MegaConstrux Pokemon Bulbasaur Figure

(Fisher-Price $15.00) It took our experienced builder to put this 30-piece set together. She liked the flexible Bulbasaur play figure and the Poke Ball. There are five other similar sets with other Pokemon characters; so it's a collectible toy as well as a construction set that will not take months to complete. Good for developing fine motor skills, following directions, and imagination and language through dramatic play once it's built. Ages: Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Kinetic Sand Kalm Zen Box

(Kinetic Sand $29.99) Our adult tester found this very satisfying. The kit is made to look like a zen garden, and comes with a scoop for making sand balls, a slicer for smoothing and cutting the sand, and a textured ball that can make swirly patterns in the sand. It comes with a deep tray that keeps the sand well contained. Our tester found it difficult to put the rake ball together in a way that the seam didn't show, but was otherwise pleased with the relaxing experience. In case you’re wondering, the Kinetic sand feels like wet sand and is pliable and moldable like the sand at the edge of the shore...BUT it is not wet! It has a pleasing texture to the touch and holds a pattern or shape wit

Spin Master Etch A Sketch Diamond Anniversary

(Spin Master $29.99) We're all long times fans of the original Etch A Sketch. There's always been something quietly satisfying about the action of turning the knobs and disto draw designs inside the bright red frame with two white nobs and then, equally pleasing— shaking it to make the lines disappear and starting over again. We like the classic red frame, but wait till you see the 2020 Diamond Anniversary design! It’s like a black-tie fancied up event—with black jewel textured frame, clear faceted diamond shaped nobs, and a new glitter covered screen. It’s marked 3 and up, that’s only because there are no small parts to swallow, but Etch a Sketch is a better choice for early school age kid

Blue Orange Save the Dragon

(Blue Orange $21.49) An unusual 3-D game board is made of thick cardboard, easy to put together, fits nicely back into the box, but we're not sure how long it will hold up. The aim of the game is to be the first to climb the stairs and reach an open door at the top. There are two types of dice: one tells players how many spaces they can move, the other is an action die, which is used if a player rolls a 1 or 2 on the first die. If the action die is thrown players either choose to move the shield or door pieces, or they pick an open door to roll the boulder down the board in order to try and knock their opponents pieces down. The action dice inserts a small amount of strategy into this game.

eeBoo Positivity Round Puzzle 500 Pieces

(eeBoo $21.99) Putting a round puzzle together is different, and in some ways a lot more challenging. Our tester loved the cheerful folk art look of the image designed by artist Carolyn Gavin. Positivity seems to sing out with all the sunny faces smiling above the face of the woman with a head covered with flowers, fruit, animals, tropical trees, birds and butterflies. It’s so bright and charming, you won’t want to undo it. With 500 pieces, this makes a do-able family project that ends up a big 23” in diameter. Puzzling makes for an entertaining way to take a break from screen time while building problem solving and stay-the-course skills. Also very attractive, look for Moon Dance another 50

eeBoo Giant Shiny Dinosaur Dominoes

(eeBoo $18.99) Dino-haulics are going to love playing a picture matching game with these giant Dinosaur Dominoes. eeBoo adds a nice touch, they've labeled the dinos with their correct name and trimmed each domino with glittery green rick-rack style divides. The playing pieces are big enough for small hands, with images distinct enough for beginners to recognize for matching. 28 pieces a good choice for older preschoolers and early school grades. Ages: Older Preschoolers, Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020

eeBoo Dragons Slips and Ladders

(eeBoo $21.99) Lots of ups and downs with this updated version of chutes and ladders. Illustrator Kevin Hawkes has given this ancient Indian game a new look with colorful dragons ( with sweet teeth) as playing pieces. They make their way hoping to land under a ladder that they can go zipping up and avoiding landing on top of a ladder and slipping down! We love the multicultural cast of knights, court jesters, ladies in waiting, all offering cakes, balloons, and other goodies. Like the eeBoo Fancy Pachisi game, this one is beautifully finished with attention to detail that make it special. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020

