Toy Trucks will go head to head: Tonka’s Rumblin’ Chuck versus Mattel’s Stinky Garbage Truck

February 22, 2010

Hasbro's Tonka Rumblin' Chuck

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.

Mattel's Stinky Garbage Truck

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Toy Fair 2010: Paper thin music from WowWee

February 19, 2010

Paper Jamz from WowWee

Imagine a piece of paper that you can play like a guitar, a drum set…sounds pretty cool. WowWee, always on the cutting edge of fun tech toys, is bringing out a new line call Paper Jamz.  The line will include paper thin instruments (six guitars, six drums and an amplifier) that uses what they call Active Graphic Technology.  We didn’t get to play with the prototypes at toy fair, but we hope to have samples to try by early Spring. The products will retail from $14.99 for the amp and $24.99 for the drums and guitars.

What some parents may really love..there is volume control AND you can plug in earphones so that your rock-musician-in-training can rock out without driving you crazy!


Nature at Toy Fair courtesy of Safari Ltd.

February 19, 2010

In the middle of Toy Fair...a gentle bear.

If you’ve ever been at a big trade show, you know that after a day or two–you start craving real air, real food, real anything.  Something about concrete floors (badly covered with carpeting), horrible concession food and the din of the crowds that makes you want to find a tree and hug it.  So I was happy to have a little nature (albeit plastic) retreat in the miniature at Safari Ltd. – they are the masters of making really small animals. Wilderness in the miniature

We visited briefly with Safari’s President, Ramona Pariente– who was very gracious even though we were in the final hours of the show and by our own admission a little slap happy to be approaching the finish line.

You’ve probably seen their line in museum, gift and specialty stores. I’m not sure why but this collection of super small animals makes me so happy.  What is it about miniature things that seem so fun?

Of course these small animals are just right as props for dramatic play whether it’s in combination with blocks or just on their own. The line is so extensive, that you’re bound to be able to find the animals, fish, bugs or birds that capture your child’s interest. Designed for kids 3 & up, these are wonderful to collect and play with!

Nature (really tiny) from Safari Ltd.


Toy Fair 2010 Preview: Playmobil – get ready to build!

February 17, 2010

Playmobil's Dragon

We stopped by Playmobil today and visited with  Michelle Winfrey.  Last year you’ll remember we gave the Playmobil Egyptian setting our Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award.  Each year we wonder what will be the big new theme. This year, there were several new sets that I think will be a hit with our testers.  The two biggest sets are the Dragons – complete with Castles that can connect by a bridge. It made me think of that portion of the original Shrek movie.  (Of course here the dragons are not  trying to court Eddie Murphy, but hey it’s pretend so I guess anything’s possible!). You can take a closer look by watching our video with Michelle.

Playmobil's Fire Fighter Sets

The next set that really caught our attention was the Fire Fighters. What we love about Playmobil is the attention to detail in planning a series. As you’ll notice in our video of the Fire Fighters series, there’s not only a really cool looking fire station (complete with pole), there are two different fire trucks, a fire chief’s truck and a fire boat.


Face of the Day: From Steiff

February 17, 2010

A bear to love from Steiff

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.


The cutest doll of the day!

February 16, 2010

Just wanted to share this face (complete with freckles!)….from Corolle!  More details to follow.


Toy Fair 2010: LEGO DUPLO

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.

DUPLO BUCKET

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.