October 2011 | Vol. X - No. 10
V for Vendetta Mask by RUBIE'S COSTUME COMPANY
The product is a Face mask based on the V for Vendetta movie. The white plastic mask fits most teens to adults.
— As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.2 out of 5 stars from 138 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Good replica of mask from V for Vendetta. Cons: Several reviewers said the item was flimsy and scratched easily; a bit large for kids. 10/10/2011 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 8 to 13)
Angry Birds Knock on Wood Board Game by MATTEL INC.
One player draws a construction card and builds the structure shown. Next, an opponent loads an Angry Bird onto the launcher and catapults the bird to knock down structures and pigs. The player with the most points and knockdowns wins. Features three Angry Birds, four green pigs, one slingshot-style launcher, structure pieces and multiple mission cards. For one or more players. Launch date: May 2011.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 3.9 out of 5 stars from 252 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Great alternative to the app for parents who want to reduce kids' screen time; fun for the family to play together; helps kids develop dexterity and patience. Cons: Certain structures are too elaborate to build and don't seem to be grouped in the correct level of difficulty; kids with short attention spans may lose interest in building the structures; structures are easy to knock down, which can be frustrating for younger players. 2/18/2011 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 5 and Up)
Rory's Story Cubes by GAMEWRIGHT
This pocket-sized story generator is designed to provide hours of imaginative play for all ages. With Rory's Story Cubes®, anyone can become a great storyteller and there are no wrong answers. Players simply roll the cubes and let the pictures spark the imagination. "Rory's Story Cubes is unique because of its simplicity, small packaging, low price point and endless story possibilities. It's a great learning and writing tool that can be played with one person or a large group as a party game," Emily Nichols, marketing coordinator for Gamewright, told TDmonthly. Launch date: March 2010.
Awards: 2009 Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games of the Year; 2010 Major Fun Award; 2010 Parents’ Choice Gold Award, Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence Award, iParenting Media Award, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 306 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Helps develop story telling ability; promotes cooperative play; creative; affordable. Cons: One reviewer said they were bored with it after playing a few times, but that it is very affordable.
— Stacy Kalisz of The Old Schoolhouse Magazine “absolutely loved” using the Story Cubes with her family as they came up with a variety of games. One of their favorite play variations “is to tell a group story, with each person using one die on his or her turn.” 12/28/2009 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 8 and Up)
LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar by LEGO
The all-new LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar comes with 24 unique gifts, including an exclusive Santa Claus Yoda minifigure plus vehicles and accessories from the Star Wars universe. Features 8 minifigures, mini Millennium Falcon and X-wing Starfighter, and is 266 pieces total. 8/22/2011 (MSRP: $49.88; Age: 6 to 14)
Syma - 3 Channel Radio Controlled Infrared Remote Controlled Electric RC Micro Mini Helicopter w/ Gyro by TOY WONDERS INC.
S107 Syma - 3 Channel Radio Controlled Infrared Remote Controlled Electric RC Micro Mini Helicopter w/ Gyro + Colorful Strobing LED Lights. This S107 equipped with NEW Gyroscope System for simpliest controls and stabilities, NEW Metal Frame & Body for extra durabilities, NEW Awesome Look and Design, and Bright strobing muti-color LED headlights so you can enjoy flying in the dark. At only 7" long, it easily fits in the palm of your hand and is fully functional. This S107 even has the option to charge directly from computer's USB port (USB cable included) or transmitter which uses "AA" batteries! S107 is in RED & YELLOW colors. Each Helicopter is individually packed in a window box. Box size: 17.75"L x 3"W x 7.25"H.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 730 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Lightweight, durable, two methods of charging. CONS: Not suitable for children under 14; repairs are difficult.
12/15/2010 (MSRP: $60; Age: 8 and Up)
Syma - 3 Channel Electric Helicopter RTF w/ Auto Stabilizing Gyro + Metal Frames + Cool Strobing Head Lights by TOY WONDERS INC.
S032 Syma - 3 Channel Electric Helicopter RTF w/ Auto Stabilizing Gyro + Metal Frames + Cool Strobing Head Lights. 11.5" long helicopter comes with battery, charger and transmitter. The Syma S032 RC helicopter can go forward, backward, left, and right. This S032 even equipped with bright strobing LED head lights, so you can enjoy flying in the dark. The unique co-axial rotors counter-rotate for unprecedented stability. Light and safe, this helicopter will transform any indoor environment into a cool chopper fly zone. Get about 12 minutes flight time per charge. S032 is in RED & WHITE 2-tone colors.
