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The Toy Man® News & Views
Product Reviews / Evaluation Report Summaries (ERS)

Induction Certificate Number:   74020100927-428
Induction Date:   September 27, 2010
Certificate License Status:   Active
Product:   BANANAGRAMS
MSRP:   $14.95 USD
Company URL:  http://bananagrams-intl.com
Rating: 

BANANAGRAMS

by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Editor / Product Evaluation Specialist
     
Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) Date:  09/27/2010

BANANAGRAMS® is a fast and fun anagram game that drives players bananas! Requiring no pencil, paper or board, Bananagrams comes in a small portable banana shaped pouch and is perfect fun for kids from 7 – 97 years-old, at home or on the go.




Product Type Release Year Primary Usage Target Age / Max. Weight Target Gender
Family Board & Table Top Games 2006 Consumer/Education 6 years plus Female/Male


Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) - Index



Evaluation Report Summary (ERS)
Category Rating Scores

Category rating scores are based on scale from 1 to 5. Rating score must be 3 or higher to pass in each evaluation category.


Creative Agenda Ease of Use funQuotient™ Marketability Skill Development Overall Visual Appeal
5 4.5 5 5 5 4.5

Final product / service rating is averaged from the sum total of ALL applicable evaluation category scores. Only scores of "3" or higher are published.

There are a total of 357 evaluation categories which are used in our evaluation process.
(NOTE: Not all categories are applicable to any one product or online service.)

Only 6 of the evaluation category rating scores for this New Inductee's evaluation are featured for public view.



Critical Evaluation Information

These icons represent important attributes with which this product / service is associated, contributes to, or encourages development of. Select any of the unique icons below to learn more about the specific attribute it represents.
                              





image of factory with ecological leaves symbol. Trade Industry Sales Types
Industry Memberships

Wholesale Retail Reseller Online 

 



Safety Guidelines Symbol ImageSafety / Quality Classifications
 
CE MarkedUL ApprovedJPMA Certified
(Not Applicable)(Not Applicable)
ASTM Complianteco-Friendlyeco-Conscious
(Not Applicable)



CPSIATÜVEU
Independent Lab Tested  Independent Lab Name 

  Specialized Technology Resources
LeadSafe™ - Surface Coatings/PaintLeadSafe™ - Content / SubstratesPhthalatesSafe
(Not Applicable)  (Not Applicable)
BPASafeSoluble Heavy MetalsMechanical/Physical
(Not Applicable)(Not Applicable)
Flammability - Solids/TextilesLabeling of Hazardous Art MaterialsiWatchDog™ Approved
(Complies with ICCS™ Certification Standards)
(Not Applicable)



UPC Code / ISBN#Manufacturer SKUAge Grading
Not Available Not AvailableLabeled/Appropriate



Manufactured InSafety Hazard/Warnings
ChinaWARNING: CHOKING HAZARD--Small parts Not for children under 3 yrs.

 

About Our New Inductee

Before you buy a product, it's generally common practice to be familiar with what it does, the branding, and other details. We feel that the same rule applies to our "New Inductees" we announce each week, so this section is titled "About Our New Inductee." The information in this section will provide you with a quick yet accurate glance of what the product or service is all about..

Image of Bananagrams Game.
What happens if you get 2 or more players, 144 ivory-like tiles in a bag shaped like an banana, and each of the players given 21 tiles? Someone is going to go BANANAS!! Poor humor huh? Well, it got your attention!

Now that I have captured your attention, I will share how BANANAGRAMS is an experience in game Play like no other. You will not only find it addictive, you will discover how it gives game Play some serious functionality.

There is no question about it, the versatility in the creative agenda of Bananagrams allows adults to create a more intense narrative development with a higher level of challenge in Play. Bananagrams is not just for people who have a liking for word puzzles or similar games.  Rather it it a game which practically everyone around will become addicted to quite easily once they have seen it.



Additional Details & Perspectives

As referenced earlier, it's great for some people who just want a cursory glance at what a New Inductee is all about, there are many others who have a greater appetite for more information. This section is titled "Additional Details & Perspectives". It will provide you with additional details and perspectives associated with the product or service being featured here.

On rare occassion will I use the information provided from the creators of a product or service yet in this case they have summarized so perfectly what I normally would be elaborating on.  It would be foolish to not make use of it.

According to Shauna Parson, the Marketing/PR rep for the BANANAGRAMS products, "Requiring no pencil, paper or board, Bananagrams comes in a small portable banana shaped pouch and is perfect fun for kids from 7 – 97 years-old, at home or on the go. Created by a word game-obsessed family of three generations, Bananagrams is a labor of love that that has quickly become an International phenomenon."

