See it: Lite Brite Flat Screen
Now I know what my parents meant when they used to say “They don’t make toys like they used to…” I’ve always thought toys have progressively gotten better. I look at my five-year-old daughter Ally’s toys and I wish I had them when I was growing up.
But there are some toys that were better when I was a kid. One of them is Lite Brite.
Ally got the Lite Brite Flat Screen for her fifth birthday and I was so excited. This was one of my favorite toys as a kid and I couldn’t wait to share it with her. But pretty quickly I found out, this is not the Lite Brite I grew up with.
For starters, the Lite Brite flat screen has a pretty weak bulb so it doesn’t glow very brightly. I remember my Lite Brite plugged in when I was a kid, which I’m sure is not safe, but it really GLOWED! The new Lite Brite also turns off automatically, so we have to keep turning it back on while creating our designs.
Also the flat screen lays flat, so it’s not as easy to see or show off your picture. I remember my Lite Brite was tilted, which I think made it easier to create pictures and display them.
I also don’t really like the peg storage on the bottom of Ally’s Lite Brite. It’s a container that rolls forward and backward to dispense and store the pegs. But Ally always has trouble rolling it forward and backward and eventually spills the pegs everywhere in the process.
The thing is, if I had never had my Lite Brite as a child, I would probably like the current version more. It is a great toy for developing creativity and fine motor skills. And Ally thinks it’s fun. But when I play Lite Brite Flat Screen with Ally, all I can think about is how much better this toy could have been and how much better it was a long time ago.
See it: Crocodile Dentist
Crocodile Dentist is one of those toys that is fun for a couple of days and then loses its appeal.
I got this game for my daughter Ally, age 4, and she thought it was fun for the first couple of times we played it, but then lost interest.
The game is a plastic crocodile who has one “sore tooth.” Players take turns pressing down his plastic teeth one at a time until someone presses the “sore tooth” and the crocodile’s mouth suddenly snaps shut. The sore tooth changes ever time you play and the game requires no batteries.
At first, Ally thought it was funny when the crocodile suddenly snapped down. But pretty quickly, she grew bored with the toy. The problem may be that this is no skill or challenge to the game. Either you pressed the wrong tooth or you don’t.
And Ally complains it hurts a little when the crocodile snaps his mouth closed on her hand. I would pass on this toy.
See it: Play-Doh My Little Pony Pinkie Pie Pretty Parlor Playset
The Play-Doh My Little Pony Pinkie Pie Pretty Parlor Playset is a cute idea for a toy but it just doesn’t work.
My daughter Ally, 4, recently got this toy because she loves Play-Doh and My Little Ponies. But unfortunately, she finds the toy pretty frustrating.
The Pretty Parlor Playset comes with a pony that can be filled with Play-Doh. Then the pony is placed on a plastic stand and when you press down, she grows a Play-Doh mane and tail. However, you have to press down pretty hard to make the “hair” grow and Ally just isn’t able to do it. And usually, to get as much pony hair as is shown on the box, you have to fill the pony with Play-Doh twice and press down twice.
Once I’ve done all the work to make the pony’s hair grow, Ally does enjoy standing the pony in front of the mirror, which is included, and giving her a haircut with the included comb and plastic scissors. But once her hair is cut, I know Ally will need me again to make more hair grow. I just wish the makers of this toy could have come up with an easier way for children to operate it.
I also wish they had come up with an easier way to clean out the pony once Ally is finished playing. The Play-Doh tends to get caught up inside the pony’s head and it’s difficult to remove it. Usually, before we even start playing with the pony, I have to run it under hot water and use a toothpick to remove the dried up Play-Doh that got caught in it that last time we played.
It’s a cute idea, but I would pass on this toy.