Dan Nessel Picks His Top 10 Toy Products of the Year

October 29, 2013

Over the course of his toy-loving career, Dan Nessel created DadDoes.com and has written over 350 toy reviews. His YouTube Channel, which offers hands-on, real world product reviews, has received over 8.5 million views alone. Nessel has also shared his views and opinions on numerous radio shows, writes the ‘Toys N Tech’ column for Grand Magazine, and – most importantly – knows how to say, “Where are the toys?” in 5 different languages. Now, he lets us in on which toys he thinks are the Most Memorable Product Launches of 2013.

1. Disney Infinity

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Disney Infinity is an interactive video game that kids can play three different ways: online, connected to a video game console or on an iPad.  Kids get the magic of Disney at their fingertips as they unlock new characters and send them on adventures with new toys.

Learn more: https://infinity.disney.com/

2. Zoomer Pup – The Interactive Robotic Dog

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A robotic pet that finally achieves the feeling of more pet than robot.  He blinks, he wags his tail, is trilingual and the more you play with Zoomer, the more tricks he learns and retains.

Learn more: http://www.daddoes.com/9213/review-zoomer-family-pet-dog/

3. Air Hogs Elite Helix X4

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Air Hogs Elite Helix X4 is a remote-controlled stunt quad-copter that’s very fast and easily maneuverable.  Using the 4-channel controller, you can do three high-performance stunts: a flip,  barrel roll and 180-flip.

Learn more: http://www.airhogs.com/site/product/helix-x4-stunt

4. Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo

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Big Hugs Elmo is a life size Elmo that encourages kids to use their imagination.  He really hugs back, and when preschoolers press his left foot, he asks them to play one of four imagination scenarios: astronauts, rabbits, frogs and horses.  He’ll dance and sing with the kids as well.

Learn more: http://www.hasbro.com/shop/details.cfm?R=6743453A-5056-9047-F588-4A9BCD30BE28:en_US

5. Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow

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New from Nerf, this bow encourages kids to exhibit strength and power.  It fires five foam darts up to 75 feet and is decorated in pink and purple feathers to appeal to the femininity of Nerf Rebelle girls.

Learn more: http://www.hasbro.com/rebelle/en_US/shop/details.cfm?R=A50E1B3F-5056-9047-F5BE-348682F240BF:en_US

6. Leapfrog LeapPad Ultra

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The perfect kid-friendly learning tablet, the LeapPad Ultra comes complete with 7” screen, Wi-Fi featuring kid-safe Web and a library of over 800 educational apps, games, eBooks, videos and more.  Kids can draw, write and play using the stylus or their fingers, as well as listen to music and take pictures.

Learn more: http://shop.leapfrog.com/leapfrog/jump/LeapPad-Ultra-Learning-Tablet/productDetail/LeapPad-Ultra-Learning-Tablet-and-Bundles/33200/cat1380007?selectedColor=&selectedSize=&navAction=jump&navCount=0&categoryNav=false&medium=tsa&gclid=CNWOkYST9rkCFcqZ4AodNEcA1Q

7. Barbie Digital Makeover Mirror

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A make-up free makeover tool for girls!  An iPad transforms the vanity frame into a mirror, allowing girls to select “makeup” options and apply the virtual makeup using the applicator.

Learn more: http://mattelbrandsmedia.com/product.php?category=0&product=110

8. Doc McStuffins Get Better Check Up Center

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Exclusively sold at Toys’R’Us, this Checkup Center allows kids to use their imagination for healing toys and giving checkups.  Included are 27 separate pieces, such as x-rays that activate light and sound and an electronic “Big Book of Boo Boos” that aids in making a diagnosis.

Learn more: http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=24342656

9. HexBug Nano V2 Black Hole

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This is a new “breed” of Nano V2 bugs that climbs vertically, horizontally, through loops and around corners.  The Black Hole enables kids to customize the layout of the three-story set, encouraging their creativity.

Learn more: http://www.hexbug.com/hexbug-nano-v2-black-hole.html

10. Flutterbye Fairies

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Enchantment awaits as you unleash the fairies.  Each doll comes on a display stand; once the button is pressed, she dances in the air, her wings fluttering.  Placing a hand above or below her changes her height and direction.

