LEGO Duplo Airport

(LEGO $24.99) A chubby airplane, airport with tower and luggage chute are ready for dramatic play after they are assembled. Marked for 2-5, we think older twos might like to play with the 29-piece setting with the three figures. But building the chunky style Duplo pieces will be beyond them and most threes. That said, this is a fun parent/child build and it will be used for dramatic play by 3s, 4s, and 5s who are no strangers to airports. This is as familiar to many young children as your old toy garage was at one time. Ages: Older toddlers. Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Cuddle + Kind Maya,Pearl, Isla or Skye, the Mermaids

(Cuddle + Kind $50-70) New from Cuddle + Kind, knitted mermaid dolls that are sure to please: Maya, the Mermaid (13” $50; 20”/$70) is a beauty, a mermaid of color, with black yarn hair, a lavender fringe midriff top and multicolored mermaid tail. Or consider Isla with red-haired mermaid or Pearl with with polka dotted tail or yellow haired Skye with a star in her hair. Also see, our earlier reviews for Sabastian the Lamb is done in cream and light blue short pants with suspenders. His head is textured and topped with a golden crown. Or, Charlotte the Dog is cream colored with a pink scalloped hemmed dress and a wreath of flowers on her head. As always, the company contributes funds that fee

Corolle Umbrella Stroller

(Corolle $39.99) Just like the real thing! This newly minted umbrella stroller folds up for travel and holds a favorite doll or soft animal for a stroll around the yard or block. Done up this season in a bright cheerful new cherry polka-dot fabric. A perfect gift for the new Big Sister or any devoted doll player. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

eeBoo Busy Vehicles Panoramic Puzzle

(eeBoo $21.00) A big 36 piece floor puzzle featuring all sorts of animals driving in whimsical vehicles made of veggies. When completed it's a big 3 feet long, with lots to talk about. Illustrator Kevin Hawkes has created a scene that just might spark some original stories that you and your kids can tell together—try it! Also by Hawkes another panoramic scene, A Lovely Day, with families out skating, strolling, buzzing the flowers and enjoying the clear sunny day. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the Busy Vehicles from Amazon.com Click here to purchase A Lovely Day from Amazon.com

Corolle Ambre, Adele, or Alice

(Corolle $66 and up each) Ambre comes with a full head of reddish hair for brushing and styling again and again. She's a freckle-faced charmer that's 14" big and wears a pink dress, headband and ballet flats that match. She comes with Corolle's signature vanilla scent and her very own hairbrush, which will get lots of use. If you prefer a blonde, choose Adele or for a brunette choose Alice. Each of these soft bodied dolls has sleepy eyes that open when she sits up and close when she lies down. 3 and up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018 Click here to purchase the Ambre doll from Amazon.com Click here to purchase the Adele doll from Amazon.com Click here to purcha

Corolle Mon Grand Poupon Louise or Lilou

(Corolle $67 each) Louise is an armful, a big 14-inch soft-bodied baby doll with blue eyes that open and close and ideal for Big Sister gifts. Her adorable face, arms and legs are made of vanilla-scented soft vinyl. Louise can be posed to sit up. She can also keep her thumb in her mouth. Dressed in a top and trousers, a matching headband and ballet slippers. Lilou's clothes are just like Louise. She's the same size but she has big brown eyes and tan skin tone. Ages: Toddler, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the Louise doll from Amazon.com Click here to purchase the Lilou doll from Amazon.com

eeBoo Snow Party Floor Panoramic Puzzle

(eeBoo $21.00) A winter scene with animals skating, sledding, singing, playing instruments, and building snowman on a three-foot long panorama puzzle with 48 big pieces. The scene by artist Kevin Hawkes is colorful and perfect for the season. Also charming, by the same artist, Busy Vehicles, a three foot panoramic puzzle with animals riding amusing vehicles made with veggies, fruits and other silly things like shoes and hats. One more Kevin Hawkes panorama puzzle scene, A Lovely Day, with storybook turtles riding a tandem bike, foxes roller skating, bunny rabbits picnicking and bears boating under a sky full of bees, butterflies, and balloons. 5 & up. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfol

Corolle Bebe Calin Maria

(Corolle $39.99) A charming multi-ethnic doll with a 12” soft bean-filled body that makes her posable. Her brown eyes open and close and she’s dressed in a soft pink long sleeve PJ and headband. She has Corolle’s signature vanilla scent. 18 months and up. Ages: Older Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Lego Duplo Creative Play Box of Fun

(LEGO $28.99) Many Duplo sets are packaged with one project to build. That can be fun, but for beginners, we prefer a more open-ended set of bricks. This 65-piece box has the makings for buildings, a vehicle base, a dog and character figure, not to mention a variety of colors and sizes of bricks that can be put together and knocked over in endless ways. Try not to get too engaged with replicating the pictures on the box. Explore how wide or high a train of blocks you can put together. Introducing how they connect is challenging enough for beginners. Use all the color words as you build together; make an all red something, or a red and yellow something. Make an arch that the wheeled vehicle c

Corolle Sweet Heart Toffee Pink Doll

(Corolle $27) A 12" soft doll with pj's that do not come off and signature Corolle Vanilla scent. Her little cap comes part way off, but is attached so it won't go lost. She's a sweet armful for a first birthday. Her vinyl face and hands come in a light toffee brown skin tone or a Caucasian tint ($27). Ages: Infants, Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2018 Click here to purchase the African American version from Amazon.com Click here to purchase the Caucasian version from Amazon.com

