Laser Maze Jr. – More Than Just a Beam of Light

Laser Maze Jr 1ToysBulletin.com reviews the junior version of one of our favorite games from “ThinkFun.”

Back in August 2013, we reviewed a game called “Laser Maze” (see our review). Later that year it was named as one of our “best of 2013,” and the Toys Bulletin staff continues to play that game today. So, it is easy to see why we were especially excited to see that “Laser Maze Jr.” was now available for kids as young as 6 years old.

For those readers unfamiliar with the basic concept of the game, “Laser Maze Jr.,” like the original game, is a one person game where the player must carefully place small Satellite Mirrors and sometimes a Beam Splitter in an arena, such that a single Laser beam is diverted, allowing the beam to hit and light up the intended target. To add even more interest, there is a Science Fiction theme attached to this version of the game. When the Laser is activated by the red switch on the arena, it is supposed to provide instant ignition to the rockets, but in some cases the Laser is blocked by Space Rocks, or it takes those specially designed mirrors and the Beam Splitter to help the Laser beam find the rocket target(s).

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Posted in Games

Discover With Dr Cool – Earth Science Kits

Science kit 1Kids love to dig in the dirt and part of the fun is not knowing what you might uncover. We recently tested a few kits from “Discover with Dr Cool” that take the experience of digging in your back yard to a whole new level. Today we will take a look at the “Learn How to Pan for Gold” and “Break Open Real Geodes” kits.

It is not uncommon to find museums that offer kids the chance to pan for gold. Science kit 3This first kit offers everything you need to do it at home in a simple, easy to use package that includes a bowl, a gold collection bag, retrieval tweezers, a sand mixture with ‘gold’ pieces and a magnifying glass. You simply add water and let your kids dig through the sand mixture until they identify something they want to keep.

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Posted in Learning, Outdoor

My First Adora Doll – Dots

My First Adora Dots 1ToysBulletin.com reviews a 14″ play doll from Adora.

Introduced at the recent New York Toy Fair, “My First Adora-Dots” is a machine washable play doll for little ones as young as one years old. This baby doll is super soft and cuddly from head to toe. Dots, such a perfect name for this doll, is wearing a pink and white lace trimmed polka dot dress. She sports two matching hair ribbons in her bright yellow felt hair, while soft fringed felt bangs frame her large flat embroidered face. Dots also has a heart shaped pink My First Adora Dots 2pacifier that attaches by a pink ribbon to her right arm, thus preventing it from getting dropped or lost. And don’t forget to look for her little pink embroidered heart belly button that is almost hidden by her white cotton undies. That is such a clever touch from Adora. Her clothing is all removable and the entire doll is 100% machine washable, certainly great news for the moms out there. We suggest that this snuggly baby doll might just replace the “binky” that toddlers love to drag around. Dots is truly “love at first hug.”

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Posted in Doll

Crash Cup Karambolage – A Game of Collisions and Rebounds

Crash Cup Karambolage 1ToysBulletin.com reviews an exciting game of skillful driving from HABA.

We always love it when we get a hold of a game from HABA. There is a feeling of quality just holding the box, and as always, we were not disappointed with “Crash Cup Karambolage.” First of all, we had to look up the meaning of the word “Karambolage,” and we found that it meant “carom,” “collision” or “smash-up.” Those are perfect descriptions of the game we are about to review.

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Posted in Games

Skateboard Madness – A One of a Kind Find

Skateboard Madness 1ToysBulletin.com reviews a skateboarding game from Mindtwister USA.

There may be lots of skateboarding video games out there, but “Skateboard Madness” is the only true board game we have ever seen devoted to the sport of skateboarding, and it is well worth the ride. “Mindtwister USA” has two professional skateboarders from Sweden to thank for giving the company its start in 2006, that being Tony Mag and Mathias Ringstrom. But it would take until 2011 before their dream of a skateboard themed board game would become a reality.

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Posted in Board Games

New Perspectives – Time for a Puzzle

New Perspectives 1ToysBulletin.com reviews an original jigsaw puzzle from Ceaco.

The Toys Bulletin staff always loves a good jigsaw puzzle, and we always seem to have one in progress on one of our game tables. This particular puzzle really got our attention, so we felt it was worthy of a review on its own. “New Perspectives” is a four-sided puzzle concept from Ceaco. By that we mean there are 4 related, yet unique scenes on each side of the puzzle. Our puzzle included beautifully drawn pictures depicting each of the 4 seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall.

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Posted in Puzzle

Kerflip! – A New Twist in Word Games

Kerflip 1ToysBulletin.com looks at a well conceived word game from Creative Foundry Gameworks, Inc.

We met Damon Tabb, the designer of “Kerflip!,” at this year’s New York Toy Fair, and we remember him asking if we were ready to see a great new word game. He proceeded to demonstrate a few sample rounds of “Kerflip!” with us and we are so glad he did. We honestly thought we had seen most every type of word game variation in existence, but we were wrong. “Kerflip!” is really something special.

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Posted in Games

Robo Bug & Squishy Zombie – A Fun Pair

Robo Bug 1ToysBulletin.com reviews two unique items from SmartLab Toys.

We recently discovered another toy company that has a vast catalog of great looking products, that being SmartLab Toys. We are going to look at two of their offerings, a “Robo Bug” and a “Squishy Zombie.”

First off, let’s discuss the “Robo Bug,” which is a motorized Robot with glow-in-the-dark wings, that comes ready to assemble with just 24 separate parts. The kit is suggested for kids 7 years old and up, and the instructions are easy to follow. The completed bug measures just over 5″ in length and stands about Robo Bug 23″ high. It is powered by 2-AAA batteries in its belly, and this six-legged creature moves nicely while its front pinchers open and close. There is even a convenient on/off switch located at the rear of the bug. We really liked the way the parts were connected together, using tiny press on plastic bolts that held everything amazingly well. Lastly, there is a fun-to-read pamphlet included that discusses the insect world from top to bottom, with great photos of various insects/bugs, even showing an actual beetle side by side with our “Robo Bug.” So, kids get a fun building project plus some great information too. “Robo Bug” retails for just $14.99, and can be purchased directly at the SmartLab Toys website.

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Posted in Building, Figures, Learning

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