Oppenheim Toy Porfolio Awards Announced Tomorrow!

Can’t wait to share our list from another year of testing! I’ll be on the Today Show tomorrow to show just a few of our winners. It’s always hard to select the first of our favorites to share.  Our list of Platinum Award winning toys this year is almost 125 products (depending on how you count) – so many outstanding choices for kids.  The list is a mix of classics, many with interesting new twists – and new innovative toys – all of which entertained and engaged our testers.  Tomorrow we also announce this year’s Gold Award winners, Blue Chip winners and SNAP Awards (toys for kids with special needs).  You’ll find a wonderful collection of books, audios and videos to consider as well.

Dance Star Mickey – and Donny Osmond (and Michael Jackson)

Dance Star Mickey

Now that Fisher-Price no longer has Elmo, the big push for this season in the novelty doll category will be Dance Star Mickey. He made our Platinum Toy Award List– hey, he’s Mickey, he’s pure novelty and he dances.  We just got a press release indicating that his rollout commercial will be tonight during ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.  Makes sense and to bring more things into cultural sync, he will be in the commercial with Donny Osmond.  The fact that Mickey does Michael Jackson’s moon walk also seems right since if you grew up in the late 60s, you probably watched both the Jacksons and Osmonds at some point (both had their own cartoons).

Watch our video of Mickey from Toy Fair.

Watch our video from our office.

Read our review.

Fun, Easy to Play Math Game- ThinkFun’s: Zingo 1-2-3!

Fans of Zingo! will be happy to know that there is a new version, Zingo! 1-2-3 that works on math skills.  The sliding mechanism of the original is still here – a big draw for our testers!  In this version, when you slide the mechanism new numbers appear.  If they match the numbers on your bingo-like card–you need to be the first one to call the number in order to claim it. Read our complete review at toyportfolio.com. This game is from ThinkFun.

Amazing! : Optrix 3-D Bubbles from Imperial Toy

Optrix 3-D Bubbles

It really must be almost Spring time–the first set of amazing bubbles has arrived. Optrix 3-D bubbles from Imperial Toy comes with 3-D glasses.  So when you blow the bubbles (the set comes with bubbles, a pan and a medium sized wand…you can see STARS around the bubbles!  Super fun.  There are also sets that make you see hearts, lightening bolts and butterflies. We did not test these–but assume they’ll work the same way!  Sets range from $7.99 to $9.99 at places like Walmart and TRU.  We found them on Amazon but the price was above $20 – so be careful to shop this one before you buy…but try them!

With the excitement surrounding Avatar and Alice in Wonderland–it does seem that 3-D is a major trend in entertainment and now toyland.

One disclaimer- I’m really ridiculously happy about bubbles.  It’s hard to stay in a bad mood when you blow bubbles. My suggestion is always be sure to stock up on bubbles. For really little kids, they’re great for tracking and for older kids–there’s nothing more satisfying than making bubbles happen.

WATCH our video.