Tag Archives: Post

Children’s toy shop opening in July on East Passyunk Avenue – Passyunk Post (blog)

Original article

Your children will soon be begging you to take them to this new East Passyunk Avenue[1] shop.

tildies-toy-box-2

A toy store called Tildie’s Toy Box is expected to open in July in the former jewelry store location at 1829 E. Passyunk Ave.[2]

Local residents Michelle and Paul Gillen-Doobrajh are opening this shop, which will carry goodies for kids from infant through age 14. Products will include wooden toys from Hape and Janod, Brio trains, Crazy Aaron’s Putty, plush toys from Jellycat and Manhattan Toy Company and plenty more. You’ll be able to pick up pretty much any toys you can think of, ranging from science kits to arts and crafts. The shop aims to carry items that will spark creativity, imagination and exploration.

tildies-toy-box

The logo for the shop was designed by Julia Fiorello. Photo from Tildie’s on Facebook.[3]

Tildie’s Toy Box is aiming for a mid-July opening. There will also be grand opening celebrations happening on Sunday, July 24 from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m.

The store will be open seven days a week. Hours for the shop are still being finalized. Want to know more about Tildie’s Toy Box? Visit their website and Facebook page. [4][5]

References

  1. ^ East Passyunk Avenue (www.passyunkpost.com)
  2. ^ 1829 E. Passyunk Ave. (www.google.com)
  3. ^ Tildie’s on Facebook. (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ their website (www.tildiestoybox.com)
  5. ^ Facebook page.  (www.facebook.com)

toys shop – Google News

Connected Toys Security

Kids’ connected toys might have security flaws – The Denver Post

Original article

Problems in two toys by Fisher Price, HereO could point to larger cybersecurity threat

The Smart Toy Bear, above, and the hereO GPS watches below. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same

The Smart Toy Bear, above, and the hereO GPS watches below. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can’t be said for any Internet connected toys you may have purchased for your kids. (Studio OnE/hereO, Mattel via The Associated Press)

NEW YORK —

Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure — not perfect, maybe, but generally unlikely to be hacked or to store, say, your e-mail where other people could read it. The same can’t be said for any Internet-connected toys you might have purchased for your kids.

Recently discovered security flaws in a pair of such toys highlight just how badly the toy industry has neglected such problems, theoretically exposing kids to online threats.

While major crimes teeming from the hack of a connected toy haven’t yet surfaced, some experts argue that it’s only a matter of time.

This photo provided by Mattel shows the Smart Toy Bear. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can

This photo provided by Mattel shows the Smart Toy Bear. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can t be said for any Internet connected toys you may have purchased for your kids. (Mattel)

Kids “aren’t expected to be Internet security experts, and neither are their parents,” said Tod Beardsley, security research manager for Rapid7 Inc., the Boston-based cybersecurity firm that published the toy-security research last week.

Rapid7 researchers examined the Fisher Price Smart Toy, an interactive stuffed animal for children ages 3 to 8 that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

They also took a look at hereO, a GPS smartwatch that allows parents to track their child’s location.

In both cases, they found that the toys failed to safeguard children’s information such as their names and — in the case of the watch — their location, storing it on remote servers in such a way that unauthorized people could access it by masquerading as legitimate users.


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After researchers informed the manufacturers of the flaws, the companies quickly fixed the problems.

Mattel Inc., which owns the Fisher Price brand, released a statement Monday emphasizing that it has no evidence that anyone stole any customer information because of the flaw.

Eli Shemesh, chief technology officer for Cyprus-based hereO, released a statement saying that security remains paramount for his company, adding that the security flaw was fixed quickly and before the watches started shipping to customers.

Those security problems are far from unique, said Mark Stanislav, Rapid7′s manager of global services and the researcher who discovered the flaws. Reports of connected-toy vulnerabilities have been rife in recent months, a trend he expects to worsen as more connected toys hit the market.

Toy makers need to be “building security in at the development phase,” Stanislav said.

Like many connected devices, the Fisher Price toy runs a version of Google’s Android operating system, the same software that powers many smartphones and tablets. Beardsley, however, said toy makers don’t have the same commitment to security that a major tech company would have.

“I would be shocked if any Android-based toy didn’t have any problems,” he said.

Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are the biggest rivals to Android devices, doesn’t license its mobile software for use in toys.

