Attention Science Teachers: Physics and Art!

October 5, 2010

Hasbro's Play-Doh 3-D Flash Art

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.

Watch the video.

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More Video of Mattel’s Stinky Garbage Truck

February 22, 2010

Mattel's Stinky Garbage Truck

Here’s some more video of Stinky Garbage Truck from Mattel–will be launched in the fall.


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


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: Crayola’s new Spira-Chalk Blaster

February 18, 2010

Crayola Spira Chalk Blaster

Check out our video of Crayola’s new spinning chalk top…looks like fun and even more fun  to say if you pretend you are Tina Turner in Mad Max…Spira-Chalk Blaster!!!   Click here to watch our video.  Our review will be posted on our website, http://www.toyportfolio.com.  If you’re not in cold weather like we are here in New York City–and looking for a fun chalk set, we’d recommend their current 3D Chalk Sets.  With all of the cold weather we’ve had recently, the thought of being in a warm enough climate for chalk…sounds really good!

Thanks to Susan and Stacy for demonstrating the spinning top!


Toy Fair 2010: Star Wars LEGO: So good!

February 16, 2010

Star Wars LEGO: Hans Solo being placed in carbonite

If you are a big Star Wars LEGO fan, you’ll be really excited to see the new sets scheduled for 2010.  We asked LEGO’s Julie Stern to take us through the new sets so that you could take a look.   Watch the video.  You’ll hear both my mother Joanne and brother James (noted Tech expert and founder of jamesgames.com) on this video. We’re a noisy bunch.

Oh no! Hans! We'll save you!

On this  second video you can see James’ reenactment of Hans Solo being taken away after being frozen in carbonite.    It’s this attention to detail that we really appreciate.  If you watch this video, you will have a glimpse into my childhood!  You can also hear my mother in the background laughing.


LEGO: Open-ended sets are Basic Gear

February 16, 2010

One of the best press releases I’ve read this week came from LEGO.  It affirmed their commitment to open-ended sets.  While it’s often their more elaborate model sets that get most of the press, the importance of providing kids with open-ended construction sets can not be underestimated.

LEGO Basic Bucket

This new blue bucket looks promising–it comes with a rainbow of LEGO bricks…and wheels (always fun). There is no right or wrong way here–just whatever you feel like building.

While some kids are more secure having a model to follow–having the freedom to create your own structures is something we should all experience.  Chances are you probably have a bucket worth of LEGO bricks around the house…why not spill them out on the table and see what your family comes up with.