December 9, 2009
V Tech's Kidizoom Digital Camera Plus
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:
LeapFrog Counting Candles (LeapFrog)
Two great cameras for 3s and up to enjoy:
Kidizoom Digital Camera Plus (V-Tech)
Disney Pix Jr Digital Camera (Disney)
If you have a child totally into cars, you need to look at:
Doodle-Track Cars (Day Dream Toys)
For kids 8 & up:
MindFlex Game (Mattel)
Eye Clops Night Vision Binoculars (Jakks Pacific)
For really advanced builders:
November 30, 2009
Disney's Princess Tiana
Last week I talked about this doll as one of the top five hottest toys in toyland on the TODAY Show. But because I only had two minutes to discuss five toys, I didn’t have time to demonstrate why this particular Princess Doll is so much fun. Watch our toyportfolio.com video and you’ll see the interactive/light up features of this talking doll.
Right after my segment, I got an email from Disney–reminding me that there were less expensive Princess Tiana dolls…so true. You can get your Princess fix for under $16. The Just One Kiss doll retails for $24.99–and I already see lots of price gauging. There are plainer Princess Dolls–but we have not personally seen or tested them–I do see some complaints on line about the quality of the least expensive version–but we can’t confirm. We’re thrilled that Disney is featuring the first African-American Princess. If you’d also like a book, we’d recommend Princess and the Royal Ball by Natasha A. Tarpley/illustrated by James Finch)–a full review is on our site.
October 20, 2008
When I told my 23 year old niece that American Girl was “retiring” Samantha (and her best friend Nellie)–she gasped. Before I started the Toy Portfolio with her grandmother, I remember the holiday season when she got her Samantha doll. It was a huge deal. My contribution was a matching nightgown for my niece (that cost more than most things I bought for myself!). I couldn’t believe the excitement that this doll and catalog generated with kids (and many of their mothers). I wasn’t much of a doll person myself so the whole experience was new to me. Of course after years now of reviewing the American Girl line I get the whole appeal. The attention to detail and the quality of both the dolls and the books were, and remain, unmatched in the industry.
I’ll miss Samantha…I wonder if she’ll be like the Disney DVD’s that come out of the vault from time to time?
Samantha now becomes an official generational marker–young women like my niece now share a part of Americana unique to their generation. American Girl is suggesting that girls (and women) can share their Samantha memories at americangirl.com/stories.