Toy-related security problems began to grab headlines late last year, when kids’ tech maker VTech announced that one of its databases had been hacked, exposing the names, ages and genders of more than 6 million children who used the company’s toys.

As the number of connected toys continues to grow, so will the number of hackings, said Bridget Karlin, managing director of Intel Corp.’s Internet of Things group.

Intel’s chips power a slew of connected devices, including a GPS smartwatch for kids, similar to the hereO, that’s set to go on sale this year.

Karlin said that although the odds of any particular toy being hacked might be very low, most of the attacks are random. That means building in security from the ground up, starting at the silicon level.

In the case of the Fisher Price toy — which is sold as a stuffed bear, panda or monkey and retails for about $ 100 — the researchers found that the toy’s software and applications weren’t appropriately verifying who was trying to access its information. That theoretically could expose a child’s name, birthday, spoken language and gender.

Those tidbits of information aren’t necessarily secret. But hackers theoretically could amass enough of them to create a phishing scheme aimed at financial fraud or identity theft down the road. In theory, the information also could be used to pull off the abduction of a child, although experts say the chance of that remains slim.

The hereO smartwatch is marketed as a safety device for children ages 3 to 12 and creates a kind of social network that’s restricted to invited family and friends.

The brightly colored watch has a cellular and GPS connection, allowing parents to monitor a child’s location through a mobile app. Features include messaging, location alerts and a panic button. The watch, which costs $ 179 in the U.S. plus a $ 4.95 per month monitoring fee, recently started shipping to customers around the world.

Rapid7 says its researchers found a way attackers could trick the watch into adding them onto a given family’s account. That would give them access to the entire family’s location history and profile details and even the ability to message parents or their kids.

toys kids – Google News

Connected Toys Security

Kids’ connected toys might have security flaws – The Denver Post

Original article

Problems in two toys by Fisher Price, HereO could point to larger cybersecurity threat

The Smart Toy Bear, above, and the hereO GPS watches below. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same

The Smart Toy Bear, above, and the hereO GPS watches below. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can’t be said for any Internet connected toys you may have purchased for your kids. (Studio OnE/hereO, Mattel via The Associated Press)

NEW YORK —

Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure — not perfect, maybe, but generally unlikely to be hacked or to store, say, your e-mail where other people could read it. The same can’t be said for any Internet-connected toys you might have purchased for your kids.

Recently discovered security flaws in a pair of such toys highlight just how badly the toy industry has neglected such problems, theoretically exposing kids to online threats.

While major crimes teeming from the hack of a connected toy haven’t yet surfaced, some experts argue that it’s only a matter of time.

This photo provided by Mattel shows the Smart Toy Bear. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can

This photo provided by Mattel shows the Smart Toy Bear. Your smartphone or tablet is most likely pretty secure, and unlikely to be hacked, but the same can t be said for any Internet connected toys you may have purchased for your kids. (Mattel)

Kids “aren’t expected to be Internet security experts, and neither are their parents,” said Tod Beardsley, security research manager for Rapid7 Inc., the Boston-based cybersecurity firm that published the toy-security research last week.

Rapid7 researchers examined the Fisher Price Smart Toy, an interactive stuffed animal for children ages 3 to 8 that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

They also took a look at hereO, a GPS smartwatch that allows parents to track their child’s location.

In both cases, they found that the toys failed to safeguard children’s information such as their names and — in the case of the watch — their location, storing it on remote servers in such a way that unauthorized people could access it by masquerading as legitimate users.


Advertisement


After researchers informed the manufacturers of the flaws, the companies quickly fixed the problems.

Mattel Inc., which owns the Fisher Price brand, released a statement Monday emphasizing that it has no evidence that anyone stole any customer information because of the flaw.

Eli Shemesh, chief technology officer for Cyprus-based hereO, released a statement saying that security remains paramount for his company, adding that the security flaw was fixed quickly and before the watches started shipping to customers.

Those security problems are far from unique, said Mark Stanislav, Rapid7′s manager of global services and the researcher who discovered the flaws. Reports of connected-toy vulnerabilities have been rife in recent months, a trend he expects to worsen as more connected toys hit the market.

Toy makers need to be “building security in at the development phase,” Stanislav said.

