August 2011 | Vol. X - No. 8
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
BANANAGRAMS® by BANANAGRAMS
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product." ( Watch Video) 6/19/2006 (MSRP: $14.99; Age: 7 and Up)
Toysmith Nonstick Bakeware Set by TOYSMITH
Kids can bake real desserts with this set which features 12-cup mini muffin pan, a mini loaf pan, a pan and 4" diameter springform pan. Comes with laminated recipe cards. Dishwasher safe.
— As of 8/29/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 11 reviews on Amazon.com. Pros: Oven and toaster oven safe; don't need to buy special mixes in order to use; durable; non-stick really works. Cons: Since pans are smaller than adult pans, users need to reduce most recipes that they want to use the pans for. 8/29/2011 (MSRP: $49.99; Age: 3 to 8)
Crayons 24-Pack by CRAYOLA LLC
This set of 24 crayons comes in a convenient tuck-box and features educator-preferred color selection
— As of 8.03.2010, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 4 reviews on Amazon.com and was #34 in the top 100 best-selling toys and games. PROS: Durable, with a variety of colors. CONS: None listed. 8/3/2010 (MSRP: $3.99)
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)
Air Swimmers Flying Fish - Clownfish by WILLIAM MARK CORP
These helium-filled clownfish balloons are remote controlled to "swim" through the air. The infrared remote functions include climb, descend, and tail fin control. Up to a 40 ft range. 57 inches long, 36 inches high. Launch date: 2011.
— As of 10/14/2011 this product had 3.3 out of 5 stars from 16 reviews on ToysRUs.com. Pros: Entertaining. Cons: Flimsy; hard to balance; does not work well in areas with AC, fans, or open doors or windows. ( Watch Video) 2/22/2011 (MSRP: $41.99)
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)
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)
Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Ocean Adventure Gym by KIDS II
This soft activity gym features an electronic aquarium with classical melodies and dancing lights. A whale-shaped prop-up pillow accompanies baby on this aquatic adventure, which comes to life with the crisp and colorful real-life scenery of the sea on the play mat. A soft textured border encourages tactile development. Remove the arch and the play gym becomes the perfect play mat for tummy time. Tummy time is enhanced by the animal peek-a-boo flaps with real-life imagery, as well as the ability to reposition and attach toys to loops on the mat or loops on the whale pillow. The play gym comes with several developmental and colorful plush and plastic toys, including a large fish-shaped baby-safe mirror, a set of Ocean Discovery cards featuring real-life images of 6 underwater animals, a Baby Neptune rattle, and a star-shaped teether. The play gym also has 8 links for repositioning the toys. The plush Octopus with various textures and dangling rattles and teethers offers baby an on-the-go toy. The play gym features a 2-in-1 musical aquarium toy that can be used both with the gym and in the crib. his underwater-themed gym folds up for easy transportation and storage.
— As of 05/20/2011 this product has 4.2 out 5 stars from 63 review on Amazon.com. Pros: Lots of elements can be detached; many reviewers like the light-up mobile. Cons: Not interactive enough; noises are annoying/ not melodical enough; not enough toys/toys not interesting enough. 5/5/2011 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 0 to 2)
Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym by FISHER-PRICE INC.
This activity gym is designed to stimulate babies with music, lights, nature sounds, games and textures. It features 20 minutes of parent-activated continuous music, and a baby mode with eight to 12 seconds of lights and music. Included are a floor quilt with silky borders and colorful arches, a spinner with rattling beads, spinning butterflies, a shiny mirror, a crinkly leaf and movable and stationary activity toys. The gym measures 20" x 32.5" x 32.5." 7/28/2010 (MSRP: $69.99; Age: 0 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)
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)
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)
Goodnight Moon Board Book – 60th Anniversary Edition by HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS
In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. "Goodnight room, goodnight moon." And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room – to the picture of the three little bears sitting in chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens – he says goodnight. In this classic of modern children's literature by Margaret Wise Brown, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day. Launch date: October 1, 1996. 12/7/2006
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Fun with Friends Musical Table by FISHER-PRICE INC.
Each corner of this table has an entire interactive learning center with lights and a friendly character who invites baby to play, encouraging movement and exploration all around the table. Baby can learn letters, numbers, counting, first words, colors, shapes, opposites, animals and much more - in English and Spanish. Musical fun includes sing-along songs, tunes, real instrument sounds and a variety of music styles. Requires 3 AA batteries (not included). 7/25/2011 (MSRP: $44.99; Age: 1 to 3)
Bright Starts Tummy Cruiser Prop & Play Mat - Pretty in Pink by KIDS II
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends supervised tummy time daily from birth. This car themed tummy mat provides an engaging play area designed to encourage healthy tummy time and keep baby entertained. Coordinates with other items in the Pretty in Pink collection and a portion of the proceeds from the sale this item supports breast cancer research and awareness. Mat design offers two ways to play: tummy or sitting. 8/22/2011 (MSRP: $24.99; Age: 0 to 2)
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