Toy Test #5: Toys for Older Kids

Toy Test #5: Toys for Older Kids
By: Lauren Keith

"It's fun, but I don't know how much I'd play with it," says ten year old Maddie Siefert.
Right from the get-go, I see we have a board room full of some pretty tough critics for these toy tests.  First, the Mattel company sent the newest "Scene it" dvd board game. This one takes actual video clips from popular Nickelodeon tv shows and quizzes your kids. It's not hard to figure out either.  In fact, you can "watch" the directions for a demonstration.
This group likes it so far, but we'll have to see how it stacks up with the rest of the gadgets here.  Next, we turn up the sound on the new Iflops and Iconnect speakers.  It's actually a speaker for your mp3 player or i pod...same with the stuffed monkey. It's not exactly surround sound, but the kids love both of these $10 gadgets.
"Monkey and music--that's a good mix," says Maddie.
The ten year olds also point out--- the pillows are nice because you don't have to put in earphones to hear the music. Both guys and gals say it'd be awesome to listen to their music, like this, around bedtime. They think it would help them fall asleep faster.
"My mom, when she goes to sleep, it's instant.  But me, I need some help.  I would love to have this to listen to at night," says Ashley Westbrook.
Sorry, Mom! Meantime, Real Live Sports sent us the next toy, the ESPN Play by Play lets you announce games on the mic. You can also throw in some Sportcenter theme songs.
"The Cardinals make the play!" annouces Ashley on the mic.
It's fun at first, but that quickly wears off.
"There's not much to do except, sing along with the songs," says Danielle Childers.
Our final toy is another board game, but this classic has a new spin. The UNO Spin game has the same rules as the first, but it also throws in some different options. For instance, when someone draws the UNO Spin card, all players rush to yell "spin". The first to yell it gets to discard one card of their choice.  There is also a card telling you to trade hands and duel it out at war.
"I like UNO Spin because I don't like electronic games!" says Morgan Maguire.
What? Did this ten year old really say she doesn't like electronic games? That surprises me the most. In fact, this toy test found kids this age do like electronics but they also really like classic toys, like board games.
"They're actually games that are fun," says Alaina Childers.
Plus, every single one of these kids plays sports, so I thought for sure they'd have a blast with the Play by Play boom box, but that wasn't the case.
"You'd use the games more," says Bo Wilferth.
However, Danielle pointed this out:
"If we were playing outside, we could have more fun with it," she says.
So, I'll be fair come grade time, even though the kids picked the $100 ESPN Play by Play as their least favorite. I give it a "C-".
Meantime, the $35 Mattel Scene It game gets a "B" only because the kids liked $16 UNO Spin better. I guess it was more challenging. so, gets an "A+".
The other hit of the day--the IFLOP pillows. They're only ten dollars each at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Of course, you'll need an ipod or an MP3 player. These pillows rock out with an "A" on this toy test.