Like many connected devices, the Fisher Price toy runs a version of Google’s Android operating system, the same software that powers many smartphones and tablets. Beardsley, however, said toy makers don’t have the same commitment to security that a major tech company would have.

“I would be shocked if any Android-based toy didn’t have any problems,” he said.

Apple, whose iPhones and iPads are the biggest rivals to Android devices, doesn’t license its mobile software for use in toys.

Toy-related security problems began to grab headlines late last year, when kids’ tech maker VTech announced that one of its databases had been hacked, exposing the names, ages and genders of more than 6 million children who used the company’s toys.

As the number of connected toys continues to grow, so will the number of hackings, said Bridget Karlin, managing director of Intel Corp.’s Internet of Things group.

Intel’s chips power a slew of connected devices, including a GPS smartwatch for kids, similar to the hereO, that’s set to go on sale this year.

Karlin said that although the odds of any particular toy being hacked might be very low, most of the attacks are random. That means building in security from the ground up, starting at the silicon level.

In the case of the Fisher Price toy — which is sold as a stuffed bear, panda or monkey and retails for about $ 100 — the researchers found that the toy’s software and applications weren’t appropriately verifying who was trying to access its information. That theoretically could expose a child’s name, birthday, spoken language and gender.

Those tidbits of information aren’t necessarily secret. But hackers theoretically could amass enough of them to create a phishing scheme aimed at financial fraud or identity theft down the road. In theory, the information also could be used to pull off the abduction of a child, although experts say the chance of that remains slim.

The hereO smartwatch is marketed as a safety device for children ages 3 to 12 and creates a kind of social network that’s restricted to invited family and friends.

The brightly colored watch has a cellular and GPS connection, allowing parents to monitor a child’s location through a mobile app. Features include messaging, location alerts and a panic button. The watch, which costs $ 179 in the U.S. plus a $ 4.95 per month monitoring fee, recently started shipping to customers around the world.

Rapid7 says its researchers found a way attackers could trick the watch into adding them onto a given family’s account. That would give them access to the entire family’s location history and profile details and even the ability to message parents or their kids.

toys kids – Google News

2016-01-15-1452874176-6279648-P1000321-thumb

Get Kids to Play With all Their Toys – Huffington Post

Original article

It is snowing in New York. Until this past week we generally have had nice weather to still enjoy outside activities. Yesterday, we played in his room for the first time in a long time. He has so MANY toys that we really try and get him to play with each one. Let’s fact it kids play with a toy for a whole hot second and then move onto a new one. Luckily we have a system to get him to play with all of his toys! How do you ask? I think it is a nifty trick if I do say so myself.
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Number one: After 2-3 weeks we take all and I mean ALL of his toys out and put them into the center of a room (usually the living room since it is so large). We sort them into three piles. “Toss” pile (usually broken or toys with missing parts), “keep” pile and the “sell” pile. Once sorted we take all the toys that were down stairs and move them upstairs into his room and take the toys that were in his room down into the downstairs.
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Why? This creates a new visual appeal to these toys. They are taken out and moved around, letting him see one’s he may have forgotten. I also want to suggest sorting the toys when your kids are not around to eliminate any break downs. After doing this once you will see a huge difference. Less toys overall (because you are sorting them every few weeks) more space and your children will actually play with all of their toys instead of only a few. Why pay money for toys they barely use?
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He just loves all of his toys. I am sure I will have to critique this shifting and sorting as he grows older. I also hope he doesn’t destroy his toys but I know that day will come. As children you just cannot understand how many hours you have to work to pay for those toys they throw around. I hope this helps as much as it has helped us!
Original post: http://www.westernnewyorker.org/2013/05/two-for-tuesday-day-of-play-products.html

toys kids – Google News

Lingerie, sex toys and knitting: A city freaks out over bustiers and vibrators – Washington Post

Original article

It’s just before midnight on a Friday in downtown Leesburg, and a young couple just stumbled out of the biker bar in this historic Virginia town — past the American flags, quaint lampposts and cascading petunia pots — and ducked into an alley, furiously making out.

A guy in a backwards ball cap staggered toward some porta-potties, then whizzed on a wall just outside them.

