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

Induction Certificate Number:   74020081020-284
Induction Date:   October 20, 2008
Certificate License Status:   Active
Product:   Bella Sara Trading Cards
MSRP:   $2.99 USD
Company URL:  http://www.bellasara.com

Bella Sara Trading Cards

by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Product Evaluation Specialist
Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) Date:  10/20/2008

Bella Sara is a unique combination of collectable horse-themed trading cards and a magical online world for kids at BellaSara. Each Bella Sara trading card features a fairytale-like illustration of a horse along with a positive message such as "Beauty comes from within..." or "Be the hero in your own story...", designed to stimulate pro-social dialogue among kids, and between kids, their parents and educators.

Product Type Release Year Primary Usage Target Age / Max. Weight Target Gender
Trading Cards With Online Virtual World 2006 Consumer 7-11 years Female

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.

Creativity & Detail FunFactor™ Marketing Value Learning / Positive Influence Online Transition / Interaction Visual Appeal
5 3 / 5 5 5 5 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.

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

Wholesale Retail Reseller Online 


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

Independent Lab Tested  Independent Lab Name 
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)

UPC Code / ISBN#Manufacturer SKUAge Grading

Manufactured InSafety Hazard/Warnings
U.S.A.WARNING: Good, clean and safe fun can become highly addictive!


Detail, Fun, and Learning - What More Could You Ask for?

How would you describe Bella Sara trading cards in one single sentence, that's easy. Bella Sara trading cards are a creative, colorful, and fun experience! Of course they are well beyond that but that is the easiest way to define it in a succinct manner. To be perfectly honest, there is so much to share about Bella Sara trading cards that it would take a lot more than this product evaluation summary could ever convey.

Rather than focus on a theme of violence and aggressive action in a constant flow of competitive challenge, Bella Sara follows and entirely different path. As stated in the introduction, Bella Sara is a unique combination of collectable horse-themed trading cards and a magical online world for kids at BellaSara.

It's A Female Thing and Then Some!

Although boys can appreciate the beauty and nature of horses as well, Bella Sara trading cards are more of "a female thing". Bella Sara provides the perfect venue for girls where girls can learn to collect trading cards, be interactive with the web site, and become more socially interactive as they show their Bella Sara cards with their friends.
Trading Cards That Are Very Special

Bella Sara trading cards are very special for kids at a time when the influence of positive values is needed most. Each Bella Sara trading card features a fairytale-like illustration of a horse along with a positive message such as "Beauty comes from within..." or "Be the hero in your own story..." According to Dell Monson, a spokesperson for Bella Sara, "Every message is designed to stimulate pro-social dialogue among kids, and between kids, their parents and educators."

The Virtual World of Bella Sara

With the Bella Sara trading cards, each card contains a code that unlocks a virtual version of that horse at www.bellasara.com where kids can play games or other activities such as puzzles, coloring books, interactive storybooks, customizable cottages, and much more. This virtual world provides such an incredible, positive environment which kids will find nothing short of addictive and gain personal improvement from every visit. The Bella Sara virtual world contributes an immense wealth of the kind of content which children across the globe can and will enjoy.

A Matter Of Choice

An essential point to remember is that not everyone has the same preferences or options to take advantage of. For many children, (and even some adults), collecting Bella Sara trading cards is a primary point of interest, every day of their life. At the same time, for others, the trading cards are not enough. These people have a preference to enjoy collecting every Bella Sara trading card they can find, while adding even greater excitement with their own personal journey in the Bella Sara online virtual world. It's simply a matter of choice.

The Fork In The Road

On one hand you have those who have a choice whether they will stick with just collecting the Bella Sara trading cards or moving on to the Bella Sara virtual world as well, but this is where the fork in the road comes into the scenario. For most people, they will take the path of collecting the Bella Sara trading cards as well as enjoying a journey into the Bella Sara online virtual world each day, anticipating what new experiences they will discover next.

On the other hand though, there are those who do not have the option of high speed internet access available, if at all. This is the alternative path in the fork, not as well traveled, yet existing all the same. Although the fork in the road provides a disadvantage for a limited few, it has no bearing overall. Bella Sara trading cards still maintain the highest level of popularity regardless what may occur. As a matter of fact, in our research conducted on a global scale during September and October '08, despite the global economy weakness, the demand for Bella Sara trading cards remains just as strong, if not even more so!

