As soon as school let out on Friday, about 100 kids and their parents hustled to in Cedarhurst for a party to promote Perplexus, the brainteaser toy that both adults and children just can’t put down, according to store owner Nancy Bloomberg.
Visitors were greeted by Perplexus “ambassadors,” two recent college graduates who are touring the United States in their Perplexus Lexus car, making frequent pit stops at select locations to promote this product. The party included a live DJ, give-aways, game challenges and free Perplexus toys given out to several lucky winners.
“When we first started carrying the Perplexus two years ago, everyone wanted one,” Bloomberg said. “It was our biggest selling toy for the holidays. It’s a perfect fit for the neighborhood, because it’s not operated on batteries. It’s suitable for six year olds to adults. We found that the parents like it as much as their kids.”
Perplexus is a three-dimensional puzzle housed in a transparent sphere. The object is to navigate a small ball through narrow winding tracks, following a numbered path.
“My neice has one, and every time I go to visit her, I find myself picking it up and playing with it awhile,” said Steven Weisblatt, who was at the event.
The party’s biggest draw was a chance to check out the Superplexus, a large-scale replica of the original toy.
Following the success of the original Perplexus, the company came out with the Epic, an advanced version of the original, and the Rookie, a simplified version for younger children. La Toys carries all three, at prices ranging from $22.49 to $29.99. The latest model, the Perplexus Twist, comes out in September. It has handles on either end that can be manipulated, providing a more interactive spin on the original.
The two young women who are doing the promotional tour landed the job by winning a Youtube contest sponsored by the toy’s distribution company. The tour started recently in Buffalo and will take them throughout the country, with a final destination in Manhattan at the end of July.
“This is an incredible opportunity,” said Grace Clark, one of the ambassadors. “We did a two-minute application video and we got the job. It was great starting in Buffalo, since that’s where I just graduated from in May as a communications major.”
Clark explained that a special selection process was conducted to choose the right locations for tour stops.
“We looked for stores that were our best supporters, which is true of La Toys,” she said. “We wanted to choose quality stores that have valued our products over the years."
Bloomberg was very pleased that her store was one of the tour stops.
“I’m very happy that out of all the toy stores on Long Island, we were the ones who were picked,” she said. “I’ve had vendors in the past who have offered to come and do a craft or a demonstration, but I’ve never seen a promotion on this scale.”