Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Ebeanstalk.com site review: Find age and gender appropriate toys

Ebeanstalk.com is a site that offers many different toys for sale, many of which you would have a very hard time finding all together in a brick and mortar toy store.  One of the things that makes Ebeanstalk.com unique is that it makes looking for age appropriate toys very easy, and you can even sort by age and gender at the same time.  Whether your child is into pretend play toys or if you prefer to provide your child with wooden toys for play, there's something for everyone and more!  They even have travel toys, so if you're looking for something to occupy your kids on a long road trip, definitely look to see what's available.

I like that you can sort by major categories.  One category that I checked out was arts and crafts for kids. My 10 year old is into and loves to work with beads and do other fun projects.  Just last week I spent time with my trusty iron melting plastic for an arts and craft projects that the kids had been working on for over an hour.  She had a friend over and it was a great quiet activity that they could share together.

I also took the time to browse via age and gender.  I selected 6 year old and boy.  I saw many toys and activities that were age and gender appropriate.  However, by page four, I began to see some "girlie" suggestions, including 'My Big Bead Box' (chock full of girlie colors like pink), 'Small Flower Flops' and 'Large Flip em' flops'.  I also saw 'Head to toe spa' as a suggestion.  These items may have been inappropriately tagged as boy items, but I wanted to point this out. 

Generally, however, most of the other items I browsed were gender/age appropriate.  Just to double check, I selected boy and 7 year old.  Sure enough, several pages in I found some rather girlie looking items returned, including 'Jingle Jewelry', among others.  I would like to point out that I don't mind seeing boy items in a girl's list, but I am a bit put off to find some very effeminate items returned for a young boy.  Scanning the girl list for the same age groups, I didn't see very many extremely male-oriented items being returned.

I just love the different ways that the items can be presented to me though... age, gender, by categories, and by brand name.  As a parent, I know what quality brand names for toys are.  I like being able to be shown All Melissa and Doug products if that is what I have in mind.  I love their puzzles, so if I were to shop for a puzzle, I would definitely check out their list of items because quality is important if you want it to last more than just one play.

For the most part, I like the way the site is laid out.  I also appreciate the ability to build and shop from a wish list.  This makes it infinitely easier when it comes to grandparents/aunts/uncles asking what kind of toys my kids would like.  They can shop from a wish list or even use the age/gender links to select a toy that they know I won't wonder what they were thinking when they bought it!  I do recommend they tweak their sorting to remove the "girlie" items from the boys' lists.  I am sure I am not the only consumer a bit turned off by that.

Disclosure:  Ebeanstalk.com is providing me with a gift code for having written this review.  Though they are offering me a gift code for making this blog post, the opinions are 100% my own.  They encourage all bloggers to share their honest appraisal of their site and I have done so (see note above about girlie suggestions for a six year old boy.) 



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