LEGO, Kid Galaxy, Playmobil…it was a good day!

Today at Javits we started at LEGO.  Always fun.

Our LEGO STAR WARS fans will be thrilled with the impressive number of new builds for this year!

LEGO STAR WARS NEW MILLENIUM FALCON

The line also includes new GAMES  (they rocked the game market last year -taking a 12% share of the market in their first year).

LEGO GAMES new PIRATE PLANK

Kid Galaxy–has a promising new line of vehicles that demonstrated more innovation than just about anywhere we visited this year–especially in the vehicle realm for preschoolers.

New Preschool Vehicle from Kid Galaxy

Playmobil - Pretty sure the new Zoo kits, the Spy Line and the Castles will be frontrunners with our testers this year.

PLAYMOBIL'S New ZOO Setting

New Star Wars LEGO Sets – let the building begin

Star Wars LEGO sets are hugely popular with our toy testers in the 7-10 age range. As you know, we first build everything here to make sure that the directions are clear, that all the pieces are in the box…that it’s an enjoyable build. First up, Droid Tri-Fighter – with 268 pieces this is a good set for beginner to intermediate LEGO builders. The directions were very clear and the shape of the vehicle is very unusual.  Comes with little droid fighters. For reviews of all Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Award winning construction sets, visit our website at www.toyportfolio.com

A rose by any other name…

Old Names, But New Games. One of the trends for the fall is familiar names (Monopoly, Scrabble, Twister, etc.) being used with all new game play.

U Build Monopoly

The new U-Build Monopoly (Parker Brothers $19.99) looks like an interesting concept, you build the board – allowing you to control how long your game will take. But the traditional game board is completely gone.

Scrabble Flash Cubes

Scrabble Flash Cubes (Hasbro $29.99), one of the coolest games we saw at Toy Fair, has electronic cubes that you use to build words, again no board, no little tiles…no double or triple word points. If you’re a purist about Twister and love the smell and feel of that mat, you may feel sad about Twister Hoopla (Hasbro $19.99) -where your body becomes the mat. We’ll have to see how these test with kids and their parents.  All Available Fall 2010.

Brand new. We did find some new innovative games. Konexi (ZimZala Games $24.99) brings the fun of Jenga and word play together. Here you stack letters to create words-but watch out you don’t want the letters to come falling down. We loved the design and feel of this game – can’t wait to test with kids.

Konexi by ZimZala Games

We suggested that they could make one of games younger so that the age range of 10 plus could come down considerably.  Available Fall 2010.

An anti-technology theme. Appealing to parents that would like the playroom to be more “real” – we found even more organic and recycled products than last year.  A new approach  – classic toys that now require no batteries – saving money, another bonus.   We all grew up with Spin Art – one of my all time personal favorites!   Innovative for this year, Crayola will roll out  Crayola Color Twister Spin Art (Crayola $14.99) which uses an air pump to make the platform spin.  Watch our video.

Crayola Color Twister Spin Art

We only got to to see the prototype–but look forward to testing the real toy later this season. Available July 2010.

LEGO RACER with Air Pump

The same “air” technology is now being used to propel certain LEGO RACERS ($12.99/ Available now).

Pure Whimsy.

Sing-a-ma-jigs

Sing-a-ma-jigs (Mattel $12.99 each) may turn out to be one of the hottest toys of the season if the real things work as well as the prototypes.  Be sure to watch my video. Each of the dolls will chatter, sing and even harmonize together. To me they look like claymation characters come to life. We look forward to testing these as soon as they are ready.  First collection available May 2010/ more to come for the holidays.

Hexbug Nanos. You either loves these little bugs that come in test tubes…or they’ll  creep you out. I love them. Rolling out right now are habitats that you can put them in.  Our testers enjoyed the portability of these little bugs that go like crazy!  The bugs are each $9.99, the habitat starter set is $19.99. 

Hexbug Nanos in their Habitat

They are to me the tech answer to Zhu Zhu Hamsters. If you’re shopping for that hard to buy for tween, these will be an interesting novelty. Available Now.

May the Force be with you. As a complete Star Wars fan, it makes me so happy that there is a whole new generation falling in love with the saga– thanks to the Clone Wars cartoon.  For my LEGO builders, the Star Wars sets are always the number one request.

LEGO TIE Defender

LEGO has responded with many new models including the TIE Defender ($49.99). This is the Empire’s most advanced fighter, it comes with 304 pieces and includes two action figures. Available Now.

Star Wars Millenium Falcon

We also can’t wait to test, the Star Wars R/C Millennium Falcon (Hasbro $49.99/ Available Fall 2010) – watch our video; the Star Wars AT-AT (Hasbro $99.99/Available August 2010)- a pretty impressive play setting for your own battles against the Empire.

Star Wars AT-AT

It’s more than 2′ tall and 28″  long, comes with LED lights, sounds and phrases from the movie; the Star Wars General Grievous Lightsaber (Hasbro $34.99/Available August 2010) is fun to spin–with double lightsabers that come apart. The lights and sound effects will appeal to Star Wars fans young and old.  Watch our video.

All of these toys will be tested and full reviews will appear on www.toyportfolio.com

Related videos:

Our video of Sing-a-ma-jigs

Our video of General Grevious Lightsaber

Our video of the Crayola Color Twist Spin Art

Our video of the Star Wars Millenium Falcon

Toy Fair 2010: Star Wars LEGO: So good!

Star Wars LEGO: Hans Solo being placed in carbonite

If you are a big Star Wars LEGO fan, you’ll be really excited to see the new sets scheduled for 2010.  We asked LEGO’s Julie Stern to take us through the new sets so that you could take a look.   Watch the video.  You’ll hear both my mother Joanne and brother James (noted Tech expert and founder of jamesgames.com) on this video. We’re a noisy bunch.

Oh no! Hans! We'll save you!

On this  second video you can see James’ reenactment of Hans Solo being taken away after being frozen in carbonite.    It’s this attention to detail that we really appreciate.  If you watch this video, you will have a glimpse into my childhood!  You can also hear my mother in the background laughing.

Pick of the Day: LEGO Star Wars Collection

starwarsbackThe Lego Star Wars collection was hot with our builders this year.  What’s nice about the line is that there is something for everyone in terms of building level and budget.  Remember if you have a new builder, resist the temptation to buy the BIG set. Start small.   LEGO has gotten really much better about making the big kits  more manageable — each “build” comes in its own bag..pre-sorted.  Now for many of us, that may seem pretty wimpy –but it does make things much easier!

Read our reviews.We gave the whole collection an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio  Platinum Award.

One of our advanced builders just put together the more elaborate (and very cool) Tantive IV.  Comes with 1408 pieces. At $149.99, this is a big ticket item for sure–and to their credit, the box is marked for ages 14 & up.

LEGO Tantive IV

LEGO Tantive IV

I’m waiting for one of our LEGO builders to ask for the Death Star ($399.99)…with 3803 pieces. May the force be with you when you try building this one!

Lego Death Star

Lego Death Star