Bananagrams is one of a series of three primary games produced by Bananagrams, Inc.  The other two are Appletters and PAIRSinPEARS. Banangrams is more unique than the rest and creates a level of diversity in challenge that is unique unto itself.  While each game has its own powerfully unique values and characteristics, the big banana, (Banangrams), is the one that has been around the longest and can truly put your thought processes to the test!

Just as with Appletters and PAIRSinPEARS, Bananagrams provides a literally perfect medium to take words, education, spelling, and the alphabet, merge them all together with the use of anagrams and produce a game that is not only fun, but fun to learn. For those who are word lovers and addicted to word solution puzzles, Bananagrams is literally irresistible.  The ivory-like looking tiles create a virtually endless possible combination of game strategy development scenarios.

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Independent Evaluator Reports

In this section we have called upon the assistance of top industry professionals to evaluate the product in this evaluation summary. These scholars form their own opinions from extensive analysis and produce detailed, in-depth reports connected with their own personal study and evaluation of the products submitted for independent evaluation.

The information to follow is comprised of excerpts from the independent evaluator reports that have been paraphrased, posted verbatim, or a combination of both in order to encapsulate an accurate presentation of the primary details conveyed in each report. This approach provides a completely independent perspective in the evaluation each product.


Image of the Bananagrams game in Play.
Independent Evaluators - Initial Report Outline
PRODUCT | SERVICE: Bananagrams
MEDIA PLATFORM:
MEDIA CONTRIBUTION:
TARGET AGE GROUP:
Non-Traditional Tile Game
Skill Development & Improvement
Designed for ages 13 years and older

Independent evaluators are a vital part of our product and service evaluation process. Having the most elite of professionals from across the globe assist us in our evaluation process. Being independent of our publication and providing their time at no charge, enables us to ensure the production of a well rounded and accurate evaluation of all products and services submitted.

These scholars form their own opinions from extensive analysis of all products and services submitted and produce detailed and in-depth reports which are an integral part of our entire evaluation process.

The information to follow is comprised of primary feature details and excerpts from their reports that have been paraphrased, posted verbatim, or a combination of both in order to encapsulate an accurate presentation of the primary details conveyed in each report. This approach provides a completely independent perspective in the evaluation each product or service.


This Week's Independent Evaluators

Doctor of Behavioral Study, Ph.D.
Author / Director of Clinical Educational Study

"As I have stated in the reports on each of the Bananagrams games, without the proper array of tools needed to serve as a catalyst to develop a desire for learning, there will be limited to no level of desire or motivation to learn. Bananagrams is such a suitable fit like a glove in relation to immersive learning both in school and out.

The portability of the game enables it to be adaptable for use in virtually any environment, generating stimulation of skill development, positive psychological continuity, and a desire to repeat use of the game, while enhancing the knowledge base of each player simultaneously. Whether applied in a consumer or educational environment, Banangrams contributes to improvement in every individual and the environment in which it is being played.
Bananagrams
plays an important part in social interaction development, sensory stimulation, and many other classes of skill development for everyone.

Professor of Psychology M. Ed., & Ph.D. - Educational Theory Specialist
Institute Director of Educational Studies

"Bananagrams has a very distinct signature of branding which is instilled into the minds of players from the simple object association of a banana. The shape of the cloth bag shaped like a banana, the title, and even the zipper, all play their part in familiar object association which creates a sense of comfort and familiarity before the product has even been purchased. The common phrase of 'Keep it simple' is so ingeniously portrayed in this product.

It is rather interesting to see how the pulling of the zipper to open the banana is so similar psychologically to the action of peeling a banana. The only possible downside is that there are a limited number of people who have a strong aversion to bananas. When you take this and pool it with the learning benefit from repetitive Play with this game you have a magnificent example of result by applying acquired memory for productive gain."


"Just as with the other two products from this company I evaluated, all players have a constantly changing group of variables, (the letters and combination of them), that will have a dramatic impact upon their skill development and improvement. Spelling, word and sentence formation, creative thinking, and psycho-social interaction are but a mere glance of the scope of subjects which are touched on with this game."

"In society today it is common practice to play games which are simple and have no real redeeming qualities which provide a valuable contribution to skill development outside of visual and fine motor. This game stimulates a vast number of critical skill development areas as well as refreshing and sharpening already established skill development. Learning never ends and Bananagrams puts fresh fuel to the educational fire to keep it burning brightly."

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* PLEASE NOTE: At the request of our independent evaluators their names are not disclosed to protect their personal and professional privacy. Their labors are provided at no charge to assist us in providing a well-balanced and accurate product or service evaluation summary. All opinions and or statements from the independent evaluator(s) featured here do not represent the opinion of The Toy Man® Product Guide, any member or division of GreyWolf Corp, or GreyWolf Corp itself.



