Top Christmas Toys 2009 Reviews
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Chunk - White
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Chunk - WhiteFrom Cepia Customer Reviews not worth itOK, guys, I know you want to satisfy your kids' cravings for this little hamster, but he is totally NOT WORTH the money. I bought one, and threw it out. It worked for a short time, I changed the batteries, then it worked a bit again. It is very cheaply made, and people are selling them for exhorbitant prices, ripping off those who really can't afford to pay these high prices for something that is worth [...], what I paid for it.Get a real one instead. They are more cuddly. Sorry to spoil the party, but I would not buy this again. And shame on the people who are selling them for so much money. Sad world, isn't it? The world has gone mad!My four year old loves Zhu Zhu pets but not enough for me to pay 3x the retail price. I cannot imagine that anyone would be suckered into such a rip-off. I am searching target, toys-r-us and wal-mart and have fould a few pieces. If I don't get everything before Christmas I will save it for her birthday. Stores won't be able to give these things away after Christmas. Don't get me wrong, the product is great but NOT $30.00+ dolalrs great. What a disappointment!My daughter (9 yrs.)was so excited to get this and it seemed to break right out of the package. The screw that keeps the battery compartment closed doesn't stay in which is really frustrating. My daughter lost interest within a day and it's been banished to the floor ever since. During the brief time it did work it wasn't all that interesting and would probably be most appropriate for a very young child.
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Pipsqueek - YellowFrom Cepia Customer Reviews Zhu Zhu Zooming Through My Room!Picked up two of these guys the other day since they happened to be in the store and I happened to be in the store. A little bit of background first: I'm a 26 year-old collector of many things including robotic pets. I've tried out Furbys, Micropets, Neopets, Scoozie pets, Petal-chi, Mutsu, Fureal Friends, and more so I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject.To start with, these things eat batteries, have triple A's on hand. Second, I don't have any playsets, I'm just testing the hamsters.Upon opening and removing this little guy I tried out "cuddle mode", which was a little disappointing. The hamster will lie still and make cute noises every few seconds or so but he isn't really responding to anything. "Try me mode" is when the hamster is off but you can push his nose to hear a random noise, not a lot of fun there. Now play mode, that's where the fun is. The wheels are fast and the grip is really strong, I promptly put it on my boyfriend to see if it would climb up his shirt and it did, hit the back of the couch, made a springy noise and ran back down. Even he cracked up at it. It tackles carpet and all hard surfaces no problem, and makes a ton of different noises, some 40 in all, and each of the four designs sounds unique!. You have to be careful around stairs but all in all it does what it was made to do and cheaply at that. At normal retail they're cheaper than most action figures.(I got mine at normal retail and I suggest you wait until you can too. If you have kids and can't find them try giving a cute IOU written from the hamster saying how it will come to live with your child after X-mas. They have a guarantee from you, you have a kid who still has something to look forward to after December. All is well.)Remember these are for ages 3 and up and have motorized parts. It says in the instruction to supervise your child, so do so. Risk is probably minimal but if you have a kid you wouldn't give a RC car to then they're probably too little for these.So to wrap upGood: Funny and varied sounds, cheap, cute, runs fast and randomly, fascinates my dog!Bad: Hard to find (for now), eats batteries, can pinch, can be broken with a moderate impact.Have a hamster good day! A rodent on wheelsThis was purchased for my daughter. I was afraid it would be one of those toys purchased then set aside. It's funny and makes cute noises, is responsive to being petted, and rolls all over the house.Still, it is now a dust collector after a month. If only we could convince the child to contribute to her own college fund.... sigh..... anyone want to buy a slightly used rolling hamster??? not even worth the $8My daughter got this toy a few days ago for her birthday from her aunt who searched the city for it. So far, it has been played with for about 10 minutes total. It just makes some weird noises not even related to a hamster... horn honking, whirling. It gets stuck in corners because it flips on its back. That is where I have found it mostly...in a corner. Not soft enough to sleep in the bed with children. Nor do I think that would be safe. When the wheels turn, they are very fast and strong. The grip would wrap long hair and not let go. Wheels do not turn off with pressure. It think that is where the age recommendation comes in. Rolls on hard floor only, not carpeting.
