TDmonthly Magazine
December 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 12
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December 2008 | Vol. VII - No. 12
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Roundtable Roundup: Measuring Toys’ Lasting Value

Families Give Games, Plush and Construction Toys the Test of Time


TDmonthly Magazine recently checked in with its Roundtable families to find out which toys and games they reviewed from April through October still held their interest and continued to be part of their weekly play.

Uncle Skunkle's Rapid 4 More
, International Playthings' Gotz Maxi Aquini Doll and the Language Littles dolls all received high marks for being played with several times per week, with Warm Whiskers being the most often-used toy. Play Odyssey's Pop-Up Pen Pal Cards were used five times per week, on average, but this rating comes primarily from the initial product review, during which time most of the components of the kit were used up. Along with the Pop-Up Cards, Qubits and PlaSmart's i-Gami construction toys scored the highest for the reviewers having requested a similar product.

In the chart below, see what the mothers and grandmothers had to say, and compare that to the TDmonthly star rating the toy received when first reviewed:

Product Month reviewed Times played with per week Comments Have they requested a similar product?
Clics by ToyLinks Inc.
TDmonthly rating:
April 1.52 Positive: “This is my son’s favorite toy. He plays with it almost every day since April.”

Negative: “The children prefer their tried-and-true building toy every time — LEGO!”
Yes: 3
No: 2
Zoobie™ Pets - Kojo the Croc and Hada the Hippo by ZOOBIES
TDmonthly rating:
May .75 Positive: “My 5-year-old daughter has continued to incorporate Kojo into her playtime with stuffed animals.”

Negative: “My children played with this toy for a month. No interest after that.”
Yes: 1
No: 3
Voxal Star, Pine, Ringo and Holly by VOXAL LLC
TDmonthly rating:
May .5 Positive: “The finished pieces have become room decorations.”

Negative: “Once you learn how to put it together and take it apart, there’s nothing else to do with it.”
Yes: 0
No: 4
Eloise by ALEXANDER DOLL CO. INC.
TDmonthly rating:
May 4 Positive: “My granddaughter takes the doll everywhere and really enjoys it.” Yes: 1
No: 2
I-Gami Starter Kit by PLASMART INC.
TDmonthly rating:
May 1.9
Positive: “The boys asked if there was an I-Gami in holiday colors.”

Negative: “I did not see this as a long-lasting toy and would not consider buying for others. The pieces were flimsy and it was difficult to undo the creations.”
Yes: 6
No: 1
My Knee-Rider by MY KNEE-RIDER DANOCO CORP.
TDmonthly rating:
May .75 Positive: “I think this toy would have been used more at Grandpa’s house.”

Negative: “Kids grow out of it; plus, they need a parent to play with them.”
Yes: 1
No: 4
Building Thinking Skills by THE CRITICAL THINKING CO.
TDmonthly rating:
June 2.7 Positive: “We’ve integrated both the worksheets and the CD-ROM into our regular [homeschool] curricula.”

Negative: “[My son] (9) finished each level. [My daughter] (7) finished about half of them. They don’t want to work through the same problems again.”
Yes: 2
No: 3
Flatsy Doll by SCHYLLING
TDmonthly rating:
June 2 Positive: “My daughter (7) would like a bigger version of the doll.”

Negative: “Fun for the first week, but out of sight, out of mind, maybe because it’s so small.”
Yes: 1
No: 2
Potty Monkey by POTTYMD
TDmonthly rating:
June 2 Positive: “My 2-year-old still loves to read the book and talk about Potty Monkey.” Yes: 1
No: 3
Carrera Go!!! Speed Racer 1:43 Scale Slot-Car Race Set by CARRERA
TDmonthly rating:
July 2.5 Positive: “This has been, hands down, my children’s favorite toy. My 14-year-old son, my 9-year-old son, my 7-year-old daughter, and my 5-year-old son all enjoyed this toy. Anything that can engage, for hours, ages 5 to 14, is a great toy.”

