Vote for the Next Action Figure

In our quest for turning our real-life heroes into action figures, we’ve turned it over to you to help us decide who we should make next. Take a moment to read about each of these fearless women and let your voices be heard on who you want.

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Junko-Tabei (1)

“I can’t understand why men make all this fuss about Everest– It’s only a mountain.” 

September 22, 1939 – October 20, 2016 | Japan

Junko Tabei was the first woman to climb Mt. Everest and the first woman to ascend all Seven Summits. She relentlessly pursued climbing despite perceived frail health, modest finances, and sexism with her male counterparts. The women in her Japanese Women’s Everest Expedition had to stitch together much of their own equipment for the journey due to lack of sponsorships while also balancing jobs and motherhood in order to make the history-making journey. Following her mountaineering adventures, Tabei devoted her life to ecological efforts focused on preserving mountain environments.

 

Berta-Isabel-Cáceres (2)

“They are afraid of us because we are not afraid of them.”

March 4, 1971 – March 3, 2016 | Honduras

Berta Isabel Cáceres was an environmental and indigenous rights activist who worked towards defending the land and rights of the Lenca people. Caceres co-founded the Civic Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) to unite and support indigenous groups against corrupt government and the destruction of indigenous land. She was best known for organizing the campaign to stop the construction of the Agua Zarca dam in Río Gualcarque for which she was assassinated for in 2016.

 

Grace-Hopper (1)

“Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, “We’ve always done it this way.” I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”

December 9th, 1906 – January 1st, 1992 | United States

Grace Hopper was a pioneering computer scientist and a US Navy rear admiral, known for her impact on modern computer programming languages of today. She invented the first compiler for computer programming languages, which replaced obtuse mathematical symbols into ordinary English words to make programming more accessible. Her work led to the development of COBOL and has impacted the core philosophy behind the creation of subsequent programming languages. In addition, Hopper served in the Navy during World War II as a part of an all-female division called Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES), which placed women in fields beyond nursing. It was during this time that Hopper discovered her love for programming after previously striking a career as a mathematics professor.

 

Tawakkol-Karman (2)

“I think if I can be in the street with the people I can achieve more than if I am the president.”

February 7, 1979 | Yemen

Tawakkol Karman is the first Yemeni and the first Arab woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, for which she earned through her work for women’s rights. While working as a journalist in Yemen, Karman vocally protested for press freedom and organized weekly protests calling for reform. She is the co-founder and leader of Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC), a human rights group that promotes the rights for freedom of opinion and expression, and democratic rights.

 

Billie-Jean-King (1)

“When you oppress people either by gender, by race, by sexual orientation, when you do that and the doors become ajar, they will fly open and they will come, and they have.”

November 22, 1943 | United States

Billie Jean King is regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players of all time with 39 Grand Slam titles. She cemented that title when she won the Battle of the Sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs, who had declared female players as inferior. King is also one of the first professional female athletes to come out as a lesbian when she was forcibly outed in 1981, which led to losing all of her endorsements overnight. Since then, King has become an advocate for LGBT rights, gender equality, and social justice.

 

Yayoi-Kusama (2)

“Every time I have had a problem, I have confronted it with the ax of art.”

March 22, 1929 | Japan

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese multi-medium, avant-garde, contemporary artist. As one of the most influential female artists, her work has impacted pop, minimalist, and feminist art movements. Her success did not come without conflict: she defied her family who did not support her artistic ambitions and has openly (and candidly) dealt with mental health disorders. She is known for her Infinity Rooms, her love for polka dots, and exquisite works of art encapsulated in everything from performance to installations.

 

Wangari-Maathai (2)

“When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and seeds of hope.”

April 1, 1940 – September 25, 2011 | Kenya

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement, a grassroots, indigenous organization focused on environmental conservation and community development that trains women in forestry, bee-keeping, and other trades. Her work uniquely bridged environmental conservation, women’s rights, poverty, and democracy. Maathai was the first Eastern African woman to receive a Ph.D., and the first African woman and environmentalist to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in sustainable development, democracy, and peace.

 

Miss-Major (1)

“When I see younger girls out shopping in the daytime in their attire, it fills my heart with so much pride. Our visibility is marvelous. Who knew it would turn out like this?”

October 25, 1940 | United States

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a transgender rights activist, known for her actions during the Stonewall Riots and community organizing for trans women, particularly for trans women of color. During the AIDS epidemic in San Francisco, Miss Major organized community efforts to provide services and care for those affected. Miss Major is a vocal critic of the prison-industrial complex as well as the exclusion of transgender persons in mainstream society. She is currently the Executive Direct for the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project, which supports incarcerated transgender persons.

