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Balance Beans – A Seesaw Game of Logic

ToysBulletin.com reviews a new solo game from ThinkFun Inc.

Balance Beans 1ThinkFun has released loads of single-player games that provide solid challenges for players of all ages. Their latest game, “Balance Beans,” much like the successful “Laser Maze Jr” and “Rush Hour Jr,” is part of their line of junior logic games, and can actually be played by kids as young as 5 years old.

The game comes with a plastic seesaw, measuring approximately 3″ wide x 7″ long. The seesaw features a balance tray with 3 rows of 7 slots on the top of the tray. The slots are made to hold one or more colored bean shaped playing pieces (beans). There are 3 red stationary beans, a single, a double and a triple, along with 2 orange single beans, 2 yellow double beans and 2 blue triple beans (the non-red beans are considered movable). The game includes 40 challenge cards, from easy to super hard. The object of the game is much like it was back on the school yard. Can you position yourself and maybe some friends on the seesaw, so that the wooden plank (or tray in this case) balances perfectly level.

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Posted in Games

4 the Birds & The Game of 49 – A Pair of Family Games

ToysBulletin.com reviews two new games from “Breaking Games.”

4 the birds 1“Breaking Games” publishes a wide assortment of games, and we are excited to review two of their best.

“4 the Birds” is a board game that actually takes place in a tree. After all, that is where birds seem to congregate, so it is a perfect setting for this unique game. The game includes 6 different sets of three dimensional bird species, which serve as the playing pieces, along with action cards, some tokens, 2 sets of dice (8 sided & 10 sided), and some very special but potentially disruptive crows and hawks. Of course, there is also that game board, resembling the branches of a tree in a 9 x 9 grid of 81 circled spaces.

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Posted in Board Games

NogginStik & NogginRings – New Parents Will Love These

ToysBulletin.com reviews two baby toys from SmartNoggin.

SmartNoggin 1It is always fun to see the latest toy ideas for babies. Toys Bulletin is especially interested in seeing what types of products catch a baby’s attention, and add to their early learning experience. SmartNoggin has developed a pair of real winners, and we are very pleased to review them both.

The first item is the ‘NogginStik,” which is kind of a super rattle. It lights up, has texture, sounds and even a mirror on the bottom. It stands approximately 5 inches in height and requires 3 LR44 button size batteries, which are included. The top of the “NogginStik” features a round ball-shaped face complete with two bright yellow ears which actually lights up in 3 different colors, green, red and blue. The light is easily activated by the simple touch of baby’s hand. The center body of the “NogginStik” even has a nubby feel, easily grasped by the littlest of hands. Of course, the “NogginStik” not only promotes both motor and cognitive skills, but it is also just fun to watch a little baby play with and entertain themselves with this clever new toy.

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Posted in Baby and Toddler

Jukem – Soccer and Basketball Games

ToysBulletin.com reviews a pair of sports games from “The Haywire Group.”

Jukem 1One of Toys Bulletin’s first reviews was for a brand new card game called “Jukem Football.” We saw the game in action during our first stop at the New York Toy Fair in 2011, and we loved the game. A few months later, it was named one of our “Best of 2011.” Take a look at that early review from 14 March 2011. Now, “The Haywire Group” has released “Jukem Basketball” and “Jukem Soccer” to complement the popular football game.

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Posted in Card Games

A Reward Chart – Help Kids Reach their Goals

ToysBulletin.com looks at “Reward Chart-Dino” from WOW Toys and Reeves International, Inc.

Reward Chart 1WOW Toys “Reward Chart – Dino” is cleverly designed to encourage positive rewards and help children ages 1-5 achieve their goals. It is simple to use and great for setting goals such as picking up toys, brushing teeth, or even eating green vegetables. The left side of the Reward Chart provides a place to paste a picture of your child, along with his/her name, while the right side of the Reward Chart is used to keep track of actual progress.

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Posted in Learning

Chicken Charades & Indoor Cornhole

ToysBulletin.com reviews a pair of games from University Games.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Chicken Charades Chicken Charades 1Everyone has played some form of Charades, but have you ever played a game of Charades holding and using a Rubber Chicken? Welcome to “Chicken Charades!” Chicken Charades 2The game rules are almost exactly as you might guess. Any number of players is split into two teams, with each participant taking a turn acting out clues that will enable their team to guess the secret word. Of course, you cannot say or cluck any words, but you do use a rubber chicken. The game includes 84 cards with 6 secret word choices per card. To begin play, one player rolls a die to determine the word. The player then grabs the rubber chicken and uses it as a prop to get his teammates to guess the word he was attempting to act out. Teams have only 10 seconds to guess correctly, or the opposing team gets a chance to steal the card if they can guess the answer. The first team to correctly answer 10 cards is declared the winner. At first, I really could not figure out how a rubber chicken could change a game of charades, but it actually made quite a difference in both how you act out the clues, as well as how your team members make their guesses. It was a lot of fun seeing people give mouth to mouth resuscitation to a chicken, give birth to a chicken, use the chicken as a toothbrush and even trying to make the poor rubber chicken look like a gun. It is hard not to laugh when playing “Chicken Charades” and sometimes the laughter stretches beyond the 10 seconds, allowing your opponents to steal the card.  But, it is all so much fun, it really does not matter. Overall, this is a party game with extra laughs included. There are some very interesting secret words on the cards as well, which will keep everybody on their toes for sure. “Chicken Charades” retails for $24.98 and can be purchased at the Are You Game website. Indoor Cornhole

Indoor Cornhole 1If you have ever wondered what people are doing throwing bean bags underhanded towards large planks of wood with a hole in the middle, they are playing a game called Cornhole, and it is an outdoor game phenomenon sweeping across the country.

The good news is that Front Porch Classics and University Games have created “Indoor Cornhole,” a game for ages 6 years old and up that is easy to set up and safe to play indoors. The game includes two boards that easily fold out and lean perfectly over each half of the game box. To get things started, mark off a tossing distance and break into two teams of one or two people. The two teams line up on the same side of one of the boards, alternating turns tossing bags toward the opposite board. Each team gets 4 turns to toss. The goal is to land a bag right in the hole, but points can also be scored by landing a bag on the board.

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Posted in Games

Spiral-Designer – Creativity for Little Ones

ToysBulletin.com reviews a craft toy from Ravensburger.

Spiral Designer 1Most of us are familiar with Ravensburger puzzles, but did you know they also make artistic items as well?  The “Spiral-Designer” is one such item and it will awaken the inner creative side of your child’s personality, keeping them occupied with new design ideas for hours. The possibilities are truly limitless with this amazing all-in-one kit. The sturdy colorful 10½” x 10½” x 2¼” box contains all the supplies your young artist might need including 1 drawing frame, 1 template ring with 4 design discs, 1 frame for the mini Mandala Template, 1 mini Mandala Template (such designs are known for their geometric circular pattern), 2 felt tip pens and 10 sheets of drawing paper.

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Posted in Crafts

DNA Experiment Kit – A Building Block for the Future

ToysBulletin.com reviews the “DNA Experiment Kit” from ScienceWiz.

DNA Kit 1The “DNA Experiment Kit” from ScienceWiz is made with learning and fun in mind. This kit is a great gift for any 8+ year old boy or girl that has an interest in understanding how our DNA works using a kit that explains it in a fun and challenging way. There are 8 specific projects in the kit and they can be done repeatedly as most of the materials are re-usable or can be found around the household. Upon opening this kit, we were impressed with the detailed organization of the materials and the high quality of the workbook that is actually attached to the box itself, so no worries about losing it after completing a project.

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Posted in Learning








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