Zhu Zhu/Go Go Pets Hamster Funhouse
Zhu Zhu/Go Go Pets Hamster Funhouse (Hamsters Sold Separately)From CepiaCustomer Reviews Not worth the hypeMy daughter wanted these after seeing them advertised on TV numerous times. If you buy the toys for regular price at Wal-Mart or ToysRUs then it's not so bad because they are very cheaply made. The funhouse comes unsnapped frequently--very cheap plastic parts. The hamster ball is also cheap and comes unsnapped, and the hamsters flip on their backs frequently and you have to open the ball and put them back on their feet.The hamsters themselves are cute BUT they flip over alot when used with the component pieces and you have to put them right side up to work. They are also a bit noisey--you can hear the wheels. My daughter lost interest in them very quickly. Paying more than the base price for them is paying way too much---especially the component pieces. She has the funhouse, the blanket, the carrier, the ball, the surfboard, and the car, plus all 4 hamsters. We bought everything at once.In summary, don't pay these outrageous prices for a cheaply made toy! Real Toy review!!!This is the base toy for all of the Zhu Zhu or Go Go pets sets... It is the hamsters house.. They know what room they are in and act accordingly.. Brush teeth in the bathroom and sleep in bed.. This set has kept my children entertained for hours!!! It has gotten me out of having to buy a real Hamster and when they don't feel like playing with it - they don't have to or feel neglectful. No smell and no buying food.. I can not wait for the babies and outfits to come out. They be expensive right now because of the high demand. but still well worth it. Enjoy!!! Put away after one dayMy daughter saw this on T.V. and had to have it. She got it for her 7th birthday. The hamster is cute, and she still plays with that (on the hard wood floor - doesn't run well at all on carpet). However, I also bought her this funhouse along with the garage (worst piece) and the wheel. When you put it all together (which is not easy), the toy is huge. I don't really have the room for a big piece of plastic toy of this size, but I was willing to get it for her because it is all she wanted. Big mistake, you can't move it once you get it together or it falls to pieces. Sometimes the pieces just come apart. The garage never worked, and the wheel ramp never fit together correctly. This toy is such a waste of money. Holiday shoppers are getting scammed this year! Thank goodness I did not pay these ridiculous prices for this toy. I bought mine at Toys 'r us before I even knew it was going to be a big deal. To sum up - the hamsters are cute, but the rest is big, plastic junk that has now been under my daughters bed since the day after she got it (5 weeks ago) and has not seen daylight again.
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Num Nums Reviews
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Num NumsFrom Cepia Product Description Each Zhu Zhu Hamter has its own unique personality & whimsical sounds. Loving Mode: Pet them, love them, hear them chatter Explore Mode: Let them scoot, scamper, across the floor. Provide them with their Hamster Habitat. Customer Reviews Zhu Zhu ReviewPicked up two of these guys the other day (this was my second) since they happened to be in the store and I happened to be in the store. A little bit of background first: I'm a 26 year-old collector of many things including robotic pets. I've tried out Furbys, Micropets, Neopets, Scoozie pets, Petal-chi, Mutsu, Fureal Friends, and more so I consider myself a bit of an expert on the subject.To start with, these things eat batteries, have triple A's on hand. Second, I don't have any playsets, I'm just testing the hamsters.Upon opening and removing this little guy I tried out "cuddle mode", which was a little disappointing. The hamster will lie still and make cute noises every few seconds or so but he isn't really responding to anything. "Try me mode" is when the hamster is off but you can push his nose to hear a random noise, not a lot of fun there. Now play mode, that's where the fun is. The wheels are fast and the grip is really strong, I promptly put it on my boyfriend to see if it would climb up his shirt and it did, hit the back of the couch, made a springy noise and ran back down. Even he cracked up at it. It tackles carpet and all hard surfaces no problem, and makes a ton of different noises, some 40 in all, and each of the four designs sounds unique!. You have to be careful around stairs but all in all it does what it was made to do and cheaply at that. At normal retail they're cheaper than most action figures.