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Ickee Stikeez – Crazy New Collectibles


Legend says that 111,111,111 years ago, the Ickeez arrived unexpectedly on Earth. They crash landed and spread on impact across the planet. Now, they are suddenly coming back together again, and kids ages 4 and over can collect them.
Each "Ickee Stikeez" is a small squishy alien figure that comes in its own pod (PODZ).  There are currently 24 different characters available in series 1, being released now, each having its own name and personality.  They come in assorted colors and all have suction cup bottoms.  You can stick them anywhere and unstick them just as quickly.  They are cute, they are ugly and I think kids will like collecting these tiny characters.  They measure approximately 1" in height, and 1/2' in both width and depth, and they can also be connected to each other for even more fun.  There is a warning on the packaging regarding a possible choking hazard to youngsters under 3 years old, because of the small size. 

We invited a group of kids ages 3 to 8 to take a look at our collection of  "Ickee Stikeez."  We placed 15 different characters on a table, with several already stuck to the surface, and the remainder still in the PODZ.  The kids rushed to them, and immediately pulled them from the table and starting comparing the different characters and colors.  They opened the PODZ with ease, since we had already removed a small piece of clear protective tape from each.   The youngsters all wanted to take them home and the parents wanted more information on availability and pricing.  Overall, "Ickee Stikeez" was a bit hit for sure.

A single "Ickee Stikeez" can be purchased for $1.25, and a triple pack costs $2.99.  The triple pack also includes 3 collector COINZ.  On the reverse side of each, there is a QR code that can be scanned by a smart-phone, and reveals a number that can be entered at www.ickeez.com for additional content.  We checked this out and it provided a special ring-tone, wallpaper and additional photos of that character.  The "Toys Bulletin" staff had a fun time with "Ickee Stikeez" as well.  As I write this, I see several stuck to the tops of our desktop computers.

"Ickee Stikeez" is another fine product from Zing Toys, Inc., and they can be purchased at specialty toys stores everywhere.  For a closer look, also watch this fun video.
-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Figures

Go! Go! Sports Girls – Dolls with Personality



Back on October 25, 2010, Toys Bulletin compared two of the best selling doll lines, that being "Barbie" and "Bratz." Well, it appears that they both have some new competition.

"Go! Go! Sports Girls" are a new line of dolls from the "Dream Big Toy Company."  They are the creation of Jodi Norgaard, and the dolls have already won several awards and been featured in national magazines and on radio, as well as the Today Show on NBC.

Each doll features a sports related theme, including soccer, basketball, softball, golf, swimming, dancing, gymnastics, tennis and running.  The dolls themselves stand 14" tall, and each is wearing attire appropriate to their sport.  You won't see any makeup or other suggestive clothing on any of these dolls.  Instead, these dolls seem to bring a breath of fresh air and a fun healthy feeling with them when you first see and hold one.  It is hard to describe. 

We tested three of the dolls with our children's focus group, Cassie, the Soccer Girl, Kate, the Basketball Girl and M.C., the Dancer Girl.  As was expected, young girls ran immediately to these dolls.  They held them,hugged them and kissed them, and did not want to let them go.  They ran their hands through their hair 
and looked in the backpack, which was included with every doll.  The accessory backpacks each contained towels and in the case of Cassie and Kate, there was also a soccer ball and basketball, respectively.  The girls that could read also enjoyed finding a hidden message on the tummy of each of the "Go! Go! Sports Dolls.  For example, the tummy message on Kate, the Basketball Girl read "Dream Big, Swish it."  Even hair colors and hair styles differed between dolls making each one unique in its own way. 
 
The thinking behind these dolls is to let little girls be little girls.  The "Go! Go! Sports Girls" promote a healthy lifestyle with a loving package that is soft, flexible and always features a smiling face.  We found these dolls most appealing to those ages 3 years and older, and you can take a closer look at the complete line by visiting Amazon.com.  The dolls retail for $19.99, and each would make a perfect gift for that special little girl in your life.

We give the "Go! Go! Sports Girls" line of dolls our highest "Gold Rating."

-- RJ Cullen
*Gold Rating*

Posted in Figures, Girls

Rubbabu – Safe, Fun Toys for Young Children


We at Toys Bulletin recently came across an award winning toymaker called "Rubbabu." They basically manufacture toys out of very strong rubber foam, and each is covered with nylon flock sourced from Switzerland, which creates a very smooth satin like surface. In addition, they are anti microbial, dust, mite and mildew resistant, as well as hypo-allergenic and flame retardant.

They can be cleaned with a simple wet damp cloth, and the foam surface can also be spruced up with a soft brush.  "Rubbabu" does remind parents that this is not a teething toy, as small children could bite the rubber foam.

Their product line includes an extensive line of cars, animals, boats, airplanes, puzzles, playsets, and even swords and shields, just to name a few.  Every item is brightly colored and each has been created by world renown Indian designer Arunkumar H.G.

We were so excited about these toys that we are providing three back to back reviews covering multiple items within the entire"Rubbabu" product line.  This is a first for Toys Bulletin.



Rubbabu: Vehicles Review

In this review, we are going to look at "The Pink Ambulance," "Cleanupper, the Dump Truck,""Charles the Airplane" and the "Torino Racer." Each of these is intended for ages 0 and up, so these can be given to very small children.

Our focus group enjoyed playing with each of these toys. The favorite was probably "Cleanupper, the Dump Truck," because of the ability to raise and lower the bed of the truck. Each was neatly designed, with four foam wheels attached to plastic axles. They each rolled easily on hard surfaces and even carpeting. Because of the soft rubber foam, they simply bounced off walls and furniture with no damage to the toys or to the house.

