Do you really need a game that sprays toilet water on the loser?

Okay, I'll admit it. I've been generally obsessed with toy toilets over the years. They're so small - usually for dollhouses. Ask the folks at Lego or Playmobil -- I get really excited when they include a toilet. Barbie's Dream House this year had a toilet that made flushing noises. I kid you not. So I was very intrigued when we found a toilet game called Toilet Trouble at Hasbro. The game play is much like Russian Roulette. You spin the toilet paper to learn how many times you'll be flushing. As you flush, you place your face over the toilet bowl. I'm not joking. Watch demo from toy fair below. By way of background, Hasbro has had great success with the game Pie in Your Face. I get the pie

Why We Need Super Heroes for Girls

If you wanted to be completely cynical, you could say that the introduction of DC Super Hero Girls Collection is just a slick marketing move. After all, everything super hero is huge business whether you're talking Marvel or DC Comics. The toys and merchandise are generally targeted at boys. So why not bring some of that magic to the girl's aisle? And while that may be the driving force, it's still a positive trend. Depending on how old you are Wonder Woman holds a special place in your heart. Some of us may think of Lynda Carter from the 70s (that outfit, that hair!) This generation of young girls may think Katy Perry started it all. The character was actually created in the 40s which is w

eeBoo Word Lotto

(eeBoo $15.95) Most early word games use three letter words; this goes a step further. The lotto boards have two four letter words on them. Players draw colored letter cards to match the letters on their playing boards. When the matching is done players use the words they made to tell a story. Marked for 5 and up, but this is probably going to make a bigger hit with 6s and 7s who are reading and spelling. Ages: Early School Years Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

eeBoo Busy Meadow 64 Piece Puzzle

(eeBoo $9.99) Good-sized puzzle pieces will fit together in a 15” square picture of meadow land creatures. This 64-piece puzzle has no decorative frame so it is going to be more challenging than most. Kids may need some help with strategies for finding straight edge outside pieces, fitting parts of animals together, and using the illustration on the box for problem solving. Ages: Early School Years Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

eeBoo Watch This Puzzle Pairs

(eeBoo $15.00) Looking for ways to develop their emotional IQ? That’s what this set of puzzle pairs is all about. There are 24 pairs of two-piece puzzles. One image show an action happening, as a fox who drops his ice cream cone. The match up shows fox’s face with a disappointed look. There are six color background groups. Each color features a particular animal. The object is for kids to match the situation with the most appropriate reaction. Use these playing pieces to encourage children to talk about their choices and what they see in the character’s expression. A playful way to give children an “emotional vocabulary “ that goes beyond sad and happy. Also encourages them

eeBoo Crazy Kittens 20 piece puzzle

(eeBoo $16) Here is a small treat for cat lovers. Five crazy kittens are chasing butterflies in a garden with flowers, bugs, and two white mice on this 20-piece puzzle. Designed for preschoolers, the pieces are large and all fit in a little box with a carrying handle. It’s a nice stocking stuffer or small gift for a rainy afternoon. 3 & up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Fisher-Price Fun Feelings Monster

(Fisher-Price $12.00) We like the sounds and action of this cute little totally friendly monster. Just a swipe of a baby’s hand and monster’s expression and sound changes. The face changes and sounds are supposed to connote a variety of emotions. We doubt that baby will get these mood changes, but we have no doubt that the silly sounds and visual change of face will produce a positive sense of— wow, I made that happen. The sounds are pleasing and not too loud. A fun way to learn about cause and effect. 6 months Ages: Infants Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Fisher-Price Hungry Monster Maze Toy

(Fisher-Price $18) Young toddlers will love the repetitive action of this friendly “monster” with big eyes that light up when you feed the five discs into either if the slots on top and side. Give them a push and watch them slide as they roll down the see through ramps. You can lock the exit and load all five “snacks” inside or let them roll out and start again. Our tester’s mom was happy there is a volume control since the sounds are a bit over the top. Our preference is to turn off the sound entirely since the action alone is quite sufficient. The fact that the toy works with or without sound is a real plus. There is a learning curve here for being able to load these coin sha

Connectagons Modern Art

(Hearthsong $68.98) We’ve told you about open-ended Connectagons before; and now this is the super duper set with 280-pieces of wooden circles, ovals, squares, triangles, and zig zag cutouts, all with grooves to fit together and done up in different solid colors and patterns. There are not right or wrong ways to put them together, but they can be assembled into strikingly strange standing creatures, abstract structures, and creative designs. Building with these materials gives hands-on experience with symmetry and design. 4-8 Ages: Preschoolers, Early School Years Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

My First Puzzle Pairs: English to Spanish

(Mudpuppy $12.99) Ten pairs of two-piece puzzles are a good way to introduce knowing and naming animals names as well as being able to put together parts to make a whole—in this case the front and back ends of ten familiar animals. Made of sturdy stock these colorful images are labeled both in English and Spanish. The images are charming in a picture bookish way; though they are not totally realistic. Happily, the puzzle pairs do not fit together unless kids find the matching halves, so this is not one of those games where kids can make mixed up animals that are half lion and half cow. So, they are self-correcting puzzles. They require both dexterity and visual discrimination

Mudpuppy Big Box of Games

(Mudpuppy $19.99) Instead of one game, you’ll find four basic preschool games that are easy to learn and have stood the test of time. Use this game set to play dominoes, concentration, animal bingo, and a spinner game. Illustrated with bright picture-book animal images. There is also a dinosaur version of this set in the making. 3 & up. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

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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.