A Fair and Well-balanced Evaluation

Trading cards are not a product we have had an immense amount of submission from until recently so we decided to revamp our guidelines for trading card evaluation and enlist the aid of new evaluators for who trading cards are literally a vital part of their life to them. The "Bella Sara Trading Cards" are the very first trading cards to be evaluated under our more strict guidelines and with assistance by qualified professionals who specialize in understanding of psychological influence on children from collecting the trading cards and interacting in an online virtual environment, and judges the trading cards industry.

Child Psychologist, PhD / ISTE Advocate - "Children in the age group this product is designed for are in constant transition of development both psychologically as well as physically. I have a personal discomfort with many of the other trading card series and associated 'virtual' worlds of these trading cards. In my own professional opinion, I find the content within many of the current trading cards as well as these online worlds in the retail market quite disconcerting.

It seems in society today that in the determination of priority in regard to profit vs. productive content, profit has the leading edge. Media with aggressive activity, violence, and other questionable content which some of these embrace, can and will be quite detrimental to a child. Eventually you will see these traits begin to be exhibited in the actions and communication with a child.

Despite my personal discomfort with the content of media I have evaluated in the past, my evaluation of these 'Bella Sara' trading cards, and the entire virtual world I examined at the Bella Sara web site online, my discomfort was completely dissuaded. What you have here is a unique product which will encourage positive and productive ends. With continued use of either the trading cards and/or the web site, children can develop positive values uses that support lifelong learning, collaboration, personal pursuits, and productivity during their period of transition for this intended age group.

Professional Trading Card Collector / Certified Evaluator and Judge - "In evaluating a trading card series it is not a simple glance and develop an impression. In the 50+ years I have appraised, judges, and evaluated trading cards of all shapes, colors, and designs Now we have the new trend with web sites where a trading card series has a feature where each card is connected to the character on the web site via unique numbers and other ID formulaes.

Call me an old school thinker, but I see this Bella Sara group of trading card series as being set apart from the rest. You have the latest creations that are so popular for collecting and trading such as Chaotic, and many others, but the content is not really suited for children of 'pre-tween to tween' age group if you are not comfortable with blood, gore, and the like.

You should also recognize that you also have trading card series that are similar in content Bella Sara as far as acceptability for this age group. Although these cards are 'acceptable' in their content type, Bella Sara blows their competition out of the water with dynamic and colorful artwork and an overall old school values message which competitors would find quite challenging to match.

A true quality trading card series in the type such as Bella Sara is one which encourages repetitive use of the cards, strong social interaction, and an increase in learning. Things such as the spelling, layout, and visual appeal are but a few of the items on my list in my evaluation and Bella Sara has met my standards quite nicely. I would be willing to say the level of quality with this product is sufficient for me to even recommend it to be examined by ISTE governing board for consideration for adoption in schools for recreational media.

The design of the Bella Sara trading cards and web site will trigger a spark in development of intellectual skills. These skills will work to demonstrate a child's understanding of strong ethical values, ideas, sharing, and turning points in the life of a horse in parallel with a person's life from a variety of perspectives

Consumers Have Their Say

Consumers have no hesitation in telling you what they think of a product when given the opportunity and it isn't always what you desire to hear. This being the case, performing random hands-on consumer evaluation of products really tells you a lot. The REAL opinions that let you know just how good a product really is and if needed, how to improve upon it.

In this evaluation segment, we visited a busy major shopping center in Summerlin, NV. We brought a laptop and the Bella Sara cards along with a variety of other new products for the consumers to get an opportunity to get a hands-on experience with.

There was thing that was immediately apparent as we began signing up our participants...Bella Sara was already a name that every child that was participating was familiar with. It was our impression with some of the participants that they knew more about Bella Sara and the online virtual world than we did ourselves, despite all the hours of evaluation currently invested. This made it abundantly clear that Bella Sara was more than simply "popular" with kids for the target age group it was designed for.

In speaking with the mother of one of the tweens who was participating and providing her feedback, she had plenty to say about Bella Sara but this is what captured our immediate attention; "My daughter plagues me daily that we have to hurry home from her school so she can go to her Bella Sara web site to see if there is anything new to discover." Our staff was quite taken by the strong emphasis in the voice of the mother as she shared her comments with our staff.

