Stocking Up – Schleich – Playmobil

Stocking Up – Schleich – Playmobil – Lego

We have been having a lot of deliveries recently here at Silly Billy’s, far too many to list individually so we will pick out what we consider to be some of the best bits:

Schleich, we have even more Schleich horses this year than we have had before and our Schleich range continues to expand. We have a dedicated Sea-life shelf which sees the addition of Sperm Whales and Sea Turtles plus some Sting Rays. We are excited that our Schleich range covers from the North to the South Poles, Penguins down South and Polar Bears up North. We have animals from Africa as well as more local English Farm animals, plus a comprehensive range of horses.
SchleichOur Lego wall is continuing to grow and we have some larger Ninjago sets in plus some of the larger Lego Friends sets, so this covers the Lego gender gap. No longer is Lego purely a boys toy and the Danes have been trying hard to get more female gender inclusion, notably this is included in the limited edition Ghostbusters Lego Set 75828 that we have in store.
lego cityWe have also had some new Top Model lines in and more Playmobil including the Playmobil Space Shuttle 6196 and the Playmobil Space Rocket Playset – 6195 which is part of our Space Range, we also have space represented in Lego Star Wars
Playmobil 6195
Orchard Toys have been replenished and their is a continued promotional offer where you can get a free Animal Snap if you spend £15 or over.
animal snap orchardWe have a few CUT-PRICE items in store as well including Schleich Justice League Characters, now less than half-price plus Lego Star Wars Buildable figures all now at £10
Schleich Justice League
We have extended our Hex Bugs range to include some track which can be used to make your Hex Bugs race in a controlled environment.
HEX BugsSo come down to Silly Billy’s new shop today and buy from us to help keep the Independent Shops alive and kicking in Hebden Bridge, the home of Independent Shopping in the North of England.

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Lego Technics and Lego Friends

Lego Technics, Lego Friends, and More Lego

We have recently received a new and large delivery of Lego here at Silly Billy’s. As one of our top selling lines we are always keen to get the latest Lego releases into Silly Billy’s Independent Toy Shop as soon as we can, and we work closely with our Lego representative to obtain what we think is the best range of Lego for Silly Billy’s Toy Shop and it’s location in Hebden Bridge.
lego cityIn this Lego Delivery we have substantially increased our ranges of:

We also have a VERY Limited supply of Lego Ghostbusters collectors edition set 75828
Lego Ghostbusters

This is what the Lego Shop says about the Ghostbusters Set:
“You know who to call with the LEGO® Ghostbusters™ Ecto-1 & 2 vehicles! Speed after the demon, put on the proton packs and zap away in this fun set based on the 2016 Ghostbusters™ movie. Includes 5 minifigures.”
legoSilly Billy’s have received some more Lego Friends as well, including the Larger Sets of Heartlake Riding Club 41126 where you can get competition-ready at the Heartlake Riding Club with a rotating exerciser and practice jump, stables, changing room, cafeteria, bedroom, 2 mini-dolls and 2 horses. This set contains over 500 pieces. We have found that Lego Friends has been getting more popular in the Calder Valley so Silly Billy’s have increased their range. We also have the Horse Vet Trailer to compliment this:
“Be on call with the Horse Vet Trailer including an SUV-style car, horse stretcher and veterinary tools to care for sick ponies. Includes 2 mini-dolls, plus a horse.”
Lego 41125Lego was not the only toy to be delivered this week. Silly Billy’s have also received even more TY !! “The Little Furry Fellows”, as Bill calls them, have been flying out of the store and our TY sales have gone nuts. This is good really and as some out-of-towners name us “The Lego Shop” soon we expect people to be calling us “The Beanie Shop” as well.

Lego and TY Beanies are two of our most popular lines at the moment, though don’t forget we stock a lot of other items as well including, the ever popular Playmobil range, and our new range of Baby Toys and Teethers.

In fact our stocks of Playmobil are getting pretty low as Playmobil Bill who stands outside the Toy Shop knows, so watch this blog or Silly Billy’s Facebook Page for notifications of when the next Playmobil Delivery will arrive.

