Hape Penguin Musical Wobbler

(Hape $16.00) For a sitting up baby, this is one of those toys that responds with a swipe of the hand. The blue and white penguin has little wings that extend on either side when the bird wobbles. The musical chimes inside are activated as the baby touches the bird. They have a pleasant and quiet sound, but they are not as musical as the name of the toy seems to say. It’s a heavy toy with a solid wooden base that keeps it from flopping over completely. This comes under the heading of baby being able to make something happen—a very pleasing idea. 6 months and up. Ages: Older Infants Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017

Tech Will Save Us Dough Universe

(Tech Will Save Us $29.99 each kit) Learning about making a circuit is one of the big STEM trends this year. We’ve had elaborate sets for tweens as well as books and other building sets. This one is easy enough to share with your 4-5 year old as a parent child project or for your 6-9 year old child who can read. The sets combine science with art material (colorful play dough) to create circuits that will turn on lights and sounds. Like so many toys this season you’ll need to follow an app that gives kids step-by-step directions for their experiments. There are three sets: Bright Creatures, Electro Machines, and Techno Sounds. Don’t be misled by the musical notes on the Techno Sound kit, the

Oregon Scientific Smart Globe Explorer AR

(Oregon Scientific $139) We’ve tested a lot of talking globes over the years but we have to say, this is the most impressive yet! It’s not just a globe that talks, it opens and one half show the interior of earth with it’s many layers while the other half shows the solar system and both are interactive, giving facts with a touch of the rocket shaped pen. Our adult tester, a devoted map reader, found the maps to be far better than most and he loved the fact that you can get updates on the Smart Globe app as maps do change often. The information can be selected for different age groups. The easiest for 5-8s, next for 9-14 and then 15 & up. You can find out what time it is in any country of the

Manhattan Toy Mio Castle, Horse and 4 People

Manhattan Toy $105 Kids can rearrange the wooden castle towers, walls and ladders in endless ways to build ever-changing castles as they get more and more experienced as builders. We love this modular wood castle set that allows for lively imagination, creative thinking and open-ended play. It’s a delightful mix of gender-neutral vibrant colors, checkered pattern and natural wood. The castle towers nest for easy storage, while walls and towers slot together to create dozens of different castle designs. The big 38-piece set includes: 5 large towers, 4 medium towers, 4 small towers, 4 narrow towers, 2 ladders, 3 side walls, 1 entrance wall with drawbridge, 4 basic platforms, 1 gate, 5 flag po

Educational Insights Baby Doux

(Educational Insights $54.99) Done in four skin tones this machine washable 12” baby doll has a snuggly soft fabric body and vinyl legs, arms and head. Dressed in a non-removable one piece knit 1-z. Vanilla scented, this is a bald baby, safe enough for toddlers to enjoy. This doll can’t sit unless propped up. The Asian-eyed doll has fixed eyelids, although the others have sleepy eyes that open and close depending on their position. Perfect for early nurturing role play and an ideal gift for new big brothers and sisters. 2 & up. Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2017 Click here to purchase on Amazon.com

Educational Insights Baby Bijoux

(Educational Insights $64.99) A multicultural collection of almost 16” dolls, available in four skin tones and they are also anatomically correct. They are easy to clean vinyl and have movable arms and legs so they can sit and be posed in various position. They come with sleepy eyes as well as lush heads of blonde or black hair. The Asian dolls have very straight hair while the African American dolls had curly hair. Boys and girls are dressed in gender specific blue or pink rompers. They have a light vanilla scent. Perfect for early nurturing role play and an idea gift for new big brothers and sisters. Since they have such elaborate hair they are marked for 3 and up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppen

The Best STAR WARS toys for 2017

Here are the best STAR WARS toys for 2017 rated for being the most fun and engaging: Click thru to read our full reviews: Playskool Heroes STAR WARS BB-8 Adventure Base (Hasbro) Simon STAR WARS Darth Vader (Hasbro) Sphero STAR WARS R2-D2 App-Enabled Droid LittleBits STAR WARS Droid Inventor Kit LEGO STAR WARS Collection 2017 STAR WARS First Order Stormtropper Smartwatch with Camera (VTech)

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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.