Office Playground Blog

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Welcome New Employees with Office Toys!

clock March 1, 2012 14:18 by author Office Toy Guy

You placed the ad for a new employee, interviewed several candidates, made your choice and hired the next new shining star for your company. They arrive for their first day of work. Now what? You put forth great effort to find the right person for the job. Do you follow that up by properly welcoming them to the company?

The first thing you should do to welcome a new employee is to...well...welcome them! Greet them when they arrive and introduce them to their co-workers. Don't just leave them lingering in the lobby twiddling their thumbs.

Here are a few steps you can do to welcome a new employee:

  • Be prepared for the new employee's arrival by assigning them a desk and making sure their computer is ready and the phone system is updated with their information.
  • Have a training plan in place and assign a mentor to guide them.
  • Let the personality of your employees and work culture come out by giving the new employee a welcome sign, flowers, snacks or some tchotchkes. Welcoming a new employee with fun stuff will quickly make them feel at home.

Here at, we think a great way to welcome a new employee is by giving them a variety of fun office toys and stress relievers to help make their workspace a more enjoyable place. makes it easy to build your own new employee welcome kit. Choose from a wide range of desktop toys, stress relievers, office supplies and more.

We recommend the following categories to get started:

Stress Balls
Novelty Pens
Memo Holders
Liquid Motion Toys

Whatever your budget, you will find the right office toys at to welcome your new employee and help make them feel like they are part of your company.

For more HR tips on welcoming new employees, check out the following sources:
10 Ways to Welcome New Employees - HR World
How to Welcome a New Employee -
Top 10 Ways to Turn Off a New Employee -


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Let Your Solar Dancing Flower Dance!

clock February 13, 2012 12:12 by author Office Toy Guy
Zen Garden Deluxe

Do you own a Solar Dancing Flower that doesn't seem to want to dance? It could be an unhappy (defective) flower, but chances are your Solar Dancing Flower just needs a little more love.

First, check the time of day and the weather outside. Solar Dancing Flowers work best under direct sunlight, so your flower may not dance as well on a dark and cloudy day. Your Solar Flower does not have to be outside to move: these flowers love to dance on your car dashboard, near a large window, or under a bright incandescent desk lamp (but sunlight is always best). Unfortunately, fluorescent lights alone don't always make a Solar Dancing Flower happy, so be sure to let in the sunshine!

Next, turn the flower towards you and the solar panel facing the light source. You can also wipe the solar panel with a dry cloth to clean off any dust and fingerprints. Solar Dancing Flowers do not use batteries and they don't need to be charged up, but giving them a gentle nudge can help get them going.

If your flower is still not dancing, be sure to double check (and triple check) your surroundings. Solar Dancing Flowers do not work well in dungeons (yes, we know, your office sometimes feels like a dungeon), basements, caves, or during the nighttime.

Insider Tip: We shot our Solar Dancing Flower videos in a regular office with overhead fluorescent lights. Our secret: we added additional desk lamps to the "set". A couple of the videos were shot near an open window.

We hope these tips help make your Solar Flower dance. You can also little background music for your flower. We prefer music of bongo drums, ukuleles, and synthesizers. Occasionally we turn on a little bit of Reggae music. Now it's time to dance little flower, dance!


Marketing Coordinator
We make work fun!

History of the Smiley Face

clock February 10, 2012 14:42 by author Office Toy Guy

We've all seen, and most likely used, the Smiley Face in our lives. It's on everything from Emoticons to T-shirts to balloons to stress relievers. According to Wikipedia, "a Smiley, Smiley Face, or Happy Face, is a stylized representation of a smiling human face, commonly occurring in popular culture." The Smiley is so familiar and common, that we simply accept that it exists. But, have you ever wondered about the history of the Smiley Face?

