Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Schedule

Everyone at and will be heading home over the next few days to visit family, friends and celebrate the holidays. Posting here on the blog and our websites will be a little light but we will check in with the occasional update.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at and and thank you for joining us in 2009. We look forward to a great 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Toy Guy on Tour

Monday, December 21, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

It's just a few days until Christmas so you won't see too many new games in the stores this week. Of the handful arriving, one worth mentioning is Guitar Hero: Van Halen (PS2, PS3, Xbox360, Wii. Rated Teen), In Guitar Hero: Van Halen, you can live out the experience of performing as one of the biggest rock bands of all time. See if you have what it takes to keep up with Eddie Van Halen's revolutionary guitar playing or David Lee Roth's unique performance style as you savor all the hot licks and scissor kicks that have helped this band achieve legendary status.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Toy Guy on Live With Regis & Kelly

Chris Byrne, The Toy Guy, was on Live With Regis & Kelly this morning, sharing some great toys that all cost $20 or less. You can check out the list below (in order of appearance) and all the toys should still be available in stores and online.

HOST CHAT- The item Kelly and Anderson were playing with:

Cadaco Boom Ball Sling Shot
6 and up


Fisher Price Chatter Phone
12 months and up
Basic Fun

Classic Mr. Potato Head
2 and up

The Princess and the Frog Kissing Frog Dolls
3 and up
Disney Store

FurReal Friends Newborns
4 and up

Giant Pipe Cleaner Party
4 and up
Alex Toys

4 and up
Spin Master

Etch-A-Sketch Freestyle
3 and up
Ohio Art

Connect 4X4
8 and up

Splashy The Whale
5 and up
Pressman Toys


GX Racers Super Jump
6 and up
Jakks Pacific

6 and up
10 Vox Entertainment

Battle Strikers
6 and up
Mega Brands

11.99- 19.99

EA Sports Sweet Spot Baseball
5 and up
Toy Island

Maui Holiday Balls
6 and up
Maui Toys

Nerf N-Force Marauder Long Swords
8 and up

Friday, December 11, 2009

Want To Win A Zhu-Zhu Pet?

Chris Byrne, aka The Toy Guy, is giving away his very own Zhu-Zhu Pet today on MomTV. Tune into Time To Play With Jim & Chris on MomTV at 1pm (EST) and join the chat for your chance to win Chris' Zhu-Zhu Pet and more!

To watch MomTV, just click here or visit

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Toy Guy on!

Chris Byrne, the Toy Guy, wrote a guest blog post on, "a little something for everyone".

Here's an excerpt from Chris's post, titled "Only Got A Sawbuck? Go Shopping! Great Gift Ideas For $10 and Under":

"Okay, the $10 bill probably hasn’t been called a “sawbuck” for a long time, but that’s what my grandfather always used to call them when he’d slip me one. Seemed like a fortune at the time.

When it comes to buying toys, $10 still goes a long way. In fact, the average toy in the U.S. is only about $10 still. When you factor in all the $0.99 Hot Wheels Cars, boxes of crayons and more, you’ll see that ten bucks can go a long way."
You can read the entire post with a list of some great toys for $10 and less by visiting or by clicking here!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The People's Play Awards

If American families were given the chance to create their own ’Wish List’ of toys and games for the holiday season, which playthings would make the cut? answers that question by revealing the winners of the 2009 People’s Play Awards! Following is the list of toys and games that made ’America's Wish List’ for the 2009 holiday season.

The People's Play Awards gave the public a forum to select the toys and games they are hoping to receive this holiday season. Nominees in the fourteen categories were carefully reviewed and selected by the Time to Play editorial team headed by Jim Silver, editor in chief, and Chris Byrne, content director aka The Toy Guy®. Visitors to the website were encouraged to vote throughout October and November of this year.

And the winners are!

