Pick of the Day: Thomas & Friends Jumbo Floor Puzzles

If you have a Thomas & Friends fan at home, chances are they will love the new jumbo floor puzzles from Briarpatch.  Working on a puzzle with your preschooler is a great way to build their problem solving skills and ability to stick with a task. Click here to read our complete review.

Barbie Foosball Table for $25,000

Bonzini Babyfoot Barbie Foosball Table  - Bonzini -  Collectible Dolls - FAO Schwarz®On the one hand, this foosball table demonstrates how active Barbie can be. Look, she can block and kick that little ball down the field. She’s playing what has been a male dominated game.  That’s something. Yet, it just seems really wrong that these Barbies are armless – as if underscoring their lack of control in determining their own fate.  With a flick of a wrist, you can now send an entire line of Barbies upside down (hope they’re wearing proper underwear). For $25,000 I wonder if the toy comes with a hair stylist to do touch ups when the round is over!  Exclusively at FAO.  (Thanks to our one of our testing families for sending this to me!)Bonzini Babyfoot Barbie Foosball Table  - Bonzini -  Collectible Dolls - FAO Schwarz®

Pick of the Day: Sassy’s Bumpy Ball

A whole new bunch of toys arrived from Sassy just in time for our holiday list!  I love this activity ball–lots of aspects for babies to explore. Not only is this the perfect kind of floor toy to enjoy with your baby and toddler–it’s under $10- which just goes to show that you don’t have to spend a fortune on great toys.  Read our full review.


We’re getting ready for our annual trip uptown to see Richard Davies at ABC Radio Network.  Richard was one of the first members of the mainstream press to take a chance on the toyportfolio when we first started.  Each year we go up to the ABC studios with a collection of NOISY toys.  It’s radio after all–so the noisier the better!  Last year Richard started doing podcasts of his interviews – so now this also means there is video tape–calling for more toys and oh yes, some hair and makeup.

Radio -especially shows that are going to be edited always invite a much more laid back feeling to them.  The video camera is another aspect – you have to sit up straight–you can’t poke your mother in the same way you would if no one was looking.  No wacky faces. In other words you have to behave more.

We probably have too many toys in our bag–many are talking all on their own. The snake is hissing, Mickey is asking us to dance along!

Pick of the Day: Karito Kids

Laura Rangel - CEO of KidsGive

Laura Rangel - CEO of KidsGive

Karito Kids from Kids Give is one of our favorite award-winning collections of multi-cultural dolls this year.  The collection has been updated and features a range of dolls from all over the world.  When I was growing up I had dolls from other lands — but these were all no-touching dolls. The ones meant to be put on a shelf and appreciated.  The only one that was able to play with was my London go-go girl.  She had hair like Marlo Thomas and she had white go-go boots just like mine.  Maybe she wasn’t meant to be played with either–but since I so rarely played with dolls, my mother never said a word.

I love that these dolls are meant to be enjoyed. Their clothes reflect modern girls from all over the world. The books that come with them aren’t my favorite…but it doesn’t take away that these dolls do help introduce girls to a more global view. Here’s my visit with founder Laura Rangel. The company also has a commitment to giving back to the communities where the dolls come from as well as new bracelets that are being made here in the USA by people with disabilities.

Reviews of the new dolls are all on our site at www.toyportfolio.com.

New Dolls from Karito Kids