Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review & Giveaway: OYO Sports: Why Your Kid Should Be a Sports Fan- Oyo Style

Are you ready for Superbowl? photo: OYO Sports
Are you cheering for the Seahawks?  photo: OYO Sports

Or are you a Patriots fan? photo: OYO Sports

WHAT: OYO Sports minifigures and playsets- Officially licensed from the MLB, NHL, and NFL
DOES: Opens up new avenues for storytelling, creativity, discussion in strategy, exposure to new role models

$12.99 and up

AGES: 6+
TOOLS: Express Yourself, Foment the Love of Language
GIVEAWAY: Win two of your favorite sports heroes in minifigure collectible form or choose to use a $30 gift certificate 

When I was a publicist working in a hospital, I would often have to go to the O.R. to escort camera crews to make sure they didn't touch anything sterile. It was a rather boring part of the job but one thing about the O.R. never ceased to amaze me.

There is something really majestic and artistic about how an athlete does what he does. I love how this toy can capture that somehow.

Blood? no. Drills? no. It was the surgeons. These men and women (most of them men at the time) were so damn fit! When you work for years in a hospital, you'll see that doctors come in all shapes and sizes but surgeons..... I didn't take a survey but in my eyes, they were all so muscular and when the surgery started, it was always their choice of music, them giving orders, they were calling the plays. Once in a while, I'd ask them if they played sports when they were young and almost always, they'd say yes and they still played a sport as adults.  That bit of fact nugget stayed with me. These surgeons were great examples of scholar athletes.
The only time I will allow ball play in my house.

A comparison photo: Yup, they are really interchangeable, even the peeps. They are the same size.

I am not big on team sports.  I am actually not big on sport sports in general and definitely not big on licensed team products ($$$$$) but I find that OYO Sports to be so adorable and though I rarely like playing with LEGO-like bricks that are not LEGO, OYO Sports is truly in a league of its own with their own unique benefits.

Storytelling with sports

I love how there are more toys with STEM themes for girls. But has anyone thought about storytelling theme toys for boys or just sports lovers in general?  You have Chima, Ninjago, Pokemon, Skylanders, but for sports, the toys are really the actual toy (ie. a real baseball bat) or collectible cards.

My husband bought this for my son at a nearby Modell's on his way home from work. I bet he looked forward to giving it to him all day long. He came home super early that day.  Note to collector kids: Keep the box.

Isn't it so cool how much you can manipulate them?
Watching my son play with OYO Sports with as much joy as he played with LEGOs was really gratifying. Sure I want him to play team sports (maybe not football tho..) but having a toy to act out plays he saw on television or create his own scenarios is really so awesome. Of course, he loves to collect things and OYO is really built for that ... so if your kid is the kind of kid who puts LEGO sets together and NEVER takes them apart then beware! I don't love the whole collecting thing that children have going UNLESS it leads to something productive and storytelling is productive to me.

Hey, that ain't no cheerleader.  She's da ref man!  I turned these players into women players.  Super easy to do.

Storytelling can even go further if you combine actual LEGO brand toys into the mix.  Moreover, the limbs!!!!! You have elbows and knees here!  That is so awesome for making stop motion videos!

What does this have to do with scholar athletes? with education? with toys being tools?

First off, sports is not just great for physical exercise. Sports games are also great for learning and discussing strategy. While I am only guessing here, the strategy component is probably why watching sports on T.V. is so fun. Additionally, sometimes the OYO Sports Green Bay Packers Game Time Set ends up on our coffee table when they watch the game. The set can be used to talk about the game. 

My husband likes to talk about strategy with the boys. He also talks about why a team loses. My son was very mad at #86 when the Packers lost. But my husband talked to him about how it's usually never one person's fault- this is a very good lesson to learn. It's also a good lesson to empathize with #86. (pls don't ask me what #86 did, I don't know but I know it was a bad moment)

Probably one of the most expensive sets is getting the whole field and getting each of the current team members.  We have the no number players.  They have black shoes. These guys have white ones.  It's expensive, no doubt but I like them better than cards and stickers.

