Jazwares -- a Perfect Combination of Back-to-School Items

This summer my boys converted to the Church of Bakugan, so it's not surprising that they want everything in their universe to have a Bakugan on it -- their clothes, bags, sheets, curtains, lunchboxes, you name it. I'm not going that far, but getting them Bakugan notebooks and pencils and other small items is certainly within my budget. In June I searched far and wide for Bakugan stuff, but couldn't find any. So it was like the Church of Bakugan had performed a miracle when I found out about the Jazwares 2009 Back-to-School line -- it's all about Bakugan!

The Basics
We were sent the Bakugan Pencils with Case set and the Bakugan 11-Piece Value Set, along with a Hershey's Miniature USB drive. The rest of the Jazwares 2009 line of licensed stationery sets includes:

* Hershey's Miniatures Memory Sticks (shaped like Hershey's chocolate, Krackel, Mr. Goodbar, Twizzlers and Bubble Yum)
* Bakugan Musical Pen and Pad
* Bakugan 3D Eraser Set
* Bakugan Pencils with Toppers
* Bakugan Pencils with Case
* Bakugan Deluxe Stamper Set
* Bakugan 11 Piece Value Set

The Hershey USB drives can be purchased at Best Buy and the Bakugan stationary sets can be purchased at Toys R Us (in stores and online) and Rite-Aid.

The Bongga
It's all about the characters, baby! My boys are really into Bakugan -- just like most boys out there -- so this line of school supplies really hit the sweet spot. And speaking of the sweet spot, those Hershey's USB flash drives are SWEET. No, seriously. Litzky PR sent me one that looked like a Hershey's Miniature milk chocolate bar. It was stuck to a cardboard flyer, and I thought it was a real piece of chocolate! I was thinking nice, kind thoughts about the Litzky folks as I tried to unwrap the chocolate, only to discover to my disappointment -- and delight -- that it was a cleverly-disguised USB.

Now let's talk about quality and cost. At $7.99 for the 11-pc. Value Set and $4.99 for the pencil case set, this line is highly affordable (the rest of the line is similarly priced), which is great for cost-cutting parents like me. And the quality of the licensing is great. My kids love all the images emblazoned on the supplies. And unlike some licensed products, there are LOTS of images from the cartoon series, not just a lame old logo on the corner.

The Blah
First off, the pencils just don't sharpen properly! Talk about frustrating! I tried three different sharpeners, but the lead tip kept breaking off. Jammy and 3Po sat watching in dismay as I sharpened half of their beloved Bakugan design off the pencil -- so finally I took an Exacto knife and whittled off the rest of the wood to make a nice sharp pencil point. Also, I wish they had some sort of string or chain attached so the USB drive can be clipped onto a zipper pull; otherwise, they'll just fall to the bottom of the kids' backpacks.

The Bottom Line
Jazwares are an easy, affordable way to make back-to-school process a little more fun for young Bakugan Brawlers -- and because they love the licensed characters, you know they'll be taking extra-special care of their school supplies. I know my boys certainly will!

I received a product sample for this post, but no monetary compensation. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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