Mudpuppy Copy Cat Card Game

(Mudpuppy $7.99) Need small gift that will be fun to play for a party or family gathering with all the cousins? Try this memory game. Kids draw a card and imitate the action the creatures on the card is doing. Now the next player draws a card and does the action on her card AND the action the previous player did. The game continues as players do the action on the cards they draw followed by the actions of the previous players. It’s a cumulative memory game that gets harder as play proceeds. The rules say the player who forgets is “out” and now a new round begins. We think it would be better to just start a new round, but let everyone continue playing. Marked 3-10 and we think the sweet spot

Green Toys Ocean Bound Plastic Tide Pool Set

(Green Toys $19.99) For beach, pool or bathtub, this set of water toys will keep little scientists exploring the nature of water and sand with the starfish, scallop, abalone, snail, squid and jellyfish in this clever set of sprinklers that turn and shells shapes that can dig. It even comes with a seaweed patterned carrier with sprinkle opening at the bottom and hold all the pieces when play is done. Take it to the beach now and use it in the tub all year round. 6 months-6 years. Ages: infants, toddlers, preschoolers, young early school Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2019 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Mudpuppy Woodland Fuzzy 42-piece Puzzle

(Mudpuppy $14.99) A charming woodland scene with highly stylized images of woodland creatures. Kids will like the novelty of the soft fuzzy pieces as they put this puzzle together. Although marked 3+ we think the 42-piece puzzle will be a challenge for all but the most experienced preschoolers. Beginners will need some strategies for finding the straight edges for building the frame and hints on how to match up body parts of the creatures. Ages: Older Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award 2019 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Cuddle + Kind Penelope Flamingo

(Cuddle + Kind $60-$80) Once again, we applaud the charming dolls handcrafted by talented women in Peru, who make their living with these lovable creations. This year’s beauties are once again winning choices for gift giving. It will be hard to choose just one favorite; each is special in its own way. Perhaps the standout is a pink ballerina Penelope, a 20” tall knitted flamingo with a floral crown above her tiny black eyes, pink delicately rouged cheeks, and pronounced black and white beak! Her textured wings are of feathery pink yarn and her ballet slippers are not removable. Also consider these two charmers, Lucas and Lola Llama are the color of flax and have textured yard on the heads an

Cuddle + Kind Violet and Elliot Fawns

(Cuddle + Kind $ 60 each for 13” or $80 for 20” size ) Once again, we applaud the charming dolls handcrafted by talented women in Peru, who make their living with these lovable creations. This year’s beauties are once again winning choices for gift giving. It will be hard to choose just one favorite; each is special in its own way. Good luck choosing between Violet and Elliot Fawn. Like all fawns they have still got their white spots and their antlers are just budding. It seems likely that these are reindeer fawns since they are the only female fawns that grow antlers. Whatever, they are totally lovable. Elliot has a white chest and wears a pair of long shorts. Violet wears a mauve dress wit

LEGO DUPLO Town Fire Station

(Lego $39.99) No doubt the firetruck with light and sound will be the favorite part of this Firehouse Construction Set with 76 pieces. Two firefighters, one of each gender are also in the set, along with a spotted black and white Dalmatian pup with its own personal needs— a hydrant that shots a forever frozen spray of water. Marked 2 and up although no 2, 3, or even 4 could build this without tons of adult help. This is one of those building sets that older preschoolers can do as part of a parent child project. We think younger kids are better off with a set of Duplos that they can use for making their own creations. That said, older preschoolers will enjoy themed sets that they can build wi

Mudpuppy Animal Kingdom 100-Piece Double Sided Puzzle

(Mudpuppy $16.99) Good fun! Your get two Animal Kingdoms for the price of one with this double-sided 100-piece puzzle. The pale green background pieces feature colorful animals, mostly from jungle and tropical regions: a parrot, peacock, tiger, crocodile, toucan, flamingo, tropical fish, insects and more. The lavender backed side features black and white creatures from all over the world—zebra, panda, penguin, cow, raccoon, skunk, and more. First things first, turn all the pieces to the same background color (also, note: one side is glossy and the other is matte.) Next, show beginners how to build the frame with the straight edge pieces. With 100–pieces, this is a nice step-up puzzle for ol