 

Wilma-Mankiller (1)

“The most fulfilled people are the ones who get up every morning and stand for something larger than themselves.”

November 18, 1945 – April 4, 2010 | United States

Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation who oversaw a rejuvenation of the Cherokee community through her focus on economic development and health. Born in Oklahoma, she was raised in California when her family moved there as a part of government relocation programs for Cherokee people. Experiencing the Civil Rights Movements led to her progressive and revolutionary passion for revitalizing the Cherokee Nation. She faced rampant sexism from existing Cherokee leadership but was determined to better her community and prove to young Cherokee girls that they could achieve the seemingly impossible. Mankiller was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

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8 Tips To Help You Plan For NYNOW

Trade shows are exciting but overwhelming. We’ve put together some helpful tips to keep you on point the next time you’re attending one.

The bright lights, the constant buzz of crowds, and the array of flashy products can be intimidating when you first step into a trade show. It’s easy to get lost in the mayhem, which can mean costly, disorganized orders or inefficient uses of your time. Make the most of your attendance at the next trade show by going in prepared and with a plan of action.

This year Lucas, who has gone to over 30 trade shows during his two years as a buyer, offers some helpful new suggestions for approaching your next show.

1. Do your homework

Do a careful review of your sales and inventory reports to know what your budget is and which products to prioritize. Make sure you are covering your basic, fundamental bestsellers by assuring that there is room in the budget for them. On the flipside, be on the lookout for the latest trends and have space in your budget to accommodate them. Try to gauge what your customers are looking for by surveying loyal customers or gleaning information from the workers who are manning the register at peak hours (like the weekend). They may have noticed something about the popularity of a product that you may have missed.

Lucas is a big fan of using social media to find current and upcoming trends. Instagram and Pinterest are great platforms to get a feel for what’s trending. For example, search for a handful of keywords relevant to your store’s interests on Pinterest to see popular motifs and themes. Popular trends are constantly cycled through as users tag and like new content that pop up on these platforms.

In addition, post pictures of new products on your store’s own social media pages to see if they generate any demand from your customers. Snap a picture at the trade show and post it on Instagram or Facebook. Ask your followers if they would love to see it in your store. You’ll find out interest before you even have it in your store. This is also a great way to engage with your local customers and foster that online social media presence. 

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Some trending items on Pinterest using “novelty” as a keyword.

3. Get to know your vendors

Most vendors at NYNOW are striving to provide exceptional customer service to impress old and new customers alike. Return the great customer service by being your own ideal customer. Be patient and friendly to the vendors working the booth. Even if the person you’re talking to is a temp hired by the vendor, word travels easily and you do NOT want to be the buyer with the bad rep.

Striking up a solid, amiable relationship with your vendors will do wonders for your future orders. If a vendor views you as a great, easy customer to deal with then they’ll want to work harder to accommodate your needs. Having that strong rapport between yourself and your vendor could mean getting some special treatment whether it’s the first to hear about upcoming products or specials. 

Time is precious during a busy trade show with a packed schedule, but that never excuses you from being rude or inconsiderate. Remember that how you treat your vendors could impact your future business relations with them and vice versa. 

4. Take notes from the vendor.

Vendors spend countless hours designing and planning the layout of their booth and product displays. Take a clue from them when you’re buying new products to sell them at their full potential back at your store. The product display grabbed your attention and won you over for a reason. Taking back only a fragment of how the product was displayed will lessen the impact it has on your customers.

For example, say you come across a product with a wide range of colors that are displayed in a captivating way at the vendor’s booth. Choosing to only buy one color from the range will cut down on the power of seeing the whole range displayed together. There is power in seeing the whole ensemble together instead of the single soldier so try to throw a wide net. Make your customers fall in love with the product by taking a lesson from the vendor and mimicking the ways that they sell their products.

Ask the vendors if you can take pictures. Most will gladly allow it. Use it as inspiration when you bring these products into your store for the best way to display them. Why spend time figuring it out when someone’s already done that for you? In addition, it’ll make a great teaser to throw onto social media to get your fans excited for future products.

5. Have the right stuff

  • Print Your Store Details on Stickers or Stamps

Don’t waste time having to write or dictate your information each time. Get your shipping address, store phone number, and email consolidated on a handy label, business card, or stamp. Label paper is available at office supply stores and there are plenty of free templates online for custom sticker labels. Self-inking stamps are a perfect alternative to labels and business cards if you don’t want to fumble around your bag looking for loose scraps of paper.

Lucas loves to keep business cards in the plastic sleeve that most trade shows give out.

