Sunday, December 18, 2005

holiday reviews 1

USAOPOLY

Monopoly: Disney - Pixar Collector's Edition salutes six popular Disney-Pixar animated feature films. Buy, sell and trade some of your most favorite locations within the first 6 Disney-Pixar films. Six collectible movie star pewter tokens: Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Sulley, Nemo, Mr. Incredible and Flik. For 2 to 6 players. We loved this game because it brings back all these memories of the films when you land on that property. Also the Chance and Community Chest cards are a lot more fun when they are themed for these films then the original game, we all grew up on. My family played this game and loved it from the moment we started until we ended it. We give it three and a half stars for its fun and creative values. The retail suggested price for this is $34.95 in a store near you.

Disney Princess 3 in 1 Card Game Set- Have a ball with your favorite Disney Princesses while enjoying 3 favorite childhood card games. Crazy 8’s, Go Fish and Old Maid come with jumbo-size cards featuring Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas and Mulan. Ursula comes to life as the Old Maid, Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother appears as the Crazy 8 and Ariel gathers her friends for an enchanting game of Go Fish. Packaged in keepsake tin. Ages 4+. We gave this game to a girl who justed turned four and she loved it. She even gets dressed up like a princess when she plays it. All the Disney princess products are on the must have lists for girls ages 3-7 but this one is one of our favorites! It takes the favorite games of old and new and puts it together with the newest licensed products, like the Disney princesses. Also look for the Winnie the Pooh version which is also fairly new!!! We give both of them three stars for its fun, creative and imagination values.The suggested retail price for these is $9.95.


Finally we have the Elvis® "Viva Las Vegas" Poker Set. The Elvis “Viva Las Vegas” Poker Set comes with all you need to play Texas Hold Em, 5 Card Stud, Blackjack and more. A white pleather case decorated with gold stars and a red velvet interior is inspired by the King’s famous jumpsuits worn during his legendary Vegas performances. High quality, 8 gram clay poker chips in red, purple and white embossed with Elvis’ signature and 2 card decks featuring the “King” as all 4 kings make for a unique poker experience with an Elvis twist. Ages 13+ 2-6 players. Of course for any Elvis fan this is a must have item! But even if you are not a fan of the "King" this can be a really fun game to play. Its a collectible that you do not want to miss buying,  so go out there and get one of the Holidays hottest collectibles out there. We love the fact that it had elvis as the king in each deck. We are a big gambling family so for us this was a big treat we give it three stars for its fun value. It has a retail value of $49.95. For more information on  these or other products from USAOPOLY got to their website at www.usaopoly.com        
       
MGAE

Kick up your heels and get ready to party 'cuz the girls with a passion for fashion are goin' west and gettin' wild in dazzlin' duds that are so rip-roaring and hip-huggin', they outta be outlawed!  These dolls are the cutest little things you have ever seen. Love the mix of the wild west with dolls. They come with all these little props and the usual 2 sets of western clothing to mix and match them with. So its cool to see where these dolls have gone and where they might go in the futur e. We give these little dolls three stars for its fun and imaginative values. There is also one big product that comes with these theme dolls.

      For the Wild Wild West it is the Horse and Carriage set When the Bratz™ go west, they go there in style! Join the girls for a wild ride atop this gorgeously decked-out horse that includes an embellished saddle and rooted hair—and get ready to hit the far-out frontier for a rockin’ round-up of afternoon ridin’, before taking off into the sunset and into the city for a night you’re sure to never forget! This set Includes: A 3-in-1 set allows you to play with the horse alone, the stagecoach alone, or both together. real moving chrome wheels with SPINNERS enable the attached horse to pull the stagecoach along multi-colored tires, dazzlin’ denim Interior,stagecoach fits 2 Bratz™/Bratz Boyz™ horse fits 1 Bratz™/Bratz Boyz. We love the product that comes with it, the fact that the horse and carriage look like the real deal and not some knock off version of a horse like i have seen  in other dolls sets. We love the theme this time since its unique in the doll world and we give it three and a half stars.                                                                                           

