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How to Create an Award-Winning Toy

Awards - Page 1


TDmonthly Magazine is happy to congratulate the dozens of honorees whose names appear on lists for this year’s toy awards. To find out what constitutes an award-winner, TDmonthly spoke with noted child development expert Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D., better known as Dr. Toy (publisher of Dr. Toy’s 100 Best Children’s Products for 2006); and children’s media expert Stephanie Oppenheim, co-founder (along with her mother, Joanne) of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio (publishers of  the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Awards). We have compiled four pages worth of toys that have been awarded for their efforts. To read more about what Dr.Toy and Stephanie Oppenheim had to say, CLICK HERE.

AWARDS:
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MSRP: $29.99
Age Range: 6 and up
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Electronics



Miuchiz are digital, interactive companions that children can customize, personalize, and stylize. They can be plugged into a computer and entered into an online community, and feature color screens and voice activation. Varieties include MIUCHIZ Bratz Babyz (fashion play), MIUCHIZ Bratz Pawz (adventure in gaming), and MIUCHIZ Monsterz (battles). This toy includes 3 AAA batteries and was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. MGA Entertainment Public Relations Coordinator Reagan Holmes told TDmonthly that “In this interactive online realm, you can meet up with old friends or make new ones while loving and playing with your character.” Launch date:  August 15, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9908      (added 11/2/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $13.99
Age Range: 3 to 7
Launch Date: June 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Audio & CD



This CD will make bath time and bedtime fun for children as they sing along with "Sir Washalot" and "Lady Elizabeth," and meet "Sydney Scrubbins" and "Merry Maidens.” This item was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. The creator of TippyToeToons, Geoff Koch, told TDmonthly that “TippyToeToons CDs are the only CDs designed to entertain and move a child through their entire nighttime routine….reinforcing a consistent routine while providing plenty of giggles through great characters and catchy songs that will make parents smile.” Launch date: June 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9812      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 0 to 5
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Featuring the Emmy Award winning original classical music of mom and composer Belinda Takahashi, PhD, young children laugh, sing and learn as they interact with Juno and her lovable puppet friends. Help little ones overcome their fears with Way To Go, Juno. Follow Juno and her friends as they cope with common childhood fears. The lovable puppets learn that through true blue friendship, they can overcome anything. Sing along in English, Spanish and French. Language and "A,B,C" flashcards included. For every product sold, the Juno Company donates a very special music DVD to a child in need. Launch date: August 2006.
Awards: 2006 Dr. Toy Top 100 Best Children’s Products
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9803      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $16.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Launch Date: September 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
Videos & DVDs



With this game, children can combine silly sketches with creative captions, fashion wacky masterpieces, and showcase creations with a fun magnet. The whole family will be laughing as players swap partial drawings and judge artwork with corresponding captions. Doodle Tales includes 60 photo cards, five secret story keepers, six pencils, a spinner, a score pad, a timer, and a magnet. It received the 2007 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. Launch date: Fall 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10078      (added 11/14/2006)
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MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: 7 to 12
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Books



This board book features 16 colorfully illustrated pages with more than 50 flaps that reveal secrets and interesting facts about the body. Young learners will enjoy the interactive pages as they gain reading skills and learn about anatomy. It is suitable for use both at home and in the classroom. This item was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. Launch date: January 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9811      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $54.95
Age Range: 5 to 8
SKU or Item #: LER 9205
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



Children can create Illuma-Bot any way they want. This 105-piece set includes unique pieces for innovative building, including a remote-controlled infrared motor with a 25-foot range, a chrome robot head with flashing lights, dome lights, detachable claws, a large light gear and more. Color-coded instructions for building four motorized models are included, or children can design their own creatures. The set is compatible with any authentic Gears! Gears! Gears! building set. It was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. Launch date: January 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9810      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 5 to 12
SKU or Item #: 9780976245438
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs



Animator and elementary school art teacher Michael Moodoo shows how to use basic shapes to create realistic dinosaur drawings. This program features drawing techniques, fun characters, colorful animation and facts on dinosaur behavior and anatomy. It was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. Michael Dowell, artist and host of the Drawing Power! series, told TDmonthly the program was created in the classroom “in order to provide fun, informative, step-by-step instruction for viewers.” There’s a minimum wholesale order of six units, and free shipping on case orders of 25 units. Launch date: August 2006.
— The workshop setting in which “Drawing Power!” was developed allowed Dowell to discover the mistakes that 90 percent of kids make, and find “simple, effective ways of allowing them to create realistic and satisfying 3-D drawings.”
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9890      (added 11/2/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $59.99
Age Range: 1 and up
SKU or Item #: G02211
Launch Date: February 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Toys



