Blog Archives

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

Cuddle Barn – Plush and Much More reviews a pair of musical plush toys from Cuddle Barn.

Cuddle Barn 1Want to dance with a new stuffed toy? Well, we found some great products to get you started. “Cuddle Barn” designs stuffed toys with sounds and music that will surely get you a toe tappin’. Today, we will review in detail both “Party Parry,” and “Trooper,” two of our personal favorites.

“Party Parry” is a 10 inch red and yellow parrot who sings and dances to the sound of “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora).” She comes dressed ready to party and hit the salsa dance floor with colorful purple, red, and pink feathers that even sway as she dances. On top of her head, she wears a straw hat filled with a cloth banana, lime and apple. Her beak is cleverly designed to move exactly to the words of the music so she appears to be realistically singing. She is simply a delight to watch, and we are certain that she will please even the smallest child. “Party Parry” is recommended for ages 2 years old and up, but our staff here at Toys Bulletin had her performing every time they passed her by. She retails for $34.99, and can be purchased directly from the Cuddle Barn website. To really appreciate the sounds of “Party Parry,” scroll down from that link, and watch a great video of her performance.


Posted in Baby and Toddler, Doll, Figures

Crash Test Lab – Can “Impact Jack” Survive a Crash? reviews an interesting new toy from SmartLab Toys.

Crash Test Lab 1A Crash Test Dummy now comes to life right in your own home, with the release of “Crash Test Lab” from SmartLab Toys. This 23 piece set was designed for ages 8 years old and up, and allows kids to actually build a crash cart, position a dummy called “Impact Jack” right in the drivers seat and then test their creation to see if Jack is properly protected from harm.

The “Crash Test Lab” includes a chassis with 4 rubber tires, various rails, posts and bumpers, along with a seat, head restraint and even seat belts. And let’s not forget the most important component, “Impact Jack,” who measures 9 inches in height and, of course, sports his own protective helmet. To get things started, the crash cart must first be assembled and there are several options as to which accessories to include. For example, there is an optional roll cage that can be added to safeguard Jack even more.


Posted in Building, Figures, Vehicles

Kylo Ren – An Amazing Interactive Star Wars Figure

Kylo Ren takes a close look at a new kind of animatronic interactive figure from Thinkway Toys.

As many of you know, Kylo Ren is the newest villain in the latest installment of the Star Wars movie series, “The Force Awakens.” And just in time for the holidays, Thinkway Toys has released a 17″ deluxe edition of this character complete with an actual real time Lightsaber and voice effects. The Kylo Ren figure is fully cloaked in a black cape and hood, and he carries a most unique Lightsaber, featuring the seldom seen crossguard blades. He requires 3 AAA batteries, and once installed he is ready for action.


Posted in Figures

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

My Friend Teddy – Customize Your Own Cuddly Teddy Bear

My Friend Teddy looks at a new interactive Teddy Bear from Genesis Toys.

“My Friend Teddy” is a soft squeezable Teddy Bear that measures just under 12″ tall in a seated position. Our review Teddy featured tan fur, a blue short-sleeved shirt, brown eyes, brown nose and a cute tuft of golden hair atop his head. The most exciting thing about “My Friend Teddy” is that he can be customized to speak, tell stories, play games and memorize lots of facts input by its owner. Here’s how to set things up……


Posted in Baby and Toddler, Doll, Electronics, Figures, Learning

A Toys Bulletin Quick Look : Toy Boarders

toyboarders looks at some action sports figures from “AJ’s Toy Boarders.”

There is no doubt that kids love to play with small miniature figures of all kinds. “AJ’s Toy Boarders” has released a series of such figures featuring action poses of snowboarders, skateboarders and surfers, which we believe are among the first in the industry. Each type of rider comes in 8 different poses, and are sold in packages of 24 figures each. Every figure measures approximately 1½”-2″ in height and all are green in color, sort of reminding you of the toy soldiers of yesteryear.


Posted in Figures

More Wind-Up Toys for Kids of Every Age

Zwindups finds even more clever wind-up toys.

We reviewed several wind-up toys from “Z Windups” back on 6 April 2015 (see our review), and the response was so favorable that we just had to share a few more of their products with our readers. Last time, we looked at three different design categories, and today, we are going to look at three more.

Zwindups 2aFirst up is the line of “Z Windups,” maybe more of a standard design category, but each one of the wind-ups is so unique in its movement. We looked at “Scamper,” a squirrel balancing an acorn above its head, spinning and jumping, all while wagging its tale and moving his legs as fast as he can. Then we play tested “Skippy,” a monkey who skipped roped, wiggled his ears and moved in a circle while jumping. Both of these wind-ups measured approximately 3½” high and featured translucent plastic bodies showing the inner workings of the wind-ups. No batteries are needed to operate the wind-ups, just a quick turn of the small red knob, and the wind-up is up and going. “Scamper” and “Skippy” each retail for $4.95 each.


Posted in Figures

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