We were really blown away by the Hasbro Play-Doh 3-D Flash Art. It wasn’t until I tested it with two high school students (both having just finished AP Physics) that I fully appreciated how cool this toy is and how useful it would be in any science class. Watch the video and you’ll see how art is a beautiful display of science! Read our complete review.
Needed to share this face with you right away! So cute and amazingly soft. More to follow on this classic handmade line of huggables from Steiff.
We started the day at LEGO – always fun. LEGO Duplo is the line designed as an entry point for older toddlers and preschoolers. New for 2010: a bigger bucket–we consider this basic gear for preschoolers.
The big new theme is a farm…
LEGO’s Julie Stern, always a pleasure to work with– took us through the showroom. Watch the video.
We saw the Sing-a-majigs at toy fair preview last month and we weren’t allowed to talk about them. It’s like being told what your best friend is getting for their birthday — and not being able to tell for weeks. So we were really excited today to see them again.
I thought maybe we had romanticized them…yes, at this point you can say–it’s a toy, get over it. But hey, this is what we do for a living. So when a really fun and innovative toy comes along–we get excited.
I’m happy to report that these cute little dolls (that will retail for a reasonable $12.99 each) are just about the best thing going. They babble to each other, they sing together and perhaps most remarkably they harmonize! AND they’re easy to make work.
Some pics from just before our segment about Toys with Lasting Play Value…trying to keep the kids engaged and not too noisy while Ann, Al, Natalie, Lester and Jenna talk. One of our toy testers Josie was about to take the stroller off the set–but came back after we strategically placed her mom right near Natalie ( just off camera).
During the segment…everyone is fully engaged with the toys!
Hooray! Segment complete!
We sometimes get caught up with getting the latest novelty toy of the season…but sometimes the most enjoyed gifts are the products that get little air time and media buzz.
One of the best presents you can give any child is a basket full of art supplies. If you can remember how great a new box of 64 Crayola Crayons smelled…you know what I’m talking about. Whether it’s crayons, markers, a juicy pad of paper…all of these can spark a renewed interest in exploring their creative side!
If you’re looking for a high tech learning toy this season, we high recommend Leapfrog’s TAG and TAG Junior reading systems. Both marry technology with collections of award winning books. Do they replace reading a book with your child? Of course not–but they will encourage your kids to explore and “read” books on their own.
Full review and shopping info for both
We’d skip their My Pal Scout–this is designed to be an interactive pet for toddlers. We found him to be less than huggable and the skills he’s meant to teach are better taught with real life experiences. All of the current interactive, downloadable dolls on the market pale in comparison to the old Actimates from Microsoft. Their original Barney really became Barney for little children. It was truly magical to watch kids interact with this doll. This doll doesn’t compare.
Here are our some of favorites of the season– click on the name of the product to read our complete review at www.toyportfolio.com
For younger children:
Two great cameras for 3s and up to enjoy:
If you have a child totally into cars, you need to look at:
For kids 8 & up:
For really advanced builders:
We look at toys all year long…we’re always writing about new trends and new ways of sorting the toys (gender-free, green, multi-cultural, price, high-tech, etc. ). When we first started toyportfolio.com we had a Top Ten Worst Toy List — a list that probably didn’t make us too many friends in toyland…but was a favorite with feature reporters. Our worst list came to mind when we received word of the new PETA list – naming Naughty and Nice Toys for 2009– yet another perspective on toyland. Take a look at their list.
I wonder whether the organization is in favor of all the fake animals…zhu zhu hamsters, furreal pets, etc?