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September 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 9




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TDmonthly's Expert Kid

8-Year-Old Superhero Puts Toys to the Test


TDmonthly Magazine uses experts from all facets of the toy business to review the products that come our way every month. With this guest reviewer, we go straight to the horse’s mouth, or, in this case, the kid’s mouth.

Banana Man is a masked 8-year-old, a veteran of the toy wars, having enough games and goodies of his own to know the good from the bad from the just plain fun. We let him loose with a few new items to get a child's perspective and ratings, and a few insights into what makes a toy “bananariffic.”

This month, TDmonthly Magazine’s Expert Kid shot an alien video with vinyl collectibles and a conga drum, flew — and crashed — an R/C plane, and puzzled out one of his favorite video game characters, rating each product with 1 to 5 TD stars (for TDmonthly!); 5 is the top mark.

Mario Kart DS Visual Echo 3D Puzzle (Luigi Kart)
by HOBBICO
Age: 6 and up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Puzzles & Skill
MSRP: $7.99

TDmonthly rating:


What It Is: A holographic jigsaw puzzle of a Mario Kart DS scene featuring Luigi.

What Banana Man Liked: This 3-D puzzle has Mario on it, and people LOVE Mario. It has an even bigger Luigi! It was easy and challenging, so it was fun (my dad helped, but I could have done it myself, and I liked doing it with my dad). When I was done, I put it somewhere where I could look at it. I would do others like this, as long as they have Mario.

What Banana Man Didn’t Like: Nothing. This puzzle was awesome.

The Coolest Thing About It: It’s 3-D.

Tinpo Fashion Victims - Series 2 by UNKL
Age: 8 and up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Collectibles
MSRP: $25.00

TDmonthly rating:



What It Is: A collection of weird figurines.

What Banana Man Liked: There were only four little figures, but five slots for them in the box. One of the little guys was missing because it was banned — that was cool ‘cause it came with a death certificate. It was a really funny gag. The figures were good to make videos with. They made great aliens, and then some of them turned into zombies. That turned into a dream, but they were still zombies in the dream.

What Banana Man Didn’t Like:
I would want the one NOT banned.

The Coolest Thing About It: One of them looks like an alien pig 'cause it is pink and weird.

Woodstock Conga Drum by WOODSTOCK CHIMES
Age: 4 and up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Musical Toys
MSRP: $45.00

TDmonthly rating:



What It Is: A mini, tunable conga drum.

What Banana Man Liked: It plays good music, and I LOOOVE playing good music. I listen to my iPod and play the drum along with it. It also made a great rocket ship in the video with alien zombies. It makes a lot of noise, and sometimes when I bang it really hard it busts my eardrums. I liked that it has a drum key to tune it, too.

What Banana Man Didn’t Like: It does not have a real conga top; the top is plastic.

The Coolest Thing About It: It made a great alien spaceship.

FlyZone Micro Ultrix by HOBBICO
Age: 12 and up
Gender: Boys and Girls
Category: Aircraft

TDmonthly rating:



What It Is: An electric-powered, radio-controlled plane that is small and ultra light.

What Banana Man Liked: It flew really high, and even I could fly it, even though I’m not 12. It looked pretty cool, too. I could figure out the controls, and I only crashed it a couple of times. The two propellers were cool, and they didn’t hurt me when I stuck my fingers in the propellers. I want to get a bigger one now.

What Banana Man Didn’t Like: I stepped on it and broke it. But my dad fixed it. I wish the batteries would last longer — like an hour!

The Coolest Thing About It: I flew it into my dad’s head.



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Writer's Bio: Mark Zaslove is an entertainment industry veteran in developing content (writing, directing and producing television and feature films) for the major studios, including Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. A two-time Emmy Award winner for writing and recipient of the Humanitas Prize (for writing uplifting human values in television and movies), Mark is also Head of Content Development for Nice Entertainment. Read more articles by this author

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