Blog Archives

AppMATes (Cars 2) – Control real cars on your iPad

"AppMates" are known as Mobile Application Toys. For our test vehicle, the "AppMate" was a small replica of the "Lightning McQueen" car, released by Disney and Spin Master, Inc. The car measures approximately 2" long and 1" wide. It has three small sensors on the bottom of the car, and it actually races on the iPad screen.

In order to get started, you must first download an iPad application called "Cars 2 AppMates." It is free of charge. Once loaded, you are set to go. The object of the game is to explore Radiator Springs, Tokyo, which was the featured site in the actual Cars 2 animated movie. You simply place the car in the center of the screen on the road that is shown by the application. There is an outline of the car to help youngsters get started too. The sensors begin the action, and you simply grip the side windows of the car and press down slightly to activate it.

At night, headlights are visible and the sound effects are amazing throughout. There are different fuels, assorted horns, custom tires and other gadgets available as well. There is a map and missions are given to the player to make things interesting. There are other character cars available as well, and the application can recognize which car is being used and use the appropriate voice to match the car. We are honestly just scratching the surface of what you can do with this new inventive toy and application.

Our age appropriate focus group and their parents were surprised, to say the least, by "AppMates." No one had yet heard or seen them, so this was a first for everyone. Kids loved the application and the playability astounded each and every one of them. Every parent, who owned an iPad, indicated that they were going to buy one for their kids. Those who did not own an iPad, may have been pushed a bit closer to making such a purchase in the near future.

"AppMates" are recommended for children 4 years old and up, but I think even younger kids can get a feel for the basics pretty quickly. The cars are also 100% safe for the iPad screen. "AppMates" were just released in early October, and they will likely be a very hot item around Christmas trees this year. Buy them now, while you can still find them. One "AppMate" vehicle will cost anywhere from $13.00-$25.00. Check them out at
-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Apps and Video Games Announces its Best Toys and Games List for 2011


It is a difficult task to compile a list of the year's best toys and games, since it is absolutely impossible to have played with every toy and game released in 2011. So, we have prepared our "Best of the Year" list based on toys and games that we have reviewed on our website from November 2010 through October 2011.

We have excluded some older items which we reviewed this year, because the toy or game had been around for years, but at the same time we have included some toys and games that were new to us here at Toys Bulletin, but may have been available prior to 2011. And most importantly, we kept with our mission statement of providing a list of the "Best Toys and Games You've Never Heard Of."

Here we go........

TOP TOYS AND GAMES OF 2011 (in Alphabetical Order)

Automoblox- from Automoblox Company, LLC

The best wood building toy we have ever seen (see review on 11-19-10)

Flip Six Card Game- from US Games Systems, Inc.

Easy to play card game, and so addictive (see review on 6-18-11)
Jukem- from Flying Pig Games

A simple, fun and fast football card game (see review on 3-14-11)
Khet 2.0- from Innovention Toys

A chess type game with laser beams, and simply amazing to play (see review on 3-25-11)
Kid's Safety Trampoline- from One Step Ahead

Sturdy, high quality and a focus group favorite (see review on 7-30-11)
Main Event Boxing- from Downey Games

An amazing Boxing simulation that can be played in just 5 minutes (see review on 10-1-11)
Puzzle Pyramid- from Ravensburger

An astonishing 3D jigsaw puzzle (see review on 7-26-11)
Redakai- from Spin Master Ltd

The new standard in trading card games (see review on 7-9-11)
Revomaze- from Ashton Pitt Ltd

The most fascinating, yet difficult, puzzle ever created (see review on 9-24-11)

Sword and Shield Set- from Rubbabu

Soft, flexible and unbreakable, young boys loved it (see review on 5-25-11)

The Wacky Whiddles- from Wacky Whiddles and More LLC

A truly fun word game, that is witty and clever (see review on 4-30-11)
Word on the Street- from Out of the Box Publishing, Inc.

So simple and easy to play, yet so rewarding (see review on 9-17-11)

-- List by Toys Bulletin Staff

Posted in Apps and Video Games, Board Games, Building, Christmas, Electronics, Figures, Games, Girls, Information, Learning, Nostalgic, Outdoor, Remote Control, Riding, Sports, Vehicles

Crush the Castle – Move over Angry Birds

Armor Games has created an exciting game application for the iPad called "Crush the Castle." The goal is world domination, and it has many similarities to the best selling "Angry Birds" Application. In fact, "Crush the Castle" actually preceded "Angry Birds," but for some reason did not garner the loyal following of "Angry Birds."

