Kristen McEntire Ryan is a journalist with 15 years of experience in marketing for kids' products. She has very high standards for quality toys and games and loves to share her favorite discoveries with other parents.
As a marketing professional, Kristen launched more than 200 games and kids' software products internationally. She majored in journalism in college and, after the birth of her second child, became a freelance writer and photojournalist.
Kristen has reviewed hundreds of toys, games and kids' products for major online and print publications. A mother of two small children, Kristen is active in local and online parenting organizations. She has become the person many parents ask for advice on which toys are worth the money and which toys will drive them completely insane.
Kristen works directly with the toy companies and industry groups to gather the latest news and test all the hottest toys, often before they are available in stores. Through her candid and timely reviews, she strives to make the About.com Toy Guide the first place parents look for up-to-the-minute information on new products and toy-industry trends.
As a former marketing professional I can see through smoke and mirrors, and as a parent I know that we all want toys that don't break after they're played with twice. We want toys that stretch our children's imaginations, toys that can be passed down to their siblings and toys that are worth every penny we paid for them.
I test the toys with my own children and frequently "borrow" friends' kids to try out new products. That makes our house pretty popular for playdates!
I love to find new toys that are creative, unusual and fun. I like to support toy companies that develop environmentally conscious products, artisans who craft toys by hand and toy designers who innovate with technology.
It's pretty simple. If I wouldn't tell my best friend to go to the store and buy a new toy, it doesn't get the highest rating from me.