Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Construction Toys
Subcategories: Themed: Plastic

 


2012 Award
Playmobil Future Planet E-Rangers Headquarters
(Playmobil $129 Score:)

This large setting houses the E-Rangers who are trying to defend their energy source while their enemy, the power greedy Dark Rangers are trying to waste them. This futuristic eco-war story is played out in a variety of settings with this one being the flashiest and biggest. It has a working a solar-powered fan, and light up red crystals that connect to make a circuit to produce colorful lights inside the dome. There is also a light beam cannon for defending headquarters and five characters; one is a robot, of course. A convertible racer changes into a propeller or a jet-car and there are multiple accessories for playing out all sorts of imaginary adventures. For more elaborate play there is also a Dark Ranger Headquarters ($79.99) and several other theme related kits. Our tester liked many of the features but found that the building is not especially sturdy and is easily knocked apart. So our usual suggestion with Playmobil is to build on a tray or table where it is out of the line of traffic and younger siblings. Ages 7 and up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2012 Award
Knex Ferris Wheel 2012
(KNEX $20.99 Score:)

Scaled down to 475 pieces, the new Ferris Wheel not only takes up less space, it takes less time to build, yet is a satisfying motorized project when it is complete. One of three new Amusement Park sets that are more realistic in size and scope for young builders. In previous years huge five-foot tall Knex models with 2,000+ pieces required a significant amount of time and space. For most builders the new and smaller Ferris Wheel that stands under two feet tall when complete will be more do-able. That said, this is still a parent-child project for the suggested age on the box. Takes 2 AA batteries that are not included. Labeled for 7+.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2012 Award
Knex Corkscrew Coaster
(KNEX $22 Score:)

Scaled down to 337 pieces, the Corkscrew Roller Coaster not only takes up less space, it takes less time to build but is a satisfying motorized setting when it is complete. One of three new Amusement Park sets that are more realistic in size and scope for young builders. In previous years the huge five-foot tall Knex models with 2,000+ pieces required a significant amount of time and space. For most builders the new smaller model that stands a foot and a half tall when complete will be more do-able. That said, this is still a parent-child project for the suggested age on the box. We note that some builders had problems keeping this together, but our testers say if you follow the directions and fasten them properly the product stays together without any problems. For a more upright look, there is a Vertical Viper Coaster, with 318 pieces that stands a little more than a foot and a half tall, and uses the same scaled down size pieces. Takes 2 AA batteries that are not included. Labeled for 7+.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2012 Award
LEGO City Fire Plane
(Lego Systems, Inc. $59.99 Score:)

We always asked our testers "What if anything didn't your child or you like about this?" The answer here from both parent and child was a resounding "Nothing!" Our eight-year old tester loved building the 12 inch long and 17 inch wide fire plane, but best of all, he loved the dramatic play features--the bay doors that open and water bricks he could release to put out the fire in the trees! This 522 piece set comes with three mini-figures, rotating propellers, two trees with flames, fire-fighting tools, and an off road fire-truck with trailer and hose. Our testers mom was most enthusiastic about the value of this set for building as well as dramatic play. Her son also customizes his models after he builds them, though she noted that her frinds glue their kids' sets together to make them hold better for pretend play. The problem with gluing is that you can't reuse the bricks or customize once that is done.   Note: No actual water is used with this. Marked for 6-12. Probably best for 8 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2012 Award
Lego City 4X4 Fire Truck
(Lego Systems, Inc. $19.99 Score:)

There's a tree on fire in Lego City! Quick! Go to the rescue with this 243-piece set that includes the makings for a 5" long firetruck with a rotating water cannon and big storage compartments. There's a firefighter with an axe and of course, a tree. Marked as an easy start modular build for 5-12. Others in the collection this season include a garbage truck and ambulance. We think kids on the younger end will still need help with following the plans.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2011 Award
LEGO STAR WARS Millennium Falcon
(Lego Systems, Inc. $139.99 Score:)

