Tag Archives: Stim Toy Box

Stim Toy Review: Galaxy Apple


Image Description: a clear plastic-bag with a red-outline around the bag. Up the top of the bag are Japanese hiragana, the word ringo (which translates to apple), underneath the hiragana symbols is the English word “APPLE”. Inside the plastic bag, a large apple with a spectrum of colour, it ranges from dark-blue at the bottom, blue and light-blue in the middle. There are specs of white dotted randomly across the surface of the apple.


Image Description: a large apple with a spectrum of colour, it ranges from dark-blue at the top, blue and light-blue in the middle, with purple down the bottom. There are specs of white dotted randomly across the surface of the apple.


Image Description: a large apple with a spectrum of colour, it ranges from dark-blue at the bottom, blue and light-blue in the middle, with purple up the top with black squishable stem. There are specs of white dotted randomly across the surface of the apple.

Item: Areedy Galaxy Apple

Category: Review/Feedback

Cost: US $7.45 (Approx. AU $9.49) each (Shipping Fees: AU $0.00)

Date of Purchase: 17/09/2017

Date of Delivery: 27/09/2017

Store: eBay

Store Location: China

Review:
Kim was researching for a replacement Apple Squishy, combined with the popularity of Galaxy-themed stim toys, they recommended this one to me. Naturally, I had to add it to my own personal collection but I decided I should also add this to the stim toy giveaway I plan on hosting for Pushing Boundaries series.

The Galaxy Apple is 10cm, it belongs on the larger end of the scale of my Squishy Collection, I’ve included a picture of my favourite pale-pink strawberry squishy to act as a visual-guide for size-scale:

Image Description: a pale-pink squishable strawberry sitting next to a large apple with a spectrum of colour, it ranges from dark-blue at the bottom, blue and light-blue in the middle, with purple up the top with black squishable stem. There are specs of white dotted randomly across the surface of the apple.

The Galaxy Apple is very soft and squishable, and when it’s squished, it’s slow rising. The skin is shinny and scented, but the scent isn’t particularly strong (or at least not by my standards). I have to hold the apple up to my face to smell it. I’m certain that the scent will fade away when given the proper airing time. There’s a picture below of what the apple looks like when crushed inside a fist.

Image Description: a pale hand crushing a large apple with a spectrum of colour, it ranges from dark-blue at the bottom, blue and light-blue in the middle, with purple up the top with black squishable stem. There are specs of white dotted randomly across the surface of the apple.
I was concerned that the “shiny” paint might come off on my hand when I crushed it, but this was unfounded, no paint has come off or faded since I’ve obtained the apple and began playing with it.

In conclusion, while I do have penchant for large type of squishable stim toy, I really enjoy the Galaxy Apple. The colours are lovely, but I think it’s the softness of the apple that confirms it as an excellent choice (my squishable colossal peach is firmer by comparison).

Stim Toy Review: Knock-Off Fuzzy Tangle Jr

Image Description: a rose-pink Fuzzy Tangle Jr curled up on top of a couch cushion, which is navy blue with gold-coloured fleur-de-lis pattern printed on it.

Image Description: a rose-pink Fuzzy Tangle Jr expanded to resemble a circle, lying flat on top of a couch cushion, which is navy blue with gold-coloured fleur-de-lis pattern printed on it.

Item: Knock-Off Fuzzy Tangle Jr  – Rose Pink

Category: Review/Feedback

Cost: US $2.49 (Shipping Fees: US $0.00) = US $2.49 or AU $3.25 (at the time of conversion)

Date of Purchase: 01/08/2017

Date of Delivery: 17/08/2017

Store: eBay

Store Location: Hong Kong

Review:
I was so excited when I when I opened the package (which contained a small amount of bubble wrap on the inside of the packaging) and began playing with it immediately. For half an hour, I repeated the phrase “It’s Fuzzy!” over and over again, which (given its name) should not have come as a surprise, but hey. I insisted that my partner (who normally has no interest in Stim Toys) feel the Fuzz for himself, naturally he approves.

I completely underestimated just how good the fuzzy flocking on the Fuzzy Tangle Jr would feel, for Fuzzy Factor alone, I would totally recommend. I also got the rose-pink coloured one, which was the one I wanted, so I’m super happy with that. There was a small problem, I think the links might be a little looser than what I’m used to, but I’m willing to put up with that in exchange for a cheap knock-off Fuzzy Tangle. Must obtain more in various colours.

