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.
Since I started out as a corporate lawyer…who now plays with toys for a living, I’m always curious about how other people end up in the toy business. Today’s interview is with Fair Indigo’s founder Rob Behnke.
I just got an amazing new collection of small wooden blocks…150 pieces with an even greater price. The quality is very good–there are both plain and colored blocks. I was really psyched -hoping we could get a safety verification form quickly so that we could put it on our Platinum List. But then I looked at the age label 2 & up and while all of the pieces pass the federal guidelines for small parts with a choke tube, the pieces are just a tad bigger than the regulations provide. In otherwords, they are legal but if you used a toilet paper roller (recommended to consumers by the CPSC), the pieces would fail.
This year we got many many sets with toys for pieces that are unnecessarily small. And while you could argue that your two year old may not choke, the pieces could certainly gag your toddler. If you’ve watched toddlers play, you know they still taste their toys.
There is no developmental or educational value of smaller parts for this age group that outweighs the safety issues poses by these smaller pieces.
So – yes toys are much safer this holiday season. The toy industry is now required to pre-test toys -rather than the old self-regulation systems. But still know that you are still the best consumer advocate your child can have. We still advise you to take a toilet paper roller and do your own at home test. If the toy fits within diameter of the roller, put it away for now.
If you’re looking for a first doll for a baby or toddler, take a look at Corolle’s Rag Dolls–they are extremely huggable, sweet and soft.
The weather is a little zany here in nyc…windy, oddly warm, sun, then no sun…in any case it made me think of the really playful collection of Les Deglingos. Everyone that comes into our office reaches for them…they have a folk art feel–but are edgy all at the same time. The mixture of textures are fun for little fingers to explore. Read our full review.
Green toys used to mean a recycling truck here or there…or a paper maker, but now there are many toys that are either manufactured with a green mandate or promote a positive green message to kids. The biggest trend are dolls made from organic materials–not all created equal in our book. Green shouldn’t have to mean scratchy or boring in design or color. Happily we received many that found the right blend of green and whimsy! The other big category — trucks…many made of recycled materials – were a real draw to our testers. Then there are the throw back toys–my personal favorite, the wind-up FM Radio.
Here’s the list of our Top Green Toys for 2009. Complete reviews on our our site, www.toyportfolio.com. Click on the toy name to read our rating/review.
Dolls and Dollhouse
Other Green Toys of Interest
Love this activity table just right for toddlers! Read our full review.
Finding toys for toddlers can be super challenging! They’ve outgrown their baby toys–but not quite ready yet for more complex toys geared to preschoolers. The toys need to match their new found mobility and desire to do things again and again!
Here are just five of my favorites:
Little People Load ‘n Go Wagon (Fisher-Price)
Step 2 Basic Rhythms Piano (Step 2)
Playskool Clipo Creativity Table (Playskool)
Schylling Color Roller (Schylling)
Rollipop Toddler Starter and Advanced Sets (Edushape)
The full reviews are on our site, www.toyportfolio.com.