(I got mine at normal retail and I suggest you wait until you can too. If you have kids and can't find them try giving a cute IOU written from the hamster saying how it will come to live with your child after X-mas. They have a guarantee from you, you have a kid who still has something to look forward to after December. All is well.)Remember these are for ages 3 and up and have motorized parts. It says in the instruction to supervise your child, so do so. Risk is probably minimal but if you have a kid you wouldn't give a RC car to then they're probably too little for these.So to wrap up Good: Funny and varied sounds, cheap, cute, runs fast and randomly, fascinates my dog! Bad: Hard to find (for now), eats batteries (2 AAA), can pinch, can be broken with a moderate impact. Have a hamster good day! Zhu Zhu Pet Num NumsI purchased this for my 6 year old granddaughter who really loved it. After a few days it stopped working and even new batteries would not make it run. As usual, wildly popular toys seem to be made in a shoddy manner, breaking soon after purchase. Too bad these Zhu Zhu pets are so defective as they appear fun to play with (not much educational value. My kind of hamsterFirst of all, I was shocked at how much these cost on here but soon realized it's not Amazon, but vendors trying to take advantage of the demand for Zhu Zhu Pets. It's the Wii story all over again and once again, I'm not putting out more than what these usually cost. I got my daughter Num Nums at Wal-Mart for 1/4 what one would cost me here right now. I think I'll wait!Anyway, the Zhu Zhu Pets are a great toy for my 4 year old who wanted a hamster and good for me too, seeing that I do not want a smelly rodent to clean up after. They're cute and I love the names. But seriously, they are not worth $32. Wait until demand has slowed and pay the $8 that Wal-Mart is charging when they're in stock!
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Mr. Squiggles - Light Brown
Zhu Zhu Pets Hamster Mr. Squiggles - Light BrownFrom Cepia Customer Reviews this is just a cat toy reallyAfter much hype and anticipation, we finally got mr squiggles today. The kids played with him for about 30 secs. and he was put down. I think this product was a little oversold. As far as I can tell, it does nothing but run though its toys making farm animal sounds. It also has a function where it doesn't run, it just makes cooing noises. I really don't see the "personality" on display. If you buy this for your child for christmas, make sure you have a back up gift. This will probably not be a big hit by christmas afternoon. Parents don't be suckered!This is a great toy and my little ones love them, I am angry that all these vendors are selling them for so much, be patient and go to Toys r us or Walmart, they are priced at $8.00. Because they are not in stock every where these greedy people are taking of advantage of Parents looking for the perfect gift! Yes..$8 at Walmart and keep away from vents!Got this today for $8 at Walmart. Super fun and cute for my 2 1/2 year old twins BUT within 20 minutes they removed the heating vent cover and dropped it in my duct work where it is now running around..so keep away from the vents HA! And don't spend this much $$ on them...
Monopoly Seinfeld Game Reviews
Monopoly Seinfeld GameFrom USAOPOLY, Inc. Customer Reviews Love it!This is a great collectable Monopoly! The tokens are actually pewter, not plastic, & are classic Seinfeld trademarks! The Puffy Shirt, Fusilli Jerry, the Coffee Table Book, Urban Sombrero, Marble Rye, & the "Bro". All the properties are Seinfeld Icons (Soup Nazi Kitchen, Chinese Rest., Monk's, Poppy's, The Boca Vista Condo.....etc.!) It's been well thought out & every fan should have one. I saw this game for the first time in May at the NBC Store in Rockefeller Center, NYC, for $40. Got it on Amazon for $30. Well worth it. Monopoly is always great!Monopoly all depends on whether or not you find business any fun. It's a great game to play with multiple people. Seinfeld happens to be a show I like so I got it. I recommend it. COLLECTORI COLLECT MONOPOLY & CHESS SETS I GOT 157 MONOPOLY GAMES A Product Description Buy, sell, and trade the 22 most popular locations from one of America's favorite television series! This Seinfeld Collector's Edition Monopoly takes the classic game you love and gives it a quirky spin. Traditional Houses and Hotels are renamed "Parking Spaces" and "Garages", and Community Chest and Chance cards are renamed "Yada, Yada Yada" and "Hellooo!". Also includes 6 collectible Seinfeld-themed pewter tokens: The Marble Rye, The Puffy Shirt, The Urban Sombrero, The Bro/Manzier, The Coffee Table Book, and The Fusilli Jerry. A must-have for any Seinfeld fan!