Links:
~Stim Toy Box: Knock-Off Fuzzy Tangle Jr Collection

Stim Toy Review: Artist’s Collection Knock Off Tangle Jr.

Image Description: a picture of a Tangle JR all coiled up on a flat wooden surface. The Tangle JR has a hexagon pattern all over it, and the hexagons are coloured in a rainbow spectrum on one side (red-orange-yellow-blue-green and then a small selection of grey hexagons).

Image Description: a picture of a Tangle JR all coiled up on a flat wooden surface. This picture details the reverse side of the Tangle JR, which is mostly light-grey and dark-grey coloured hexagons, with a few red and orange coloured hexagons in the top-right corner of the Tangle JR.

Image Description: a picture of a Tangle JR uncoiled so it forms a circle on a flat wooden surface, there is a spectrum of rainbow-coloured hexagons visible.

Image Description: a picture of a Tangle JR uncoiled so it forms a circle on a flat wooden surface (the reverse side of the previous picture), there is a spectrum of rainbow-coloured hexagons visible, but the colours appear to be muted or faded.

Item: Artist’s Collection Knock Off Tangle JR – Rainbow Honeycomb Print

Category: Review/Feedback

Cost: 2 X US $1.19 each (Shipping Fees: US $1.18) = US $3.56 or AU $4.66 (at time of conversion)

Date of Purchase: 21/07/2017

Date of Delivery: 08/08/2017

Store: eBay

Store Location: Singapore

Review:
While, on the surface, this Tangle Jr. is aesthetically pleasing (I do like the rainbow-spectrum of hexagons), I was hoping to get the Galactic Print Tangle Jr. instead (it’s so pretty). I know this will sound petty, but I truly dislike the random selection option, even if the Tangle Jr. is considerably cheaper than normal.

With regards to the colour design, I have noticed that on the reverse side of the Tangle Jr., the design print has faded significantly, it almost resembles a white ring and I can use this white ring to match up the individual pieces of the Tangle Jr. I know it’s a small flaw, and it should be expected with the knock-off variety of Tangle Jr., but it irritates me.

The links of the Tangle Jr. are stiffer than normal, especially in comparison to my Tangle Jr. Classic, however, while I don’t mind stiffer links, but this might be something of consideration for others. The packaging was pretty minimal (Banggood-style) but everything arrived in one piece.

All in all, if you need a Tangle Jr. that is aesthetically pleasing and cheap in price, this is a good starting point

Stim Accessories: Gloves

Image Description: a photo of a headless-torso with arms, presumably a person, wearing a red and black checkered long-sleeve shirt, with charcoal-grey vest and brass coloured buttons. The primary focus of the photo is of the hands, the heavily tattooed hands and fingers are displayed with unique style ring on every finger and the thumbs of each hand hooked into the pockets on either side of the vest. Around both wrists are chrome-coloured bracelets, the left wrist has a thick-chain-link style bracelet, and the right wrist has a thick chrome-coloured band with a black intricate pattern engraved into the band.

There are some items that, while being undeniably stimulating, do not come under the category of Stim Toys. Items like, Mermaid Sequin cushions, gloves, hats, and certain types of fluffy blankets can all be great for stimming, but it’s not practical to carry around a large cushion like this:
Image Description: a large square cushion from KMart with Mermaid Sequins, the sequins display one side white and the other side silver when you brush them in a different direction. The current picture displays a smiley face with silver patches of silver sequins with the white sequins acting as a contrast.

Personally, I’ve only just recently recognised my need for pressure stimming, which explains I enjoy wearing a hoard of telephone-cord hair-ties around my wrists or a snug/form-fitting t-shirt or tight camisole with a large jumper/hoodie over the top. It has also explained my adolescent obsession with finger-less gloves, something I have begun to revisit with the added bonus of colour co-ordination.

Image Description: a pair of elbow-length finger-less gloves in grey, attached to a piece of cardboard shaped like an arm.

I bought this pair, and an identical pair of gloves like these in black (pictures below), for work. I bought them from Daiso on Flinders Street for AU $2.80 each. Pictures of the black gloves with my telephone-cord hair-ties and other accessories are below:

Image Description: a pale skinned hand wearing a black finger-less glove. Around the wrist section of the glove are two red opaque telephone-cord hair-ties and pony-bead bracelet comprising four rows of multi-coloured pony-beads.

Image Description: a pale skinned hand wearing a black finger-less glove. Around the wrist section of the glove are three transparent telephone-cord hair-ties, the first one is transparent yellow, transparent orange, and transparent pink. Below the transparent telephone-cord hair-ties, is a blue-pink-purple Smiggle snap-bracelet with rubber spikes.

