Fox Drives A School Bus, Then Plays Hopscotch In Mio’s Playful World!

Minneapolis, MN (May 16, 2016) – Plop preschoolers amidst a pile of wood building pieces and beanbag dolls and there’s no telling what stories they might dream up. There are no rules when it comes to imagination. The same goes with the designers at The Manhattan Toy Company. The wow factor of their newest collection comes from a contemporary look to a land with hand-painted wood heads atop beanbag bodies residing in natural wood homes. Say hello to Mio (mee-yoh).

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Everyday adventures like eating, sleeping and driving get mixed with house pets (cat, dog) and woodland animals (skunk, bear, owl); that makes perfect sense to a 3-year-old. The adorable and surprisingly affordable MIO Camping + Bear ($16) set boasts a triangular natural wood structure with a blue bear and eight cubes to mix and match for an outdoorsy adventure.

All Mio sets work together. The People and Animal pieces fit snuggly in Mio’s car, school bus or loft. Each structure is beautifully crafted from blonde natural wood with interior walls painted in bright orange, yellow, pink and blue. Collect a few dolls and structures like the MIO Sleeping + 2 People ($30) or own a grand set with MIO Playing ● Eating ● Sleeping ● Working + 2 People ($100). Pre-orders are now being taken at manhattantoy.com as the collection won’t be available until May 2016. Savvy shoppers can grab free shipping now on all orders over $60.

What makes this collection like no other is the whimsical “dolls” that have soft beanbag bodies that stay put exactly where youngsters place them. The hand-painted faces of the People and Animals are endearing and made of sturdy wood. Like peanut butter and jelly, these materials beautifully blend together for a fresh, modern appeal.

Fans of Manhattan Toy appreciate that for more than 30 years the company has committed to providing families with safe, high-quality toys that enrich young lives and developing minds. As they boast on their company website, “we remember that the most powerful thing any of us play with in this life is our imagination.”

Their informative website blog, The Playroom, recently touted The Stages of Play by Carrie Wells, Ed.D. She explained that a collection such as Mio is part of a preschooler’s Symbolic Play. This period “involves the use of inanimate objects to represent real-life activities … This stage of play occurs around three to four years old. Basic symbolic concepts increase the children’s ability to understand and communicate about the world around them.”

It also explains to puzzled parents why a Mio Fox would be driving the yellow school bus or the Mio Skunk would be tucked into bed with a Pillow and Blanket! With imagination, there’s no wrong way to play! Most Mio sets come with a drawstring storage bag for transporting from room to room or into the car and over to Grandma’s house.

The 2016 Mio Collection is best explained in a word formula: Think + Do x Curiosity = Imagination™.

MIO Playing ● Eating ● Sleeping Working + 2 People • Ages 3+ • $100
Looking for a WOW present? This set has it all! Kids can craft any structure they dream of — a house, a sailboat, a tree fort — with this impressive natural wood set. The large storage box performs double duty as a large room and grassy patio! The set includes over 40 pieces — 1 large room (with built-in handle cut-outs and fitted cover), 1 grassy patio, 2 rooms, 1 loft, 2 blocks, 1 hopscotch plank, 1 natural plank, 2 step pieces, 4 reversible tree/garden blocks, 4 pillars, 1 room divider plank, 1 graphic block, 15 cubes, 1 blanket, 1 pillow and 2 Mio beanbag people.  A handy drawstring storage bag is included.

MIO Sleeping + 2 People • Ages 3+ • $30
Is it nap time or bedtime? Kids will adore tucking in their Mio dolls after building this two level house. Made of natural wood, this set features 1 room, 1 loft, 1 block, 6 cubes, 1 blanket, 1 pillow, 2 Mio beanbag people plus a useful drawstring storage bag.

MIO Eating + 2 People • Ages 3+ • $30
Tots can finally answer their own question – what’s for dinner? This dining-themed set boasts 1 room, 1 loft, 1 tabletop plank, 6 cubes, 2 Mio beanbag people and the must-have drawstring storage bag.

MIO Woodland + Fox + Skunk • Ages 3+ • $26
Here are two furry friends you don’t normally see in the burbs or the city – a fox befriending a skunk! Mio brings the woods to the kitchen table with this sweet set of building pieces illustrated with a bit of Mother Nature. This set features 3 reversible tree/garden blocks, 1 grass plank, 1 reversible pond/ stream plank, 6 cubes, 2 Mio beanbag animals. A drawstring storage bag is included.

MIO School Bus + 2 People • Ages 3+ • $24
Who’s driving the yellow bus today? Could be a bespectacled grownup or a blue bear! Imaginations rule on this bus route. This set includes 2 Mio beanbag people. Note that the bus can fit up to 6 Mio characters. There’s even a trailer hitch capability for towing the Mio trailer (sold separately).

MIO Car + 2 People • Ages 3+ • $22
Beep beep – who wants to go for a spin? This handsome orange-sided car can zip around the floor or bedspread for a whimsical adventure. The three-piece set includes 2 Mio beanbag people. Like the bus, this vehicle has trailer hitch capability for towing the Mio trailer (sold separately).

MIO Camping + Bear • Ages 3 + • $16
There’s no lions or tigers in this adventure but one blue bear create a lot of fun! Tuck him in the tent or join him in his search of honey. Camping themed set includes 1 tent structure, 8 cubes, 1 beanbag bear plus a drawstring storage bag.

MIO Trailer • Ages 3+ • $14
Accessories make the Mio adventure and this trailer offers so many possibilities! The orange trailer can easily carry Mio rooms, lofts and tents on its trailer bed. Trailer connector allows trailer to be towed by all Mio vehicles!

MIO People Set • Ages 3+ • $10
People who need people are the luckiest … goes the song. Mio offers six characters with inviting facial expressions and colorful hairstyles. Each People set includes two distinct dolls. Choose one or collect all three! All dolls have hand-painted wood heads and beanbag bodies.

MIO Animal Set • Ages 3+ • $10
Whom to choose? Owl? Cat? Deer? At this price, collect all six characters! Each set includes two distinct animals. Choose Dog + Cat, Fox + Bear or Owl + Deer. Like the People dolls, these friends have hand-painted wood heads and beanbag bodies.

Mio joins over 400 Manhattan Toy products — born over the decades on their enchanted drawing boards – and made for open-ended play. Visit their website, manhattantoy.com and browse their store by categories or click on their Top Sellers. While there, read The Playroom blog and join their Playhouse, where members get exclusive offers.

The Manhattan Toy Company is dedicated to the art of creative play, quality craftsmanship and the success of the national and specialty retailer. The company distributes through thousands of stores nationwide. Toys are designed, developed and manufactured with every child’s safety in mind. The Manhattan Toy Company ensures that each product complies with all U.S. and European toy and safety standards. For more information about the many award-winning toy collections, visit their website at http://www.manhattantoy.com.