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Genetic Analysis Predicts Academic Achievement

Genetic Analysis Predicts Academic Achievement !!

Teachers and parents may one day be able to use a genetic test to predict whether or not a child will excel at or struggle with academics in the future, based on new research pioneered by scientists at King’s College London.

While the prospect may present a frightening vision of a future in which ability and potential will be determined by one’s genetic makeup, and indeed is tainted by a history of eugenics and racist science, the researchers say the tests will help identify, early on, the children who are at risk academically and help educators create special interventions for them.

Saskia Selzam, lead author of the study, explains more in the video above.
More of the original source from this post can be found here

“By using these polygenic scores, it is actually possible to identify those for example who are maybe at heightened risk for a learning disability, for example,” she said. “So imagine a scenario where we could use a polygenic score very early on to give us information about whether someone might have some learning problems later on.”

But other experts who have also mined genetic testing to predict behavioral outcomes warn that we have a long way to go before genetic testing can predict individual educational achievement, and that research is the genetic tool’s primary utility.

How genetic scoring tool works

Scientists use a special kind of DNA analysis called a genome-wide polygenic score. It aggregates the tiny effects of hundreds of thousands of genetic variants to create the scale that can predict academic achievement. In this case, the researchers from King’s College London borrowed the formula for a polygenic score that others had already used to predict academic attainment (the number of years of formal education a person completes).

They then applied the polygenic score to a population of 5,825 unrelated children to see if they could predict how those kids would score on tests.

The King’s College researchers looked back at students’ academic scores at ages 7, 12 and 16 and found that genes alone accounted for a growing variance in grades that grew as the kids got older. At age 7, genes accounted for about 3 percent of grade differences. By age 12, the number was up to about 5 percent. By 16 years old, genes explained about 9 percent of the difference in grades.

While 9 percent may not seem like much, past studies have linked gender to about 1 percent of the variance between boys’ and girls’ performance in math, while high scores of “grit,” or resilience, account for about 4 percent of educational achievement.

To put it in terms of grades, by age 16, kids with high polygenic scores had grades that, on average, ranged between As and Bs. Those with low polygenic scores tended to earn Bs and Cs. Finally, those with the highest scores were more than twice as likely to go to university compared to those with the lowest scores.

How close are we to using these tests in schools?

“We are at a tipping point for predicting individuals’ educational strengths and weaknesses from their DNA,” Professor Robert Plomin, senior author of the study, said in a statement about the research.

While Plomin’s statement and the results of his study might stir fears of self-fulfilling prophecies, or could even backfire (if you tell a child he’s smart, it may make him fearful and afraid to fail), Daniel Belsky, a professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, says we’re a long way from tests that can be used in schools and doctor’s offices to predict a child’s academic abilities. However, Belsky, who was not involved in Selzam’s study but has conducted his own on genetics and educational attainment, also points out that the time to discuss these issues is now — not when the tests finally do arrive.

“Findings from this study, along with others, suggest the possibility that we might someday have genetic tools that can predict important dimensions of children’s life outcomes,” said Belsky. “We should begin the conversation about whether we want such tools now, before more accurate genetic predictions become possible.”

Selzam is of a similar mind to Belsky on this issue. In the video above, she maintains that while these genetic analyses will continue to be useful research tools, policy makers and scientists would have to discuss how and when to deploy them, if at all, should a version of the test become available to the wider public.

The real point of these tests: social science research

But other scientists who research polygenic scores aren’t convinced about their utility as a tool to predict an individual person’s educational abilities or attainment. Daniel Benjamin, an associate professor at the Center for Economic and Social Research at the University of Southern California, who was part of the initial group of scientists who created the score Selzam used in her study, says their promise lies mostly in research.

“It’s definitely premature to start thinking about using it to tailor the educational experience,” said Benjamin. “But its predictive power is definitely big enough now to be useful for predicting differences in samples in scientific studies.”