— As of 12/17/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 899 reviews on Amazon.com. 12/15/2010 (MSRP: $70; Age: 8 and Up)
LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer by LEAPFROG
Though sleek and thin, the LeapPad can withstand kids' roughhousing and dirty fingers. Designed to be flipped, shaken, and turned by little hands, the LeapPad comes with a tilt sensor for game control that puts kids in the middle of the action. A 5-inch color touch screen makes it easy for kids of all ages to learn and interact. There are more than 100 learning games, videos, books, and apps available, and topics covered include spelling, phonics skills, mathematics, science, music, geography, and more.
— As of 8/29/2011 this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 96 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Larger screen than other LeapFrog products; works with Leapster explorer games and apps; comes with extra stylus in case one gets lost. Cons: Screen and camera resolution are low; takes 4 batteries; processing is slow; most apps need to be purchased separately. 6/30/2011 (MSRP: $99.99; Age: 4 to 9)
LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer Carrying Case by LEAPFROG
Kids can use this stylish case to hold their LeapPad Explorer and 6 game cartridges (fits cartridges for LeapPad Explorer and Leapster Explorer systems). Launch date: 2011. 10/10/2011 (MSRP: $17.99; Age: 4 to 9)
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Black Pearl 4184 by LEGO
Take home this LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean The Black Pearl (4184). After 13 years, Davy Jones has come to take Jack Sparrow back to the Flying Dutchman. As his tentacled adversary boards the Black Pearl with his brackish crew, Maccus and Bootstrap Bill, Jack and his friends Will and Joshamee are in no mood to surrender just yet. The LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean The Black Pearl (4184) includes: Jack Sparrow MiniFigure; Will Turner MiniFigure; Joshamee Gibbs MiniFigure; Davy Jones MiniFigure; Maccus and Bootstrap Bill MiniFigures. Contains 804 pieces. Launch date: October 2011. 10/14/2011 (MSRP: $99.99; Age: 9 to 16)
Brilliant Basics Baby's First Blocks by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Ten bright blocks are ready for baby to drop into the open bucket or through the shape-sorting lid. This toy is designed for developing eye-hand coordination and other early skills. Then children can move on to sorting, stacking and learning about identifying and matching shapes. This set includes a plastic shape-sorting box with a handle and ten colorful blocks.
Awards: 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Classic Award Winner.
— As of 05/21/2012 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 314 reviews on Amazon.com. PROS: Basic, durable baby toy that keeps children entertained. CONS: Lid does not snap on; May contain carcinogens.
7/26/2010 (MSRP: $12.99; Age: 0 and Up)
LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon 7965 by LEGO
Escape from the Death Star in the iconic GO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965). Straight from the Death Star escape scene of Episode IV A New Hope, the all new LEGO Millennium Falcon features stunning details, like hull plates that open to reveal a detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating quad laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover. Featuring Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader, kids can rewrite history and help Ben Kenobi defeat his evil nemesis from the dark side. The LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon (7965) includes * Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Ben Kenobi, Princess Leia Organa and Darth Vader MiniFigures * Millennium Falcon features opening hull, detailed interior, twin flick missiles, rotating laser cannons and detachable cockpit cover * 3 lightsabers, 3 blasters and 1 crossbow also included
– As of 07/23/2012 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 73 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Set is very large; figures all fit inside the ship once it's built; sturdy once assembled. Cons: Though many reviewers said the set was durable enough to be played with, some reviewers reported that the set fell apart easily. 9/1/2011 (MSRP: $139.99; Age: 9 to 14)
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home Playset by FISHER-PRICE INC.
The Laugh & Learn Learning Home Playset from Fisher-Price is a place that's full of fun ways for baby to learn, from A-B-C's and 1-2-3's to fascinating everyday experiences, with musical inspiration, sing-along songs, and plenty of discoveries. Both sides are loaded with activities, music, speech, and sounds. The playset combines early academics and everyday experiences.Teaches: Letters, Numbers, Counting, Shapes, Opposites, Colors, Greetings & more.
— As of 08/08/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 710 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Actually interests children for the whole age range; easy to assemble; helps kids learn how to stand. Cons: Expensive. 8/8/2011 (MSRP: $89.99; Age: 0 to 3)
LEGO MiniFigure Series 5 8805 by LEGO
The LEGO MiniFigure Series 5 adds 16 all-new, special MiniFigures to the growing LEGO MiniFigure Collection. Each MiniFigure comes in a sealed, mystery bag. Each character has its own special accessories, display plate and collector's leaflet. Inspired by movies, sports, history and just everyday life. This collection includes: Fitness Instructor, Snowboarder Guy, Lizard Man, Lumberjack, Gladiator, Small Clown, Egyptian Queen, Evil Dwarf, Boxer, Ice Fisherman, Zoo Keeper, Graduate, Royal Guard, Cave Woman, Detective.