Ucreate Games & Artimation Reviews
Ucreate Games & ArtimationFrom MattelCustomer Reviews Finally, I can make drawings come aliveI've been thinking/dreaming about some way to be able to take a simple drawing and then animate it. This thing actually does that. Amazing. From that point on, all the gaming, customizing, etc all makes great sense. Kids can now envision, scribble and cause those images to come alive and actually move. THAT is progress. The fact that it includes a digital camera is really nice - they don't just sell you programming and expect you to go out and buy hardware. fun for kids,the mash up is really cool. the games are alright, i was hoping for a little more control of the charactors in mash up, but im using it for video purposes to use with my own music. i also have the u create music, which does allow you a good bit of control..found this on google.promises to "put mash-up creativity and game creation into the hands of kids." I was intrigued; it sounded like a lot more than a passive game-playing experience. Ucreate Games is geared toward kids ages 7 to 13; I figured my smart 6-year-old son would be into it--and he was for a while. After I installed the software for him and attached the USB camera, I worked with him to figure out how to use the Ucreate software.Fantastic Creative Toy!Super creative toy! It lets your kids make video games and animated characters using only markers! Only downside is that it requires an internet connection and a computer, but it looks like they are going to release more and more free games for this over time!
Snap Circuits SC-300 Reviews
Snap Circuits SC-300From Elenco Electronics Inc Customer Reviews THIS TOY IS DA-BOMB!!!Anyone with even the slightest electronic background will appreciate the value of this toy. As a kid I remember the long frustrating hours of deciphering components from circuit diagrams and soldering them to create projects that were way too much effort. The limited success with these projects, I believe, is the reason I gave up my hobby.As a parent of a six-year old, I have been trying to introduce him to all facets of science and this is a wonderful tool. He immediately created a circuit - a combination light/fan circuit - in parallel and in serial - and he understood the difference between them. It was just amazing. He always appreciates what we get him, but he fell in love with this toy instantly. He was engrossed for the next hour experimenting with the various components.There are about 60 components which create a total of 300 projects. Count on there being about 125-150 basic projects (I have not conducted a detail count!) with the remaining coming from tweaks in these 125-150 basic projects. However, I do not want to discount the value of these tweaks...they are designed to teach the value of electronic components and instigate independent thinking. This is definitely a "Learning" Toy. With the limited emphasis on science in our schools, the approx. [item price] is worth the investment. For people who cannot envision how these snap into place (I couldn't!), the "snap" is from "snap-button". The component is soldered onto a large piece of plastic which have snap-buttons on it. These snap-buttons snap onto a large plastic grid or onto other components. Simple concept - Snap-On and Snap-Off!! All the components have their respective symbols stamped on them which aids in early familiarization. The pieces are also individually numbered so that there is no confusion in identifying the right component. The Manual is all-color and very easy to follow, however, some might prefer more detailed explanations.The model I purchased was "Snap Circuit 300 with Computer Interface" an upgrade to the one available here. The interface package includes software and a cable which connects to the "line-in" jack of your PC. The other end of the cable has two alligator-clips which can connect to any two points in your circuit. The software turns your PC into an "oscilloscope" so that you can "see" the electrical activity between any two points in your circuit. I have yet to fully learn and appreciate the value of the oscilloscope.For teenagers, there is a Snap Circuit 500. I believe it features more components and more complex circuits for about [item price].WARNING: PLEASE READ UP ON BASIC ELECTRICITY AND EXPLAIN THE PRINCIPLES TO YOUR CHILD. MY SON CONNECTED THE POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE POLES OF THE POWER SUPPLY FOR ONLY 5-7 SECONDS - THE BATTERY HEATED UP AND POPPED INTO HIS HAND. DID NOT BURN, BUT TAUGHT A VALUABLE LESSON - TO ME!! I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO EXPLAIN BASIC ELECTRICITY TO HIM. THOSE 2 AA BATTERIES REALLY HEATED UP!!IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUY ONLY ONE TOY THIS YEAR - YOU JUST FOUND IT! Excellent Excellent ExcellentMy 5 year old son has an interest in how things work and likes to "experiment." We go this as a first step toward learning about electricity, and it has not disappointed. The projects range from fast simple ones (can get a light bulb and a switch going in a minute or so) to more