Elmo, The Duggars, and Lisa VanderPump- oh my!

This morning my mother and I headed uptown to do a segment on the Today Show about the season’s hot toys. Let’s Rock Elmo is one of the toys we’re going to talk about. My overriding concern going uptown was the massive zit on my face.  Don’t you think at a certain age that you should get a pass on acne?  My hitting the Halloween candy hard last week probably didn’t help the situation…but still, I do believe that there should be a time limit on the whole adult acne thing.

The good news is that the AMAZING makeup artist Christine waved her magic brushes over my face (in other words spackle was used) and the zit was gone. Seriously–it’s pretty magical. My hair is done–all is good. The kids started arriving for the segment.

The Duggars graciously agreed to let two of their daughters join us. The Duggars were on the Today Show to announce that they were expecting baby #20!  Michelle Duggar and I had a  conversation about our respective cravings during pregnancy. I wondered if they changed over time.  I take my hat off to her–I can’t imagine twenty trips down that road.  She has a very calm core– also necessary to run a household with that many kids!

Our segment was bumped so we were scheduled to post-tape. So we had the kids in the studio, turning the toys on…but then it was decided  to have us back live on Thursday instead-so off we go.

So before we left, I went to the ladies room. And then Lisa VanderPump joined me as I was waiting my turn. She was very friendly.

I’ll own up to it, I am a RHWBH watcher. I don’t want to – but then I can’t stop myself.  It’s the sheer genius of Bravo programming. That’s probably a whole other blog posting. Anyway, I marveled at the seriously high Brian Atwood leopard print pumps she was wearing.  I’ve tried them on (not in the leopard print) –and while I think I look pretty silly in them, they looked great on her.  They make my Jimmy Choo’s look like they’re from the children’s department. For the record, most of these shoes are not in keeping with my feminist roots or my desire not to be crippled, but I also do enjoy being taller. So maybe I’m more a height-ist than a feminist.  I just always wonder whether  anyone finds these shoes comfortable?  In any case, Lisa looked terrific and was on the show to discuss her new book about entertaining.

We then went to visit the wonderful Richard Davies at ABC Radio to talk toys!

So even though I didn’t get to discuss the hot toys of the season on the Today Show yet, it was still a fun day.  The nexus of Michelle Duggar and Lisa Vanderpump–now that’s pretty intense. Tune in Thursday morning in the 9 o’clock hour to see our segment!




Sing-a-ma-jigs go Symbiotic

The new Sing-a-ma-jigs from Fisher-Price

I loved Sing-a-ma-jigs when I first saw them last year at Toy Fair. To me they look like claymation characters with their little round mouths and big eyes.

Wallace and Gromit

I love that they are able to sing (and even harmonize) together.  This year– the new versions come with a little mini-me attached the larger doll. They sing together. The upside, you don’t need to buy two dolls to have them harmonize.  I’m not sure I love the mini-me aspect.  The smaller doll cannot be removed and somehow the smaller animal looks slighter meaner than the bigger doe-eyed larger being. Kind of reminds me of the character Masterblaster from Mad Max.

To watch a video of the new dolls, click here.

For video of past videos, click here.

Masterblaster from Mad Max

Five Perfect Toys for Toddlers

Finding toys for toddlers can be super challenging! They’ve outgrown their baby toys–but not quite ready yet for more complex toys geared to preschoolers.  The toys need to match their new found mobility and desire to do things again and again!

Here are just five of my favorites:

Little People Load ‘n Go Wagon (Fisher-Price)

Step 2 Basic Rhythms Piano (Step 2)

Playskool Clipo Creativity Table (Playskool)

Schylling Color Roller (Schylling)

Rollipop Toddler Starter and Advanced Sets (Edushape)

The full reviews are on our site, www.toyportfolio.com.

Today Show Tomorrow…

Tomorrow I’ll be talking about some of our award winning picks for babies and toddlers. Looking forward to sharing some of the really great products for these age groups.  We’ll be there with eight babies/toddlers! Should be lively!! The award winners are all featured on our Platinum List for this holiday season on our website, www.toyportfolio.com


…did not win the race with our testers.  i-Turtle is the latest from Hasbro’s interactive line of iPod speaker/toys. Our 8 year old tester was really excited to test i-Turtle and at first really liked the Apple-inspired all white design. One of our 8 year old also felt the toy was not “babyish”….ok, let’s all take a collective sigh.  While the varying moods of i-Turtle interested our tester, she was disappointed with all of the blinking lights and “neediness” of the toy.  They also reported that the noise the turtle makes when it’s shifting gears interfered with their ability to listen to the music.  It has now been relegated to take its position as the “iStatue”–a silent statue at that! Another tester, really wanted i-Turtle to just play the music without moving so much.  He suggested that there should be a no-motion/lights button.

I loved that it tapped it’s foot to the music and the light show to be reminiscent of Close Encounters…but ultimately the sound of the mechanism moving does take away from your listening pleasure  and we thought the quality of the toy as a speaker was not very good.

A sign of the times: less toot!

We just got the new Lamaze Play and Grow Elephantunes–similar to the original  Octotunes when you squeeze the “feet”–it produces a musical sound.   But now there are only four feet to toot.  Stay tuned. We’ll have to see what our testers think.  Both are cute–just less toot.

Pick of the Day: Mega Bloks Smart Builders Piano

We’re often asked for recommendations in the music category. Most of them have such a terrible sound quality that we think the category should be relabeled “anti-music” toys…the kind where you can’t wait for your child to stop playing.

So we were really pleasantly surprised by the new Smart Builders Piano from Mega Bloks. At $34.99 it’s a middle range toy that our toddlers loved exploring. It is such an interactive toy that we have given it both our Platinum Award and our SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award. There is a keyboard and then the added fun of Bloks that change the music. For a complete review, visit our website.