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  • Toys Archives - Page 22 of 34 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Toys

How Mao? Try Quao.

Fourteen summers ago, I came home from a teen tour obsessed with a card game I had learned — Mao. If you aren’t familiar with this diabolically fun game, Mao has no rules. Or at least, none that can be explained. But in this day and age, you can find everything on the internet, including a detailed explanation of Mao ... Read More »

Retro Cool

Look what’s back! The Snoopy Sno Cone Maker has been rereleased by Sababa Toys, and it’s exactly the product you and I remember so fondly. Originally released in 1979, this was a runaway bestseller and a summer fixture in millions of homes (mine included). If you never had one, basically you pop some ice cubes into a compartment at the ... Read More »

Girls around the world

At Toy Fair in February, I mentioned a new line of dolls by a company called Karito Kids. I was struck by how beautiful they were, and I loved the charitable tie-in that gave kids the opportunity to use the Internet to help other kids across the world. Now, finally, these dolls are in stock. There are five dolls in ... Read More »

Move over, alphabet

When I was growing up, my family had a summer home on Cape Cod. The house had a dining room, but there was plenty of room to eat in the kitchen. So the dining room instead served as a playroom for my (much) younger sister. The centerpiece of the room was a set of interlocking foam tiles with cut-out letters ... Read More »

Automatic Pile It

One of the first games I ever reviewed on Spillingthebeans was Ruckus. This card game has since become a success, thanks to the exceedingly simple and exceptionally fun concept. Dan Levy is the founder of Funstreet Games, and the brain behind Ruckus. Until now, he’s been a one-trick pony, but he’s just released a new game, Pile It. I really ... Read More »

A-maze-ing

Let’s talk about marbles for a minute. Marbles are so simple, but they’ve been a cornerstone of playtime for centuries. Set them in motion and you’ve got hours of entertainment. There are countless types of marble run construction toys out there, and many different interpretations. The newest one is Q Ba Maze. This marble construction toy looks like a piece ... Read More »

Staying out of hot water

This nifty new gadget is a great addition to any kid’s bathroom. Simply screw it onto the faucet, and the Faucet Light illuminates the stream. Even better, the Faucet Light now comes in a temperature controlled model that lights up blue when the water is cold and turns to red when the water is over 89 degrees. It’s a simple ... Read More »

Sticking together

Ever since I became a parent, and up to this day, Tiny Love remains one of my very favorite infant toy companies. I will never forget the day when, shortly after coming home from the hospital with my first, my husband set up the Tiny Love mobile we received as a baby gift. As my daughter lay on her back ... Read More »

Supersize them

Pipe cleaners have been a craft-time favorite for generations, but Brain Noodles take the fun to a whole new proportion. These are basically very chunky pipe cleaners, so they’re easy for kids of all age to handle and manipulate. I liked them at Toy Fair, but it was the samples I brought back to my kids that sealed the deal. ... Read More »

Ty Girlz are here

I mentioned at Toy Fair that a lot of toy companies have been, ahem, inspired by the immense success of Webkinz to create their own plush toys with online tie-ins. How does the old adage go? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Well, I’m sure Ganz (the company behind Webkinz) isn’t exactly enjoying the compliment. But Webkinz have been ... Read More »