November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11
|November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11|
TDmonthly's November Staff Picks
What's Worth Looking at Out There
Fairies are fine, but can they beat plush insect girls? Try them head-to-head next year, and you may find out. TDmonthly staff are always looking at new toys, searching for those that will make a retailer's pulse race. This month, we found some soft, furry fun and games that'll turn kids' heads to fuzz. Some are out now, some are still waiting for launch. Let us know if they work for you!
Jasmine the Butterfly Girl in her chrysalis Pod by WILDWOOD MEDIA
Other products from WILDWOOD MEDIA
This beautiful butterfly girl comes snuggled in her very own chrysalis, just like a real butterfly. Jasmine brings her environmental message in a unique and fun way. With her bug-shaped body and gorgeous colored wings, she will inspire children to imagine they are the protectors of nature too. This toy was inspired by nature, and developed to give something back. Launch date: August 2007.
— “We believe there hasn't been a toy that encourages children to think about the environment, and that by caring for nature we can all help in some small way,” David Hughes of Wildwood Media told TDmonthly.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9689 (added 10/13/2006)
The fast-moving word game consists of 144 ivory-like letter tiles in a zippered banana pouch. Players place the tiles face down on the table and randomly select 21 tiles. They turn their letters right-side up simultaneously and proceed to form as many intersecting and interconnecting words as possible, rearranging their own letters as many times as desired throughout the game. Awards: TDmonthly Top Seller 2007; 2009 TOTY Game of the YEAR, 2006 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal; 2007 iParenting; 2007 Parents' Choice Recommended; 2007 Dr. Toy Best Products. (Read Review)
— This product has been making the TDmonthly Best-sellers lists since 2007.
— As of 05/13/2011 this product had 4.8 out of 5 stars from 456 reviews on Amazon.com.
— Eight of 66 retailers vouched for its best-selling status in May 2008; seven of 63 did in Sept. 2008. Shani Watmough of Planet Toys in Rockland, Maine, said her store sells 60 per month. Fifteen of 38 named it a top-selling game in Feb. 2010.
— As of April 5, 2010, Bananagrams had spent 570 days in the top-100 best-selling toys and games on Amazon.com.
— According to owner Brett Sommer of Figpickels Toy Emporium in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, “It was the 2009 game of the year. The brilliant packaging definitely helps this product."
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8301 (added 6/19/2006)
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CoverUp is a four-in-a-row game with depth — three depths to be exact. Players choose where they will place their disks, and at what depth. Place a disk below the surface and risk having that disk covered up. Move a disk and risk uncovering an opponent’s disk. This deceptive two-player strategy game takes only seconds to learn and minutes to play. And once it’s opened, it doesn’t have to return to the box. Launch date: August 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9786 (added 10/25/2006)
From the amazing success of the documentary "March of the Penguins" to the popular penguins in "Madagascar," to this fall’s upcoming penguin-themed movie "Happy Feet," penguins are everywhere! That’s especially true for the family in "365 Penguins," who finds a penguin mysteriously delivered to their door every day for a year. At first they’re cute, but with every passing day, the penguins pile up — along with the family’s problems. In a large format, and with lots of opportunity for counting, "365 Penguins" is sure to become a perennial wintertime favorite. Launch date: December 2006.
— Valerie Ralph of Abrams Toys told TDmonthly that “They’re coming … not one, not two … 365 Penguins! The fun adds up in more than just black and white this December. And launching January 1, 2007, look for the 365 Penguins blog on www.abramsyoungreaders.com to find out the back story on each penguin.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9751 (added 10/24/2006)
This Polar Bear Rug is 50" x 48" and consists of an entire plush polar bear — even the head and limbs.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9683 (added 10/12/2006)
In this latest installment of the Beacon Street Girls' Adventures, Charlotte goes on a trip to Paris. Her friend Sophie has spotted her long-lost cat and now Charlotte is on a mission to recover her kitty and visit her friend. The book contains plenty of extras like a French dictionary, Paris trivia, travel tips, fashion tips and areas for girls to write in their own comments or thoughts.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9677 (added 10/12/2006)
From the king of pop art comes this fun, fanciful image of a woman’s favorite accessory. The chic and challenging 550-piece puzzle is packaged in a stylish, collectible tin, and depicts Warhol’s interest in shoes, which dates back to the early 1950s. Drawing shoes, especially high-heels, was part of his professional career as a commercial artist and a fine artist. Launch date: August 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9777 (added 10/25/2006)
Dado will engage your imagination and help develop a keen eye for design, color, shape, size, space, balance, proportion and composition. Constructed horizontally, vertically or nested together, Dado invites unlimited visual spatial development and problem solving through design-centered play. Dado features ten cubes, scaled from 1” to 5”. This game is "self-expression revealed through a contemporary palette of play, " Kathy Lorkovic, at Fat Brain Toys, told TDmonthly. This product has won numerous awards, including a 2007 National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award, a Spring 2007 Dr. Toy Best Product Award, a 2007 iParenting Media Excellent Products Award and a Creative Child Preferred Choice Award. Launch date: September 1, 2006.