This easy-to-assemble, chunky garage is ideal for little hands to grip. Children can race cars down the track and hear zooming sounds, watch lights flash as the elevator goes up and down, and hear the gas pump glug or the air pump hiss. The magnetic cars can be used together or separately. “The quality and contemporary styling of this item as well as the tremendous play value…make this ideal for the specialty toy market,” Sue Tice of International Playthings told TDmonthly. Launch date: February 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 10031      (added 11/10/2006)
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MSRP: $49.99
Age Range: 6 to 12
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



This construction set can be used to make a variety of structures that work with a battery-powered motor box. The helicopter propeller spins and features firing action, the spider crawls, and the bumper car moves forward and backward. The set includes step-by-step building instructions for three models, along with other construction ideas. This product comes with 607 pieces and requires 6 AA batteries (not included). It was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. Launch date: August 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9763      (added 10/25/2006)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 2 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Dolls



This 13” machine-washable travel doll comes with a carrier, a soft backpack car seat, and mix-and-match outfits. As her name suggests, she is “EZ” to dress — no buttons, snaps or ties — and her clothing sticks on easily. The doll is made for little hands (ages 18 months and up) and includes the Goldberger Lifetime Guarantee. She helps develop fine motor skills, promotes eye-hand coordination, gives children a sense of accomplishment, teaches cause and effect, nurtures the feeling of security, and inspires imagination and creativity. She was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9764      (added 10/25/2006)
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MSRP: $139.95
Age Range: 5 to 8
Launch Date: March 2003
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational



This kit creatively introduces the patented narrative icons of the original Story Grammar Marker. It fosters the connection between language and literacy to preschool through second grade students. Emerging readers and writers will be introduced to the first four stages of narrative development by this multi-sensory tool. It was named a Top 100 Best Children’s Product of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
— “Braidy was chosen as the comprehension and expression component of a study conducted by Haskins Laboratories, a research facility affiliated with Yale University, thus making the methodology and related tools research-based,” EVP Brian Scott Welch of MindWing Concepts told TDmonthly. “Braidy’s systematic, explicit approach assists children in developing deep comprehension and critical thinking skills.” Launch date: March 2003.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9880      (added 11/2/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $17.99
Age Range: 5 to 12
SKU or Item #: BP06120
Launch Date: May 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Players can choose one of four double-sided boards in this skill-building game. The object is to be the first to spy the object on the board that matches the card turned over, ring the bell, and capture cards. The game includes different rules for three to four players and an advanced tournament game. For 2006, it was named a Top 100 Best Children’s Product by Dr. Toy and received the Dr. Toy’s 10 Best Games Award. “This is the I Spy game that Pavlov would like best…and the payoff is fun for the whole family,” George Schimpf, vice president of marketing at Briarpatch, told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9809      (added 10/26/2006)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 7 and up
SKU or Item #: 030
Launch Date: January 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



The game begins with 17 pairs of tiles that feature the engaging characters from the Cogno games and books series. The object is to find as many matched pairs as possible — while preventing other players from finding them first. In Codebreaker, players use the included dry-erase markers to draw or write something on the backs of the cards they pick. Players delve into their lifetime of memories to create “codes” that help them remember where the game’s characters are hiding. The key is creating codes that others won’t guess … and the fun is guessing others’ codes.
— The original Cogno game was a huge hit for Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toy & Book Store in Scottsdale, Ariz. VIEW ARTICLE The game “is endlessly creative and interesting, because players draw from their lifetime of memories to write or draw secret reminders about the characters in the game. The key is making coded reminders for yourself that other players will not figure out!” Montaldo told TDmonthly. Award: 2006 Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children’s Products — Building on the success of the Cogno games, Codebreaker challenges memory and creativity while adding the fun of secrecy and (best of all) dry-erase markers! Since it’s basically “memory” with some scribbling, retailers can easily teach the game to customers and just as easily ring up the next sale. That winning combo won Codebreaker a TDmonthly Top Seller 2007 award.