Self-inking stamps are a long-lasting alternative to business cards.
Self-inking stamps are a long-lasting alternative to business cards.
  • Payment Info

Make the most of your and your vendor’s precious time by having your payment information squared away. If you plan on getting terms for your order then make sure you have all of your documents prepared to make the process easy for everyone involved.

  • Rolling Bag

Save your shoulders and your back with a rolling bag to lug around all your new catalogs and samples. Lugging a bag on your shoulder will add up by the end of Day 3, especially if you’ve been walking all day. 

  • Snacks

It’s going to be a long few days so bring your own snacks and a reusable water bottle to recharge. Save yourself from the inflated prices of water bottles and snacks at the convention center. Trust me, it adds up. 

P.S. Going to NYNOW? The immediate surrounding area of the Javits Center is a bit barren, but walk a few blocks north or east and you’ll find plenty of diverse and affordable food options.

  • Cardigan, aka dress in layers

Old man Lucas loves wearing cardigans with big pockets to trade shows to keep all of his essentials on hand. Moreover, it’s important to wear layers to the show so you can easily shed them if it gets too warm. Weather in NYC can be a tad unpredictable so with potential snow on the horizon for NYNOW ’17, be prepared to weather the cold AND the warmth of a busy convention center.

* If you’re checking your coat at NYNOW, take a picture of your coat check tag on your phone! It’s good insurance in case you lose your tag and you’re scrambling to find it with a long line of cranky people behind you.

6. Network horizontally

It’s not what it sounds like! Horizontal networking is a fancy way of saying “talk to your peers”. Strike up a conversation with buyers from other stores. See if you can find stores that target a similar demographic as you. Learn what products are doing well at their store and how they’re selling them. Perhaps you’ll find your next bestseller by word-of-mouth.

7. Buy according to the 80/20 rule

Before you leave, walk around your store with the 80/20 rule in mind. The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, says that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your efforts. In sales, think of it as 20% of products will represent 80% of your revenue. Figure out which products are most likely to be in your 20% and try to allocate 80% of your trade show budget for those items. Use the remaining 20% to test items you’re less sure about.

Apply this concept to your inventory as well. Consider that 20% of your inventory is driving 80% of the sales at your store. What are these bestsellers? Do these products have anything in common? Understand the underlying theme of the items boosting your sales and plan to expand on that.

8. Give it time

Don’t rush into decisions, but keep yourself on pace. You don’t want to rush through the whole show and miss some unseen, hidden gem. 

When approaching huge vendors with a large, intensive catalog, plan to allocate some time later so that you’re not wasting your entire day looking through everything at their booth. Take the catalog back to your room that night and give yourself time to pick through the catalog. Lucas often did this with catalogs involving books, a product that involves some more intensive reviewing than other items.  

According to NYNOW’s survey of the Winter 2016 NYNOW Market, almost 80% of buyers planned on placing their orders after the trade show. Absorb as much information as you need to while you’re at the booth, but always take back some homework to review potential products at your own pace when the show is over. With so many vendors and products, it’ll be easy to forget the unique characteristics of each product so make sure you’re taking notes! Mark up catalogs at the end of the day with general impressions that you had with the product when interacting with it in general.

 

The amount of work that needs to be done during a trade show can be intimidating, but take it step by step. Planning ahead to optimize your trade show experience will prove to be invaluable as you plan for the fast approaching holiday season. Make it easier for yourself by ensuring that you’re well-prepared before entering the bustling frenzy of your next trade show.

If you’re attending NYNOW Winter 2017, stop by and say hello! FCTRY will be at Booth #7838!

Stop by and say “I can’t live without Unicorn Snot” to get $5 off your order at NYNOW.
It only works if you say it in person.  🙂


10 Cool, New Bedtime Stories of 2016

Refresh your collection of bedtime stories with our top 10 favorite children books of 2016.

Bedtime is a precious time for nurturing the bond between you and your child. There are invaluable benefits of reading with your kid each night. You can always rely on the classic favorites like Where the Wild Things Are or Goodnight Moon for a nighttime read, but if you’re looking for some fresh reading material for your kid then look no further. We picked our 10 favorite, cool children’s books that have been released in the last year.

The Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin

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The Littlest Family’s Big Day takes one part cute woodland creatures with one part dreamy storytelling. Featuring the same soft imagery as her last books, your children will love the beautiful illustrations of the forest that the Littlest Family explores.

I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino

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Buckle up because children’s books just got meta. I Am a Story tells a story about stories so you’ll be reading a story about stories to your kid. Yaccarino uses bright colors and a simplified style to take a look at storytelling throughout the ages and around the world. From cave wall paintings to the local library, I Am a Story briefly sweeps over the history of the story in his newest book.

