We’re always excited to share the news of the toyportfolio.com Best Toys of 2015! If you’re new to toyportfolio.com, here’s how we work. Joanne and I begin in February at the International Toy Fair in NYC where all of the toys for this holiday season are previewed. There are thousands of new toys that fill the Javits Center. From there we make our requests to see toys that look promising. The toys then start arriving to our office – slowly at first. By July it looks like we are in Santa’s Workshop – wall to wall toys. We put the toys to the first round of review – does the toy work, do the directions make any sense, is it fun? The sad truth, many toys never get beyond this stage. The number of toys that don’t do what they say they’ll do is always shocking to us.
The next stage of our testing is to send the toys to families all over the country from all walks of life to give us feedback. We found early on that this was the best way to get feedback from the ultimate testers, kids. Bringing kids into a large “play” setting almost always favors toys that are heavily promoted and big on novelty. But that’s not how kids play with their toys. So we always ask parents to give us their feedback about how the toy is played with in their own playrooms. This year we had families from all 50 states. Their feedback is always great!
Based on all of the feedback and our reviews, the awards emerge. The Platinum Awards are reserved for the truly outstanding toys of the year; the Gold Seal Awards are also highly rated products that engaged our kids; the Blue Chip Award is bestowed on toys that have been in the marketplace for at least five years and have stood the test of time (a rarity in toyland); and finally the SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award is given to toys that are easily adaptable for children with special needs.
We hope you find the reviews helpful. Our mission remains the same…to find toys that are both fun and engaging – and not a waste of your toy dollar!
Stephanie and Joanne