Learn more: http://www.toysrus.com/buy/dolls-stuffed-animals/princess-fairy-dolls/flutterbye-pink-flying-flower-fairy-6020448-20219616


Pop-Tarts Gone Nutty! leaves fans just that

July 2, 2013

Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts have always been a staple in the cupboards of kids and adults alike. With flavors like frosted strawberry, s’mores, and brown sugar cinnamon, Pop-Tarts managed to revolutionize the breakfast pastry market offering consumers a sweet, savory treat without trekking to a café. With Pop Tarts Gone Nutty!, Kellogg’s managed to capture the hearts of moms who want to send their kids off with a hot breakfast and the appetites of kids with two  new yummy flavors: peanut butter and frosted chocolate peanut butter.

“Peanut butter has long been the most requested flavor by our fans,” said Dick Podiak, director of marketing for Pop-Tarts. “We think everyone will agree it was worth the wait once they taste these delicious new varieties.”

Read more at the Schneider Associates blog.

 


MMNPL Top 5 Picks from Tom Kraeutler, Host of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show

January 23, 2013

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Our home products expert, Tom Kraeutler, is the Host, Founder and Chief Home Improvement Evangelist of The Money Pit. He is a hands-on home improvement broadcast journalist and the kind of guy homeowners want to call at midnight when their basement floods. He first earned his home improvement stripes as a professional home inspector, amassing over 20 years experience learning how houses are put together, and how they fall apart!

Here are his selections for the Most Memorable New Home Product Launches of 2012:

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Andersen 400 Series Tilt-Wash Double-Hung Insert Window

These windows are an excellent choice to replace old, drafty windows that are hard to open or require frequent scraping and painting. Andersen has made it so that installing these windows couldn’t be easier.  The 400 Series Tilt-Wash Double-Hung Insert Window is custom sized to fit inside an existing window frame. Just remove the top and bottom sash and insert the new window. It’s a great DIY project that requires only basic skills and no special tools. Plus, you can install the window from inside your home, making it easy to replace even second-floor windows.  The tilt function makes it easy to clean them, and the low-maintenance exterior eliminates the need for paint. Plus, the high-performance Low-E4 glass provides superior energy-efficiency.

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Black & Decker Gyro

Every once in a while a company comes out with a truly unique innovation that completely takes me by surprise. Gyro is one of those products — the world’s first motion activated power screwdriver. It’s really cool and fun to use.  Here’s how it works: the trigger is on the back of it, so when you squeeze the Gyro you engage the power switch. To turn it on, you rotate it to the right. It starts very slowly, and the more you turn, it goes full throttle. To slow it down you simply turn it back towards neutral or center, wherever you started with it. And then to reverse the direction, you simply turn it to the left. Gyro was developed by Black & Decker to give users more control over the application, both in speed and direction. And at a suggested retail price of $39.99, it’s both innovative and inexpensive!

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Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch

The age-old problem of leaving lights on in empty rooms is solved with the Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch from Lutron. It can detect motion so that it turns lights on when you enter a room and off when a room is empty. This hands-free technology makes life easier when you’ve got an armful of laundry or groceries, and it’s great for a household with kids who might not always remember to turn off the lights when they leave a room. It’s also convertible to manual on/off vacancy sensors for use in bedrooms and homes with pets. You can install it in 15 minutes or less, and it works with all types of light bulbs, including LED, CFL, tube fluorescent, halogen and incandescent.  And by replacing just one standard light switch with a Maestro Occupancy Sensing Switch, you can save up to $25 in energy costs.

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Philips L Prize-Winning 10 Watt LED Bulb

This $10 million prize-winning light bulb is an answer to our energy future that’s here today – selected by the U.S. Department of energy as the most energy efficient-alternative to the standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. Philips 10-watt LED bulb lasts 30 times longer – up to 27 years!! – and can save you up to $165 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. Wave goodbye to the hassle of changing bulbs frequently and pat yourself on the back for choosing a bulb that’s smart for the planet AND your wallet. Philips 10-watt LED bulb is fully dimmable and provides soft white light with virtually no UV in the beam, so it won’t fade fabrics. And it’s designed in a traditional bulb shape that will fit right into your existing fixtures.

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Fluidmaster Duo Flush System

As a nation, we flush away billions of gallons of water every day. You can be part of the solution by improving a water-wasting toilet in your own home. Fluidmaster’s Duo Flush is an innovative system that converts any toilet into a high-efficiency, water-saving dual flush toilet that saves you money to boot. It provides up to 50% water savings with every flush, and can knock your water bill down by more than $120 a year per toilet. It’s easy to install – takes just 20 minutes – and easy to use: Just lift the handle up for a half flush and push it down for a full flush. You’ll be reducing your annual water usage by more than 15,000 gallons, and the planet will thank you.


