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You’ve been Sentenced! word game wins Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, 2006

June 8, 2009

You've been Sentenced! Educational Card GameYou’ve been Sentenced! was awarded a prestigious Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal for 2006!

The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio was founded in 1989 as the only independent consumer review of children’s media such as toys and games, books, and videos. When reviewing new products, the organization adheres to stringent guidelines. Play testers must answer questions such as “What is this product designed to do and how well does it do it? What can the child do with the product? Does it invite active doing and thinking or simply passive watching?” Other criteria include crucial adherence to safety guidelines, excellence in concept and design, and age appropriateness.

According to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio staff, education-related questions like “What will a child learn from this product? Is it a “smart” product that will engage the child’s mind or simply a novelty with limited play value? Is it entertaining?” are all determining factors of a products success.  No product makes the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio if kids find it boring, no matter how “good” or “educational” it claims to be.

“Recognition from the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio is incredibly gratifying, especially because unlike other groups that rate products, Oppenheim does not charge entry fees or accept ads from manufacturers. When consumers see the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio award seals on products, they can be assured that they are “award-winning” because they were selected by a noted expert and further tested by the most objective panel of judges and kids,” explains McNeill Designs’ Chairman Donald McNeill.

In fact, to get a meaningful sampling, the Oppenehim organization works with families of testers from all walks of life. Reflecting the diversity in the makeup of America’s parents, Oppenheim employs parent testers who are also teachers, secretaries, lawyers, doctors, writers, engineers, doormen, software programmers, editors, psychologists, librarians, engineers, business people, architects, family therapists, musicians, artists, nurses, and early childhood educators. Since all new products tend to have novelty appeal, tester families are asked to live with a product for some time before assessing it. Oppenheim also tests products in preschools and after-school settings in order to get feedback directly from large groups of children.

Promising products are finally tested by experts as part of the overall evaluation of the product. Unlike publications that rely exclusively on the judgment of kid-testers, Oppenheim reviews take kid-tester’s response to a product as one of the many factors to be considered. According to the Oppenheim guidelines, by not relying solely on kid-testers, play is more balanced.

Want to learn more about McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds’ award-winning games like You’ve been Sentenced!Twisted Fish and more? Visit McNeill Designs for game rulesprintable score sheets, or even order online!


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