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“Dangerous” Toys Named

Is it wrong that I still want one of these?
Is it wrong that I still want one of these?

Remember when all the cool toys were dangerous? I remember something called the Monster Maker. Sort of like the boy version of the EZ Bake Oven. You melted plastic in these aluminum forms to make little rubber monsters. Oh, and you also melted your fingertips. Good times.

Well, toys are a lot safer these days. There are a few, however, which are still iffy. So, some professional do-gooders called “World Against Toys Causing Harm, or W.A.T.C.H., issued the “10 Worst Toys” list to remind parents and consumers of the potential hazards in some toys as the holiday shopping season gets underway.” …NY Daily News

Some highlights:

  • Catapencil: a pencil with a miniature slingshot-style launcher on its end. Yes, you could put an eye out!
  • SWAT Electric Machine Gun: Looks too real
  • True Legends Orcs Battle Hammer: presents a risk for blunt impact injuries
  • Alphabet Zoo Rock and Stack Pull Toy: has a long string you might choke on
  • Air Storm Firetek Bow: Shoots projectiles up to 150 feet. Again, potential eye injury

And just so we don’t leave out the girls…

  • Lil’ Cutesies Best Friends Doll: parts break off, presenting a choking hazard.

You can read the rest and get all the details at the WATCH site.  My two cents? As always, there are legitimate concerns on the list, some that seem kind of a stretch, and some that are a little silly. What do you think? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Tour the MindField Online Website!

cloudOver at the MindField Online Facebook page, we commonly hear, “I’m new—how does this whole thing work?”  That’s a pretty broad question, so we usually answer, “There’s plenty of info to be found at our website, -check it out!”

But exactly what you will find has been a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in an internet – until now!  So, keep your hands and feet inside the tram as we take an informative, exciting (but mostly informative) tour of the MindField Online Internet Panels website. And please, no flash photography!

Member Home: A really useful portal that gives you a quick look at announcements, surveys available (“Live Now!”), membership details, payout options, referrals, member profile survey status, payout balance progress… and more!

Try Our New Apps!: Located at the top-right of our Home page, this is where you can download the new SurveyCloud mobile app for Apple or Android devices.

Account Settings: Here is where you can update or change your user preferences, email or street address and your password.

Study History: This is a detailed list of your Transaction History, Survey History, and Cashout History.

FAQ: Check out the answers to some frequently asked questions HERE. Then, take a moment to realize “So THAT’S what FAQ stands for!”

Policies: How do you register? Who is eligible? What are the rules? Here is where you find out!

IQD: Other than farm fresh ingredients, what steps does MindField Online Internet Panels take to ensure the quality of our data? Find out HERE.

News: Much of the news you will have seen on our Facebook page, but you will get more detail here.

Winners: MindField Online has regular cash drawings and sweepstakes. Here is where you can see the winners. ALSO… don’t forget our 2014 Holiday season cash drawing for $1000!!!

Contact:  Here is how you reach the helpdesk. They are ready to help with all kinds of technical issues!

MindField Online hopes you find our website an informative, user-friendly experience. Thanks again to the best consumer panelists in the business – YOU.

Marketing to Kids

shop kidsNot long ago I was going through some old photos. I found one of my class pictures – the one where the kids and teacher all stand together on a riser. I won’t tell you what grade I was in, but the year was 1972. And I noticed it right away: not one kid was wearing a Hello Kitty or NASCAR or Mountain Dew shirt. They just wore…clothes.

Commercializing our kids, marketing to children… some folks don’t mind it. Some don’t like it. Others say that this is just the way things are, and not much can be done about it.  Still others have decided to take a stand.

