Puzzles and games that teach the mind to think
Z Wind Ups
Lonely and heartbroken, Molly longs to one day move to Europe where she can be reunited with that dashing dancer who she met on her last vacation to Italy. Until then, its dance competition after dance competition as this tireless bopper wins the money she needs to fulfill her dreams. Let’s just hope that Max is willing to wait a bit longer...
This athletic entertainer has been on tour with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for as long as she can remember. Penny learned how to balance and spin a ball on her nose from Harry the Bear, and now performs her act to the delight of children across the United States.
It’s a good thing they make balls in extra-large sizes, or else Eddie would need to find a new trick for getting treats. The best-fed elephant in the Berlin Zoo, Eddie is an expert at coaxing snacks out of unsuspecting visitors when his trainers aren’t looking.
Nobody can shop better than Ellie, except perhaps Tammy the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Unfortunately for this elephant, most of her time is spent performing tricks at the Paris Zoo. That’s just as well, however, as that big ball of hers is prone to making a real mess of things in the most expensive stores.
A veteran of circus life, Harry has been entertaining children and adults in Europe for years. He no longer remembers his earlier life roaming the wilds of Russia, and it just as well since Harry would much rather spend his time teaching other animals the “tricks of the trade.” Penny the Seal, Bamboo the Panda, Eddie the Elephant—all learned to do tricks with a ball from this wise-old bear.
Perfectly suited for extreme cold, Chilly feels right at home among the snow and ice of northern Greenland. Instead of using his powerful legs and claws for hunting, however, this frolicsome polar bear would rather spend his time playing with the ball he found on his last visit to the local settlement. This is one predator that Sally the Seal doesn’t need to worry about when she swims the cold waters of the Arctic.
Not a very good forager, Scamper has managed to collect only one acorn during the entire time that he has lived on the grounds of Spain’s beautiful Alhambra Palace. It turns out, however, that one nut is all this hard-working little squirrel needs. By performing tricks with his acorn, Scamper has been very successful at getting tourists to part with plenty of special treats.
Life under the big top is not as easy as it looks for this hard-working clown. The only member of this traveling circus who can perform such neat tricks, Charley knows he has to stay fit to keep up with all of that spinning and lifting. In fact, when he's not putting on a show Charley can usually be found at the local gym working on his abs.
If Jack-O-Bop is the toughest dancer on himself, Skully is the toughest on everyone else. Less of a dancer and more of a wicked trickster, this skeleton’s favorite game is hide-and-seek. He prefers to be both the hider and the seeker, skulking around the edge of the dance floor waiting to scarce other Noggin Bops with a leap from the shadows.
Sure, Santa never leaves the dance floor whenever there’s a good Christmas party going on. He also never leaves that one small area of the dance floor, either. Wonder if the mistletoe hanging over his head has anything to do with that? Better hope Mrs. Claus doesn’t stop by to catch him in the act...
That big flashing ball that used to hang down over the dance floor? Who needs it anymore now that Rudy has stopped by for a dance? Bopping his glowing red nose to and fro as his favourite holiday music fills the air, Rudy can keep this party lit up all night long.
For most of the year this hard-working elf can be found loyally helping Santa prepare for Christmas. Once the holiday season kicks off, however, Elfy is out for himself. Taking a long overdue vacation without even asking Mrs. Claus, this party crasher spends the holiday breaking up all the Christmas festivities he can find with his wild and crazy dancing. Good thing Santa needs him back at North Pole no later than January 1!
Cookie is always coming up with half-baked ideas for how to survive Christmas Eve. Most involve dancing, of course, since he hopes to keep everyone away from the dessert table where all of those other chewy cookies might give them ideas of their own!
Sure, the fire is so delightful, and the weather outside is frightful, but you’ll still never catch Snowy bopping away inside the house on Christmas Eve. Way cooler than Max and Cool Yule, Snowy wouldn’t dare come in out of the cold no mater who else was tearing up the dance floor. Well, may he would if that fire started to die down...