Specifically, Benjamin believes that a more apt use of these genetic tests would be in social science research. Once scientists start using these tools to control for genetic factors, they’ll be able to more accurately estimate the positive or negative effects of experimental interventions like, say, free pre-school, on children. In other words, scientists will be able to more precisely estimate how much of a classroom’s achievement is due to class environment versus genetic predispositions.

“Knowing more about which genetic factors matter and being able to incorporate them into studies will help us to better identify the environmental interventions that can help make people better off, improve their educational outcomes and improve their cognitive health,” Benjamin explained.

In fact, Benjamin’s past research has focused on the environmental changes that downplay genes’ importance in educational attainment. For instance, his May paper found that polygenic scores were less predictive of educational attainment in younger Swedish generations compared to older generations. This could mean that the country’s educational reforms enacted in the 20th century were successful in creating more equal opportunities for people.

Belsky also agrees that the point of understanding DNA’s effects on educational achievement is to help develop programs that benefit everyone, regardless of what’s written on their genotype.

“Just because genes predict life outcomes, doesn’t mean they determine them,” Belsky concluded. “The key is to find the pathways — molecular and behavioral — that connect our DNA with outcomes like educational success.”

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/genetic-analysis-predicts-academic-achievement-for-the-first-time_us_5791388ee4b0fc06ec5c58c8?section=

This is one of a selection of Posts auto-generated through clever use of Trending Traffic and managed and implemented by Robert A Williams

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Stolen rubber duck returned to family after traveling world for five years

Fantastic story about a Stolen Rubber Duck

The Troiano family received postcards and photos from Gale Ducky, as the yellow duck was taken to 20 countries since 2011 before being delivered home

A New Hampshire familys missing rubber duck has suddenly reappeared, along with a suitcase full of souvenirs and an international mystery.

Stolen in 2011, the Troiano familys duck returned home last week, Seacoastonline reported. In the years since it disappeared, the family has received countless postcards and photos from Gale Ducky as it traveled around the globe. The yellow duck had visited 20 countries on its journey, from Austria to South Africa.

A Facebook account for the duck was created, presumably by its anonymous travel buddy, and has just over 800 likes from people following its journey. The Troiano family said they liked to follow along as well. Every so often I revisit this page and it makes me smile and laugh! Alicia Troiano, the ducks original owner, commented on the page last year.

Troiano received the duck about 10 years ago from a neighbor that she babysat for. She would put the duck in a pond that formed in their front yard when it rained before it was stolen.

Months after the theft, the family received a postcard from Gale Ducky originating in Kuwait City. It informed the family of the Facebook page and of the ducks recent trips to Honduras and Amsterdam. The duck covered much of the globe and the US, going to Las Vegas, San Diego and on a number of cruises.

In photos from each stop, the duck posed for photos with locals and tourists. Many shared their messages on Gale Duckys Facebook page. One woman offered to crochet the duck a hat and coat in a post of the duck overlooking a chilly, snow-covered Quebec.

The ducks return was announced on Facebook. Waiting for my ride, the page wrote alongside a photo of Gale Ducky sitting on a suitcase. Jennifer Troiano, Alicias mother, recognized the background as her sidewalk.

I just was like, What is she doing home? Jennifer Troiano told Seacoastonline. Where has she been? Who had her?

In its suitcase, Gale Ducky had maps from its travels, a friendship bracelet, sunglasses and a Mickey Mouse ears cap among other items.

I will miss seeing the funny pictures that pop up on Facebook and waiting to find out his next destination, Alicia Troiano said, now that her duck has returned home.

It is still unknown who took the duck for the global adventure. The family had some theories on who took it perhaps a pilot. Jennifer Troiano was happy to let the identity remain a mystery for now, but her daughter was still curious.

I have so many questions, Alicia Troiano said. I want to know why they were inspired to pick him up out of his pond and bring around the world, especially since he is not a very small or portable duck.

