(Toledo News Now) - We took nine toys into the kindergarten classroom of Cheryl Stewart at Lincoln School in Anna, Illinois. Right away, a crowd forms around one of this year's hottest toys: a blast from the past, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Will they have enough "turtle power" to outlast our toy test? After a few weeks of testing, here's what we found with the nine toys.
As popular as train sets are, this $40 set wasn't exactly chugging along to the top. Wilson's Wild Ride was actually a little dull and hard to put together.
"They don't do anything. They just roll down the track," said Trevor.
"We gave it a 'B'. It wasn't something they went to first," said teacher's aide, Julie Bonner.
Something the girls did go to first: the newest Dora doll.
They sat back and watched as Fantastic Gymnastics Dora flipped and stood on her hands, but that's about it.
"She was hard to hold and cuddle with. So, the girls did not like that."
For $50, Dora might need to "explore" more fun play options.
"We gave her a 'D.'"
Now, let's transform into the newest dinosaur changeables. Vtech offers three new ones: the Switch and Go car, a blue raptor, and the higher-priced, bigger, "Brok the Brachiosaurus."
Parents will be happy to know the cheapest was played with most. The $15 yellow Switch and Go dino earns an 'A', but the $25 blue Spanosaurus was hard to transform.
"It was expensive, so we gave it a 'D.'"
Meantime, Brok, the $40 dinosaur that turns into a big rig complete with sound effects, takes a big bite out of our test.
"You could control it. We gave it an 'A.'"
That's not the only dino taking a stance. Walk and Stomp Arnie rears back on his hind legs, all with the push of a button on your wrist remote control. However, he didn't walk well on most surfaces. The girls couldn't cuddle him, and everyone seemed to lose interest.
So, for $50....
"We gave it a 'D.'"
Let's draw out our next test, and you can with Vtech's Stencil and Learn Studio. The computer voice tells the child the letter they're tracing, plays music, and more. The $20 learning toy is a hit in the classroom and on this test, earning a coveted 'A!'
"The door fell off!"
And, it didn't matter. Even with parts falling off of it, the $30 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Van is a hit.
"The van would be the one thing the kids would want for Christmas."
Parents, I'll tell you it's not exactly fun to put together, but your efforts are rewarded with these smiles.
"The boys loved it. The price was reasonable. We gave it an 'A.'"
It looks like the "heroes in a half-shell" are also the heroes in this Does it Work toy test.