Next we have the Bratz Rock Angelz! Now that the BRATZ have conquered the pop world, get ready to rock with them as they take the classic rocker look of the 70's and update it for the bangin' video generation of today! With guitar in hand and a ton of accessories, including an exclusive 2-song music CD of the BRATZ rockin' out, you're invited to rock out in style! First cool part is it comes with a cd which you can hear them sing and dance along to their favorite music. Also they come with so many different accessories that Rockin’ Fashions and Accessories Mean Unlimited Mix ‘N’ Match Fashion Fun. So that means you can buy one or all four dolls and you will have so many different possibilies to dress them up that play time will be unlimited too. WE also love the get up of the 70's rock star and that they come with their own make-up. So we gave these crazy gals four stars for their unique and creative talents. They too come with some bigger products and here is one of them   

      Next we have the Bratz Rock Angelz Center Stage Set! Get ready to rock out 'cuz you've got a backstage pass to the rock fest of the year! Join the girls with a passion for fashion as they rock the mic and strut their stuff center stage, under real-working, strobe lights! With tons of cool accessories, like performance stools, speakers, and an electric guitar, this is one concert you just don't wanna miss!     This is unique because it comes with an exclusive doll named Roxxi and a different CD then the other dolls. Also it has real working speakers! Plug in your CD player, Boombox or Stereo to the speakers!! and tons of  cool little accessories    . WE give this product three and a half stars for its fun value.

Finally they have two other types of dolls Big Bratz Baby dolls and Rescue Pets. First we have the Big Baby Dolls which retail at $24.95 and we gave them two and half stars for its collectible and cute values It also comes with exclusive Style Certficate!! and they have incredible attention to details—both cute and sassy—ensures collectibility! We would add these two your tween kids must have list too. Also they have the Rescue pets retail for $19.99 and we gave them three stars. They are the cutest little things. They have tails that wags and their heads move side to side, they have also soulful eyes and finally their sound & movement are activated by motion sensor. It comes with its own adotption certificate and a collor tag to write your name down in case he/she is lost.

Bratz also has some electronics that they make and here are reviews on two of them:
You'll always be plugged in with the Bratz with this hot lipstick-shaped MP3 Player! It comes with a mouthful of features, like a multi-function LCD display, and headphones! Just strap it on, and go with the armband or belt clip attachments.  We loved this product because its has two things tween/teen girls loved mixed in one product, that is make-up (fake of course) and music. Now your daughter can go to school and like out tested have people think its just make-up but be able to listen up to 60 songs or a few hours woth of music. So we gave this wonderful product four stars for its creative, unique and cute values. We were told kids love this MP3 player over others because its geared more towards them and not everyone.

The other product is the Bratz Digital Video Camera. which is why you should get plugged into the scene, and record the fun memories! This hot Bratz™ Digital Video Camera is loaded with quality features like a 512 MB SD memory card, 1.3-mega-pixel resolution, and much more. It's light and compact, so you can always capture the party! And the design of this digital video camera is so hot, it might steal the spotlight!  It includes: a hand strap, lens cap, a Usb Cable, Arcsoft Bundled Cd-Rom Software, 1" Lcd Viewer On Fold Out Panel, Solid State Led Flash Bulb, info display on viewer, fast and easy, plug and play Usb interface (Pc Compatible) and finally it can be used with batteries or Ac Adapter. We gave this product three stars since we were told my tween girls that they get confused with some of the programming part of the video camera, once they took the photos and wanted to edit it. But they said they love the graphics and Check out these or other products at your nearest toy store or go online to www.mgae.com.

