Big View Telescope – Close Ups for Little Kids

Big View Telescope takes a look at a nifty new telescope from Learning Resources.

The “Big View Telescope” has been specially designed with young children in mind. The telescope is bright green in color with blue and yellow accents. It measures approximately 10 inches in length, and comes with a sturdy adjustable tripod. The “Big View Telescope” is suggested for youngsters ages 3 years old and up, and if this is their first time looking through the eyepiece of a telescope, they will be in for a pleasant surprise.


Posted in Learning, Outdoor

Flash & Thunder- A New Type of Game Experience

Invicta Challenge looks at an innovative new style of entertainment from INVICTA Challenge Inc.

The Toys Bulletin staff was not sure what to expect prior to opening the “Flash & Thunder” game box. From the description, it seemed to be some kind of video game, but there was also an action figure and a graphic novel inside. As it turns out, the game actually includes all of those features plus much more in the first of a series of leadership stories and games released from INVICTA Challenge.


Posted in Books, Figures, Games, Learning

Houdini – Try to Escape if You Can reviews a new type of puzzle from Thinkfun Inc.

Houdini 3“Houdini” is another one-player game of skill from Thinkfun. This time around a player is able to actually become Harry Houdini, or at least sort of. The game includes 40 different escape challenges, using a trap cage, 2 ropes, a lock, 2 rings and a “Houdini” flexible figure with body and legs. In addition, there is even a handy travel bag for Harry and all the accessories.

Houdini 2There are 10 beginner, 10 intermediate, 10 advanced and 10 expert challenges, but it is best to start with the beginner challenges, no matter how much you consider yourself a master of escape. After selecting a challenge, the instructions illustrate exactly how to set things up. For example, in beginner challenge #1, the “Houdini” figure is placed adjacent to the trap cage, a rope is looped between his legs, while its metal clasps are attached to brackets on the trap cage. Houdini’s hands and feet are always chained together to make things even more difficult. A player must somehow free Harry without undoing the clasps, and all of the solutions can be done without exercising any force whatsoever. To make it a bit easier, there is unlimited time to free Harry, and once you have escaped, all that is left is to listen for the applause.


Posted in Puzzle

The Village Crone – Witches Vying for Power

The Village Crone reviews a new board game from Fireside Games, LLC.

The Toys Bulletin staff has really enjoyed all of the Fireside Games we have played and reviewed over the past two years, and “The Village Crone” is another winner. This time we explore the world of witches, with their many spells and schemes.

The object of the game is for each player (1-6 can play) to assume the role of a witch and accumulate enough points, through clever use of their magical skills, to claim the title of “The Village Crone.” The game contents includes a six piece game board that can be assembled in different configurations so that each game has a different look, 6 Villagers (blacksmith, farmer, lord, miller, peasant and priest), 4 separate decks of Ingredient cards (fire, flour, silver and soil), 4 Eye of Newt ingredient wild cards, 6 Player-Aid spell cards, 3 decks of Witch’s Scheme cards (1, 2 or 3 point values), 6 types of Familiars tokens (witch’s helpers), five of each type, along with some Frog tokens, Binding Rings, Love tokens, a Broom to keep track of turns and a very complete 8 page rule book.


Posted in Board Games

Conquest at Kismet – Control the Galaxy

conquest at Kismet looks at an ingenious new game from Victory Points Games.

We have to admit that our first reading of the rules to “Conquest at Kismet,” really threw us for a loop. The “Battle Stations” phase (attack portion) of the game seemed a bit unusual to say the least. So, we decided to just go ahead and play this two-player game, proceeding very slowly, stopping as needed for any rules clarification, and especially taking note of the four part “Battle Stations” phase as it occurred.


Posted in Card Games

Spherovelo – Early Rider Bike

Spherevelo looks at a great first bike from Early Rider Ltd.

Are you having trouble keeping your baby engaged in constructive fun? Well, meet the “Spherovelo,” a unique (and very posh) award winning ride-on bike made in the U.K. by Early Rider Ltd. They have been designing bikes for children since 2008, and the “Spherovelo” is certainly a first of its kind, actually intended as an appropriate ride-on bike for babies from 10 months – 24 months of age.

Spherovelo 2No corners were cut when designing the “Spherovelo.” It is simply a high quality product from top to bottom. The “Spherovelo” has a sleek modern look with two large spheres making up the main body where your child sits. There are two smaller spheres under the main body of the toy that act as training wheels, stabilizing the rider and allowing your little one to freely scoot around from place to place. Once your child masters the rolling effect, the training wheels can be removed. When the two small spheres are taken off, the “Spherovelo” simulates a bicycle but with much more forgiveness, keeping your child safe from nasty falls.


Posted in Baby and Toddler, Riding

The Best of 2015 from Toys Bulletin

Toys Award Logo lists its favorite toys and games of the year.

As has been the case in past years, we continue to see so many quality and exciting new products during the year that it is especially difficult to single out just a few standouts. Plus, we also know that we cannot possibly test and review every toy and game released by every manufacturer in the past 12 months, so there is no doubt that we may have missed some good ones.

Here are the guidelines we follow in making our selections. “The Best of 2015” is based solely on the toys and games that we have reviewed on our website from November 2014 through October 2015. We have purposely excluded some older items, which may have been reviewed during that period, because that toy or game has been around for a number of years. However, in some circumstances, we have also included an item that was new to us at Toys Bulletin, even though it may have been available for purchase prior to November 2014.


Posted in Best of the Year

Little Cosmetics – “Real” Pretend Makeup

Little Cosmetics looks at the best in pretend makeup from Little Cosmetics.

I still have visions of my little one with bright lipstick smeared all over her precious little face after getting into “mommy’s makeup.” Yuck, right? Well, thanks to “Little Cosmetics,” they have developed a solution to this age old problem. In 2012, Starla Tyler, a mother and schoolteacher, was growing tired of dealing with her daughter’s messy attempts with so-called “children’s” makeup. So she formed the “Little Cosmetics” company after seeing the need first hand for realism in the pretend makeup category. The company’s objective was to create a pretend makeup collection that not only looked like the real deal, but was also completely mess-free. Well, to be honest, I approached this product with lots of skepticism. How could they produce mess-free makeup for kids? Somehow, they did it.


Posted in Doll, Girls

Subscribe to

Follow Toys Bulletin on Twitter

Get the RSS Feed

Search the Site

ToysBulletin Archives