Blog Archives

KEVA Maker Bot Maze – Navigate the Obstacles reviews a inventive maze from MindWare.

KEVA Maker Bot Maze 1Before reviewing this product, we had to find out what “KEVA” was all about. It turns out that “KEVA” generally refers to something that has stability or permanence. From a toy standpoint, “KEVA” is usually associated with wooden planks that measure 4 ½”L x ¾” W and ¼” H. They are used to stack and build structures that are amazingly sturdy, and young kids find them simple to use.


Posted in Building, Learning, Puzzle

Magformers – Magnetic Building at its Best reviews a magnetic construction kit from Magformers LLC.

Magformers 1We have searched for several years to find the ultimate and best magnetic building toy. Our search is now over. We have found “Magformers,” where the high quality is equally matched with a rewarding play experience.

We got our hands on the 62 piece “Magformers Rainbow” set for review. The set includes 20 triangular, 30 square and 12 pentagon shaped magnetic pieces in 6 different colors, along with a 28 page full-color “Idea Booklet.” Each of the geometric shaped pieces has one magnet on each of its sides. Thus, the square has 4 magnets, one positioned in the middle of each of its 4 sides, the triangle has 3 magnets and the pentagon has 5 magnets. The magnets are actually rotating Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, considered both strong and having great connectivity powers. For safety, the magnets are encased in HQABS plastic and are BPA free.


Posted in Building

Empires in America – The French and Indian War, 1754 – 1763 reviews the second edition of “Empires of America” from Victory Point Games LLC.

Empires in America 1The French and Indian War (“Seven Year’s War”) was fought between France and Great Britain from 1756 until 1763. However, the total conflict that took place on North American soil lasted from 1754 to 1763. France was joined by Indian allies to fight the British forces, thus the name, “French and Indian War.” Victory Point Games has recreated that war in a single-player board game, where you control the French and Indians and the game controls the British.


Posted in Board Games

Plunder – It is all About Pirate Treasure reviews another thought provoking game from R&R Games, Inc.

Plunder 1Ahoy Matey!!!

Plunder is a treasure stealing deduction game for 2-6 players distributed by R&R Games and designed by Jonathan Franklin. The game includes 36 dry erase crew cards, 54 clue cards, 18 map cards (6 each of island, marker and trap cards) , a treasure chest, 6 dry erase pens and 6 dry erase solution grids.

To set things up, players first choose to be one of 6 unique pirates. Each pirate receives a dry erase pen, along with the corresponding dry erase solution grid and crew cards (matching the number of players in the game). Next, the treasure chest is placed in the center of the table, with an open lid. Deal 3 map cards to each player, one each of island, marker and trap cards. Each player should look at their map cards as these cards indicate the specific hidden location of their pirate treasure. Don’t show anyone your cards-“Properly Warned Ya Be Says I” or you’ll be walking the plank! The remaining unused map cards are taken out of the game, while the map cards that were dealt out are turned face down until the scoring phase at the end of the game.


Posted in Games

Circuit Maze – Complete the Circuit to Win reviews another challenging game from ThinkFun.

Circuit Maze 1The folks at ThinkFun have done it again, following up their successful Laser Maze (see review from 27 August 2013), Laser Maze Jr. (see review from 22 May 2015) and Gravity Maze (see review from 10 October 2014) games with their latest maze game, “Circuit Maze.” This game is primarily intended as a one-player game, and is suggested for ages 8 years old and up.

With “Circuit Maze,” players must build a connecting path of circuits onto a 5 x 5 grid (7″ x 7″), and light up specified beacons to win. The game includes 16 circuit tokens, most with metal strips on them so that they can carry the electrical current. The circuit tokens each measure about 1¼” square and are approximately ¾” high. The tokens carry the current in straight lines, around corners, across pathways and even include switch and bridge options. There are 3 Beacon tokens included that light up to confirm that token placements are correct. Power is provided by a battery pack/token that uses 3 AAA batteries, which are not included.


Posted in Electronics, Games

Little Cosmetics – Little Makeup Artist Set looks at a new makeup kit from Little Cosmetics.

Little Cosmetics 1Designed with curious preschoolers in mind, “Little Cosmetics” company now has a bigger and better set of pretend makeup for that little artist wanna be.  I reviewed the basic set (see review from 30 October 2015) and now it is time to take it to the next level. Just as previously reviewed, the realistic quality of this brand is unlike anything else on the market. Of course, the key selling feature of any of the products in the “Little Cosmetics” line continues to be that their makeup does not get on your little one’s face, hands or clothes – it is completely mess-free. I know, it is hard to believe, but true. In addition, I really loved the textures found among the different makeup choices offered. For example, the powder was very soft to the touch, while the sparkle shadow was designed to be a bit rougher.


Posted in Girls

Calico Critters – Better Than Ever looks at the ever expanding line of Calico Critters distributed by International Playthings.

Calico Critters 1At the beginning of 1985, Sylvania Families, better known today in the USA as “Calico Critters,” were created and released in Japan by Epoch. The collectible figures were most unique as they were made from flocked plastic. The “Calico Critters” all live in the fictional village of Sylvania, where activities are loosely based on life as it was in 1970s England. Many of the families are middle-class and some own successful businesses. Of course, the most interesting fact relating to this line of toys is that all of the families resemble woodland animals, like rabbits, bears, cats, dogs and many others.


Posted in Figures

AnimaLogic – Move the Animals to Safety reviews a brainteaser from the Fat Brain Toy Co.

animalogic 2“AnimaLogic” is a clever and challenging game for youngsters ages 5 years old and up. The idea is simple, there are 16 animals (4 each of lions, hippos, giraffes and camels). Each animal in their respective group is also a different color, either yellow, blue, green or red. The animals are trying to cross a river and get to the other side, but they are required to move according to a strict set of rules, that being that they must cross the river one at a time, must travel right to left on their given path, cannot jump over another animal and most importantly each animal must either follow an animal of the same color or follow an animal of the same species.


Posted in Board Games, Learning, Puzzle

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