BLUE CHIP AWARD: EARLY SCHOOL

October 13, 2019

(Mattel $9.99)

It’s a safe bet that you played Uno when you were growing up. It’s a Blue ChIp classic family matching game. Players must keep two attributes in mind-matching color and or number as cards come up. And don’t forget, the special action cards like skip, reverse, draw two, and color changing Wild cards as well as Draw Four Wild Cards. Oh, one more thing...you have to shout “Uno!” the first to get rid of all her cards...

October 8, 2018

(Spinmaster $12.99)

We’ve had this game before and loved it. This update is sure to be a hit. Players get three chips and each wear a head band and put a card with a picture on it without looking at the card. Everybody else knows “what you are” but others have to give you answers to questions that help you define if you are a food, or an animal, or a thing. On each player’s turn they get to ask one question to each of the other...

July 24, 2018

(Quercetti $30.99)

Talk about action, this marvelous 55 piece set of gears includes six giant gears with kaleidoscopic action! Our three-year old tester did this with his mom and aunt, who probably enjoyed it as much as he did. The kit comes with 16 base pieces that fit together like a jig saw puzzle in many different conformations. It also has a crank handle that can be used to set the gears in motion. However, they found the...

July 3, 2018

(Lakeshore $299)

These are the kind of quality wooden unit blocks that you'll find in a good nursery school. The hardwood is smooth and splinter free and the Starter Set with 108 pieces in 14 shapes offer children years of playful learning. Unit blocks are scaled to each other, so, for example, two squares will equal a rectangle, two triangles will equal a square or rectangle. (A little built-in math that they gain as they lear...

October 11, 2017

(Play Monster $24)

We’ve told you about Platinum winners, Automoblox many times, toy vehicles that come apart and can be reassembled like a puzzle. This year’s choices are as good as ever. The wooden and plastic pieces fit together with relative ease and not a million pieces, so that work for beginning builders who will like using them for pretend play. Testers love the three piece Minis Set ($24) with 4” police car, 4” fire ch...

September 26, 2017

(Ideal/Alex  $23.99)

A new/old twist on a classic game. You probably played this game years ago with wooden flip down letters on all four sides of the playing board. Now, there’s a pop-a-matic style popper in the middle of the board that shows two letters that you have to use with extra letters you flip to make a word. Players must announce the word and spell it before they flip the levers. Winner is the first to flip all the l...

September 8, 2017

(Habro $19.99)

With new packaging and the “smartness” of a Menza for Kids label, this is the same game of Perfection you probably played a long time ago and let us assure you it is still as much fun and as challenging as it was back then. Is it really as smart as you’d expect a Menza product to be? Yes, it is. Perfection is all about visual matching skills, dexterity, fine motor skills, timing, and learning to focus. Menza for...

August 7, 2017

(PlaSmart $69.95)

We gave this ride on the Platinum Award way back in 2005 and it’s still a winner. It’s a low to the ground ride-on that needs no batteries, has no gears, no pedals but steers like a dream. It supports up to 220 pounds (so parents can ride it, too—if you can get a turn. The PlasmaCar runs best on smooth, flat surfaces and comes in many color combos. We suggest a neutral red and blue that can be used by both gen...

August 9, 2016

(Magformers $38)

With this 26-piece set your child gets an introduction to this excellent line of magnetic building pieces. Safe enough for preschoolers to handle since the magnets are all totally embedded in the neon colored plastic shapes. Though this set is smaller than most Magformer sets, it has a magical quality by showing the step-by step-process of building a geodesic dome. It starts out flat on the table, but when you...

June 29, 2016

(Peaceable Kingdom $6.99) 

A colorful new version of a classic card game. The object, as always, is to get rid of all your cards, but it’s not that simple. Players need to match the number or the suite (in this case the animals) to throw away a card. If they cannot make a match they must take more cards until they do. Draw an 8 and you're in luck—you can match anything! Take this along in the beach bag or flight bag. A quick, f...

Please reload

© 2016 by Oppenheim Toy Portfolio | The Independent Guide to Children's Media

 

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.