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The Toy Man 2008 Product Guide

Reviewed by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Product Evaluation Specialist

Review Date:  01/01/2008

A Musical Adventure With Mango, Papaya, Coco, and...

Mango, Papaya, Coco and all their friends are back for a brand new 33 minute musical adventure aboard the jolly yellow bus in “The Wheels on the Bus: Mango’s Big Dog Parade”, the latest title in the award-winning children’s series unleashing onto DVD Jan. 22, 2008. The Wheels on the Bus series, produced by Our Happy Child Productions and distributed by PorchLight Home Entertainment, teaches early socialization skills for children. Delightfully combining vivid computer animation, live-action, and a cast of adorable children and puppets, each DVD focuses on themes that teach children basic skills of cooperation, good behavior and manners that will last a lifetime. 

A Powerful Masterpiece Of Learning and Fun

The folks at 'Our Happy Child Productions' paid close attention to the fact of children tend to have a short attention span. If you develop a children's learning DVD that is too long, it will make no difference as to how great it may be, a child simply loses interest due to their short attention span. With this thought in mind, a powerful combination of Roger Daltrey of "The Who", voices Argon, the dragon bus driver, toe-tapping original songs by composer Laura Hall (ABC’s Whose Line is it Anyway?) and lyricist Timothy Armstrong, you have a combination that is making a learning experience fun for a child!

If this wasn't enough, the creators of Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade went even further by enlisting the aid of Dr. Dorothy Singer, co-director of Yale University Family Television Research and Consultation Center, who consulted on The Wheels on the Bus’ content and helped developed the Parent’s Guide, which is included. Besides the Parent’s Guide, the DVD also includes a Behind the Scenes Video, a lyric sheet, and the charming movie short “Behave Bernard.” Talk about getting more bang for the buck, this DVD really proves to be a worthwhile purchase.

A Deeper Look Into The Story...

In storyline of "Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade" Argon helps Coco, Mango the Monkey and Papaya the Toucan, learn the importance of sharing, taking turns and getting along. These are obviously elements of learning to interact with others that are vital to be learned. Children are also introduced to "The Fairies' Golden Rule -- if you are nice to others, then they will be nice to you." Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade delivers a very clear message to a child in regard to the importance of respect and honor.

As the characters are on their trip, they visit the Jungle Bug Adventure, where they see many different and unusual insects, and stop at a garage to give the bus a peppy, song-filled tune-up. Soon they encounter Woof, a lovable dog who has procrastinated (much to the chagrin of his mother), and missed his ride to the Big Dog Parade and Canine Festival, Santa Barbara’s annual fund raising event benefiting the Big Dog Foundation. That benefit is very important because it raises money for worthy charities that help dogs, children and dogs that help people, so Woof simply cannot miss that event!

To resolve Woof's problem, the gang gives Woof a ride but soon takes a wrong turn and they all end up lost. Fortunately, a group of friendly fairies gets them back on track and they make it to the Festival just in time to join in the parade, giving everyone a doggone good day to remember and a charming and entertaining adventure for children to enjoy over and over!

Consumers Tell It Like It Is

Nothing can be more powerful than to have feedback from consumers who have had a hands-on evaluation experience with a product. To have consumers be given the opportunity to evaluate and provide feedback with their own personal comments on a random basis delivers the added plus we need to assure our readers of 100% unbiased evaluation.

For the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD we took a different approach than usual in our consumer hands-on evaluation. In this instance, we provided it as a recreational tool at one of our Holiday Season events where we gave away toys, games, and a variety of juvenile products to families who couldn't afford to buy presents for their children for Christmas.

The families who were watching "Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade" had a really great time while watching it. Unlike other DVD's we used as well, with this one, the parents and children both were getting in on the various songs in the storyline and the parents were interacting with their children as they watched the DVD together.

It is of vital importance when it comes to a DVD that is used as an educational tool, to keep an even balance of content, quality, sound, and color. By doing so, you not only are providing a learning tool, rather you are providing an experience that teaches specific lessons in learning while at the same time providing a tool which delivers a substantial contribution to critical skill development. When you consider how even the parents began to interact with their children, trying to sing along with the various tunes and becoming fully engrossed with the storyline, you can easily see that this was a hit!

In both our event in Chicago and the other in Las Vegas, it was clearly evident that everyone was quite happy with the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD. Our feedback forms were filled out by almost every parent, with plenty of compliments of what a positive impression it had upon their children. One mother in particular stated said..."This is the first time our family has ever been so close at Christmas...we ALL were into this story and had fun together with our kids!"