The most iconic version of the Smiley was created by Harvey Ball in 1963. At the time, Ball’s job assignment was to create a happy face for use on buttons. And so, the Smiley Face with a yellow background, black oval eyes and a mouth with creases was created. Interestingly, the Smiley Face was not trademarked in the United States early on in its inception. Through the years, attempts were made to trademark this well-known symbol. As recently as 2009, the courts ruled that the Smiley Face is in the public domain. (source: Wikipedia)

At, the Smiley Face is considered an awesome and uplifting icon that helps remind us to be optimistic and happy. A Smiley is a huge part of staying positive and relieving stress at work. That is why has such a huge variety of Happy Face stress relievers and toys. Look at some of the Smiley office toys available at

Bean Ball - Smile Face
Bendable Smile Man - 3 inch
Bendable Smile Men, Multicolored - 12 Pack
Captain Smiley - Hot Pink

Captain Smiley - Yellow
Flashing Smile Sunshine Ball
Funny Face Ball - Smile
Goofy Pen - Smile, Blue

Gumball Machine - Plastic 9 inch - Smile Face
Happy Face Keychain
Happy Face Stress Ball
Happy Face Stress Ball With Feet

Hi Bounce Ball - Plush Smile Face
IsoFlex Smiley Stress Ball
Mini Smile Squeeze Balls - 12 Pack
Porcupine Ball Smile Face - 2 Inch, 12 Pack

Pumpkin Stress Ball - Smile
Smile Face Heart Stress Toy
Smile Face Memo Holder
Smile Face Molecule Ball

Smile Face Popping Pen
Smiley Dude Stress Toy
Smiley Spring Keychain
Splat Ball - Smile Face

Squishy Smile Face Pen
Stress Ball Pen - Smile Face, Silver
Stress Jumper - Smiley
Stretch and Bounce Ball - Smile Face

Stretchy Happy Face - 12 Pack
Super Smiley Stress Toy
Water Wigglies - 4 inch, Smile Face
Wind Up Hopping Smile Man

And we are thrilled that one of our all-time favorite Happy Face stress balls is back! The Smile Face Molecule Ball is a super happy stress toy. When you squeeze this stress ball, all the little smile faces move around inside. This Smiley stress ball is a cheerful reminder to get going on that grin and to keep those positive thoughts flowing.

So go on, get happy and have a nice day! :-)


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Bring the Star Wars Experience to Your Desk

clock February 8, 2012 10:23 by author Office Toy Guy

On February 10, 2012, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 3D opens in theaters.

I remember watching the original three Star Wars films in the movie theater as a kid and I love that this generation gets to experience all the Star Wars movies on the big screen. The 2012 Star Wars: Episode I has been updated with all the bells and whistles you expect with today’s big blockbusters. Some folks don’t like it when they mess with the original movie, but Jackass 3 was in 3D after all, so of course Star Wars should make its own splash in 3D as well.

Get your Star Wars movie tickets at and enjoy the show. When you get back to work after the big on screen adventure, relive the Star Wars experience with your very own Yoda Computer Monitor Sitter from

Yoda, a renowned Jedi master, first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back. Followed up by Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith.

The Yoda Computer Sitter makes his home on top of your computer monitor while keeping an eye on your desk. This Yoda is a fun bobble head desk toy that will help make your workspace more enjoyable.

If Yoda isn’t your favorite Star Wars character, visit and check out the Darth Vader Computer Sitter and the Boba Fett Computer Sitter.

Don’t worry if attending the next Comic-Con wearing a Stormtrooper or Chewbacca costume is out of your comfort zone. The Yoda, Darth Vader and Boba Fett monitor bobble heads are a fun way to show your love for all things Star Wars.

Computer Sitters - Yoda
Computer Sitters - Darth Vader
Computer Sitters - Boba Fett


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Emergency Meow Button

clock February 1, 2012 15:16 by author Office Toy Guy

Meow Button

When we add new products to, our web team sends out an all company email announcing the latest and greatest office toys to our staff. We recently added a super funny noisemaker to our collection of office buttons called the Emergency Meow Button. The folks here at get a kick out of new desktop toys.

Here is some candid feedback from our staff about the Emergency Meow Button:

"That thing is awesome!"

"That would be hysterical during a conference call!"

"Much easier to take care of than a real cat!"

The Emergency Meow Button is perfect for cat lovers who miss their favorite pet while at work. It’s easy to operate, just press the big white paw to hear the kitty. If you haven’t had a chance to check out the Emergency Meow Button, do it now at And be sure to sample the cat's meow!


