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.
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.
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.
Interesting video about the work they’re doing at Ohio State University Medical Center for children with special needs. They have a toy library where toys have been adapted to better suit the needs of kids that come to their center. Watch the video
To find out if there is a toy library in your area, visit the USA Toy Library Association website.
For a list of toys that need little or no adapting, see our list of SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award winners on our site at www.toyportfolio.com.
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.
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:
Zhu Zhu Hamsters are getting all the media coverage (yes, I participated in some of it), but they are certainly not the only really special novelty toys of the season. Here’s a list of other toys that may just do the trick!
Other cute animals that have a little extra something.
Yakety Yaks (Mary Meyer) Each of these animals make a noise. There is a pig, a monkey, an owl, a lamb, a bear and dogs. They don’t run around like Zhu Zhus but they are pretty cute on their own. Read our review.
FurReal Friends Newborn Puppy (Hasbro)- This a very sweet little puppy that wags his tail and makes little barking sounds. This is one of many in this line–there are dogs, cats, a panda, a bear. We like the dogs the best. (In interest of full disclosure -we’re not big cat people.) We also have not received safety verification forms on these little guys–so there is no official review on our site.
Two other really cool novelty toys that should not be missed:
Hexbug Nanos (Innovation First) -Each of these small robotic bugs come in a test-tube like container. We see that the price has come down since we first reviewed them–they are now $7.99. Turn them on and they really are like little bugs! They come in lots of colors and are fun to pull out of a pocket or bagpack. Read our full review.
Watch our videos:
Doodle Car (Day Dream Toys)- We love these super cool cars that follow lines you draw with a washable marker. Pretty cool. Company also has seasonal downloads of roadways you can print and use with their cars. Read our full review. Watch our video.
Here are three from our Platinum List that will appeal to everyone!