Negative: “Although they played with this repeatedly initially, this toy has not been requested much. They experienced frustration with keeping the cars on the track.”
Yes: 3
No: 3
Warm Whiskers Polar Bear Buddy Body Pillow and Laraby Lab Body Pillow by WARM WHISKERS
TDmonthly rating:
July 5.8 Positive: “I have noticed [my son] (3) smells like lavender in the mornings.” Yes: 3
No: 2
Language Littles - Jolie by LANGUAGE LITTLES
TDmonthly rating:
July 3.2 Positive: “This doll made her want to learn more about other countries, and I like that.” “My child learned some words in a new language.” Yes: 3
No: 1
TC Monkey by TREASURE CHEST PETS July 1.4 Positive: “My 7-year-old daughter still plays with her Treasure Chest Monkey every day.”

Negative: “Had [my 13-year-old daughter] been younger when she received it (ages 5-7), I believe she would have enjoyed it. The monkey was very attractive, and was used by one of my sons on his bed.”
Yes: 1
No: 4
Mark-My-Time™ Digital Bookmark by MARK-MY-TIME LLC
TDmonthly rating:
July 3 Positive: “I think this is a great tool for some children.” Yes: 1
No: 4
Pop-Up Pen Pal Cards by PLAY ODYSSEY AINC.
TDmonthly rating:
August 4.9 (most cards were used up during initial review) Positive: “Both my son (6) and daughter (8) loved this product. They were able to make cards quickly and have a lot of fun doing it.” Yes: 5
No: 1
Rapid 4® More by UNCLE SKUNKLE TOYS, INC.
TDmonthly rating:
August 3.5 Positive: “This game is still played by the boys. It’s easy for them to set up and play during their free time.”

Negative: “Because this was a HUGE hit with my boys initially, I was surprised that they never played it again after the first week.”
Yes: 3
No: 3
GeoPuzzle Europe by GEOTOYS LLC
TDmonthly rating:
August 1.9 Positive: “[My daughter] (7) has asked for puzzles of other continents. I use this puzzle in geography lessons.”

Negative: “The boys put this puzzle together several times initially, but it has not been pulled out since that first week.”
Yes: 3
No: 2
Götz® Maxi Aquini Blonde Baby Bath Doll by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS INC.
TDmonthly rating:
August 3.7 Positive: “My two 3-year-old grandsons enjoyed this doll as much as — if not more than — my granddaughter.” Yes: 2
No: 1
“Who Will Save Our Planet?” by ALL 4 KIDZ ENTERPRISES
TDmonthly rating:
August .8 Positive: “The boys read this book many times and [it] is still read today for reading time.”

Negative: “The message in this book is too scary, and short on actions that kids can take, to read it repeatedly. Having considered it for a time, I think it is less balanced than I proclaimed it to be in my [initial] review.”
Yes: 1
No: 4
Travel Charmers™ Soft Dolls by KidsGive, LLC
TDmonthly rating:
September 3 Positive: “[They] love it so much that they wanted to buy it for their friends’ birthdays.” “My granddaughter is taking one of these to school tomorrow for show-and-tell.” Yes: 2
No: 0
The Farming Game® by THE WEEKEND FARMER CO.
TDmonthly rating:
September 1.5 Positive: “Because this game is extremely time-consuming, and takes up quite a bit of space when it is being played, it’s not one the boys can play often. They did really enjoy this one, though, and they talk about wanting to play it again.”

Negative: “I love the concept of a game like this but think it needs to be simplified.”
Yes: 2
No: 4
Playful Chef by PLAYFUL LIFE
TDmonthly rating:
October 1.2 Positive: “My daughter (8) really loves this set and does pull it out — gets all dressed up and pulls out her little set of teaspoons, etc. It is a nice product!”

Negative: “My daughter lost interest after three cooking attempts. The set is nice, though.”
Yes: 2
No: 3
Qubits® the Construction Toy of the Future by QUBITS TOY COMPANY
TDmonthly rating:
October 1.7 Positive: “This kit is really unique in design and thus what your child (or husband!) can build with it is definitely unconventional compared to other building sets.”

Negative: “My children would like the kit to include other geometrically-shaped pieces so they can build more variety.”
Yes: 4
No: 1
Ruin by BUFFALO GAMES INC.
TDmonthly rating:
October 1.7 Positive: “The boys really enjoy this game and do choose to play it ever so often. It has been a lasting hit.” Yes: 1
No: 4



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Susan LedfordWriter's Bio: Susan Ledford is the writer, editor and publisher of the "Homeschool Resources Directory for S.C."  She has been evaluating toys and games for TDmonthly's Roundtable reviews since 2005. She also is a homeschool veteran of seven years. Read more articles by this author

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