So, if you are tired of birds attacking pigs, how about controlling a huge catapult, which flings boulders at a castle guarded by kings, queens, princesses and knights. The object is to destroy all of the humans inside and outside the castle, and then move on to another.
The castles are increasingly more difficult to topple, causing frustration, and an addiction to continue playing deep into the night. The background music is outstanding as is the medieval color scheme. When a person is killed, there is a squeal and a slight tinge of blood to help identify those no longer with us. The deceased inhabitants are a bit stiff, pardon the pun, and don't have the flexibility when hit, that you might expect from graphics in a 21st century game. But that is a minor distraction.

Another added feature allows you to build your own Castle, complete with walls, floors, inhabitants, backgrounds and props. You can test it, then save it........and see if your friends can topple over your custom built castle. There is a limit on how much money you can spend on the castle, thus making sure you make the best choices when choosing your resources.

When the staff at tested "Crush the Castle," it was free for the iPad, but we believe that may only be for a short time. We suggest you make room for "Crush the Castle" right next to your "Angry Birds" application on your iPad today.
-- Lance Manion

Posted in Apps and Video Games

Lego Ninjago-Spinjitzu Scavenger Hunt—–An exciting new app for the iPhone or iPad

One of the most popular new apps on the market for your iPhone or iPad is from the folks at Lego. This app is made to work in conjunction with the new Lego Ninjago building, spinner and card sets. The app can be quickly loaded for free.

ninjagoOnce loaded, players can test their skills in the battle arena. The game portion of this app is represented by a circular fighting ninja figure. By tapping the screen as fast as you can and then tilting your device to move up or down or side to side, the ninja will spin faster and faster, allowing you to bump or attack your opponent. This is called the art of “Spinjitzu.” But beware, your opponent is also spinning and attacking at the same time. If you are the victor, you can earn coins to be used to purchase better weapons and armor. If you lose, you can try again. It is pretty easy to win the opening battle.

However, it doesn’t take long to discover that in order to progress very far in the game, you do need to upgrade your battle gear. The only way to do that introduces the scavenger portion of the game. You must find the items you need to continue on your quest by scanning the barcode of the Lego Ninjago merchandise that includes the items you seek to improve your luck in the battle arena. For example, the game may suggest you need a black sword to better your chances. In order to add a black sword, you must find a Lego Ninjago box set that contains such a sword and then scan the barcode. The game even tells you the Lego Set # to look for at the store.


Posted in Apps and Video Games

Top Kid’s Apps for the Apple iPad

We previously highlighted two hot new Christmas apps for the Apple iPad, and at that time we hinted that there were many more kid’s apps that we’ve found that turn the iPad into one of the coolest kid’s toys on the planet.

Well here’s a list of some of our favorites with a brief overview. Many of these are educational, and we’ve seen first hand how they’ve captured kid’s interest in a way that few other educational toys have. In other cases we have apps that are based on kid’s movies, which are also great for story time, or when you’re at a restaurant and want just 10 minutes of peace. And of course, we had to put a fart app on the list. After all, this is a list for what kids will love, and there’s really no denying it.
-- Andrew Joseph
Posted in Apps and Video Games, Electronics

Two Must Download Christmas iPad Apps from Toys R Us and

We are big fans of most every Apple product, but the iPad has started to emerge as an incredible device to have in your home from a toy angle - serving both as one of the coolest (and top educational) kid’s toys, and as a reference tool for shopping for toys and games.

I’ll do another post on the iPad as the coolest kid’s toy ever made (and which apps help make it just that), but with the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to first look at two new iPad apps from Toys R Us and that I absolutely loved.

Toys R Us Big Book Toy Catalog

This iPad optimized catalog is the perfect way to view the Toys R Us Toy catalog. It begins with the ability for your child to pick a holiday icon and color to be associated with their wish list, and then you’re off, browsing toys by category in a beautiful streamlined fashion.
Posted in Apps and Video Games

Follow Toys Bulletin on Twitter

Get the RSS Feed

ToysBulletin Archives