toy review

  • Deal Yourself a Puzzle with the Rubik’s Battle Card Game!

    Rubik's Battle Card Game Collage

    For 40 years, puzzlers have wrestled with the most challenging puzzle to solve: The Rubik’s Cube. Now, families can enjoy the perplexing fun of Rubik’s with a fast-paced card game that challenges players' quick-thinking skills: Rubik’s Battle Card Game! It's a classic game of war with a Rubik's spin!

    Can you think fast on your feet? Can you identify color differences quickly? Can you Show It, Spot It, and Shout It?  Then you have the skills to play Rubik’s Battle Card Game.

    Rubik’s Battle is easy to learn and play; the rounds go quickly, so the game is not long lasting.  Kids will have fun building their problem solving and social interaction skills. This game is great for 2–4 players, ages 7+.

    Let’s play a couple of hands. Imagine there are 3 players. All 60 cards are dealt to the participants, then everyone simultaneously flips over their first card, featuring a familiar Rubik’s Cube color grid. The challenge is to identify a color either unique to your card, or common to all cards in play except yours. No peeking at the answer (at the bottom of this post).

    Hand 1: Which player has a card with a unique color, and what is the color?

    Three Rubik's Battle Cards - Hand 1 Example

     

    Warning! You can’t just shout out an incorrect color, or you will be penalized by having to give your opponents a card from your pile.

    Hand 2: Which player has the only card WITHOUT colors appearing on every other card, and what is that color? Again, no peeking.

    Three Rubik's Battle Cards - Hand 2 Example

     

    The real excitement begins when two players flip over the exact same card. When this happens, the first to shout out “Rubik’s Battle” wins all the other player’s cards, and that player is out of the game.  The player to collect all the Rubik’s Battle Cards wins the game!

    Rubik’s Battle Card Game is perfect for family game night!  If your family enjoys fast-paced, challenging fun, this is the game for you.

    Let the Rubik’s Battle begin!

    P.S. Don’t forget about all the other great Rubik’s games. Check out Rubik’s Race, Rubik’s Build It, Solve It and of course the Original Rubik’s Cube.

    Collage of Rubik's Race, Build it Solve it and Cube

    Hand 1 Answer:

    Hand 1 Answer

     

    Hand 2 Answer:

    Hand 2 Answer
  • The Magic of Magnets: Why You Need Magformers in Your Life [Top Toy Review]

    Magnets are magical.

    At least, they seem so to young children.

    Hold a paper clip near a magnet, and it flies toward it. Hold two opposing magnets near each other, and they seem to hover.

    Magnets are great for encouraging children’s curiosity about the physical world. What are different objects made of? What are metals, and what does it mean to be metal, as opposed to wood or plastic? How much paper can I hold on the refrigerator with a single magnet, and why? With Magformers, children can safely enjoy exploring magnets while building 3-D creations from flat geometric shapes. Cylindrical magnets are encased in each side of the plastic triangles, squares, hexagons and other shapes, and each side of each piece sticks to any other piece. They’re one of our Spring Top Toys!

     

    In addition to learning about magnetic properties, Magformers help children develop spatial thinking: the ability to picture the location of objects, their shapes and their positions as they move. By creating 3-D objects from the flat magnetic pieces, Magformers help kids understand and manipulate the elements of a structure. “Spatial thinking is associated with skill and interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as well as art, graphic design and architecture.” —Nora S. Newcombe, Ph.D., What Does “Spatial Thinking” Mean?, learnnow.org

    The sets come with diagrams to help kids get started with their 3-D shapes. Once they get the hang of it, they’ll be building castles, airplanes, towers, or whatever they can imagine.

     

    Magformers construction sets come in various color schemes and are great for kids 3+ (but better suited for 5 to 6+). For the child who loves cars or electronics, the Magformers Walking Robot Set and Magformers XL Cruisers Set include a walking mechanism or wheels to set your creations in motion. They're also great building toys for younger children (with supervision). Since any side of a piece can attach to any other side, it's easy for preschoolers to grasp the concept and start building quickly.

    So pick up some Magformers, and see what you can create!

    Enjoy!

  • 5 Retro Toys That Are Making a Comeback (Or Never Left!)

    My husband and I are expecting our first baby this month, and it has been so much fun to buy our baby-to-be gifts that remind us of our own childhoods: books we remember reading like Pat the Bunny, Winnie the Pooh cartoons, and Peter Rabbit room décor. We can’t wait for when our daughter is old enough to enjoy some of the same toys we did as kids, too!

    Retro toys can help us connect to our kids and remind them that we, too, were once young. We love that so many great toys have stood the test of time – and some are more popular than ever before!

    Here are 5 retro toys that are making a comeback (or never left):

    1. Simon

    Simon, the electronic memory game from the late 1970s and 80s, is still entertaining kids today while helping them sharpen their memory skills. The battery-powered game is shaped liked a flying disc with four large buttons: green, red, blue and yellow. Simon lights up the buttons in a specific order that the player must repeat, with progressive difficulty. Each button lights up and makes a unique tone when pressed – the same classic sounds I remember from childhood! The only upgrade is that the buttons are now touch-sensitive instead of physical, clunky plastic buttons.

    1. Rubik’s Cube

    This puzzle toy, invented in 1974, has fascinated generations! The Rubik’s Cube is a 3x3 cube the player twists and rotates to match up the colored tiles on each side. The puzzle has exploded in popularity with a sport called “speedcubing,” a worldwide phenomenon with many official and unofficial competitions. Today’s version has fully-plastic tiles, so there are no more peeling and fading stickers (and no cheating)!

    Pac-Man Mini Arcade Game
    1. Pac-Man

    The arcade game Pac-Man was first released in 1980, and quickly became one of the most famous video games of all time. The yellow, pizza-shaped Pac-Man character navigates a maze, eating pellets and fruit and being chased by ghosts. Many versions of this game exist today, including the Pac-Man Mini Retro Arcade Game. This portable game brings home the nostalgia of an arcade cabinet while being just 6 inches tall!

    Lincoln Log House
    1. Lincoln Logs

    Believe it or not, Lincoln Logs are celebrating their 100th anniversary! Named for President Abraham Lincoln (and the log cabin he was born in), Lincoln Logs are miniature notched, wooden logs for building structures. The 100th Anniversary Tin includes 111 all-wood logs and all pieces are made in the USA.

    1. Spirograph

    Spirograph is the geometric drawing toy that has helped kids make mesmerizing works of art since 1965. Place a pen tip in one gear, hold the anchor gear to your paper, and use the pen to turn the gear around and around as you draw. Soon you’ll have an incredible curve design! Today, Spirograph is better than ever, with a variety of updated features to make it easier to use. Many of our design kits include Spiro-putty, which holds the anchor gear in place. The Spirograph Cyclex and Spirograph Junior kits keep the gears self-contained within a plastic frame to prevent slipping. There are options for all ages (3 and up)!

    In a world of smartphones, virtual reality games and other cutting-edge technology, there’s something satisfying about pulling out these retro toys and watching kids enjoy them. Try your hand at these too – it’s amazing how quickly it comes back.

    Cheers to the toys of decades past!

    Becki