Momma Told Me: TOPS Malibu: Objects of Everyday Wonder Review

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

TOPS Malibu: Objects of Everyday Wonder Review

Momma Told Me: It's the little unexpected things that make life so very much worth living.

As a child I remember loving surprises; so much so that I would often feel myself coming apart at the seems, as if I would simply burst, not to divulge them. For this reason precisely I was a terrible secret keeper. If Momma intended on throwing a surprise party for my Pop then she was left making it a surprise for both of us. The amount of time involved in putting together an entire event in secret is, of course, quite overwhelming. However, the simple act of surprising an individual with an unexpected token of appreciation, or kind gesture is much less complicated. And, in life, there are good surprises just so much as their are bad ones. This makes some individuals entirely hesitant to partake in either, for fear of the chance it could be the latter. For children, the very nature of this 'Trick or Treat' has an entire day, but for adults, we can find it quite the barrier to experiencing new sensations and tackling seemingly overwhelming tasks. I recall once, in childhood, attending a physician's appointment with Momma, who had been anticipating some very important test results. The idea of not knowing whether or not one was about to be told good or bad news frightened me, even then. Momma was quick to teach me a very poised lesson of fearlessness, "No matter the outcome, good or bad, there will still be more smiles, and days to be had."
As an adult, I love surprises. I try to plan them, or rather, unexpectedly create them, whenever I can. Of course, the surprises we can control, and create on our own, are often positive ones; such as surprise parties and gestures of love. Milestones and celebrations, by nature, are specially prone to surprise, but everyday occasions can be just as memorable. I've often reflected on how my father would write hidden notes and doodles on the inside of my lunch wrappers, to encourage me during the day. In a similar spirit, TOPS Malibu is a company founded on the principle that life's little thrills and mysteries can truly bring companions and loved ones closer. No matter where we come from, the simple act of unraveling a mystery, to reveal it's surprises, can create lasting memories on a level that needs no other common ground. That is to say that childlike wonder lives inside each and every one of us.
This company is certainly unlike any other I have come across before, with a central theme that revolves around celebration. From Party Sparklers to Treasure Candles and Surprise Balls, every product is lovingly handmade by local artisans in the USA, and truly one of a kind. Last year our family has a chance to experience some of TOPS Mailbu's signature products; the Grande Surprize Cornucopia, Treasure Candles, and Sparklers. Many of the brands smaller, individual, products are represented inside the 32" Grande Surprize Cornucopia, filled with crowns, party horns, Surprize Balls, confetti poppers, pea ball shooters, games, fortune tellers, and more. Not only does it's near 3' of color and sparkle impress any recipient (and double as a dunce hat, as Sabrina quickly noted), but it unwraps to reveal layers of more surprises beneath. While some of the trinkets may seem a little nostalgic and 'hokey' in nature, I had a blast sharing my own childhood memories of these items (Chinese Finger Traps, Wish Capsules, Fortune Fish, etc) with Sabrina.
One of the stars of the Cornucopia, and brand, was the unique and colorful Surprize Balls, represented by layers upon layers of color changing crepe paper. When unraveled the crepe paper makes festive decor, and a suitable cat attracting ribbon, but most of all, reveals little trinkets and surprises. While one may think the contents would appeal most to children, the stick on mustaches and Party Poppers delighted the child in me as well. It's like trading in all of your Chuck E Cheese tickets for items on the bottom two shelves; the tiny crocodile finger puppet will offer unexpected laughs and Pretty Princess Ring is sure to be fought over by any woman present. You're also likely to find some plastic army men, wish tickets, a mini card deck, temporary tattoos, seashells, good luck coins, 1950s brass charms, various jewelry, a clown nose, and much more. While the company provides a general peek inside the simple truth is each and every 3" Surprize Ball is wonderfully unique and a true surprise.
party supplies
In all honesty, we had just as much of a blast unwrapping the TOPS Malibu surprise items as we did playing with the little baubles inside. None of the trinkets were cast aside or considered 'boring' by Sabrina, who loved the sheer anticipation and genuine surprise of the experience. It's also true that we found entertainment in the various filler, confetti, and crepe paper utilized in crafting these balls and cones as well. With some of the stickers found inside we made a makeshift sash, tossed one of the cardboard crowns on our head and paraded around the house pretending we'd just inherited a kingdom of jewels and riches. A miniature rubber whoopee cushion was put to use embarrassing the dog, and the sparklers were put to use for an impromptu 'Happy Unbirthday' ceremony a week later. Truth be told Sabrina sill carried the little red Fortune Fish around with her to impress anyone who will listen, and I don't think our next party would be such a success without the presence of this brand.
As mentioned, another unique 'surprise' product TOPS Mailbu offers is their range of Surprize Candles, including the witty Dessert Treasure Candles, which promise to reveal 2 hidden gifts inside when lit at the beginning of one's dinner. Not only do these unique beeswax coil candles offer a magical ambiance, but you'll find yourself simply giddy as the dripping wax melts away to reveal these tiny trinkets. There's even a 'Love' variety set that would be quite precious at any Wedding reception.I especially love that the candles are actually rolled sheets of wax, so one could technically 'cheat' if they got especially impatient. Our candles revealed beautiful seashells, wish lockets, precious stones, and lucky charms. TOPS' Treasure candles are also sold in larger variants with longer burn times and more surprises.

What Daughter Says: TOPS Mailbu brings instant magic, and conversation, to any party, or everyday event.


  1. These TOPS surprises look so cool! I would love to unravel the cute trinkets and fun baubles!

  2. I love learning about niche companies. They give me great ideas for unique gifts. And tere are surprises hidden in the surprises?! I would burst from excitement overload!

  3. I love these types of wonderful magical surprises too and am so glad I was introduced to them from your article. I'm going to visit them now.

  4. I would have adored that when I was little. It's a great mix of items.

  5. What a cool idea. I am totally going to get one for my daughter this summer.

  6. That is so pretty - I would love to get a gift like this

  7. I love how unique this is. What a great gift for the person who has it all. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Very cool thank you for sharing this company

  9. It is the little surprises in life that make it all worth while. I hadn't heard of Tops, but these look great!

  10. how fun and cool are these, love it!