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep by Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin

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Compared to the other books in this list, The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep is a dense picture book. The writing is purposeful in its lengthiness, aimed to make your kid fall asleep without the need of pulling out Tolstoy’s War and Peace with its rhythmic, soothing style.  If your little one is notorious for getting excited by their bedtime book then The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep will be perfect for relaxing them for bed.

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada

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“My problem held an opportunity. It was an opportunity for me to learn and to grow. To be brave. To do something.”

With Mae Besom’s delicate illustrations, Yamada encapsulates a great lesson for both young and old in the follow-up to his 2014 book What Do You Do With an Idea? It follows a young protagonist who encounters a problem that seems too daunting to deal with, but the way that he deals with it will inspire both you and your child for future challenges. Trust me, it’s a great lesson against procrastination and escapism.

Return by Aaron Becker

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Return
is the final book in Becker’s trilogy, telling the story of a daughter and father who go on an imaginative adventure together. The book features no text, relying on the gorgeous illustrations to convey the journey of daughter and father. With no words, this book is a great opportunity to ask your kid to narrate the story as they understand it through the imagery. Let your kid take on the role of storyteller for the night.

Penguin Problems by Jory John

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Like Yamada’s book, Penguin Problems is a story about meeting challenges and how to deal with them. Penguin Problems follows a young penguin who meets obstacles everywhere he goes, but a chance encounter with a walrus changes his outlook on life. If your kid has ever had a tantrum over a seemingly simple problem then it would be good to read this together. Let them learn the wisdom of the walrus.

If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff

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Numeroff is back with another addition to her If You Give a…. series. The Mouse is back and with a similar taste for sweets as If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Using the same circular formula, this book will surely elicit some laughter from your little one at the ridiculous heights a kid will go for his mouse friend.

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty

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Ada Twist, Scientist
is the latest book by Andrea Beaty, following in the likes of Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect. Ada Twist is a young girl with a lot of questions and the gumption to figure out the answers. Encourage your little Einsteins to question and analyze the world around them with this book about curiosity. You may be hearing “Why?” or “How?” for a few days though…

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen

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We Found a Hat
is the latest in Klassen’s books featuring animals who love hats. Klassen uses his distinctive style to illustrate the simple story of two turtles finding a hat. Do you love turtles? Do you love turtles who wear hats? You’ll like this.

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

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The last Elephant & Piggie book is a lighthearted farewell to the beloved series. The Thank You Book follows Elephant and Piggie as Piggie goes around thanking their friends. Using the familiar energy and humor of previous books, The Thank You Book is a sweet love letter to both the series and to the fans. Plus, your kid will be more than prepared for Thanksgiving after reading along with you.

Have you read any good books with your kids lately? Tell us what their favorite new book is!


How to Make Your Own Gummy Bears

Have you ever tried making the iconic gummy bear candy yourself? Gather your kids and treat everyone to something sweet!

The gummy bear has been a staple of America’s sweet tooth since its debut in 1922 and it is still going strong as everyone’s favorite candy. We love it so much that we even made an entire collection of products based around it. So we figured it was about time to try making the candy itself. What we found was that it is surprisingly easy to do it yourself! See for yourself how easy it is to make your own gummy bears at home.

Remember that making gummy bears requires a stove so make sure you are supervising the little ones during each step of the process.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
    You can replace the water with fruit juice of your choice for extra flavor
  • 1 package flavored gelatin
    Use any flavor that you prefer,
  • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
    Gelatin is not a vegetarian ingredient. For alternative use, use agar powder.

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  • Bear-shaped silicone mold
    Bear-shaped molds can easily be found at your local crafts & hobby store or online. If you do not want to buy a new bear-shaped mold then any mold made from silicone will work. It’s important that the mold is made out of silicone as the flexible material will make it easier for you to pop them out when they’re done.
  • A measuring cup with a spout or a baster.
    Use one or the other to pour the mixture into the molds. We recommend the measuring cup as it is easier to clean than the baster.

