Search Results for -
Product Type: Toys
Award: Platinum
Age: Early Elementary School Years
Review Year: 2013

 


2013 Award
MindWare Q-BA-MAZE 2.0
(MindWare $39.99 & up Score:)

We hade some totally amazing marble maze toys this season. This one made a huge hit with older builders. The plastic translucent pieces can be connected both vertically and horizontally and joined with bendable tubes to create complex pathways for the steel marbles to run through. The rushing marbles make a nice sound as they move through the maze. These are not magnetic marbles, but you will need to keep them out of the reach of kids who are still mouthing their toys. Start with the big box set ($39.99) or you can go straight to the Mega Stunt set ($79.99)  that includes along with a good supply of colorful cubes, a pivot trampoline, marble vortex, coaster tubes, stilts and 30 marbles. This is the kind of toy that builds dexterity, patience, and problem solving. It's a playful introduction to physics as well as pushing those creative buttons. They say 6 & up. We think most 6 year olds will need help. This is probably a better bet for mixed ages, parent and child or for older kids who will enjoy it independently.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Ravensburger Thomas & Friends Circus Floor Puzzle
(Ravensburger $14.99 Score:)

Fans of Thomas and Friends will love this big 24-piece floor puzzle of Thomas carrying two tall giraffes to the circus grounds. These big puzzles are best put together with help, to give kids strategies for making the frame and looking for characters that are next to each other in the picture on the box. Since children like doing their puzzles more than once, you won't be spoiling the fun by sitting with them the first few times or being available to encourage them. Designed for 3 & up.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Crayola Marker Maker
(Crayola $24.99 Score:)

Imagine being able to make your own markers and even blend the colors to make your own unique choices! That's what this innovative toy can do. It comes with a good supply of ink, marker barrels, plugs, tips, and cores. The process is relatively simple. You put the filler core ito a holder and pour ink into the holder. When the core absorbs the ink you use the giant tweezers to place the core into a barrel. Then the "machine" lever puts the plug in place with two snaps. Next, the tip goes in place and you let the marker continue to absorb ink up to the tip. There is a color chart that shows how kids can combine colors to get custom blends that make their markers better than any they could just go out and buy ready made. There are refill kits available. A word of caution: these are not washable inks, so protect clothing and work surfaces. The kit is marked not for children under 3, but we think this is a more appropriate choice for kids over 5 with adult supervision.

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
HexBug Spider XL
(Innovation First $39.99 Score:)

A 7-Way Radio Controlled Spider does some fancy strutting with the remote control. You can spin its body and make it walk or turn 360 degrees on its six translucent legs. Spider XL comes in red or blue and takes 3 AA batteries and 1 9V. 8 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Calico Critters Adventure Tree House
(International Playthings $70 Score:)

Get your critters ready for real adventure in this three level tree house with a two-story slide, a cabin on top, and ladders for getting up and down. There is a swing big enough for two to share as well as a bucket on a pulley for getting supplies up and down with ease. There is plenty of room inside for cozy living. You can combine this setting with the Lakeside Lodge vacation house. Like all settings in this line, the animals and furniture pictured on the packaging are not included in the set, but sold separately.

Our tester loved the little log cabin playhouse that is on the top of the tree house and the slide. She also likes the pulley for transporting small treasures to the different levels of the tree house.  The only negative comment was that the swing comes off the branch easily. This experienced 6 year old Calico Critters fan, incorporated her Tree House into her other settings to create a village.  Her mom noted that she would recommend Calico Critters to other parents because the line has lasting play appeal. 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Wondeworld Wonder Trix Track Spin and Swirl
(Wonderworld $59.99 Score:)

Like other Trix Track sets, this is a cleverly designed wooden ball run for younger builders. Chunky pieces and blocks make it more stabile than most and it comes with interesting steps, runs, and spinner that send the balls racing over the track. There is no absolute right or wrong way to put this together and this set can be used in combination with other Trix Track sets. Our test family really loved this set. Marked for 3 & up, we'd say three will have more luck playing with this than building it; but that is one way to start. Have your child find the pieces and help connect them as you model how it's done.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Wonderworld Wonder Trix Track 2 Way Flipper
(Wonderworld $59.99 Score:)

A cleverly designed wooden ball run for younger builders. Chunky pieces and blocks make it more stabile than most and it comes with interesting steps, runs, and a 2 way flipper that will send balls to the left or right. There is no absolute right or wrong way to put this together and this set can be used in combination with other Trix Track sets. Our test family was really delighted with this set. Marked for 3 & up, we'd say three will have more luck playing with this than building it; but that is one way to start. Have your child find the pieces and help connect them as you model how it's done.

 

Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 
2013 Awards
Faber-Castell Connector Paint Box
(Creativity for Kids $14 Score:)

A cleverly designed paint box with 12 bright opaque watercolors (gouaches)and a tube of Chinese white paint. A larger set of 24 colors is also available. The paint tablets can be lifted out of the pan and arranged as one wishes. The lid of the pan becomes a palette for mixing colors and is easy to rinse off. Brushes store in the bux, though they do not come with this set. A step above the usual watercolor sets for children.

SNAP You don't need to introduce all the colors at once with this clever pan of paints. Gradually add other colors once your child gets the idea of how to use a few colors without getting them saturated. using the brush offers more freedom than a pencil and the colors are pleasing. This is a pleasing way to develop eye hand control and to explore the magic of mixing colors.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
Faber-Castell Block Printing
(Creativity for Kids $20 Score:)

Everything you need to explore the world of block printing. The 40+-piece set includes a step-by-step guide and the materials for making or tracing an image on your printing plate, washable paints in four colors, printing paper, drawing tool, foam block printing sheets, stencils, scissors, rollers, and a work tray. Adult help will be needed until they get the idea of how to make this art form happen. Then, stand back and watch the fun begin.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

Comments: Be the first to post _______________________________________________________________________

 

 


2013 Award
iTrax
(Learning Resources $19.99 Score:)

A visually challenging game with 25 double-sided cards and 36 multi-colored rods, and 8 cubes. Choose a colorful card and then players must discover the path that connects two cubes. Once the path is spotted, players race to be the first to build the pattern they see. It's tricky, since the rods are not all the same size and you have to reproduce the path to the side of the card, not on it. So this calls for visual discrimination and speed. Our multi-generational testers had fun with this game and the younger kids were often better at seeing the pathways and reproducing them. There are three levels of play for 2-4 players. 6-adult.

 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2013. 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 1995-2013

 

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.