   
OREGON SCIENTIFIC

Batman Power wing laptop pulls out all the stops to be the coolest laptop around. The new smooth-folding mechanism for the lid and the wings shows that this laptop means business. Features 26 new activities and multimedia content to train the brain, and give the player a head start! There is spelling fun, music, math, memory, and loads of games that challenge the mind to make you Batman smart. A high-contrast keyboard, colored LED's and spotlight allow for nighttime play. The two best things about this product is as follows: The way the wings pop out when you open it and it starts to talk to you right away and the fact that its Batman and educational! One mother loved it for her son because his favorite character is obviously Batman and "that this helps him spell and learn math and he has a ball at the same time" she says. They gave this product three stars while we give it four stars for its unique and fun values. This will for sure be on every little boys mush have list for the holidays. Its for ages 5 to 8 and it retails at $49.99

Finally we have from them a Barbie digital camera. Barbie loves taking pictures with her friends and now you can capture digital images and video with the new Barbie Digital Camera. Camera can store 20 images in hi resolution or up to 104 images in the low-resolution setting before you need to transfer images to a PC. Once you have downloaded your pictures, fun and creativity can continue. Use the Barbie photo designer software CD-ROM (included) to customize your pictures, create cool Barbie calendars, Barbie picture frames and more. Use the camera in video setting for video clips up to 15 seconds long. This camera can also be used as a web cam to send images to your friends. Comes with base stand, USB cable, software CD and hand strap. Uses 2 AAA batteries (not included). For use with Windows 98/2000/ME/XP. What males this product even better is it even comes with a cheap price. "The fact that my kid can take photos and then make a barbie calendar with her and her friends in it makes play time a little more fun and little less energy off me" said one mom "since it comes with an easy to use program that even her kids can understand". she continued . We gave this product three stars for its fun and creative values but we are looking foward to better updates in the future of this product from them. Its for ages 8 and up and it retails at $29.99. For more on these products or others from Oregon Scientific go to their website at www.oregonscientific.com.


MATTEL
The Little Mommy Baby Checkup Center has everything a little girl needs to play doctor! Additionally, it comes with a check up table with scale to weigh the adorable baby doll, and measure to track her growth. It also has lots of interactive accessories for fun simple surprise play including a stethoscope with real SFX and girly giggles, a thermometer, ear and eye scope, band-aid, blood pressure monitor and much more. Plus it is fully collapsible for easy storage.  We love this product because it is the girls answer to the fisher price doctor set which is more boyish. Now girls can be the doctor and have just as much fun playing with out asking the boys to join them or use their doctor sets. It does have everything you need to play with and it is very cute. We gave this product three and a half stars for its cute and fun values. It is recommended for use from  24 months to 5 years old and retails for $29.99

Next you have The My Scene Goes Hollywood which the girls are ready for their big break in the movies! Each doll is dressed in a trendy "red carpet" outfit with a plush faux fur-trimmed coat for the premiere of their new movie, My Scene Goes Hollywood. They even have jewels in their eyes for a special twinkle on their big night! One of the cute parts of this product is it comes with even the red carpet rope (you know that rope that they bouncer opens or leaves close to let you in) and she comes with her own director's chair. So now you can pretend Barbie and her friends are real Diva's with all the new accessories she comes with. Looks like mattel is working its way up with the competition these days by adding much more accessories to the dolls sets. We gave these dolls three stars for its fun value. Its recommended for ages 6-12 and it retails for $16.99

Finally they sent usThe Teen Trends dolls which are stylish teenage friends, each one has a different "personality" and look, just like regular girls. Each doll is 17-inches tall with a pose-able body, beautiful hair and unique doll case. Courtney doll is the modern prepster who loves going to the beach, riding her bike, and taking her dog to the park. Courtney doll is dressed in a trendy realistic outfit with lots of cool details and great accessories. Just like something a real teen would wear! She has hair that really holds curl and comes with fun hair accessories like a brush, hair adornments and bendy curlers so the girl can style her hair. Courtney doll also comes with a cool look book with her profile and pictures of her in different outfits with different hairstyles. There is a sheet of embroidered sticker decals in her look book that girls can tear out and use to decorate Courtney doll's clothing. Girls will love their Courtney doll because she's just the kind of cool friend they'd like to have. We gave these dolls two and a half stars for their unique value. Its recommended for kids ages 6-12 and it retails for $36.99. For more info on these or other products from mattel log on to their website at www.mattel.com

