Thank you all for your wonderful emails and calls–everyone is looking for our book and lists. Hearing that our lists are well appreciated and used is always great to hear.
The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award List will all be announced on our website on October 6th. We’re busy here checking our lists as we get ready to post our top choices for the holidays.
As you know we worked with toy companies for most of the year to get a verification form that (almost) everyone would sign. We didn’t get an agreement until we were well past the point of publication. The upside of writing reviews on the web is that there is no word limit–so we can include more feedback that we got from toy testers and just generally say more…
We are also planning features for the holiday season..if there’s something you’d particularly like us to take a look at, let us know. We’ll be looking at trends as well as toys at every price point. With the news as it is-we think these lists will be useful as you start shopping for the holidays.
Leapfrog has introduced a new handheld educational gaming system where you can download games. Our young tester LOVED playing on the Didj. Our parent tester also thought it was great that you could load your child’s spelling words–that then become part of the “gaming” experience. All sounds great. I’ve had trouble loading the Didj we received–you have to download the games (and you can also personalize your gaming characters, all good). After initially great reviews, our testing family is also having difficult with loading the Didj and is waiting to hear back from the company. Please let us know your experiences.
We’re going through our data base and new entries to find the toys with the biggest bang for your buck. It can be done–and right now we’re verifying products that we have loved in the past–to make sure that they’re still available and that the price is still reasonable.
All of the new testing requirements (a good thing) have added to the cost of toys significantly. Pair that added expense with increases in fuel, resins, etc. and it won’t be your imagine, the price of toys this year has gone up (just like everything else!) Most of the toys have bumped up a good 10 to 15%. Some of our favorite big deal toys this year cost in excess of $200. We usually call these the “call in the grandparents” presents– of course with many grandparents taking a serious hit to their retirement funds…not sure that will work this year.
So if you have a toy for under $15 that you feel is really spectacular–please feel free to share your find.
The good news is that many board games are still under that $15 or $19.99 price point.