I was in Big W at Watergardens Shopping Centre and was looking at the party supply section, which is this enormous wall of hanging items for hosting a party (just in case that wasn’t obvious). All the items are divided into colour coordinated sections, like say you’re doing a birthday party for someone and their favourite colour is green, BAM! All the green stuff is in the one section. I noticed in the party supply section, they had fish-net finger-less gloves for AU $4.50. I bought a pink and blue pair, but there were more colours available, the pictures are below:

Image Description: a plastic-bag with a pink cardboard tag up the top of the plastic bag, with

Image Description: Image Description: a pale skinned hand wearing a blue fish-net style glove. Around the wrist section of the glove are two light-blue opaque telephone-cord hair-ties and pony-bead bracelet comprising four rows of multi-coloured pony-beads.

Image Description: a pale skinned hand wearing a blue fish-net style glove. Around the wrist section of the glove are three transparent telephone-cord hair-ties, the first one is transparent yellow, transparent orange, and transparent pink. Below the transparent telephone-cord hair-ties, is a blue-pink-purple Smiggle snap-bracelet with rubber spikes.

Now, I’ve had these gloves for ages, and while it may not be obvious in the picture, they’re elbow-length lace gloves (picture below). Out of all the gloves I have, these are the ones I enjoy wearing the most, despite the fact that they are mostly impractical for doing anything.
Image Description: a pale hand encased in a glove made out of black lace with small black flowers (made out of black-lace) scattered along the glove.
As these were given to me as a birthday gift so I don’t know how much they cost, but they are probably more expensive than the other gloves mentioned, however, if you’re itching to find a pair (I mean, why wouldn’t you want a pair? Am I right?), you might be able to find them in those small stores that sell socks, stockings and tights.

So, do you enjoy pressure stimming? Do you have a wide variety of socks and gloves in unusual colours? Do you have a fashion accessory you always like to wear before you leave the house? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂

Links:
~Stim Toy Box: Mermaid Sequin Cushion
~Stim Toy Box: White/Silver Mermaid Sequin Pillow
~Stim Toy Box: Typo Black/Blue-Green Mermaid Sequin Cases
~Stim Toy Box: Mermaid Sequin Storage Cube
~Stim Toy Box: Funky Monkey – Original Fidget

Stim Toy Review: Stretchy Squish Balls

Image Description: A wooden surface is in the background, in the foreground is a pale-white hand holding a thick dark-green rubber wrist band with

Image Description: from left to right, a pink ball in a clear plastic bag inside a white mesh bag with the cardboard label reading “hi-bounce stretch ball” in blue, pink and green writing, next to the pink ball is a green ball in a clear plastic bag inside a white mesh bag with the cardboard label reading “hi-bounce stretch ball” in blue, pink and green writing. Both of them are resting on top of a wooden surface.

Item: Stretchy Squish Balls

Category: Review/Feedback

Cost: US $1.80 x 2 = US $3.60 (Shipping Fees: US $8.80) = US $12.40 or (at time of conversion) AU $16.52

Date of Purchase: 17/07/2017

Date of Delivery: 29/07/2017

Store: Stimtastic (currently sold out)

Store Location: USA – online

Review:
I enjoy bouncy balls, I have a large glass-jar of them sitting on my desk, they are an interest of mine that has continued to follow me into Adulthood (whatever that is), however, there is a weakness with them. As I’m terrible with hand-to-eye co-ordination, and bouncy balls tend to be on the small side, two combined factors makes them easier to lose. Thus in my adult-ish wisdom of trial and error, I have begun pursuing larger bouncy balls, they’re easier for me to catch and easier to find.

The thing is, these balls are more squishy then bouncy, the squish-factor is awesome, you can squish the ball completely flat and then make it round again. To be honest, I would highly recommend this stim toy on squish-factor alone, however, the tag does say “hi-bounce”. The bouncy factor is good but I wouldn’t consider it high bouncy, I tested it out on my kitchen floor, and while I did have to throw it hard, it bounced adequately. I’d be more concerned about the ball collecting dust and other stuff, which is what happened with my ball when I tested it (although it’s easy to clean off so *shrug*).

All in all, happy to recommend to pretty much anyone, there’s a reason these items quickly sell-out on Stimtastic.

Links:
~Stim Toy Box: Stimtastic Stretchy Squish Ball VS Lincraft Emoji Squish Ball.