Petula is a columnist for The Washington Post’s local team who writes about homeless shelters, gun control, high heels, high school choirs, the politics of parenting, jails, abortion clinics, mayors, modern families, strip clubs and gas prices, among other things. View Archive[1]

But here’s what’s freaking out some folks of late: Le Tache, a lingerie and sex-toy shop that opened across the street from the courthouse five years ago. Its very presence, the Leesburg Town Council was told by some residents, is debasing the good people of this 257-year-old city.

Let’s check it out. Because 11:30 p.m. on a Friday is when a sin shop should be at its most depraved, right?

So I walk past the rustic Americana biker bar, stroll past the window mannequins modeling corsets and lace undies — outfits that cover more of those plastic bodies than what plenty of women wear to the pool — and I see it.

Knitting.

The clerk is knitting.

“Hello,” she says, cheerfully.

I described the debauchery I saw drifting out of the bar next door, and nope, none of those people were her customers. It had been busy earlier, but mostly older couples who came in after dinner.

Friday nights aren’t their busiest times, said the clerk, who doesn’t want to give her name.

“Monday mornings. Whoa,” she said. “Sometimes, people are waiting outside before we open at 10 a.m.”

I browse the store. The main part is fancy lingerie, nothing too different from what you’d see at a Victoria’s Secret at nearly every mall in the United States.

The curtained-off sex-toy part is certainly more graphic. But it’s also the area where children aren’t allowed, and it can’t be seen from the street.

The helpful clerk admitted she often feels like a therapist and is stunned by the questions, myths and misperceptions that customers — often middle-aged couples — have when they get to this part of the shop.

She answers all their questions patiently. And their gratitude (they often return to update her on how things went ) tells her she’s doing some valuable work in her community.

She took me on a tour of her bestsellers. One is a $ 350 vibrator. And no, for that price, it doesn’t also make breakfast in the morning. But it does look like something sleek and right out of Apple’s design shop. She explains the movement and battery life that account for the price. Oh.

She’s sold out of the real hit — a $ 250 wearable sex toy that can be buzzed remotely with an app. It’s really popular among Northern Virginia’s power couples, who are often separated by travel, she says. Pleasure is only an app away.

Or there’s the tiny device that’s a $ 150 Fitbit for your lady nether regions, reminding you to do your Kegel exercises with a buzz and tracking your progress on an app.

So this is apparently what prompted letters to the Leesburg Town Council and spurred visits from town officials.

“Actually, the police officer visit was because of a hookah,” store owner Bo Kenney said.

A woman was walking down the street and her grandson saw a hookah in the store window display. Grandma reported to police that there was a sex toy. Right in plain sight, in the window, Kenney said.

So they removed it and laughed at what, exactly, Grandma envisioned are the sex acts performed with the hookah.

The store is among the 12 shops that Kenney and his wife own. Le Tache bills itself on its Web site as “Northern Virginia’s #1 lingerie and couples boutique since 1988. Over 1 million toys for lovers sold! We offer sexy lingerie, toys for lovers, aphrodisiacs, lubricants, gifts and more.”

“We have nothing but good customers in Leesburg,” Kenney said. “Nothing about the town or the people has been negative.”

Until now.

Members of the town council told Leesburg Today[2] that they’ve been hit with e-mails from residents unhappy with having to pass the store windows and explain them to their children.

“Why do we have to have such unchaste and disgusting displays of women in a beautiful, old town as Leesburg?” one woman wrote to the council. “Please do something to get rid of this store as soon as possible. I wonder what else goes on in this building!”

Um, I checked it out for you, ma’am. Knitting. Knitting happens in that building.

Less than a mile from the pink ruffles and push-up bras is a gun shop, with window displays of rifle butts and Sig Sauer and Glock stickers. The gun shop is wedged between a soccer association headquarters and a family-style Italian restaurant. We haven’t seen the town council flooded with complaints about this juxtaposition.

But this year, 2,480 children have been injured or killed by gunfire, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

As far as I can tell — but maybe I’m just not finding these stats in the federal reports — zero kids have been killed by boobs. Or pink bustiers.

Leesburg’s attorney has told the letter writers and town leaders that they can’t do anything about the lingerie store. Everything being sold is perfectly legal, even if the displays offend some or objectify women.

(Hey, Le Tache, how about some men in the window?)

Bottom line: The naughty wares in Leesburg aren’t going anywhere unless people stop buying them. As the spending habits of the good people of Leesburg demonstrate, Sunday morning prudishness is a lot less powerful than Monday morning sex-toy shopping.

