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

Induction Certificate Number:   74020110603-505
Induction Date:   June 03, 2011
Certificate License Status:   Active
Product:   Donkey...It's A Kick!
MSRP:   $24.99 USD
Company URL:  http://www.donkeythegame.com

Donkey...It's A Kick!

by:  Rev. James G.W. Fisher - Editor / Product Evaluation Specialist
Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) Date:  06/03/2011

Donkey is a fast paced, unpredictable card game that will have you saving for 4 of a kind one round, and building a barn out of your cards the next. Be the first player to master whatever crazy challenge comes your way, and quickly grab a Donkey Puck...but watch out for the Kicker!

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

Product Type Release Year Primary Usage Target Age / Max. Weight Target Gender
Abstract Games 2011 Consumer 8-108 Female/Male

Evaluation Report Summary (ERS) - Index

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 FunFactor™ Game Structure Marketability Narrative Progression Response Level
5 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.

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 
LeadSafe™ - Surface Coatings/PaintLeadSafe™ - Content / SubstratesPhthalatesSafe
  (Not Applicable)
BPASafeSoluble Heavy MetalsMechanical/Physical
(Not Applicable)(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


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 people playing Donkey. Wow!!! That was the very first word that came to mind as I witnessed this crazy new game called "Donkey™" causing players to literally fall out of their chair in all of the excitement...and I mean literally!!!

Who would ever imagine what appears to be a simple card game with some baby blue plastic pucks creating such excitement and drawing a crowd no matter where it's being played?

I'm sure all of our readers are familiar with a variety of word games where you guess all the right letters of a word to win.   "Donkey" is similar to the idea except that with Donkey, you have two sets of cards and some baby blue plastic pucks that define the game Play and spell out who will get "kicked" out of the game, (well, kinda sorta.)  Got you curious?

I am sure you are like myself, you might love good card games or perhaps have no interest in card games at all.  Either way it is of no matter because Donkey is a card game that breaks almost any barrier in generating a players interest.  It rocks the house...the entire house! Laughter, insane comedy, and skill development, all common elements that are synonymous with Donkey.

Now that we have gotten over all of the peripheral pitch, let's get into the real meat of the game; the details that make it the hottest thing since of challenge since well, who knows?!  (Don't worry, all those questions nagging at your brain will be answered in the next section to follow.)
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Additional Details & Perspectives

While 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". and will provide you with additional details and perspectives associated with the product or service being featured here.

Donkey is a game where comedy and excitement are completely re-defined in ways that you never even imagined before as you can see from the image at right.

There are three points of interest which seemed to be spoken of the most during our evaluation process. Donkey is easy to learn, unpredictable with the probability of playing the same game more than once at any one span of playing the game repeatedly, and then  there is the big one!...Ready?

Once you are out of the game, you become a Donkey!  No, not an Jacka**, rather a Donkey with but one sole purpose in life, wreaking havoc and creating chaos for the players still playing the game! ...and that's just to start!
An image of one of the Cleaveland Kids getting whacky while playing a game of Donkey.

Once you have a jacka** or two, oops, I mean Donkey or two to create a pinch of chaotic melodrama for those still in the game, that's when the fun really begins!  Can you imagine having the Donkey's doing what they do best while you are getting hit with a different "Kicker Card" with every game you play?

In a quote from the folks who created Donkey, "The Kicker Cards will have you saving for a 4-of-a-kind one round and building a barn out of your cards the next. Be the first player to master the challenge of the Kicker Card and quickly grab a Donkey Puck!"

Donkey reminds me of the TV show "Survivor". One moment you are aligning yourself with person who you work with to beat your opponents then a few minutes later you are now plotting against them to remain in the game and not become a "Donkey."

A more concise breakdown of how to play the game has been provided for you in the space below.
  • Step 1 - Place one less puck in the middle of the table than there are players.
  • Step 2 - Dealer reads allowed the instructions on the Kicker Card, which will explain the specific challenge for that round of play. Dealer then deals the PLAYING CARDS according to the type of Kicker Card being played.
  • Step 3 - While fulfilling the challenge of the Kicker Card, each player races to get the qualifying hand to grab the first puck from the table.
  • Step 4 - Once the first puck has been grabbed by a player each remaining player must quickly try to grab a puck. One player will come up short. That player scores the letter "D" on their score card.
  • Step 5 - Once a player's score card spells D-O-N-K-E-Y, that player is officially out of the game, but is allowed to remain in play and wreak havoc on the remaining players in an effort to take them down with him.
Now that is what ensures a fast paced and hilarious game of greed, skill, and strategy!