V-TECH

We now have from them the Write and Learn: Artboard! This electronics artboard is the perfect introduction to teaching preschoolers early writing skills in a clever, artistic way! The Write & Learn Artboard features letter stroke order along with creative drawings to encourage your child to learn his very first strokes. Each page is filled with educational activities to inspire imaginative minds!  The mothers who tested this, loved the product and said this is one of the best products they have used in a long time to help their young ones learn and have fun at that age. We gave it three and a half stars for its fun, creative and educational values. This product retails for $19.99 and is for ages three and up.    


OVERBREAK

First product is LineChaserz, a line of vehicles that have hi-tech sensors that track any  line made with a black marker and follow it wherever it goes. You can draw straight lines, curvy lines or twisty lines and the Line Chaserz car will follow whereever the lines leads it. Use the pre-printed mats or cutouts from one of the different theme sets and create your own track . Get both cars and have them race through which ever scene you bought or on your own course. You can even use paper and any black felt pen and have them race there too. We like that they have different themes and that you can place the pre printed mats next to each other and make them race through different environments or themes to see who the ultimate winner is. We also like it since its unique in the way that its follows what you want and not vice versa. We gave these four stars for its fun and unique values

Next we have Crunch Art which is an exciting new way to create beautifully textured art. Use the cruncher tool to press colorful pieces of fabric and other materials into our specially designed foam. No glue, no mess, and open ended creative projects. We love this product we have a few other from before which some of my friends have them hanging on their walls as pictures since they come out sometimes so nicely. We gave these products three stars for its creative and educational values.

They also had another product called (Rattle Rox ) which are magnetic rocks that you have to detach and then let go and hear  them pop or make some other weird sound. So these are fun at weddings or anytime you party. We gave them two stars for their fun value.   

LEARNING RESOURCES
First we got the game Reading Roadway USA Game where you travel the USA discovering fascinating facts while building reading comprehension skills. Players take turns spinning and moving their cars across the country while reading fun-filled facts based on the state they've landed on. The first person to comprehend anc correctly answer each trivia question collects a souvenir. Be careful, spin a tornado, and you could get caught in a whirlwind! The first player to collect four souvenirs and return to their home state wins. We gave this game three and a half stars for its fun and educational values. We love any game that teaches kids about the United States. In some schools kids do not learn enough about the different states, only about their own. For 2-4 players and ages 8 years and up. It also retails for $19.99 at a store near you.   

Next we have Light 'n Strike Math!  Learn math with lights, sound and lots of action. Light 'n Strike Math helps reinforce math skills in a fast-paced game format. Math problems are shown on the large display; use the soft mallet or your hand to hit the number that completes the problem while it is lighted. Fun sound effects and animations keep the action exciting; three skill levels for each game keep it challenging. Complete all the levels to play the Bonus Game. Requires 4 "AA" alkaline batteries (not included). Kids learn from this game since they are always trying to get to the next level and bonus round. So its very educational and kids will love the sounds and animation it shows. We gave this product three stars for its fun and educational values. Its for kids ages 6-11 and retails for $29.99


Smart Splash Shape Shell Turtles   
Kids love to play in the water, making it the perfect place for learning. 8 Vibrant Shape Shell Turtles teach shape and color recognition with removable shells that include moon, star, cross, circle, square, rectangle, triangle and oval shaps. Reusable mesh bag is perfect tote for pool or beach. There are a few different versions of this product. There is a turtles set, frogs set and a ducks set. Each one teaches you different things, Turtles teach your kids shapes, frogs teach your kids color and ducks teach your kids numbers, while they are all having fun in the bathtub. We recommend this product for all kids to help them learn on their own. We gave this product three and a half stars for its unique, fun and educational values.    Its made for kids 24 months and up and retails for $14.99

