awards tagged posts

Old Board Games Can be Worth Monopoly Money, Says Marketplace Expert

Collectors are Scrabbling to buy rare classic board games, says ParcelHero

If you are old enough to remember rainy summer holiday afternoons before Super Mario or Minecraft existed, then some of the old board games you played with might be worth Monopoly money, says marketplace expert ParcelHero.Early UK Monopoly sets are worth Monopoly money says ParcelHero

ParcelHero’s Head of Publications, David Jinks, says: ‘Right now it doesn’t take a Mastermind to see that old board games can be a winner. Sales of new board games have increased by 40% as today’s children fall for the charms of games that don’t rely on staring at screens. To avoid Frustration, though, if you are giving them your old favourites to play with, check what items you actually have before you hand them over.’

David reveals: ‘Monopoly is perhaps the classic board game. The first version was produced by Charles Darrow in 1933-4; a very early original has just sold for £90,000 and the White Box edition sells for £5000. Darrow sold the Monopoly patent to Parker Brothers in 1935, and they first sold it widely, introducing the much-loved metal tokens. The key to the value of these early sets – called black box sets by collectors – is down to details as small as the patent wording on the box. For more information see eBay’s guide to collecting vintage Monopoly editions.’

Says David: ‘The game reached the UK after the director of Waddington’s liked the idea so much he made one of the first ever transatlantic ‘trunk calls’ to ask for the licence. The first version with London street names (instead of Atlantic City’s) was introduced in the UK in 1936. Pre-war editions can raise prices up to £1000, depending on condition. Even a 1961 set is currently on eBay for £500.’

Continues David: ‘The collectability and value of other board games is, well, a bit of a game of Snakes and Ladders, with values going up and down. Talking of which, an early Mickey Mouse Snakes and Ladders game sold for $480 recently.’

David concludes: ‘For many of us, the 1970s and 1980s were the golden age. Mousetrap sells from £40-£60, early Frustrations for around £100, Mastermind at around £35-£50, with Kerplunk the poorer cousin at £15-£20. Remember these were mass produced, but not so many have survived intact. My own favourite, an elaborate game called Haunted House, is also worth a spooky amount: an early 1962 example sold recently for $800.’

If you are buying and selling old board games remember to pack them well and use a quality courier. For example, ParcelHero is approved by Trading Standards and gives £50 free cover on all items sent.


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All about the Rainbow Toy Awards

The Rainbow Toy Awards for Excellence have been recognised by the UK toy industry since 2009.  In 2013, the fifth year of the awards, the Rainbow Awards site began writing toy reviews.  Suppliers can send in toys for review at anytime during the year, it is a free service and the supplier will be an objective review of their product.

What’s more, each review is written by a parent and/or trained education professional, so each toy review will recommend further ways to use the toy, for an educational benefit or learning outcome, plus the Rainbow Buttons will disclose what skills would be practiced by using the toy.  A Rainbow Toy Review has real benefit to parents and carers, it’s not just a meaningless star rating.

The Skill buttons are:


Since 2009 Rainbow have organised awards for toy excellence, in 2011 these were re-branded as – The Rainbow Awards for Toy Excellence (or ‘The Rainbows’ for short) and in 2012 Rainbow 360 Media Ltd joined the team on the marketing of the awards.

The Rainbow Toy Awards reward the very best new toys, helping consumers to make smart choices in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.

Each toy entered is tested by children along with their carers or parents. We carefully select them for the correct age, gender and setting. Our specialist testers are from varied backgrounds allowing testing in group settings such as schools and childcare and also on an individual basis.

Most toys  tested will be reviewed by our various blogger testers and reviews will appear on their blogs.
Feedback is collated on each toy to enabling us to choose the top toys and present awards accordingly.
Each category has one overall Winner as well as one ‘Highly Recommended’ and there is an one overall Champion for the awards each year.

We don’t offer huge amounts of categories or many finalists in each category, so to win a Rainbow Toy Award is a real accolade and means the toy has fought off stiff competition.

The Awards this year were:

The 2014 Overall Champion

Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch champ

Best Preschool Toy

Winner – Little Love 3 in 1 Push Chair by VTech

Little Love pushchair_kidshot2 copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks First Builders Big Building Bag by Mega Brands

mega brnds builders bag copy

Best Arts & Crafts Toy

Winner – Edible Sweet Art Chocolate Coin Press by Tobar

choc coin maker

Highly Commended – Jelly Fun Jelly Slush Maker by John Adams


Best Wheeled Toy

Winner – Despicable Me Folding Scooter by H Grossman

scooter copy

Highly Commended – 3-in-1 Step ‘n Ride Lion by Bright Starts

step ride lion copy

Best for Imaginative Play

Winner – Adventure Pack JetPack by Harry and Jack

HarryJacksJetPack copy

Highly Commended – Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen by Plum Products

Snowdrop Interactive Wooden Kitchen 41066 Cut Out - With Accessories copy

Best Games & Puzzles – The Young Ones

Winner – Pig Out! By John Adams

pig-out-game copy

Highly Commended – Jumbo ZIP-IT by Bananagrams

jumbo zip it copy

Best Games & Puzzles – 8 Years and above

Winner – Accentuate by Accentuate Games

accentuate copy

Highly Commended – Hotel Tycoon by Esdevium Games

hotel tycoon copy

Best Electronic Toy

Winner – Kidizoom Smart Watch by VTech Electronics

VTech Kidizoom Smart watch3 copy

Highly Commended – LeapPad3 by LeapFrog

leap pad3

Best Construction Toy

Winner – Kinetic Sand by Spinmaster

kinetic sand copy

Highly Commended – Mega Bloks 123 Thomas Learning Train by MegaBrands

123 thomas train copy

Best Educational Toy

Winner – Sparkup: The Magical Book Reader

spark up magical book reader

Highly Commended – Appletters by Bananagrams

appletters copy

Best Plush Toy

Winner – Ultimate Spider-Man Go Glow Pal by Worlds Apart


Highly Commended – My First baby Annabell Newborn

baby ananabell copy

Best Outdoor Toy

Winner – Mini Hornit by Hornit

mini hornit copy

Highly Commended – A.I. Copter from TX Juice by Wow! Stuff


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Cision Top Ten Blogs – Our News!

