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Product Evaluation Guidelines

Just as with the evaluation process for the "Good Housekeeping Seal", which has continued to remain so popular and trusted for many years, a product must include excellent production values, universal ethical values, appeal to children, be consistent with age appropriateness, and innovative value in order to be considered for acceptance by The Toy Man® News & Reviews to become a recipient of The Toy Man® Seal of Approval.

The Toy Man® News & Reviews staff look for products that not only entertain, but also teach simultaneously with an added edge. The products must actively stimulate a child's imagination, and contribute to further creative skill development in the age group for which they are designed.

A product must be easy for them to use, consistent with current safety standards, as well as interesting. Products should contribute to a child’s development, mentally, physically, socially, and emotionally, while also being something they can have fun playing with. The product should have a strong durability level for extensive periods of play time and not break in the child's hands with reasonable use in their active play.

A very vital part of the scenario is that the company which produces the toy should be dependable and stand behind its product. It should have tested it with children to validate age appropriateness and match descriptive information, age guidelines, and suggestions for use. It should also be independent lab tested if applicable.

PLEASE NOTE: Results of product evaluations which fail to meet our guidelines will not be released, except to the manufacturer who submitted the product for review.  We do not return products which are submitted, (unless arrangements have been made prior to start of product evaluation.)

Products are generally donated with all appropriate manuals, etc. to persons in the target market for which the product has been designed, children's wards at hospitals, schools, off-continent urgent concerns, special needs children, or charities for disadvantaged children for most beneficial use from the contribution of the product.




Basis Of Our Product Evaluation Guidelines

All products are evaluated based upon strict guidelines originally established by the International Parenting Institute™, ( hereafter referred to as IPI™), and the ChildSafe International Corp., which are quite detailed and have been carefully developed. Globally recognized credentialed professionals in multiple fields have either donated their time or been paid to help establish these guidelines and regular updating of same.

These guidelines are periodically updated to remain consistent with current trends of the industry regulations and consumer market. All guidelines updates are made by The Toy Man® News & Reviews authorized staff.

An important point to consider which makes The Toy Man® News & Reviews more unique is that the evaluation guidelines we use for a bicycle are far different than the guidelines for a plush toy. Professionals from each class of products have been used to carefully define evaluation guidelines specific to each product type.

Each individual product evaluation/review is performed by a group of our staff members in addition to independent credentialed professional(s) who specialize in the same category as the product being tested. In addition, every product is subjected to spontaneous hands-on consumer evaluation.  

The evaluation report summaries are derived from a combination of the scoring from the evaluation reports and the hands-on consumer feedback forms for all inductees.  They are written in a style to reach the specific target market for which the product is intended. This adds a unique perspective to each evaluation report summary and adds greater value.




A Sample Of Our Guidelines Structure

A sample of our guidelines structure which we use to evaluate and rate products submitted for evaluation is listed below. Please note that this is only a "sample" outline of our entire evaluation guidelines.

Each section is evaluated on a 1 to 5 scale with the larger number being positive and the lower number being negative. We do not share our entire group of guidelines to maintain a unique proprietary evaluation procedure.

Sec. #0318 - PRIMARY BEHAVIOR

  • #0318 I/PB(a) Emotion
    • What is the level of "funQuotient™" - How appealing is the product for use by a child?
    • What is the level of "WOW!factor™" - To what degree does the product stimulate a strong positive impulsive response?
    • What is the level of innovation and creative style that makes the product special or unique with stimulation of new play activity?
    • What is the level of positive reaction from playing with a product - Does it cause a short or long term effect?
    • What is the level of contribution to encouragement of positive social interaction with repeated use of the product in a home environment?
    • What is the level of contribution to encouragement of positive social interaction with repeated use of the product in an educational environment?

  • #0318 I/PB(b) Intellectual Thought

    • What is the level of creative awareness development by a child's use of the product?
    • What is the level of contribution to critical skill development?
    • What is the level of contribution to acquisition of new learning skills, practice, and information by using the product?
    • What is the level of contribution to long-term retaining of new learning skills, practice, and information by using the product?
    • What is the level of fit for adaptation for "Special Needs" children? These children have different levels of development and adaptation with products.