PSA For Indie Authors – Part 1: Questions

Image Description: a picture of a wooden table with (from left to right in a clock-wise circle) a piece of paper, a pair of thick-framed black glasses, a pine cone, a dusty green-leather bound book, a green vintage type-writer, an open blank notebook, a wooden stick, a small tan-coloured rectangle with black writing on it and an empty glass ink-well.

I don’t get a lot of contact from Indie Authors asking for help, however, I’ve recently been contacted by two very different Indie Authors requesting assistance with promoting their novel, while I don’t what to name the Indie Author involved, because this isn’t about shaming people for asking for help (even if they ask for help in the wrong way), however, I thought it might be prudent to write a blog-post about what they did wrong and how they should have done things differently and, perhaps, this post might help other Indie Authors from making the same mistakes.

I think the first thing to do, as an Indie Author engaging in Social Media Marketing, is perform some self-assessment and ask yourself the following questions:

How much do you know about Marketing and Self-Promotion?
Is this something you don’t know a lot about? Or have you done a lot of research? Perhaps try rating yourself from Newbie, Intermediate to Advanced. Knowing how much help you need is crucial and research is the key. You could watch some YouTube Videos or read some articles on Marketing For Writers, for example: Jenna Moreaci has a great video “Marketing Basics for Writers” (I highly recommend her channel) and Joanna Penn @ The Creative Penn has some great articles on Marketing For Writers (this is just a starting point, there’s heaps more information out there).

What kind of promotion are you interested in?
What is your overall objective? Do you want to get more Book Reviews for your novel on Amazon, Kobo or Miscellaneous Brand X Book Selling Platform? Or do you want more subscribers on your blog? I’m not saying you have to pick only one goal, you can have as many goals as you like, but you need to know what they are.

I recommend writing down all your marketing goals, just do a full brain-storming or mind-dump session and get it all out of your head and onto paper. If the problem is that you don’t know what your goals are or where to begin, and it’s okay if you don’t know what your goals are just yet, write that down too.

What kind of Social Media Platform are you interested in?
While this does go back to the question of, “how much do you know?” and “what type of learner are you?”. Are you a visual-learner or more of a text based-learner? Do you learn better by yourself or in a one-on-one type situation? Or do you learn better in a class/group situation? Some writers are visual learners and like to use Pinterest to make storyboards for their novels and share them.

I have mixed results with visual learning, I find Pinterest too distracting and it doesn’t work for me as a writing tool. I tend to work better with text based-learning which is why I’m more productive on WordPress and Tumblr, although (in my opinion) Tumblr isn’t great with large amounts of text, I’d honestly consider Tumblr to be more visual-orientated (your mileage may vary).

How familiar are you with social media platforms?
Do you already have a Blogger blog or a WordPress blog? Are you already active on Facebook or Twitter? What types of Media Content are you most comfortable with? What types of Media Content are you willing to research? How much instruction will you need? My friend Kim runs a Tumblr-Blog about reviewing Stim Toys, it’s very popular and Kim was eventually asked “How does one go about setting up a Stim Toy blog?”, here’s a link to the article:

~Stim Toy Box: An Essay on Blogging

As someone who puts little to no thought into how to go about setting up a blog or any other social media platform, I think it’s a great article (in fact I printed out a copy), I’m not saying you have to do all the things Kim suggests (do what works best for you), you don’t have set-up a review-style blog if you don’t want to, but Kim asks some good questions and it’s a great checklist to work from.

I also want to point out that, when I first started out as a Writer on social media, I tried to do ALL THE THINGS (as you do) but it took me longer than it should have to figure out that it wasn’t making me happy and I wasn’t getting enough in exchange to justify it.

Now, I’m regularly active on Twitter and Tumblr, I try to update my WordPress blog at least once a week, and that’s working okay thus far (it could be better but I’m trying to lower my expectations due to currently dealing with mental health problems *shrug*).

What kind of limitations do you have?
It’s important to know what it is you can do, it’s even more important to know what you can’t do, figuring out your limitations is super important. It’s all well and good to want to set up a YouTube Channel but that’s difficult to maintain if you have no experience or knowledge of how to make videos. YouTube is one of those complicated social media platforms, everyone does it so it’s common, but common and simple to use are not the same thing.

YouTube channels that started in the beginning of YouTube might not exist now or be successful ventures now because it’s been done before. I’m not saying people shouldn’t make videos on YouTube, I’m just recommending realistic expectations. Like, what’s your budget for recording equipment? What about editing software? Sometimes figuring out what you can’t do or don’t know is easier to figure out than what you can do.