This is the BIG wow-wee kit (with 1254 pieces) of the season for Star Wars fans. What is truly amazing about the design is that the top opens up so that you can access the inside of the ship where so many of the key moments of the original movies take place. True to the movie, there are secret cargo holds where they hid themselves from the Darth Vader. A fun build for advanced builders. Comes with six miniature action figures: Darth Vader, Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Princess Leia. Once built, this is really a pretend play setting.  If you also need the Empire represented in your building, consider the equally impressive Republic Frigate ($119) with 1022 pieces, this is also designed for intermediate and advanced builders. Comes with Clone Commander Woffe, Wolfpack Clone Trooper, Eeth Koth, Quinlan Vos and Yoda.  Many portions of the ship do open up so that you can act out story lines. There are small projectiles that you can send off but they do not go far or pack much of a punch.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2010 Award
Playmobil Giant Dragon with LED-Fire
(Playmobil $35 Score:)

The "giant" red and black Giant Red Dragon with a giant 16" wing span has an integrated LED-Fire (sort of) coming out of its nostrils. In fact the nostrils light up in red, but nothing comes out, except in the imagination. The dragonís jaw moves and its wings pivot. This fantasy action figure is a big but quick build. It has 23 pieces and comes with a knight in black and red that carries a battle ax and long silverfish lance. They say 4-9, we'd say more like 5-6's will need help and this looks like a toy for school aged kids, not preschoolers. The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2010 Award
Lego Toy Story 3 Western Train Chase
(Lego Systems, Inc. $79.99 Score:)

"Time is running outóRex is trapped in a boxcar thatís packed with dynamite rigged by Evil Doctor PorkchopsÖ can his friends rescue him in time?" That's just part of the scenario of the action packed Toy Story 3 movie. To go along with the launch of the new movie, Buzz is aboard and ready for adventures once the red engine and three cars are assembled. Our builder said this was a pretty easy build with not too many surprises. He especially liked the trap door action on top of the boxcar, the moving doors on all the cars, and magnetic couplers. Once built the train holds together well and moves with ease. All the characters of the movie, Evil Doctor Porkchops, Rex, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Jessie and Bullseye figures are included. 584 pieces. For preschool builders see the smaller Duplo version with 39 big pieces that build an engine and one car. 7 -14.
       The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2010 Award
LEGO CITY Fire Station
(Lego Systems, Inc. $79.99 Score:)

A multi-level fire station that also includes a ladder truck and a smaller vehicle. We love that the truck ladder extends and turns 180 degrees. The Fire Station is part of the LEGO CITY theme - a fun collection of rescue vehicles and figures. We also like the new Fire Boat. Our only complaint about this set is the scale- as with many of the new LEGO structures, they have gotten smaller over recent years.  Our testers, unaware of the skrinkage issue, have no complaints. In fact, he really loved working on this set.  His review was so detailed that we need to share the mini-interview he had with his mom in regard to this product:

1. The set is very easy to build.  (He is an 8 year old experienced LEGO builder--and felt this set was particularly easy. He had to be dragged away to go to a ballgame!

2. The "storage" spaces on the building where the accessories go click  in". He mentioned fire hoses, axes, fire hydrants. "It makes it less confusing because every little piece has a place where it goes."

3. "I never thought the Lego City stuff was cool,  but it actually is really AWESOME." (This from a die-hard Lego "action" afficionado. )

4. He likes the moving parts -- sliding garage doors, swinging doors, removeable "hatches," etc.

5. He  also really likes that the bunk beds and all of the spaces for the mini-figures.

What I really love about his review is that the Fire Station has now become a "base" for all of his action figures--including his Star Wars characters--they all think the base is a pretty cool place to hang out!

The Fire Station comes with lots of props for pretend play after the building is done (there's even a cat  and tree). Five year olds will enjoy playing with this set, but they will not be able to build it independently-there are 662 pieces! We recommend making this a parent/child project for less experienced LEGO builders. 

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2009 Award
Lego City Crawler Crane
(Lego Systems, Inc. $59.99 Score:)

A working crane that fits into the Lego City scene. This is not an easy build. It has working treads, a massive rotating boom, and stands 17.7 inches tall. The crane rotates 360 degrees and comes with a stout lifting mechanism along with 2 mini-figures, a house section, and safety barrier. They say 5-12. Inexperienced builders will need adult help. This is not an instant out of the box build. It takes time and attention to details.

The company has signed a verification form complying with our safety requirements. We did not independently test this toy in a lab.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
Twitter   Facebook     YouTube 

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.


Instructions for submitting product to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for review.

 

 

Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at Webmaster@Toyportfolio.com.

Copyright 1995-2014

 

Products reviewed by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio are provided by the manufacturer at their cost. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not require or accept fees for reviewing products.