Kal. They are giving branded character merchandise a try.

The Zoozoo rakhi and other merchandise – branded or otherwise – should make memorable collectibles.

Dynamic and fun-filled gift ideas for creative minds

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Facing a stiff competition from the Internet, television and other distractions, the Indian toy industry is trying to bring about revolutionary changes in its mindset. A prime example of this is Funskool. A joint venture between Hasbro Inc. and MRF, this leading toy company, is also among the largest in India.

Hasbro, a worldwide leader in the domain of children’s and family leisure time entertainment, provides vital inputs for India-centric gaming products and services. This includes the design aspect, precise manufacturing and smart marketing. Here we provide a glimpse of games on offer courtesy Funskool website:

Action based games: Your passion for never ending, fast paced action finds its right match here. The action games pump energy in your system and are bound to raise your adrenaline level to unmatched highs. These games demand involvement of both your mental and physical faculties. 

Children’s games: There are so many different ways to make your Children develop an attachment for you and love you the most. Here is a fabulous series of games that matches your child’s imagination and energy level.  

Disney games: Get engrossed with your favorite Disney characters, Donald Duck, Micky, Mouse and spend time playing a wide variety of mesmerizing games and puzzles! Enter the world of Disney – the one of endless joy and laughter.

Family games: Here is a way to make your bond with your family even stronger. Enjoy the inquisitive series of games for the whole family. ‘s family games can be played at any time and will be cherished all time.

Memory Games: Ask a child where he buried his marbles and he will immediately point out even years later! Mysterious memory games help develop their visual recall, object color and shape related recognition faculties. The games can develop their memory skills if played without parental supervision.

(Information and image courtesy: Funskool)

Fun gifts for indoor joy

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It’s not just in India but almost all across the globe that board games are clawing their way back into the popular party circuit. They are grabbing newspaper headlines and drawing everyone’s attention.

Even Hollywood is fast realizing the immense potential of scripting tales around such traditional games. Ridley Scott will be working on a film along the lines of popular Monopoly.
On the other hand, Universal is also keen on scripting a saga around Battleship, it is rumored. Research has shown that parents who played any board game at least once every week with their children during spare time tend to develop strong relationships later.

The board game loving fathers tend to bond better with their children than those who didn’t. All these are good enough excuses to jump onto the board game bandwagon. You can bond better with your family members, colleagues and friends through board game. Gifting them will add value to your relationship.

One fantastic resource for accessing a wide range of wonderful in house entertainment is Funskool. It offers among the most exciting options towards complete child and family entertainment. Their website describes the venture as ‘a world of Happy Kids & Happy Families.”

Outlining their business philosophy, it adds: “We at Funskool uphold the highest standards of excellence and quality. We believe fun and education form a natural alliance. Infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers and schoolchildren, all can learn as they play. The wide range of our toys help children across all age groups to improve creativity, logical thinking, hand-eye-co-ordination, auditory discrimination, vocabulary, problem solving skills, and even general-purpose academic intelligence.”

Funskool’s vice president (sales & marketing division), R Jeswant, asks, “How can board games make a comeback? In fact, they never left us.” He adds that the company has registered a good 40 percent growth in the current financial year in the popular board games category alone. Funskool recently tied up with IIT Mumbai for developing a host of ‘homegrown’ games for consumers.

Students made board games as part of their industrial design course and Funskool opted to distribute them. Jeswant explains that the fascinating family games demand skill and aptitude. With its large customer base the company continues to offer well researched and time-tested toys.  Importantly, their products are safe and durable. They provide children with excellent play value.

Know more about Funskool

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A range of telescope accessories to gift

Telescopes essentially act as buckets that collect light. The bigger your telescope, the more the amount of light it will gather, and obviously, the better you will be able to watch even faint and distant objects.

The three broad categories of telescopes are reflectors, refractors and catadioptrics. Work out which type suits the person for whom you are planning to buy it and his / her level of interest and expertise. They are expensive, though.

So before you decide to purchase one, put some thought.
Then there is a wide range of telescope accessories that you can get for someone keen on a stargazing venture. Some of them are an absolutely must, whereas others are needed only by professionals.

We list some of them below:

Mount: It is an essential accessory. A mount is necessary to hold the telescope steady. It lets a user aim it skywards at different points. Two main types of mounts are azimuth and equatorial. The former suit the beginners.

Eyepiece: it determines a star gazer’s field of view. An eyepiece is also an essential accessory for telescope stargazing. A telescope invariably has one, but it may not be of desired quality. Eyepieces are categorized on basis of barrel size (standard size is 1.25″) and focal length (measured in mm).

Filter: It is not an absolutely must. Yet, a filter is useful as it cuts down on glare and increases contrast as well as the definition of what one sees through the telescope. It protects a user’s eyes. Lunar, planetary and solar filters are among the most popular filters.

Drive system: It makes the telescope track the sky more effectively, and keeps objects within one’s field of view.
Computer-driven mount: It allows one to ‘tell’ the telescope what is to be observed. The computer then finds it for a user.

Dew shield: It’s an optional accessory. A dew shield slows down the condensation of undesirable moisture on the telescope, accumulating on damp nights.

Barlow lens: This optional accessory connects to the eyepiece. It can bump up magnification by at least 2x or more.

You can check star gazing accessories to gift here…

Board games make an ‘intelligent’ gift idea

The next time you happen to visit a friend or colleague don’t at all be surprised if you are asked by your host what you’d like to choose — not from food options – but from a stack of board games! Despite intense competition from the online games and Xbox 360 and Playstation, newer, more interesting and more exciting variants of the good old Snakes and Ladders as well as Ludo are here!

