Up to date information about children’s entertainment – film, TV, DVD and more…. from founder and president of KIDS FIRST! Ranny Levy

Dr. Toy Announces 100 Best Children’s Products of 2012

Dr. Toy is pleased to have the opportunity to share her years of play and toy experiences with consumers to assist them in the selection process. This timely report features information about l00 wonderful new toys and products from large and small companies. The toys and products selected meet my high standards for design, durability,price, quality, safety, and value.

Dr. Toy reminds parents and teachers, “Let’s not forget that “play is children’s work” and should be respected and understood by all adults. We should be thinking: “What products or “tools for play” can we obtain to provide wholesome experiences for children and provide plenty of positive play interactions.”
In Dr. Toy’s words: “As a natural, on-going part of our work as parents, teachers, early childhood specialists, and others involved with children at home or elsewhere, we observe children at play. With our eyes we see what works…and what doesn’t hold up under tough testing – the normal barrage of active, inquisitive, and resourceful babies, toddlers, preschoolers, and older children. This guide is now offered to complement your observations and to help you in selecting the right products to enhance your child’s play and learning.

We make buying decisions based on lasting play value and product applicability to a balance of children’s active, creative, and educational experiences. We can depend on the durability and versatility of such items as blocks, construction toys, games, puppets, and transportation toys. They stimulate the imagination, engage the player, have value, and hold up over time. We want to apply these standards to all of the play product choices we make. We often hear consumers describe their experience of making a purchase, but shortly after giving little Sally or Sammy the product it falls apart – a frustrating and expensive experience. Products that do not meet safety standards can be dangerous and can cause harm to children. We want to avoid these problems and always strive for excellence. I spend a great deal of time reviewing a large quantity of products created by myriad manufacturers and designers. I make sure my selections match the criteria for excellence.

Certainly age grading, name recognition, company dependability, versatility of design, and place of purchase are
factors to obtain the right product. Another aspect you can depend on is a warranty. Rising costs for products require
us to be wise consumers and to get extra lasting value. Certainly durable products, properly designed, and
developmentally correct are worth the money. Children’s positive reactions are worth the extra effort. I utilize a
complicated set of objective and subjective criteria to evaluate toys and other products. Some questions to ask are:

  • Is this product worth the price?
  • Does it have lasting “play value”?
  • Is it appropriate?
  • Is it fun?
  • Does it meet safety standards?”

Following are examples of award-winning toys and products and the companies that make them grouped in selected
categories of “smart” play. You can find more products by assigned codes that designate types of products.

Ten Best Active Products – Chicco (4-in-1 Ride On Car), First Act (WrapStar Mic), FirstBike Int’l (FirstBIKE), GeoPalz (GeoPalz Pedometer), Kinderfeets (Kinderfeets), OgoSport (OgoSport RAQ),Razor USA (Razor® FlashRider™), Sbyke (P-20 Rear-Steering Scooter), Smiletime Toys (Inflatable Pirate Ship), System Ent. (RingStix).

Ten Best Audio/Video Tapes/CDs – Brainetics (Brainetics), BrainFood Learning (Fascinating World of Birds), BrillKids Int’l (Little Musician Basic), Little Pim (Spanish Intro Gift Set with Book), Master Comm (Worlds Together Series), Moey’s Music Party (Princess Revolution!), Music Together (She Sells Sea Shells), New Hope Records (WO!), ScienceAndMath.com (Amazing Science! Vol. DVD), Steps4Kids (Steps4Kids to Draw).

Ten Best Building Products – AroundSquare (Deconstruction Blocks), Bridge Street Toys (Hydrodynamic Deluxe Building Set), Citiblocs (CTBIN500C), K’NEX (K’NEX Classics 50 Model Building Set), LaQ USA (LaQ Dinosaur World T-REX), Laser Pegs Ventures (Laser Pegs The Dragon), LEGO Systems (Friends Olivia’s House), MEGA Brands (Build ’n Learn 1-2-3 Count!), Smart Blocks (Smarcks Smart Blocks), Thinkplay/Morphun (Starter Tub)

Ten Best Children’s Products – Ann Williams Group (Loopdedoo), Buckle Toy (Buddy the Backpack), Dress Up America (Black Fire Fighter Kids Costume), Gryphon House (Budding Builder), Innovation First (HEXBUG Warriors Battle Stadium), Klutz (Coin Blaster), Monkeying Around (Greatest Dot-to-Dot Adventure Book 1), Schoenhut Piano (My First Piano II), SeatPets (SeatPets®), Smart Trike (Smart Trike 4-in-1 Dream).

Ten Best Creative Products – ALEX (Ceramic Bead Sticker Party), Blue Orange (Tell Tale Fairy Tale), Colorforms/Univ. Games (Tinga Tinga Tales Create-A-Creature Game), Creativity for Kids (Stunt Squadron), Hero Arts Rubber Stamps (Ink ‘n’ Stamp Animal Prints), Kiwi Crate (Kiwi Crate), Red Hen (Kaleidograph), Tech 4 Kids (3D Magic Magna Color), Wowopolis (Colorgami Craft & Activity Kits), WowToyz (E-Z Crafts™ Paint-A-Bank Kits).

Ten Best Games – Bag-O-Loot (Bag-O-Loot Junior), Edupress (That’s Baloney Games), Flying Rabbit Enterprises (Baffle!), Game Chef (Rollick!), Gamewright (Big Fat Tomato Game), Hutter Trade (Talat),Indie Boards & Cards (Flash Point: Fire Rescue), Patch Products (You’re Invited Game), Strikerz Gamez (STRIKERZ Soccer Card Game), ThinkFun (Distraction™).

Ten Best High Technology Products – Bandai America (Omnitrix Touch), Diggin Active (Wobble Deck Extreme), Ganz (Amazing World), LeapFrog (LeapPad2), MGA (iTikes Map), Pixel Ent. (Global Game Changers [book app]), Scholastic (Storia), Small World Toys (Haute Couture Fashion Studio), SmartLab Toys (DJ Rock Dock), VTech (MobiGo® 2).

Socially Responsible Products – b. dazzle (Black Capped Chickadees Scramble Squares), Discover w/Dr. Cool (Shark Teeth Excavation Kit!), DuneCraft (Butterfly/Bird Mixture Seed Bombs), Easy Daysies (Easy Daysies Every Day Starter Kit), Metamorphic Toys (Mythical Creatures Silly Signs), Mudpuppy (Fruits & Veggies Wooden Magnetic Set), My1story (My1story Book Collection), Rubbabu (Shape Sorter Bus), Tiny Green Bee (Crunch a Color Conversation Starters), University Games (Very Hungry Caterpillar Match & Munch Game).

Ten Best Toys– 4D Cityscape (4D Time Puzzle), B. toys by Battat (Symphony in B. by B. toys), Build-A-Bear Workshop (Marine Midnight Teddy), Fisher-Price (Servin’ Surprises Cook ‘n Serve Kitchen & Table), Gibout Toys (Gibout Big Blocks), Jada Toys (Cutie Pops), Make It Mine (MIM Doll & Accessories), Ohio Art (Limited Edition Etch A Sketch), Sassy (Loopy Ball), World of EPI (Diva Abrielle).

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