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For this episode I WAS going to introduce a new segment called the $10 Toy Store Challenge where I go into a toy store at random and try to find the most fun and wacky thing I can find for ten bucks or less! Well… it seems my plans got changed a bit because while I was out hunting for my wacky $10 toy, I came across something really special I wanted to share with you. So the $10 Toy Store Challenge is actually being split between 2 articles because I decided to focus this entry on the place I FOUND my under $10 toy while our NEXT article will be the unboxing, playing with and full review of the toy I chose.

Anyway, I’ve had another sort of challenge lately and this has been to find a mom and pop toy store that actually a toy store instead of shop for comics and collectibles. No offense to comic and collectible shops. But it seems that real honest-to-goodness toy stores are getting harder and harder to come by these days. But alas, I DID find one in Brentwood, Tennessee! BRILLIANT SKY TOYS AND BOOKS!

As I enter the store, the first thing that strikes me is that it has this great feeling of imagination and creativity to everything, sort of like those Sharper Image stores from the 90’s and 2000’s except for kids. I found an Icee making kit, a football you throw against a wall that bounces back to you in case you’re like me and have no friends, a variety of inflatable play forts which can never be better than taping old furniture boxes together but still awesome, Birdie Golf combining the two best old-people sports – golf and badminton, dinosaurs, all the best kids books like Dog Man and Bedtime for Batman, all sorts of soap carving kits (I never knew that was a thing, but then I don’t really bathe much) and a large collection of most every game you can imagine. This place is really something!

After playing around for a while, I finally got to the main reason for my being there… The Ten Dollar Toy Store Challenge which is where I go into a toy store at random and see what’s the most fun thing I can find for ten bucks or less. I buy it, take it home, unbox it, try it out and let you know what I think (this will be my next episode, btw.) But for now, I’ll at least reveal the 3 contenders for the challenge and the toy I ultimately chose and purchased.

First up was the #UpsideDownChallenge Game where you put on a special pair of goggles that turns everything upside down and then you pick a card and have to either draw or carry out whatever activity is on the card while wearing the upside down goggles which could mean pouring a glass of water and perhaps mowing your lawn. Safety first, kids!

Secondly was Curve Bowl which is a bowling ball and bowling pin set (a single bowling pin) with a twist. The ball curves as you release it and your challenge is to try and knock down the bowling pin with a ball that’s impossible to throw straight, which would actually be regular bowling for me.

And last but not least, we come to HANK’S TWISTED CHALLENGE which is where you and some friends all hold squiggly wires in your mouths with the help of some special sanitary mouthpieces and then try to manuever small bead balls down the wires all the way to the end by twisting and contorting your body and without using your hands.

I noticed that the box for Hank’s Twisted Challenge has a cartoon picture of a lady on it playing the game and the picture looks very similar to my wife’s cartoon facebook avatar so being the shallow person I am, that’s the toy I chose.

On my way out, I pass a rack of glittery stuffed plush snakes because you know… WHAT KID DOESN’T WANT TO SLEEP WITH A GIANT SNAKE!? Next thing I know I’m being drawn into the pit and consumed by cuddly vipers. But alas I did call upon my Dandy Fun House super powers and gallantly fought my way free.

And so ends my amazing visit to Brilliant Sky Toys and Books in beautiful Brentwood, Tennessee! I got to leave with my toy store treasure for under ten dollars, Hank’s Twisted Challenge which we’ll unbox, play with and review on the next episode of the Dandy Fun House, so be sure to come back for that, I promise it will be a twisted, contorted mess of a good time!

If you happen to find yourself in Brentwood, Tennessee and wish to pay a visit to Brilliant Sky Toys and Books and see how much fun YOU can have in a real, honest-to-goodness mom and pop toy store, you can find them at 1705 Mallory Lane, suite 100, Brentwood, Tennessee. Or if visiting in person is simply not an option, you can explore their imaginitive world of dazzling delights online at bskytoys.com which even has a special bargain section for all you cheapskates like me.

Some honorable mentions or my personal favorites I found there were THE FLOOR IS LAVA game, Gravitrax interactive track system construction kit, The Bath Scrub Lab where you create your own bath salts and scrubs while learning chemistry, Easy Rollerz Heel Wheels which turn any pair of shoes into roller skates instantly sending anyone my age or older straight to the hospital and last but certainly not least The Gumball Machine Maker where you get to build your own stunt-performing gumball machine

There’s even a section of staff picks where the employees of Big Sky have chosen all THEIR favorites to recommend to You!

Be sure to visit again soon because next episode we’ll be playing Hank’s Twisted Challenge!

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neil dandy Neil Dandy is the creator of The Dandy Fun House and the alter-ego of Neil Smith, the Big Cheese at Neil Smith Entertainment and Productions, musician, DJ, Emcee and author. Aren’t you impressed?