Directions

  1. Pour the 1/2 cup of cold water into a pot. Do not heat the water yet.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin. Give it a brief stir.
  3. Add the packet of flavored gelatin.
  4. Mix well. Make sure there are no clumps of gelatin in the mixture.
  5. Have your molds ready nearby with your spouted measuring cup or baster handy.Note: The next steps involve using the stove so I suggest having your kid watch you do steps 6-9 unless they are old enough to use the stove with your supervision.
  6. Turn the stove on on low to medium heat. Keep mixing gently and slowly for about 10-15 minutes while the mixture heats up. Keep the heat low enough that the mixture doesn’t simmer. The gelatin will dissolve in the heat.
  7. Ensure that the gummy bear mixture is clear and free of all clumps.
  8. Take the pot off the heat.
  9. Portion out the mixture into the molds. Fill them up all the way, but do not let them overflow. Work quickly as you need to get the mixture into the molds before they get cool and solidify.
    If you have a measuring cup with a spout: Pour the mixture into the cup then use the spout to evenly distribute into the molds.
    If you have a baster: Dip the baster into the mixture and drop into the mold. Avoid bubbles.
  10. Put your molds in the freezer for 10 minutes then move to the refrigerator for another 15-20 minutes until they are set. Test one of the gummy bears to check that it is set. If they are still warm and squishy then put them in the refrigerator for 10 more minutes.
  11. Pop them out of their molds!
  12. Eat! The gummy bears are now ready for you to enjoy.

Refrigerate the gummy bears in an airtight container. These will keep for about a week, but we would be surprised if they last that long.  You can toss them in a little bit of powdered sugar or cornstarch to keep them from sticking to each other. Skip this step if you plan on going sour!

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Photo Cred: Jorge Romero

Love sour?

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Citric acid

The sour taste comes from citric acid. When you’re ready to pop the gummy bears out of their molds then take citric acid and mix it with granulated sugar. Press each gummy into the citric acid sugar mix for a slight zing to each candy. You will still need to refrigerate these gummy bears if you don’t plan on eating them all right away.

Try making them yourself! Take some pics and show us in the comments below if you’ve tried making the iconic candy yourself.


The 15 Coolest Halloween Babies

With Halloween just around the corner, everyone is in search of the wittiest costumes to impress. Here are the 15 coolest Halloween babies to spark your ideas.

Each year is a struggle to think of the most creative Halloween costume. It can be equally as difficult thinking of something for your baby before they’ve latched onto the idea of dressing up. Take the lead of these creative and resourceful parents to make some incredible and humorous Halloween costumes for your baby. Here’s hoping that these lil costume ideas will inspire you to have the best-dressed baby this Halloween.

1. Eleven from Stranger Things

A post shared by Laura Izumikawa (@lauraiz) on

Instagram Mom Laura made her mark on the internet by dressing up her daughter, Joey, in pop culture hits. Eleven from the hit Netflix show, Stranger Things, will be the popular costume this year.

2. Prince, Purple Rain era

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Laura and Joey aren’t the only ones drawing from pop culture references. This baby captured the essence of Prince’s 1984 cult classic look. With the musician’s passing earlier this year, Prince costumes will be a popular look to commemorate the artist.

3. Presidential Babies

Political costumes are sure to be everywhere this year with such a heated and entertaining Election Year. In fact, you can be…

4. The Secret Service

Priscilla Gragg, Parents Magazine
Priscilla Gragg, Parents Magazine

…Your Presidential baby’s own Secret Service. Check out the step-by-step guide Parents Magazine made for a witty DIY costume.

5. Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars

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Now’s the time for Star Wars costumes with the new additions to the Star Wars franchise with The Force Awakens and Rogue One. Redditor macaronbaker87 sewed this baby costume from scratch, including the plush lightsaber.

6. Where’s Waldo

The classic Where’s Waldo costume is a perennial favorite. Just try not to lose your kid in the crowd.

7. The Pest

Kevin, costume-works.com
Kevin, costume-works.com

The mousetrap doubles as a wagon to wheel your kid around from door to door, avoiding the need to carry your baby. Curious to find out how Kevin did it? Kevin explains how he built the giant mousetrap for his kid.

8. The Food Baby

Everyone bemoans their food baby after a giant meal. At least now you can show it off with your favorite meal.

9. The Biker Baby

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Got a toddler-sized Harley available? Set your baby up with some sleeve tattoos, a leather jacket, and a burly mustache to top it off.

10. The Old Lady Babies

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Flip the tables and turn your baby into a senior citizen. Even better if you can get a grandparent to take them out for Halloween.

11. Clark Kent from Superman

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Already did Superman? Just grab a white button-up shirt and a pair of black glasses to re-use last year’s costume as this year’s superpowered alter ego.

12. The Skydiver

Jeff, costume-works.com
Jeff, costume-works.com

The Skydiver is a clever way to let your kid enjoy the evening without getting exhausted if they’re still too young to walk the whole night.

13. Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street

Tyler, costume-works.com
Tyler, costume-works.com

Oscar the Grouch and the Garbage Woman is another great take on the parent-baby costume. Tyler, the creator of this clever costume, explains his process for making the costume.

14. The LED Light Suit

What better costume for your toddler than a suit that lights up? Youtuber Justin Mertz created the Glowy Zoey for his then 2-year old daughter’s first walking Halloween. It became such a viral hit that Mertz started a business based on his daughter’s costume.