elaborate more interesting ones (we actually built a working AM radio). There are endless projects in the book with easy to follow directions on how to put them together. The "snap" mechanism for connecting components is extremely clever -- it eliminates the challenges of bad connections on wiring boards I grew up with. The snaps are a little hard for a 5 year old to push close, so I find myself helping on them -- although the kit is aimed for somewhat older kids anyway.Only "complaint" I have is that they could have put a couple educational points about how the circuit is working in the book near each circuit -- to spell out the "learnings" of each project. Overall though, this is definitely one of the best science kits of any type that I've seen, and absolutely worth the investment. A toy like they used to make them--only better!What parent today doesn't lament that they just don't make toys like they used to? Toys break prematurely, they underdeliver on their promise of fun, and they simply don't engage kids like the stuff we grew up with.Not Snap Circuits!I ordered this for my six-year-old son and we've loved every second of playing with this educational toy.What makes it stand out?1. Exceptionally good building instruction manuals. With clear directions in full-color, the two large manuals included with the SC-300 kit are perhaps the best manuals I've seen for anything I've ever purchased. They lay out all the projects possible with the kit and also the principles that govern how the projects work.2. Rugged construction pieces. The electronics of the kit come attached to thick slabs of plastic which have spring-loaded button-snap connectors (as found on clothing) on the backside. Each piece is clearly marked, especially so for those electronics that attach in one specific current direction. The kit should last for a long time.3. Clever construction system. The button-snap connectors are pure genius. Most of us parents know the electronic kits with spring terminals, but the snap system here outshines the kind we grew up with.4. Three hundred projects in the SC-300 kit. Plenty of projects to keep the kids occupied on rainy summer days. I wish I'd had a kit this nice as a kid!5. Good mix of electronics. A nice range of resistors, capacitors, ICs, and special function electronics, including photo sensors, speakers, sound sensors, motors, microphones, etc.6. Superb value. Rarely can you buy a children's toy and get the feeling you truly received what you paid for. This kit's worth every dime--and then some.About the only negative in this kit comes from knowing larger, even more complex Snap Circuit kits exist! You can never buy one large enough.In short, if you've got a child interested in electronics, consider this a must-have. And even if your child's not showing that interest yet, this kit might be all they need to discover their inner electrical engineer.My son and I love Snap Circuits. You will, too.
The Settlers of Catan Reviews
The Settlers of CatanFrom Mayfair Games Customer Reviews Nice updatesThe primary, and best, addition in this 4th edition of Settlers is a very nice interlocking border which is placed around the game tiles. This replaces the individual hex tiles of previous editions. No longer will your tiles/pieces scatter/split apart when someone accidentally bumps the playing surface! One side of the border has the ports "built in" but you still get a bit of randomness when assembling the pieces. The flip side of the border is blank "sea" on which you can put the included port tokens for a truly random placement.The updated graphics are nice and colorful but take a bit of getting use to if you regularly play with an older edition.The box has a vacu-formed type insert designed to hold all the pieces and keep everything neat.All-in-all a nice upgrade to the 3rd edition.It's a simple sounding premise: You gather resources in order to build roads and settlements to earn points.However, there is a wonderful randomness which lends complexity to the game as the layout of the game board tiles differs with each play right down to the number on the dice needed to harvest a resource from a given tile. This makes *every* game unique. Strategy comes into play as you must determine the best location for your settlements and roads to get maximum value/points.If you've never played Settlers, find someone who has a copy and give it a try. If no one you know owns a copy, go to your local comic shop. Odds are someone there will have a copy readily available and delight in teaching the game to a new player! It's easy to learn, difficult to master, and quick to play with a typical game lasting only an hour or less.This is one of the truly classic games and belongs on the shelf of anyone who enjoys board gaming. Stick with the 3rd AdditionWe are avid players of Settlers (and love it), but this newest addition has some flaws that make us wish we would have bought the 3rd addition. We have had the game for about 8 months, and the interlocking border (instead of the regular hexagon pieces in the 3rd addition) have never fit right. It takes three people to