Blue Orange Fish Club

(Blue Orange $19.99) Our five year old tester liked this better than his parents and he had not figured it out, yet, either. It's a lot like the old game of connect four, only here you are playing with fish cut outs that you drop into the the very narrow "aquarium", trying to get five fish to connect. But watch out...your opponent can drop a fish that will separate yours! The space is tight and it takes time for beginners to get that they have to drop their fish to one side or another and that the fish do sometimes bounce. 5 and up. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Blue Orange Bye Bye Mr. Fox Cooperative Game

(Blue Orange $21.99) Spread the word! There's a cunning fox out there eager to snatch the chicks. It's the players who must help the hens keep their little chicks safe from harm. ! Take turns: Spin the spinner to see what you will move on your turn: an egg, a chicken, or the little fox? Careful! Don't let fox snatch the eggs from the hens! All players work together to move three eggs into each hen's house to win the game· This made a real hit with our five year old testers and his parents. INCLUDES: 1 Game Board, 3 Wooden Hens, 26 Tokens, Illustrated Rules Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Blue Orange Pig Puzzle

(Blue Orange 10.99) An unusual solo game for younger players.The three pigs have to get home before the storm. Pick a challenge card, pick up all the pieces you need, now arrange them in a path but watch out! The big bad wolf is out there and there’s a lake your pig doesn’t want to fall into! This is a self-correcting game with the solution on the back of each challenge card. For non-electronic quiet time, this takes a little thinking, logic, and doing. Once they get the hang of it, it’s a do-able fun challenge. 60 challenge cards, 4 game boards, 20 tiles and illustrated rules. Stores in a small magnetized box for safe keeping. Marked 5 and up. We think 5’s will like playing this with a pare

eeBoo Trucks and a Bus Matching Game

(eeBoo $10.99 ) Our tester had good fun finding the 12 matched pairs of cute little cut out trucks and a bus. Monika Forsberg’s collection of trucks look like they’ve rolled right out of a story book. There’s an ice cream truck, fire truck, one that delivers fish, robot parts, logs, air mail (with a bird), cakes, a carpenter, musicians, fruits, spring water, and, yes, a school bus. It’s a classic concentration game that’s played by turning over two cards at a time to find a match that the player keeps. Winner is the one with the most matches. That’s the traditional way, but kids can also play this solo, matching up the 12 pairs. Or use them to tell an original story. Marked 3 and up, but we

eeBoo Fancy Pachisi

(eeBoo $21.99) Every once in a while, a product lands on our desk that brings forth a round of Oooos! and Ahhhhs! Somehow, we wouldn’t have thought it would be a classic game. But eeBoo is on the mark when they call this “Fancy” Pachisi. It is exactly that. Open the foiled box with its Indian players pictured on the lid, to find a playing board with a hot pink, orange, and green Indian block print pattern on one side and the handsome foiled playing board on the reverse, even bees embossed in gold on the playing pieces. In India the ancient game was played with shells. This updated version comes with big purple dice and jeweled toned playing pieces. The rules are similar to Parchisi and can b

Djeco Tapatou Tap Tap Game

(Djeco $29.99) We know how much toddlers love hammer toys. Some are just too hard, some are way to easy...this chicken tp tap toy is just right! The wood is smooth and beautifully finished. The hammer is well shaped. The balls are too big to be a choking hazard and with a few taps they disappear through the round openings and roll out of the hen's side. Toddlers love the powerful satisfaction of making things happen and this is a fun way to give them that along with some eye hand skills. It's also an attractive toy that's sturdy enough to be passed along to younger sibs, little cousins, or family friends. SNAP: a solid hammer toy with well sized pieces for ease of grasping and hitting. Ages