They were also very light and easy to pick up and maneuver around, something the parents noticed right away. The basic size of each did vary but none were much longer than 8" and the height of the larger sizes was around 5". The "Torino Racer" was longer and shorter but matched the intended profile of a sleek racing car. Most of these toys come in several different sizes as well, ranging from small up to large.

Based on the smiles we observed on the kid's faces, and the satisfying look of their parents, we highly recommend any and all of the "Rubbabu" vehicles without reservation. The vehicles can be bought at Amazon.com, and depending on the desired size, look for retail prices between $8.00 and $25.00. This group of "Rubbabu" toys receives our highest "Gold Rating."

-- RJ Cullen
*Gold Rating*



Posted in Figures, Vehicles

Zibbies Danielle Duck by Play Visions: Not Your Average Plush Animal Toy

Back in 1990 three high school buddies teamed up to create a novelty toy business. They went about designing their own line of toys with an emphasis on the unusual.

The Company was called "Play Visions" and they have created a very successful line of toys. In 2005, "Play Visions" acquired "Cascade Toy," a well known manufacturer of plush toys. The folks at "Play Vision" wanted to give the old "Cascade Toy" line their own special twist. An example of this "twist" is their line of "Zibbies."

I believe the "Zibbies-Danielle Duck" may have been one of the first examples of this new line of plush animal toys.
They  are extremely cute, unusual and particularly pleasing to youngsters.  They feature "Hyper-Flex hair, which is made to grab, stretch and pull.  I have thrown it, sat on it, left it outside in cold weather, and the "Zibbies-Danielle Duck" looks as good as new.  

The "Zibbies-Danielle Duck" weighs just 7 ounces, and is perfect for little ones 3-7 years old. The creativity displayed in the "Zibbie" line is unique in the industry, and I recommend you owning at least one of these fine plush animals.  Most of the "Zibbies" retail for just $9.99, and can be found at Amazon.com.

There are many styles in the "Zibbie" line, including "Antonie-the Tiger," "Fenwick-the Toucan,""Lady Bug Zibbie," and "Turtle Zibbie." The latest addition is a bit larger at 18" (yet retails for just $14.99), called "Frizzill-the large Red-Eyed Tree Frog."  
This is a winning toy at a bargain price. It'll earn a Bronze Rating.
-- Andrew Joseph
Posted in Figures

The Sing-A-Ma-Jigs by Fisher Price

I have received countless e-mails asking why "Toys Bulletin" has not reviewed "Sing-A-Ma-Jigs" yet? Well, the answer is simple, they just didn't appeal to me at first glance. However, I was very wrong. Because of the reader mail, I took a second look. "Sing-A-Ma-Jigs" is a series of very cute plush bear like animals that have some special features.

They can do much more than simply sit on your lap. In fact, there are three modes of play, chatter, song or harmonize. Modes are changed by simply squeezing their hands and bellies. There are numerous versions of "Sing-A-Ma-Jigs," and each sings its own song, and can even harmonize with a second or third one, should you own several "Sing-A-Ma-Jigs."
Honestly, the most fun is watching the mouth actually move as the "Sing-A-Ma-Jig" goes through its antics.  You can even see the tongue and teeth inside the mouth.  It only requires 2 AA batteries, which are included, and the suggested age on this 
one has quite a range, from 3 years old to 6 years old.  My wife couldn't put them down.  I have to tell the truth, we have bought 5 of them as gifts so far, and we know this will be an instant hit at your house.

"Sing-A-Ma-Jigs" are selling out quickly, and the price varies considerably.  Look for them in the range of $10-$25.  They are highly collectible, and you can watch a great video and buy them at www.amazon.com .
Silver Award

-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Figures

“Calico Critters” Cozy Cottage Starter Set

This is another group of toys that are in very high demand leading up to Christmas 2010.

“Calico Critters” of Cloverleaf Corners are small miniature animals that are soft to touch and made with remarkable detail. They live in matching small homes, each filled with appropriate furniture and accessories. It struck this reviewer as sort of a dollhouse for animals. But having said that, this product and the critters themselves are of extremely high quality.

This starter set includes a 2 story, 2 room cottage, with 1 rabbit figure and lots of furniture. It is also worth noting that the cottage is fully assembled and ready to go. It was also surprising to see that the recommended age on this item and all other “Calico Critter” toys was 3 to 7 years old.
Posted in Figures

WowWee Fin Fin Friends Playset

This one will get your attention. How would your child like to have a fish that Seems to truly come alive, when they interact with motion, sound and lights.

With Fin Fin Friends, you can watch your fish evolve and develop different personalities and behaviors. There is even fish food to feed your new fish. The fish may be shy at first and even hide from you, but over time it will surprise your children with its ever changing emotions. A starter playset will retail at $39.99.

This is a hot toy that is disappearing off the shelves very quickly. Read more and check them out at www.amazon.com. — Lance Manion


Posted in Figures

Squinkies Gumball Surprise Playhouse

It appears that “Squinkies” may be the top selling and most in-demand toy for Christmas 2010. “Squinkies” are soft little plush figures that fit in the palm of your hand. They come in a special plastic bubble container and each one contains a new figure inside. They are highly collectible, and kids love to trade them with each other. Currently, there are more than 100 different figures to collect.

This is one of several “Squinkies” playsets that can make “Squinkies” even more fun. This comes with 9 “Squinkies,” and when you insert a coin into the slot and turn the handle, out pops the fun.
Posted in Figures








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