Twitter: @petulad

References

  1. ^ View Archive (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ Leesburg Today (www.leesburgtoday.com)

toys shop – Google News

890930_26_1_1151214680-1024x682

Target will stop labeling toys for boys or for girls. Good. – Washington Post

Original article

Target’s decision to eliminate “boys” and “girls” signs from its toys and bedding departments[1] makes a bold statement: Gender stereotypes and gendered marketing are passé. Many parents have spent years calling for the desegregation of children’s products, and this decision from the second-largest discount retailer[2] in the U.S. signals a real cultural shift.

The announcement has met both high praise and extreme outrage in the past week. For every progressive parent celebrating the demise of the pink and blue aisles, a conservative parent is furious that Target has taken the other side in this culture war. Their outrage seems to stem from a widespread misunderstanding of the concept of “gender neutral” in a marketing context.

For example, a recent statement[3] from Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, echoes many conservatives’ comments on Target’s Facebook page[4]. Graham is calling for consumers to boycott. He called Target to complain about its decision, because, he says, “It’s not gender-neutral people out there” who led to Target’s success. Graham added, “Jesus said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female (Matthew 19:4). You can’t get any clearer than that.”

“Gender-neutral marketing” doesn’t signify an attempt to make males and females the same, however, or to ban traditionally gendered toys like Barbie and G.I. Joe, as some allege[5]. Rather, as I have explained on “Fox and Friends[6]” and in the Boston Globe Magazine[7], it simply means organizing products children already love according to interest or theme — not by boy or girl. It’s actually a throwback to a bygone era that many critics of the practice grew up with: Gender-based marketing only came into vogue in the 1990s, when companies realized they could convince parents of children of both sexes to buy twice as much stuff by introducing gender segmentation to kids’ products.

In fact, toys used to be sold to kids in broad categories and organized by type, not by who would use them, according to Elizabeth Sweet, a sociologist and lecturer at the University of California at Davis who has researched how the gendered marketing of children’s products has evolved since 1905. “So this move by Target is neither radical nor unprecedented,” Sweet says.

So, why this change, and why now? Some media outlets have reported that Target’s decision was the result of one woman’s tweet[8] that went viral in June. That tweet featured a photo of a Target toy aisle labeled “building sets” and “girls’ building sets,” implying the retailer’s default assumption is that building toys are for boys.

In reality, though, Target’s decision is not about one person’s efforts. Rather, it’s the culmination of the activism of countless parents, educators and critics.

[Target will stop separating toys and bedding into girls’ and boys’ sections[9]]

International parent-led grassroots organizations such as Let Toys Be Toys[10] and No Gender December[11] have helped parents and corporations understand in recent years that gendered toy segregation can make boys and girls feel needlessly ashamed of their desire for unstereotypical toys, like chemistry sets and LEGO toys for girls, or play kitchens and dolls for boys. Books such as Peggy Orenstein’s “Cinderella Ate My Daughter[12]” and my own book, “The Princess Problem[13],” have also articulated the issue with care. Target’s decision is part of this overall zeitgeist.

Like many conservatives, Graham grounded his complaint in his evangelical Christian beliefs. “[T]hey won’t be using pink and blue colors to identify sexes,” he marveled[14]. “What’s next? Are they going to try to make people believe that pink or blue baby showers are politically incorrect? I have news for them and for everyone else — God created two different genders.”

That’s a strange remark. The coding of “pink=girl” and “blue=boy” is, like gender-based marketing, a relatively recent phenomenon with no biblical roots. Jo Paoletti, an American studies professor at the University of Maryland and author of “Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys From the Girls in America[15],” notes that historically, the reverse was true: many religiously devout parents felt blue was feminine and pink was masculine. “Blue has a long history of association with the Virgin Mary,” Paoletti says, “which is why it was the preferred color for girls in Belgium, Catholic regions of Switzerland and Germany, and German Catholic settlements in North American until the current pink-blue marketing replaced the religious symbolism in the last thirty years.”

As Maria Montessori[16] famously stated, play is the work of the child. Through play, children make sense of their place in the world around them and the future roles available to them. Why shouldn’t girls feel free to play with STEM-related toys? Why shouldn’t boys feel free to play at caregiving and nurturing? As a society, we no longer believe women should be restricted to certain jobs or that fathers are ill-suited to tending babies. So children’s play should reflect modern cultural norms, rather than be boxed into 1950s-era stereotypes driven by marketers’ desire to segment the child audience for maximum profit.