Activity Toys: Girl Gourmet Sweets Candy Jewelry Factory - Jakks Pacific

Boy's Action: Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid - Spinmaster

Cars, Trucks, Trains: Hot Wheels Super Jump Raceway - Mattel

Construction Toys: LEGO Star Wars - LEGO

Dolls: Barbie Fashionistas - Mattel

Educational Toys: Tag Junior - LeapFrog

Electronics: Disney Netpal - Disney and ASUS

Games: Mindflex - Mattel

Girl's Toys: Zhu Zhu Pets - Cepia

Preschool/Infant Toys: Manny's Repair Shop - Fisher-Price

Radio Control: Air Hogs Laser Zero Gravity - Spin Master

Sports/Active Toys: Nerf N-Strike Raider Rapid Fire CS-35 - Hasbro

Tech Toys: EyeClops Night Vision Goggles - Jakks Pacific

Video Games: Wii Sports Resort - Nintendo

To see the list with pictures as well as all the nominees, please visit the official People's Play Awards page at

The Toy Guy on Seattle Mom On The Go

Chris Byrne, the Toy Guy, wrote a guest blog post on Seattle Mom On The Go, a blog about being a "green" mom in Seattle.

Here's an excerpt from Chris's post, titled "Green Toys For Eco-Conscious Families"

"Green is one of the traditional Christmas colors, but“green” in the eco-sense is not something always instantly associated with the holiday. Parents and gift givers who have committed themselves to living green often approach the holiday with frustration. From plastic to packaging, they look at the amount of stuff that comes along with the holidays, and shudder."

You can read the entire post with some great "green" toy suggestions at Seattle Mom On The Go by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Review: Tracksters

Manufacturer: 10 Vox Entertainment

Brand: Tracksters

Age Recommendation: 6 and up

MSRP: $14.99

Intro Year: 2009

No question, web-enhanced toys are major players in the toy box. And while they're not, strictly speaking, new, these toys are becoming more sophisticated - and delivering better play - with each passing year.

That's one of the reasons we're so excited about Tracksters. In the package you get a very high quality 1:46 scale die-cast metal car. They have a substantial weight and well-deigned fast axles that make them superior for play and collecting.

But that's just the beginning. Each car also comes with a unique code that allows players to unlock the world of There, players can customize the online versions of their cars and race them.

The web site is truly remarkable. Excellent graphics, fast loading, exciting tracks and hours of interactive play, in a completely safe environment for kids. (COPA compliant) At the same time, they can race other cars through the online connection in a variety of environments.

There are also Track Packs that can be purchased separately. Each includes 7 cards that can add special features to the cars to improve performance or open up other parts of the world.

There are many things that are truly positive about this. First, kids are engaging in two complementary but distinct modes of play. There's the collection and play with die-cast cars that kids will really enjoy. That's classic play that no amount of technology is ever going to displace.

The online component is rich and engaging with many features that are designed for the kids (and older guys) who love cars and racing. The graphics are superior for this kind of play, and it truly reflects the investment of the developers.

More importantly, the universe of Tracksters is growing all the time, and nobody had done a better site for vehicle play that encompasses such diverse activities.

There are a couple of things to be aware of. You can buy a die-cast car for about a buck, and nearly every boy has a bucket of them. However, these cars (made for the Tracksters folks by Jada) are really high quality. Also, you're unlocking the entire world of the web, and when you compare the richness of the gameplay to any basic video game (PS 1 and handhelds, for example), you'll be impressed by the quality.

Secondly, though this site does work with Macs, you have to boot your Mac in Windows mode. It's a little clumsy the first time, but not terribly difficult. We got the best performance using it in a PC. The better your graphics card, the better you'll see all the action, too.

This company has been flying a little bit under the radar, but we're predicting that you're going to be hearing a lot about them in very short order, especially if you've got kids who love this kind of thing... or you do.

For more great toy and game reviews, please visit us at

Monday, November 30, 2009

Review: Elmo Tickle Hands

Manufacturer: Fisher-Price

Brand: Sesame Street

Age Recommendation: 2 and up

MSRP: $29.99

Intro Year: 2009

Put Elmo's Tickle Power in your childs hands with Elmo Tickle Hands from Fisher-Price!

These big, furry, red Elmo hands (featuring Elmo's friendly face on one side) allow your kids to tickle and dance just like Elmo does! The Tickle Hand gloves easily slide on to little hands and when Elmo's nose is pressed, the fun begins! When your child touches a surface to tickle, the Tickle Hands start to vibrate and move allowing your child to feel like he can tickle just like Elmo! But thats not all! Touch Elmo's nose again and its time to dance! Elmo will give instructions on how to do his brand new dance called, "The Tickle Hand Groove!" This new dance encourages kids to get moving and grooving!

The hands also come with an instructional DVD that teaches kids how to do the new dance step by step! The DVD features Elmo and his mystery friend! Your child will be tickling, wiggling and giggling in no time at all!

