Help Me Hank toy test: Testing 2020′s top toys ahead of the holidays

Help Me Hank toy test goes virtual

Help Me Hank toy test: Testing 2020′s top toys ahead of the holidays

DETROIT – The Help Me Hank Toy Test went virtual this year to keep everyone safe.

We asked two families, both previous Help Me Hank toy testers, to try out some toys at home and give us their opinions.

The Morawski family has three children: Addy, 11; Will, 8; and Jack, 4.

The Basil family has twin 8-year-old boys, Dylan and Daniel.

Consumer Investigator Hank Winchester dropped off four toys to each family to play with and see what they liked and didn’t like about the toys.

Below is a breakdown of the toys.

Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition

Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition (WDIV)
  • Retails: $60
  • Ages 4 and up

This is an interactive version of Baby Yoda. The toy makes sounds and opens/closes its eyes when you wave a hand over its head.

“The Child” was a hit with the Morawski family. Addy said the noises make the toy seem like it’s alive. Jack said he loved him and that his ears are squishy. Will liked that it came with a necklace and his eyes closed.

Sarah Mayberry, their mom, said she expected they would like Baby Yoda, but it was even better than expected because it was so lifelike and does all the things that Baby Yoda does. She said Jack actually fell asleep with it.

Squeakee The Balloon Dog

Squeakee The Balloon Dog (WDIV)
  • Retails: $44-60
  • Ages 5 and up

This is not made out of balloon. It is a hard plastic dog that is interactive. Kids can feed and train Squeakee with him responding to the squeak of the ball, voice commands and touch sensors.

The Basil family really took to this toy. Dylan said it was the best thing ever and he didn’t need to see the other toys. They made him sit, roll over, and even pee.

VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam

VTech KidiZoom Creator Cam (WDIV)
  • Retails: $60
  • Ages 5 and up

Both Dylan and Daniel Basil liked the KidiZoom Creator Cam. It had several different animated backgrounds, including one where a dinosaur was chasing after them.

It also comes with a green screen, tripod and selfie stick. Daniel said he loved the toy.

Mom, Darra Basil, said the camera was really cool. She recommends reading the packaging because you need an SD chip like any regular camera.

She said if you didn’t have that on hand when your child opens the gift, they might be disappointed.

Skyrocket Chocolate Pen

Skyrocket Chocolate Pen (WDIV)
  • Retails: $30-40
  • Ages 6 and up

The pen uses real chocolate to draw and fill candy molds. Children can eat the chocolate once it hardens.

The Morawski family was not impressed with the chocolate pen. Addy said the pen clogged easily and the designs turned out sloppy, not like the pictures on the box.

The family did agree that despite now the designs turned out, the chocolate tasted good.

Present Pets

Present Pets (WDIV)
  • Retails: $50
  • Ages 5 and up.

The Present Pet is all about watching the puppy try to get out of the box during the initial opening.

The Morawski family really enjoyed watching that happen and seeing which puppy would reveal itself. The puppy also plays games, makes sounds and wags its tail, among other actions.

Jack liked the sounds the puppy made and its tricks. Addy said it’s not something she would ask for, but good for younger kids. Will thought it was really cool to watch the pet come out of the box.

Overall, the Morawskis liked the Present Pet and suggest it’s good for younger children.

Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set

Beyblade Burst Rise Hypersphere Vortex Climb Battle Set (WDIV)
  • Retails: $50
  • Ages 8 and up

The battle setup has four sections so kids can play different ways. It also comes with two Beyblade launchers.

Beyblades are popular with kids, and this set allows them to battle each other.

Dad, Matt Morawski, said once they figured out how to use the Beyblades, it was a fun toy. He recommends other parents take this toy out ahead of time, play with it and understand how it works, so it is easier to teach the children how to play with it.

WowWee Power Treads

WowWee Power Treads (WDIV)
  • Retail: $25
  • Ages 5 and up

This is a track that can be set up anywhere in the house, and that is exactly what Dylan and Daniel did during the test. They really liked the all-surface vehicle that could move across the floor on its own.

Gotta Go Flamingo

Gotta Go Flamingo (WDIV)
  • Retail: $20-30
  • Ages 4 and up

Kids can feed the Gotta Go Flamingo, and then the toy literally has to go. The toy flamingo moves and makes noises as it eats and then sings, “Uh oh, gotta go,” when it has to go to the bathroom.

It’s placed on the toilet and goes to the bathroom. The “food” is reusable for kids to use again and again.

The Basil family did not know what to think about this toy. They liked that it mimicked voices but didn’t love it going to the bathroom.

About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.