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Your Guide to the New Halloween 2.0 at Work

clock October 1, 2011 10:34 by author Office Toy Guy

Halloween Tree at Work

Has anyone else noticed that Halloween is rapidly turning into Christmas in terms of celebrating the "season"? I drove my kids around last night to look at Halloween lights on houses. Remember when people only put out pumpkins and a few decorations? These days, we’re seeing full blown lights on the house and haunted scenes in the yard. Folks set up life-sized skeletons, mummies, monsters and graveyards. We went by one house that displayed a lifelike werewolf on the roof and a Psycho shower scene behind their front window. Talk about getting into the spirit. I can't decide if these people are cool or crazy, but either way, next year I'M IN.

Do you notice the growing amount of shelf space reserved for Halloween paraphernalia in the stores? Sure, there has always been candy and costumes. But today, the shelves are packed with all sorts of Halloween props and shenanigans. The entire month of October is dedicated to the last day of the month. Just like the entire month of December is geared towards Christmas day. Halloween is on a serious tear right now and I say bring it on.

This rapid adoption of Halloween spirit as the major contender to Christmas spirit started me thinking about what it means to people working in an office. Here are my predictions of what Halloween will be like in the coming years for the corporate world. I call these predictions Halloween 2.0 at work:

Halloween 1.0 - Plastic spiders on a chair
Halloween 2.0 - Real spiders in a drawer

Halloween 1.0 - Wear a costume on Halloween day
Halloween 2.0 - Wear costumes all throughout October

Halloween 1.0 - Dress up as a witch
Halloween 2.0 - Practice real witchcraft at your desk

Halloween 1.0 - Cute little happy Halloween cards from co-workers
Halloween 2.0 - Big Halloween bonus checks from management
                         (just kidding, that won't happen)

Halloween 1.0 - Collecting treats from your co-worker’s desk
Halloween 2.0 - Smashing pumpkins over your co-worker’s head

I hope this guide helps you be on the cutting edge of this booming holiday for years to come. What will Halloween 3.0 entail? Real chainsaws? Who's the boss now?!

Happy Halloween!

Spooky Wishes,
Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Image courtesy of Suzie T.

Working with Aliens

clock September 22, 2011 08:17 by author Office Toy Guy

Do you work with aliens? How would you know if you did? Finally there's help, here's a simple guide to discovering who among your colleagues are from another planet:

Working with Aliens

Food – Aliens don't eat normal human food. Look for colleagues who you've never seen eating. Offer them a slice of pizza because nobody from this planet would refuse free pizza.

Performance – Aliens are way smarter than humans and so they are typically successful. Look for those in your company who are high up in the organizational chart. Aliens are looking to run things, not be bossed around. For example, Bill Gates (Microsoft) and Jeff Bezos (Amazon) are aliens.

Social Skills – Aliens are not very good networkers and never play the role of office clown. Look for the ones who don't talk much and have a very difficult time conducting a conversation. Aliens don't have hobbies, they don’t have "good weekends" and they don't say "TGIF".

Office Romance – Aliens don't mate with humans and thus the aliens in your office won't ever get caught up in office romance. That should eliminate many of your colleagues as potential aliens.

Limited Time – Aliens don't just grind away at the corporate rat race. They are at your business for a specific reason, maybe to run a few experiments you would rather not know the details about. If one of your co-workers just vanishes one day, instead of a new job, they may have just returned to their home planet.

Now that you know who the aliens are at your company, you can begin the process of uncovering the robots. Stay tuned...

Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson.

Best Practices in Using Stress Balls for Meetings

clock September 6, 2011 08:21 by author Office Toy Guy

Toys, such as stress balls, can make your meeting or training event more successful. There are certain variables to consider when you shop for your next batch of meeting stress balls. (See all of our Stress Balls here.)

Distribution – We recommend laying out a variety of stress balls together, maybe in a large bowl, and let the attendees take their pick. The folks who show up early get the best pick and the ones who are late get whatever is left (they won’t be late again).

Top Picks – Here are some of our best Meeting Stress Balls:

Koosh Ball
Koosh Ball
Mood Dude Happy
Mood Dude Happy
Cyber Gel Ball
Cyber Gel Ball
Happy Face Stress Ball
Happy Face Ball
Gripp Stress Ball
Gripp Stress Ball

Make the best choice for your meeting:
Noise – Some stress balls make noise and that is too distracting for a business meeting or training event. Avoid balls with water or any liquid inside since they’ll make a squishing sound when squeezed. Also, some stress balls actually talk back when squeezed. While that is funny the first couple of times, it doesn’t work when the meeting really gets underway.

Filling – Any stress ball with liquid or gel inside has the potential to break. Our stress balls are strong, we don’t sell weak ones, but sometimes they do fail. You don’t want the contents of a liquid-filled ball or Gel Stress Ball all over the table during a meeting.

During these stressful business times, giving out the right stress balls at your next business meeting, training session or event will yield huge returns.