This Week's New Video Games

compiled by Jeff McKinney (follow me on Twitter)

Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Nintendo DS, Wii. rated Everyone)
In Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, players can play as Alvin and The Chipmunks (Alvin, Simon, Theodore) or The Chipettes (Brittany, Jeanette, Eleanor). Musical sparks ignite as they jet around the world, rock the house in 25 concert locations on Wii and 11 in the Nintendo DS version, and perform together in the ultimate concert finale. Featuring songs from the Grammy and American Music Award-winning Alvin and The Chipmunks library, the game lets players use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk or Nintendo DS stylus to keep the rhythm in the main game and in three mini-games.

Avatar: The Game (All game systems. rated Teen)
Step into a dazzling world from the imagination of James Cameron and take your stand in the battle to determine the fate of a civilization. James Cameron's Avatar: The Game allows you to step inside the world of the feature film and go deep into the heart of Pandora and its people. Choose to fight for either RDA or the Na'vi, arming yourself with any of dozens of customizable weapons and a variety of clan-specific skills. Acquire new skills as you advance through the game, giving your all in the epic battle for a planet and a people.

Space Station Tycoon (Nintendo Wii. rated Everyone 10+)
Follow the adventures of Shawn and Tam on an intergalactic journey through Pirate infested space, meteor fields, supernovas, and countless dangers as they seek out fame and fortune in the high-stakes world of Space Station management Station Tycoon is a fast paced, simulation game focusing on character interaction and humor, light puzzle solving, and customization in a free form, non-linear world.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Trio Building Set with Storage

Manufacturer: Fisher-Price

Brand: Trio

Age Recommendation: 3 and up

MSRP: $29.99

Intro Year: 2009

Fisher-Price's Trio building system is specially designed to make building easier for even the smallest of hands. Three "grow with me" building levels make building a snap. Kids can feel and hear the click when they've connected the building pieces and the pieces will stay together throughout play, only coming apart when kids are ready to take them apart. Each set can be built and rebuilt in a variety of ways, letting kids build whatever they can imagine! And the pieces from the different sets can be mixed and matched for even more imaginative building.

The Trio Building Set with Storage comes with bricks, sticks, and panels that click and hold together for big building play. The set comes in bright colors and includes custom parts such as figures, wheels and chassis, and a durable tub for convenient storage and portability. The storage bin lid also doubles as a building base! Kids can build suggested designs or use their imaginations to create something all their own! This 100-piece set is a great way to get kids started with the Trio building system.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Review: Shred Sled

Manufacturer: Shred Sled

Brand: Shred Sled

Age Recommendation: 8 and up

MSRP: $119.99

Intro Year: 2009

Are you ready to SHRED!? Start shredding in no time with the Shred Sled, the next generation caster board. The first 4-wheel, dual-deck inline caster board, the Shred Sled makes it smoother and easier to start carving up the streets. How it works: Shred Sled's two boards and flexible connector allow both boards to rotate around the vertical and horizontal axes so it's easy to maneuver the board. The best part is you don't even have to push off! For better control and traction, each deck has a grip surface to maximize traction and stability while the concave decks make for better foot control. The 4 x 80mm polyurethane wheels and ABEC-5 bearings are smoother and stronger than standard hardware and unlike other boards, rarely need to be replaced. Riding the Shred Sled feels like a combination of snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing and it's much easier to control than older 2-wheel generation boards. Great for strengthening the legs and waist muscles, Shred Sled encourages kids to get off the couch and get active outdoors. Available in black, blue or red. Weight: 8.7 lbs; Dimensions: 9.055"W x 32.87"L x 4.72". Be sure to wear a helmet and safety gear when using the Shred Sled.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Toys R Us Holiday Express

Here is the ad for the new Toys 'R' Us Holiday Express. Has anyone seen this in their mall yet?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Reviews: EyeClops Night Vision Goggles

Manufacturer: Jakks Pacific

Brand: EyeClops

Age Recommendation: 8 and up

MSRP: $59.99

Intro Year: 2009

For fans of the original EyeClops Night Vision Goggles, get ready for an improved, action-styled handheld design and the power to see with both eyes! Go into stealth mode as you sneak around in the dark, but still have the ability to see where you're going! The new handheld Night Vision Goggles allows visibility up to 50 feet in completely dark environments. Covert operations, nocturnal maneuvers-with EyeClops Night Vision Goggles, kids rule the night!

