Pick of the Day: Doodle-Track Car…Amazing!!

September 21, 2009

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.

Doodle-Track Car

Doodle-Track Car

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.

Watch our video.

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Matchbox Rocky the Talking Truck Makes Friends

September 17, 2009
Matchbox Rocky the Talking Truck

Matchbox Rocky the Talking Truck

Decided to introduce Matchbox Rocky the Talking Truck (click here for full review)…to some of our friends in the office. Watch the video.


Spinmaster RC Air Hog Switchblade

July 20, 2009

The Spinmaster RC Air Hog Switchblade — has gotten a lot of buzz lately.  It was  featured on Letterman–where happily for the company and our friend Shannon…it worked on air–much to the delight of the audience (and Dave).

So we were eager to give this one a try.  The results were decidedly mixed.  If the Switchblade is fully charged, there is no wind–and you’re relatively skilled with these types of toys–it goes up and will fly–and it  is extremely cool.   Now here’s the down side–we could only get it to do what it’s supposed to do two or three times in the course of a full afternoon of testing.   This is not a load it up, charge it, take out and fly it kind of toy — it requires much more finesse.

After having several teens try it with limited success — (they all really wanted it to work)…in come my two adult engineering friends  (one  designs drone helicopters and the other has a degree in nuclear engineering).  Nothing like watching grown men get very excited about these types of toys.  I shared the reports of the day—and they both were not satisfied. They were sure that they could get it to work.  After about a half-hour of consulting  –they both gave in and concurred with their younger counterparts.  “Great idea, poor execution.”  They then offered a much more detailed report about why it wasn’t working.  (I love these guys.  I remember when we first started  toyportfolio.com, one dad (he worked for Dupont) sent back a ten page review of an Erector set with design modifications!)

One of my go to teen testers told me that he often reinforces the very lightweight material with some duck tape–so that crashes are less likely to do permanent damage to the toys. I thought  that info was worth passing on–of course, he warned that if you don’t put it on the right way you can blow the whole aerodynamics of the toy.  Of course!

So even though this toy can be fantastic…in the end, it can not sustain the wow factor.


Our favorite remote control cars of the season

November 27, 2007

bump.jpgI really love remote control cars. At toy fair every year I look forward to seeing the newest entries in this catergory. There are the big muscle RC vehicles that can do amazing spins and go through mud and water–and keep on going. These are always a big hit with adults as well as older kids.

But what if your five year old is asking for a remote control vehicle? Ideally you want to bring home an RC that’s easy enough to operate, making the experience fun and not frustrating.

Our favorites for this age group this year come from Kid Galaxy www.kidgalaxy.com. Bump n Chuck R/C Bumper Cars ($35) has a odd name but you’ll want to play with this set too. If you bump into your opponents car, the “driver” will pop out! We also liked their more challenging Scoop n Shoot RC Basketball ($40) where you are actually shooting small basketballs balls into the backboard on the moving basket. (This toy was not tested for lead content.)