From morning to early evening, kids were eager to be participants in our evaluation process, but especially so with Bella Sara and visiting the virtual world on our laptop. Most impressive to see such an incredible response level with each of the children as they played with the cards and visited the Bella Sara web site. There was no hint in the slightest of any discomfort or complaints about Bella Sara. The end result of the consumer hands-on evaluation was a lot of happy kids and parents and 4 exhausted staff members. Obviously, Bella Sara trading cards were successful in this portion of our evaluation.

A Breakdown Of The Featured Category Scores

While other organizations will define their ratings in a "blanket" method which simply defines each rating in an overall usage, we choose to take a different approach. Each individual rating that was assigned to this product, is based upon a combination of our evaluation guidelines and consumer hands-on evaluation feedback. The information below provides a brief explanation as to how that specific rating score was reached. The individual category ratings for this product are listed below.

CREATIVITY & DETAIL: Rating Level 5 - When it comes to creativity and detail, Sara Bella trading cards were stronger than anything to date. The artistic design of each card was "literally breathtaking" as one of our staff members expressed. The creativity in every portion of the artwork was impressive enough, but the meticulous effort put into the detail of the horses and so many other areas of the trading cards and web site were nothing short of magnificent. Bella Sara pulled a perfect score in this category.

FUNFACTOR™: Rating Level 3/5 - You would think at first that a perfect score would be a sure bet when it comes to the FunFactor™ here, but don't be too quick to make your judgment. You have to remember that in this category, there are two separate factors to be judged. The first is the trading cards themselves, the second is the actual web site, thus two separate scores need to be determined.

Bella Sara Trading Cards

Trading cards are an item in this case which is collected, sold, and traded. There is not real exceedingly noticeable level of FunFactor™ there to measure above average. The end result is a score of three for this segment of this category evaluation.

Bella Sara Trading Cards & Virtual World Web Site

Now in this segment you have an additional element to consider, the web site. When you combine the trading cards with the web site, the evaluation takes on entirely new dimensions. Take just the web site alone with the interactive environment, color, design and everything else, and the level of FunFactor™ is the very highest. Now add the trading cards to the mix and you end up with so much of a level of FunFactor™ that if there were a score higher than "5", this product would have it in a cinch. The end result is a score of 3/5 for this segment of this category evaluation.

MARKETING VALUE: Rating Level 5 - Marketing value determination was a no-brainer with the Bella Sara trading cards and web site. When you consider the content, the message it conveys, popularity, and the productive result, you have a product that ranks nothing short of a perfect score in this category. The Bella Sara trading cards have a higher probability of sales than many other trading cards series currently available.

LEARNING / POSITIVE INFLUENCE: Rating Level 5 - When it comers to the Learning / Positive Influence level of this product, there is no question of the impressive level of positive response for children interacting with the trading cards and the web site. In the area for safety warnings in regard to this product you see "WARNING: Good, clean and safe fun can become highly addictive!" That statement truly encapsulates the influence that the Bella Sara trading cards and web site deliver. If all of this wasn't enough, a substantial contribution to critical skills development as well as improvement of self-esteem and overall personal growth is what a child gets from this product. The Bella Sara trading cards and web site pulled a perfect score in this category without even trying!

ONLINE TRANSITION / INTERACTION: Rating Level 5 - A key point brought to our attention by one of our evaluators. A truly good trading card which is dedicated to dual use, singular and with an associated web site, will have a smooth transition from the trading card to the web site. There will be no break in the flow of response from the child from distraction due to lack of consistency between the two. The second factor is interaction. The card and web site combination as well as alone should encourage social interaction. Bella Sara trading cards and web site rose to the challenge and delivered what was needed to meet these demands. The Bella Sara trading cards and web site pull a perfect score in this category.

VISUAL APPEAL: Rating Level 5 - When it comes to visual appeal, the Bella Sara trading cards and web site pulled a perfect score in this category. From the striking colors of and eye-catching design of the trading cards, packaging, and the web site itself, the level of visual appeal is off the scale. It is visual appeal of this level of quality which sets the level for others to follow!

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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