Bill Ross
Founder & CEO
Office Playground, Inc.

Boss Day Gift Giving Tips

clock August 29, 2011 10:10 by author Office Toy Guy

Boss Day gift giving can be tough. Right off the bat, you are trying to buy the perfect gift for your Boss and that can be nerve racking. Your boss is the one who will decide or significantly influence your destiny in the company. Thus, don't give him/her a lame gift on Boss's Day. Since we specialize in Office Toys and unique corporate gifts, we felt it was time to provide some help to those seeking the ideal Boss Day Gift.

Buy a physical thing – Not a gift card and not lunch. That stuff is not memorable. Buy them something to display in their workspace. That means they will remember your kindness all day, every day, forever.

Don't be late – Give it to them on Boss's Day and not after Boss's Day. Giving a Boss Day gift says "I really appreciate you and I'm on my game". Giving a Boss Day gift late says "whoops, I blew it". Not giving a Boss Day gift at all is, well, not advisable.

How much to spend – This is the classic question surrounding Boss Day Gifts. The amount you spend is directly proportional to how much you like your boss or how badly you want a promotion. Our research indicates the perfect amount, in most cases, is $20.

Personality Type – Get your Boss a gift that corresponds to their personality type. You'll really score if you match the gift with their true self. Here are some of personality types to get you thinking:

Technology Geek

The Thinker

Playful Eccentric

Stressed to the Max!

Outside of work Interests – People tend to have little reminders of stuff they love in their office. Ask yourself "what do they love to do when they are not at work?". Since I love to fish, for instance, I'm a sucker for fish oriented toys on my desk. Here are some ideas:

The Golfer

The Animal Lover

The Jock

We hope this helps you nail the perfect Boss Day Gift this year. For more ideas, please see our Boss Day Gift Guide Here. We are happy to offer you free Boss Day Gift consulting, just call us at 800-458-1948 or email us.


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

Business Decisions

clock August 24, 2011 13:29 by author Office Toy Guy

Magic 8 Ball Bad business decisions are something every company tries to avoid, but they happen. Some legendary ones include the makers of M & M's decision to not allow their candy to appear in the movie ET. Reese's Pieces were used instead and the sales exploded. Jerry Yang decided to walk away from Microsoft and missed out on receiving $44.6 billion of Bill Gates' money. Many book editors rejected the Harry Potter book series and Decca Records had the opportunity to sign the Beatles and didn't.


An example of important decision making can be shown through choosing stock investments. The Chicago Sun-Times wanted to illustrate the often chance nature of picking stocks, so they had a monkey sit on newspaper stock pages and make marks on five stocks. As of January 2007, the stock-picking monkey had beaten the market four years running.

If you don't have the resources to hire a monkey, perhaps a fortune-telling item such as the Wall Street Guru Ball, the Mystical Orb, or the time honored Magic 8 Ball may help. The Dartboard Decision Maker is a fun and active alternative.

Dartboard Decision Maker Affirmation Ball Next time you're faced with a landmark decision, give the Affirmation Ball a shake; its response might be "Brilliant Idea!" However, the Sarcastic Ball might warn "Not a Chance!" and the Wall Street Guru might suggest "Ride it Out". The Dartboard Decision Maker offers many options. Give it a spin and toss the dart, which might land on "Take a Vacation," "Stay Late," "Call a Meeting," "Hire" or "Retire". A fortune telling ball or decision maker may not offer the appropriate advice, but it's sure to generate some lighthearted stress relief.

Bring Toys Not Donuts

clock August 8, 2011 14:50 by author Office Toy Guy

Are you still bringing donuts to meetings? WAIT! You don't need to do that anymore. There's a better way to get everyone energized and excited at your next meeting. It's simple: bring toys, not donuts.

We all know that donuts are bad for you and the sugar crash is a serious downer. Bringing donuts to meetings is like saying, "Here, I hope you all feel sick for the next 5 hours and act like zombies all afternoon." Donuts only take a minute to eat, give you heartburn and require an extra workout to burn off the empty calories. On the other hand, a good office toy is long-lasting, stress relieving and brightens up your workspace.

Note the health considerations of Donuts versus Toys:

Donut Nutrition Facts: 220 Calories, 12 grams of Sugar and 9 grams of Fat Stress Ball Nutrition Facts: 0 Calories, 0 grams of Sugar and 0 grams of Fat


Have some fun at your next meeting and bring a box of office toys. Who knows, maybe you'll impress your boss so much, you'll get further in your career (we make no guarantees).

Instead of a dozen donuts
Bring Toys Not Donuts
Image Credit: Emran Kassim
Bring some Fidget Toys Or a bunch of Stretchy Toys Or a handful of Stress Balls
Fidget Toy - Tangle Stretchy Toy - Stretchy Mice and Cheese Stress Ball - Koosh Ball

Be more playful and bring some fun and health to your office...Bring toys, not donuts!


Bill Ross
The Office Toy Guy
We make work fun!

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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