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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

Lazer Stunt Chaser – With Light Control Technology

Thinkway Trading Corp. has come up with a new twist on remote control vehicles. Instead of the standard steering wheel or joystick controlling vehicle movement back and forth, they have designed a remote control that emits a bright infrared light that can be shined anywhere near the vehicle to control movement.

For example, if the light is in front of the car, it will go forward, if the light is behind the car, it will go backward, and if the light is next to the car, it will turn. Everything can be done simply and quickly with just a light. There is a trigger on the remote that emits the light and easily guides the car, and also buttons on the back to use for longer range movement instead of the trigger.

The manufacturer suggests that the long range buttons will control the vehicle up to 40 feet. The buttons do not use the light control technology, only the trigger.

The set we tested was the "Lazer Stunt Chaser," with a Dragonfire race car. The Dragonfire car is charged by a battery pack that requires 6 AA batteries, while the remote control requires 2 AA batteries. It takes about 30-60 minutes to fully charge the car. Playtime with a fully charged car is approximately 20 minutes. The batteries are not included.

A stunt ramp is also included with the "Lazer Stunt Chaser." This ramp can be set at different angles, and the car will actually flip up and over the ramp, or you can drive the car over preset bumps. There is no right side up for the vehicle, so it continues to race around even when turned upside down. The ramp action is set in motion by aiming the infrared light directly at the ramp.

We next assembled a focus group of 4 kids, ages 5-8 (3 boys and one girl). We kept the group small, as we knew we only had about 5 minutes per kid before recharging might be necessary. We cleared a 20 foot area on a tile floor, explained the remote control, which was basically as simple as pointing a flashlight, and set up the ramp against the wall.

I don't think the kids could believe it, and neither could the astonished parents standing nearby. The car was extremely fast (scale speed of 300 mph), and the youngsters had complete control by simply pointing a light.

We also darkened the room for a portion of the time. The cars displayed bold lights from both top and bottom, and from all 4 wheels, creating an amazing light show. Every kid was upset when their allotted time was up. This was clearly one of our most enthusiastic focus groups in some time with unanimous thumbs up from the kids and their parents. Thinkway has created something special in the world of remote control vehicles.

The demand for the "Lazer Stunt Chaser" is extremely high. The price is hard to pinpoint but should be in the range of $35.00-$55.00. It can be purchased at Amazon.com.
--RJ Cullen
Posted in Remote Control

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

Fun Fly Stick by Unitech – A Magic Wand with Special Powers

The "Fun Fly Stick" is basically a very clever levitation device. With the popularity of the "Harry Potter" books and movies, kids will consider this a magic wand with special powers.

The "Fun Fly Stick" measures 19 inches long and comes with five very fragile tinsel or foil flyers. The special power is called "electrostatic." By rotating the wand, the flyers float through the air at your command, changing directions and defying the laws of gravity. There is a ten page instruction manual and you supply two AA batteries.

The recommendation on this is for those 10 years old and up, due to the fragility of the flyers.  Adults are buying these as fast as the kids, as they are popping up in offices across the country.
There is something very relaxing about seeing these flyers levitate, and I can personally vouch for  my strange addiction to the "Fun Fly Stick.

Visit
amazon.com to buy it for less than $20.00, and just go ahead and buy the "Fun Flyers refill 5 pack ($4.95) at the same time," because you will damage the original tinsel flyers. Also, check out the demonstration videos below on "You Tube" to see the "Fun Fly Stick" really do some tricks.

Video 1
Video 2

-- RJ Cullen
Posted in Learning, Remote Control

Hot Wheels RC Stealth Rides

Mattel has always been successful with its Hot Wheels vehicles and race sets. Now they have pushed the envelope once again, introducing one of the top toys for Christmas 2010.

The new Hot Wheels RC Stealth Ride vehicles are foldable racing cars that measure a bit less than 3 inches in length. They actually fold flat and fit into a slim carrying case, which easily fits into a youngster's pocket. The case doubles as a miniature remote control devise as well, allowing the car to race, turn and spin.

To get things started, simply slide the car out of the case, and press the transformation button, which returns the car to its normal size. Then, using the small case as the remote control, push buttons, or combinations of buttons, and put the car through its paces. The remote has a range of about 15 feet. There is a slight drawback to this item, and it must be mentioned.
Each vehicle takes 3 button cell batteries, and the remote takes 2 button cell batteries. The battery life equates to about 45 minutes of playing time. This reviewer stocks lots of AA and AAA batteries, but not many button cells.

Although each new Hot Wheels RC Stealth Ride vehicle provides some batteries, they will likely be used up before noon on Christmas morning. Buyers may want to stock up on AG13 button cell batteries. The price is cheap, about $2.50 for 10, or buy as many as 100 for $7.50 or so.

There are currently 5 different models or colors to choose from, including a very sleek looking Batmobile Tumbler. Each Hot Wheels RC Stealth Ride vehicle retails for around $32.00, and are intended for kids 8 years old and up. Check them out and watch a video at www.amazon.com.

Silver Rated........not Gold because of those darn batteries. -- RJ Cullen
Posted in Remote Control, Vehicles

SCX Pit Box Digital Racing System

Most every kid had some kind of remote controlled race track when they were young. The cars ran in single lanes, and in most cases flew off the track more than was desired. It was an analog system, and it was not very reliable.

Well, recently Slot Car Racing entered the new era of Digital Technology. With digital, cars can increase speed, torque and holding power. They can change lanes, while being individually controlled. Multiple players can race multiple cars all in the same lane, and now because of these digital chips, cars simulate pit stops, refueling and some sets even force repairs.

The SCX set being reviewed here is not your typical introductory set; this is one of the newer digital racing systems on the market. It is intended for those 6+ in age, and the set retails for $429.99. We plan to review additional competing brands of slot racing sets in the very near future.

Attached is a link to “Slot Car Illustrated,” which provides a video of the system in action. Go to the “SCX Digital Overview” video toward the bottom left of the page and see what this system offers.  The system can be bought at Amazon.com.
-- RJ Cullen



Posted in Remote Control

Air Hogs Moto Frenzy Remote Controlled Stunt Bike

This is a pretty neat little concept for only $24.99. This Christmas is really shaping up to be high tech and value centric, as you can see by this inexpensive remote controlled motocross bike as well as some of the other toys we've looked at recently such as Paper Jamz and the Havoc Heli.

The Air Hogs Moto Frenzy is a mini motocross bike that can pop wheelies and pull other stunts. For the price, it's not a bad bet.
Posted in Remote Control, Vehicles








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