Can anyone or anything keep this prankster from getting into trouble? Class clown and court jester all rolled into one, Sparky can make even the most serious person laugh. Practical jokes are his specialty, especially when poor-old Grover the Gorilla comes by to visit.
Tom Tom beats his drum with such gusto that he nearly drowns out the other members of the band. Also a show off, Tom Tom believes that the "Not So Grand Band" exists solely to provide support for his ear-splitting solos on the snare drum. The other members of the band, however, have a different opinion of their "friend."
Z Wind Ups Dog W/Base Drum, Basie - better--he's the most important member of this marching band. Without his faithfully beat, the other members would never be able to keep in step as they parade down Main Street on Memorial Day. They might have trouble carrying a tune, but this Not So Grand Band knows how to march!
Dizzy's fingers slide up and down the keys as his saxophone belts out notes from the bottom of the scale to the top. If only he knew how to read the music, Dizzy might be able to contribute more to this band than just noise!
With Basie and Tom Tom, Domino rounds out the percussion section in this less-than-majestic ensemble! Faithfully ringing out her high-pitched tones, Domino always seems to be off by a beat or two. Looks like too much time spent marching alongside Tom Tom has made Basie a little deaf!
Z Wind Ups Tiger W/Trombone, Dorsey - trombone in such rapid succession? Rivaling the legendary Tommy Dorsey in not just name, however, their friend Dorsey is the only member of this band who believes that practice makes perfect.
Walking, walking, walking. While some may find such monotony boring, for Kicks it is pure delight. Whether strolling down the streets of London on a leisurely afternoon outing, or searching out the coolest hot-spots for a night on the town, these athletic shoes love the feel of concrete beneath their soles.
Raffi's got the best "ground's eye" view of Kingston. Cranking up his latest pair of sneaks and pumping up the reggae on his portable radio, Raffi's the coolest mouse in Jamaica. In which shoe did he hide the cheese?
Stomping through the African jungle on his strong hind legs, Gregory forages the forest floor in search of his next meal. The only problem—this gorilla is so finicky he will only eat fruit that has not been nibbled on by other creatures. Not an easy task, especially since most of the leaves and fruit in his part of the forest have already been nibbled on by Carl the Caterpillar.
Poor-old Grover is the butt of everyone’s jokes. Always being picked on by Rascal the Robot or bowled over by Tate the Triceratops, this gorilla is too shy for his own good. The only place he feels safe is in his cage at the zoo, but even that would be better if the bunches of bananas he was eating were large enough to hide behind.
This scrappy underdog would be a match even for the toughest champion. Honing his skills on the local boxing circuit in Philadelphia, Aussie has dreams of one day earning a shot at the title.
Buster has the fastest left-right-left combo in boxing. He is also quick to use his feet in the ring, however, which explains why this competitive kangaroo has not been able to fight outside of his own “unofficial” circuit in the Australian Outback.
This mouse fancies himself as a real gourmet. Bouncing down Avenue de Champs-Elysees, Marvin waves to Tammy the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Ellie the Elephant before ducking into a Paris bistro. Only the finest cheese will do for this picky rodent.
“Where do I get all of that ice cream and candy,” Milford asks as he prepares to invade another quiet neighborhood in Texas. “I’ll take an old garbage pail or smelly dumpster over a field of tall grasses any day.” As with everything Milford says, however, this admission is only a half truth. For this thieving little mouse prefers to steal his food from unsuspecting humans rather than scrounge for leftovers on trash pick-up day.
Ol' Marvin the Mouse finally has his own car! Leaving Tucker the Monkey to pilot Percy around in endless circles, Marvin has decided to treat Timmy the Toucan to a special ride. Now if he can only fix that flat that has kept Chester in the shop for the past six months...
With Marvin the Mouse along for the ride, Percy loves driving his antique car around town on sunny afternoons. Unfortunately, this lovable teddy bear has taken the idea of “driving around” a little too seriously. While he can fix flat tires in record time, Percy still has not figured out how to drive in a straight line. He says both he and his car are perfectly suited for competing in professional auto races but, fortunately, he has not yet been asked to prove this claim.