Mindware Paint Your Own Gnome

(Mindware $19.95) Create your own whimsical, hand-painted stone décor, perfect for porches, patios and decks. No cement mixing or messy prep work is required; the 8-1/2” tall stone Garden Gnome is ready to paint, right out of the box. Vibrant paints encourage mixing, blending and special effects. Oven-bake your painted creation for a long-lasting, weather-resistant finish. It comes with a the gnome, 12 matte paints, paintbrush and instructions. A fun project that can help them refine their eye-hand skills, as they learn a little more about mixing colors.8 and up Ages: Older Early School, Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Mega Construx Pokemon Jumbo Eevee

(Fisher-Price $79.99) WIth 832 pieces, this is no snap to put together. That said, our Pokemon obsessed builder put this together in about five hours and the good news is that it has stayed together. Other good news, Jumbo Eevee has poseable ears, legs, and tail, and can also be posed standing or sitting. A good choice for honing their problem solving skills, patience and fine motor skills, too. Our experienced tester/builder agreed with the 10+ age on the box. Ages: Tweens Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Megabloks Woodland Friends

(Fisher-Price $19.99) Designed for beginning block builders, these chunky blocks are also mini-puzzles.Heads and bodies of woodland animals are color coded and fit together. Of course kids will have fun mis-matching them as well and making up funny names for their combo creatures. Kids can put together a bear, fox, raccoon, bunny and deer. Other than putting the critters together, this is a pretty open-ended set that can be used for building whatever kids can imagine. All 30 big blocks in the set are compatible with other Mega Bloks. The company is introducing their first plant-based plastics that we can only hope will mean they won’t stay in the landfill for centuries. SNAP: Great for stack

Djeco Maxi Topanijungle and Nest and Stack Blocks

(Djeco $28.00) We told you about the TopaniFarm from the same maker, with familiar farm animals; that was last year. And now—drum roll! Here they are, the wild animals of the jungle! Hide them under the blocks, or stack them in between the blocks. Monkey has strong arms that are also flat enough to carry a block over its head. What other tricks can the giraffe, gator, lion, and elephant do. Those colorful blocks can be nested and stacked in size order. A good choice for beginning blocks with jungle animals. Ages: Toddlers Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purchase the product from

Kahootz Latchkits Unicorn Mini Rug

(Kahootz/PlayMonster $15.00) A good long term project to create a 12" x 11" rug featuring a very feminine looking unicorn. Our tester found the directions clear and easy to follow and the materials of high quality. Staying with a craft kit that takes more than one sitting teaches kids about sticking with a task and the satisfaction of projects that take patience. CAUTION: Contains functional sharp points. The kit contains a latch hook craft tool, five bundles of pre-cut yarn pieces, one color-coded canvas, and one illustrated instruction guide. It's marked 6 and up, but we'd say this makes a better choice for 8s and up. Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click

Fisher-Price Little People Launch & Loop Raceway

(Fisher-Price $49.99) With four different ramps and a double car launcher, kids are going to have good fun using the two Wheelies vehicles to set them zooming down the tracks. Cars might crash together, drop through a trap door, or race down the spiral track. It has a Hot Wheels orange loop, and exciting lights and sounds that add to the action. Our tester reports the set up went together very easily. The posts all have unique bottoms, so that it’s impossible to put a piece in the wrong place. Good news! You can add more Wheelies to the mix. Makes a good choice for twins and/or for visiting kids when multiple children play side by side, as toddlers like to do. Marked 1 ½ 5 years. It's a race

Blue Orange Snip Snap

(Blue Orange $13.99) Our tester family liked this lively game that Players choose a set of colored dice marked with 6 symbols: snow, star, shark, sun, shoe, splat, surf, snake and sock. During each round all players roll their dice at the same time and race to find matching symbols on all of the dice thrown. Spots a pair of dice with matching symbols? Players must call it out to claim their dice by saying "Snow Snap!" or “Shark Snap!” or whatever symbol pairs they spot. A game with quick rounds that depend on speedy visual acuity and the fun of shouting out all of that alliteration. Ages 7+ for 2 - 6 Players Ages: Early School Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award 2020 Click here to purcha

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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.