Steiff Starry Sea Star Soft Cuddly Friends Stuffed Animal Puppet

(Steiff $29.95) Put your hand inside this plush starfish puppet! It’s peachy and velour-like on one side and silky plush on the back. It has a sweet embroidered face that baby will like gazing at as you sing or talk and play tracking games. Baby is likely to smile as you touch her little hands, feet or face with the silky plush side. A lap toy for new parents to use as they get acquainted…they supply the music, action and words…baby supplies the smiles and amazement. A great baby shower or first-visit-to-the-new-family-member kind of gift! Ages: Infants Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2019 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Mudpuppy Jimmy Fallon Dada Jumbo Floor Puzzle and Puzzle Pairs

(Mudpuppy $14.99) Based on art from Jimmy Fallon’s book, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada!, this big floor puzzle has 25 pieces and many Dada and child pairs. The images are not realistic or scientific and in fact, may be a bit puzzling to little children. Still, with help, they can put the pairs together and perhaps enjoy making the animal sounds each pair would make. Also nice, Jimmy Fallon’s Puzzle Pairs ($12.99) with ten two piece puzzles—each pair has a Dada an child with the baby saying the typical animal sound. Both of these are marked 2 and up, but of course, no two-year old can do either of these. Save them for older threes and fours. Ages: Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Go

Mudpuppy World of Eric Carle, Brown Bear 4 in A Box Puzzle Set

(Mudpuppy $14.99) With four different puzzles in one box, the first job at hand is to sort the puzzle pieces by color. Each puzzle has a distinctive color on the back of the pieces. Together, you can count the pieces after they are sorted. There should be 4 brown pieces, 6 red ones, 9 blue, and 12 green. Obviously the 4-piece Brown Bear will be the first and easiest. After that, the 6-piece Red Cardinal Bird, then the 9-piece Blue Horse, and finally the 12-piece Green Frog. So, this is a suite of beautiful images by picture book artist, Eric Carle, with four levels of difficulty. The sturdy pieces are big enough for preschoolers to handle. A nice way to connect characters from a favorite boo

Green Toys Elmo’s Wagon

(Green Toys $24.99) Lightweight enough for a toddler to pull around, this little red wagon has a stout rope handle and just enough space for hauling blocks, dolls or other treasures. With their hard won locomotive skills, toddlers love dragging their toys from one room to another. Elmo’s face is on the hub caps and on the sides of this low to the ground wagon. Made of 100% recycled plastic and printed with soy inks, you can feel good about limiting their eco footprints as they begin taking footsteps. Ages: Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2019 Click here to purchase the product from Amazon.com

Green Toys Parking Garage

(Green Toys $39.99) Smaller than most, but so well designed! It comes with a helicopter that lands on the helipad rooftop, a police car and a yellow city taxicab that can go into the drive-through station, be lifted up to the next level aboard the working elevator and roll down the attachable ramp. Scaled to work with Green Toys Ferry boat and car carrier, this is made from 100% recycled plastic with no BPA, phthalates, or PVC. It will take up less space than most, cost less, and performs all the action usually found in more elaborate and larger garage setting. SNAP: Small enough to fit on a table top to make it accessible for wheelchair users. Lots of language possible with this mini settin

Big Mouth GINORMOUS Unicorn Lawn Sprinkler

(Big Mouth $49.99) Looking for a way to cool off and turn your backyard into a fantasy land?Consider this Ginormous Unicorn Lawn Sprinkler, its nearly 7 feet tall and made of durable vinyl. You’ll need a pump to inflate this showstopper and once it’s standing attach it to a standard garden water hose and let the sprinkling begin! If unicorns are not your style, consider an elephant or dinosaur style instead. Our testers had some issues about not filling it adequately with air and found it fell over. Once they figured out the problem the Unicorn stood up and thrilled their four-year old and several grown up kids, as well. This is a big air filled creature and comes with lawn pegs to fasten it

