February 16, 2010
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 DUPLO FARM
There’s also a new set that includes numbers as an added feature.
LEGO’s Julie Stern, always a pleasure to work with– took us through the showroom. Watch the video.
February 14, 2010
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.
Watch the video.
December 14, 2009
If you have kids that are into performing, here’s a big ticket item from Lisa LeLeu that is very special. Click here to read our complete review. My apologies to the company–this award winning toy got lost in the shuffle when we switched over to our new website!
November 20, 2009
At $14.95 each, these cute wood cat and dogs–are just right for a safe and green toy for toddlers. To read the full review, click here. We love the cat, dog and the Hybrid Car…all from ImagiPlay.
November 10, 2009
Finding arts and crafts activities that will appeal to both boys and girls can be challenging since so many kits are so gender-specific.
Here are three from our Platinum List that will appeal to everyone!
Creativity for Little Kids Finger Paints (Creativity for Kids)
Crayola Crayon Maker (Crayola)
Money Monster Banks (Creativity for Kids)
November 10, 2009
Love this activity table just right for toddlers! Read our full review.
November 3, 2009
Mattel's MindFlex Game
The first time we saw this game was at toy fair. Now in all fairness, when we go to toy fair, we’re a pretty silly group. So when the demonstrator for MindFlex at the Mattel showroom was trying his best to show us this super cool toy, we kept distracting him. At one point, he even seemed a little anxious about not being able to perform his toy demonstrator duties.
He wore a headgear that had two clips that he attached to his earlobes. From there he told us that he could control the little blue ball with his mind-making it go up and down and through the obstacle course. To be absolutely honest here, I was sure we were being punked. I kept looking around to see if this was a joke. They assured me that it was for real–and that normally when people allow the guy to do his thing it really works.
Ok, ok…sometimes we don’t behave well. I wrote down the toy as something we’d love to see but then I stopped thinking about it. Last month while I was at the Today Show, Dave– one of the best stage managers ever– showed me a clip of his son working the MindFlex. ( What would we all do without our iphone video clips?) Anyway…he could not say enough great things about this toy. How it appealed to both of his boys and that it helped with working on concentration as a skill.
With that great recommendation, we asked for one to be sent right away. Sure enough this is one of the coolest toys we’ve tested, period. We’ve added it to this year’s Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award List.
The other amazing aspect of the toy is that it appeals to tweens, teens and adults. My dad, a spry guy in his late 70s, also took a run at the toy. He was surprised , as was every adult that has tried it, that he could make it work. It really is so futuristic — makes me wonder what kind of toys I’ll be reviewing down the road.
So if you’ve seen an ad or a commercial – know that this is for real and loads of fun. The platform has interchangeable parts so that you can challenge yourself and others to different obstacle courses. Such a great design aspect–making this a more open-ended play experience. And if you’re looking for something to buy a video game addicted teen, here you go.
Click here to read our full review…and watch the video.
November 2, 2009
If you’re working on color concepts in your house, playing games can be a fun way to reinforce the concepts. Here five favorites:
Candy Land Castle Game (Milton Bradley)
eeBoo Preschool Color Memory Game (eeBoo)
Hot Wheels Color Shifters Blaster (Mattel)
Color Wonder Paper and Markers (Crayola)
Lego Duplo (Lego Systems)
Complete reviews are on our site www.toyportfolio.com
November 2, 2009
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.