This makes Target’s decision to follow the precedent[17] set by major retailers internationally a good thing for consumers and stores alike, and hopefully, more companies will follow.

Change is slow, however. Cultural shifts happen in stages, not overnight — hence the pushback. It’s an interesting culture war to watch: In the future, gender stereotyping could indeed be rolled back even further, into areas such as the clothing department. Recent efforts to break down stereotypes in children’s clothing have included the work of grassroots organization Let Clothes Be Clothes[18], which calls for an end to the gender stereotypes found in the design and marketing of kids’ clothing, and indie brands like Princess Awesome[19] (purveyors of STEM-themed dresses) and Suit Her[20] (a proposed line of dressy suits for girls).

As new back-to-school campaign called #ClothesWithoutLimits[21] notes: “Kids definitely notice when retailers divide clothing so starkly into ‘boys’ vs. ‘girls’ colors, themes, and styles; and that sends a limited message about what they are supposed to like and who they are supposed to be.”

The same is true of other products, like toys and home decor. Kudos to Target for acting in children’s best interests.

References

  1. ^ eliminate “boys” and “girls” signs from its toys and bedding departments (www.washingtonpost.com)
  2. ^ second-largest discount retailer (en.wikipedia.org)
  3. ^ statement (www.facebook.com)
  4. ^ Facebook page (www.facebook.com)
  5. ^ as some allege (rebeccahains.com)
  6. ^ Fox and Friends (rebeccahains.com)
  7. ^ Boston Globe Magazine (www.bostonglobe.com)
  8. ^ one woman’s tweet (www.hlntv.com)
  9. ^ Target will stop separating toys and bedding into girls’ and boys’ sections (www.washingtonpost.com)
  10. ^ Let Toys Be Toys (www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk)
  11. ^ No Gender December (www.nogenderdecember.com)
  12. ^ Cinderella Ate My Daughter (www.amazon.com)
  13. ^ The Princess Problem (www.amazon.com)
  14. ^ marveled (www.facebook.com)
  15. ^ Pink and Blue: Telling the Boys From the Girls in America (www.amazon.com)
  16. ^ Maria Montessori (childdevelopmentinfo.com)
  17. ^ precedent (www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk)
  18. ^ Let Clothes Be Clothes (www.facebook.com)
  19. ^ Princess Awesome (www.princess-awesome.com)
  20. ^ Suit Her (www.kickstarter.com)
  21. ^ #ClothesWithoutLimits (www.clotheswithoutlimits.com)

toys kids – Google News

Gifts of cheer — from mugs to microbe toys — from your friends at the FBI … – Washington Post

Original article

Trim your tree with an Ebola stuffed toy in the shape of the spindly virus, from the gift shop at the National Institutes of Health.

Buy your loved one the perfect present for that decadent holiday getaway, a plush beach towel embroidered with the emblem of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Or a National Security Agency coffee mug decorated with encrypted messages. They decipher themselves when warm liquid is poured into the cup.

And for the would-be space traveler: NASA’s freeze-dried Neapolitan ice cream. A slab of the dehydrated treat has a three-year shelf life, some dusty flavors and a buttery aftertaste.

Welcome to the vast world of federal agency gift shops, where you can fill your cart with whimsy and irony.

A festive federal shopping list could look something like this: an inflatable NASA astronaut; sheets of $ 2 bills from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing; a gavel-shaped pencil with a two-headed eraser from the Supreme Court; and a hand-cranked weather radio from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Because if the grid goes down, “this will keep giving you tornado and flooding warnings,” chuckled Chris Vaccaro, a spokesman with the National Weather Service, who has bought at least six holiday radios over the years for his relatives. “It’s very Washington. But it’s also just very cool.”

The top seller at the Drug Enforcement Administration are “chum bags,” black pouches filled with collectable office coins from the agency’s offices around the world. The Afghan coin, for instance, is embossed with opium poppies and a sniper.

At times, this swag is used to thank local law enforcement partners. A DEA agent showed up at the Arlington store on a recent afternoon to buy Christmas chum bags for several members of the British special forces, who, he said “saved my hide, in Afghanistan.”