The Troiano family and the duck, which has its own email address, did not return requests for comment.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/12/rubber-duck-returned-gale-ducky-world-travel-stolen-mystery

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Spy Pens

Spy Pens

Do you remember Spy Pens?
New from House of marbles we have some fabulous Spy Pens, write in invisible ink and light up the ink with the Ultraviolet Light on the Pen’s Top. A great little gadget
Spy pensAs well as Spy Pens we have also received some other new musical products from House of Marbles, a great English company based in Devon.
We have some Monkey Drums:
It’s impossible not to pick them up and spin. A great musical instrument and sensory experience! Length: 18 cm (7 inches).
They make a great sound and are a fantastic new Toy in Our Range:
Monkey DrumsAlso Toot Flutes, a squawky, noisy novelty! Squeak and honk, hoot and toot to your favourite tune! Comes in a variety of colours.
Toot Flutes compliment to our existing Musical Range which includes:
Harmonicas
This lovely musical instrument is also known as the Mississippi Saxophone or the Tin-Can Tongue Twister! Our harmonica is a nicely made, simple version in the key of C which would be a great place to start for any budding musician. Length: 11 cm (1 1/4 inches). The first step towards your one-man band.

Kazoos
Possibly one of the silliest musical instruments ever invented, but totally brilliant. Length: 12cm – 5 inches.

Train Whistles
Lay down a music track with this nifty Train Whistle. This musical instrument is great for train and music enthusiasts alike. Length: 16 cm – 8 inch.

Hand Bells
Hand-bells with lovely solid handles – a great musical instrument for bringing the sounds of Summer Morris Dancers into your home. Height: 12 cm – 5 inches. Assorted colours available – red, yellow and green.

Back by popular demand and also from The House of Marbles are Clockwork Submarines, we have not had stock of these since our pre-flood days, when they all floated away !
Clockwork SubmarinesSomething else that flew away in the flooding were Pocket Kites and we now have these back in stock as well, these are great little kites really fun and easy to fly. Pocket Kites are Flyaway fun in miniature; the kite in a bag is one of our best sellers. Easy to fly for the amateur and fun for the expert. The kite comes in a bright and colourful bag (a choice of orange, blue or green) for easy storage and transportation. A surprisingly large kite in a small bag. Kite size approximately 50 x 30 cms / 20 x 12 inches, with a super-long tail.
Pocket Kites

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Baby Toys and More

Baby Toys and More

We have been extending our Baby range at Silly Billy’s and have recently received some great new products from Manhattan Toy Company. These really compliment our new Sophie la Girafe range as well and we hope you will come and visit us soon to satisfy the needs of new borns and more. Yes, here at Silly Billy’s we have Kaloo for newly born children and Baby Toys for helping to aid learning and Teething troubles.
Manhattan BabyFrom Manhattan Toy Company, who specialise in Baby Toys,  we have:
Colour Burst Skwish
It Skwishes and returns to its original shape, with beads that slide and rattle
Made from renewable rubberwood and finished with water based, non-toxic paint
Washing Instructions: Surface Wash
Meets or exceeds both the US and European toy safety standards

Classic Baby Beads
Keep baby stimulated and occupied with Classic Baby Beads. The wooden beads are strung together with an elastic cord and can be manipulated into an endless number of configurations. This classic toy is brightly colored with non-toxic, water-based finishes.
Texture Shapes

Boing Bobble & Bounce
A highchair and table toy that??s tons of fun for baby. Kooky characters, touchable textures, and rattles all spring into action when touched. Suction cup adheres to most hard surfaces.

Bababall
With so much to touch and explore, this is the ultimate infant ball! Bababall is woven together by a series of bands made of different textures, vibrant colors, and patterns for little hands to hold. The ball has thick, satin ribbons attached to the outside for added tactile stimulation. Bababall??s center holds a small black and white patterned ball that rattles when shaken. Children will be intrigued to reach, rattle, and play with Bababall.
Along with winning the hearts of discerning babies and parents, Bababall has won the prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Seal Award

Baby Whoozit
The remarkable and award-winning Whoozit collection has been a perennial favorite for parents and wee ones alike. This unique toy line has been proven to stimulate fundamental learning skills in baby’s developing mind, body and senses. From activity mats and discovery mirrors to rattles and table top toys, this extraordinary collection never ceases to amaze even the youngest of generations.

