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Games and Gadgets

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Our gift giving suggestions step away from music for a moment; here's the scoop on some fun games and a gadget to keep your power cords dry.

Harry Potter games by Pressman Toys
The Pressman Toys Company has been around for nearly 100-years and now the folks who bring you popular toys like Rummikub, Shark Bite and Elf on the Shelf Where's the Elf have added to their fun line with two Harry Potter games, the Magical Beasts board game and the Triwizard Maze game. The Harry Potter Magical Beasts board game is for two to four players who will take on the roles of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger or Ginny Weasley and embark on an adventure to capture missing beasts who've run amok. Players will chase the creatures both inside and outside of Hogwarts, and to that end the game board has a "swinging leaf" feature to discern between the two areas. Players earn clue cards to help in their quest, but they can lose them too. The game is suitable for Potterheads eight years of age and older. For younger fans, the Harry Potter Triwizard Maze is for two to four players five years-old and up. The idea is to race around the Triwizard hedge maze and capture the Triwizard Cup, and the winner will be the first to move his or her four game pieces all the way around the board and into their home path. Players use the board's built-in "die-popper" to get started and to propel their pieces around the board, hoping not to draw a Maze Card that makes them move backwards! For more information on the Harry Potter games and other Pressman Toys go here.

Bandai Namco Flashback from Blast!
Here's a super item for fans of old school video games like Pac-Man and Galaxian. The Bandai Namco Flashback from Blast! has both of those games pre-loaded along with Dig Dug, Galaga, Mappy, Sky Kid, The Tower of Druaga and Xevious and it couldn't be easier to set the unit up. Just plug the included dongle into an HDMI port on your smart TV and connect it to one of the TV's USB ports for power and you're ready to go (an AC adapter, not included, can also be used to power the unit if necessary.) And unlike back in the day when you had to play these games in the video arcade or bowling alley, the wireless controller allows players to stop the game and pick it back up whenever they choose, or even rewind the game. And your bragging rights will be in place too; the games keep track of the high score. For more information on the Bandai Namco Flashback from Blast! go here.

Twist and Seal power cord protectors
Especially popular during the holidays, the power cord protectors from Twist and Seal are easy to use devices that shield the connecting ends of power cords that you're using outside and that would otherwise be vulnerable to shorting out if exposed to rain or snow. The cord protectors come in various styles; the Mini for holiday light cords, a slightly bigger model for outdoor extension cords, the Maxx for heavy duty extension cords and the Cord Dome which is big enough to accommodate multiple cord connections. Combo packs are also available, and there's a Pool Safety Pack that has various protectors in it to shield cords being used around the swimming pool. There are countless uses for Twist and Seals inside the home too, including to protect cord connections for computers and electronic gear. For more information go here

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