According to the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood (CFCC), too many kids are falling for the “values that dominate commercial culture—materialism, self-indulgence, conformity, impulse buying, and unthinking brand loyalty.” So, with the Holidays coming up, they have nominated the following toys for (in their words) the worst toy of the year. This year you can vote for:

  • Fitness watch for 5-year-olds
  • Girl Scout Barbie with high-heeled hiking boots
  • Mini-mall set with every conceivable name brand in it
  • Tablet device for ages 0-5
  • McDonalds/Cartoon Network app for boys 6-11

Head on over if you care to.

I have tried to present this without comment, but what do YOU think? Is there too much commercialism in today’s childhood? If there is, is this a horrible thing or are they making a mountain out of a molehill? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

Veteran Deals and Freebies 2014

veterans dayFirst off, a big thanks to our veterans, active military and their families! Now, go out and enjoy your freebies, such as a free haircut at Great Clips, a free Bloomin’ Onion from Outback, or a free beer at Rock Bottom! The list of participating retailers is long, and these are just the big national chains. There are likely many smaller retailers in your locale showing their appreciation.

Here’s a link roundup of the bigger deals. Enjoy… and be sure to thank a veteran today!

Low Gas Prices = Happy Holidays?

gaspigDriving to and from work every day, you have probably noticed the price of gas coming down. Here in South Carolina, we enjoy some of the lowest prices in the US, but I still see the pattern. This past summer, prices were up around $3.40 (which made my drive to Ohio pretty dang expensive!) Today, it’s $2.62.

So, let’s just say gas is now 75 cents less per gallon. And, lets say that you – the American consumer who drives 65% of the economy – are saving about $300 a year now. What do you plan to do with that extra scratch? has a suggestion:

American’s spend about 4% of their income on gas for their cars. The drop in price for each tank pumps up the spending power of most consumers, already adding billions of dollars in unexpected spending power ahead of the holiday spending season.

So, have you noticed the gas prices going down? Has it put you in a better mood? In a mood to spend more for the holidays? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

The Best deals for November 2014

NOV SAVINGSNovember is the month when those “here are the best deals for the month of X” articles start to get serious! In a few short weeks, the madness known as Black Friday begins the 2014 holiday shopping season. Just like last year, Black Friday is coming rather late (last year, 11/29; this year, 11/28) so the retailers are already panicking, and working a few new angles. Walmart, Amazon, NewEgg and others are offering some form of Black Friday savings for the entire month of November. So, if you want to get a jump on things, here is a list of links to tell you where the deals are this November. Enjoy!

So, are you ready to rock? Do you know of other good deals? Let us know at the MindField Online Facebook page!

Halloween by the Numbers 2014

While these safety nerds probably WON'T get hit by a car, they WILL get hit by 8th-graders!
While these safety nerds probably WON’T get hit by a car, they WILL get hit by 8th-graders!

Our Halloween spending will be up slightly from last year’s average of $75.03.  According to a poll of 6,332 consumers:

More than two-thirds (67.4%) of celebrants will buy Halloween costumes for the holiday and spend $3 billion, the most in the survey’s 11-year history. Two billion dollars will be spent on decorations. The average person will spend $77.52 this Halloween, compared to $75.03 last year. Total spending on Halloween this year will reach $7.4 billion. National Retail Federation

So, slightly up, but still lower than before the Crash. Even so, while you pinch your pennies, don’t forget to invest in safety for your little goblins! In that vein, here’s a classic bit (as if) from years past, “Halloween Safety for Nerds and Other People.”

When I was a kid, Halloween safety consisted of my dad telling me not to accept any apples, because hippies were hiding their drug needles in them. “That’s it! Now go run in the night streets in your dark gray Batman costume!”

So, to pay it forward, I will share a few Halloween safety tips from the National Safety Council.

Motorists: BE COOL! Seriously, I don’t even have kids, but I spend half the night screaming at the idiots driving 45mph on my street!

Parents: Basically it’s your job to suck all the fun out of it. Make your kids tell you their precise route. Give them a curfew time. And make them wear bright or reflective clothing, even if it ruins their Zombie costume.

