Pick of the Day: PushAlong Dog from ImagiPLAY

This friendly PushAlong Dog from ImagiPLAY is just right for toddlers that love have wheel toys but are not ready for cars that have small parts. He doesn’t make any sound–also a welcomed novelty these days!  There’s also a really cute yellow duck, greencar, and red cat in this line. All $14.99.

Trends from Toy Fair 2009: It's BACK, Crayola's Crayon Maker

03-9000_crayonmkr_trayupCrayola’s Crayon Maker (a former Oppenheim Toy Portfolio  Platinum Award winner) is making a come back. It’s smaller than the original unit which seems fine and best yet, the dome is now clear so that you can watch the crayons melt.  Not sure why this process was hidden before behind blue plastic. With all the talk of repurposing products, I love the idea that old crayons that would normally be thrown out become brand new crayons your kids will enjoy using. We’re looking forward to testing the new version.

Sprig Vehicles Deliver

One of the bright spots at toy fair this year was a new company called Sprig- started by a group of innovative toy industry veterans with a commitment to a green line.  The first rollout so to speak is a line of vehicles designed for the preschool crowd.  The smaller vehicles were a huge hit with our testers–they are chunky and easy to handle.  The vehicles are made of a composite of recycled milk jugs, bottles and reclaimed pine sawdust.  The faceless action figures have a very contemporary look to them. The coloration (they don’t add paint) is muted and looks related to the color palette of the Ugly Dolls collection. For more info visit toyportfolio.com and sprigwood.com.

Oops…On the way to being green

My mother is laughing at me. I just opened a new Matching Game from Little Tikes. The game is part of their new “green” line…the pieces are made out of bamboo. Each has a little animal on them (cute enough although I’m not sure why they needed to add the Little Tikes logo under each animal.)
My mother is showing me how the game works– “better if you use the enclosed carton as the holder for the tiles while you play”—rather than putting them face down on the table. She’s forcing me to play (really).

So why is she laughing? I ripped the box open only to discover that the box is meant to be re-useable with it’s groovy bamboo handle. I feel green challenged…perhaps this will remind me to take my cloth bags to the grocery store today…

In all fairness shouldn’t the box say “don’t rip me”…

Trends from Toyland: Barbie Talk To Me Doll

barbie-talk-to-me-doll-t-shirt-summer-doll.jpgI always count on Barbie being at the edge. You could see her wearing this “Think Pink Live Green” t-shirt when she goes to see Al Gore speak. I love it. Comes with a t-shirt for a child–unfortunately none in adult sizes, yet.

Also in keeping with Barbie’s commitment to the environment, a new line of accessories for girls call Barbie Bcause. These are small bags and notebooks that are made from re-purposed (the catch phrase of the season) scraps from Barbie’s extensive wardrobe. I thought originally that the Barbie was going to be wearing “re-purposed” clothing, but that’s going too far. The accessories are for girls to wear — they are attractive–very much like Coach bags in styling and use of piece worked materials.

We also look to see what new occupations Barbie is into each year. This year she’s Celebrity Chef (complete with her own TV camera and studio work top) and Zoo Doctor Barbie.