Twist & Scout Rattle
It’s one twisted teether! Hard plastic with flexible plastic teethers, this rattle easily twists into a figure-eight shape for an added element of teething play.

Orbit Teether
Whoozit Orbit Teether is the perfect size for even the smallest hands to grasp. This travel size teether features four different teething attachments all surrounding whoozit’s happy face. The Orbit Teether also includes high contrast black and white ribbons for added stimulation.

To compliment this range we also have Buddy Buggy Books that you can attach to a buggy, as the name suggests, although there are other ways that you can use them.
Buggy BuddyAlso for a limited time we have our Orange Tree Toys range at half-marked price, yes that’s a massive 50% off of all Orange Tree Toys

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Pokemon Steam Siege

Pokémon Steam Siege Have Arrived

The very latest in Pokémon Trading Card Booster Packs have arrived at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop, Pokémon Steam Siege are here.

We have many regular customers of Pokémon trading cards so this is a heads up for them as the last series of Fates Collides dwindles out, we have only a few packs left.

Gear up for new ways to battle! Take control of Shiny Mega Gardevoir-EX to lay siege upon your enemies. Wield the dual powers of fire and water with the Mythical Steam Pokémon Volcanion. Use dual-type Pokémon to open the way to new, powerful strategies, and battle with the incredible Xerneas BREAK and Yveltal BREAK…all in the Pokémon TCG: XY—Steam Siege expansion!

The Pokémon TCG: XY—Steam Siege expansion includes:

Over 110 cards
8 new dual-type Pokémon
6 new Pokémon-EX, including two Mega Evolution Pokémon
7 new Pokémon BREAK
Excerpt above taken from pokemon.com

Pokemon Steam Siege
Pokemon Steam Siege

It is unsurprising that Pokemon Cards are still incredibly popular after the recent release of Pokemon Go has further reinforced the popularity of this major brand and also their cutting edge use of Technology in product development and implementation.

Silly Billy’s has stocked Pokemon Cards for a very long time, in fact they were first released in 1996 in Japan and Silly Billy’s started trading 1997, with America taking up the Pokémon Trading Card Frenzy in 1998 and release to Europe shortly afterwards Silly Billy’s was one of the First Retailers to stock Pokemon Cards right back in the beginning of Pokemon time.
A Pokémon Trading Card Game was developed by Media Factory with its own set of rules. The first set of cards was released on October 20, 1996, containing 102 cards, and became very popular.
The Trading Card Game was also introduced to North America on January 9, 1999 by Wizards of the Coast. The Electric Tale of Pikachu became the first Pokémon manga to be translated to English when VIZ Media started publishing it on September 28, 1999.

There is some fantastic Pokémon information available from the link below:
bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/History

 

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What’s New – Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend

What’s New – What’s On – Hebden Bridge Vintage Weekend

We have had a few deliveries this week at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop including more Orchard Toys. Orchard Toys are consistently popular here at Silly Billy’s and suitable for younger children. They are Toys that aid Learning and Development. There is a new Orchard Toys Promotion where if you spend over £15 you get a free Orchard Toys Animal Snap:
animal snap orchardAlso we have replenished our Stocks of Sylvanians and there are lots more Sylvanians to chose from, also Freya to great you when you visit Silly Billy’s Toy Shop.
FreyaNew In as well and a product we have been searching for is:
Money Boxes:
We now have some very sturdy metal Money Boxes that you access with a can opener once they are full, hopefully you can wait that long! We hope they will be well received as often we have folk asking for money boxes and in the past we have had to say “sorry not got any”
Metal Money BoxAs well as these exciting developments at Silly Billy’s there are also some fun events happening in Hebden Bridge this weekend 6th/7th August 2016 and next week.

In Calder Holmes park on Saturday and Sunday we have:
Hebden Bridge Vintage Car Rally
There are some great pictures of last years vehicles here

HB Vintage Weekend
Courtesy of www.hebdenbridge-vintageweekend.org.uk/
hebden bridge vintage weekend
Rolls Royce at hebden bridge vintage weekend

We wrote about last years Vintage Car Rally in this post
T
he rally is always a very popular event with locals and people outside of Hebden and we are hoping for a very good turnout this year both in Vehicles and people attending the event.