And then there’s the shop inside the Central Intelligence Agency, which sells an assortment of presents, including cuff links, golf balls and onesies for infants, all emblazoned with the CIA emblem. The onesies are made in Pakistan, which happens to be the primary location of the agency’s counterterrorism drone strikes.

The NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, headquartered in Atlanta, are supplied by a company called Giant Microbes, which sells a “stocking box of ornaments.” It includes penicillin, a blue stuffed toy that looks like a squid; the salmonella bacterium, a log with red flowing strings; and a stuffed red-blood cell. A company called Cafepress.com also sells an Ebola ornament online.

These playful expressions of pestilence are rooted in science, which is at the heart of the agencies’ missions, said Randy Schools, who heads the NIH’s five gift shops. He said the gifts are a great way to capture in a single toy what his agency is all about.

They often reflect the latest health challenges. Bedbugs, rendered as flat, bright-red creatures with antennae, were big a few years back. So was the black-caped “superbug” a takeoff on the antibiotic-resistant MRSA bacteria, which has been spreading with alarming speed. And this year, there’s been a run on Ebola.

“It’s never too soon to share an important health message. It’s empowering to talk about what’s scary,” said Drew Oliver, chief executive of Giant Microbes. “Plus, it works so perfectly for Washington agencies.”

While there is an abundance of prosaic government stocking stuffers — key chains, pens, golf balls, mouse pads — there are also classier collectibles.

The Supreme Court, for instance, produces a new Christmas ornament annually. This year’s is a three-dimensional rendering of the court building, silver-plated with white accents. “The curved columns beautifully reflect the light,” reads the description.

It’s for sale alongside the book “Yoga for Lawyers,” which contains pictures of poses for “the chronically stressed and hunched over,” and the board game “Lawsuit!”

Jim Lumsden works with a company that supplies shops at several national security and law enforcement agencies, where there are limits not only on who can get into those stores — often only employees or guests with an escort — but on what is tasteful to sell.

The DEA gift shop, at agency headquarters across from the Pentagon City Mall, won’t sell cigarette lighters or shot glasses, although those items are staples of other federal gift shops.

“That would be bad. We have to be careful with that sort of stuff,” said Lumsden, a designer with API, which makes and supplies gift items.

That agency’s store, however, does sell a onesie that reads, “DEA: I’m gonna bust the bad guys, right after my nap.” And bumper stickers that say, “Keep off the grass,” with a red line through a marijuana leaf.

Lumsden, whose company also supplies some of the CIA merchandise, was told that items there have to pass what’s called The Washington Post test. “So there shouldn’t be anything in the stores that would be really embarrassing on the front page,” he said.

The FBI gift shop sold glow-in-the-dark boxer shorts with the bureau logo for a while. “Those were on the edge,” he said.

On a recent morning, an NSA employee and his wife rolled into the busy parking lot at the agency’s headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., their Honda’s trunk cleared out and their holiday gift list dancing in their heads.

This agency is one of the government’s most secretive. The couple, who asked to be identified only as Michelle and Bo, said their nieces and nephews may never know what their uncle does — it’s classified — but they can enjoy a “spy secret message kit,” which allows users to send morse code and create invisible messages with “secret markers.”

“The irony of making something secret is you make it important. And that’s what we are going for here with this shopping,” Bo said. “The gifts really bring the magic and the mystery.”

Most of the federal gift shops are nonprofit. Some help pay for agency museums or employee gyms and other recreation. Some fund charities. Revenue from the NIH shops, for instance, partly goes to finance fun programs for kids with cancer.

And after Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) went Christmas shopping in 2011 and was angered to discover so many government products made in China, including Washington Monument magnets, there has been a move to sell more American products in agency gift shops.

But some agencies also have safety concerns. After the Sept. 11 attacks, shops have been more careful about selling clothing with the insignia of national security and law enforcement agencies, officials said. These items could turn the wearer into a target of anti-American violence.

At the NSA gift shop, near the National Cryptologic Museum, store manager Robin Bunch said she often thinks about this. So she typed up a warning and taped it to the wall: “Although owning an NSA logo item does not necessarily imply that one is an NSA employee, it can raise a level of interest. Consider for example where the item will be worn/used and take into account local threat conditions.”

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