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

Induction Certificate Number:   74020100922-429
Induction Date:   September 22, 2010
Certificate License Status:   Active
Product:   Appletters
MSRP:   $16.95
Company URL:  http://bananagrams-intl.com


by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Editor / Product Evaluation Specialist
Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) Date:  09/22/2010

Appletters® is a domino-like game for ages six and up where players connect letters in lieu of dots. The game comes in an apple-shaped cloth pouch containing 110 ivory-like tiles. In addition to the version for a younger audience, the game also includes instructions for more adult play which are even more delightful to play.

[ Please refer to A-2-Z Company Index for contact information.]

Product Type Release Year Primary Usage Target Age / Max. Weight Target Gender
Family Board & Table Top Games 2009 Consumer/Education 6 years plus Female/Male

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

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)

Independent Lab Tested  Independent Lab Name 

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

UPC Code / ISBN#Manufacturer SKUAge Grading
Unknown UnknownLabeled/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 Appletters game.
Here we have 101 ivory-like tiles in a bag shaped like an apple, hmmm. This would tend to create some curiosity. In actuality, it creates far more than just curiosity, it creates an experience of fun that is not only highly addictive, but also educational simultaneously.
Much like dominoes with the skill builder of matching dots and colors, Appletters takes this to a much larger scope of functionality. Image of Appletters Snake game in progress
Much as the classic game of dominoes, Appletters is a game where you are having to make matches to progress further, yet at the same time, it is like a combination of dominoes and crossword puzzles! Appletters provides double the level of stimulation and challenge!

As referenced in the introduction, Appletters is not designed just for kids to tweens. The versatility in the creative agenda allows adults to create more intense narrative development with a higher level of challenge in Play. In a quote from Shauna Parson, the Marketing/PR rep for Appletters, "The game includes instructions for more adult play - APPLE TURNOVER™ for an extra challenge and APPLESCORE™ for word lovers who like to have fun with palindromes and semi-palindromes." [ Palindrome - A line that reads the same backward and forward. ]

       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.

Appletters brings an experience of multiple emotions and catalysts together as one. Excitement, challenge, and delight are all a common denominator with Appletters. When you stop and think about it, having a group of equal sized square playing pieces from which you have the task of using letter/word association to draw on your memory to beat your opponent, the development of excitement, challenge, and delight is inevitable.

In reading one of the reports from our independent evaluators, a very meaningful observation was noted. According to the evaluator, "This small, apple shaped bag, full of small plastic tiles could be one of the most powerful and imaginative tools ever imagined in a school's arsenal for education and progressive skill development."

Appletters provides a literally perfect medium to take words, spelling, and the alphabet itself, merge them all together 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, Appletters is their dream come true. 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 Appletters game.
Independent Evaluators - Initial Report Outline
PRODUCT | SERVICE: Bananagrams
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

"This small, apple shaped bag, full of small plastic tiles could be one of the most powerful and imaginative tools ever imagined in a school's arsenal for education and progressive skill development."

"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. In a perfect world where the idea of education has great importance to everyone, this game, along with its companion games Bananagrams, and PAIRSinPEARS would be default educational tools which were used on a regular basis as part of the schools' standard curriculum."

"One of the most valuable points in determining the value of the game which might be overlooked is the way that the game is easily picked up and stored in a very small space. This allows for the convenience of being easily carried from one place to another, setup and packed up quickly and easily. What most people on the average are likely to fail to recognize is how these details play an important part in social interaction development, sensory stimulation, and many other classes of skill development.

Tactile touch of the fabric which holds the playing pieces and the playing pieces themselves is at a far higher level than with many other products for children. With the higher probability of repeated use and much higher volume of occasion due to the convenience of the game's size, Appletters plays a valuable role in the development of a child and improvement of skills for all ages."

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

"This game is a wonderful example of taking an idea that is well established and instead of trying to create another creative new product from scratch, Appletters is a product that has evolved into a far more challenging model of an original classic game design."

"By way of repetitive game Play with Appletters, 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 and sentence formation, creative thinking, and psycho-social interaction without intention to do so. This game can be used in multiple applications of recreational Play and education/skill development lesson plans."

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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.
Consumer were quite active with Appletters in the spontaneous consumer hands-on evaluation segment. What really added to the excitement was our having a domino style game as well being played on the same table!

Appletters 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 where we were hosting our event 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 "Appletters" stood with the consumers. Just as with Bananagrams, and PAIRSinPEARS, there were 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!."Appletters" 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 Appletters 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 Appletters 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

Appletters practically wrote the book on EASE OF USE. If a person can walk, they can play Appletters it's so easy to learn. 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.

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

Appletters tore up the road as it went screaming by to the finish line in this evaluation category for funQuotient™. With every single instance in our evaluation of the game play with a wide variety of age groups, Appletters 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.

It was especially amazing how whether we had Appletters being played at a public school, public mall, or even a police station, the funQuotient™ remained in a plentiful level which never seemed to cease. This was especially in the police station and in a police card while in active use!  That will be the talk of that police precinct for some time to come.

After several additional studies of Appletters 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. Appletters 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.

Appletters 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, Appletters passes the evaluation category of MARKETABILITY with a perfect score of [5] Stars.

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

Appletters 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, Appletters made it so easy to identify its substantial contribution to skill development. As one of our independent evaluators shared in her report, "By way of repetitive game Play with Appletters, 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..

Appletters 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] an image of 4 gold  stars

The overall visual appeal category was challenging in our establishing an accurate rating score. Having our own personal opinion of a perfect score then having to abide by our evaluation guidelines and rating which was different from our own personal opinion made this slightly challenging.  The bottom line is that NO exception at any time to ensure consistent and accurate evaluation of all products and services. !

The playing pieces are excellent in design and visual appeal.  The carrying bag which is shaped like an apple follows suit with the playing pieces as well. The only problem is that we cannot say that without question, the overall visual appeal can be rated with the highest honor of being rated as outstanding. The end result in this evaluation category for OVERALL VISUAL APPEAL is a near-perfect score of 4 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 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®.


"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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