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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.

Donkey - It's a real kick!


8 Years to 108
Average 12-15 minutes
Overall Rating Average: 5 Star Rating Image

This Week's Independent Evaluators

Professor of Psychology B.A., M.A., & Ph.D.
Educational Media Analyst

"Donkey is a tween to adult creative strategy card game which is fast-paced and creates a formidable challenge for the more intuitive thinking players. The abstract playing process of the game encourages creative strategy development and higher level of interactive social skills."

"This game serves as a perfect catalyst to push the players into developing greater creative strategies to improve their skills with each game. With the probability of the same Kicker card being pulled more than once in any extended period of Play being almost non-existent, Donkey provides an equal advantage to win for all players."

"Active thought processing, social interaction development, and executive cognitive functioning in learning and entertainment. These all represent a complex combination of contributions to productive improvement in one's self. Donkey serves as a direct conduit for these contributions to be inherited by each and every player."

"Throughout the age range of players for which this game has been designed, a common thread exists; there's always room for improvement. The Donkey game represents a fabulous blending of the rudimentary elements of learning which result in ample fruits of self-improvement as well as more advanced current and future skill development. Productive self-improvement is inevitable."

Behavior Change Communications Specialist, Ph.D. MEd.
Chief of Recreational Therapy and Behavioral Study

"Donkey encourages a steady level of growth in developmental skills, especially for adults who can tend to lose their priorities in regard to cognitive development and maintenance. It employs the use of prompting features and criteria for completion of a goal through which assured progression and completion is achieved."

"Donkey represents a progressive developmental stimulation which carries after-effects which are dominant and useful for all of the players.  No abstract selection. There is no question that the game accomplishes reaching the specific goals intended in its design, well beyond expectation. This is accomplished by use of the number of specified unique function components. Through these components, a comedic atmosphere is introduced while gaining a greater foothold on response levels simultaneously.

"Donkey combines the factors of experience, active thought processing, social interactions, and executive cognitive functioning in learning and entertainment combined to help a player become more skilled in their playing."

Donkey is a game that is like a virus, you can't avoid it. Common symptoms of this virus are: excessive laughter, jovial spirit, and sudden unexpected movement, just to name a few. This virus is quite infectious and can pass to others easily. Best treatment is to play Donkey as often as possible."
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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, division of, or Epiphany Communications 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.

Donkey was pulling more attention in our consumer hands-on evaluation than any other game product we had available. As a unique new approach, we filmed people at the GTS Trade Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, during the game night in the ballroom.

No matter where you were in the ballroom, resounding laughs and screams all evening were emanating from the people playing Donkey. The video at left is a perfect illustration of how this fast paced game really cranks the excitement and comedy.

In our interviewing participants of our study at the trade show and multiple other locations, we discovered how Donkey was literally addictive to players.  The product wasn't even available for stores yet at the time yet retailers and many other people were chomping at the bit to pay that very moment for copy of Donkey, even though it wouldn't be available at that time.

Now Donkey is available to buy and it's like someone opened the flood gates with the high volume of people asking us to bring Donkey to demo at their store, mall, or event.  In reviewing our feedback forms, we found people many of the participants had used up every last bit of space on the form to share their excitement about playing Donkey. 

Following careful study of feedback forms, video tapes, and our own report data, it was easily confirmed that Donkey passed this evaluation category and was gaining quite the following.  I have even kept a copy for myself personally to enjoy!
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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 evaluation report 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 5 gold  stars

* Creative Agenda - The Creative Agenda of a player represents what the player hopes to achieve by way of exploration in their game experience.

"Creative agenda is a vital factor in the evaluation of a good quality game, whether it is a card, board, or video game. The creative agenda produced in game play with Donkey creates a historical memory function which demonstrates recognition of the significance of experience, strategic planning and development, active thought processing, interactive social development, and executive cognitive functioning in learning.  This transitions into application of the newly acquired knowledge, and entertainment combined to develop quick response strategy development."

