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

disney infinity

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

zoomer

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

airhogs helix

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

elmo

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

nerf

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

leapfrog

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

barbie

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

DocMcStuffinsCheckupCenter_JustPlay

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

hexbug

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

fairy

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


Top 5 Toy Launches of 2012 From Toy Expert Dan Nessel

October 17, 2012

It’s been a big year for toys with re-imagined classics and tablet technology trickling down to the playroom. We turned to toy reviewer Dan Nessel of DadDoes.com for his picks for the Most Memorable New Product Launches in the toy category this year.

 

Wii U by Nintendo

Nintendo is looking to shake up the video game industry with the Nintendo Wii U.  Rather than compete with the PS3 and Xbox 360 on purely power and graphics, the Wii U introduces a whole new way to play.  Every Wii U will come with a GamePad controller, basically a tablet that works with the Wii U.  The GamePad introduces a second screen and changes the way video games are played.

Nintendo has held a number of Wii U Experience events for the press and video game lovers to create a buzz around the system and it looks to be working.   Within days of the announcement that the Wii would be available on November 18th,  stores such as Target, Best Buy and Toys R Us had stopped taking pre-orders due to high demand.

Furby By Hasbro

Furby is back!  While it is unlikely the new Furby will match the craziness that surrounded the original Furby in 1998, Furby is still looking to be a hot toy for the 2012 holiday season.   The new Furby has new features to make him/her more interactive and you can now use an iPhone/iPad App to play with Furby.

Hasbro has done a big social media push for Furby and retailers are expecting high demand.   Furby has already been named to the Toys R Us, Walmart and Kmart Top Toy lists.

Razor Flash Rider 360

Razor puts a spin on the classic 3 wheel trike…literally.  The Flash Rider 360 turns and drifts on dual inclined caster wheels, so kids can easily do full 360 spins.  In addition to the spinning fun, The Flash Rider 360 has a Spark Bar, so now kids can spin and spark.

The Razor Flash Rider 360 was a hit at the 2012 International Toy Fair in NYC and was featured on ABC’s The View.  In addition, The Flash Rider 360 was named a Most Wanted Toy by Time To Play.

LeapPad 2 by Leap Frog

The original LeapPad was a hit and all indications are that the LeapPad 2 will be even more popular with technology loving kids.  At its June 2012 release, the LeapPad 2 sold more units in two days than the LeapPad 1 did in a week.

The LeapPad 2, is the next generation of the #1 kid’s learning tablet (LeapPad1), bringing  higher performance, new features and an extensive library filled with learning and creative content.

The LeapPad2 is a quality product with strong marketing and positive word of mouth recommendations behind it and was recently named to the Toys R Us, Walmart and Kmart Top Holiday Toy lists.

Air Hogs Hover Assault (Spin Master)

A hot trend this year is remote control (R/C) toys that do more than just drive or fly.   Air Hogs has created the ultimate R/C toy for boys – the Air Hogs Hover Assault.  The Hover Assault is a car that you can drive, but with the press of a button the car takes off and becomes a flying car.  It gets even better, press another button on the remote and fire missiles from your flying car.

Air Hogs has created buzz for the Hover Assault with a number of commercial spots, online videos and via social media.  Air Hogs Hover Assault was named to both the Walmart Top 20 Holiday Toy List and the Kmart Fab 15 Holiday Toy list.

What do you think of Dan’s picks? Check back for more expert product selections, and for the results of the Most Memorable New Product Launch survey coming later this year.