Cartons from Mattel and the new website

Just when I thought we were done with the bulk of our testing, some very large cartons arrived from Mattel today. We peeked into one box to discover My Three Muskateer Barbie–her gown turns into a cape.  It made both of us laugh. We decided to close the box for the evening. Tomorrow is another day for toy testing!

The new website is going to be fantastic. We’re busy working on getting it ready–which is why my postings have been pretty slim the last few weeks.  We’ve decided to keep up reviews of old products that are discontinued but may find their way to you through family or friends.  (With the exception of craft kits and toys that probably won’t be passed down.) These products were not required to meet our safety requirements — so now we’re deciding how to address this issue so that we’ve made that clear.

I’m hearing from a lot of you, that you’d like downloadable pdf’s of our lists…birthday lists especially. Working on finding the best way to do that as well. So if you have other suggestions keep them coming. It’s also been nice to hear from so many readers that they miss the book. As much as we liked doing the book, the freedom of space and time to work on the website has been most welcomed…neither of us miss the horrible crunch to get the manuscript done as the toys kept pouring in!

Move Over Barbie: Tattoos for Kids

Last week there was a lot of buzz about Barbie getting Tattoos, but one of the trends we’ve been watching are tattoo kits for kids.  The first two have arrived from Creativity for Kids, there’s Fresh Ink Color-In Tattos for Boys and for Girls.  The tatoos in the girl set are pretty safe…flowers, butterflies, hearts.  There is a skull and cross bones (wearing a bow)…and the boys kit has more traditional skull and cross bones as well as aliens, a baseball and more biker motifs.  These kits can be fun for a party…but how do you feel about putting skull and crossbones on your six year old?

Barbie and Tatoos

Not sure how we missed this at Toy Fair…but there’s a new Barbie that comes with a variety of body art. Totally Stylin’ Tattos Barbie comes with 40 pieces of art and a tattoo stamper.  We haven’t seen this doll in person yet–to see how well the tatoos stay on (or to see what the tatoos say).  Perhaps this is a teachable moment—“now dear you have to think about what that tramp stamp will look like when you’re 50.”

Barbie vs. Bratz

The U.S. District Court upheld the $100 million dollar jury verdict in favor of Mattel (the maker of Barbie). The jury held that the Bratz dolls were substantially similar to drawings done by a former Barbie designer. The judge also appointed a temporary receiver to oversee the Bratz business.  MGA (the makers of Bratz) plan on appealing. Stay tuned. If Mattel prevails–what will become of the wildly successful tarty Bratz line?

I Can Be…Barbie Gymnastics Coach

Barbie is not the gymnast herself this time–but the coach – a welcome and empowering message for girls.  Set comes with Barbie’s kid sister Kelly who spins on the balance beam (a fun feature).  Of course there is a hairbrush, a medal and Barbie’s purse (with a bottle of water).  Will be a hit with young gymnasts in training…

I Can Be…Barbie Pet Vet

31heojufbdl_sl500_aa280_1The new Barbie Pet Vet has arrived.  The set comes with a pony (with a splinted leg), a kitten, one fish (pink of course), carrots (for the horse I assume), a laptop, a scale, a pink vet’s bag…and what’s that…oh yes, a really oversized hairbrush in the corner…just in case. All pinkness aside, I actually like this set–she looks ready for work in her no-nonsense yet fashionable brown boots.