And the most important question of all

How much time do you have available to promote your brand as a writer and to promote your novel/project?
Do you have a partner, children and other family obligations? Do you have a day-job? Do you have mental health problems like I do? Mental Health problems can seriously impact your ability to consistently create good quality content. The same can be said for physical health problems. Time is your most valuable resource and there is simply a finite number of hours in a day.

I’m afraid I tend to squander mine a lot due to procrastination and lack of focus and it’s sort of gotten to a point where I don’t think I can fix this problem and some days I ask myself why I even bother, and let me tell you, it’s a shitty mindscape to be in.

I’m not saying this to put you off writing, or perhaps bitch about my personal problems, I merely wish to convey that writing is something you have to make time for, it’s something you have to actively organise (it’s not just “going to happen” – trust me on this), it’s something you have to want above a lot of other seemingly important things.

This is because people are never going to stop making demands of your time and, with a few exceptions, most people aren’t going to respect or value your time unless you make them and establish boundaries on what you will and will not dedicate your time to.

I also mention my mental health problems because, for better or worse, creative people tend be associated with mental health problems and pretending that this is a problem that will never occur to you or someone you know isn’t going to help you.

I loath the idea of romanticising mental illness in association with the creative arts but the fact remains that Denial and Fear of the thing is more powerful than the thing itself. Acknowledging that this is a thing that might affect you or someone you know in your Art/Writing community is important.

I know this might seem ramble-like or irrelevant, but writers with mental health problems or physical health problems need to take the time to recover and a person’s recovery, health, and well-being is the higher priority.

I don’t care if you have to push back the release of your book, and I don’t care if you have to shut down your blog for an indeterminate amount of time, because your recovery, health, and well-being is the higher priority.

I still struggle with this myself on regular basis, I resent the fact that this short blog-post has taken me two days to write, but I have to accept it and let it go. I have to accept and resign myself to the fact that I will never be able to learn at the same speed other people do and projects are going to take longer for me to complete.

So, do readers have any tips or suggestions on marketing for writers? Perhaps recommend some online communities for writers? Let me know in the comment section below.

~Links:
~The Creative Penn: Tools And Resources For Authors And Writers
~The Creative Penn: Marketing Your Book
~DuoLit: 105 Author Blog Prompts: Banish Your Blank Blog!
~DuoLit: Free Writing & Self-Publishing Tools

Stim Toy Review: Glow In The Dark Tangle


Image Description: a Glow In The Dark Tangle made of transparent yellow plastic loosely coiled up together on top of a purple sleeping bag.
Image Description: a Glow In The Dark Tangle made of transparent yellow plastic spread out so that it takes the form of a small slightly lopsided circle.

Item: Glow In The Dark Tangle

Category: Review/Feedback

Cost: GBP $1.88 or AU $3.41 (Price includes Shipping Fees)

Date of Purchase: 29/04/2017

Date of Delivery: 23/05/2017

Store: Ebay UK

My Location: Australia

Review – My Problems with the GITD Tangle:
~Problem 1: While I don’t expect the Tangle to glow neon-bright, the Glow In The Dark element (in my opinion) is unacceptably weak, and it only became acceptably bright when I put the Tangle directly on top of a Lamp and left it there for a couple of hours (this is because I forgot about it and, as a safety precaution, I don’t recommend people do this). Due to the weakness of the glow, I was also unable to take photographs of as well, so this could be purely a subjective thing and I’m sorry I can’t provide more information on this.

~Problem 2: As you might be able to guess from the picture up the top, the Tangle links are very loose, in fact, the tangle is so loosey-goosey that the moment I coil it up and put it down, it starts unravelling. As I have a personal preference for stiffer or tighter Tangles, this may just be a problem for me, but I felt I should mention it.

~Problem 3: The tangle itself feels greasy and I find this really off putting. I feel as though I would be willing to tolerate the loose links and sub-par glowing, but I truly dislike the greasy/oily coating on the tangle, which makes me want to wash my hands straight after I handle it or avoid handling it altogether (which sort of defeats the purpose of purchasing the item).

All in all, I honestly can’t recommend this particular Tangle, however, it cost less than AU $5, so I’m guessing that this simply an occupational risk of purchasing from the cheaper end of the Stim Toy Spectrum.

Links:
~Stim Toy Box: Glow In The Dark Tangles by Mod Rainbow
~Stim Toy Box: Glow In The Dark Tangles by Mod K.A.
~Eldritch Esoterica: GITD Tangle Response

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