Steiff Soft Cuddly Jimmy Teddy

(Steiff $39.99) His name may be Jimmy, but to us, he looks a lot like the real Pooh Bear! He has a lovely sweet face and a honey-colored textured coat that’s deliciously silky to the touch. His floppy arms are under-stuffed and easy to hold. With a weighted bottom, this bear can sit up well for a tea party, on a lap or lie down for a nap, when needed. A big 16 inches of huggable! Also available in 12” size ($28.95) Ages: Toddlers, Preschoolers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2019 Click here to purchase the 16" Jimmy bear from Amazon.com Click here to purchase the 12" Jimmy bear from Amazon.com

Mindware Gembatan Game

(Mindware $14.95) Don’t be put off by the serious look of the packaging. If you like domino style games you’ll like this one a lot. It’s a kind of double-domino game. You line up the playing pieces by matching colors of the amulet tiles, but only if you have a matching gem to place with it. To win points you must line up three or more amulets in a row with matching color. There’s some strategy involved, but given its medieval look, it appears to be a lot harder than it actually is. In fact, it’s easy to learn, not complicated with too many rules, and fairly quick playing rounds. For 2-4 players, you get 60 tiles and 60 gems. 8 and up. Ages: Older Early School, Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Monopoly for Millennials

(Hasbro $25) It’s all about collecting experiences…not the money. Really. You get into the game with just $100. Yes, Monopoly for Millennials is different. Forget Park Place or hotels. The hot destinations are a Vegan Bistro or a week-long Meditation retreat. No railroads—travel from one bike share to the next. Shop at a thrift shop, crash in your parents’ basement, or on a friend’ couch. Hey, it’s all about…living in the moment. Marked 8 and up…a little early. Talk about timing, for older teens and adults on your list, you may want to check out the Game of Thrones Monopoly ($24) with Game of Thrones themed playing pieces, money and castles instead of houses and hotels. There's even an iron

Mindware Marble Circuit

(Mindware $24.95) They call this a logic game of paths and possibilities and that's just what it is. It's a brainteaser with a sloping playing board, with tiles that are arranged to match the challenge card for each round of play. Those challenge cards show you where almost all the tiles go, but a few spaces are left blank, on purpose. The player must choose the missing tiles that will create pathways to allow the metal marbles to land in the slots below. Oh, yes, did I mention the card also says how many of those tiny marbles should end up in which slots? Next, player must place the long barrier above the tiles and drop one metal marble in each space above the barrier. Ready? Pull the barr

Playmobil Mars Space Station

(Playmobil $79.99) Welcome aboard the Mars Space Station! With lights under the central hub, astronauts work aboard the illuminated station, entering through the front ramp and move about through the rotating hatch. Everything they need is found in this amazing space station with a removable roof, a fitness room, sleeping quarters, command central, and of course a robot. There are two multi-cultural astronauts, tools, computer, food supplies, space crystals, telescope, video recorder, and many more accessories. It not only has lights, but plenty of sounds —radio contact, jet propulsion, and other space noises. All terrific for dramatic play...BUT... before anything happens an adult builder i

Playmobil Mission Rocket with Launch Site

(Playmobil $69.99) Get ready for countdown! Years ago this would have been found in the Boys Toys aisle. Not anymore! We're happy to report there are both a male and a female astronaut play figures assigned to this mission! It's is a gender neutral construction set and play setting for boys and girls alike. Check every detail as the crew works on the maintenance platform. Get the astronauts seated in the cockpit. Ready for their journey into space! It’s all AOK as the countdown begins, the rockets roar, lights flash and the thrusters lift the rocket up, up, up...wow! What a vehicle for pretend. But here's the deal—before anything happens an adult builder is going to spend considerable time

Ann Williams Craft Crush Bracelet Box

(Ann Williams $16.99) A craft kit for older designers who have some experience with making jewelry that takes fine motor skills. There are nine different bracelets that can be made with the materials in this kit. It’s a wonderful mixture of braiding, beading, tying and twisting the assorted ingredients—faux suede, wooden beads, cotton threads, waxed cord, elastic cord, plastic beads, metal rings and triangles. No special tools are needed...just your talent and patience. Crafters will love wearing their own creations or give them as gifts. 10 and up, up, up. Ages: Tweens and Teens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award 2019 Click here to purchase this product at 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.