Also next week we have the Happy Valley Pride festivities and events, celebrating all that is great and good with the Lesbian and Gay communities in and around Hebden Bridge. A list of events and activities can be seen from their website below:
happyvalleypride.com

 

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Lego Disney Minifigures

Lego Disney Minifigures

Lego Disney Minifigures have been very popular here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop. The author recently completed his collection of 18 Lego Disney Minifigures and we are fast running out of stock here.
Lego Disney Minifigures

Minifigures collectibles are released by Lego every quarter, and there is a full list of the themes released since the concept started in 2010 on this Wikipedia page dedicated to Lego Minifigures

Funnily enough Lego released an interim minifigures set of the German Football team called the  DFB German Football Team Series (set number: 71014) , however they were not available on release in the UK

The Disney Minifigures were released in May this year and we are thinking the next series which is being kept well under-wraps by Lego will be available possibly in September, perhaps sooner.
Lego Disney MinifiguresAs was stated at the beginning of this post we now have only about 100 or so blind bags of Lego Disney Minifigures left in stock here at Silly Billy’s if you are looking to complete your collection.

The author(Robert A Williams) can, with a little persuasion, help you detect a particular minifigure and is almost accomplished to a 100% success rate with this Lego Disney Minifigure series, just ask if you need a particular Disney Character to complete your set. No guarantees though.

These are the eighteen minifigures that are available from Lego Minifigures Disney Collection:

  • Aladdin Minifigure
  • Alice Minifigure
  • Ariel Minifigure
  • Buzz Lightyear Minifigure
  • Captain Hook Minifigure
  • Cheshire Cat Minifigure
  • Daisey Duck Minifigure
  • Donald Duck Minifigure
  • Genie Minifigure
  • Maleficent Minifigure
  • Mickey Mouse Minifigure
  • Minnie Mouse Minifigure
  • Mr Incredible Minifigure
  • Peter Pan Minifigure
  • Pizza Planet Toy Story Minifigure
  • Stitch Minifigure
  • Syndrome Minifigure
  • Ursula Minifigure

As was stated we are now down to probably around 100 Packets of minifigures left until the next season is released, so come on down to Silly Billy’s Toy Shop today and complete your Lego Disney Minifigure Collection

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PokemonGO

PokemonGO

PokemonGO
PokemonGO

What can we say? PokemonGo as one of the first augmented reality games is pretty amazing. There is a lot  you can do within the PokemonGo game and many ways in which you can get involved.
On the plus side it encourages people to go out and walk, run or cycle and catch #PokemonGO where ever they may be. It’s interesting that Niantic have released the game for free and also free of ADs, this is a plus really. Although it has As I have some background knowledge in internet and application development I really do feel Pokemon GO is a very powerful app.
On the down side there have been stories of people falling off of cliffs and the like, which isn’t great.

Pokemon cards have been amazingly popular here at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop and we are the greatest retailer of Pokemon Cards in Hebden Bridge. We would obviously be very grateful if you could shop for your cards here as we are raising our own visibility post the flooding of Boxing Day.
The latest series “Fates Collide” has been one of the most popular collectors series yet.
PokemonGo - Fates CollideWe have plenty of card booster packs here at Silly Billy’s so if you are looking for Pokemon Cards then come down to Silly Billy’s Toy Shop today

The author has installed Pokemon GO on his phone and has played it, although as I am no gamer I did not particularly get into the game itself, though I am interested in other people’s experiences.

Packhorse Bridge
The Packhorse Bridge c1450

My daughter caught a Pokemon in Silly Billy’s Toy Shop the other day and I have applied to Niantic to make Silly Billy’s a PokeStop. There was also PokeGym on the Packhorse Bridge, close to our shop.

Overall I would say the development and release of PokemonGo is significant and heralds a new way of gaming incorporating augmented reality.

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Toy Shop Updates in Hebden Bridge