Rowdy is the only racer able to take his game off road. While he can't sash through trees like Off-Road, or crash through mud puddles like Splatter, Rowdy does have the ability to leap over any obstacle in his path. A quick burst of energy and he's jumping over whatever log, pit or hungry dinosaur that gets in his way!
Scooter loves zipping and flipping around the hot sands of North Africa’s Sahara Desert. Climbing the high dunes and jumping over impressive rock formations, not even Coolboy the Hot Rod is as nimble on the sand as this fearless dune buggy.
"I only want white sand in my gears," snaps Dusty, the most stuck-up dune buggy ever to race across the deserts of North America. "This site looks promising," says Dusty, as he zips past a sign that reads White Sands Missile Range. "Oh no, why is there a rocket flying toward me..."
3..2..1..blast off! Hurtling through the atmosphere in a nearly vertical climb, Launch eagerly climbs into space to fulfill his next top-secret mission. Space stations, military weaponry and spy satellites—no one knows them better than this industrious solider.
Ping, ping, ping—another sleepless night for Farley the Frog. Sounds like Chris the Crab is going to spend another night racing from one side of his tank to the other. Might as well get back to hopping around, Farley. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
Perched among the leaves of the highest trees in the Amazon Rainforest, Timmy’s bright, beautiful colours glisten in the hot tropical sun. This acrobatic tree dweller bounces from branch to branch in search of sweet fruit to eat. He never bothers with Spencer the Spider far below on the forest floor, but can often be seen basking in the sun with Bella the Butterfly.
"My beak's down there and my feet are up there," complains Tikki. Of course, she could very easily have jumped down to the lower branch to grab a meal, but that would have been too difficult for this acrobatic bird. Last year she set the record for most veterinarian visits of any animal in the Dallas Zoo.
Cruising along the coral reefs off Cozumel, Mexico, Taylor shares the clear blue waters of the Caribbean with Dillon the Dolphin. His favourite pastime is pulling the fins off the divers and watching them struggle to the surface with only their feet to act as flippers. Not all of God’s creatures were given the same expert swimming skills as this teasing tortoise.
The cold waters of the North Atlantic are home to this speedy swimmer. Honing her skills off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, Sally then travels around the world to compete in national and global swimming competitions. Her showing at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics was most impressive, where she was so fast that even the judges failed to see her. Guess that’s why this Seal has yet to receive a medal!
Gigi leads a charmed life ever since she muscled her way into that coy pond at Los Angeles' favorite Chinese food restaurant. Blowing bubbles and flipping out of the water is an easy way to earn a few extra fortune cookies. Bet they would taste better if Gigi didn't actually eat the fortune!
Anyone who thought that a dog is man's best friend hasn't met Pongo. Last year alone this Dolphin rescued three divers and four swimmers from the waters around Hawaii. "All in a day's work," says Pongo, who races off to the rescue as he sees Seymour the Tiger Shark closing in on another swimmer...
Phil makes his home in New York’s Central Park with Fiona the Frog, Saul the Spider and Daren the Duck. While his three friends enjoy the feel of solid ground below their, um, feet, Phil spends most of his time swimming through the park’s large reservoir. This mischievous frog, however, does like racing up to shore now and then to steal the breadcrumbs that passers-by toss along the paths for Daren the Duck.
"This theme park is the best," shouts Froggy as he gets ready to do the breaststroke across his favourite lagoon. "Plenty of sunshine, warm weather and people always throwing handfuls of food into the water." Guess he's yet to notice Alex the Alligator reclining lazily on top of those nearby rocks...
Making her home on the islands off South Africa, Penelope would need to be a really fast swimmer in order to avoid Brutus the Shark. She’s not, however, so this gentle penguin spends most of her time in the shallow waters right off shore. Skimming along the surface, she has an excellent view of Cale the Crab and Luke the Lobster as they dart in and out of hiding spots in the sand below.
Riding high on the crests of waves and crashing into the "beach," Priscilla is the most daring penguin ever to take to the seas. The problem is that her "sea" is not a sea at all, but rather the tidal pool at a popular European water park! Guess the local zookeeper should have double checked the locks before signing off yesterday...
