You know the fourth quarter is approaching when Dr. Stevanne Auerbach (a.k.a. Dr. Toy), North America’s favourite play expert, releases her annual 100 Best Children’s Products List. Always a well-researched compilation of items — from board games to robotics — this year’s list includes product from five Canadian companies.
Sharing the spotlight with some of the toy industry’s biggest names are Bloco Toys for its Primates of the World Building/Puzzle Set, Foxmind Canada for its Fauna board game, B.C.’s Griddly Games for its Oversight game, B. by Battat for its Car Go CarGo learning toy, and Toronto’s Spin Master for Air Hogs Hyperactive. (Bloco Toys and Foxmind Canada, both Quebec companies, were profiled in recent years in Toys & Games Magazine.)
Before being named to her “Best” list, which was created to assist parents when making toy purchases especially at holiday gift-giving time, products must first undergo extensive testing and meet Dr. Toy’s many high standards for design and safety. This year, in addition to her usual criteria, Dr. Toy says she also considered items in terms of price versus play value. “Rising costs for products require us to be wise consumers, and shop carefully to get extra lasting value. Certainly, durable products, properly designed and developmentally correct, are good values for their cost. Children’s positive reactions and lasting benefits are well worth the extra effort,” she reports.