Cision is the leading tool for PRs, press and the media in general and each month checks online to find the biggest influencers in each topic. With over 160,000 digital influencers listed by Cision – the Rainbow Awards were delighted to be listed as the number two social influencer this month!

Top 10 2014 copy

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Look out for our Toy Testers!

All our toy testers will be sporting the badge on their blog.

2014 tester

To find out how to be a toy tester please look at our Facebook page here – Rainbow Awards





Please do not email from here, check the Facebook page to see what the criteria is first and exactly how to apply, incomplete applications will be rejected without notice.

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Toy Fair 2014 in pictures

Everyone loves Hama Beads

Everyone loves Hama Beads

Hasbro had an amazing stand

Hasbro had an amazing stand

The LEGO stand was packed !

The LEGO stand was packed !

Love Scout!

Love Scout!

A good day was had by all

A good day was had by all


We saw the Rainbow Awards logo all over the place

We saw the Rainbow Awards logo all over the place

Triqo won best toy in the show

Triqo won best speciality toy in the show

A busy toy fair!

A busy toy fair!

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The Extreme Ambush Kit (Ultimate)

All over the country Xboxes are being abandoned in favour of one of these. This kit contains exciting things such as a camo ghillie suit to help you disappear into the undergrowth, an owl hoot to warn you the enemy is approaching, stink bombs and bomb bags, catapults and marshmallows to bombard the enemy.

Who doesn’t love an ambush?  Lots of fun for all the family is held within one lovingly prepared kit.  We loved the attention to detail in the BattleBox family of products.ghillie

The Ambush Kit contains;

  • Ghillie suit
  • Camo water bottle
  • Catapult – with marshmallows for catapulting!
  • 5 x bomb bags to create ultimate explosions
  • Fun snap
  • Hefty back pack for all your needs whilst hiking
  • Chocolate bar for added energy
  • Owl Whistle
  • Smoke Bomb
  • Stink Bomb
  • Plus a book on things to do with a stick – ideal for our 12 year old boy!


Our Play Advice:

Skills this toy will help your child with;

creative skillssocial skills We loved the fact this was good old fashioned pretend play, that increased social skills if children played together – either sharing a box or having one each.  The Suit proved popular and hiding was a good game.

It lead to researching the army and things to do with camouflage online. Plus lots of hide and seek games could be played by children with adults too.  Good all round social fun!

The Ultimate Ambush kit can be bought online here for around £90

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Little Tikes Cookin’ Creations Wood Kitchen

During the year when the Rainbow Toy Awards are just bubbling and our testers are working hard, we’ll be using the Rainbow Toy Awards site to review toys, any toys!  We’ll be offering full and frank reviews on the toys sent in.  Sometimes we’ll use our testers to give a ‘child’s eye view’ and other times we’ll take a look ourselves.

Reviews will be undertaken by parents and trained educational professionals so you can be sure of good information.

The Rainbow Toy Awards site won’t be offering any scores on its reviews so there is no conflict with the awards themselves.  We’ll just offer honest advice plus ideas on how to play with your child.

One our Award Winners has been chosen as the first review product.  The Little Tikes Cookin’ Creations Wood Kitchen come in a box that is bigger than the average child!  How cool a gift would that make?


The shine may be taken off the excitement on Christmas morning without forward planning though, as there is a little adult assembly.  Full instructions were included and even the most hapless DIYer should not be put off as it was an easy make.

Once all set up you can see that the Cookin’ Creations Wood Kitchen comprises;

  • Sturdy wooden construction
  • Unisex colour scheme
  • Metal pots and pans are included plus lots of other cool accessories
  • We found the granite-look countertop a really lovely feature
  • Plenty of appliances including cooker, hob, sink, washing machine and microwave


We particularly liked the colour scheme which would be suitable for boys and girls alike, plus the size was excellent to keep any child amused even as they grow taller.

The Cookin’ Creations Wood Kitchen is for children aged 2+ and would last until the child is around 6, depending on height of child and maturity.

The Kitchen measures a hefty 98cm x 34cm x 103cm

 Our Play Advice:

Skills this toy will help your child with;

2013 winner     creative skills






Role Play is an important skill. Role Play is when your child ‘copies’ what you do, whether its feeding a dolly ‘baby’ or doing the washing and ironing.  Role Play helps your child learn about being a grown up.

In order to enhance this learning outcome play ‘tea parties’ with your child and their Little Tikes kitchen, it may sound simple but quality time letting them show you how they can ‘cook’ and use the drinks dispenser or wash up shows them those skills are important in life.  Plus any quality time is fun for both of you of course!

Finally if you want to buy the Little Tikes Wood Kitchen it is available from good toy retailers or online here for around £165.

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