Early School Years

New Reviews and Articles

Play-Doh Glow Creations
Tags: activity kit, glow in the dark, Play-Doh, Hasbro
Posted: 2010-10-19 08:28:02 By: Stephanie Oppenheim

Two of my favorite things in toyland: spin art and glow-in-the-dark toys.  So you can imagine how excited I was when we received the new Play-Doh Glow Creations from Hasbro.  (And yes, I'm firmly in the camp of pro Play-Doh people).  Here the greatest fun is in the process of making the art, adding the paint and watching it spin.  The end product isn't nearly as thrilling but that's ok, you can wipe off the black boards and start all over again.  The spinning of the Play-Doh is also fun but not as cool as the laser- like quality of the spin art.

Tags: Barbie, Mattel, Barbie Glitterizer, Dolls, Pretend Play
Posted: 2011-03-30 12:08:43

We know Barbie is all about the sparkle...but here she is literally placed in a glitter chamber and then a little fan blows glitter all over her! I would have loved to have been in on the concept meeting for this one. Yes, the glitter is reuseable. Yes, it will end up all over everything. Watch our video.

Hot Wheels Tub Racers
Tags: Bath toys, preschoolers, Hot Wheels, Mattel, pretend play
Posted: 2010-10-01 11:28:46

If you have a Hot Wheels fan in your house this toy will make your preschooler ask to take a bath!  Take a look at our review and watch the video demo:

Tags: Playmobil, pretend play, Construction toys, Castle, Dragon
Posted: 2010-10-01 11:15:54

Castles have made a come back this year in toyland. This set from Playmobil is one of our favorites. Take a look at our video and read our review of the Platinum Award winning set.

Constructive Learning Tools
Tags: preschool building toys, early years building toys, blocks
Posted: 2012-08-13 07:37:11

A recent article in the New York Times indicates a renewed interest in the learning value of block building. Parents and teachers attending block classes are discovering the connections between learning and play. What's the buzz about?  Read our take on this hot topic...

Without Making You or Your Child Cry
Tags: learning toys, spelling, math, map skills, puzzles, educational
Posted: 2010-12-14 20:28:17

When you hear the words "educational toys" chances are you think at once of drill and practice toys that are about as entertaining as chalk squeaking on a board. We know that play itself is one of the important paths to various kinds of learning. Read More...

Our prediction- the HOT toy for 2010
Tags: Fisher-Price, Sing-a-ma-jigs, Hot Toys, Dolls, High Tech Dolls
Posted: 2010-10-01 11:33:40 By: by Stephanie Oppenheim

Now we're usually not too involved with what will be the HOT toys--we pick our list with the aid of our great network of family testers and sometimes that means there's something in the news but our focus is more on toys that are fun, engaging and have lasting play value.  We always have some novelty on the list as well--but it's not the mainstay of our list.  The truth is most hot toys are usually toys that play well on television and have received a lot of hype. With Furby, the whole craze started with a feature in WIRED magazine about the technology--before a single child in this country had one!  Hot toys often become more about adult collectors and running up the prices on eBAY.  So it's usually not our thing. In fact, when Joanne introduced Bryant Gumbel to Tickle Me Elmo on the TODAY Show-- she then spent most of that holiday season talking about what to do if you couldn't find Elmo.  With all of that said, we do have to say we are enamored with the Sing-a-ma-jigs from Fisher-Price.  When we first saw them at Toy Fair in February, I noted that if the actual product was as good as the prototypes--this was going to be a must have kind of toy for the holidays that would appeal to both kids and adults.  The good news...the first batch of these harmonizing dolls with claymation-inspired mouths has just arrived...and they are as terrific as we hoped! 

Posted: 2011-03-30 13:26:43

If you want to encourage your kids to write their own stories, take a look at this new kit from Creativity for Kids.

Hopping Good Treats!
Tags: toys, books, Easter baskets, holiday treats
Posted: 2010-04-05 15:56:43 By: Joanne Oppenheim

Along with the jelly beans, marshmallow chicks, and chocolate Easter bunnies, pack in a few items that will still be enjoyed when the sweet treats are just a memory.

Posted: 2011-02-10 17:04:37 By:

Of the dozens of books that recently arrived at our office, here are some gems that are truly memorable. Books that you won' t mind reading and re-reading again and again!  Click here to read our reviews.

Index to Toy Reviews By Category


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 1995-2015


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.