Thanks to advances in technology, Jakks has been able to redesign one of the coolest toys of 2008 into this new format that delivers all the play value, but costs $20 less. If you waited to buy this product last year, you're in luck. This is still one of the most fun items we've found for after-dark play.
Naturally, you'll want to set ground rules with your kids for how they use these and when and where they play.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Review: Ride & Learn Giraffe Bike

Manufacturer: VTech

Brand: Jungle Gym

Age Recommendation: 1.5 and up

MSRP: $49.99

Intro Year: 2009

Refresh the jungle of toys in your child's playroom with VTECH's Jungle Gym line. Products in this line are a smart way to give rambunctious toddlers active play because they provide an engaging experience with colorful animals and interactive features sure to tame any wild child. Inspired by mom's own exercise equipment, kids can get moving with these active toys small enough for their growing bodies.

Young learners can pedal their way to smart play with the Ride & Learn Giraffe Bike. Kids can ride the stationary bike through a safari of letters, objects, numbers, animals, and melodies. The more kids pedal and bounce, the more they learn! The bike features five rewarding modes of active play including racing, ABCs, numbers, music, and animals. Children can learn letters and word association by cycling on the giraffe's pedals and watching the built-in LCD screen as they chase their favorite animal friends. The adjustable grow-with-me bouncy seat adapts to three different positions with a wide, stable base for lots of riding fun. This is a great way for kids to learn, have fun, and get active!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Review: Super WHY! Touch and Learn Super Duper Computer

Manufacturer: Learning Curve

Brand: Super WHY!

Age Recommendation: 3 and up

MSRP: $39.99

Intro Year: 2009

It seems like everyone has a touch-screen these days and kids are no different. The Touch and Learn Super Duper Learning Computer, features a fully interactive touch screen and keyboard in a laptop-like design. It comes loaded with storybook adventures and more than 35 learning games that teach alphabet skills, reading comprehension, word families, rhyming, letter sounds, spelling, phonics, problem solving, and fine & gross motor skills. This laptop also features a grow-with-me curriculum, which makes it appropriate for all skill levels!

Because so many kids are on their parents' laptops and home computers from an early age, toy computers are really only relevant to kids who are too young to use those and who want to engage in role play as much as in learning play. That's why this is such a good choice for families. It combines the Super WHY! curriculum of reading and exploration with a laptop that mimics what mom and dad do.

The learning games are appropriate for the 3-4 year olds who love the TV show, and the touch screen is easy to use.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

Chaotic: Shadow Warriors (DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox360 rated Everyone 10+)
Battle to Victory in a World where Might Equals Right! Enter the realm of Chaotic and assume the role of one of its Creatures in this turn-based arena combat fighting game. Engage in explosive animated onslaughts that combine brutal melee attacks with vicious ranged assaults.

Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5 (DS, Wii rated Everyone 10+)
Play as all five Battle Force 5 characters in unique battle and racing zones featuring locations and settings from the hit Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5 TV show.

Lego Indiana Jones 2. The Adventure Continues (DS, Wii, PC, PSP, PS3, Xbox360 rated Everyone10+)
LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues combines the fun and creative construction of LEGO bricks with the wits, daring and non-stop action of one of cinema’s most beloved adventure heroes. With a unique, tongue-in-cheek take on all the Indiana Jones films – including for the first time ever Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – LEGO Indiana Jones 2 follows Dr. Jones’ escapades from the jungles of South America to the Peruvian Ruins and beyond.

Naruto Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution III (Wii rated Teen)
Now you can face off against competitors from all across North America over the internet. Featuring an all-new storyline and updated cast of characters from the NARUTO Shippuden series, NARUTO Shippuden: Clash of Ninja Revolution 3 is sure to re-ignite your passion for an ultra competitive, ninja fighting experience.

Planet 51 (DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox360 rated Everyone)
Based on the new animated movie from the writer of "Shrek" and "Shrek 2", Planet 51 revolves around astronaut Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker who lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot there. The game will allow players to test their skills in a series of action-filled adventures that are out of this world. Try to outrun and outwit the Planet 51 Police and Army, find Chuck's spaceship and help Chuck return home to Earth.

The Princess and the Frog (DS, Wii, PC rated Everyone)
Join Tiana on an exciting journey through jazz-infused 1920s New Orleans with the official video game for Wii, inspired by the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures release of The Princess and the Frog.

Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! (PS3, Wii, Xbox360 rated Teen)
Scene It? Bright Lights! Big Screen! is the ultimate movie trivia game for the trivia masters and casual gamers alike.

Tony Hawk: Ride (PS3, Wii, Xbox360 rated Everyone10+)
Experience the true thrill of skateboarding as never before through the revolutionary new skateboard controller in Tony Hawk: Ride. Bundled with the Ride game, the unique motion-sensitive board controller redefines the action-sports genre by translating your body motions into the game. No buttons, no thumbs, no analog sticks, just you on the board. For the first time in video game history, anyone can jump on a skateboard and feel the freedom, creativity, and accomplishment of skateboarding.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Toy Review: Crayola Crayon Maker

Manufacturer: Crayola

Brand: Crayola

Age Recommendation: 8 and up

MSRP: $29.99

Intro Year: 2009

Did you know that the average kid will wear down more than 750 crayons by the age of 10? The Crayola Crayon Maker is the perfect solution for what to do with all those crayon bits that kids accumulate. And it's a great way to get creative.

Just place the crayon bits (with all paper labels removed) in the covered melting tray, turn the Crayon Maker on, and then pour the melted material into the crayon mold. The end result is a brand new crayon mix of whatever colors you choose to use. The Crayon Maker requires a 60w candelabra bulb to produce the heat.

This maker is a reintroduction of a very popular toy from 1999. It's been designed so the cover won't open until the wax is cool to the touch.

The whole process takes about 20 minutes or so, and we found that kids were engaged both in watching the melting and then loved pouring the melted wax into the molds. We found that it works best for them if they're coloring and creating while the molded crayons cool. We also found that this is something they like doing again and again and they even liked using fresh crayons because a huge part of the fun is making the swirled and mixed colors.

Because the crayons that come out of the molds are slightly shorter than a traditional crayon, Crayola has included an ingenious clip that allows two of the freshly made crayons to be put together to create something that's easy to draw with.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Toy Review: Battle Strikers

Manufacturer: MEGA Brands
Brand: MagNext
Age Recommendation: 6 and up
MSRP: $14.99
Intro Year: 2009

This is a classic play pattern revved up for a new generation of kids.
Say goodbye to the strings and ripcords of traditional tops. Now kids can experience turbo-powered battling. Here come Battle Strikers, the ultimate kid-controlled spinning top battling system!
The Battle Strikers tops attach to a handheld unit-aka the Turbo Launcher. With the push of a button they spin and are revved up. Learning just the right amount of power to give them is a key strategy. When the tops are spinning, a quick flick of the wrist drops them-and they're ready to take on all comers.
But that's not all. Once the tops are spinning, a magnetic finger cover, featuring MEGA Brands' MagNext technology, lets kids guide their tops into attack mode -or dodge an oncoming opponent. As always, the last top standing is the winner.
With the Battle Strikers Starter Pack, kids can power up the Battle Strikers Turbo Launcher, load it with a themed Striker, and get ready to battle! As the Striker accelerates to 7,500 RPM, kids will feel the magnetic power as they use the controller to command the Striker to do battle. The Starter Pack includes the Turbo Launcher, a controller, and one exclusive Striker.
This is classic play-competitive, collectible, creative and absorbing. It's an excellent value, and collections are easily extended to add play value.

Monday, November 09, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

Jonas (DS. rated Everyone)
Inspired by the latest hit Disney Channel Original Series, JONAS allows fans to play as the Jonas brothers and band members, Nick, Joe and Kevin in a non-stop, hilarious adventure. Play as any one of the Jonas brothers and help them tear up the stage, juggle school and friends and still make it home in time for dinner.

NBA 2K10 (Wii. rated Everyone)
The #1 selling NBA video game set the standard for all basketball video games, and NBA 2K10 aims to surpass that that by delivering an even better basketball experience this year with all-new gameplay components, out-of-this-world graphics, even more realistic Signature Style animations, all-new presentation elements and an unrivaled online system -- this season you won’t just play the NBA, you’ll live it.