As we went over the notes, reports, and videotapes, the players were having a generous level of enjoyment from the game, We found Donkey was kicking some serious butt with a magnificent score of [5] stars for Creative Agenda.

funFactor™: Rating Level - [5] an image of 5 gold  stars

Donkey was of no real challenge to establish an accurate measure of the funFactor™ associated with active game play. With Donkey, the active game play was of the highest level in stirring emotions and creating a comical parody of constantly changing goal setting. With the average game, the objective is to collect the most be it in points or some other significant item, but Donkey is a whole different animal. With Donkey, the objective is to have acquired all of the letters to spell D-O-N-K-E-Y, or If you get kicked out, you then have the opportunity to wreak havoc in an effort to cause the rest of the players to join you.

In reviewing all of our videotapes of Donkey during all phases of its evaluation, it was established that the level of funFactor™ was literally immeasurable. When the atmosphere of the players gets to the point where a player falls off his/her chair due to laughing so hard from the game play, determining the rating for this category of funFactor™ was clear, unquestionable, and simple. Donkey trots in on all four legs with a score of "5" stars in this category for funFactor™.

Game Structure: Rating Level - [5] an image of 4.5 gold  stars

Donkey was interesting to say the very least when it came to evaluation in the Game Structure category. As quoted by one of our independent evaluators,

"It was an enjoyable experience to have such a high level of competitive atmosphere with so many twist and turns which served as a catalyst to cause us to play repeatedly to persist in our efforts to better each other." He continued on with, "The learning curve was short and simple to grasp which makes the game more enjoyable due to no extended period of learning to play, causing disparagement and loss of motivation to play."

The narrative progression of Donkey is such that a player is driven to continue, to compete, and most important to many, have fun doing it. The structure of the game maintains the attention of the player while at the same time stimulating the player's desire to come back for more whether they win or lose the game. No one is really a loser with Donkey.

Donkey is a knockout of a game in the category for Game Structure and moves in smoothly with a champion score of [5] Stars in this evaluation category for Game Structure.

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

The category of Marketability was so simple and easily determined. All of the "fundamental components" referenced by one of our independent evaluators in his review of Donkey play an integral part in the rating score in this category. These are obvious factors to consider, yet there are some items which cannot simply be defined in a set of evaluation guidelines.

With many of the consumers who participated in our hands-on evaluation, they were all unable to be define the feeling they had from and while playing Donkey. As one of the participants expressed, "I just can't put it into words.  It's just different, and when we had to stop playing I was saddened.  I wanted more."

Just as with so many of the other evaluation categories for this game, Donkey cam screaming to the finish line with a perfect score of [5] Stars for Marketability.

Narrative Progression: Rating Level - [5] an image of 4.5 gold  stars

Narrative progression is a different kind of creature to take into consideration when evaluating a product. It is a vital part of the design structure of a game design. In the design of a card game such as Donkey, a smooth transition in the narrative or flow of the game must be maintained. This means taking on the challenge of maintaining the attention of the player while at the same time delivering content which will inspire a player's desire to come back for more.

Donkey creates a smooth progression of challenge a strategic development, while encouraging the player to develop their own narration to develop and grow in their level of play and learning simultaneously. Donkey has drawn so much attention and moves in smoothly with a perfect score of [5] Stars in the evaluation category for Narrative Progression.

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

In reviewing all segments of our evaluation process on videotapes, Donkey was undoubtedly on a roll when it comes to response level from all of the players. The players do not see Donkey as a game, they see it more as a refreshing competitive challenge they can't get enough of. It's irresistible to a player; they keep playing again and again.

Part of the reason for this is that every time a player begins their game play, they are creating an entirely new narrative for their play, never having the same experience twice! Donkey rides the tidal wave in with a perfect score of [5] Stars in this evaluation category for Response Level.

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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!"

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. "The Toy Man® Recommends...™ Award" is by far, the most challenging of our awards to acquire.  Products and Online Services that receive this award are officially "recommended" by The Toy Man® Product Guide. 

These products and online services are given recognition as being one of the limited few judged as having the best return on investment.  This includes yet not limited to both immediate and long term benefit from use."

"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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