Archive | September, 2011

The Rainbow Toy Awards 2011

30 Sep

As The Rainbow Toy Awards 2011 draw to a close, it just remains for us to congratulate all the Winners and Highly Commended in each category.  Keep watching the Rainbow Awards site over the coming months as there is more to come….

 

…the Champion…

30 Sep

The ten awards categories have now been announced and the Rainbow Toy Awards have been handed out for 2011.  It remains to say well done on all the entries whether you’re a winner, a highly commended or you were pipped to the post this year…  It was a hard fought contest indeed!

Before we sign off this year’s awards though, we would like to present one extra award…  they are already a winner in their own category and the testers scored them so highly we did a double take on the forms!

The testers said

“We LOVED this toy, very engaging, colourful and encouraged him to be very sociable”

And

“The packaging was easy to remove and I appreciated that most of it could be recycled”

Plus

“She interacted with us when she played with the toy and showed her incredible imagination, it reall brought out the best in her”

And so we award “The Champion” of the show to …

Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket by LeapFrog

 

Award Category: Soft Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                OOBICOO

By Totseat

Age Suitability                  3 years+

Price                                      £34.99

Stockists                              Totseat.com

More information           www.totseat.com 

Meet Orla and Ollie, the Oobicoo soft toy tots.  Designed to wear out-grown baby clothes, these huggable friends encourage dexterity and pretend play.  Made from recycled and recyclable materials, each Oobicoo arrives in its own fabric pod.  Oobicoo is the perfect friend for a child who likes a hug.

The testers said “Orla is Lillie’s new best friend; she even comes on the school run and ‘waits’ in the car whilst Lillie is at school” and “Good quality fabric and good quality stitching”

 

Highly Commended       MY PAL SCOUT REFRESHED

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  6 months+

Price                                      £19.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.com

Following the success of the original My Pal Scout, Leapfrog has remastered the friendly puppy to include a host of new interactive features. With even more personalisation, parents can customise Scout with their children’s favourite things. Scout’s emotional responses are now easily accessible via the new ‘hug me’ button.

The testers said “My son really enjoyed playing and interacting with this toy” and “Excellent value for money”

Award Category: Wooden Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                HIGH TEA SHAPE MATCHING

By Tidlo by John Crane

Age Suitability                  3 years +

Price                                      £25.00

Stockists                              Amazon, Dillons Toy Box, Butterflies & Dragons

More information           www.john-crane.co.uk

Gloriously girly, this innovative shape matching set plays host to over ten mini wooden cupcakes, all hand painted in delicious looking colours.  The cupcakes are differing sizes and shapes plus they each have a number painted on the base – meaning the High Tea Shape Matching set offers a wide variety of learning and matching skills.  What’s more, it makes an ideal toy for pretend play tea parties too!

The testers said “They had hours of fun playing tea parties with Teddy” and “It was very girlie and lovely to look at and play with, it even looked nice sitting on the shelf when packed away”

 

Highly Commended       CIRCA

By Eleventyone Ltd

Age Suitability                  3 years+

Price                                      £39.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Nordic Elements

More information           www.circacalendar.com

Circa is a wooden educational toy calendar designed to help children understand and visualise the cycles of the calendar, using the toys innovative rotating and circular stacking design.  Circa splits the year into parts, days of the week, days of the month, months of the year and the seasons.  Stickers are provided to enable children to plan their own diary of events too.

The testers said “What a nice change to have a practical idea that makes the concept and cyclical nature of dates and says easy for learning”

Award Category: Games

30 Sep

Winner                                RUCKUS FUNSIZE

By Imagination Games

Age Suitability                  8 years+

Price                                      £7.99

Stockists                              Hamley’s, Tesco, Play.com

More information           www.imaginationgames.co.uk

Players create a real Ruckus as they race to collect matching cards and hold onto them.  Cards are placed on top of matching cards from opponent’s sets then the suit is shouted aloud to win the set. With all players matching, stealing and shouting as fast and loud as they can it’s anyone guess who will get to 77 points first and win the game!

The testers said “Lots of shouting, laughing and pretend complaining” and “The packaging was a good old cardboard box – eco friendly and easy to remove – no problem”

 

Highly Commended       LEAPSTER EXPLORER

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  4-9 years

Price                                      £49.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk

The future of gaming is captured in the one-of-a-kind handheld that brings mobile learning and educational gaming to children.  Aimed at kids aged between four and nine, Leapster Explorer allows for a truly personalised learning experience with over 35 licensed titles to choose from and an innovative video camera accessory.

The testers said “Very robust, it’s been thrown and dropped on numerous occasions and we’ve had absolutely no problems” and “The play value of the games is endless! “ plus “The ability for parents to follow, track and even help their child’s progress is a fantastic move, overall a great toy”

Award Category: Wheeled Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                FIX AND LEARN SPEEDY

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  18 months+

Price                                      £19.99

Stockists                              Argos, Amazon, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk

Get into the fast lane with Fix and Learn Speedy, the learning car that comes complete with interactive tools and songs.  By lifting Speedy’s bonnet, toddlers can twist and turn the different shapes and explore counting and alphabet songs designed to tune up their motor skills and fire up imaginations.