According to owner of Ram Chander & Sons, counted among India’s oldest toy shops, board games are doing well. Businesswise, he is very happy since eager customers are walking into his store armed with a list of games they have checked on the net. He has been quoted as saying in a newspaper interview: “Families walk into our store and ask for at least three different Scrabble versions.”

Board games act as a great binding force. For instance, the US based investment banker, Ajesh Shah, who returned to India a few years ago to launch ‘game clubs’ for likeminded gamers, is busy finalizing plans for the new round of ‘board game night’ in Mumbai. Shah’s Peacock Projects is a forum for organizing cultural festivals while also trying to promote newer names in the domain of dance, music and visual arts.

He is a board game ‘freak, and began a new club, entitled ‘Board Game Bash’, where members register and assemble to play board games. The response, informs Shah, who owns close to 20 board games, has indeed been overwhelming.

There are already about 150 registered members. Shah began the initiative with Tarun Durga of Zapak games. The duo is now in the process of launching a host of interesting board games for the niche market. So, if you are looking to present something interesting to your best friend or colleage, pick a challenging board game. He or she sure would relish it…

Accessories and utilities for star gazers

As we informed in the previous post, solar eclipse on July 22 has become a spectacle not to be missed with special tour packages planned to watch the spectacular event from up close. It has turned into a tourist’s delight in India. Travel firms are cashing on the opportunity to lure tourists with a ‘six-and-a-half minutes’ of irresistible show to their regular tour packages.

The eclipse event has been included in regular tour itineraries to make them more exciting. And they have become a big hit. The eclipse can be seen in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal among others. The holy city of Benares and Gaya have become the hotspots for the hottest event of the year just in a week’s time from now.

The solar eclipse will sure rekindle interest in star gazing. There are so many accessories and utilities that you can offer to sky watchers as a worthy addition to their kit. Binoculars are an affordable, lightweight alternative to costly telescopes. One can easily spot objects as faint as magnitude 10 with a good pair. Among the most common binoculars for stargazing are: ‘8×35’ (magnifies 8 times; has a 35mm aperture), and ‘7×50’ (magnifies 7 times; has a 50mm aperture). Aperture denotes front lens size

The ‘8×35’ binoculars magnify more powerfully but they collect less light than the ‘7×50’ type, so the former is not as powerful for observing extremely faint objects. On the other hand, high-end or supergiant binoculars range up to ‘20×100’ plus. They appear more like twin telescopes than just a standard binocular.

A handy accessory for using them is a binocular holder, also called a tripod. A user’s hands might shake while holding a pair of binoculars, hence it’s recommend that they prop up and steady their binoculars.

Sky is the limit for gifting: eclipse observation packages

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Travel firms are wooing sky watchers on eve of the 21st century’s longest solar eclipse. It takes place on July 22. You can opt to watch it with your friends and family from a Boeing above the clouds in Gaya. You may grasp more about the natural phenomenon from experts on the Benares ghats or may even fly to China, attend a workshop and get down to business in Anqing.

Cox & Kings has on offer a special tour package to watch the spectacular event from up close. You can take up a window seat based on your budget on a Boeing 737-700 to watch the solar eclipse. The package costs between Rs 29,000 and Rs 79,000. Cox & Kings has tried this idea for the first time.

The eclipse journey will last for about three hours. The flight will take off from Delhi and hold over Gaya during the eclipse period. The aircraft at a height of 41,000 feet will be intercepting the middle of the eclipse shadow for an unforgettable experience you can gift your family. Those taking the right side seats will get to watch the ‘sun side’, whereas those on the left can witness the shadow on the earth.

Vibgyor Travels is offering a package to inbound tourists for an eclipse holiday to the holy city of Benares. A 9 nights-10 days package comprises eclipse observation with help of experts from the river Ganges. Guides will assist visitors to understand the eclipse better.

If one wishes to enjoy a glimpse from abroad, Space Technology & Education is hosting an ‘eclipse trip’ to the Chinese city of Anqing. According to Amit Verma, several photographic experiments have been outlined on this trip to the eclipse site.

The China tour includes a ride on the Maglev train at a speed of 431 kmph. It comprises visits to Beijing, Shanghai and, of course, the Great Wall. A multimedia enabled workshop will be held for tourists.

Glittering gift choices

In a blog post last week, we considered some exquisite jewelry sets for collection and gifting. Nirvana range has some unmatched contemporary designs that have found an echo in the modern woman’s heart.

A case in point is the swirl of emotions captured in its new Swirlz Collection. Shaped and styled rhythmically, it celebrates the feelings of womanhood. Carved and styled into flowing patterns of twists and twirls, the exquisite collection includes intricate earrings – pendant sets.

You can accessorize it with something like Milano’s reptile print handbags, a stylish gift for a woman! The collection is unique having been crafted from top quality leathers dyed, embossed to look like a ravishing reptile skin. This famous Italian luxury brand has on offer beautiful bags for women. These handsome handbags are crafted with supple, supreme quality Italian leather that is embossed with snazzy snake and crocodile prints.

The 22 ct Gold Collection from Ola Jewellery is another glittering choice to bring that glint into a female’s eyes! The range is aimed at women who like to wear jewellery every day at work or while going out, as well as those who normally prefer to use it for special occasions. The 22ct collection comprises rings and superlatively finished pendants.

And why not consider jewelry for men as well? Times are changing, and so also the concepts of fashion! Jewelry is no more limited to females and not their prerogative anymore, so to say! Keeping this in mind, many jewelry brands are launching exclusive creations for men!

The Cocoon, a jewelry store in New Delhi, has on offer diamond jewelry collection for men, including a simple ring for men who prefer minimalism, a more flamboyant ring and other variations. Men can also go for hard diamonds for a masculine feel to rings, bracelets and neckpieces from Golconda diamond jewelry collection from Frazer & Haws.