Corolle Elf Flora Bloom

(Corolle $20.99) A lovable 9.5” soft pouf of a huggable. Elf Flora Bloom has a tinkling bell inside and signature vanilla scent. She's loaded with sensory learning. Her clothes do not come off, not even her little elf shoes, so she's safe enough for all ages. Her arms and legs are easy to grab for little hands. This is machine washable. Ages: Infants Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Quercetti Georello Tech

(Quercelli $36.99) A new twist, that resembles a bike chain, has been added to this versatile gear set. It takes some fine motor skills to assemble the “chain” and a little learning time for figuring out how to put the small pieces together. Once it’s done, the “chain” action links onto the gears and helps to spin them. Kids can build their contraptions flat on the pegged board or standing upright. There isn’t just one way to make it happen, but many with plans to follow. Once they are familiar with the way it works, kids will try making their own designs. Give the advanced builder a challenge: Can they put all the pieces in the set into one continuous motion? There are also stickers to add

Diggin Squap Pop Paddles

(Diggin $24.99) No screen and no couch—what a winning combination! Pop Paddles Squap is a fun action game with two paddles that open and close like clam shells on your hands. Players toss the balls trying to out-catch their opponent. It’s a good choice for physical play, best used out-of-doors or in a Rec-Room with no treasures that can be broken. Develops big motor skills as well as eye hand co-ordinaton. Marked 6 and up, but we suggest it’s a better choice for 8 & up. Ages: Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Quercetti Kaleido Gears

(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 gears go faster when moved by hand. This takes some learning time up front for kids who are new to gears. But the payoffs are rewarding and it’s one of those STEM toys that is open ended allowing players to make different “machines” each time they play. This is a great

Hape Quadrilla Music Motion

(Hape $59.99) Quadrilla Marble Runs have been award winners for several season. This year you can add some music to the fun and enjoy the tinkling sound of chimes as the marbles run through the maze. This new set can be built as a stand alone and in many different ways, making it a pleasing open-ended choice. Ideally, it will become part of the larger scene, with a Quadrilla set up that includes the wonderful spirals. These sets help develop kids spatial reasoning, problem solving, and engineering skills. These are handsome STEM toys that give children early hands-on lessons in Physics. Although it's marked 4 and up, this set is especially challenging and more appropriate for early school

Hape Mini Band Set

(Hape $49.99) Kids like to keep the beat as they dance or listen to music and this little set gives them a variety of ways to do just that. It comes with five different instruments: a tambourine, egg-shaped shaker, a clapper, rainmaker, and a ukulele that doesn’t have a terrible tinny toy sound. These are instruments that are more about pretend play than making melodious music, but they center on rhythm without being overly loud and intrusive. Not a bad place to start with young preschoolers. 3 & up. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2018 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 Rails Extreme Set

(Mindware $126) Newest in the award-winning Q-Ba-Maze marble runs. This year’s version includes 82 cubes, 18 straight-away rails, 4 coaster tubes, 4 marble catchers and 30 marbles. With 7.5-inch straight-away rails, builders can connect to cubes or other tracks to create tricky mazes in endless ways. This is an open-ended construction set that will challenge their creativity, problem solving and eye-hand skills. The double-exit cubes and the bendable tubes add to the possibilities. Marked for 6 and up, but we do think this will be a better choice for slightly older kids (and their parents). It comes with a bonus of 20 steel marbles in a drawstring bag. Note: these are very small marbles and

Mega Bloks Build & Race Rig

(Fisher-Price $22.99) For toddlers, who generally love big trucks, this Mega Bloks Race Rig is sure to be a winning choice. The truck comes with a little racing car that has five sounds, comes apart in three chunky pieces, and is easily reassembled. Best of all the car can race down a steep track or glide across a bridge and in either case rolls out the front end of the truck. For starters, kids will need help assembling the various “raceways” that are formed with the carrier part of the truck. Unlike a lot of track toys, this one works well, once it’s set up. Toddlers will like the repetition and the dependable action. Once they learn how to assemble the different roadways, this is a toy th

ThinkFun Shadows in the Forest Game

(ThinkFun $24.99) We don’t get many games designed to be played in the dark like this one. It’s a little like Hide and Seek with little “Shadowling” figures that hide in a forest of trees. The “Seeker” is “It” and tracks down the Shadowlings that “freeze” when caught in the light of its lantern. Players work together to move the Shadowlings to stay out of the light. The glow in the dark dice tell the Seeker how many moves it can make. This is something of a cooperative game in which the players work together to get into one tree shadow before they are frozen by the Seeker. This would make a good game for Halloween party time and kids 8 and up. Ages: Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Aw

Hape White-Fridge-Freezer

(Hape $119.95) Beautifully finished with shelves inside and a quiet magnetic latch to hold the door closed, this white wooden refrigerator with a freezer below offers years of pretend play. Kids will love the ice cube machine that’s built into the door, but we need to add a word of caution here. The cubes fit into a choke tube and are not safe for kids who still mouth their toys. It is marked for 3 and up, so Hape is not breaking any rules, but we suspect many will bring this housekeeping prop home for two year olds. IT's fine for twos only if you remove the ice cubes. Our tester said it assembles with ease with a Phillips screwdriver and the Alan wrench, the latter is included. Hape’s assem

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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.