New Super Mario Bros. (Wii. rated Everyone)
Taking advantage of the flexibility and power of the Wii and Wii Remote,
New Super Mario Bros. Wii manages to preserve the retro experience that fans love about the series, while adding new game features. Notable additions among these include, expansive play levels and new powerups and characters, but by far the most important, and in fact game-defining new feature is simultaneous multiplayer. At the end of each stage during the simultaneous multiplayer mode, you are ranked based on your score, the coins collected and the number of enemies defeated

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Toy Review: Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABCs

Manufacturer: I Can Do That! Games

Brand: Dr. Seuss

Age Recommendation: 3 and up

MSRP: $19.99

Intro Year: 2009

I Can Do That! Games has done it again with another zany and hilarious children's game that keeps kids active and helps reinforce basic learning.

In Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABCs, kids will twist, turn and stretch as they try to touch spaces on an over-sized and colorful floor mat with their feet, hands and ears. Thing 1 and Thing 2 get in on the fun with the "toy-nado" tube, a clever spinner that deals out the letter to body part challenges. Kids earn tiles when they successfully complete challenges that are both physical and instructional as they help develop word-building and early letter and picture recognition skills.

Adults may realize how super stretchy they are NOT, but kids delighted in playing this and in challenging themselves. They were very proud when they were able to do things and thought it was hilarious when they or their friends couldn't quite reach. This is an engaging game that children wanted to play again and again-always a sign of a good game.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One

Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season One is now available on DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc from Lucasfilm Ltd. and Warner Home Video.

This four disc set contains all 22 episodes including seven extended Director's Cuts and companion featurettes for each episode. Expect to pay $44.98 for DVD and $59.99 for Blu-ray.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Toy Review: AniMagic: Honey My Baby Pony, Dotty My Cute Puppy, Snowflake My Cute Kitty

Manufacturer: Vivid Imaginations

Age Recommendation: 3 and up

MSRP: $49.99

Intro Year: 2009

We don't often describe a toy as cute AND hi-tech but that is just what the AniMagic pets are-some of the cutest stuffed animals you will ever see that happen to be stuffed with some incredibly cool robotics. Each lap-sized pet interacts with you and features multiple movements such as Honey's blinking eyes, Dottie's wagging tail, and Snowflake's clapping paws. These adorable pets also feature realistic, life-like sounds and come with a favorite snack for you to feed them.

What makes these unique in a crowded field is that they are larger than many other animatronic pets, have more functionality, and are actually cuddly to play with.

Monday, November 02, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

Band Hero (DS, Wii, PS2, PS3, Xbox360. rated Everyone 10+)
Brought to you by the makers of Guitar Hero, one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time, Band Hero features the hottest chart-topping hits from everyone’s favorite acts including Taylor Swift, Lily Allen, The All-American Rejects and Jackson 5. Band Hero allows fans to create the band they always dreamed of using any combination of guitar or drum controllers and vocals, providing rockers and performers of all ages the chance to experience and interact with their favorite music.

Barbie And The Three Musketeers (DS, Wii, PC. rated Everyone)
It’s “All for one and one for all” as Barbie and her friends star together in Barbie and the Three Musketeers, a classic story with a girl power twist! Join Barbie on the adventure of a lifetime! Play as Corinne, a girl from the French countryside who dreams of becoming a musketeer.

LEGO Rock Band (DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox360. rated Everyone 10+)
LEGO style and humor take Rock Band to an all-new level; experience fun for the whole family on a wild journey to rock stardom culminating in the ultimate rock gig that will take you out of this world! Songs You Know and Love rock out to everything from current radio hits to past favorites the whole family will enjoy.

My Baby First Steps (DS, Wii. rated Everyone)
Take care of your baby from his 1st birthday until they'll be 3 years old. Your baby will discover its environment and learn from it, they will walk, babble and speak, try to catch every object they can, and put everything in their mouth ... Your baby will be the apple of your eye!

Ni Hao, Kai-lan: New Year's Celebration (DS. Rated Everyone)
Ni Hao! Get ready to enjoy the greatest Chinese New year celebration ever with Kai-lan and her friends! Join in the fun with Kai-lan, Rintoo, Tolee, HoHo, LuLu and YeYe as you help them craft paper lanters, cook Chinese dumplings, march in a parade, play in a band and much, much more!

Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron (DS, PSP. rated Teen)
Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron is the deepest and most action-packed Star Wars Battlefront game ever. Experience battlefronts that span ground, space and capital starships, a robust original storyline and expanded gameplay features that deliver endless replayability.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Reviews: Liv Dolls

Manufacturer: Spin Master
Age Recommendation: 5 and up
MSRP: $19.99
Intro Year: 2009
There's a dramatic new introduction in the fashion doll arena-one that's targeted to pre-teens who may be too old to play dolls in a traditional way, but who are into fashion, collecting and online communication.
The new Liv line is a collection of four dolls, each with a unique personality. The dolls have been designed to represent "real" girls, or at least idealized versions of attainable goals that pre-teens can relate to, rather than a total fantasy world. (After all for a pre-teen, that magical day when they become teenagers is a very real fantasy!)
Sophie, Katie, Alexis, and Daniela are fun, bold, funny, and have their own personalities. Sophie loves trying out new hairstyles on her friends because she wants to be a celeb stylist one day. Daniela loves to sing and randomly breaks into song wherever she gets the urge. Alexis hopes to launch her very own fashion line someday. Katie can totally grind on her skateboard, but trips just crossing the street. The beauty of Liv girls is that they embody real girls through their hobbies and fashion.
And just like real girls, the Liv girls love playing online. Their owners can join in the online fun at When you purchase a doll, you will also receive a secret access code that unlocks the Liv world. In this safe online play area, you can read Liv girls' super secret diaries, watch videos, play games, try on virtual outfits, and take photos of Liv girls having fun!
The dolls are just as much fun to play with offline as online. Each Liv girls doll comes with awesome outfits and two hairstyles, but this is no ordinary hair play. With Liv dolls, girls can really change a doll's hair through the use of wigs! Does Sophie want to go from blonde to green? How about giving Daniela super straight hair? There are two wig assortments, bold and sleek (sold separately), featuring exciting, colorful, and stylish new hairstyles for girls to try out on their dolls. Girls can even create the new looks in a salon setting with the Salon Set, which comes with a styling chair, two wigs, hair extensions, and extra accessories.
Once the hair is changed, Liv dolls will need new outfits to go with it! Girls can update their dolls' looks through Fashion Accessories Assortments, which come with a variety of items, such as scarves, boots, and sunglasses, or Fashion Assortments, which come with six fashion pieces and two pairs of shoes. These fashions are super trendy, while at the same time staying age-appropriate.
For on-the-go fun, the My Room Foldout Playset is the perfect 2-in-1 storage and play environment. Fold out the playset for a bedroom environment with armoire, dresser with drawers that really open, and a pull-down bed! This is the perfect place to store a Liv doll and her accessories-fold it up and take it with you!
These beautiful dolls will inspire play and interaction. The combination of real world and online play has been well developed and the world of the dolls is very nicely done and rich for play.

Monday, October 26, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

Ben 10: Alien Force Vilgax Attacks (DS, Wii, PS2, PSP, Xbox360. rated Everyone)
BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE: Vilgax Attacks is the latest game in the multi-million unit selling videogame franchise based on Cartoon Network's hit television series, BEN 10 ALIEN FORCE. Players will experience an action packed adventure in the vast ALIEN FORCE universe, as they take Ben and the Omnitrix into outer space and alien home planets for the first time ever in the series.

Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 3 (Wii. rated Everyone 10+)
Hottest Party 3 is a dance/party game for Wii that takes the long-running DDR party to the next level. Bundled with the game's iconic floor peripheral, and including controller support for the Wii Remote/nunchuck controller configuration, and for the first time the Wii Balance Board, it is sure to be the life of the party and get you into shape. Game also include local 2-4 player multiplayer support, a diverse 60-song soundtrack, entirely new modes and more. Some of the song include the following:
"Disturbia", Rihanna
"I'm Coming Out", Diana Ross
"Ice Ice Baby", Vanilla Ice
"Just Dance", Lady Gaga
"Let's Get It Started", Black Eyed Peas
"Praise You", Fatboy Slim
"So What", Pink

DJ Hero (PS2, PS3, Xbox360, Wii. rated Teen)
The makers of Guitar Hero introduce an entirely fresh and innovative way to experience music and rhythm gameplay. DJ Hero features an amazing variety of music across genres – tracks that you love and reflect who you are. Using an authentic turntable controller, you will spin and scratch more than 100 songs into unique mixes and become the life of the party.

Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom (Wii. rated Everyone)
A greedy King as taken all of the crystals that make Crystal Kingdom colorful, and without them the Crystal Kingdom is starting to lose its color! Join Dora, Boots and Allie on an adventrue through storybook lands to recover crystals and save the Crystal Kingdom!