— As of 10/10/2011 this product had 4.9 out of 5 stars from 9 reviews on ToysRUs.com.
— Robert Lightburn from Cville's Hobbies, Games and Toys in Charlottesville, Va., told TDmonthly in an October 2011 survey that LEGO items sell well with the tween crowd. 10/10/2011 (MSRP: $3.49; Age: 5 to 7)
TRON: Legacy Deluxe Identity Disc by SPIN MASTER TOYS
Get the ultimate prop replica with this Tron Deluxe Identity Disc. Watch the lights change and swing the Disc around to activate the motion sounds just like in the movie. The Tron Deluxe Identity Disc includes: 1 Deluxe Identity Disc and 1 Display Stand.
— As of 10/25/2011 this product had 4.3 out of 5 stars from 8 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: accurate replica; good for collector and child. Cons: Light and sound effects are only average; lights don't stay on long. 10/25/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 4 to 10)
Sassy Ring O' Links by SASSY
Sassy Ring O Links offers youngsters a variety of textures to enhance tactile experiences. A bright, bold spectrum of colors keeps kids interested- no link is quite the same. The bold black and white pattern on the ring itself offers high-contrast imagery that is ideal for developing eyes.
As of 05/20/2011 this product had 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com from 65 reviews. Pros: Durable; Multi-use (toy, teething rings); very colorful. Cons: Cheaper to just get the "bag o links;" the large black and white link detaches too easily from other links. 5/5/2011 (MSRP: $4.99; Age: 1 and Up)
Crayola Magnetic Double Easel by CRAYOLA LLC
This magnetic dry-erase boardand chalkboard provides a large work area. Each board includes a clip to hold paper. The set includes four detachable storage bins for holding art accessories and a folding easel for easy storage, and comes with an eraser and 77 magnetic letters and numbers.
— As of 8.12.10, this product had 4 out of 5 stars from 130 reviews on ToysRUs.com and was listed No. 6 in best-selling toys and games. PROS: Educational, long-lasting, engaging. CONS: Messy; some parents questioned its quality. 8/12/2010 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 3 and Up)
Twist & Fold Activity Gym by INFANTINO LLC
Designed to pop up in a single motion, this play gym includes four toys and a bolster pillow to be used for tummy time. It is available in two color options.
— Real Moms Real Views “was wowed by the [Gym’s] COLORS! They are so bright and fun.” The reviewer said, “Set up is a breeze,” and the Activity Gym “would make a wonderful Baby Shower Gift too!”
— “Infantino knows babies and knows what Mom's want and need in quality infant products,” declared Deborah Sloan at Baba’s Farm Life. Deborah loved how well thought out the Twist & Fold Activity Gym is with its emphasis on stimulation, style and safety for baby.
— As of 05/24/2011 this product had 4.6 out of 5 stars from 62 reviews on Amazon.com. Cons: one reviewer said that hers would not stand up straight; One person said the colors in real life were different than those depicted online. 10/28/2009 (MSRP: $36.99; Age: 0 and Up)
Electronic Battleship Advanced Mission by HASBRO INC.
The Electronic Battleship Advanced Mission game by Hasbro features a laptop design that brings this classic naval combat game to eye level for greater command of the fleet. Sinking opponent's ships is even more exciting with improved sound and commands that immerse players in each strategic battle. When done playing, the unit folds up for quick and easy storage. Includes folding Battleship unit, 10 plastic ships, 200 white pegs, 100 red pegs, 50 blue pegs, 3 blue aircraft, 3 red aircraft, label sheet and a mission instruction booklet.
— As of 10/25/2011 this product had 4.1 out of 5 stars from 28 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Entertaining; helps develop strategic thinking skills. Cons: Difficult to understand instructions; flimsy; several users reported faulty electronic elements. 10/25/2011 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 8 to 13)
Operation Buzz Lightyear by HASBRO INC.
Buzz Light Year's parts require some fixing. Fix Buzz's lazy laser or his busted ball joint. Operate carefully; if players hit the sides Buzz Light Year's laser sounds. Includes a storage drawer to store all of Buzz's parts.
— As of 10/25/2011 this product had 2.9 out of 5 stars from 7 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Interactive; fun. Cons: Too difficult for specified age group; flimsy. 10/25/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 6 to 12)
LEGO Fun Favor Pack by LEGO
Designed as party favors, the Fun Favor Pack contains 8 LEGO items ( 4 ea- Jeep and Yellow Airplane); Free LEGO Club membership and LEGOLAND Offers (free child admission). 6/30/2011 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 5 to 7)