Tegu – Best Educational Toys

tegu-pocket-setWhat is Tegu?  We at Hot Toy Guide wondered the same thing when we first discovered them a few weeks ago.  The simplest way to describe Tegu is that they are well-design wooden construction pieces that attach magnetically to each other.  The best thing is that the magnets are inside the wood, not exposed.  This makes the pieces safer, more aesthetic, and longer lasting.

Other Advantages to buying Tegu

Although Tegu toys are clearly well designed, premium products (and which come with a higher price tag) they are made with social responsibility in mind.  When you buy a Tegu product you are given the opportunity to direct a portion of the proceeds to two Tegu initiatives: reforestation and education for the impoverished.  Tegu products are made in Honduras, from non-endangered wood.  The company is dedicated to be a good corporate citizen.  They are so transparent with their operations that they even invite people to visit the manufacturing site in Honduras.

42-Piece Tinted Set

Tegu - 42 Piece Set

Tegu – 42 Piece Set

The Tegu 42-piece tinted play set is a great starting point.  It offers enough pieces to build some interesting objects, but not too much to break your bank.

8-Piece Pocket Set


Tegu 8-Piece Pocket Set

This 8-Piece Tegu travel set has enough pieces for some casual playtime when you’re on the go, such as in a car or on a plane.  The handy carrying case keeps everything together (and it looks great too).

Tegu Skyhook Block Set


Tegu Skyhook

Not all Tegu sets are free-form construction sets.  The Tegu Skyhook is a mini-helicopter that enhances the play experience of the other Tegu construction sets.  It’s a fun addition that kids will love.

Other Tegu Sets

There a tons of other Tegu sets to choose from.  Here are a few more, but you can easily search on Amazon for more Tegu Sets.

52-Piece Natural Set

52-Piece Natural Set

Tegu Robo Block Set

Tegu Robo Block Set

130-Piece Classroom Set

130-Piece Classroom Set


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Get Your Racing On: ANKI Overdrive

Sometimes it’s hard to find toys with the right balance of action, excitement, mental exercise, and … well … fun.  You really don’t want your kids plopped in front of a monitor playing video games for hours on end.  But they may not want to sit down and read a book or play a quiet game of checkers either.

anki-overdriveHere is a fun alternative: The ANKI Overdrive Racing System.  Let’s be clear – this is not your grandfather’s racing game.  It is light-years beyond those old-fashion slot racing sets.  The key feature of this system is the ability to use your mobile device to control the robotic racing cars.  And you’re not just racing – you’re battling with the other racers through the mobile app.  You take advantage of the weapons and capabilities of each car to try to defeat your opponents – all through the app.

The ANKI Overdrive starter kit is great because it allows you to set-up eight different battlefields (aka race courses), and the track pieces are fairly flexible which allows you to disconnect and re-connect them easily.  It’s not like the old hard plastic track pieces that you had to carefully snap together, and worry about breaking the connector tabs.

Once you’re set-up players can battle each other or even battle the AI-controlled vehicles.  You control the battle via the mobile device app, which lets you take advantage of each car’s speed, weapons, and defenses.  The starter set comes with two cars, but you can purchase additional cars as well as expansion packs to let your battlefield grow in size.

We have not used this set ourselves, but the user reviews on Amazon are generally positive.  We recommend reading over the reviews before deciding if this set is right for you and your kids.

So now that you’re familiar with the system, here is a summary of starter set and additional packs you can buy:


Starter Kit

ANKI Overdrive Starter Kit

Everything you need to get started.  It provides 8 different track configurations plus 2 cars.

Big Bang Car

Big Bang Car

Add-On Car: ANKI Big Bang Racing Car

Exclusive weapons: Power Stomp, BF-27, Frag Mine

Other cars are also available:  Guardian, Nuke, Thermo

Additional Expansion Packs:

Corner Kit
Speed Kit
(There is also a Launch Kit, but we would not recommend it at this time due to reported problems from users)

There are also other accessory kits to make things more fun and more convenient (like a charging platform) – check out the main page of the Starter Kit to read all about the accessories.

Again we highly recommend that you check out the Amazon reviews to read about real user experiences, and then decide if you want to purchase this, and what accessories and expansion kits you might want.  Happy racing!!

Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Fun Dolls: Lalaloopsy

lalaloopsy-pompomYou may have heard the name Lalaloopsy – it’s quite catchy for sure.  But for young girls Lalaloopsy is a new kind of fun doll – a doll that is quite the opposite of the active lifestyle of the Barbie.  Lalaloopsy is an American line of plastic rag dolls that were originally released in 2010 as Bitty Buttons, but the brand name was changed to Lalaloopsy shortly thereafter.  You may see reference to Bitty Buttons in some sales listings on Amazon, so that what it refers to.

There are many different characters in the Lalaloopsy line of dolls.  For example, Peppy Pom Poms, Bluebell Dewdrop, and Blossom Flowerpot.  All in all we count over 70 different Large dolls, and plenty more Littles, Minis, and Tinies.  There are plenty of accessories and playsets available as well.  Collecting and playing with Lalaloopsy dolls can last for years.

Before you jump into your initial purchase of a Lalaloopsy doll, please be aware that there are at least 4 distinct sizes of doll: Large, Little, Mini, and Tiny.  We just mention this so that if you end up buying multiple dolls, or start a collection, you may want to stay within the same size initially.  Also if you purchase a playset some of them are specific to one size of doll.  You don’t want a “Mini” playset if your girl only has “Large” dolls.

Here are just a couple of the Lalaloopsy-related toys that we see becoming popular for this Christmas.

Lalaloopsy Babies Diaper Surprise Peanut Big Top Doll


Lalaloopsy Babies – Diaper Surprise Peanut Big Top

This is a fun doll for younger girls.  With Lalaloopsy Diaper Surprise you can  see your favorite Lalaloopsy characters when they were babies.  The picture above is for the Peanut Big Top doll.  Each Lalaloopsy Baby poops magical charms in reusable diapers, just by feeding your baby water and pressing their belly “button”.  There are lots of charms to collect.

Recommended for ages 4-15 years (small parts warning – not for children under 3 years)

Lalaloopsy – Furry Grrrs a Lot Doll

Lalaloopsy Furry Grrrs A Lot

Lalaloopsy Furry Grrrs A Lot

One of the more popular Large dolls is the Lalaloopsy Furry Grrrs A Lot.  This doll is 13 inches tall, and has articulated head, arms and legs.  The shoes and clothes can be removed for some fashion play.  It also includes an adorable furry pet.

People really seem to like this doll.  Some example statements are:

She was absolutely perfect and adorable.

This doll is very pretty and great for kids that like to play dress up.

Monsters have never been so cute.  What is there not to love.

Recommended for ages 4-15 years (small parts warning – not for children under 3 years)

Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.

Doc McStuffins Pet Vet for 2015

Disney Junior’s Doc McStuffins toys are very popular again in 2015, as a natural result of the TV series continuing to be a hit show.  We are seeing many different playsets being purchased on a weekly basis.  But if you’re looking for something new, something your daughter (or son) does not have yet, we have something to show you.  In August new episodes of the series Doc McStuffins: Pet Vet debuted on Disney Junior.  Naturally there are some new toys to go along with that new series, and we’re highlighting them here.

Doc McStuffins Vets n Pets Care Center

Doc McStuffins Pets n Vet Care Center

Doc McStuffins Vets n Pets Care Center

With the Vets n Pets Care Center kids can pretend to take care of their beloved pet friends and animals.  Future veterinarians will love exploring all the Checkup Center’s features and accessories, including Doc’s pet friend Findo who is ready for his checkup! Kids can slide in multiple play x-rays to activate lights and sounds, use the scale to weigh animals with a removable basket, and give them a bath with a pretend water sprayer.

The Pet Vet Checkup Center is also equipped with the tools of the vet’s trade: an electronic stethoscope, kid-powered EKG, otoscope, play thermometer, brush and bandage sticker dispenser to fix boo boos.  And just like real pets the patients can get a special treat after their checkup from the pet treat dispenser!

Recommended for Ages 3+.

Pet Vet Carrier Playset

Pet Carrier Playset

Pet Carrier Playset

Maybe you need to take your stuffed animal friend to the Vet.  It’s no problem with this Doc McStuffins Vets N’ Pets Carrier!  Like the full playset above you can help your plush friend Fetchin’ Findo feel all better with all of the tools for a complete checkup, including play Vet stethoscope, otoscope, brush, syringe, play bottle- even a food bowl for your puppy after his exam.  Doc’s special vet carrier also features a glittery handle!

Recommended for Ages 3+.


Disclaimer: This post may contain Affiliate links. Prices may change at any time. Do your own research before purchasing.