Fun developmental learning toys

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"Back in school" learning toys:

Discovery Kids 2 in 1 Microscope works as a handheld magnifier outdoors and as a traditional microscope indoors, and includes easy-to-use, no mess Snap Slides that contain real artifacts and specimens. The 2-in-1 Microscope features multiple magnifications ranging from 13X for outdoor to up to 200X for indoor viewing at higher magnifications. Ages 6+, Suggested Retail Price $29.99.
>> www.jakks.com

Flying Alarm Clock: This digital alarm clock launches a rotor into the air that flies around the room as the alarm sounds, hovering up to 9' in the air, and will not cease ringing until the rotor is returned to the alarm clock base, compelling even the most stubborn sleepers to get out of bed on time. The alarm clock has a continuous snooze function that rings every seven minutes for an entire hour, an easy-to-read LCD, and a six-button control panel for ease of programming. Requires four AA batteries. 3 3/4" H x 5 1/2" Diam. (7 oz.)
>> www.hammacher.com

Planet Earth Grow-a-World: With the Planet Earth Grow-a-World Kit, plant the seeds and watch teh continents grow. Kit includes bag of seeds, globe with stand, seed applicator, stick, interactive educational CD-Rom & instructional booklet. Interactive CD-Rom includes fun crossword puzzles, fill in the blank games and coloring activities.
>> toytips.com

Giant Chess Set: Checkmate the king in this giant set to win. Set contains plastic pieces measuring 4 to 8 inches tall and a 3-foot squarte mat.
>> www.pressmantoy.com

Night Goggles: The bright blue LEDs attached to eye goggles illuminate a line of sight up to 25 feet in the dark, allowing kids to keep their hands free for collecting clues on nighttime missions. The pop-out scope magnifies the view through one eye.
>> www.wildplanet.com

Flytech Battlestar is a revolutionary indoor flying machine that changes helicopter flight as we know it! This AI masterpiece only from WowWee, is the first flying toy with sensor-based navigation that enables it to glide itself through the air as it avoids ceilings and flies away from obstacles - or use just your hands to guide it! Alternately, take full control of Flytech Battlestar using the 3 channel digital IR controller. Face-off two Flytech Battlestars - attach the Dogfight accessory to the remote controller, and press the Fire button to take down your opponent, when in range! Made from light "high-flex" materials and designed to be crash-resistant, Flytech Battlestar is built for indoor use. When its starts to lose speed, simply charge it via the remote controller until it is ready for its next flight!
>> www.wowwee.com

Zero Gravity Micros working headlights also act as battery charge level indicators, and with 4 different frequencies you can even race against your friends! Package Includes: 1 Zero Gravity Micro Car 1 Controller/Charger 1 Instruction Sheet 1 Lipo battery (6 AA batteries not included) Age: 8+ Suggested Retail Price: $29.99 New for Fall 2008!
>> www.airhogs.com

Clone Trooper Learning Laptop: Available June 2008. Blast into inter-galactic fun with the Star Wars Clone Trooper Laptop. With sound effects, music, and animation from the Star Wars movies, your learner will feel like theyre part of the starfleet action while working through 30 different activities in 6 different categories. A QWERTY keyboard introduces real-life keyboarding skills. Features QWERTY keyboard 3-AA batteries (included) For ages 5 and up MSRP: $39.99.
>> www2.OregonScientific.com

About Marianne Szymanski
Marianne Szymanski is founder and president of Toy Tips, Inc., an international child development research group that conducts independent on-going academic and scientific research on products from the toy and juvenile product industries. A national author, entrepreneur, speaker, lecturer and media personality, Marianne has led her organization's unbiased tests of over 34,000 products from more than 900 manufacturers. A former retail sales representative for an international toy manufacturer, Marianne saw the opportunity to provide parents with unbiased information they can trust on how to select products that enhance a child's development. This inspired the 1991 formation of The Toy Research Institute, a year-round program of toy evaluation and testing that does not accept revenue from manufacturers. (toytips.com)

In 1996, she launched Toy Tips Magazine to provide parents with unbiased information about toy reviews, toy safety, durability, learning value, age appropriateness and enjoyment. To date, seventeen million copies have been distributed through retailers, hospitals, pediatricians and educators. Now renamed, Toy Tips & Parenting Hints, the publication has grown to include research on parenting, child safety and juvenile product reviews. An online version of Toy Tips & Parenting Hints is available free on the company website at toytips.com. In 2002, in order to serve her local community with toy lending, Marianne created the Toy Tips Toy Lending Library in conjunction with the Franklin Public Library in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

For the last fourteen years, Marianne's research has been regularly featured on Oprah, CNN, The Today Show, The Discovery Channel, FOX, Lifetime, HGTV, Oxygen, Living It Up with Ali and Jack, The History Channel, the Jane Pauley Show, PAX, CBS THe Early Show and close to 300 local new stations across the country. From 1992-1998, she was the resident toy guest on ABC's Good Morning America, and logged 53 segments. Marianne is the 1996 recipient of the Wisconsin Small Business Association Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a delegate of the 1995 White House Conference on Small Business in Washington, D.C. She is a past adjunct Associate Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at The USC Marshall School of Business and guest lectures at a number of colleges and universities worldwide.

Marianne's work has been published in research journals in the United States and the United Kingdom. She currently hosts her own Toy Tips segment on WITI -TV 6 FOX News in Milwaukee and the "Kid Tips Report with Marianne," a monthly feature segment for a variety of FOX news stations across the U.S.. Marianne sits on the marketing commitee of the Betty Brinn Children's Museum, is a board member of the St. Francis Hospital Foundation and a past auxillary board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs in Milwaukee, WI. She holds a dual degree in psychology and marketing from Marquette University. She is married to Garo Hartounian and is the mother of Maximillian and Mia.

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