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The Best of 2013 from Toys Bulletin

ToysBulletin.com lists its favorite toys and games of the year.

 

Each year this task gets much more difficult for our staff here at Toys Bulletin.  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 2013” is based solely on the toys and games that we have reviewed on our website from November 2012 through October 2013.  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 2012.

 

And most importantly, we followed our mission statement of providing a list of the “Best Toys and Games You’ve Never Heard Of...”


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

THE BEST OF 2012 FROM TOYS BULLETIN

This task has not gotten any easier since we published our “Best of 2011” 12 months ago.  We see so many quality and exciting new products during the year, making it especially difficult to single out just a few standouts.  Plus, as mentioned last year, 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 2012” is based solely on the toys and games that we have reviewed on our website from November 2011 through October 2012.  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 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.”

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

Bruce Lee Mimobot Flash Drive – Featuring Actual Sound Bytes

From time to time, Toys Bulletin strays a bit off the toy and game path to review unique items that catch our eye. “Mimoco, Inc” has released just such an item with their latest USB 2.0 Flash Memory Drive. The feature that caught our eye and our ears was the fact that this particular flash drive includes MimoByte sound software that actually plays clips from Bruce Lee every time the flash drive is inserted or ejected from the computer.  Bruce Lee is the second in the “Legends of Mimobot” series, the first being “Einstein Brainstein” released earlier in 2012.


The flash drive arrives with a full suite of Bruce Lee material, including wallpapers, icons, video, avatars and the impressive sound bytes.  To get things started, you simply plug the flash drive into the USB connector on your computer (PC or MAC)... 
Posted in Electronics

Kidizoom Camera from VTech – Amazing Technology for Young Kids

The staff at Toys Bulletin was very impressed with the innovation and features that Vtech put into its "Kidizoom Camera." This was far from a toy, instead we discovered a fully functional digital camera made for youngsters ages 3-8.

The camera includes 129 MB of built-in memory capable of taking 300 (1.3 MP) photos or 10 full-color videos. It also features a 4X digital zoom, color screen, special photo effects and three built in games, all packaged in a brightly colored, durable and safe outer case.

The buttons on the camera are clearly marked and easy to identify. They include an On/Off Button, Mode Button, a Four Directional Select Button, Shutter and OK Button, Delete Button and Zoom Controls, all powered by four AA batteries.

The camera also had a dual viewfinder that fit over both eyes, making it easier to see the image before snapping pictures or videos. Basically, taking photos was as easy as turning the camera on, looking through the viewfinder, toggling the zoom controls, and pushing the shutter button. Everything else was automatic. If you wish to view your photos or videos, push the mode button and select the "playback" mode. If you wish to delete a photo/video, push the delete button.

There are three interactive games available, one of which uses actual photos stored in the camera. Each of the games was fun and simple to play. The built-in editor allowed the addition of photo frames, stamps and funny faces to a photo. Pictures and videos can easily be loaded to a computer using a mini B USB cable, although unfortunately it is not included.

But, the real challenge for any product such as this is to test it with some kids. We assembled a group of six youngsters, ranging in age from 3 to 9 years old. They each took turns with the camera, after receiving minimal instructions. Both photos and videos were taken, limited only by the available space on the internal memory. We played the included games and added special effects to many of the photos as well.

The kids loved the camera. The older children quickly understood all of the activities available and put the "Kidizoom" through its paces. The photos were as expected from a camera offering just 1.3 MP, and the videos included sound. Outdoor shots were much sharper than those taken indoors. There was lots of laughter when using the editor and adding the photo frames and faces.

The youngest in the group could take the photos without any problems, but had trouble using some of the more creative features (effects for example) without some adult assistance. Not surprisingly, the camera was accidentally dropped on a tile floor, but without incident, due to the solid rubber protective ends on the camera.

The "Kidizoom" is without a doubt, a quality kid camera. It is functional, cute, and easy to use, and priced at $39.99, it is a bargain. Go to Amazon.com to see a close up view of this product from Vtech. There is also a nifty carrying case available for the "Kidizoom" camera for $19.99, and for those wanting the ultimate from Vtech, check out the "Kidizoom Plus" model, with more memory, more games and a higher picture resolution.
-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Electronics

ToysBulletin.com Announces its Best Toys and Games List for 2011

THE BEST OF 2011 FROM TOYS BULLETIN

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

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

Geocaching

According to the official website, “Geocaching” (pronounced geo-cashing), is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. This has been around a few years, but it was new to this writer and probably new to many of the readers. Participants place a “geocache” in a hidden location and then others, using GPS technology, try to find the location, and the “treasure.”

To get started, you look for a geocache from a list that is nearby your zip code. Then decide if you want an easy or difficult adventure. Next, head out on the trail, armed with your GPS

Posted in Electronics, Outdoor

Wow Wee Paper Jamz Thin Instruments

Pretty amazing price on these electronic "thin instruments" from Wow Wee. You can play with popular songs, do karaoke or freestyle on your own. Sound quality is surprisingly decent and the versatility make them a pretty cool toy for a wide variety of ages.

To really get a feel for what these offer check out this video. They also make amps, drums, and a few different guitar styles to choose from.
Posted in Electronics








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