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April 2006 | Vol. V - No. 4
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2006 Toy Award Winner Spotlight

Congratulations to Award Winners


The following products are Oppenheim Toy and iParenting Media Award Winners that struck a chord with TDmonthly staff members. We thought they were worth knowing about, and you might agree. Congratulations to all 2006 toy award winners, and good luck to toy manufacturers and designers hard at work to create next year's winning batch.



MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 4 to 10
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



The StoryWatchers Club Adventures in Storytelling series is a new multi-award-winning children’s DVD series that recently made its official debut on February 14, 2006. Viewers enter the StoryWatchers clubhouse as a collection of the nation's top professional storytellers bring their most amazing tales to life. Special effects, animation, music and a cast of multicultural clubhouse puppets humorously lead the way from one story to the next. Children feel the magic and energy of each live, fun-filled, humorous performance right along with the kids in the studio audience. The series imparts to children the importance of using their imaginations, building listening and verbal skills, inspiring them to read and write, and exposing them to global cultures. It appeals to parents who care about what their children watch – not only the entertainment value, but the educational value and wholesomeness as well. There are five titles available — "Keys to Imagination," "Good Character," "World Folktales," "Our Planet" and "Christmas." Special features include Sing-Along Music Video, Kids Tell Stories Too!, Meet the Storytellers, Behind-the-Scenes, and StoryWatchers Club Trailer. The trailer can be viewed online at StoryWatchersClub.com or iFilm.com. StoryWatchers Club’s first release, “Keys to Imagination,” is an iParenting Media Award Winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5947      (added 12/14/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 4 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Arts & Crafts



Kids can hide all of their treasures in this stylish, hand-crafted Funky Bead Chest. It’s the perfect place to store finished bead creations and other accessories. All the drawers in this adorable chest are fully lined. The Funky Bead Chest contains tons of beads, plus lots of string and charms. The bead chest is a great permanent keepsake and it is one of Bead Bazaar’s iconic items. It adds a touch of style to any room, is 9" by 5" by 4" and can be used to create three different accessories. It won an Oppenheim Toy Award in 2006.
— “Bead Bazaar is my best-seller for girls that are into crafting,” Christina Callan, owner of Interactive Toys Crafts & More in Cle Elum, Wash., told TDmonthly.
— "I'd probably say bead kits. We get them from Bead Bazaar," was the response from Tristan Hewitt, manager of Dragon's Toy Box in Seattle, when asked about customer favorites in his store.
— Moore Porsaid, president of Bead Bazaar, shared his thoughts with TDmonthly: "[The Funky Beach Chest is] a painted and hand-crafted bead kit. You can create jewelry with it as well as [store] a finished product. Girls can also add their own jewelry to it if they like."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7233      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $13.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



This set includes10 reversible cards with both black-and-white and color research-correct graphics that help babies discover light/dark contrast and begin recognizing patterns. A hook-and-loop strap easily attaches to either front- or rear-facing car seats.
Awards:  2006 Oppenheim Toy Award; 1995 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Classic Award Winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7236      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 0 to 3
Launch Date: October 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush
Infant & Toddler



Toss the Taggies is approximately 8" in diameter and comes adorned with loads of multi-colored, multi-textured tags that babies and children love to rub and grab. It is designed to benefit children developmentally as they are enticed to explore the various tactile and visually stimulating looped satin tags. The colors and material are both soothing and comforting. This product recently received an iParenting Media Awards editorial inclusion and an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award. It also received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award and the 2007 Oppenheim SNAP (Special Needs Adaptable Product) Award. “The patented functionality and multiple tactile and developmental opportunities offered by our unique, looped tags…set this product apart,” Shirley Conner of Taggies Inc. told TDmonthly.

— "Anything by Taggies; those sell like crazy," Holly Anvers, manager of Ages & Stages Toy Box in Golden, Colo., told TDmonthly about her best-selling infant product in March 2010. "Especially the Toss the Taggies ball." Two of 39 retailers named Taggies as a top-selling baby product.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7104      (added 3/3/2006)
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Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This 2- to 4-player game transports players back through the ages, back to the time of the Vedic Rajas of India. Chaturanga is well recognized as the earliest form of chess. Played on an authentic cloth game surface by 2, 3 or 4 players, Chaturanga combines the basic strategy of chess with the dynamic challenge of chance as each move is determined by the random roll of wooden dice. Whether players seek treasure or fun, Chaturanga is a great game for the entire family. It has so far won an Oppenheim Toy Porfolio Gold Seal Award, an Oppenheim Toy Platinum Seal Award, a Parent's Choice Silver Award and a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4522      (added 9/9/2005)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