A skilled swimmer, Brutus can catch almost anyone or anything in the water. Even so, he still hasn’t been able to repay Dillon the Dolphin for stealing his last meal.
Thanks to Seymour, Froggy had to cut his last vacation short. Prowling the waters off Hawaii looking for unlucky divers and swimmers, Seymour has made a lot of enemies both in and out of the water. Pongo the Dolphin, however, knows how to drive him off--a little rub that that soft spot underneath the front fins will send this ticklish shark scurrying for deep water.
Wilbur just can't seem to understand why Pongo has so many good friends like Priscilla the Penguin and Saucy the Seal. Here's a hint--Wilbur's last attempt at frolicking sent poor Sonny the Submarine back to the shipyard for a month's worth of repairs. Someone needs to teach this whale to play nice!
"Another day laying out in the sun--plenty to eat, nothing to do," moans poor Alex, on display in Florida's biggest 'gator park. Not even that sign hanging around his neck that reads "World's Biggest Alligator" can cheer up this melancholy reptile. "Alright," sighs Alex, "I guess I'll go for another swim."
Eagle-eyed peepers can spot a fly more than a mile away, or so he claims. He also believes he can see just as far at night as he can during the day. Is he telling the truth, or is Peepers just plain lying? Take these binoculars on your next camping trip and find out for yourself...
With a big lens housing his clear camera eye, Zoom should be able to pick up the spots on Lanie the Ladybug's back from several feet away. Unfortunately, Zoom is missing just that--the zoom button that the factory seems to have forgotten to install! No worries, though, because that magnifying glass works just fine, allowing Zoom to see as far as (or even further than?) Peepers the Binoculars.
Woody has the biggest, boldest dam on Lake Michigan. Piled high with as much wood as he can find, Woody's dam encloses the perfect pool in which anyone can swim. The perfect pet, eh? Only if you want no trees around your house...
Poor Ferris. Why can't he go swimming in that beautiful lake behind his house, or even in the pool down the street? No, this sad little frog seems destined to do the breast stroke from one side of the bathtub to the other. Will you take him with you on your next adventure?
Much bolder than Penelope the Penguin, Presley has figured out how to swim circles around pesky Brutus the Shark. In fact, while Penelope prefers the shallows, Presley is much more at home in the deep blue waters of the South Atlantic. Not even Sonny the Submarine can keep up with this feisty aquatic acrobat.
Terrifying TJ, that’s what Stuey named me after ended his last eating binge with my razor-sharp horns. But I spend as much time hiding in the ferns as I do munching on them . . .
I know your thinking those spikes on my back look a bit too small to scare anyone off, but don’t worry about me. My legs move lightning fast. No one can catch me! . . .
Flying with the greatest of ease, I swoop down to catch my evening dinner of fish . . .
This gigantic lizard has a gigantic appetite! Favourite foods are hot dogs, pizza and potato chips, or at least this is the list he gives Tammy the Tyrannosaurus when she is tasked with shopping for the cute couple. What Tony would really like to munch on, however, is a piece of Stan the Stegosaurus or Tate the Triceratops. If only he could figure out a way to deal with those pesky spikes and horns...
Loving wife of Tony the Tyrannosaurus, Tammy can shop till she drops. Whether at the supermarket buying food to feed Tony’s never-ending appetite, or perusing the posh shops of Paris’ Avenue de Champs-Elysees with Ellie the Elephant, all this dinosaur needs to keep going is a wallet full of credit cards.
Better clear a path for this clumsy dinosaur. This large herbivore has taken down his fair share of buildings in San Francisco over the years. In fact, Stan has the uncanny knack for showing up in the aftermath of the city’s largest earthquakes. Or is it the other way around?
Volt is everyone’s favourite handyman. From fixing a small leak in the shower to repairing a flat tire on the open road, no task is too difficult for this enterprising robot. All those years spent working as a technical assistant at NASA seem to have paid off.
Whether scampering around the ocean floor trying to avoid becoming Sam the Sea Otter’s next meal, or simply fidgeting his claws for no reason whatsoever, Luke is constantly on the move. A boundless bundle of energy, even his best friend Cale the Crab has difficulty keeping up with this lively lobster.