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Silly Putty, The Great American Mistake

clock October 18, 2011 14:08 by author Office Toy Guy

Silly Putty Museum Display Many products have been created or discovered by accident and Silly Putty might be one of the most popular and best selling mistakes of all time.

During World War II there was a shortage of rubber in the United States. The government funded research into synthetic rubber compounds in an attempt to solve this shortage. Silly Putty was created in 1943 during this pursuit. The new product had useful qualities: it bounced like rubber, stretched like taffy and had adhesive qualities; it also broke into pieces and had the ability to lift pencil marks off paper. However, Silly Putty was not the sought-after substitute for rubber.

Silly Putty was called Nutty Putty when the little pink blob made of silicone polymers packaged in an egg-shaped plastic container made its debut as a toy in 1949. Its sales soared to the top of the toy chart that year. In 1961, Silly Putty went worldwide. It even reached the Moon in 1968, courtesy of the Apollo 8 astronauts who used it to secure their tools in zero-gravity.

After its success as a toy, Silly Putty was found to be useful in medical and scientific fields. It is widely used by physical therapists for rehabilitative therapy of hand injuries and as a fidget item for stress reduction. A number of other brands have emerged which alter the material's properties offering different levels of resistance, color and size of the product. Some of the names it is marketed under are Power Putty, TheraPutty, Thinking Putty and Bouncing Putty.

To date, Silly Putty has sold over 300 million eggs. Crayola, LLC (formerly the Binney & Smith company), which also owns Crayola crayons, owns the trademark name Silly Putty and currently sells 20,000 units per day.

It doesn't look like this American icon has to worry about popularity as its unique qualities continue to provide fun, exercise and stress relief to users of all ages all over the world.

Image courtesy of Eugene Peretz.

Gumby vs. Mr. Bill

clock October 12, 2011 15:15 by author Office Toy Guy

Who would win a battle between Gumby and Mr. Bill? Both are animated clay figures that made their first debut to the public on popular TV shows, both have made their way into feature length films, and both are immortalized as bendable figurines. We decided to collect the facts to predict the winner of this potentially famous battle.

Gumby Bendy Toy Name: Gumby
Debuted: August 1956
Creator: Art Clokey
Best Friend: Pokey
Nemeses: Blockheads
Claim to Fame: Gumby starred in his own television series, The Gumby Show, that aired from 1957 to 1967 and in 1988
Best Characteristic: Flexibility
Accomplishments: cameo appearance in 1987 film The Puppetoon Movie; 1995 feature length film Gumby I (aka Gumby: The Movie); 8 DVD collections (2000s); video game Gumby vs. the Astrobots (2005); appeared in campaign ads for Library of Congress (1994-1995) and Cheerios (late 1990s)

Mr. Bill Name: Mr. Bill
Debuted: February 28, 1976
Creator: Walter Williams
Best Friend: Spot (his dog)
Nemesis: Mr. Sluggo
Claim to Fame: Mr. Bill starred in several short sketches on the television show, Saturday Night Live from 1976 to 1980
Memorable Quotes: "Ohhhh noooooooooooooo...", "Perfectly awful!", "Stunningly bad!"
Accomplishments: 1986 live-action movie Mr. Bill's Real Life Adventures; 1998 television show Ohh No!!! Mr. Bill Presents; appeared in television ads for Pringles (1980s), an anti-drug campaign (1988), Pizza Hut (1990s), Subway (2008), and MasterCard (2008)

Based on the character's personality, history and popularity, Gumby wins the battle hands down. However, we believe it's all up to the circumstance and personal preference. Take the battle into your own hands to determine who you think is the real winner.

About Office Playground

phone: 800-458-1948

The Office Toy Guy is passionate about office toys and spending a little time playing at work. He also enjoys imaginary pinky wrestling (it’s similar to thumb wrestling but you use your pinky and you conduct matches in your mind against imaginary opponents), cooking, underwater speed-reading, massages, and an occasional lighthearted office prank. (He’s really the CEO of Office Playground!)

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