This game gets players guessing — and celebrating — each other’s favorite things. Players must choose between very different experiences and items while other players must guess their selection. It recently won an Oppenheim Toy Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7237      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $14.95
Age Range: 8 to 12
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



Sabrina and Daphne Grimm, two orphans, are dropped off at their grandmother’s house 18 months after the disappearance and suspected murder of their parents. Street-smart Sabrina isn’t buying sweet old Relda Grimm’s story that she and her sister come from a long line of fairy-tale detectives; that Ferryport Landing — their new home — is the enchanted settlement of Everafters (old fairy-tale heroes and villains); or that Relda Grimm is anything more than a senile old bat who has mistaken her and her sister for blood relations. Yet, before she has a chance to escape with Daphne, the two find themselves caught in the center of a supernatural mystery. This book is an Oppenheim Toy Award recipient.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4255      (added 8/23/2005)
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MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



When his hand is pressed, he coos and babbles. When his tummy is tickled, he laughs. When he is given a bottle, he drinks it. When he is placed on his stomach, he cries. Jules is 17" tall and dressed in blue velour pajamas with a matching knit cap. The doll comes with its own feeding bottle, bib, pacifier and soft teddy bear. Jules is an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Award Winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5537      (added 11/15/2005)
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MSRP: $7.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



As part of Playhouse Publishing’s Look & Learn format, featuring pull-tabs to let children interact with the story, this title focuses on one of the key bonding times between child and parent: bedtime. Young readers say "night-night" to their favorite animals in this iParenting Media Award Winning book. Bunny sleeps in the grass, Cow sleeps in the barn and Teddy sleeps in the bed! When it's time for bed, pull-tabs make each animal close its eyes. The sparkly cover shines in light. Other titles in this series include "Squeaky Clean" and "All Gone," focusing on bath time and meal time.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7306      (added 3/24/2006)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Puppets
Plush



Folkmanis’ low-tech puppet innovation adds a new dimension to puppetry in 2006 with the introduction of the pull-ring animator, a patent-pending device inserted into puppets that gives them a more realistic appearance with a very simple finger movement. Measuring 20" long, the Elephant is a majestic pachyderm that incorporates the animator to lift and move the trunk to give this mini-version of the jungle's biggest beast very realistic motion. Designed with realistic touches, ultra-soft micro-fiber fabric, and a movable mouth this iParenting Media Award-winning elephant is super-soft and super-squeezable.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6001      (added 12/15/2005)
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MSRP: $10.95
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This lap-sized board book follows the path of a young child who meets several different kinds of animals when taking a walk. Written by Sue Williams and illustrated by Julie Vivas, it artfully captures the simple yet life-affirming treasures of a day out in the country. The watercolor drawings are sure to entrance young readers. It's meant for ages 6 months to 3 years, and though a classic, is available for the first time as a board book.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7134      (added 3/6/2006)
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MSRP: $79.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Girls
Category: Play Sets



The Calico Critters' Townhome is a large, four-room home with a room divider that can create a fifth room. The house can be opened and closed for lots of decorating and pretend-play fun. There is a movable staircase and an extra floor area to create larger rooms. When closed, the house measures 12" by 12" by 12". What makes this house even more special is that there are lights inside that can be turned on or off with the flip of a switch. It recently won a 2006 Oppenheim Platinum Seal Award.
— Seven of 32 specialty retailers named Calico Critters in October 2008 when asked which items they expect to be their hottest holiday sellers. In late November/early December 2009, two of 44 retailers cited Calico Critters as one of their overall best sellers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7239      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 2 to 5
Gender: Girls
Category: Construction



Thomas can be loaded up at the cargo tower, then sent on his way to Tidmouth Station. The set includes a cargo tower with a slide so kids can open it to drop cargo. It also features a full track that measures 23" by 35", train signal and station. It recently won a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award, comes with more than seven feet of track and 16 curved track pieces and is compatible with the complete LEGO and DUPLO systems.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4463      (added 9/7/2005)
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MSRP: $130.00
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Plush



This great big plush bear is extremely soft and fun. He attracts the attention of children and adults because of his features, texture and large huggable size. He is one of Mary Meyer's strongest selling teddies and recently won a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7240      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $24.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



With a moo and a baa-baa, baby is off chasing this adorable crawl toy that encourages baby to move along with it because of the colorful lights and sound. “Farmer in the Dell” music plays as the toy rolls along, while the cow and sheep pendulum sways. This toy continues to foster cognitive, physical and social skills of children ages 9 months and up and recently won a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7241      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $69.95
Age Range: 0 to 2
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



