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  • For Older Kids Archives - Page 2 of 5 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: For Older Kids

How’s your poker face?

At Toy Fair, we picked up a sample of Spy Alley, a game that is not new, but we’d heard great things about it. The reputation is well-deserved – I thought it was a really nice game. Very well thought out and unique, fun to play and appealing to a wide age range. Although it is rated for ages 8 ... Read More »

Strategery in Phoenix

I’m back from my vacation – thanks for bearing with me while I took a break from writing. While we were kicking back in Phoenix, I took the opportunity to do some toy testing with my kids and my family. We are big time game players, a trait that seems to be genetically hardwired, so when my extended family gets ... Read More »

Bedlam time

Get excited. The Bedlam Puzzle is a 3D puzzle that has taken the UK by storm. It’s basically 13 oddly shaped pieces that fit into a square box. There are, in fact, over 19,186 different ways to make them fit into a perfect square. But there are so many possible combinations that it’s actually incredibly challenging to find even a ... Read More »

Bananagrams Split

No, it’s not a stuffed banana. Bananagrams is a great new word game that’s sort of a takeoff on Scrabble. Players are “dealt” a predetermined number of letter tiles, and then each player uses his/her letters to create a personal assortment of intersecting words. As the letters dealt get used, more letters are taken from the pile, and when the ... Read More »

Hyperinteractivity

Lately, it seems like everyone is talking about Webkinz. These stuffed virtual pets are all the rage among middle school kids all over the country (if you’ve never heard of them, read my previous entry about them here). So it’s not really a surprise that their success is spawning at least a handful of eager copycats. But the range of ... Read More »

Brick by Brickadoo

This is my 4th toy fair, and one of the categories that I have been seeking out are great, new building and construction toys. There seemed to be a plethora of items that match that description, many of them wooden, but my favorite product of the day were the Brickadoos. When I mentioned the Brickadoos to Sheri and Isaac, they ... Read More »

It’s a small world.

Not too long ago, if you wanted a really beautiful dollhouse with those intricately detailed furniture sets and accessories, you needed to seek out a store that specialized in dollhouses and miniatures. These little stores are usually off the beaten path and filled with quirky charm. The goods are often pretty pricey, and therefore favored for older children. But leave ... Read More »

An Eye to the Sky

Outer space is fascinating, no matter how old you are. Telescopes are one way to get a closer look at celestial bodies, although most conventional telescopes aren’t big enough to really see anything cool. But now, you can take a peek into some of the most powerful telescopes in the world. Slooh has created an organized network of these observatories, ... Read More »

A Deflexion by any other name

Last year’s popular holiday game, Deflexion, is back for 2006 but with a new name. For reasons I may never completely understand, they’ve renamed it Khet. According to a press release on the game’s website, they rebranded the game based on feedback from customers and retailers, and Khet is an Egyptian word for flame or fire. Okaaaay. Makes sense, sort ... Read More »

Incognito and Ugly

Uglydolls have been a sensation since they debuted in 2004. Why do so many folks gravitate towards these soft, charming and, yes, unattractive litte characters? I’m not sure, but I have one on my desk at work. Now, they’ve come out with a limited edition Secret Mission series of all-black Uglydolls. What they lack in vibrance, they make up for ... Read More »