  • #0318 I/PB(c) Safety

    • What is the level of contribution to children’s healthy physical development by using the product?
    • What is the level of suitability with the product for use in home, educational environment, or both?
    • What is the level of quality in packaging design, safety, and age/gender designation with the product?
    • What is the level of unsafe materials percentage in the product - Has it been independent lab tested?
    • What is the level of risk related to choking hazard?

  • #0318 I/PB(d) Social Responsibility / Ethics

    • What is the level of being appropriate for age level or gender specified on packaging for the product?
    • What is the level of quality in design and use of the product? Determination needs to be made as to how well the product will hold up to a child's continued use.
    • What is the level of educational value and accuracy of meeting specified productive ends with the product?
    • What is the level of environmental contribution and social responsibility by the product?

  • #0318 I/PB(e)The Five Senses

    • What is the level of simplicity of use of product? ( A child should be able to use a product with minimal difficulty.
    • What is the level of accuracy/quality in auditory level if applicable?
    • What is the level of accuracy/quality in visual appeal for the product?
    • What is the level of contribution to children’s healthy physical development with the product?
    • What is the level of visual appeal for marketing value and sales for the product?



Eligible Products

The Toy Man® accepts all juvenile products designed for infants through adult. Prototypes are also eligible for submission, but they are only given article recognition, no awards; as are Beta versions of software.

Number Of Product Required For Submission

The Toy Man® requires only two sample products for evaluation.  It should be noted though that the more samples provided for evaluation, the greater number of evaluators that can participate and the number of hands-on consumers in that portion of the evaluation will be impacted dramatically.

Resubmission

Products that are NOT approved for The Toy Man® Seal of Approval are eligible to be resubmitted.  Upon re-submission the product, it must have the changes made which were specified in first submission denial for approval. There is no limit to the number of resubmissions.

Entry Fees

There are no submission fees of ANY kind.  It is the desire of The Toy Man® News & Reviews staff to keep a level playing field for all products submitted for approval.

Licensing Fees

All products submitted for evaluation are analyzed and tested under our strict evaluation guidelines. There is NO FEE of any kind for any portion of the product evaluation and/or publishing of evaluation report summaries/articles on The Toy Man® News & Reviews web site.

If a product is inducted, the product induction notification is published 24 hours before recipient is notified.  If the company submitting the product(s) desires to use The Toy Man® Seal of Approval or awards in any manner other than The Toy Man® News & Reviews web site, a "first year" licensing fee of $150 per product, (with an additional $15 account setup fee for first year only.)   Each seal and/or award is specific to the year it was given. The licensing fees and usage are an option, NOT mandatory.

If the licensing option is selected, an in-depth and highly detailed evaluation report summary is published and will remain indefinitely for current and future reference.

( The OPTIONAL $150 USD licensing fee is in place in order to help create a greater "perceived value" of the Seal and/or Awards when used for promotional purposes outside of The Toy Man® News & Reviews web site. The fee is used as part of funding base to produce Award Certificates and other materials delivered to the manufacturers of products which have been inducted or selected for The Toy Man® Favorites Award. )  Renewal is only $25 per year on an annual basis.

Lifetime Licensing Fees

For an additional fee of $100 USD, renewals are no longer necessary and the period of active licensing does not need to be beneath each Seal and/or Award. This entitles licensee to unlimited use of Seals and Awards authorized for use.  This also entitles licensee to additional benefits that the standard renewal licensee is not eligable for.

Shipping and Delivery

The Toy Man® News & Reviews upholds a policy of no acceptance of COD or postage due packages. If your package is considered to be oversized or overweight by the US Postal Service, Fed Ex, UPS, DHL, or Airborne Express, you will need to contact our office to specify how the products or toys will be submitted.

Please ship your products to the office specified on the product submission form.

All products with their corresponding applications, press kits, etc. should be included.

Evaluation and analysis is generally completed within 30 business days or less following reception of product, pending on complexity of design of product.   Prior to a major trade show product evaluations can be expedited upon request and approval.

PLEASE NOTE:  To ensure 100% understanding of our product return policy, we are re-affirming it here.  Results of product evaluations which fail to meet our guidelines will NOT be released, except to the manufacturer who submitted the product for review.  We do NOT return products which are submitted, (unless arrangements have been made PRIOR to start of product evaluation.) Products are generally donated with all appropriate manuals, etc. to children's wards at hospitals, schools, off-continent urgent concerns, special needs children, or charities for disadvantaged children for most beneficial use from the contribution of the product.