The Gymini Total Playground Kick & Play is a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award winner for its versatile structure and 17 developmental activities. The borders of the activity mat can be opened or closed to provide baby with a large play area or a cozy, womb-like environment. The Musical Kick & Play response pad can be set upright as a kickboard or placed flat for baby to touch with her hands. In either position, the pad provides 10 minutes of classical music.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7242      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $250.00
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Robotics



Standing at around 14” tall, this second-generation robot was designed by robotics physicist Mark Tilden to surpass its predecessor, Robosapien, with improved articulation and more than 60 pre-programmed functions, including picking up, throwing, giving a high-five, whistling and dancing — all of which users control with an easy-to-use remote. In V2, Wow Wee has added a vision color system that enables the robot to identify objects and see skin tones. The robot also waves, shakes hands and can respond and react to environmental noise. It won a 2006 Oppenheim Toy Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3206      (added 3/11/2005)
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MSRP: $18.00
Age Range: 8 and up
SKU or Item #: SNT100
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



Every second counts and every letter’s up for grabs in this fast-paced, word-stealing, mad-dash game for two or more players. As players take turns flipping over a letter tile, words can be formed by using 3 or more letters from the center or by adding onto an existing word. Players may snatch any word at any time by adding one or more letters. As the words grow so, too, does the excitement. The game is easy to learn and encourages quick, creative thinking. The simple instructions are printed right on the handy plastic tube containing 100 colorful letter tiles, making this an ideal game for family fun anywhere, anytime. The unique and appealing packaging makes an eye-catching display. It recently won an iParenting Media Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6077      (added 12/20/2005)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 6 to 10
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



With “I Did My Homework!” children master the task of recording, organizing and completing their homework correctly just by following the easy steps built into the system. Kids are motivated to do their homework; they earn rewards and become more independent in the process. Parents can use the suggested system or tailor it to their child’s school schedule. The kit includes various stickers, reward tokens and incentives to make learning fun and rewarding for the child, as well as stress-free and rewarding for the parent. This recently won an iParenting Media Award.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6079      (added 12/20/2005)
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MSRP: $24.99
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



In this iParenting Media Award–winning family game, players don't have to wait their turn as everyone plays at once. Players can steal other players’ questions, make challenges and grab bonus points during each play. Each question contains four things where one is the odd man out and the other three are somehow connected. It was ranked one of the Chicago Tribune's Top 5 Family Board Games.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3169      (added 3/7/2005)
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MSRP: $19.99
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Infant & Toddler



The Cuddle Cubby is a soft absorbent pad that offers a comfortable surface for baby care before and after bathtime. The adorable bear-shaped pad is covered with a removable and washable terrycloth cover for extra absorbency. The gift set includes a fun bear mitt for bathing and a soft towel for drying. The Cuddle Cubby is fabulous for grooming, massage, sponge-bathing and more. The Cuddle Cubby can be used in kitchens, bathrooms or anywhere necessary to provide a comfortable place for baby care.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7305      (added 3/24/2006)
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MSRP: $60.00
Age Range: 2 to 7
Gender: Boys
Category: Outdoor Fun



Radio Flyer has reinvented the classic tricycle with the Twist Trike. An industry-first, this two-in-one creation easily adjusts from a trike to a chopper in seconds, making it suitable for children as young as age 2 and as experienced as age 7. It’s really two trikes in one! The Twist Trike is designed after the look of a high-end sports car. The patented quick-release mechanism, front wheel tread grip and adjustable seat adds functionality to the sporty design. The Twist Trike is available in three color schemes: the classic red, blue and yellow; red and silver; and pink and purple. It's an iParenting Media Award winner.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4788      (added 9/23/2005)
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Age Range: 1 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction




Description: Recently winning an iParenting Media Award, these perfectly safe, soft foam blocks resemble beautifully stained wood blocks. The product is geared for young creative builders and can be played with on the floor or used in the bathtub for extended play. The blocks float and stick easily to the bathtub tile walls when wet. They are sold in packs of 30 ($17.95) and 80 ($29.95).
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7234      (added 3/17/2006)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Play Sets



This interactive raceway lets kids race two Shake 'N Go cars on a fun, circular racetrack. Featuring flashing lights and all the sounds of a real speedway, kids can choose from an open-ended play mode that lets them continuously speed their cars around the track, or race mode, which sets two cars against each other where the first one to complete a set number of laps, wins. The coolest thing about this Speedway is that it uses new technology — it actually "knows" who won the race and announces it at the finish! When the Speedway is in race mode, kids quickly lead. It includes two Shake 'N Go cars and will recognize any of the other Shake 'N Go Racers in the collection including the Rally Car, the Hot Rod, the Race Car, the Stock Car and the Exotic Car. This Oppenheim Toy Award winner requires 4 AA batteries, not included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7238      (added 3/17/2006)
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