Kids: Use some common sense! Don’t go to dark houses. Don’t eat your stuff until mom inspects it and steals the Kit Kats. Carry dad’s best flashlight, which you will surely break. And stay out of the abandoned mill, even if they dare you!

OK, enough sarcasm. You should download the list. There are tons of great tips to keep Halloween safe. The alternative is a “Trunk or Treat” in the middle school parking lot…and nobody wants that!

Also, tons of Halloween statistics and charts HERE.

Happy Halloween, MindFielders!

(picture credit:

MindField is App-tastic!

“SurveyCloud powered by MindField Online” has been around on the online portal for a while now, making your survey experience more fun and convenient. Now, the new SurveyCloud App is ready to rock your mobile devices!

Here’s what you can look forward to:

  1. Access to all available survey opportunities from any or all of your mobile devices
  2. Cashout from your mobile device
  3. Receive push notifications: We will remind you when you have reached cashout, about available survey opportunities, new sweepstakes and other prizes, etc.
  4. Access to the MindField support system directly from the App
  5. Update your personal information, in real time, to ensure being included in as many opportunities as possible.

And there’s more to come!

So, how do you join in on the fun? It depends on your device. Here are some links:




MindField Online will hold a drawing to encourage SurveyCloud App users! On February 1, 2015 we will give away one (1) $500 prize,  two (2) $100 prizes and six (6) $50 prizes, to be chosen from everyone who downloads and uses the SurveyCloud App between now and February 1st.  The winners will receive their winnings prior to Valentine’s Day.

MindField Online will also hold our Annual Holiday Drawing! Same as above, it’s one (1) $500 prize, two (2) $100 prizes and six (6) $50 prizes, to be chosen from everyone who downloads and uses the SurveyCloud App between now and December 10th. These winnings will be available prior to 12/22.

New features, new convenience and big incentives – that’s MindField Online! Now, go download SurveyCloud mobile App!!!

Middle Class Blues?

ID-10027031An article appeared yesterday, entitled “7 Things the Middle Class Can’t Afford Anymore.” Now, you should probably take it with a grain of salt, because the person writing a piece like this gets to be the one who defines words like Middle Class, Afford, and Things. But it is a conversation starter. So let’s start it!

We’ve ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We’re not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some of them are even necessities. The ranking of this list is based on affordability and necessity. Therefore, items that are necessity ranked higher, as did items that a larger percentage of people have trouble paying for.

And they assign an income to the middle class family: $54,000. So what are we doing without, according to the list?

  • Vacations
  • New vehicles
  • To pay off debt
  • Emergency savings
  • Retirement savings
  • Medical care
  • Dental work

Lots more detail in the original piece, of course. What do you think? Are you the “Middle Class” they are talking about? Are you doing without the things on this list? Are there things they forgot? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page, and have a great weekend!

The Toy Business Has Seen Better Days

ID-100238505Hey parents! What’s the deal with the toy business? Lego is going strong, (that movie certainly helped!) but almost everybody else in the toy business is hurting. Mattel’s sales are down, so is Barbie, and Toys ‘R Us is doing some…interesting things to ramp up business.

Case in point (according to Time magazine): selling Breaking Bad action figures. Trust me, Breaking Bad is truly one of the best TV shows in the history of TV (the full series is streaming on Netflix.) But, toys based on drug dealers, complete with wads of cash and fake crystal meth? Not so sure about that. The retailer explains that the BB stuff is in their adult section, away from your Hello Kitty and your Iron Man…which makes me ask: Toys ‘R Us has an adult section?

The experts say that this is a sign of the times. The only toy-related things that sell anymore are video games (and Lego, of course). And Toys ‘R Us is partnering with Claire’s to sell earrings and nail polish to teen girls.

But I don’t have kids. So I’m asking… are toys dead? Let us know over at the MindField Online Facebook page!


UPDATE: Toys ‘R Us bails on Breaking Bad?