A super pink and lavender update of the 2011 Platinum Award Winner, this new take on the Babicorolle Elf doll now has a super vivid pink hat (rather than the original orange). She still comes with a quiet little jingle inside. Elf Grenadine is just nine and half inches and dressed in non-removable velour-like and knit fabrics. Her face is vinyl with painted on features. If you prefer more pastel tones, look for Elf Apricot with a light pink body, hot pink hat and apricot arms and trim. Either of these makes a cozy choice for baby to explore and for you to use for lap time games.
Age: Infants. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
For older toddlers, Corolle's 12-inch Calin dolls have long been our favorites. We love that this is a multi-cultural collection and that there is always a boy doll in the mix. They are hand washable and have soft vinyl heads, legs and arms. Their beautifully finished rompers also add to the appeal. Their bald heads are a safe choice for toddlers who are still mouthing toys. Their bean-bag bodies allow them to sit in many poses and their sleeping eyes open and close. Best of all they are light and cuddly for early pretend play.
This delicious new version is in a soft pink romper with matching hat (with a knotted finish).There is also Calin Sky (a boy version in a blue romper). Check out other Platinum Award winning Calin dolls for multi-ethnic choices including Corolle Mon Premier Bebe Calin Naima Doll, Corolle Mon Premier Calin Yang Baby Doll.
Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
An update of the 2010 Platinum Award winner, now comes with a hot pink dress and hat with licks of lavender on her neck, dress and all fabric shoes. She's a smaller 9 1/2 inch version of the original Miss Grenadine rag doll. Her arms and legs are easy to grab and her painted vinyl face is tucked in a non-removable hood. There is no hair to mouth or do-dads that will come off. Light weight and huggable, this is a perfect doll for the littlest pretender.
Age: Infants, Toddlers. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
An update of our 2010 Platinum Award Winner. The carriage, originally in red and pink, is now done in navy with accents of pink, white and navy. Seriously stately and gorgeous. It not only collapses for travel, the soft fabric body of the carriage - the doll's bed - lifts out of the frame to become a carrier with straps for ease of toting about. This has white treaded wheels with pink hubcaps and a lift-up hood for giving dolly a sun-shaded nap. Marked 3 & up.
Age: Preschool, Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Each player takes a turn putting in their headband without looking at the object printed on the card. The player with the card now has to guess what his card says by the clues the other players give. A great family game for mixed ages. Comes with six headbands, a timer, scoring chips, and 74 cartoon cards.
Age: Early School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
LEGO is rolling out a completely revamped version of the robotics kit for a new generation of kids. Knowing how essential smart phones have become, the new design enables them to operate their robots via their phones. The set comes with 17 suggested builds with three different levels of programming. Comes with a hefty price tag - but if you think of this as an after-school program in robotics, it seems more approachable. We are waiting for our testers feedback. This toy made our Platinum Award list in 2007.
We sent it to a family with 4 builders (14, 12, 10 and 9 years old). The 9 year old let his brothers fill us in. They did a great job reviewing this product. Here's what they reported:
Mindstorms is a really fun robotics set. It is really awesome because you can program it to do anything you want. The programing itself is very easy. You just click and drag, and it is very intuitive. There are more advanced setting if you want to be more detailed. The directions to build were easy to follow even though they were online. The robot that we built could track its remote and then when it got close enough, would shoot it with a ball. It could usually hit it within two or three shots. The set is made of Lego technics, which are a slightly more complicated Lego. But it makes building moving parts very easy. It comes with a touch sensor, a color sensor, and an ultra sonic sensor, so it can see where it is going. The sensors are really fun to work with, and you can make things you can't usually make. Over all it is a great robotics kit. One of the best I've ever worked with.
-14 year old
Mindstorms is easy to use and is appropriate for ages 10 and up. It comes with directions to make certain robots, but you can also make things you want. The directions are easy to follow, and the parts seem really durable.
-12 year old
...each robot has a specific mission. For the humanoid, you could set it up to find and shoot the remote control. And that was really cool. Also you could switch it to a mode where you can control it with the remote control. Each side of the remote would control a side of the robot. Or you could switch it to channel two and when you press forward, he would shoot low, and you press backwards it would shoot high. The remote control has 4 buttons and 4 channels. Which makes it pretty easy to use.
-10 year old
Here's what their mom wanted other parents to know:
The technic legos are more difficult to work with than regular lego blocks. The kids really had to pay attention to which piece they were supposed to take (a 6cm rod vs an 8cm rod to connect things made a big difference). I found the directions on the website a little trickier to follow than the ones in a physical book. But the kids didn't have as much trouble as I did. Also, some of the directions were harder to actually do like when you had to flip some pieces around that you had built to connect it to the wires. They were able to get them, but the 9 year old had to ask for help occasionally from the older boys.
They built the trickiest humanoid robot first...but were excited about all the different choices. I think they will make most of them over time. After they took the pictures, they were going to take it apart and try something else. Overall, very well done. But definitely for the older set of kids.
A picture from our testers:
Age: Later School Years, Tweens, Teens. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.
Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at Webmaster@Toyportfolio.com.
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.