Toys that have to do with poop seem to be a trend for 2015. In addition to the new Baby Alive Snackin’ Sara that recycles her poop as new food, we found two games that also have a bathroom theme.
WhoTooted? by Goliath Games – the game play is to figure out which of the players “tooted” – complete with a variety of tooting/farting sounds. Thankfully the tooting is strictly electronic. We thought this was the first (and only) game with a whoopeecushion, but we were wrong. Poopyhead (Find It Games) comes with a larger whoopeecushion AND piles of poop. Yuck.
You probably know the best-selling Baby Alive doll from Hasbro. The play scenario is that you feed Baby Alive food and then she poops into diapers just like a real baby. This version has been around for years…what’s new this year, recycled food/poop.
Now you feed Snackin’ Sara food that looks like gummy worms. She eats them and they come out in her little diaper. We were then told and shown that the poop could then be recycled as new food. I’m all for recycling but this is just wrong. It sends a very confusing message to young children and the fact the “food” “poop” is candy also might make a preschooler wonder. The yuck factor here is huge.
Watch the video demo here.
The Force continues to be strong at Hasbro with their Star Wars line. The toy that will receive the most amount of buzz will certainly be FurBacca. This mashup of a toy brings back Furby (remember him?) to a whole new generation of kids that won’t think the technology is all that cutting-edge but will enjoy the Star Wars theme of this fun novelty furball.
Watch the video here toyportfolio-star-wars-furbacca-hasbro
Now what always gets my attention in the Star Wars section at the Hasbro Toy Fair showroom are the lightsabers. I never think they can out do the version from the year before, but I was really wrong. Imagine the biggest, baddest lightsaber you can think of– and that’s what’s coming for 2015. I need one.
Specifically, I want to play with the Bladebuilder Lightsaber where you can add several sabers to build your own super lightsaber. (I think they would have gone with Build a Blade if it wasn’t so close to Build a Bear). Anyway…it has all the great authentic lightsaber sound and it looks super cool.
New for the even younger Star Wars fans….there’s also Star Wars Mr. Potato Head (he’s been around before) and the new Star Wars Play Doh. Now I wouldn’t share the movies with a three year old, but Hasbro is counting on the trickle down from the cartoon series STAR WARS REBELS that older brothers and sisters are watching as well as sentimental buying from Star Wars fans that can’t wait to share the series with their kids.
It’s not really Toy Fair for me until we see the new Star Wars toys. Mattel unveiled their new collection under the Hot Wheels brand. There are miniature spaceships and we love the AT-AT Walker.
My favorite toys from this collection are those that truly marry the Star Wars and Hot Wheels Brands. Who wouldn’t want their own R2-D2 Car?
We had the first day of previews today at Hasbro. I left feeling happiest about the new Play All Day Elmo – over-sized and with a soft belly, he’s much more fun to hug than recent models that had hard bodies underneath the signature red fur. This Elmo promises to play eight different games with your preschooler. We saw a demo of the classic game Red Light, Green Light– Elmo prompts your child to move and then says Red Light! If your child stops, Elmo knows AND he also knows when your child is still moving. Magic! We hope the final product works as well as the demo!
What an amazing two months we’ve had working with over 200 families in 24 states (with seven sets of twins) in order to conduct the first TODAY Show/toyportfolio.com Toy Review. Tomorrow I’ll be on to share the results for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. A special thank you to all the families that participated and gave us their feedback on the toys they reviewed! I hope you’ll tune! To read all the results, please visit www.toyportfolio.com.
There’s something especially cheerful about this latest cooperative game from Peaceable Kingdom! Sunny Day Pond was a hit with our preschooler testers. They loved that they were working together to make three puzzles that feature an orange duck, a purple fish and a green frog. Players use the spinner to determine which color puzzle piece they’ll be using. But beware, there are raindrops! If six raindrops are collected, the round is over! Very sweet. Designed for 2-4 players, ages 3 and up.
We’re always on the look out for new puzzle makers. Duo Press has joined our short list of favorites! Their new 20 piece My San Francisco Puzzle and My New York Puzzle are both visually very pleasing, made on sturdy stock and are just right for the 3 & up crowd. Each puzzle comes in a well-designed box that will make storage easy and long-lasting. Read our reviews at www.toyportfolio.com.
The most troubling quote in today’s NYT’s article, “Today’s Girls Love Pink Bows as Playthings, but These Shoot” is “toys that stimulate aggression are healthy for children.” To suggest that literal props like weapons are something to be valued (regardless of what color they are) puts the conversation about the value of play experiences back a few decades. Yes, kids have aggression and need outlets for expressing it, but making it part of their play diet with plastic weapons is not beneficial. Most child development experts would suggest art supplies and puppets as appropriate outlets for expressing emotions.
We have nothing against archery – but here the game play (inspired by mega hit The Hunger Games) is targeting other children, not a bullseye. There is a disconnect between the teen/adult audience of the books and movies and the 7-year-olds that are the intended consumers of these toys. While we happily support “girl power” when it comes to STEM toys that encourage girls to be all that they can be, this kind of role play perverts the concept of empowerment. Even in the universe from which these toys have come from, we doubt very much that Katniss would approve arming children her sister’s age with weapons.
New Star Wars toys always make me so happy! Here’s a preview of the toys we’ll be looking to test this year.
New games from Wonder Forge, Star Wars LEGO, and playset from Hasbro.
Visit us at toyportfolio.com for reviews.