Product Submissions

Updated: 8/17/17
I am currently taking a break from evaluating products for my articles because I have been focusing on content consulting. I will still continue to write articles at this blog and Forbes regarding issues in education. 

Previous Product Submission Policy: 

I find that bullet points are easier to read and so I hope you do too. It might sound a bit abrupt but I'm just trying to save you time.

Where will the review go?

  • Every product seen will be considered for any outlet where I usually write as well as whenever someone interviews me about products
  • The three media venues should have some type of holiday guide.  
  • If you have a venue preference/idea/angle, please mention it to me.
Promises and Payments:
  • I can't promise that I will write about your product.
  • I will never accept payment for a review. (ads, yes, sponsored posts, yes but reviews, no)
  • I do not consider product submissions as an exchange for a review.
  • I can't promise a positive review either but my goal is always to help people make productive purchases. That's how I feel the most effective.
Sponsored Posts:
  • Occasionally I do them but the "sponsored" part is clearly displayed.  The best time to sponsor a post is from October to December for consumers and education professionals but my best stories are evergreen and get searched throughout the year. Education and toy industry professionals will read this throughout the year, especially in August, September, January, and February. 
How fast do you post?
  • I do roundups with and without seasonal connections ie. Back To School posts or Top Games for Leadership.
  • I may write about your product a year from now. ie. it's great for back to school stories but I am getting it in September... 
  • Let me know if you have a time issue.
Why wouldn't I post commentary on your product?
  • I might never because there isn't enough space and time or applicable story angle.
  • I might never because my testers and I encountered obstacles that hindered performance. You can give me a call for those. I can spend 10 minutes talking about it. You can order a detailed report but alas, that's not free.
Why do you never return products? My product is expensive. 
  • The primary testers are kids. But even adult testers get attached to the products. That's the whole point anyway. Taking it away from them is just plain mean. These folks are volunteers who take their job seriously. 
  • We only return things that we totally can't mesh with but my testers are creative and usually mesh with a lot of stuff.
  • Ownership helps to motivate kids to care for their stuff and explore it further, if they don't, Jenn will assign the product to another tester.
  • More importantly, we like to hold onto things to do long-term assessments (informally). This is how we learn and we share that learning with everyone whether it is informal, on Facebook, or in a published article. 
What should I send?
  • We can talk about it. Email me for my address (toysaretools at gmail dot com). Send me pics, product buy links, MSRP, video links in advance. 
  • If you are in Kickstarter mode, I praise your gusto but I find it difficult to write about things that are not available for consumption. That said, I love to hear from you and may be able to share something on social media so send me something easily shareable. ie. not a press release.

The Testing Process:

  1. A designated tester and his/her family will look at the product. Some products are purchased by testers themselves, most are not. The tester family will not communicate with the manufacturer unless something goes wrong and then they will call customer service just like any other customer. 

  2. If the tester likes the product, Jenn will begin thinking about where the story belongs. Stories in may have a giveaway included. Other stories maybe in different outlets. Only Jenn writes the reviews.
  3. If you are interested in doing a promotion, please let us know, the earlier the better. However, please note that reviews and consequently giveaways are never promised. Additionally, editorial space is limited and thus any submitted product not appearing here does not mean it was unsatisfactory.
  4. GIVEAWAY promotions are created and run by Toys are Tools. We will do our best to make things interesting and fun to enter. If you have an important condition for the promotion, please let Jenn know in advance of product submission to avoid any potential disappointment.

  5. GETTING EXPERT INPUT: If the tester gives a thumbs up, sometimes Jenn will ask the toy company to send a product to an expert (educator, pediatric therapist, child psychologist) to get their feedback. Products will not be returned.
    These experts do not accept payment for their opinion or for the purpose of being interviewed for a story by Jenn.  They are not open to speaking to publicists unless preferred. These experts help communicate to Jenn the importance of developing the particular skills that can be practiced using the product.

To learn more about the blog.   Check out my one-year anniversary post.  

 If you need the mailing address, please shoot me an email:

 toysaretools at gmail dot com