get everything into place, and even then the border warps and the pieces pop out. They interlock like a puzzle piece, and they are starting to wear out, so we have finally given up on getting everything together correctly. If you were worried about the 3rd addition getting bumped and jumbled, you simply had to set up the game on a tablecloth or piece of fabric. This newer addition is impossible to setup correctly, especially as it ages.Also note you cannot use your old expansion packs with the newer addition, as the pieces are different. You now have to pay for all the newer versions of the expansion packs, how convenient.We still love this game and will play it regularly, it just seems the "advancements" were not tested or well planned. It is also bothersome that they made the newer additions incompatible with the old expansions, you can easily spend $150 on this game and the expansions, and you would expect that investment to last... it is a board game after all! Fantastic family/strategy game in a new edition with more useful accessoriesSettlers of Catan is an absolutely fantastic family strategy game. I won't belabor my discussion of the game, except to say that my wife (only a 'casual boardgamer', not as hardcore like me) and two boys (ages 8 and 10) have been playing it for over a year, many dozens of times, with continued enjoyment. I have successfully hooked other gamers in my family (brother in law, father) on it as well, so that it shares equal time with Monopoly in our family game marathons over the holidays.The big point to take away about this new edition of the game is that, without changing any rules, the edition includes some very handy extra pieces, esp. an interlocking set of holders to fit the tiles into, which helps prevent incidental dislocations of the pieces on the board (so common with the older edition). For those of you who have the Seafarers of Catan extension, the holding tiles are much those included in that extension (except shaped to fit the Settlers hex board).
Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus Dragonoid
Bakugan 7 in 1 Maxus DragonoidFrom Spin Master Customer Reviews The next phase of BakuganMy child received this for their 7th birthday and loved it! However, they love all the Bakugan stuff, so that's not so surprising. That this can be connected to make one big toy is pretty cool, and more single Bakugan balls are coming out that can connect to these also. Bakugan is doing a good job of keeping their ideas fresh, and creative. We don't watch the cartoons, as they are too mean-spirited. The toys by themselves are fine though.The price point on this is a tad high, which means it ends up being a "special" gift, and not an every day one, so they aren't selling very many. It's obvious a lot of thought and skill goes into creating these plastic balls that "transform" instantly into creatures (when put on any metal surface.They have already designed more of these- the next one being silver or gray or something. For the Ultimate Bakugan FanThis is a 7piece toy comprised of 6 Bakugan Traps and 1 Bakugan Figure. The set is composed of the figures, as well as the Gate Card and Special Ability Card. My daughter has numerous Battle Packs, traps, Bakugan Deka, the arena, the launcher and Bakugan Gauntlet (in addition to the Bakugan DS game).The toy comes in the box as separate figures and step by step instructions are necessary to aassemble the Maximus Dragonoid. Assembly took about 20 minutes, the first time. Instructions are only graphical drawings and not too easy to follow. Once assembled the figure is not as big as I had anticipated on the packaging. Personally, i was not impressed but my 9 year loves it. She likes the ability to use the traps when playing the Bakugan with her other Bakugan Figures.As for an action set, I question the durability with non-game play (ie as standalone action figures) - given the spring loaded mechanisms and delicate small parts. I do not recommend this for households with children under 5 given the high choking potential. This set is more ideal for kids aged 7 and above - depending upon how gingerly or harsh your child plays with his or her toys.For the price, this toy is a touch overpriced and I recommend waiting for a price drop by at least $5 to $10. However, the the unique nature of a modular toy, this set is amazing. I recommend this for the Ultimate Bakugan Fan and not for the casual gamer.Despite its limitations, it is still a very good toy.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel Reviews