We see plenty of compliments from parents and other consumers yet that statement was more powerful to us than anything we have seen to date! To see that Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade made such a major difference in the Christmas experience for a family such as this, truly made this a Christmas for us all to remember. At the same time, it also showed us all the more so, of the importance and value of our having consumers being enabled to have a hands-on experience with the products we evaluate.

 

Understanding The Individual Category Ratings


While other organizations will define their ratings in a "blanket" method which simply defines each rating in an overall usage, we choose to take a different approach. Each individual rating that was assigned to this a product, based upon our evaluation process, is briefly explained as to how that specific rating score was reached. The ratings for this product are listed below.

CONTENT QUALITY: Rating Level 5 - The content quality of the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD was nothing but the very best. The storyline was simple, real-life, and easy to understand for a child. At the same time, the content captivated a child so that they didn't just see a DVD but in fact learned something which they would remember and tell others. 


The approach in the story line used has a strong influence with children yet making learning fun simultaneously. One of the most important points is how that the story line encourages good moral responsibility in helping others, not just yourself. The Paul Revere: Midnight Ride DVD pulled a perfect score in this category.

CRITICAL/COGNITIVE SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Rating Level 5 - The Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD is an excellent learning tool that provides a substantial contribution to critical skill development as well as overall improvement for an individual or group. It provides stimulation to multiple critical skills, in a substantial manner in this category. The Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD scores a perfect score of "5" in this category. 

EDUCATIONAL VALUE: Rating Level 4 - The educational value is well above average with the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD. It is very well structured with a logical flow for maximum educational potential for children. In all consumer hands-on evaluation as well as educational facility evaluation, the DVD was seen as being quite good on the contribution of educational information, but not strong enough in this category to reach a perfect score. The Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD's strengths were more in other categories. 

MARKETING VALUE: Rating Level 5 - The marketing value with the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD is nothing but the best, even down to the DVD packaging. The product delivers a well thought out as well as educational tool. It holds a very well balanced combination of quality and colorful packaging, storyline, visual attraction, and learning retention which is not often found in many DVD's today. Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD pulls the maximum score available in this category. 

RESPONSE LEVEL: Rating Level 5 - The response level with the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD is off the scale! The logically structured DVD storyline assures a steady flow of interest and participation by the child. The end result of that equates to a strong level of response from the child. Not only are the children drawn into the storyline, but parents as well. Considering that fact, the scoring in this category is a perfect score. Thethe Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD is an excellent application for both home and professional environment. 

VISUAL APPEAL - PACKAGING: Rating Level 5 - The visual appeal for the packaging of the Wheels on the Bus - Mangos Big Dog Parade DVD is nothing but the very best. With a colorful as well as striking design of imagery, the packaging draws immediate attention to it and then of course induces a higher probability of purchase. Easy accessibility to the DVD itself as well as easy removal of the DVD. Unlike like many other DVD packages, the DVD is easily removed yet holds the DVD securely in place. The scoring in this category is nothing short of perfect! 

 

Animal Adventure Reviews

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School Library Journal
This lively, colorful production for young children does an excellent job of teaching and entertaining. Papaya and Mango, a toucan and a monkey, join with Argon the Dragon (voiced by The Who's Roger...
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EDUTAINING KIDS.com
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KIDS DOMAIN.com
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KIDS FIRST!™
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Dove Family-Approved
Do you ever wish that your kid's could be content and calm for 30 minutes, just so you could cook dinner? Well here's your solution. Wheels on the Bus is extremely captivating. Mango and Papaya need...
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Times Record News
Wildman "Pinball Wizard" Roger Daltry once sang about the "Magic Bus." But he does just as well singing "The Wheels on the Bus," which he does on the children's video, ...
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ZAP2IT
One of this generations most favorite children's songs is "The Wheels on the Bus" and this video gives it it's proper due. Not only do all sorts of imaginary crazy creatures gather togethe...
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Moon Mouse Reviews

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
OK, I want to know where the secret subconscious code is in this video that sends messages to children, making them fall utterly in love with it to the point of near obsession. If only its power cou...
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Los Angeles Times
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KIDS FIRST
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SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
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iPARENTING Best Products of 2006
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Big Dog Parade Reviews

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Parent Bloggers: Baby Sue and LMNOP
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A Fun Educational DVD That Won't Disappoint
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Blog Critic Magazine
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Parent Bloggers: Cheese Party Reviews
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parents choice silver honor iParenting Media Award Winner  Dove Family Approved best vacation childrens product The National Parenting Center Kids First! All-Star Creative Child Seal of Excellence award