The Smurfs Dance Party for Wii - My Kid's Review



Currently my children have Smurf fever. In the early part of the summer they went through a mild obsession with the Smurfs iPad game and spent weeks trying to farm enough fruit and flowers to earn Sumurfette. The iPad game also did a pretty good job of introducing them to all the characters as well as hyping the movie (which releases today - 7/29). They even used their Build-A-Bear gift cards from their birthdays to get the “exclusive” Smurfette and Clumsy Smurf. Trust me, I’m pretty Smurfed-out these days.

Their favorite video game on the Wii however is “Just Dance 2”  - a dancing game where you dance along to pop songs (either by yourself or with friends) and the Wii manages to give you points based on how well you are following along. It’s a great game -  fun to play and probably funnier to watch someone else playing. And the fact that they are up ad moving around kind of assuages the parent’s guilt that they are letting their kids play a video game when they could be outside doing something. Kind of.

So when I got the opportunity to review the new Smurf video game for the Wii - “The Smurfs Dance Party” it seemed like a perfect fit.

The game is basically a Smurf version of the “Just Dance” video games. There is a Smurf on the screen (all characters from the movie of course - including Gargamel) and you follow along and dance with them to songs from the movie. There are a couple of other modes - a story mode that basically tells the whole story of the movie (apparently my kids have no problem with spoilers) and a mode where you can dance to all the songs in one giant loop.

My girls (ages 5 and 7) have been playing it for a few days now and they are far more qualified to review the game than I. Here’s what they had to say about it.

My 7 year old:

This video game is almost like Just Dance 2. It has different Smurfs that dance, and there are also lyrics that you can read along with the music. The music is cool because it has songs that people know, but with Smurf words in it. Also, each Smurf has their own special song.

The only thing I didn’t like about the game was in some of the songs Gargamel dances instead of the Smurfs, and I thought that Gargamel looked kind of creepy. I’m not going to blame the actor though.
I liked the game a lot, and I think it’s just as good as Just Dance 2.

My 5 year old:

I liked the game because it was fun. There was a lot of dancing in it, and it was kind of like exercise - kind of like a Zumba thing. There aren’t many songs with Smurfette by herself, and I wish there were more. I also didn’t like Gargamel because he was kind of creepy. I liked the songs because if you’re doing one player, the person who is waiting can sing along to the songs with the person who is dancing.

This game would be good for people who like Smurfs and Wii. But if you don’t like to dance you should not get this game.

So there you have it. I sure didn’t think they would like it as much as Just Dance 2, mostly because the songs are (to me at least) way more annoying. There are only a few songs that people would recognize and a lot of filler - songs that seem written for the game. But my Smurf-crazy kids didn’t seem to mind at all. And when I had them load in the Alvin and the Chipmunks game for a comparison, it’s obvious that a lot more effort went into The Smurfs Dance Party.

Now I can only hope the movie is also better than the Squeakquel.

The Smurfs Dance Party, $33.24 (and almost sold out??) from

CES 2011 - All the Great Stuff for Men


CES was way over a month ago, but I just wanted to point your way to my final posts on the subject that are up now on the man/father super blog Man of the House. Here's the breakdown of everything I saw that was great for men and fathers:

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Most Useful - The Road Torq from Eton saves your bacon when you've got a flat tire

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Coolest Toy - The AR Drone iPod-controlled remote control helicopter.

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Best Television - The Samsung 8000 Series LED Television

CES 2011: Best New Gear of the Year - Most Innovative - The Razer Switchblade

CES 2011: Best of CES for Guys - And these are the "honorable mentions" of the things I saw at CES that were great, specifically for guys.

Recreating Joy Division Through Playmobil


I knew there was a reason I "Liked" Joy Division on Facebook. Apparently someone took the audio and (visual cues) from a live television performance of one of my favorite bands, Joy Division, and recreated it with stop motion animation using Playmobil toys.

But which toys? Although there isn't a "Joy Division on BBC 2" Playmobil set, the person who made the video cobbled it together from multiple sets. Here's what I could find...

I'm not sure about the figures he used, but he definitely used the guitars from this decidedly heavy metal "Guitar Player" (Playmobil 4512) and the drum sets from both the new and old versions of "Circus Band" (Playmobil 3723 and 4231). He also used the television cameras (and microphone I'm assuming) from this discontinued set "Studio Crew" (Playmobil 3531).

If there was ever any doubt in the awesomeness of Playmobil, then this should settle it I think.

(Yeah, I said "awesomeness".) 

CES 2011: Star Wars Is Coming to Blu-ray! (and other boring announcements).


