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Hasbro Toy Review: Flipping out for ‘Flip ‘N Serve Breakfast’

Hasbro knocks another one out of the park.

Trust me, I’ll be critical when it’s appropriate, but I’m not sure that is ever going to happen when talking about their Play-Doh product line.  I was very impressed with the Cookie Monster’s Letter Lunch Play-Doh set, but the Flip ‘N Serve Breakfast is the new “king of the mountain.”  It was a tough call to make, for while one set boasts everyone’s favorite cookie devouring blue monster, the breakfast set excels on variety and creativity.

Plus, we are talking about breakfast.  As much as I’m a fan of a nice steak dinner or stomach busting Italian meal, breakfast is the best meal of the day for me, my sons, and many others.  Let’s also not forget that it holds the all important title of “most important meal of the day,” and that’s pretty tough to compete with.

Flip ‘N Serve Breakfast

Just look at my egg.  I impressed myself with this one, even if I did have a little help from the box.  If I could digress for a second, I think I have a box obsession.  Maybe it’s just Hasbro boxes, or maybe it’s just that I’m an adult now and pay a little bit more attention to detail these days, but if you actually look at the back and sides of these boxes, they give you great ideas for advancing play.  For example, the side of this particular box shows you how to make a teapot without even using any of the molds or accessories in the kit.  It’s the little things that get me every time; well done marketing department.

The theme of this toy should be pretty obvious by now (breakfast) but the “flip” feature really adds another dimension to the whole experience.  Basically the set consists of a main base with three separate functions.  The main griddle at the center, a large press to the left that doubles as a storage container for utensils, and a smoothie maker to the right.  The center griddle is accompanied by a handle in which you can snap on different molds (waffle, pancake, etc…) for a variety of breakfast creating options.  Put some Play-Doh on the griddle, press down on the griddle handle and attached mold, let go of the handle and not only will your breakfast pop out, but the griddle will spin around 180 degrees to “serve” your patrons.  Make sure they have a plate and utensils for their meal, create some bacon with the press for a side, whip up a smoothie with the smoothie maker to wash it all down, and before you know it your guests will be clamoring for seconds.

Stats:  Ages 3 and up.  Great for imagination and creativity, as well as developing fine motor skills.  Comes with 4 Play-Doh cans, each a different color and not intended for consumption, but also nontoxic.  Aside from main base with griddle, large press, and smoothie maker, the set includes a spoon, fork, knife, spatula, cup for smoothies, insert press for making smoothies, 3 griddle stamps(molds), rail for main press, serving dish, and instructions.  Easy clean-up with only a slight trouble spot on the inside of the smoothie maker.

What my 3 year old said about this toy:  “Daddy you made bacon.  I love bacon.” (Don’t we all?)

What my baby might be thinking about this toy:  “Okay, you just started experimenting with table food for me, and yet none of this seems to be making its way in my direction.  I’m a little confused and pretty mad about it.”

What Brad the Dad says:  As with the Cookie Lunch set, the molds in this are top notch.  The main press handle has options for making bananas, strawberries, fruit wedges, and more, while the rail for the main press let’s you make such things as bacon and sausage.  A shameless Dad approval tactic and another smart move by the marketing department.

What Brad says:  A smoothie maker in a breakfast kit?

Five Word Summary:  Expanding imagination by creating breakfast.



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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Hasbro Toy Reviews

 

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Hasbro Toy Review: Exploring the world of Chuck & Friends

Talking vehicles is where it’s at right now.

They are on TV, at the movies, and in your kid’s playroom.  Not since Knight Rider has the talking vehicle been this deeply ingrained in our society.(Oh David Hasselhoff, why did it have to end up this way?  Is it because of your evil twin?)  Thankfully we now have “Chuck the Dump Truck” picking up the slack where others have left off.  Friends and family will always be a theme in my columns, and Chuck’s story has plenty of both.

We currently have the Chuck & Friends Tumble Tower toy and his Big Air Dare DVD.  As I experienced both the toy and the DVD, I was immediately drawn to the larger picture at play, the world.  Chuck has friends, and each has their own personality, and Chuck has a father, a tow truck, who also has friends with varying personalities.  Having a great main character is obviously important to any franchise, and Chuck handles that admirably, but a strong supporting cast usually does the heavy lifting for its longevity.

Tonka’s Chuck & Friends excels in both areas.  Naturally we played with the toy first, so it will bat leadoff, and stay tuned for the DVD review in the very near future.

Chuck & Friends Tumble Tower

Start at the top and crash your way to the bottom.