— “Dado Cubes forms the foundation of a series of design-centered educational toys,” offered Mark Carson, developer and president of Fat Brain Toys. Dado is “that rare toy that combines intuitive fun with fine design. Equally rare is its ability to entertain young and old alike,” he added. “Beyond Dado, we have a number of products in development that have been inspired by true educational research.”
Past Videos: Toy Fair 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9637 (added 10/6/2006)
Only the best for your child! Picture the most stylish ride around, with your little one beaming in the driver’s seat. This licensed Vespa Scooter has the power of a 12-volt rechargeable battery that propels it at 2-1/2 or 5 mph, and it stops quickly with its rear brake. Onlookers will marvel at the realism of the Vespa’s rear storage box, rear-view mirrors and vinyl-capped non-skid wheels. Meanwhile, child riders delight at the glove box, working headlight, horn, flashing hazard lights and electronic engine sounds. The 12-Volt rechargeable battery and recharger are included.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9663 (added 10/11/2006)
This is a new breed of board game — created and influenced by underground artists and puzzle designers. In this game based on pop culture, optical illusions, riddles, logic and more, there are more than 1,200 puzzles and complete insanity (fun) for 2 to 16 players. Some examples of the puzzles players will be faced with include: (1) Beatle’s Songs: When I’m ___ DIVIDED BY ___ Days a Week; (2) Anagram: Dead US Musician? LIVES; (3) Word Play: chiTROUBLEna. Launch date: October 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9592 (added 10/4/2006)
Fetch the paper, you say? Only if it's the Wall Street Journal. These dogs are a bark above the rest and satin slippers are the only ones they'll be fetching for their masters. Fiesta's High Society posh plush dogs feature a designer look using designer fabrics and trims with special embellishments, such as rhinestones and chiffon bows. “They have the high society look and attitudes to match,” said Suzanne Hammond, marketing consultant for Fiesta. In addition to Patty the Poodle, there’s MG the Bloodhound Dog, Ms. Parker the Dalmatian, Gaston the Boston Terrier, Mr. Chris the Pug, Maricela the Chihuahua, Lou Lou the Bull Dog, Mr. Rich the Golden Retriever, Suzy Q the Dachshund and General Lee the Hound Dog. These 10” to 16” pups are entering society in high fashion and reputable style. Launch date: November 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9579 (added 10/4/2006)
It’s not often that one sees a stuffed toy manatee, but doggone it if the thing isn’t adorable in plush form. Manatees are currently endangered in real life, but Kids Preferred is making sure that isn’t the case in the toy realm. In addition to being machine washable, this manatee is asthma friendly and allergy tested.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9635 (added 10/6/2006)
Kids will have a blast mixing and matching word tiles to create countless hilarious stories. And by using magnetic color-coded parts of speech, the Now I'm Reading! Silly Story Laboratory makes the basics of grammar really stick. The magnetic words can be used on the fridge, too. The game and stories are written by Nora Gaydos, an elementary school teacher who's available for events, and illustrated by BB Sams. Launch date: July 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8522 (added 7/11/2006)
Clap the puppet’s hands to hear this classic nursery rhyme. A high-quality hand puppet and beautiful illustrations will entertain young readers. When the puppet’s hands are pressed together, a “read-to-me” feature is activated and the puppet really reads along with each page of the book. Parents can choose to read aloud or let the adorable plush puppet read for them.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9499 (added 9/25/2006)
For explorers and adventurers in the world of words comes this crossword game with a wild card: If you land on the right space, one tile can represent more than one letter. And asterisk tiles can mean any combination of letters you wish. But you don’t have to tell your opponent what that is: Will he call your bluff, or let the word stand? Even lifetime word gamers will be styling plays they never before dreamed possible. The game includes a board, four trays, 94 game tiles, six spare tiles, a cloth bag and an instruction book. Also included is a free two-player PC online version with chat (a $12.95 value). Wholesale pricing for six units within the continental United States includes shipping.
— Inventor Peter Roizen told TDmonthly his game “levels the playing field between a Scrabble expert and a normal newspaper reader. In a sense I [created] it out of revenge,” he said, so the game couldn’t be won with little-known two-letter words. Though many shoppers tend to go with the game’s classic rival, Roizen has found that in-store demos are good for sales.
As of 08/26/2011 this product is not sold to retailers.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9796 (added 10/26/2006)
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Writer's Bio: ALISON MAREK is a writer/artist/filmmaker whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), among others. Her short films have won awards in festivals around the world and have been broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks. Her new web series, "Mugg's Movers," was sponsored by FlatRate Moving Systems LLC and was selected for an NYU webseries showcase at writerslabwest.org/webshowcase. Alison is also the writer of the 2011 Emmy-nominated PSA "Tell Someone," for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Read more articles by this author
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