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel [Amazon Frustration-Free Packaging]From Melissa and Doug Customer Reviews Great Product, Great Price!This easel is a great buy! Very sturdy and high quality as most of mellisa and doug products. Colorful, kid friendly and easy to put together. Both the writing boards and the trays are adjustable for the height of your child. It folds up easy, but stands strong. This easel DOES have a place for a paper roll!! I did not think it did by the amazon description (I almost bought a more expensive one for the paper roll but decided to go with this and am so glad I did) ... the roll goes in the center between the boards and the paper comes up through the top and under a paper guide in front of the dry erase side. I can't image why you would spend more on another brand of easel, this one has everything I could think of wanting and is simple, solid wood, looks good and is super functional. This is the first review I have written, but wanted to pass on how happy I am with this product. Great easel; not so great chalkboardI bought this easel as part of the classroom I set up for my preschooler. I love the adjustable size, durability and ease of use. My only complaint was the chalkboard. Though I followed the priming instructions diligently, I found that even the good chalk scratched the board and did not write well. Melissa and Doug did reply immediately to my concern and were willing to do whatever necessary to correct the problem. On a whim, I decided to try some chalkboard paint instead. It now writes beautifully, and I love the black chalkboard, rather than the green it came as. It is perfect. Form and FunctionThis easel works very well and is easy to put together, but is also much better looking than others I have seen for a comparable price. We gave this to my daughter at 20 months (younger than the suggested age) and she loved it right away. However, even at the lowest setting she can't draw to the top, which frustrated her unless she stood on a step stool -- guess that's why it's better for age 3+
EyeClops Night Vision Infared Stealth Goggles V2
EyeClops Night Vision Infared Stealth Goggles V2From JakksThe comfortable neckband allows you to see in the dark with your hands free -- pCustomer Reviews Go CommandoThis is actually a pretty great toy and perfect for outdoor nighttime adventures. I got this for my nephew and he absolutely loves them. I used the older version of the JAKKS Night Vision Goggles and those worked really well so when I saw these come out I thought hey why not. The fact that these are binoculars and not monocular make it so much easier for him to use and the neck strap allows him to just let them hang when he is not using them. This is much safer then having the googles strapped to your head. The quality is really good too. I was really impressed with this product and recommend it to any parent. Great improvement over Eyeclops 1I bought the original Eyeclops Night Vision goggles. They are enjoyable just for the technology. If you have these or read the reviews of the original product you will see the pros and cons of the Eyeclops 1.After reading the reviews of the Eyeclops V2 and for the price I paid for them I couldn't resist the temptation to buy them. I'm glad I did.The V2 uses the same technology as the original, but has a large view screen that can be seen with both eyes. Even though there is still no depth perception due to the 2-dimensional screen you have a larger field of vision. This eliminates the dizzying disorientation experienced with the original. You still have to be careful moving around, though, because of the depth perception issue.The V2 has all the same features of the original except this unit is hand-held like binoculars instead of the head gear that came with the original. It is also a lot easier to get out of the box unlike the original. The rubber seal around the eyes is not as form-fitting as the unit with head gear. This allows light emitted from the view screen to leak around the edges which could give you away in the dark to anyone who might be looking your way. I'm a 6' tall male and it doesn't seal all of the light from around my face.Overall, this is a good, fun product to own. Just watch for price deals on Amazon.com for the best bargain. My son thinks he is in the military!I don't think war is funny but I do think my son is adorable. Every time he puts these on at night in our backyard, he thinks he is protecting our country....and our dog from wild coyotes. I used them once and honestly was shocked by the fact that this is a toy and so inexpensive given the quality.
Qwirkle Board Game Reviews
Qwirkle Board GameFrom Mindware Customer Reviews Fantastic, smart gameI purchase this for a six year old nephew, and the whole family joined in to break in this game. It was easy to understand, but challenging. My nephew really enjoyed the game, but it was hard for the adults not to be competitive when playing. The game is fun, and it makes you want to out-think the opponents.From what I hear, my brother's family has been playing the game almost daily since my nephew received it. What better reception could there be for a game?This game is money well spent. I believe that it will help my nephew develop logical thinking skills and strategy development. The fact that he is smiling all the while, is icing on the cake. great quirky QwirkleThis game uses tiles in a manner similar to dominoes, with placement suggestive of Scrabble with its possibilities of blocking or making way, and like Set, it demands recognition of patterns and colors.Great inter-generational game as well as one that can be fiercely competitive among peers.