Next they have the Alpha-Bug Step ‘n’ Sphell which gets kids thinking on their feet! Interactive, talking floor mat helps teach the alpabet, letter sounds, vowel recognition and spelling of three- and four-letter words. Four fun activities with two skill levels. Includes a step along to the ABC song and a clever music mode that turns all letters into musical notes for added fun. Integrates reading, music and kinesthetic activities. Volume control. Measures 60" x 32". Requires 3 AA batteries, not included. We gave this product three stars for its fun and educational values.    For kids ages 3-7 and it retails for 39.99
   
Next we have the Trace & Learn™ Cake.    Learn while you celebrate! Fun cake teaches letter recognition, beginning words and print awareness. Using the pretend frosting tube, kids write messages on the cake's surface or use stamps and static clings to decorate. Includes neon static cling writing surface, six 3" candles that fit into frosting, twelve .5" alphabet & number (0-9) tracing stamps, five write and wipe crayons and one eraser. Two-piece cake locks together with storage inside. Cake measures 10" in diameter and 5" high. We gave this product two and half stars for its educational and fun values. It for kids ages 3-5 and it retails for $24.95   
   
   
VTECH

Nitro Notebook
With its sleek, laptop computer design, Reader Notebook is the ultimate hi-tech learning tool for today's budding readers. Kids love having their own computer with an endless selection of fun games and activities that help them master reading in two languages. The computer reads aloud stories to teach phonics and improve fluency. Developing readers learn at their own speed as Artificial Intelligence technology tracks their performance and adjusts the skill levels as needed. All children know is that they are mastering reading...and having fun.

After looking at this product a few time we have realized that its more than just another cute note book computer from V-Tech. This time they made a system that help the kids read and it can tell if he/she is improving or not. "One mother was shocked to see that her son actually started to correct himself from mistakes . Although he knew how to read before hand it helped him with problems he had before". She said by the computer figuring out what the problem was at that time he now can pass certain words or phrases that he had problems with before." This is one product you do not want your kid to be without this holiday season. The suggested retail price for this is $49.99. We give this product four stars too for its fun, educational and imagination values.


V Smile Pocket
Mind-expanding on-the-go gameplay!as they would put it. The V.Smile Pocket turns game time into brain time by combining a video game platform and educational content in a portable learning system that goes anywhere or connects directly to the television for gaming at home. A truly unique way to approach learning, V.Smile connects with both the most reluctant student and the most eager learner. The battery-operated pocket console, specially made for children ages 4 to 8 years old, allows early school-age learners to play a variety of exciting and imaginative games anywhere they go.

We tested this with a few kids and they all loved it. The parents loved it to because its fun for their kids and they learn something too sometimes without even noticing. We were told that a few of the mothers had to go out and buy this product because their kids got too attached to it. We love the graphics and the mixture of licensed characters helping learn education. The suggested retail price for this is $89.99. We give this product four stars for its fun, educational, creative values. You can buy this at a toy store near you.


Finally, last two products are the Crazy Legs Learning bugs which roll-along pull toy features engaging character with six shape-sorter feet! Friendly, silly character teaches shapes, letter identification, and colors. 4 light-up buttons teach A, B, C, D. Promotes motor skill development and independent play. Include volume control and auto-shut off. The Suggested retail price for this is $19.99. We gave this product three stars for its fun and educational values for infants and toddlers. Next we have the Write and Learn: Letter Book which is an acitivity filled phonics picture book that engages early learners with reading, handwriting, counting and vocabulary-building activites in 20 interactive pages. Each page show proper letter stroke and steps, enabling preschoolers to trace letters with their fingers as they practice their primary writing skills. The suggested retail price for this is $19.99. We gave this product two and a half stars for its creativity value. But we think three is still too young for this product and it should have been made from four and up. Made for ages three and up. For these or other products from VTech go to their website at www.vtechkids.com.