15. Ripley and the Power Loader from Aliens

Youtube Dad Carston Riewe took DIY to another level with his father-daughter Ripley in the Power Loader costume from Aliens. At least 80 hours of work went into creating this behemoth of a costume

Honorable Mention

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A small shout-out to our own FCTRY star, Jackson! Perhaps it’s cheating with Jackson being the son of FCTRY’s own Jason and Alyssa, but hey, who can say no to a face like that?

Can you beat any of the witty costumes above?
Share what you or your kids are doing this year for Halloween!


Bernie’s Birthday Ice Cream Party!

75 years ago today, Bernard “Bernie” Sanders was born in Brooklyn, NY. In celebration of his birthday, we’ve picked 5 winners to receive a year of Ben & Jerry’s.

On July 25th, we launched the #MyBernie Instagram Contest after shipping out over 25,000 Bernie Sanders Action Figures. To be honest, we expected a year of ice cream to be a popular prize, but we never expected to receive so many amazing submissions. People took their Bernie Action Figure everywhere, from the DNC to their summer vacations. Alas, we could only choose 5 people to win from over 1,700 entries featuring the Bernie Action Figure on Instagram.

Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from #MyBernie.

Bernie proved to be a great ambassador.

Bernie’s adventures around the world had him building relations of all kinds. He campaigned with the Democatic Party, brought together citizens of every background, and negotiated for peace between antagonistic parties.

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Bernie advocated for the environment.

Besides Bernie’s 75th this year, the National Parks Services had their 100th birthday over the summer. Bernie took a tour across the country to highlight the beauty of America’s landscapes and the need for environmental conservation.

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A special congratulations to BrianneBikes for becoming a Junior Ranger of the NPS!

Wherever you went, Bernie went.

Whether it was to Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention or the beach for vacation (the office for some…), Bernie was a loyal companion for every adventure. He even went all the way to Japan for some foreign diplomacy.

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Bernie took some time to himself.

After a long and exhausting campaign, Bernie made sure to take some time for himself. He enjoyed some great Vermont cheeses, had a party, and made use of prime grilling season.

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Bernie got cinematic.

As a dynamic figure, Bernie was always on the move. Some fans took to video to capture his action-packed days.

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The Runner-ups!

As you can guess, it was tough picking out only 5 winners to receive a year supply of Ben and Jerry’s. There were so many delightful #MyBernie moments that voting on only five was as challenging as getting Congress to agree on something. So we decided to share the wealth with our runner-ups. Each of our runner-ups will get a free pint of Ben and Jerry’s! Woohoo!

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The Winners

The winners of #MyBernie elicited the strongest reaction from the FCTRY team. Whether it was laughter or admiration for the artistry, these submissions were marked as the most memorable ones. Each of these entrants will get a year of ice cream from us. Say hello to some Chubby Hubby!

leslieinorem

chrisspurgin

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cvneutron

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bernandjerrys

terristcloud

We’ll be contacting the winners and honorable mentions for details shortly so please keep an eye out for a message from us via Instagram.

The Adventure Continues…

Perhaps the greatest thing to come from the #MyBernie Contest was watching the community of fans share their personal escapades via the Bernie Action Figure, both with us and with each other. We’re grateful to have so many wonderful moments shared with us on Instagram. Though the contest may be over, we hope that the #MyBernie adventures continue.

P.S. Make sure you’ve downloaded your Bernie’s Besties Paper Dolls. Find them here.


The Trump Action Figure

The Donald Trump Action Figure preorder starts today! But whether he’s actually produced is all up to you.

It’s Happening! …Well, kind of.

The Donald Trump Action Figure preorder has started! But the fate of the Trump Action Figure is completely in your hands.

How is it all up to you? Well, we’re following a Kickstarter-esque model. We need to reach our $15,000 goal by Election Day, November 8th, or the Trump Action Figure will be cancelled. That’s about 750 Trump Action Figures that need to be preordered before we give it the full greenlight for production.

What happens if we don’t reach the goal? Everyone gets a full refund and we pretend that this never happened.

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Our Un-Trumpiest Cause

We’ve picked our Un-Trumpiest cause to donate to after going through all of the suggestions sent in from survey voters. 5% of all profits from Trump Action Figure sales will be donated to our cause of choice: Border Angels. They’re a human rights organization that is helping to save lives along the US-Mexican border. Their founder and executive director, Enrique Morones, has quite an opinion on Trump.

Make It Happen

Preorder yours now and get the full rundown of the project.

