LEGO Ninjago Ultra Stealth Raider

(LEGO $99) Fans of LEGO's Ninjago series will love this 1,093 piece set that features the large Ultra Stealth Raider that comes apart to create four different vehicles. Comes with seven minifigs including Cole, Zane, Jay, Kai, Master Chen, Eyezora and Master Yang for lots of pretend play opportunities. The large tracks on the vehicle are fun and different from LEGO sets most of us grew up with. Be forewarned there are spring-loaded shooters on the vehicle -- so not a great idea if there are small siblings around. Also comes with a Chenosaurus. This would be a big ticket present and hit for fans of Ninjago. Of course, as always we recommend starting with smaller sets if your fan is not an ex

Project Mc2 H2O RC Car

(MGA $59.00) This is a big showy red convertible that will hold two dolls and is powered not by H2O, but batteries. The water in the gas tank does create a vapor trail that makes it look like it needs a new exhaust pipe. It has further limitations in that it turns only in one direction and can only go forward. It can’t back up. With all that said, there aren't that many remote control vehicles targeted for girls and if you are a big fan of Project MC Square dolls, this will be a fun novelty toy that adds motion to their dramatic play. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Just Play Doc McStuffins Care Cart

(Just Play $39.99) This is a pretend toy for kids who like to try on role play with their whole selves. In this case they can play Doc McStuffins as they roll out the cart, which is really a doctor’s office on wheels. It’s a lightweight plastic cart with an examining table, blood pressure mechanism, scanner, talking heart monitor. We know, it's a tad gaudy, but for McStuffins fans, this will not matter. If comes with a puppy in need of Doc’s services. For kids who like to play pretend with their whole being, this is a fun prop for trying on the role of care giver/doctor. WARNING: These are marked for 3 and up since there are small pieces that are a choking hazard for children who still mout

Mon Bebe Classique Dodo

(Corolle $59) What a sweet face on this 14” adorable doll. Dodo comes with a soft blanket, a stuffed doll, and little booklet that tells how to put baby to sleep. She has sleepy eyes that close when she lies down and open when she’s sitting up. Dressed in a gray PJ with pink trim, she is scented vanilla like all Corolle dolls. Dodo is a lovely gift for the newest big sister or any little one who loves to play Mama or Daddy. 3 & up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Corolle Mon Premier Bébé Calin Bisou Doll

(Corolle $49.99) This baby doll doesn’t just say Mama, he also says Papa! About time, too. We usually prefer dolls that say only what your child imagines, but this is a refreshing update worth noting. A great big brother gift, 12” Bisou is dressed in grays and white, to make him look more masculine, no doubt. He’s not anatomically correct but has a bean filled body that can be posed. Surface washable and lightweight, he also makes kissing sounds and giggles. Takes 3 batteries and is vanilla scented, like all Corolle dolls. 18 months & up. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Mon Bebe Classique Pink

(Corolle $69.99) Mon Bebe Classique is a true classic baby doll with sleep eyes that close when she lies down. She’s a big 14” and has the kind of realistic heft preschoolers will appreciate when they pretend to be Mommy or nanny or Daddy. She’s dressed in pink velour, which makes her pretty gender specific. She comes with a pacifier and is vanilla scented like all Corolle dolls. She has a soft body and vinyl arms and legs. A nice gift for new big sisters or any preschooler’s pretend play. This doll also comes in African skin tones. 3 & up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Corolle Mon Premier Carry Bed

(Corolle $39.99) What little doll wouldn't love to take a nap in this lovely fabric carry along bed, made to fit any 12” or less baby doll. This is a great lightweight prop for preschoolers and their care-giving play. It’s also a nice place for dolls to rest when kids move on to other play. 18 months and up, up, up. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from

Corolle My Mini Calin Doll On the Prairie

(Corolle $24.99) Over the years we have loved these totally tote-able 8” dolls and this season’s Doll on the Prairie is no exception. We guess her Prairie name has to do with her white fuzzy jacket with tall bunny ears. She also has denim overalls and comes dressed in a polka-dotted romper. Corolle calls this a first dress me up doll. We think toddlers will work on undressing the doll and will need lots of help to do the reverse action—just as they do their own clothes. That said, this little vanilla scented huggable is a lovely choice for new big sister and brothers and will no doubt inspire lots of pretend care-giving. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 20

Corolle Good Night My Mini Calin Doll

(Corolle $22) Sized just right doll for early pretend play, the Mini Calin collection features 8” dolls with no hair that are safe enough for toddlers, who tend to taste their toys. This sweet little one comes in a romper and two other changes, a sunsuit and pj’s. The clothes have Velcro closings but are likely to come off more easily than they go on. That said this little vanilla scented doll will make a hit with new big sisters. 18 months and up. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Just Play Doc McStuffins Toy Hospital

(Just Play $59.99) If you have a Doc McStuffins fan in your house, Doc McStuffins’ Toy Hospital is a miniature setting that’s sure to be used for hours of pretend play. The colorful plastic three-story building has a hand operated elevator, an x-ray, a helicopter on the top, a rocking bed with a mobile that can be turned, a whale in a tub that spins and an information desk. Of course, Doc is there and she can get around on a child activated hand-operated track that moves her from one room to another. Kids can also play on the other side of the building with working doors and a clock with moving hands. What makes it interesting? It’s not a traditional dollhouse or a palace for a princess. It

Cuddle & Kind Handmade Dolls

(Cuddle & Kind $45-65) Soft huggable13” and 20” dolls are done in cotton knit fabrics handmade in Peru by women artisans. We like Chloe and Benedict Bunny. Also adorable, Sadie and Wyatt, both foxes that looked ready for cold weather. There are no colorful doo-dads to remove, so these huggables are safe enough for all ages. For every doll sold the company donates 10 meals for children through the World Food Program. For more info visit: Ages: Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016