This lazy Sea Otter dwells among the waves along the Alaskan Coast. It is not that Sam does not move, however, but just that he has figured out how to let the current in the North Pacific Ocean move him from place-to-place in search of food and fun. An expert “floater,” not even the trickster Sasha the Sea Lion can get Sam to swim around using his own energy.
Carley is one of the prettiest little critters in London’s beautiful Kew Gardens, although you would never know it. Scared of everyone and everything, this shy caterpillar only walks on the purple flowers in the gardens, using their colour as a perfect camouflage. Good thing Bart the Bee also likes purple flowers or else Carley would grow quite lonely.
Bella is the most adventurous butterfly in the South American rainforest. Leaving Spencer the Spider far below on the forest floor, Bella spends her days arcing through the treetops with Timmy the Toucan. Not even a rainy day can get this high-flying daredevil down.
Batting her eyelashes and flapping her wings, Daisy prepares herself for the next beauty pageant. Indeed, this obsessive butterfly will go to any length to make sure that she is the most attractive creature ever to alight on the petal of a flower or the branch of a tree. Her ultimate goal--why, to get Timmy the Toucan to notice her, of course!
Gabe shares the spacious grounds of Kew Gardens, London with Bart the Bee and Carley the Caterpillar. By spending most of this time in the botanical glasshouses that dot the gardens, Gabe has become quite an expert on rare and exotic plants. Not that he has been able to share any of his knowledge, however, as all attempts to approach park visitors have been met with the swish of a hand and a loud cry of “Shoo.”
Bart and Carley the Caterpillar have one thing in common—they both love purple flowers. Hopping from petal to petal throughout London’s spacious Kew Gardens, this thankful bee gets his share of sweet nectar each and every day.
Scurrying around the sands of Southern Arizona, Scott prefers the cool, starry sky of night to the scorching sun of day. As a result, this shy critter has developed an affinity for stargazing, and can pick out numerous constellations in both the summer and winter skies. Picking him out is another matter entirely, however, as Scott is seldom seen even by desert-dwelling neighbors like Boris the Beetle and Scooter the Dune-Buggy.
Patti fills her autumn days giving rides to boys and girls at the Texas Renaissance Festival. This gentle pony has become so good at trotting in a circle that she hardly needs a handler. In fact, the only real amusement that Patti enjoys is watching Milford the Mouse help himself to some cotton candy while parents are busy taking pictures of their children!
This beautiful pony loves to run wild among the fields of Nova Scotia’s Sable Island. When not frolicking among the sand and grass that cover this small island, Pal enjoys trotting down to the beach to watch Sally the Seal train for her next swimming event.
Daren’s long neck is perfectly designed for scooping up breadcrumbs left by visitors in the park. His beak is also going to have to be quick, however, if he wants to keep Phil the Frog from making off with his next meal.
Although he would prefer to live on the rocky, arid islands of the Galapagos, this wise-old tortoise makes his home at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in beautiful Colorado Springs. With opinions on almost any subject imaginable, Toby is quick to dispense advice to the zoo’s myriad visitors. The wise ones never visit his cage more than once, and even Sam the Sea Otter had to move to another part of the park to escape this loquacious reptile.
Frank has a very interesting way of surviving the hustle and bustle of Moscow. Flipping over cars as he makes his way to work everyday, not even Backfire the Truck or Nitro the Dragster pose a problem for this nimble frog.
A constant dreamer, Barb’s biggest wish is to be an actress. She’s got the look, she’s got the skill. Too bad there aren’t any parts for back-flipping bunnies in Hollywood.
One of the more athletic and resourceful white tigers at the Metropolitan Zoo in Santiago, Chile, Tyler taught himself how to do impressive backward somersaults in an effort to gain extra treats from onlookers. If only he could read those “Do Not Feed the Tigers” signs that his keepers put up all around his pen...
