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Children Review Chicago-Made Toys

Straight talk from the O’Connor sisters — Gemma, 6, and Josephine, 10 — about locally designed gizmos. Spoiler alert: “I give everything four stars,” says Gemma, “but that’s because I mean it.”

Gears! Gears! Gears! Build & Bloom Set
Photo: Courtesy of Learning Resources

Gears! Gears! Gears! Build & Bloom Set, $40

Learning Resources, Vernon Hills

Josephine:It’s like you’re building your own garden, but you don’t have to wait for it to grow.

Gemma:I like that you can spin every single thing on it.


Peeing Pup
Photo: Courtesy of Hasbro

Peeing Pup, $20

Created by Logan Square’s Kim Vandenbroucke for Hasbro

Josephine:The peeing feature is very realistic. I’d give it four stars if it also pooped.

Gemma:I wish I could give it 100 stars.


PlayBrix Pirate Adventure
Photo: Courtesy of Educational Insights

PlayBrix Pirate Adventure, $50

Educational Insights, Vernon Hills

Josephine:The blocks hurt my hands when I built them.

Gemma:It felt like I had a real pirate ship parked in the middle of the family room.


Kidi Star Karaoke Machine
Photo: Courtesy of VTech

Kidi Star Karaoke Machine, $50

VTech, Arlington Heights

Josephine:It’s cool you can plug your own phone in and not have to play the annoying songs that come with it.

Gemma:The disco light show burned my eyes.


Photo: Courtesy of Educational Insights

Playfoam, $9

Educational Insights, Vernon Hills

Josephine:It says no mess, but the little beads get everywhere.

Gemma:I’d like to mix it all together in one big block and stick it onto something, like a desk.


Elenco Kingii Dragon Robot
Photo: Courtesy of Elenco

Elenco Kingii Dragon Robot, $54

Elenco, Wheeling

Josephine:It doesn’t move very good on the carpet. And look, its tail keeps falling off.

Gemma:I found him to be very cute and funny.


Tesla Model S
Photo: Courtesy of Radio Flyer

Tesla Model S, $500

Radio Flyer, Chicago

Josephine:This is what it must feel like to be rich.

Gemma:The seat is very comfortable. I wish I could sleep in this car.

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