How to keep the dust off but not spend big bucks?  You can buy tool storage container or bead storage containers from Home Depot or Michaels for five bucks.  I use this box to store nanoblocks.

This cost $20 on Amazon in case you wanted something more classy.

Hey, are you the OYO Derek Jeter?  Will you be worth a lot of money someday?

Directions are not as detailed as LEGO directions but building has never been complex with the sets we have.

Boston Bruins with Zamboni photo: OYO Sports

Another comparison photo.  See the joints?  That is a real nice looking helmet too- 3 connection points.
Great hitters of MLB - I appreciate the differences in facial features and skin color.  Isn't that the coolest?
Another thing of importance: Role Model. Role Model. Role Model. Yes, there are plenty of stories of players who do wrong but there are plenty of stories of players who are extraordinary. Movies are made about them. Fiction and non-fiction alike. I also love how players do not remain players forever and you get to watch them remake their career. I am fascinated by people like Michael Strahan, former Giants player, and now co-host of Live with Kelly and Michael. What an incredible person. 

I used to hate sports on television. My husband would ignore me and I would have to deal with the kids all by myself. But now, they watch with him and bond with him that way while I go off to do my own thing. It's HEAVEN! Thank you Oyo Sports!  You are a mucho positive influence in my life - in so many ways! 

NOW, WIN YOUR OWN OYO Sports mini-figures (two- choose any one from any team or $30 OYO gift card to get a set like infield, outfield, endzone, etc!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturers of anything mentioned here for the publication of this review.  The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised


  1. The most successful holiday gift my daughter received last month was a Kindergarten Sight Words BOB Books set. She's been practicing reading with them nearly every day. We had a pretty simple Christmas with few toys to make up for the crazy birthday gift overload in October (she had a "real" party for the first time with guests other than adult family members).

  2. As far as televised sporting events, there are certain things my family may never be able to experience in person, like the Olympics. I love that we can still experience them through the magic (lol) of television. Cameras, especially the GoPro styles, can give vantage points and angles that an in-person spectator might never be privy to.
    Additionally, sporting events can cost MUCHO DINERO, especially special events like the Super, uh, "The Big Game", college bowls, World Series, etc. Perhaps one day, our kiddo will be a big enough fan to justify hundreds of dollars worth of tickets, but in the meantime, she can be develop her fandom from our living room.
    We do try to see real sports in action, local HS games, pick-up bball in the park, etc. But if I cannot take her to Japan for a sumo match, it's pretty awesome that I can at least show her footage to pique her interest.

  3. We are from the state of Washington so I would choose the Seattle Seahawks Endzone Set. My grandson has been watching the playoffs with us and is so excited that our Seahawks will be at the Super Bowl again! This would be a fun set!

  4. We bought our grandson a Leappad and he really likes it. He is limited as to how much time he is allowed to play on it and it has some great educational games and videos. It will also save wear & tear on our iPad that he loves to use!

  5. We don't watch a huge amount of televised sports - usually just our Seahawks football games. My grandson will sometimes watch with us but often gets bored and would rather play with a favorite toy.

  6. The best gift my kids got last month was their beanie boo stuffed animals. We got cash from a relative with instructions to buy a treat for the kids and on Christmas Eve while we were away we let the kids each pick out one small item from a tourist shop in Chinatown. They have spent so much time making up stories and playing with each other with their boos.

  7. My kids do not follow sports but whenever there is a big game they notice the hoopla and get excited. We also have a tradition of watching the Super Bowl with neighbors which they enjoy. The oldest is reaching the age of being able to sit down to watch a game whereas the others can't sustain that level of attention.

  8. Washington Redskins

    Game Time Set

  9. It wouldn't bother me one way or another. Right now they are into playing them.

  10. My son's favorite gift last month was his new boat lego set!

  11. My kids both got new touchscreen laptops and they could not have beeen more pleased.