Blog-Trump-Package


12 Best Cafes, Bars, and Restaurants Near the Javits Center

Here for NYNOW? Avoid overpriced, mediocre convention center food with the 2016 FCTRY Guide to Places to Eat and Drink Near the Javits Center.

As you may already know, the food options at the Javits Center are expensive and lackluster, and the surrounding area is known to be a desert when it comes to food. Or at least it used to be. Lately, the area has actually changed quite a bit and there are some pretty great food options popping up.

As New Yorkers (okay, Brooklynites) and long-time Javits exhibitors, we took it upon ourselves to compile a list of our favorite newish places to eat and drink near the Javits Center so that you can make the most of your time in our fair city. From quick breakfasts to classy dinners for the hangry hungry buyer, we’ve got you covered during NYNOW. (We even included a map!)

Coffee that ISN’T Starbucks!

1. Think Coffee – 10 minute walk –  $
Think coffee is a well-known and beloved NYC coffee chain and, lucky for us, they opened one about two blocks north of the Javits Center. Just not, it’s a bit tricky to find as you have to leave 11th avenue and go into thecourtyard of the residential tower on 41st street to find it. Besides the great coffee, there is an equally extensive food menu, ranging from salads to bagels to sandwiches and wraps!

Melissa’s choice: Dough Doughnuts

2. Blue Bottle Coffee – 13 minute walk – $$
Located in the ultra hipster and swanky Gotham West Market, Blue Bottle Coffee has become a New York staple for caffeinated tastiness and quality baked goods. This pit stop offers a fun and wild ambiance with the artistic fixtures of West Gotham Market. Stop in before, during, or after the show for a quick coffee fix!

3. The Cafe Grind – 9 minute walk – $
At The Cafe Grind you’ll be greeted with scrumptious baked goods, delightful soups and salads, and, of course, the pièces de résistance: every kind of La Colombe Coffee, variety of tea, and juice assortment one could ask for.

Highlights: Gluten-free & healthy options

Lunch Spots with Shorter Lines and (Much) Better Food

1. Friedman’s – 8 minute walk – $$ 
Friedman’s whips up home-style cooking and serves it with a friendly flair. They serve everything from breakfast favorites like pancakes topped with seasonal fruits to All-American dinner classics like steaks and burgers.

Reid’s Choice: The Lamb Burger

2. Sunac Natural Market – 10 minute walk – $
This full service grocery store offers a wonderful array of healthy and affordable options for breakfast and lunch. Sunac Natural Market also features an impressive juice and smoothie menu for any morning or afternoon pick-me-up.

Highlight: Open 24/7

3. The Gotham West Market – 13 minute walk – $$
This landing pad is one of FCTRY’s all time favorites. It’s the ultimate artisanal food court with an artistic, urban ambiance. It’s home to a number of New York cult food hits, serving up anything from ramen to Mexican.

Tyler’s Choice: El Colmado for the tapas
Erica’s Choice: Ample Hills Creamery for Snap Mallow Pop Ice Cream
Janie’s Choice: Uma Temakeria for the Sushi Burrito

4. Rustic Table – 13 minute walk – $$
A cozy spot that serves the classic coffee, tea, and sandwiches that we all love. Serving up breakfast quiches to smoked salmon sandwiches, Rustic Table has a tasty treat for everyone while enveloped within a cozy, rustic vibe.

Highlights: Farm-fresh food

Happy Hour? Drink Please!

1. The Press Lounge – 16 minute walk – $$
On top of the roof of the Ink48 Hotel, The Press Lounge has stunning and unmatched views of the city while overlooking the Hudson. This bar and lounge offers a menu ranging from unique cocktails to vino classics, alongside a modest sampling of bar foods. The Press Lounge does require an “elegant casual” dress code, meaning leave those Yankees baseball caps and LuLuLemon workout apparel behind, and dress to impress.

Highlight: Rooftop lounge with views

2. 44 & X – 16 minute walk – $
In the heart of Hell’s Kitchen is a fun and cozy restaurant and lounge, 44 & X. Here you can settle in for a nice breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or stay out with the night owls and taste some of their amazing Tony Awards-themed drinks. Some fun cocktail shout outs go to “Hamil Gin” and A “Wicked” Ozmopolitan.

Highlight: Cocktails like the Prince Ali Avodka

3. The FCTRY Booth – NYNOW Booth 7838 – FREE!!
If you’re at Javits Center and in need of a little late day pick-me-up then come over to the FCTRY booth after 5PM. We’ll be serving up some strong but tasty margaritas right there in our booth. It’s a little tradition of ours.

Highlights – Handmade drinks served to you by Tyler in adorable Gummygoods bubbles bottles.

Dinner. Is. Served.