James hails from the cold, windy climate of Aberdeen, Scotland, but not that anyone would know this based on his favourite pastime. A passionate swimmer, James travels the world visiting all of the best beaches. Last week it was Cozumel, Mexico where he enjoyed some fun in the sun with Taylor the Sea Turtle and Dillon the Dolphin. Next week it’s on to Sydney, Australia with the hopes that maybe Gladys the Goldfish will finally be joining him for a swim.
Bouncing side to side, Mort’s unique ability is perfectly suited for dodging traffic on the busy streets of Shanghai. Such agility is necessary for this monkey to earn his living as a street vendor in China’s largest city. When taking a well-deserved break, Mort can be found soaking up culture at Shanghai’s prominent museums.
Even a wool scarf is not enough to keep this chilly Penguin warm in the biting winds of Antarctica. Fortunately, Webster the Whale happens by more often than not, inviting Peter to flip into the water for a quick swim that helps to keep them both warm.
Lisa is the most loyal bug a plant could ever hope to find. Comfortably at home in the same garden in which she was born, this Midwest native is stirred to intense activity only when other pesky insects threaten her precious flowers.
Nobody is better at telling a tall tale than Skyler. Last week this jet claims to have flown alongside a flock of geese flying north in the winter, and the week before that he supposedly singed his wings while buzzing over the top of an erupting volcano. Just this morning, however, he really did see a UFO when Spacy dropped out of stars and buzzed right past his cockpit. If only Skyler hadn't cried wolf all those other times...
Always looking for new worlds to conquer, Spacy zooms into the Milky Way galaxy intent on making Earth the first entry on his list of captured planets. Spacy has been cruising the universe for longer than the Sun has been shining, and he's found many interesting planets through his travels. But he's yet to conquer any, however, for while this marauding alien is an excellent navigator, he is also a bit forgetful. Perhaps next time he should install the turbo lasers into his spaceship before blasting off.
The mountain ranges in China are rough riding for me and my trusty tricycle . . .
"Honey, Duke didn't eat any of his food again--this is the third night in a row," cries the frustrated wife to her confused husband. After all, it was the loving couple that was supposed to get all the benefits by teaching the family dog to do back flips and letting him perform at the local carnival, right? Duke had other ideas, however, and now he spends his days "performing" for the next-door neighbors from the comfort of his own backyard, after which he always earns a share of the tasty hamburgers and hot dogs that have just come off of their grill!
Me and my friend, Bruno the Panda, are blazing new trails through the forest . . .
“Out of my way, tourists,” Hot Rod yells as he races past the Coliseum in Rome. With four piping-hot pizzas in the backseat and only 10 minutes to make his deadline, this speedster is determined to save his reputation as Italy’s fastest delivery car. Hot Rod.
For Coolboy, nothing is more fun than a weekend spent on the beach in Southern California. He’s especially fond of hanging out around the campfire with Cameron the Crab and Sally the Seal. With a pair of surfboards strapped to the back and a cooler of ice-cold drinks in the passenger seat, a little bit of sand in the gears is not enough to slow down this fun-loving Hot Rod.
This careless roadster has been the undoing of dozens of other cars on the streets of Northwest Europe. Are his brakes out? Is Racer the Funny Car a bad influence? No. The real problem is that his last trip to London really confused Superb C as to whether he’s supposed to be driving on the right side of the road or the left.
The greediest racer of them all, this roadster enters competitions only to win the glittering prizes. One day he hopes to amass enough of a fortune to plate even his rubber tires in gold. Hope his racing days are over by then...
Tinted windows, strong shocks and plush seats make Safari the perfect vehicle for enjoying the wilds of the African savannah. There’s still one problem, though. No passenger has been fast enough to actually see any wildlife on one of Safari’s breakneck tours.
A master of confusion, Dubs likes to amaze audiences with his ability for both brute strength and raw speed. Darting in and out of the shadows around the edge of the arena, Dubs’ ability to appear at once fast and then again strong leaves people wondering whether they are watching one or two cars. The trick would be complete if only he could change colours in the middle of a performance.
By all accounts GTZ should be the king of drag racing. No other car is as speedy as him down the straight away. If only he could figure out why his engine always conks out at the start line...
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