This year was my eighth CES, and I have to tell you, I'm getting jaded. Even 30 live Stormtroopers and Darth Vader marching onto a stage wasn't even all that exciting. (Except the executive from Panasonic kept calling him "Lord Vader" which I thought was pretty funny.) The show was jam-packed with people this year (unlike the few previous years) and jam-packed full of stuff (very much like previous years) none of which I cared very much about.

But for my current hometown of Las Vegas, CES 2011 was great. Over 1.6 million square feet of convention space and over 150,000 attendees is definitely a step in the right direction. The economy sucks, but judging by the show maybe things are on an upswing. Maybe.

And no matter what people say (including me), there were some cool things at CES this year. There just wasn't any real innovation. I suppose it's because of the economy companies are dialing down development on the cutting edge and focusing on stuff that works and will sell. It makes sense, but it also makes for kind of a boring CES.

But there were some cool things, and I blogged the hell out of it. Check out all of my posts at right here (list of posts below as well). I'm also going to write two articles about it at, and when those go up I'll include those too.

Apple TV vs. Roku: Get Started With Internet TV | Review of Internet Television Boxes & Options | Man of the House

It's not exactly a bold prediction to state that in a few years much of the stuff you watch on TV will arrive to your TV via the Internet. With services like Netflix, Hulu and iTunes you can already watch most of your favorite shows and movies courtesy of your Internet connection, so what's the best way to start to adopt some of this new technology without spending an arm and a leg?


My latest post on Man of the House is my breakdown of AppleTV vs. Roku. If you're interested in bringing the Internet to your TV, it's my opinion that they are the only two devices worth looking at.

Oh, and they split it up between three different pages, so if you're interested make sure to click through to each page...

People Who Bought Jon & Kate Plus Ei8ht Also Bought...


This can't be real, can it? Considering Amazon probably doesn't sell a "Noose" for $19.99 I have to figure it's fake. But goddamn if it didn't make me laugh every time I thought about it today.

[Note: It might be fake, but now on my Amazon page Amazon thinks I'm interested in this DVD, and it's showing me more similar items - one of which is a baby onesie with a picture of a noose on it. Which I'm pretty sure will be the subject of a future blog post...]

Modern Day Dad At CES 2010. Oh. And Lady Gaga Too.


Well, I did the quick calculation this morning, and this is officially the 7th CES I've been to, and while some were fun (the first few) and some were really underwhelming (last year), this year's is proving to be a little better, if only for the fact that I pretty much kicked it off by going to a Lady Gaga press conference at the Polaroid Booth.

You see, she's now a Creative Director at Polaroid for a special line of New Imaging Products or something. In the conference she made it very clear (while she tried her best to hide her face with her bizarre hair-hat), that this wasn't a typical endorsement deal, and that she and "The Haus of Gaga" (I couldn't make that up if I tried) were going to be very involved with new products.

Hey, that's great I suppose, and I know that Polaroid who haven't had anything exciting going on with them in about, oh, twenty years or so, are probably thrilled with the association. But all that stuck out to me during the whole thing was, there's a guy who works for Polaroid, one of the last great brands in photography, up on a platform saying "Lady Gaga" as if it were the most normal thing anyone ever uttered. Maybe I'm old or something, but it was kind of funny to me.

So anyway, if you're interested in my posts about stuff I'm seeing at CES this year, check out my posts over at's product blog, Droolicious.

FakeTV Burglar Deterrant Keeps The Fake TV Glowing


I've bought a lot of hair-brained electronic crap in my life, and so when I told my wife about FakeTV, she just assumed this was another one of those things. And while I can't say for sure that this thing fulfilled it's purpose (and I'm happy about that, believe me), even my wife had to agree that it's a pretty cool little device.

The basic premise behind FakeTV is that burglars won't bother to break into a house that they know is occupied, and the number one way they can tell a house is occupied is the faint glow of a television being watched in the dark. The problem is, if you go away on vacation, most all televisions don't work on traditional power-timers. And leaving a television on for 24 hours while you're away on vacation is not only expensive, it's bad for the TV. That's where FakeTV comes in.

FakeTV is this little box (very little box actually) that you plug in and leave behind a closed curtain or the opposite end of a room from a window. When it gets dark in the room, FakeTV pops on and starts emitting random light patterns that, when viewed through the window from outside your house, makes it look like there's a TV on. It has three settings (on, dusk plus four hours and dusk plus seven hours) and works with low-power LED lights.

I've had one in my house for a month now, and while I can't say it's actually deterred a real life criminal, it turns on and off just like it's supposed to. And from outside my front door, it really does look like someone is watching TV.

Now I just have to hope criminals aren't reading my blog.

Check it out at