Consumer Hands-On Evaluation

Nothing is more powerful than hands-on experience by a consumer with a product when it is under evaluation. Based upon that fact we put a number of products we currently are slated to evaluate at the mercy of consumers in a hands-on evaluation where anything goes. The information to follow will explore the responses from the participants in our spontaneous hands-on consumer evaluation of the products available for their review.

Image of the Appletters game.
 
It was no surprise that the consumers were quite active with Bananagrams in the spontaneous consumer hands-on evaluation segment.  None of us ever imagined how many participants were word puzzle addicts. 

Just as with Appletters and PAIRSinPEARS, two other Bananagrams products we included in our group of products, Bananagrams presented an interesting challenge due to the fact that many of the consumers who were participants in our hands-on evaluation event were reluctant to quit playing when the store was ready to close. Several of the families even showed up the next day at opening of the store to play some more!

In conclusion of the spontaneous consumer hands-on evaluation of the products they examined, we sat down and went through the video-tapes and consumer feedback forms to establish where "Bananagrams" stood with the consumers. Just as with Appletters, and PAIRSinPEARS, there were a large number of compliments by many of the participants about the portability convenience, design of the fabric case for the playing pieces, and the very short learning curve!."Bananagrams" passed this segment of our evaluation with the highest of recommendation.

A Sampling Of Our Evaluation Category Ratings

The rating of a product is useless if you do not fully understand and comprehend how the ratings is reached or what the value of the rating represents. This need for clarity encouraged us to have this section titled "A Sampling Of Our Evaluation Category Ratings". To assist you in gaining a greater understanding of the evaluation category ratings we use, a small sampling of the individual category titles & rating scores from the complete product review itself for this product or service are featured here.

The categories which have been selected to be featured in this product evaluation summary for public view, specify some of the primary points of how and why each specific rating score was reached.


The Featured Category Ratings Sampling For This Evaluation Summary Are Listed Below:

CREATIVE AGENDA: Rating Level - [5] an image of 4 gold  stars

DEFINITION: The Creative Agenda of a player represents what the player hopes to achieve by way of exploration in their game experience; in this case being applicable to Appletters.

Creative agenda is a vital factor in the evaluation of a good quality game and Bananagrams makes it quite evident how it meets the demands well over what is to be expected in this category. The creative agenda of this game hosts a narrative which demonstrates recognition of the significance of experience, active thought processing, social interactions in group Play, and executive cognitive functioning in learning and entertainment combined.

There can be no question with the rating assigned in any of our evaluation categories, without exception. After careful evaluation, study of all reports, videos and feedback forms, it was agreed that Bananagrams pulls a perfect score of [5] Five Stars in this evaluation category for CREATIVE AGENDA.


EASE OF USE : Rating Level - [4.5] an image of 4.5 gold  stars

EASE OF USE is often times an issue with many games on the market yet Banangrams is not prey to such an issue.  The instructions are quite straightforward, the playing pieces easy to pick up and work with, and the rest is left to the creative imagination of the player.  I guess you could say that playing Bananagrams is like a natural instinct, the ease of use is just there, an integral part of the game.

If you look at each playing piece, you see a consistency of design unerring. Read the simple and concise instructions, pick up your number of playing pieces, and jump into the game with high hopes of winning.  Combining letters on your playing pieces you have with those on the table is so simple a caveman could do it! (That is with the assumption a caveman was ignorant.)

There was one small concern though. Despite how simple the learning curve of the game is, the small instruction sheet is printed with fairly small text.  This could prove to be a challenge for many who may have a challenge reading small print.  Appletters pulled through so easily in this evaluation category with only that half of a ding boasting a magnificent score of [4.5] stars in the category for EASE OF USE.


funQUOTIENT™: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

funQuotient™ is the name of the game with Banangrams. For my own personal self, I sat down to examine the game alone, never imagining that 2-3 hours later I would still be sitting there only now playing with some people who came by, inquiring if they cpuld play.  Giggles, laughs, and uproarious cackling was in full swing as we were each trying to out do each other.

With every single instance in our evaluation of the game play with a wide variety of age groups, Bananagrams was never lacking in regard to funQuotient™.  It was amazing to see how such a simple game could generate such a strong level of funQuotient™ during game Play. This proved especially true with some fireman who had Banangrams for a few days to enjoy.  There was no boredom there!

Whether Bananagrams was being played at a public school, public mall, or even a police precinct, the funQuotient™ remained in a plentiful level which never seemed to cease. That will be the talk of that police precinct for some time to come.

After several additional studies of Banangrams in our evaluation process, it was clear to see it was well deserving of a perfect score of [5] Five Stars in this category for funQUOTIENT™.


