Last year we’d have to say that Mattel’s Matchbox Rocky pretty much ran over Hasbro’s Tonka’s Talkin’ Chuck. Rocky just did so much more. (Watch the video of these two head to head.) This year we’ll have to see how the new Tonka Rumblin’ Chuck- who promises to do many more tricks (including moving side to side as if he’s ready to line dance)…will compare to the farting Stinky Garbage Truck from Mattel. We’ll be interested to test both of these interactive trucks when they arrive..for now you can check out their prototypes from Toy Fair. Click here to watch Rumblin’ Chuck.
Here’s Stinky…to watch him in action, click here to view our video.
Last year we had two talking trucks, Chuck and Matchbox Rocky. Take a look at this updated version of Chuck–he’s bigger and has more tricks. Look forward to trying this one with our testers. Watch our video.
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
You know how much we love the Doodle Track Cars…the folks at Daydream Toy just let me know that the interactive site is now launched–so that you can customize your own tracks. You go to www.doodletrackcar.com and click on Design and Print a Track. Next week they will have a Halloween theme posted. Lots of kids will enjoy customizing their own track–but my favorite is a huge piece of white paper and making your own track. Either way, this is an affordable must have for kids 4 & up that love all things cars! Watch the video.
Finding vehicles that are fun for older babies and toddlers that are SAFE can be rough going. Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars are fun for little hands, but the small parts make them a safety hazard for kids that still put toys in their mouths. We’ve all been there with our older toddlers…but this toy is really more about babies and toddlers.
Here’s what our testers LOVE about this one. It has a pull back mechanism that’s loads of fun, because it really takes off. This is a great toy for encouraging kids to move! The pleasing poppin’ beads inside are much like the classic Fisher-Price Corn Popper AND the toy is $6!
For a full review, visit www.toyportfolio.com
To watch the video, click here.
Read our article about Top Toys for Kids with ADHD. We’ve posted both a toy list and general guidelines that are good to have in mind before you set out to go shopping. And rather than be annoyed with your relatives for not getting it…send them the list as well.
By this time in the toy season, we’re pretty jaded. We’ve seen just about every new toy coming out for this holiday season. So when we say this is the most amazing toy of the year…we really mean it! At $14.99, this is just a magical play experience! The toy’s official name is Doodle-Track Car from Day Dream Toys. For a full review visit, www.toyportfolio.com.
Here’s what you do…you draw a line with a washable marker and then turn on the little car, put it on the paper with the drawn line–and it will follow the line…really….Each car comes with a little track and a marker, but we took big white paper and made our own track. You can also download customized tracks on their website www.doodletrackcar.com.
There are just a few days left…but here’s a really great product tied to an important cause.
here’s the press release:
Automoblox, May Institute, and the National Autism Center are proud to announce the launch of “Cars for Classrooms,” a unique summer charitable campaign created to donate innovative toy cars to schools working with children and adolescents with autism. Automoblox, the retro-modern, mix-and-match car design system, has won major awards for crafting a toy that incorporates creative problem solving, visual-spatial processing, and fine motor skills development into an ultra-cool play experience that appeals to kids of all ages and abilities.
With its “Cars for Classrooms” summer charitable campaign, Automoblox will donate one car to a school providing specialized educational services to children with autism for every car purchased at www.automoblox.com throughout the months of July and August 31, 2009. At the completion of the campaign, a list of schools that received Automoblox donations will be posted on each partner’s website. School selection will be managed by May Institute and the National Autism Center.
“Automoblox has always challenged the widespread trend of distraction and disposability in today’s toy market by fusing healthy, old-school play benefits into a unique design system, with a cool factor that speaks the current generation of kids,” says Joe Barrett, CEO of Automoblox Company. “We were thrilled to discover the developmental benefits our toys offer to special needs populations, especially children with autism. But this discovery left us with the problem of how to get these toys into the schools, which is why we’ve partnered with May Institute and the National Autism Center.”
Mr. Barrett continues, “Especially in this economy, when school resources are being continually stretched, we’re really excited to collaborate with these two nationally recognized organizations and our customers to help our toys reach the populations that need them the most.” FedEx will be donating their shipping services to deliver the cars to the schools.
May Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The National Autism Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving children and adolescents with ASD by providing reliable information, promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive resources for families, practitioners and communities.
According to Alan Harchik, Ph.D., BCBA, Senior Vice President of Educational Services for May Institute, “Social interactions, communication, and applying simple concepts to more complex problems are particularly challenging for children with autism. These toys offer us another context and additional opportunities to work on these important skills.”
“It is a thrill to partner with Automoblox,” says Susan M. Wilczynski, Ph.D., BCBA, Executive Director of the National Autism Center. “The company’s ingenuity and generosity will be so greatly appreciated by schools serving those with autism across the country.” Dr. Wilczynski continues, “We have a shared vision of providing schools with toys that will enhance and build on the educational experience for children with autism.”
The “Cars for Classrooms” campaign will run through August 31, 2009. To participate in the campaign, visit www.automoblox.com to purchase a car or truck. Customers participating in the campaign will enter the code “donation” at online checkout.
Combining the simplicity of warm, traditional wooden pieces, colorful translucent roofs and bright rubber tires, Automoblox offers an innovative play system that inspires creative thinking and many hours of educational fun for kids, young and old. Visit Automoblox online at www.automoblox.com.
About May Institute
May Institute is a nonprofit organization that provides educational, rehabilitative, and behavioral healthcare services to individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities, brain injury, mental illness, and behavioral healthcare needs. Headquartered in Randolph, Mass., the Institute also provides training and consultation services to professionals and organizations.
Since its founding over 50 years ago, May Institute has evolved into an award-winning national network that serves over 25,000 individuals and their families annually. The organization operates four schools for children and adolescents with ASD and other developmental disabilities, and provides school consultations to 200 over public school systems each year. For more information, visit www.mayinstitute.org.
About National Autism Center
The National Autism Center is dedicated to serving children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) by providing reliable information, promoting best practices, and offering comprehensive resources for families, practitioners, and communities.
An advocate for evidence-based treatment approaches, the Center shares practical information with families on selecting effective interventions. The Center also conducts applied research as well as identifies training and service models for practitioners. Finally, the Center works to shape public policy concerning ASD and its treatment through the development and dissemination of national standards of practice.
For more information about the National Autism Center, call (877) 313-3833 or visit www.nationalautismcenter.org.