1. PRINT – 16 minute walk – $$$ 
Top FCTRY Recommendation! This trendy restaurant specializes in fine American dining, with dishes ranging from Wagyu Beef Carpaccio to more traditional fare such as Roasted Chicken and Ribeye Steak. Print is located at the Ink48 Hotel alongside the aforementioned drink pick, The Press Lounge, so head down once happy hour is over.

Alyssa’s Choice: Goat Cheese Gnocchi & Short Ribs
Jason’s Pick: Fettuccine

2. Bea – 18 minute walk – $$
Escape the chaos of the city by stepping into Bea. Bea offers a warm, intimate ambiance, making you feel like you’re in another time. Bea features a creative drink menu with some exciting twists on classic American cuisine.

Erica’s Choice: Ricotta and Honey Toast

 Downtown, for the Adventurous

We tried to focus on places you can walk to from the Javits Center but if we’re being honest, the only time we ever hang out up there is during trade shows. If you’re looking for something more authentically New York, you should probably head downtown.

1. Black Tap NYC – 22 minute subway ride  – $$
This ultimate burger joint and milkshake heaven is a must-go-to foodies paradise. Careful, though, the lines can be exceedingly LONG, so I recommend that you get there pretty early or be prepared to wait a while.

Janie’s Choice: The Cookie and the Texan Burger

2. Jack’s Wife Freda – 28 minute subway ride – $$
A simple and sweet spot for dinner in the West Village. Jack’s Wife Freda fuses American fare with touches of Mediterranean flavors. Dishes range from the classic hamburger to Spiced Rack of Lamb. If you’re looking for a nice, low key spot for dinner and drinks, Jack’s Wife Freda will absolutely fill that order.

Erica’s Choice: Chipotle Chocolate Cake

3. The Bao – 30-35 minute subway ride – $
Critically acclaimed for having one of the best Shanghai soup dumpling in the city, The Bao is guaranteed to fill you up without breaking the bank. The food is served family style, so bring some friends and feast upon amazing soup dumplings!

Janie’s Choice: The Soup Dumplings and the Beef Scallion Pancakes

4. Flex Mussels – 20 minute subway ride – $$
Flex has an extensive list of original seafood entrees and platters, but if you’re at Flex, you’ve gotta go for the mussels. Obviously.

Janie’s Choice: Thai mussels and the Parma mussels, and any of the dessert donuts

What did we miss?

We know we’re not the only ones who’ve spent too much time around the Javits Center. What are your favorite spots? Use the comments below to let us know!

If you’re attending NYNOW Summer 2016, stop by and say hello! We’ll be at Booth #7838 and Booth #7088 


Bernie’s Besties

Beautiful Paper Dolls for Hardcore Liberals, featuring Killer Mike, Liz Warren, Mark Ruffalo and Ruth Bader Ginsburg

And, like all the best things in life, they’re free.


Back at the end of February, we launched the Bernie Sanders Action Figure Kickstarter campaign with modest expectations. Our goal was to reach $15,000 to fund the production of an action figure based on the sculpture by artist Mike Leavitt. The response to the Kickstarter campaign was overwhelming as we smashed through our original goal in the first day.

mikeThe enthusiasm and support for the Kickstarter campaign was so great that we had to throw in a few treats for all the love. We promised a series of stretch goal rewards for every major milestone in our campaign’s funding. 20 volunteer hours for Bernie’s campaign, planter signs, Red Hot Bernies, and Bernie lapel pins were among the rewards that were proposed. All, but the final goal of 20 more volunteer hours were attained with the Kickstarter campaign’s final amount raised: $248,063

The Bernie’s Besties Paper Dolls are here to celebrate surpassing our $190K stretch goal. We picked a handful of iconic faces associated with Bernie’s campaign and political philosophy. Save the environment with Mark Ruffalo or tear down Wall Street with Elizabeth Warren. Rally a grassroots movement with Killer Mike or strike down regressive laws with the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Bored with just paper? Here’s some ideas to get your Bernie’s Besties adventures started.

Sticker paper
Add to your ’90s sticker collection by printing them out on sticker paper.

Magnet sheets
Feeling more nomadic? Magnet sheets are available at your local office supply or arts and craft store for a less permanent option than sticker paper.

Mod Podge
Mod Podge is a godsend to DIYers everywhere. Its a clear sealant that’ll allow you to adorn any frame, mug, or chest with your favorite Bernie’s Bestie. Just print with regular paper and slather on that Mod Podge. 

Fabric Paper
You can take the doll in paper doll a step further by printing out on fabric paper. Cut it out with a matching backing piece, stuff it then sew it up for a more huggable version.

 

Let us know how you’ll be playing with your Paper Dolls by tagging us @fctry!