Wonder Workshop Dash Robot

(Wonder Workshop $131) Designed to introduce kids to beginning programming, this playful robot-like toy interacts with an android or iOS device via Bluetooth. If you’re giving this as a gift charge it up before giving it to kids who will want to play instantly. There are four different apps that you can use to interact with Dish. The easiest one is Go, that can be used to move Dash, make car horn and elephant trumpet sounds, or control lights. Or they can use the app Path to do exactly that. Players draw a path on the tablet screen and Dash follows the path. There is another app that is used with an add-on Xylophone ($40) that we have not tried. Another app, Blockly, is designed for kids 8 a

Barbie Game Developer: Career of the Year 2016

(Mattel $12.97) Dressed for the Silicon Valley office in faded jeans, knit shirt and field jacket, Barbie has a computer and handheld tablet. Her dark hair has a bright layer of red streaks. Of course, she is wearing a headset and glasses to do her all important job, creating the latest computer game. Ages: Preschoolers, Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2016 Click here to purchase the product from

Magformers Creator Magic Pop Set (25-pieces)

(Magformer $47.99) We always like Magformer sets that let you assemble the pieces flat on the table or floor and then lift and abracadabra the pieces come together. This pop-up set is no exception. It comes with a set of wheels that will make it all the more fun to play with when they build small models. It’s packaged with a booklet showing how to transform the 25 magnet shapes (that are safely inside of plastic forms) working step-by-step. The wheels have rubber treads so the vehicles they build can also be used for pretend play. The box says 3 and up, but really this is going to be a lot better for older 4’s and well beyond. We think 5’s and 6’s will like this, too. Ages: Preschoolers, Ear

Magformers Desert Adventure Set 32 pieces

(Magformers $69.88) With six different shaped magnets plus triple wheels with treads like a tank, this 32 piece set will engage the imagination. We like that Magformers magnets are safely inside the plastic form and too big to swallow. They do introduce kids to the way magnets attract and repel and go together to create vehicles or abstract sculptures. Kids can built by following the models in the booklet or create their own desert wheeled vehicle. Booklet shows multiple constructions that can be played with after the vehicle is built. The box says 3 and up, but really this is going to be a lot better for older 4’s and well beyond. We think 5’s and 6’s will like this, too. Ages: Preschooler

New Micro Maxi Deluxe

(Micro Kickboard $139) We’ve told you about the Micro Maxi Scooter before and now there’s a new Deluxe version that just makes a good thing better. Designed for kids 5-12, it comes in eight colors. They’ve added new deck material for a better grip. As always kids use their body weight and handlebar to lean and turn and maneuver. The T bar is adjustable, 24” -34” from the deck and can be removed for travel. With polyurethane wheels and a flexible fiberglass reinforced deck, it has a smooth ride that absorb bumps. Safety certified by the CPSC, the Deluxe Maxi can handle kids up to 150 lbs. SAFETY - For best protection, we recommend that kids wear helmets and knee pads when riding. Ages: Early

New Micro Mini Deluxe

(Micro Kickboard $89.99) We’ve told you about the Micro Mini scooter that’s designed for the younger rider. What’s new this year is the adjustable T-bar that grows with your child from 17” up to 25”, an inch higher than the original fixed handlebar. Available in 8 bright colors, it can handle up to 75 lbs. It has the same smooth-gliding wheels, low-to-the-ground deck and stable lean-to-steer ride. Kids soon learn to lean right and left and develop balance. For best protection, children should wear helmets and knee pads when riding. The company says that the non-marking wheels allow children to learn to scoot in the safety of your home. Marked for 2-5. We think lots of young 2’s, especially a

Odyssey Turbo Runner Quadcopter

(Odyssey Toys $34.99) After testing a disappointing plethora of drones we finally found one that climbs, flies, bounces, blinks, and soars some more. Designed to climb walls and ceilings the Turbo Runner has a bouncy cage that protects the quadcopter as it rolls and flips. It has blinking led body lights and does 360 degree flips. Set it on auto pilot and it will fly in circles. Put it in Wall climbing mode and it can climb any smooth wall or across the ceiling. Put it in ground mode and switch from flying to rolling. The RC Transmitter takes 4 AA batteries and the copter itself gets a 3.7 rechargable lithium battery. The Quadcoter comes pre-charged and ready to fly and the manufacturer rec

Manhattan Toy MiO Playing Eating Sleeping Working + 2 People

(Manhattan Toy $100) A totally open-ended building toy that comes in a wooden box that’s chock full of possibilities. It can be a house, a boat, a store, a farm, or whatever your child imagines. It’s different than standard blocks the all natural wood planks and cubes, pillars and steps are not as uniform as unit blocks. Some of the pieces are painted and patterned. The set also includes small dolls with hand painted wood heads and soft beanbag bodies that lend themselves to dramatic play and story telling. The large storage box which can become a room of the building also includes: a grassy green patio, 2 rooms, 1 loft, 2 blocks, 1 hopscotch plank, 1 natural plank, 2 step pieces, 4 reversib

Vtech Ring & Learn Cash Register

(Vtech $24.99) Designed for the youngest shopper’s playtime. This register comes with a shopping basket of plastic foods (ten pieces) that toddlers will like filling and dumping and carrying around or using in their pretend kitchens. The register itself has a lot of sound effects that speak and sing when the big buttons are pressed. There’s a button to make the drawer open and no coins to put in little mouths. There’s a little scale and a credit card. Unlike most toy registers, this one is not so much a learning toy as a prop for dramatic play, totally appropriate for young players. Though the numbers are on the keyboard, it's not really about counting or adding. It’s about making things hap

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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.