Examples of Seals and Awards

Examples of the Seal and awards with a description of the evaluation and recognition criteria follows;

The Toy Man® SEAL OF APPROVAL

The Toy Man™ Seal of Approval which will become official replacement of the current emblem 1 January, 2007.
Since 1971 "The Toy Man® Seal of Approval" has served as an emblem and standard for professional recognition of a product or online service having met the globally recognized evaluation standards of The Toy Man® News & Reviews.  



This emblem was first established in 1971 by the International Parenting Institute™. It is modeled after the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval®", an emblem of recognition for products which meet the globally recognized high standards set forth by the Good Housekeeping Institute®.
The Toy Man™ Seal of Approval - Original Version
PLEASE NOTE: The image to the left is the original emblem for The Toy Man® Seal of Approval which was used since the very inception of The Toy Man® News & Reviews in 1971.  This emblem is still valid, but has been replaced with the new emblem seen above for all new products inducted after 1 June, 2007
 

The Toy Man® AWARDS

The products and online services which become recipients of "The Toy Man® Award of Excellence" acheived an evaluation category rating average of [5] Stars, the highest level of rating available on a 1-5 scale evaluation model.  The average is based upon the overall average from all applicable evaluation categories, not just the 6 evaluation categories featured in this summary.

The Toy Man Award of Excellence - When  it comes to quality, products and services which rise to the top in quality, design, safety, and value, recognition is well deserved.  The recipients of The Toy Man<® Award of Excellence are those who managed to get a ranking of 5 in our 1-5 overall rating scale."
PLEASE NOTE: The image to the left was the second generation emblem for The Toy Man® Award of Excellence. This emblem is still valid, but has been replaced with the new emblem seen above for all new products inducted after 1 October, 2011

The Toy Man® Award of Excellence first and second generation images which were used from 1971-2007, 2007- September 2011 have been retired. Although the former versions of the Award of Excellence™ images have been retired, they still remain valid.

he Toy Man eChoice Award
"The Toy Man® An image of the editorsChoice logoAward serves as an emblem of recognition for products & online services that contribute substantially to positive skill growth and/or productivity. 

( This includes books, CD's, DVD's, consumer electronics & accessories, recreational games and equipment, home furnishings, juvenile, software, toys and specialty. )

This distinguished award is exclusive as well as unique, with the editor's signature which represents a product being selected as an An image of the editorsChoice logo.


PLEASE NOTE: The eChoice™ Award images which were used from 1971-1984, 1984-2007, 2007-April 2010 have been retired. Although the former versions of the eChoice™ Award have been retired, they still remain valid.

The Toy Man Award of Recognition
"The Toy Man®Award of Recognition is the very latest award created to give recognition to the products and online services which The Toy Man personally designates as meeting his own strict standards of quality and many other factors.

More information will be available soon.

"The Toy Man® Q1-Q4 Top Ten Awards"
The Toy Man Q1 Top Ten Products Award.
 
The Toy Man Q1 Top Ten Products Award.
 
The Toy Man Q1 Top Ten Products Award.
 
The Toy Man Q1 Top Ten Products Award.

"The Toy Man® Q1-Q4 Top Ten Awards" - (The Quarter shown on each "Q* Award" is specific to the quarter for which it applies.) - This award is given to the Top Ten Products in any given quarter which are selected by our staff from our inductees list for that specific quarter only. The selection process involves a quarterly monitoring of all products inducted during each quarter which are determined to qualify for selection. This includes Q1-Q4 award recipients.

On the 27th of each month, all staff are notified to create their lists for their picks for they deem to be the "Top Ten Products", On 28th, the results are compiled and published for public view on the 1st day of the following month.

* There are no fees of any kind requested, submitted, or accepted from any source for a product to be considered for this award.


Product Submission

These Seals and awards may be quite challenging to acquire yet that only makes themn of so much more value to your product branding. We invite your company to rise to the challenge and submit your products for our review and consideration for induction into The Toy Man® News & Reviews.

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