Bop It Reviews
Bop ItFrom Hasbro Games Customer Reviews Very great toyThis toy cost much less than the other bopits on this site. Its fun and challenging. You can't get to other levels until you pass novice to get to expert, or expert to get to master, which makes it more addictive. The shout and party level adds much twist and enjoyment. I bought this for my 7yr old son and found that I couldn't put it down myself. This toy helps with listening skills and eye coordination. I definately recommend this toy. Bop It Master Speaks ...Moms, dads, Santa, and anyone looking to buy a dandy-but-addictive $15 children's gift this season should check Bop It! out. It's kind of a Simon Says game that features snarky comments from the toy, with players required to "bop it," "twist it," and "pull it" depending on the machine's infernal commands. It gets faster as the game progresses, and eventual success adds levels of difficulty. It's hard to explain, easy to learn, durable, and fun to play. Fast and funThis version of Bop It is much more user friendly, not so hard to maneuver. It is easy to hold and lightweight. The "voice" option adds a new twist. It is a lot of fun. Product Description Get ready to react fast! Turn on the BOP IT game unit and get ready to Bop, Pull, and Twist your way to victory. For even more of a challenge, activate the microphone and Shout It, too! Choose to play alone or invite your friends for a game of Party Bop—you’ll all have to use your knees, elbows, and hips to win! The better you get, the more skill levels you unlock, so think fast and be the BOP IT master!Features All new Bop It calls out commands and you react fastTurn on the Bop It game unit and get ready to Bop, Pull, and Twist your way to victoryChoose to play alone or invite your friends for a game of Party BopThe better you get, the more skill levels you unlock so think fast and be the BOP IT master. There is even a new 'Yell It!' command to keep you guessingPlay alone or with a group of friends in the new 'Party Bop' mode
Ucreate Music Reviews
Ucreate MusicFrom Mattel Customer Reviews It slices, it dicesI'm a guitar player, and I got this after seeing the media coverage on this from CES. There is so much to this product, from mixing loops that are in the device, to sampling from the iPod, downloading new loops from the web, modifying the loops in realtime with the joystick using different built-in effects, to recording the entire performance of a song for playback like a sequencer (reminds me of playing back automation on a recording console).The funny thing is just how easy it is to use, given all that power under the hood. My 5 and 8 year olds "got it" right away, and have had a blast with it. What I didn't realize initially is that you can listen to your iPod with it, and use the joystick effects to modify the songs in realtime. That by itself has had my kids enthralled for the past two evenings. [...] for the young, and old.im a music gadget fan from many decades ago. this thing is 100% cool. it now sits right by many high dollar toys(korg kp3, kaossalator, roland 404 sampler, suzuki q chord)another wesley willis idea from beyond. very easy to operate,consisting of four banks, with three loops in each bank, each loop activated by pressing the corresponding button, you can use one loop per bank at a time, for a max of 4 loops and a sample to be used at one time. if i had to guess id say they have they have at least 50 loops or more that you can upload to they unit via the included usb. the loops range from rock, hip hop, country, and pop. from simple guitar licks, to 808 drum machine, to funky bass, to percussion,to organ and even sum banjo! and it does they timing for you, maybe the best part is they effect knob thing, when you press it it lights up blue, and makes the sound change, depending on the effect you have selected, from a couple of different delays, an echo, to flanger, to distortion, it alsp has pitch control or as some know it bpm. and then there is the sample function, which is 4 or 5 seconds, and it stores two at a time, you can loop the sample, or activate it by pressing the button.the the portal of sounds couldnt be easier to use,simple drag and place. it also allows you to record your performance, up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds., and the songs can be pasted into media player and burned. when using good headphones, the sound quality from the machine is excellent(you really hear bass!). i have burned a couple songs from the ucreate, and played it on a couple different cd players, and was very suprised at the quality; im hoping they will give us more loops in the future, as the sampler is not as good of quality as the loops. truth is, put this thing in a better housing, allow custom loops to transfer, and a few more inputs and outputs(rca, 1/4, midi) and this thing could do some serious music.but for what it is, and the age group intended for, you couldnt ask for anything more. i have said it many times, but never meant it this much, IF ONLY THEY HAD THAT WHEN I WAS A KID!!if you want to go all out, get some good headphones (Sennheiser PX 100 Collapsible Headphones 38$ but worth it, the better the headphones the more they will use it, and these sound good and will fit young people) get a Multi Voice Changer by Toysmith(to have more sample options) 14$(9volt battery) great toy, dozens of sounds from microphone distort to alien. rechargeable AA batteries,(enloop work well) all sold by amazon with prime shippingwith these items, they will be able to sample, loop, and manupilate their music for months.