Product & Book Reviews

MindWare Toys & Games Unboxing

Nerd Reviews: MindWare Unboxing

I covered as much ground as I could at Toy Fair last month (here’s my roundup, ICYMI) and probably saw more creative science-related toys and games in two days than my kids have played with in their entire lives. Although it’s taken us some time for me to follow up with every exhibitor whose STEM products piqued my curiosity (and that list is LONG), this week, I received my first products to consider for honest Raising Nerd reviews.

MindWare unboxing1_3-23-17

First, a big “thank you” goes to the good people at MindWare, maker of “brainy toys for people of all ages” and winners of several awards, including the Mensa Select, Parents’ Choice award. My “staff” – RocketteGirl and Lightning McQueen – couldn’t have been happier to see this mammoth box waiting for them when they got home from school!

When I saw it on our doorstep, only the side stamped with the Oriental Trading logo was facing me. It does seem to be birthday party season around here, and we shop online with them often, so I thought, “Did we order party supplies?” But quickly I remembered the two brands reside under the same corporate roof.

From the moment my girls saw it, they were asking, “Can we open it now?” Poor kids were so disappointed when I told them, “Not yet – not until I get some pictures. You’ll see everything tomorrow when you get home from school.” Sometimes, we artists/writers are misunderstood.

I did have to promise them I wouldn’t open or play with any of the items inside without them.

Upon opening the big box, I was greeted with a preemptive “thank you” from MindWare. Later on, I had to laugh when this message also was the first thing 7-year-old Lighting McQueen noticed (after her ooh-ing and ah-ing about the enclosed toys had subsided).

Inside the box were four items, each covering a different area of STEAM (mind game/brain challenge, building/physics, chemistry, and entomology/archaeology). At Toy Fair and during this un-boxing, I was impressed by the diversity in MindWare’s product line. Our family already owned and has enjoyed a few of the company’s other products, including others from their Dig It Up and KĒVA lines, so it was nice to see similar items included in this shipment.


The large and colorful Q-BA-Maze Stunt Set really jumped out. Both my girls agreed this should be the first product to go in the “testing for review” queue. Having seen a giant Q-BA-Maze display in action at MindWare’s Toy Fair booth, I agreed. I can’t wait to see how a “stunt” variation of the product works!

Not sure how we’ll decide which product review will come after that, but we look forward to digging in soon to let our Raising Nerd followers know how they all “tested.” Stay tuned for official reviews and Nerd Ratings on these and other STEM/STEAM products later this year.

Until then, Nerd on!

Do you have a product or book you’d like Raising Nerd to consider for review? If so, let us know. And, if you’re a toy manufacturer, distributor, inventor, book publisher or author, be sure to check out our Raising Nerd Review Policy here to find out how to submit products and books for consideration.

MindWare unboxing5_3-23-17

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