The testers said “The car is a friendly character that can be played with as a push along car and also an electronic toy – giving 2-in-1 play value”

 

Highly Commended       SMART TRIKE RECLINER STROLLER 4in1

By Smart-Trike

Age Suitability                  6-24 months

Price                                      £149.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Early Learning Centre

More information           www.smart-trike.com

The Smart-Trike Recliner Stroller is the only trike in the world to support a child from six months to 24 months+, imaginatively growing from a push along recliner to an independent trike.  It’s the first tricycle globally to be fully stroller certified!  It’s innovative and durable – this trike is built to last!

The testers said “What a good idea to relieve the boredom of shopping trips with a toddler!” and “I must say, it was fantastic quality and although it took me quite a while to put together it wasn’t difficult”

Award Category: Electronic Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                LEAP PAD EXPLORER

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                 4-9 years

Price                                      £79.99

Stockists                              Argos, Amazon, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk  

The innovative LeapPad Explorer is a multifunctional learning tablet built just for kids.  Encompassing the next generation of learning, digital reading and personal creativity, LeapPad comes with a collection of innovative tools including a built in camera and video recorder that allows children to produce and share their unique creations.

The testers said “He loves it!  In fact, it was a struggle to get him off it”

 

Highly Commended       CARS 2 LEAPSTER EXPLORER

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  4-8 years

Price                                      £59.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk

LeapFrog’s limited edition Cars 2 Explorer brings all the gaming fun and educational content of the standard Leapster Explorer with the added excitement of a new twist!  Adapting the Explorer’s robust design, children can personalise their play with a signature red case decorated with popular characters from the film.

The testers said “There’s so much to do with this we’ve only really scratched the surface with the game that was included” and “He loves it as it’s a ‘console’ and I don’t mind it as it’s educational!”

Award Category: Puzzles

30 Sep

Winner                                iBALL3

By HTI

Age Suitability                  8-80 years

Price                                      £19.99

Stockists                              Hamley’s, Tesco, Toys R Us

More information           www.iball3.com  

iball3 is a clear ball with an electronic display within.  Enabling six lights in a sequence to light up all the same colour with a certain time is the aim and there are two levels of play.  Succeed and a code will allow access to interactive parts of the iball3 website.

The testers said “This toy has been passed around a group of 12 year olds so many times!” and “Un-put-downable” plus “Quite frustrating, I’d definitely consider buying this as a gift for someone”

 

Highly Commended       MEMORY

By GoGo Toys

Age Suitability                  3-adult

Price                                      £29.99

Stockists                              Amazon

More information           http://www.john-crane.co.uk

The aptly named Memory game is a delight in natural wood.  Approximately 30cm square, the game has 16 peep holes and 16 green mushroom shaped ‘lids’ with easy grip handles.  The four playing cards (double sided making eight times the fun) are inserted into the side of the base so the pictures can peep through… There are eight different themes to pick pairs from so that memory can be tested and taxed to the limit; the themes include vehicles, mini beasts, food, and many more!

The testers said “We thoroughly enjoyed this game, Noah could not wait to try the next sheet of pairs”

Award Category: Pre-School Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                DUPLO POLICE STATION

By Lego Duplo

Age Suitability                  2-5 years

Price                                      £49.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Smyths, John Lewis

More information           www.duplo.lego.com

The Duplo Police Station is the hero of the new Police range, with many elements to stimulate hours of play.  The set has great authentic details; like a cell for the robber and an office for the constable to file all his reports.  The set combines building and role play and will stimulate young imaginations.

The testers said “Even though he is only two, this toy held his imagination for 30 minutes at a time and he returns regularly to it” and “It was a nice surprise when the police car lights up and makes noises!” plus “They keep remodelling it and making up new ways to build it”

 

Highly Commended       LEAPSTER 2

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  4-8 years

Price                                      £39.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk 

The Leapster 2 games Console delivers a fun, safe and secure learning experience for children.  The handheld comes complete with a preloaded gaming title and an additional download of choice, so that the fun can begin instantly.

The testers said “The children took turns and were not overly happy to pass it on after 15 minutes, and kept asking for ‘just one more go’, we will use it daily” and “Monty, aged 5, was truly captivated by the dragon game we downloaded”

Award Category: Outdoor Toy

30 Sep

Winner                                SHAPES AND SHARING PICNIC BASKET

By LeapFrog

Age Suitability                  6 months+

Price                                      £19.99

Stockists                              Amazon, Argos, Toys R Us

More information           www.leapfrogstore.co.uk 

The Shapes and Sharing Picnic Basket helps little learners explore shapes, colours, manners and much more, the robust and vibrant toy features over 30 audio responses, allowing children to share a picnic with their friends whilst feeding their imaginations with learning fun

The testers said “Olivia carried the picnic basket everywhere” and “She plays with it most days and we tend to take it on car journeys too”

 

Highly Commended       STARWARS: THE CLONE WARS LIGHT UP SCOOTER

By Ozbozz

Age Suitability                  5 years +

Price                                      £29.99

Stockists                              Toys R Us, The Entertainer, Play.com

More information           www.ozbozz.co.uk

This cool scooter has an easy to use fold and lock mechanism, adjustable height setting and the light up deck ensures it looks awesome in the dark!  It’s great for daytime use with the lights off too as features fantastic graphics.  What’s more, the scooter folds away for easy storage.

The testers said “It’s such an iconic brand with unisex appeal” and “A stylish toy which captivated my son from the very start.  It is height adjustable and folds small for carriage – fantastic!”

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