Only the Best Earn
PET Seal of Approval

Reviews by Tim Boxer

Peg Pérego Ride-On Vehicle
All-American Trivia Game
Hanukkah Clock
Face-Off Air Hockey
Terk RF Modulator

All Aboard the Santa Fe

OME of the best children’s products in the world emanate from the Italian firm of Peg Perego. The venerable company started 54 years ago when Giuseppe Pérego fashioned a home-made carriage for his baby. The new creation—the carriage (the baby, too)—was such a hit with the neighbors, that everybody wanted one.

When Nina gave us our first son 23 years ago, we wanted nothing but the best. We got a Peg Pérego baby carriage. After all these years we still have that carriage, and it is in perfect condition.

Now that our firstborn, Gabriel, has a baby of his own, Johnathan, we wanted something special for his first birthday: a riding vehicle.  Again, it couldn’t be just any ride-on. It had to be a high quality Peg Pérego item, and we found the right one.

Peg Pérego Santa Fe Express is a choo choo train that will delight children from 16 months to 3 years. After that they graduate to the more formidable line of vehicles that the company makes.

The three-piece train comes with 12 curved and 2 straight tracks. Johnathan the conductor zips along the seven-foot oval track at a snappy speed of two miles an hour. The on/off push button is easy for little fingers to operate.

At the front, of course, is the electric engine. Johnathan sits on a “coal tender” behind the engine. Then comes the caboose in which the conductor can store some essential travel gear (a milk bottle, diapers) in the lift-up storage compartment.

The child rides safely with the motor and gearbox totally enclosed and out of sight. There is a rechargeable six-volt battery and recharger.  Insert two AA batteries in the horn and you activate authentic train whistles and steam engine sounds.

Suggested retail price for this easy-drive locomotive, made in U.S.A., is $180.


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Devora and Miriam are rivals at

Magnetic Forces For Fun

ATCHMAG is a unique game manufactured by Plast Wood, a family-owned toy and gift company based in Calangianus, a small town on the Italian island of Sardinia. They have created an exciting game of strategy and chance using a magnetic star, magnetic “energy bars” and spheres.

If you love magnets, this is a family game made for you.

Two of our PETS (Product Evaluation Team), Dvorah and Miriam, took on the task to try out this unique space-themed board game. “Awesome!” they said.

The game is geared for two to four players, ages six and up. Players learn the properties of magnetism as they battle for “energy bars.” The first player to collect five energy bars of the same color is declared the winner in this fast-paced game.

Keep away from children under three as the small balls pose a choking hazard.

CatchMag retails for about $32 at FAO Schwartz and Neiman Marcus.


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Have Fun and Learn Too

HAT native of Atlanta got the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize? What city is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame? What comedian was born Benjamin Kubelsky? What was the name of America’s first space station launched in 1973?

More than 2,000 such questions will test your knowledge of the USA in The All-American Trivia Board Game.

Divided into four categories – history, arts, geography and general – the game is full of fun, and educational too. It’s designed for two or more players, ages 16 and up.

The package includes a colorful game board, 540 question cards, 8 playing pieces, 30 Uncle Sam cards and, of course, an instruction sheet.

A Junior Edition of this fine board game is targeted at players ages 9 and up. It features 1,000 questions in three categories: history, geography and general. Do you know “Who is famous for his ‘I have a dream’ speech? Do you know what is the largest state in the union?

Teachers will find this quality board game an ideal tool for the classroom. Students will discover an exciting way to learn American history and geography and bone up for their next test. It’s a neat way to get the facts and get entertained at the same time.

For more information on this and other games see


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Holiday Time All Year Round

LANNING ahead, you can celebrate the holiday season in December with a great gift of the Hanukkah Clock. It is decorated with a menorah and dreidel in the middle. Each hour is marked in Hebrew. The clock runs on three AA batteries.

Gabriel, our chief PET (Product Evaluation Team), has the clock hanging on the wall and marking time till Hanukkah.

On every hour a child’s voice announces the time in Hebrew, and a different holiday song is played each time. When the room is dark, a light sensor deactivates the songs so silence reigns during the night.


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Arcade at Home

OR fast table action, we recommend Face-Off Electronic Table Top Air Hockey. This desktop version of the popular arcade game is for ages 5 and up.

Insert two D batteries and you’re in business.


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Solution for Older TV

HAT to do if you want to connect various components into your television, but your TV set is not equipped with an available audio/video jack or doesn’t have video inputs? The answer from Terk Technologies is the RF Modulator 41.

This accessory allows you connect up to four video components to your TV, making it a perfect solution for older televisions. It eliminates the hassle of plugging and unplugging A/V devices.

You can connect a DVD player, a video game system, a satellite receiver, a VCR, and set channel 3 or 4 as the output. The MOD-41 automatically switches between the A/V source and cable signal. Priced at $39.95, it comes with a one-year warranty.

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