Hasbro Family Game Night 2 (Wii. rated Everyone)
All the excitement of a prime time TV game show in your very own living room! With Mr. Potato Head, himself, as your host, you are guaranteed to have a thrilling night of family-friendly fun. Hasbro Family Game Night 2 lets up to four players become contestants with a wide variety of fun and engaging party games. Win and collect parts for the coveted Golden Potato to become the ultimate game show champion! Pictureka Play with your Mii in the Hasbro Family Game Show!

Madagascar Kartz (DS, Wii, PS3, Xbox360. rated Everyone)
Madagascar Kartz is a kart/racing game set against the backdrop of the popular DreamWorks animated franchise of the same name. Experience the zany characters and unique locations of the Madagascar movies wrapped in the over the top fun of arcade style kart racing. Put the pedal to the metal Madagascar style with wacky karts, wild tracks, tons of power-ups and crazy kart racing action.

SpongeBob's Truth or Square (DS, Wii, PSP, Xbox360. rated Everyone)
SpongeBob SquarePants has gotten himself into quite a predicament. After being entrusted by Mr. Krabs to keep the Krabby Patty formula safe, he is overcome with grief for losing the recipe. He then relies on the help of the most unlikely companion, Plankton, who wants the secret Krabby Patty recipe to himself. With the help of his friend, SpongeBob must use Plankton's memory machine to retrace the happiest moments of his life to find the Krabby Patty formula in time for the Krusty Krab's Eleventy Seventh anniversary.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Week's New Video Games

Astro Boy: The Video Game (DS, PS2, PSP, Wii. rated Everyone 10+)
Based on the movie, Astro Boy, the game is set in the futuristic Metro City, home of Astro Boy, a young robot with incredible powers. Astro Boy heads out on a journey in search of adventure in a world of robot gladiators, before he returns to Metro City where he finds his place in the world.

Backyard Football 10 (PS2. Xbox360, Wii. Rated Everyone)
Backyard Football is the best selling kids’ football video game of all time. The game features top NFL Superstars including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Turner, Tony Romo, Brady Quinn and more as kids.

Bakugan: Battle Brawlers (DS, PS2, PS3, Xbox360, Wii. rated Everyone)
Based on the wildly popular card game and television show, Bakugan: Battle Brawlers, is a video game experience requiring skill, strategy and imagination. Featuring a fierce assortment monsters, uncanny powers and amazing environments in an alternate dimension called Vestroia, the game lets you and your own unique Bakugan join forces with Dan and his fellow Brawlers as they battle to save Vestroia and ultimately, Earth from destruction.

Charm Girls Club: My Fashion Mall (DS. rated Everyone)
Charm Girls Club My Fashion Mall takes girls through a series of mini-games and mall drama" that allows them to make it the most fashionable mall ever! Emilie's uncle just opened the new Teen mega-mall but it's so not cool. As the experts on what's in", you and your BFFs are called in to transform the mall from drab to fab! Over 50 virtual charms to earn throughout game play.

Cooking Mama 3: Shop & Chop (DS. rated Everyone)
Mama’s heading back to her culinary roots with Cooking Mama 3: Shop and Chop. Packed with six game modes--including two new to the game franchise--all new recipes, ingredient shopping, dish combinations and multiplayer cooking challenges, Cooking Mama 3: Shop and Chop lets players explore their inner creative chef with everyone’s favorite kitchen cutie at their side.

FIFA Soccer 10 (DS, PC, PS2. PS3, PSP, Xbox360, Wii. rated Everyone)
The seventeenth overall release in Electronic Arts' popular FIFA Soccer franchise, FIFA Soccer 10 enables gamers and soccer fans alike to enjoy the nonstop action and fun of the #1 soccer game simulation, regardless of their skill on a real or virtual pitch. With FIFA Soccer 10, players can create themselves in game, join a club and compete against gamers around the world in online competition.

Littlest Pet SHop Friends (Wii. rated Everyone)
The second edition of the Littlest Pet Shop video game brings the party to you with a new cast of quirky pets and their best friends. Play tons of new mini-games and explore new towns with your favorite pets. With enhanced multiplayer features, you can even double your fun by playing with your best friend.

Marvel Super Hero Squad (DS, PS2, PSP, Wii. rated Everyone 10+)
Assemble your squad and fight your way to victory to save the citizens of Super Hero City from evil schemes of Dr. Doom and the Lethal Legion in this multi-player adventure game inspired by Marvel's animated, kid-friendly series.