Where to Buy: Berkira

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6793      (added 2/1/2006)
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MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games
General Games



Letterpress craftsmen of centuries past used to hide words within a block of text as a challenge to their peers. They called this past time vedere parola.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6110      (added 12/21/2005)
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MSRP: $9.95
Age Range: 4 to 12
SKU or Item #: 7-30767-43150-1
Launch Date: August 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Aircraft



This book holds a fleet of gliders just waiting to take flight. Young aviators just have to punch them out, assemble them, and send them soaring. Each glider has its own shape, style and name. Stickers make customization simple, and table-top stands make the gliders look great. It was named one of the Top 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy. “Foam Gliders includes five fabulous foam fliers, stickers and simple-to-play glider games, but, most of the time, kids will be happy just winging it,” publicist Melissa Goldner Bloomfield of Scholastic Inc. told TDmonthly. Launch date: August 2006
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9879      (added 11/2/2006)
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MSRP: $39.99
Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Construction



The Advanced Kit contains 600 plastic pieces. “I-Gami is based on a totally new concept from other construction toys. The secret is it’s a block that can be manipulated in thousands of ways by changing the angles and folds,” Gerry Pascoe of Plastic Play told TDmonthly. It was named one of the 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8497      (added 7/7/2006)
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MSRP: $74.95
Age Range: 8 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Science & Nature
Kits
Educational



Have fun building your own RC Snap Rover using the colorful Snap Circuit parts that come with this kit. There is no soldering required as all the parts snap together with ease. Once completed, you will be able to navigate your surroundings with the easy-to-use Snap Rover remote control. “The Snap Rover is a hands-on experience and gives children an opportunity to build their own RC Snap Rover along with 20 other projects,” Walter Larsen, national sales manager for Elenco, told TDmonthly. It was named one of the 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 9661      (added 10/11/2006)
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MSRP: $69.95
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Educational
Kits
Science & Nature



The Teaching Tank Starter Kit is extremely versatile. It comes with Discovery Book 1 and a bag of Clear Growing Crystals. The Teaching Tank will capture your child's natural curiosity in science and enhance his or her understanding of science through a variety of hands-on activities. Paul Reinbold of Captivation Inc. is proud of the acclaim that the Teaching Tank has garnered. He told TDmonthly that the Teaching Tank has received “…not one, but two prestigious awards from Dr. Toy, the first being one of the 100 Best Children's Products for 2006 and the second being one of the 10 Best Educational Products for 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6521      (added 1/11/2006)
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MSRP: $15.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: 00149
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Videos & DVDs
Educational



Pocket Snails Aquaphonic Adventure takes the Pocket Snails and their friend Jake on a new and exciting educational adventure, where they'll make some new underwater friends, ride in a submarine and scuba dive their way to learning the sounds of the letters. It helps teach letter sounds, vowels and letter recognition. “We combine an engaging storyline, original upbeat music and amusing animation to encourage and enthuse children in their educational and literary development,” Kate Beale, vice president of Soaring Star Productions, told TDmonthly. The DVD was named one of Dr. Toy's 100 Best Children’s Products and 10 Best Audio/Video Products for 2006. It also received Dr. Toy's Smart Play/Smart Toy Product of Excellence Award, is approved by Parents' Choice Foundation, and received Learning Magazine's 2007 Teachers' Choice Award for the Family.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5736      (added 11/29/2005)
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MSRP: $19.95
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Creative Activities



Birthday Gamesake allows family and friends the opportunity to create this personalized board game by filling out favorite memories on the enclosed gift cards. A sample card might read: "Annie swims across the pool. GREAT JOB. Roll again! Love, Dad (2005)." New cards can be added annually, creating a unique and hilarious diary of a person’s life. The game includes 300 Gift Cards (to be personalized by friends and family), board, four pens, six pawns, one die and an instruction card along with directions. Gamesakes “are not only fun games, they're keepsakes — when it's time to clean out the toy closet as the kids get older, the Gamesake will stay because it really is a diary of your family's life!” Clarissa Weiant of Jocapa Products told TDmonthly. It was named one of the 100 Best Children’s Products of 2006 by Dr. Toy.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4300      (added 8/24/2005)
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Julie L. JonesWriter's Bio: Julie L. Jones has written articles for both newspapers and magazines. Before joining the staff of TDmonthly Magazine, she worked as a communications writer and provided editorial support for a market research company. Read more articles by this author

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