The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio was founded in 1989 as the only independent consumer review of children's media by child development experts Joanne Oppenheim and her daughter Stephanie Oppenheim.
Joanne and Stephanie have always enjoyed being together...
In 1989 Joanne was already a well-known expert on children's play and toys. Her books, Kids & Play and Buy Me! Buy Me! were both ground breaking. In additional to her 40 plus children's books, Joanne's by-line appeared in Working Mother Magazine, Parents, Parenting, Child, Family Circle and Ladies Home Journal. She wrote other parenting books while on the publication staff at The Bank Street College of Education, where she received her Masters in Children's Literature. Her books have won the Mott Literacy Award, the National Council for Social Studies Carter G. Woodson Book Award and she is the recipient of the Curious George Award for Literacy. (For a fuller bio visit joanneoppenheim.com.)
In 1989 Stephanie was practicing corporate law in NYC. Since she was five she wanted to be a lawyer--like her dad, grandfather, great uncle and brother. It was amusing that her mother played with toys for a living. Her friends starting calling for toy advice from Joanne...which mobile? which ride on? Quite honestly, Stephanie couldn't quite understand what the big deal was...you go to the store and buy a toy. When Stephanie had her first son, everything changed. She quickly discovered that there was no independent consumer information about children's media. After many lengthy conversations, Stephanie convinced Joanne to start the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.
The original newsletter was a big hit and the mother/daughter team wrote their first book together for HarperCollins in 1994, The Best Toys, Books, Videos and Music for Kids. In 1998, they formed their own publishing company and published the first annual Oppenheim Toy Portfolio. They also published their Read It! Play It! Literacy Series. During this time, Joanne published several more books for and about children and welcomed seven grandchildren into the family. Stephanie had another child and received a Masters in Psychology from NYU with a specialization in parenthood.
Their Oppenheim Toy Portfolio awards have become a benchmark of excellence with consumers, toy makers and the media. They have appeared on OPRAH, CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight, MSNBC, Lifetime, and both are Contributors to NBC's TODAY Show.
They laugh a lot, start each toy fair with a little dance...and yes, they enjoy playing with toys together.