Top 5 Beauty Products of 2012

October 4, 2012

Our Beauty Expert Kelly Logan Gould, is best known as the editor of Gouldylox Reviews, which was ranked one of this year’s Top 50 Best Beauty Blogs by iFabbo. Kelly also contributes to Lock & Mane and She Said Beauty. Here are her picks for the five most memorable beauty products of the year!

Sarah Potempa Beachwaver ­ — The Beachwaver will save you time and leave you looking like you just left the red carpet! Sarah and her sister Erin worked on developing this innovative rotating curling iron for over two years. The technology is unsurpassed (with customized extra-long barrel, digital temperature control, and Left/Right control buttons), the idea is simple, and your hair will look fabulous. Guaranteed! – This is the best iron I’ve tried this year. It takes the guess work out of the perfect beach waves, EVERY TIME.

Garnier BB Cream — Skin concerns, such as discoloration, dullness, blotchiness and dryness can come from a number of different sources. It’s hard to find just one product that addresses them all. Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream immediately and effectively fullfills your skincare expectations with just one multi-benefit product that combines intense moisturizing skincare + immediate skin perfecting coverage for skin that looks naturally more even, radiant and smooth.

Sally Hansen Real Polish Strips — It wears like nail polish because it IS nail polish. No dry time, so you’re ready to go. This is so easy to apply, it wears for more than a week when topped with clear polish and looks fantastic with no nail damage.

Knockout Nails — This revolutionary new system will take your nails from short and brittle—to strong and beautiful. By strengthening the nails with its unique hardening ingredients, cured in the UV light, KNOCKOUTnails prevents the nails from chipping and breaking. Your nails are completely dry in 2 minutes, so you can go right back to your daily routine, no matter how strenuous. Knockout Nails protects and strengthens your natural nails so they become longer, stronger, and more beautiful. You can use any of your favorite polishes on top of KNOCKOUTnails.  This is like a gel manicure that allows you to change your polish color whenever you want. Your nails are always clear, strong and lovely!

Too Faced 3 Way Lash Lining Tool — A triple-tip lash-emphasizing tool that fills in spaces between lashes, giving the natural impression of thicker, more luscious lashes. This innovative 3-in-1 design makes lash emphasizing dots, tight-lining and traditional lash-lining easy. Great for cat eyes! This looks incredibly gimmicky, BUT WORKS and makes everything so easy!

What beauty products did you find most memorable this year? Are there any you’re eager to try? Let us know and keep checking back as we count down to the results of our annual Most Memorable New Product Launch survey!


Our Expert Picks The Top Five Tech Products of 2012

September 28, 2012

MMNPL’s Technology Expert Curtis Silver has more than experience when it comes to technology. Silver has written and worked for Wired.com, Gunnar Optiks, Technorati.com, and Digital Dads (writer of the 2nd best NFL column on the internet). Check out what our expert expects to be the most memorable tech products this year!

1. WiiU – What needs to be said about the first next generation system to be released by the big three? While Playstation and Xbox are still refining their next devices, Nintendo is first to the game – just in time for Christmas. With a handheld and portable controller, updating to HD and integrating more social factors, the WiiU is sure to be a huge hit.

2. Nokia Lumia 920 – This is the last chance for a Windows phone to grab enough market share to keep making Windows phones. The Lumia 920 is probably the sleekest, fastest mobile device that carries the Windows operating system. This is a nice phone. Easy to use, intuitive and streamlined. But is a multitude of colors enough to compete with Android and iOS? You are going to see more of these on the street in the coming months, as people realize that the fair market of operating systems makes for a stronger little guy.

3. iPhone 5 – I’m not a fan of the iPhone, but certainly of what it represents. While the iPhone is no more spectacular than the Samsung Galaxy III or the Motorola Razr, Apple still is able to not only innovate in their design and operating system, but easily profit while doing so. Love or hate Apple, their contribution to the hipster lifestyle can’t be ignored.

4. Origin PC Eon Laptops – Origin, a company made up of the former brains behind Alienware, is quickly becoming one of the elite manufacturers of high end gaming computers. Their EON line of gaming laptops include 3D options and amazing graphics and sound. Next time you go to PAX, E3 or CES check out how many gaming rigs are Origin PC’s. The Origin EON is going to bring Origin into the arena dominated by companies like Dell, and eventually push them out. Bottom line: if you are a gamer, you want an Origin.

5. Makerbot Replicator – An open source 3D printer? Yes please. This represents the future of so many independent industries, from animation to architecture and beyond. While the process still needs some refinement, this printer is the first step in a fairly new technology that is going to redefine how we mold and view the world.