WILD PLANET

Battle Crawlers Maxxo
Battle Crawlers are hybrid bugs, half insect and half machine. Geared for high torque and power, these collectable dueling creations compose one of Japan’s most successful battle systems. Wild Planet introduces the customizable clashing crawlers to the United States this holiday in the form of six individual build-your-own bugs and a reconfigurable battle arena. Each Battle Crawler is based on a real bug and, just as in nature, has its own special features to help it survive. Because each crawler is only half bug, players bypass reality and ignite imagination to create the machine-portion of their battler. We love this new concept of wrestling, instead of real men kids can cheer on their favorite masterpiece to win the battle. To add more fun to the picture you can change body or gear with other bugs to make your champion come alive. The arena comes with two bugs plus reconfugable battle stage and bridges. It retails between $14.99-$19.99. We give these little creatures three and a hald stars for its fun creative and imaigination values. May the best bug WIN!!!!!!!!!!

They also have the Aqua pets back this year but this time in plush form. We tested them out and kids loved them but we still think they would be better in the water cages like last year. Four characters from the first two waves of original Aquapets are reincarnated into furry companions just in time for stocking stuffers, school gift exchanges and holiday travel. Puku, Kadet, Bebe and Tabi are retired characters in their regular form and will embellish any Aquapet collection in their plush form. They are much cuter as a plush but they say the same words as they said before. So all you collectors out their this holiday run to the store and pick up your new collectible of aqua pets. We gave it two and a half stars for its cute value and it retails for about $10.99 and is for ages two and up. For more information on these or other products by Wild Planet go to their website at www.shopwildplanet.com


KID GALAXY

Kid Galaxy Blue Radio Control GoGo Car features fun, furniture-safe, indoor radio-control car for tots with soft, squeezable, child-friendly design its made for Ages 2 and up, and has a easy 2-button "steering wheel" control and its also battery-powered, 15-ft. range. We tested this with kids ages two and up and they all loved it. Because of its unique design for which the kids control the car its gives them even more to play with. We give this product four stars for its fun , creative and imagination values. Next we have from Kid Galaxy is the Remote control Bull Pen car. Its a golf cart with the seat in shape as a baseball with a bseball cap on top being held by two baseball bats on the sides in the front. We think its a cute product for all ages, either a kid who likes baseball and R/C cars or an adule who likes collectibles. We gave it three stars for its collectable value. This product and other from Kid Galaxy can be seen on the website at www.kidgalaxy.com

PARENTS MAGAZINE

From Parents Magazines Imagine and learn line comes a new product called Raise the Roof Barnyard. This looks like your typical kids Barn like you had growing up but there are some differences. The difference is here instead of the side opening the roof really raises so you can look inside and help with playtime on the inside. Also here like most the doors and windows actually work. So this is your normal average barnyard just it comes with better animals and pieces to play with. It gives the kids more to imagine with. The kids at a friends house loved it and almost left with it since he did not want to leave it their. The unique thing is it has more animals than animals than the normal fisher price set has. It also has a nice, colorful fence that gives it more for the kids to work with. Of course parents love it because it helps the kids learn about nature and where food comes from with its real working shute.We gave this product three stars for its fun and imagination vales. Its suggested retail price is $49.99. For more information one this or other products log on to their website at www.parents.com.

SPINMASTER

TENGAMO 6 Pack - Series 1

For the kids who love to collect and play trading games here comes a new series called Tangamo. Can Hanky McBooger wipe out Captain Cheesebread? Find out when you challenge your friends in head-to-head magnetic combat with over 60 crazy characters in each series! Collect them all or trade them with your friends! Contents are randomly packed so you never know which creature you'll find next. Each package includes 6 Tengamo character pieces 1 steeler and a collector's guide featuring cool games to challenge yourself and your friends! Unleash the power of magnetic game play with Tengamo. So after watching some kids play this game and have a lot of fun, we gave this product three stars for its fun , creative and collectable values. It retails at $6.99 and is for ages 5 and up. For more information on these and other amazing products from spin master please see their website at www.spinmaster.com