Tonka gives us trucks, and boys like to crash those trucks into anything in the near vicinity.  Combine both, and you have the Tumble Tower.  The Tumble Tower consists of 3 pieces that snap together in minutes – the main unit, a ramp and tunnel mold, and a convenient gate to Chuck’s garage that keeps him in one place during transportation.  Both ramp and gate snap together to the main unit with ease, and the toy is ready to go.  The set is rounded out with a Chuck the Dump Truck toy vehicle.

Start at the bottom and follow the ramp up to a lift that takes Chuck to the top of the tower.  From there he crashes, rolls, and flips his way down 3 platforms before he reaches the bottom and shoots out a final exit ramp.  Sound effects and quotes from Chuck greet you on the way down, adding to the overall experience.

Both ramps and garage gate fold up for easy carrying, and with Chuck safely tucked away in his garage, he gets to come along for the ride.

Stats:  Over 18 months.  A great toy for expanding a child’s imagination.  Fold ‘N Go feature works well and allows for easy vertical storage.

What my 3 year old said about this toy:  “Where are Chuck’s friends Daddy?”  Ahhh marketing.

What my baby might be thinking about this toy:  “When they fold this toy up, there is nothing for me to put in my mouth.  Bad feature.”

What Brad the Dad says:  Enjoyable toy that will probably get better if/when Chuck’s friends enter the equation.  The tunnel feature on the main ramp allows for the imagination and creation of additional courses.  Chuck tumbling down the tower works well and he never gets gets caught or jammed.

What Brad says:  I think I like Chuck.  He has energy, he likes to take on challenges, and he isn’t scared to get a little rambunctious.

Five Word Summary:  Imagine and tumble with Chuck.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Hasbro Toy Reviews

 

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Cooking with Cookie and Play-Doh

I have a confession to make.

I don’t like bubbles.  They are messy, sticky, and generally last about 5 seconds.  But I get it, I can see why they are fun.  A myriad of colors swirling around a circular ball of air, floating majestically across the yard with many like partners, while groups of excited children chase behind in an attempt to eliminate their existence.  I get it.

I’m just all set.

Play-Doh on the other hand is like playing with Legos.  Nearly every time you play with them, the outcome is different and something new is always around the corner.  Your imagination knows no limit.  Well, with Legos you are limited by the size and shape of that which you are playing with, but I’m not really saying anything.  Other than that with Play-Doh, you can do just about anything.

Cookie Monster’s Letter Lunch

I loved the Cookie Monster as a kid (who didn’t?), and as an adult I love him even more.  I mean, the guy doesn’t just eat his cookies, he inhales them.  There is a whole jar buddy, ease up and take a breath.

That is basically why I liked this toy right off the bat.  Not only do you get to make letters and a variety of food with little press molds, Cookie has an open/close mouth feature that allows you to feed him the food you make with a spoon, fork, knife, or your own hands.  If you’re going to do Cookie, do eating.

The theme is centered around Cookie sitting down for lunch with a large, detachable soup bowl positioned in front of him, hands ready to go at his side, with his fists forming convenient utensil holders.  Along with the individual letter press molds, the lid to the soup bowl and base underneath also have molds for healthy food options to add to the soup such as carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, strawberries, and apples.  A wedge of cheese, pretzel, peas, and cookies (obviously) are just a few of the side dish molds also available, while a noodle making hand press rounds out the package.

Create food until your heart’s content, put it all in the bowl to create your own version of alphabet soup, and then feed to Cookie.  Just be sure to watch your fingers. (Said in context of Cookie being a maniac eater, not as a toy safety concern.)

Stats:  Ages 3 and up.  Helps to build; letter recognition skills, matching skills, and fine motor skills.  Comes with 4 Play-Doh cans, each a different color and not intended for consumption by anyone other then Cookie.  45+ molds.  Easy clean-up.  Comes in a box featuring great suggestions for taking play to the next level.

What my 3 year old said about this toy:  “Don’t touch the bowl Daddy, the soup is hot.” (When did he start recommending things to me?)

What my baby might be thinking about this toy:  “The spoon is my favorite, which is exactly why I drop it on the floor from my high chair every 30 seconds.  Isn’t… isn’t anyone going to pick that up?  Hello?”

What Brad the Dad says:  Great toy, love the attention to detail in the molds, and never will complain when letters and learning are involved.  Great design to the entire set leaves very few places, if any, for Play-Doh to get stuck, resulting in a very easy clean-up.

What Brad says:  The “eating” function is an odd one for me.  I mean, I like it as that is pretty much Cookie’s MO, but I guess you’ll have to see the back of this thing to get the whole picture.

Five Word Summary:  Learning by creating with Cookie.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2011 in Hasbro Toy Reviews

 

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