MARKETABILITY: Rating Level - [5] an image of 3.5 gold  stars

MARKETABILITY was a no challenge evaluation category to work on. The marketability of a product is a very strong factor in its potential success. Bananagrams has a well established branding already in addition to this product evaluation.  It had the highest of scores in many of our evaluation categories. MARKETABILITY proved to be one of the strongest.

Bananagrams provides a classical example of near perfection in reference to marketability. Considering the portability of the product, price point, substantial contribution to betterment of a person from Play, and the overall visual appeal alone is more than sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the game is well deserving of the perfect score achieved in this category.

After an extended period of careful analysis and validation of all rating scores in all categories, Banangrams passes the evaluation category of MARKETABILITY with a perfect score of [5] Stars.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

Bananagrams truly made its mark in the evaluation category for SKILL DEVELOPMENT. As with all of our award winning products of this caliber, in every evaluation exercise and analysis, Bananagrams made it so easy to identify its substantial contribution to skill development. By way of repetitive game Play with Bananagrams, children and adults can have a constantly changing group of variables that will have a dramatic impact upon their skill development. In my evaluation of the game, this was evident mostly in spelling, word & sentence formation, creative thinking, and psycho-social interaction.

Bananagrams proved its worth without  doubt in the evaluation category of SKILL DEVELOPMENT with a perfect score of [5] Stars.

OVERALL VISUAL APPEAL: Rating Level - [4.5] an image of 4.5 gold  stars

The overall visual appeal category was of no real challenge in our establishing an accurate rating score. One of our independent evaluators stated so very well, part of why Bananagrams did so well in this category. "Bananagrams has a very distinct signature of branding which is instilled into the minds of players from the simple object association of a banana.  The shape of the cloth bag shaped like a banana, the title, and even the zipper, all play their part in familiar object association which creates a sense of comfort and familiarity before the product has even been purchased."

In a more simple way of expressing it, the visual appeal of the product compels a consumer to purchase the game. On top of that, the playing pieces are excellent in design and visual appeal.  The carrying bag which is shaped like a banana follows suit with the playing pieces as well. The end result in this evaluation category for OVERALL VISUAL APPEAL is an almost perfect score of 4.5 Stars.






EVALUATION RESULTS - From evaluation for induction into "The Toy Man® News & Reviews"
       
    Overall Rating:   5
     
    Seal of Approval:  
     
    Recommends Award:  
       
       
    eco-Recognition™ Seal:  
     
    Award of Excellence:  
     
    eChoice™ Award:  
       
       
    S. T. E. M. Award:   
     
    Mom Approved Award:  
     
    Award of Recognition:™  
       



THE TOY MAN® SEAL OF APPROVAL

"The first and original Seal of Approval®...
designed for product recognition and validation."


Since 1971 The Toy Man® Seal of Approval has served as an emblem of professional recognition for a 
product or service having met the strict evaluation standards of The Toy Man® Product Guide. Since 1971, "The Toy Man® Seal of Approval" has served as an emblem and standard for professional recognition of a product or online service having met the globally recognized evaluation standards of The Toy Man® Product Guide.

This emblem was first established in 1971 by the International Parenting Institute™. It is modeled after the "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval®", an emblem of recognition for products which meet the globally recognized high standards set forth by the Good Housekeeping Institute®.





THE TOY MAN® AWARDS

"These are globally recognized awards that are received by a limited few,
yet they provide the well earned recognition well beyond the average that is truly deserved!"

"The Toy Man® Award of Excellence" is awarded to inductees that have an overall Evaluation Category Rating Average, ECRA™, of [5] Stars. That is the highest level of rating available on a 1-5 scale evaluation model. The ECRA is based upon the overall average from all applicable evaluation categories"
PLEASE NOTE: There are a total of 357 evaluation categories with a minimum of 231 being applicable to any one product or online service in our evaluation process with 6 being featured in the Evaluation Report Summary, ERS.


The Toy Man® eChoice™ Award, by Rev. James
G.W. Fisher, (Chief editor and Product Evaluation Specialist of The Toy Man® Product Guide), and staff.  
These products have demonstrated that they possess the potential as well as high probability to be top sellers.
The Toy Man ®An image of the editorsChoice logo Award serves as an emblem of recognition for products & online services that contribute substantially to positive skill growth and/or productivity.

This distinguished award is exclusive as well as unique, with the editor's signature which represents a product being selected as an An image of the editorsChoice logo
PLEASE NOTE: The eChoice™ Award images which were used from 1971-1984, 1984-2007 and 2007-April 2010 have been retrired. Although the versions of the eChoice™ Award have been retired, they still remain valid.
 


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