36502-pikos-the-hedgehogDeglingos are deliciously quirky   — and were a welcome treat at toy fair. The rows and rows of collectable dolls were gone this year…the dolls that look like real babies (in a seriously creepy kind of way)…we were just commenting on their absence when we hit the end of a row and found these decidedly off beat (funky meets folk art) dolls that will appeal to both boys and girls. Probably because I have two boys–I’m always sensitive to finding huggables that have that gender free appeal.  The Deglingos are a collection of animals – there’s a Cow (Milkos), a Wolf (Bigbos), a Bunny (Lapinos)…you get the idea. We’re looking forward to seeing the new line of Baby Deglingos and sharing them with our testers.

Another Recycling Truck…

Probably not too many other people in the world would take note of the number of recyling trucks…but here’s another sighting…

Fisher-Price Little People will also have a Recycling Truck this fall…it will be call the Little People Sing’n Learn Recycling Truck. There will be singing and sorting…looks fun.


Dora the Explorer is Growing Up…thoughts?

dora-silhouette-final Mattel and Nickelodeon/Viacom, hoping to take this hit preschool brand to the next level, is introducing a more grown up version for older girls.  Much like the Elmo rollout each year, we won’t see the actual new Dora until it is revealed later in the year.  We’ll see whether Dora fans transitioning into the next age group will accept an older, more mature version (she is scheduled to move to the “big city” and have a a “more fashionable look”)–or whether Dora will be a character they want to remember from their early childhood.  Thoughts?

"Let the Force be With you!" – LEGO Star War's 10th Anniversary

8019-0000-xx-12-1I haven’t been blogging much today because I’ve been busy requesting new toys to test!  There’s alot of excitement with our Lego builders for the new sets based on Star Wars.  With the roll out of the Clone Wars, there’s a new generation of SW fans–much to my delight!  So we have many a young Jedi getting ready to test the new sets as they roll out throught the season.

Pick of the Day: Briarpatch's Simms Taback Puzzles

One of the best parts of my job…checking out puzzles with my mother.


Today we were both very quiet as we were working on this new Simms Taback 7 foot long Animal Puzzle.  We were so hard at work and enjoying putting the puzzle together before we just started laughing (another nice aspect of our work).

Briarpatch has really stepped back into the puzzle market with great flair!  We love the entire collection of Simms Taback puzzles. There’s the 7′ foot long Animal Parade with 48 pieces, the 4 Safari Puzzles (four safari animals with varying numbers of pieces for each making them increasingly challenging), and also great, Jumbo Floor Puzzle, that features farm animals.  My young friend Simon, fan of all things farm related, would love this one!   328_jumbo_floor_puzzle

Leave Barbie Alone…

31heojufbdl_sl500_aa280_Many might be surprised that I’m saying this–having spent a good part of my professional life picking on Barbie, but I can’t believe that anyone would introduce legislation trying to ban her.  The Ban Barbie bill is proposed by House Delegate Jeff Eldridge in West Virginia.   We agree that young girls need to have positive role models and have praised Barbie when she takes stock of her brains (when she’s a Vet, a Doctor, a Teacher, even a Celebrity TV Chef!)…but to spend a moment on this issue when I’m sure there are greater issues facing the House of Delegates in West Virginia just seems silly. Besides has he met the Bratz?

When Starbucks costs too much….Step2's Cafe Barista may help

cafe-baristaWith everyone cutting back on their expensive coffee habits, you can enjoy a pretend cafe latte or cappuccino with this new pretend setting from Step 2.  The Cafe Barista looks like fun–we really liked the “steamed milk” sound effect.  Looking forward to testing this one.  Will be available later this year. Be on the look out for more and more toys that focus on food…both real and plastic.