Which do you think will be the most memorable? Let us know you expert opinion!


Our Expert Picks Top 5 Pet Products of 2012

September 24, 2012

Amanda Shih, our pet expert and dog trainer, walker, groomer and boarder created her blog, Doggie Product Review, to provide other dog owners with helpful, easy to understand product reviews. Based in Chicago, she reviews toys, treats, food and general tools. Here is her list of the top Five Most Memorable 2012 Pet Products.

Absolutely New’s Treat Launcher™ eliminates getting doggie drool on your hands and makes feeding time fun! Simply pull the trigger and a single piece of food is launched into the air.  Not only is this a great way to give your dog exercise, it also feeds your dog at the same time.

The DogGone Smart Pet Bed is the latest high tech product to hit the market for dog beds.  The  truly amazing water-resistant  Dog Gone Smart Pet Bed leaves your dog’s bed clean without compromising on fabric feel or comfort.

Bionic Toss N Tug Toyfloats, flies, and is guaranteed to be chewed and not break or Bionic will give you a new one for free! The demo video for this cool toy shows how it can survive a blender and  still look like new.They also have models that can be filled with treats to provide hours of safe fun for your pooch.

Frosty Bowlz has a freezable insert that will keep your pet’s water ice cold for up to 18 hours!  A must for hot summer days.

Pet Paint is just that: safe, non-toxic, and veterinarian approved paint for your dog. The first-of-its-kind, this product is sure to leave a lasting memory when you paint on your team’s colors. Imagine the looks your dog will draw at parades, social events, and parties all painted up and ready to show!

The year 2012 has introduced us to many new pet products. What do you think is the best new product? Which would you be most likely to try? Make sure to check back toward the end of the year, when we will be revealing our Most Memorable New Product Launch survey final results.


Launch Talk: What You Can Learn from the iPhone 5 Launch

September 13, 2012

No one launches products like Apple, and you can learn a lot from their hugely successful Apple Conference 2012 event. These events have become so iconic, they have truly changed the game when it comes to press conferences.

SA’s EVP Julie Hall and marketing coordinator Noel Fisher discuss how Apple manages to build buzz and gain media attention using the very traditional press conference.

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Launch of the Week: Starbucks Refreshers

August 27, 2012

Starbucks has brewed up a new alternative to coffee or sugary energy drinks- Starbucks Refreshers. Made with green coffee extract, can these beverages give consumers the light afternoon buzz they crave? And will they be one of 2012’s Most Memorable New Product Launches?


Barilla Makes 60-Second-Italian with Microwaveable Meals Launch

August 10, 2012

Barilla, the world’s leading pasta brand, recently made its first leap to the microwavable aisle with its tasty launch—Barilla Microwaveable Meals. From the cabinet to the microwave to the table, the new single serving meals bring a little piece of Italy right to the home in just 60 seconds.

The portable 320 calorie meals are available in five varieties including Mezze Penne with Traditional Marinara Sauce, Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce, Mezze Penne with Spicy Marinara Sauce, and in two whole grain options including Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara Sauce and Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce (and for those of you pasta lovers, that’s five different pasta dishes for five work days, but who’s counting?)

Barilla’s new creation was developed with the busy on-the-go professional in mind.

“[The meals] are shelf stable so you can throw them into your bag on your way out the door, or keep a supply in your desk drawer,” said Giannella Alvarez, president of Barilla America in a press release.

With the April 5th product announcement on the brand’s Facebook page, Barilla invited the first 1,000 users to register for a free sample of the microwaveable meals to be sent to their home. The samples were gone almost as soon as the offer was posted. Social media engagement didn’t stop there for the new all-natural meals; Twitter followers were encouraged to use the hashtag #BarillaIn60 to share their thoughts on the new product.

Barilla is no amateur when it comes to product launching. The top pasta brand invited editors from some of the most well-known New York City publications to test the new microwaveable meals, and captured the entire event on video—which they of course included on their YouTube channel.

Effective campaign initiatives aside, what makes these microwavable meals so different from the rest? For starters: simplicity. The meals are shelf stable and packed with quality ingredients minus the preservatives, not to mention they’re incredibly convenient. It’s easy products like this that consumers have come to expect, and as long as Barilla keeps launching them, they’ll keep holding onto that #1 spot.


Launch of the Week: Barilla Microwavable Meals

July 27, 2012

Barilla, famous for their fresh, frozen and dried pastas, sauces and meals, has launched its first line of microwavable meals. Ready in 60 seconds, 320 calories each and 5 great flavors to choose from- will this pronto pasta be perfecto for Barilla?